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250 year old kitchen of Thomas Jefferson


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Archaeologists have uncovered the 250-year-old kitchen of Thomas Jefferson's enslaved chef, James Hemings, who introduced mac and cheese and meringues into US culture.

Hemings became the property of Thomas Jefferson in January of 1774 when he was just nine years old.

His younger sister is Sally Hemings, who had six children believed to have been fathered by Jefferson after the death of his wife Martha Jefferson.

Growing up, Hemings was one of Jefferson's favorite servants and even accompanied him to Paris, France, in 1784.

In France, Hemings learned the art of French cookery and upon their return to America, he introduced crème brûlée, meringues and continental European-style macaroni and cheese to American cooking.

Hemings became one of the most masterful chefs in the US and prepared dishes for the future president and his guests in the kitchen of Jefferson's Virginia plantation, Monticello.

Archaeologists recently discovered the remains of the stoves used by Hemings until 1796, when he was finally freed by Jefferson.







According to Live Science, the archaeologists at Monticello think the stew stoves were likely part of a kitchen upgrade Jefferson made when he returned from Paris.

When they arrived to Paris in 1784, James was apprenticed to a caterer named Combeaux who provided Jefferson's meals during the first year of his stay in Paris.

Hemings trained under Jefferson's female cook, and also a pastry chef, as well as with a chef of the Prince de Condé. He learned quickly and in 1787 became the chef de cuisine at the Hôtel de Langeac,which was Jefferson's private residence on the Champs-Elysées.

Technically, while Hemings was in France, he was a free man. He was paid small wages and used part of his earnings to hire a French tutor.

It is still unclear why Hemings and his sister, Sally Hemings, who was also in France at the time, didn't initiate the legal process toward freedom.

Some historians believe Hemings staying in France would have cut Hemings off from the rest of his family in Virginia.

Hemings returned to Virginia enslaved, but he was freed at the age of 31 by Jefferson in 1796.

The chef passed on his training in French cooking to his brother Peter before he left Monticello.

In 1801, Hemings returned to Jefferson's kitchen, this time though, it was in the White House when Jefferson became president.



]More HERE with lots of pictures!

I have read a lot about the Hemings and Thomas Jefferson. James and Sally could have stayed in Paris, but chose to come back. I would love to go to that time and see what really happened with them.

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SS eH PF
1/11/2018, 12:06 pm Link to this post Send PM to Susa Blog
 
Queenyforever Profile
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Re: 250 year old kitchen of Thomas Jefferson


How wonderful! I love those photos and that one of the "stew stoves"....how brilliant!

quote:

In 1801, Hemings returned to Jefferson's kitchen, this time though, it was in the White House when Jefferson became president



Quite the change, for both men. emoticon

Awesome photos and video at your link! emoticon

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1/11/2018, 12:25 pm Link to this post Send Email to Queenyforever   Send PM to Queenyforever Blog
 
Lucy Ashes Profile
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Re: 250 year old kitchen of Thomas Jefferson


That is a very interesting piece of American history. It seems like James Hemings was treated more like an employee than a slave. The new kitchen must have been very modern for the time.

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1/12/2018, 12:45 am Link to this post Send Email to Lucy Ashes   Send PM to Lucy Ashes
 
Susa Profile
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I think that James and Sally were very loved. In the two books I read about them, it sounded as though if Jefferson freed them, in this country, then they would be fair game for other whites to catch them and enslave them. Jefferson did free James and just a about 4 or 5 years later, James committed suicide. So sad.

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Queenyforever Profile
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Re: 250 year old kitchen of Thomas Jefferson


Oh how very sad.... emoticon

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Re: 250 year old kitchen of Thomas Jefferson


How interesting Susa. I am learning lots since i joined you. emoticon

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