Reviews and Comments on the book:
Choice Magazine—November 2008
“. . . her painstaking survey of the slaves owned by Thomas Jefferson is a substantial achievement that will prove rewarding to general readers, genealogists, and serious students of US history alike. . . . She provides a trove of information on the slaves’ lives, occupations, labor patterns, and family relationships, including the dispersal of families through the slave trade and runaways. Scores of high-quality color photographs, maps, and reproductions of key documents help provide a window into the world of Jefferson’s slaves. An enormous encyclopedic index . . . provides easy access. Summing Up: Recommended. University libraries and major public libraries.”
The Journal of Southern History—VOL. 74, NO. 4 - November 2008
“Scholars have long probed the relationship between Jefferson and slavery, but for a period this study consisted almost entirely of an examination of Jefferson’s writings and public policies regarding the institution. More recently there have been studies of Jefferson as a slaveholder, and while this scholarship at first focused on Jefferson’s problematical relationship with Sally Hemings, of late there has been more interest in the larger slave community at Monticello (and on other Jefferson-owned lands): the families and dependents, their occupations, their living conditions. Most of this scholarship is based on archaeological and other work performed at Monticello. In furtherance of this exciting new dimension of Jefferson scholarship, B. Bernetiae Reed has compiled and written an indispensable two-volume, thousand-plus-page work titled The Slave Families of Thomas Jefferson: A Pictorial Study Book with an Interpretation of His Farm Book in Genealogical Charts (2 vols.; Greensboro, N.C.: Sylvest-Sarah, Inc., 2007. Pp. [xxvi], 557; [xviii], 471-947. Two-volume set, $250.00, ISBN 978-0-9778473-0-3). These are very large format volumes, stunningly illustrated with color photographs of various buildings (exteriors and interiors), full-color maps and illustrations, and facsimile reproductions of hundreds of documents of almost every imaginable kind-entries from Jefferson’s Farm Book and Garden Book, census enumerations, correspondence from Jefferson and many others, newspaper articles and advertisements, court documents, slave sale receipts, and more. Many of the handwritten documents that are reproduced also have transcriptions printed on the facing page, and the genealogical charts -- painstakingly derived mostly from Jefferson’s Farm Book -- are printed in elaborate detail, with color coding. The range of documents presented and the beauty of the book's design and printing are breathtaking. While there is narrative and explanatory text, these volumes are primarily documentary in nature, and the scope of the material they contain is most impressive. Certainly anyone contemplating an examination of slavery as practiced by the Master of Monticello will have to consult these volumes, and they will support years of additional research and analysis into this aspect of Jefferson. Volume 1 contains a lengthy index, but Volume 2 concludes with an incredibly complete ‘Encyclopedic Index’ - almost a concordance - that is 246 pages long! Every research library should purchase these books, for they will be indispensable to a generation or more of Jefferson scholars.”
Won a GOLD International Gallery Award
in the 34th International Gallery of Excellence!
“The Slave Families of Thomas Jefferson was entered by the printer, Worzalla, in the book category and competed against art books, children's books, technical tomes, cook books, educational text books, travel books and more. Some of the worlds best known book printers from countries such as Canada, China, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore and the USA submitted book entries against which The Slave Families of Thomas Jefferson was judged to be both a beautiful book and flawless example of graphic artistry,” said Kevin Keane, president and CEO of the International Association of Printing House Craftsmen (IAPHC), which produces the International Gallery each year.
“Each entry,” Mr. Keane continued, “is judged by a panel of experts who evaluate the entry based on qualitative measures involving both technical execution and use of color, ink, typography, paper and finishing techniques. Only a flawless project is entitled to the prestigious GOLD award.”