Virginia is "where their families
and connections are."
In his will, Thomas Jefferson freed five slaves, all members of the extended Hemings family: John Hemings, Joe Fossett, Burwell, Madison, and Eston. The latter two, sons of Sally Hemings, were to be given their freedom when they became twenty one. Because Virginia law required a freed slave to leave the state within one year, Jefferson asked the Virginia assembly to grant the freed slaves permission to remain in the state "where their families and connections are." The request was granted. Sally Hemings was not freed but was allowed to live as a free person with her sons Madison and Eston.