Jupiter was a personal servant to Jefferson. He took care of Jefferson’s shave, dress, and handling of all his personal affairs. Additionally, he trained as a stone cutter since Jefferson required all male domestic servants to train in a second trade. Jupiter’s work as a stone cutter can be viewed by looking at the columns of the main house of Monticello, which can be colored in on page 41. He served as a personal servant for ten years until he was replaced by Robert Hemings, which transferred him to work in the stables. The change in position might have been due to Robert being lighter skinned and Jefferson preferring him to appear in public. On the other hand, the change may also have been a request by Jupiter to change positions since it required constant travel.[1]

Suck was a cook for the Jeffersons. She would prepare all the meals for the day and would do other tasks such as make soaps and candles. It is believed that she and Jupiter began dating while Suck was at the Wayles plantation since Jefferson had been over there often to court Martha Wayles Skelton. Jupiter and Suck married in 1774.[2]

Jupiter and Suck’s first child was Aggy, who died at the age of two months. They had then had Philip Evans, who grew up to have a very close relationship with Jefferson’s grandson, Randolph. In 1777, Suck and the children were gifted to Jefferson’s daughter, Martha. Although Jupiter was not a part of the gift, it is recorded that they stayed together till at least 1797. The couple had another child, but it died during childbirth. No other children are recorded. [3]

Jupiter and Suck died as slaves, but Philip Evans died as legally free.[4]

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Family Tree of Jupiter and Suck

[1] Stanton, L. (2000) Free Some Day: The African-American Families of Monticello. Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc.: 18-20.

[2] Ibid., 20-21.

[3] Ibid.,22-28.

[4] Ibid., 28.

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