Researcher discovers real name of famous Petersburg slave

PETERSBURG – One of the most fascinating characters in Petersburg’s African-American history is Isaac Jefferson, an ex-slave of former President Thomas Jefferson, who worked as a blacksmith in Pocahontas until his death in 1847.

For decades, the story of Jefferson’s slave was forgotten. Last year, local historian Richard Stewart began his search for Isaac’s grave site, which he believes to be at the People’s Memorial Cemetery.

Ronald Seagrave, a historian from Dinwiddie County who is currently working on a book about Isaac Jefferson, has recently discovered new, previously unknown records that show why attempts to find Isaac’s headstone were unsuccessful so far. According to those records, Thomas Jefferson’s slave was not named after his slave master.

His true last name was Isaac Granger. Read More

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