No, he did not. He freed them per the laws of the state he lived in at the time: when they came of age. If he had tried to free them prior to that, he would have risked them being captured and enslaved by someone brutal. Choice two was to send them away from home, which their mother did not wish. We know she did not wish it because when she, a then-free woman, became pregnant by Jefferson, she CHOSE to return to Virginia with him.Symmetry wrote: Is that not abhorrent?
Blind Ignorance is more abhorrent.
Hemings was never a free woman in Jefferson's lifetime. He didn't even free her in his will.
At his death, Jefferson was greatly in debt, in part due to his continued construction program. The debts encumbered his estate, and his family had to sell 130 slaves from Monticello to pay his creditors. Jefferson freed five slaves in his will, all males of the Hemings family. In addition to his two natural sons, he freed Sally's younger half-brother John Hemings, and her nephews Joseph (Joe) Fossett and Burwell Colbert. He gave Burwell Colbert, who had served as his butler and valet, $300 for purchasing supplies used in the trade of "painter and glazier". He gave John Hemings and Joe Fossett each an acre on his lands so they could build homes for their families. His will included a petition to the state legislature to allow the freedmen to remain in Virginia to be with their families, who remained enslaved under Jefferson's heirs.
Because Jefferson did not free Fossett's wife or their eight children, in the ensuing sale of slaves, they were sold to four different men. Fossett worked for years to buy his family members in order to provide for their freedom. While Jefferson made no provision for Sally Hemings, his daughter gave her "her time", enabling her to live freely with her sons in Charlottesville, where they bought a house. She lived to see a grandchild born free in the house her sons owned