The Slave Who Brought French Food to America

Do you like french fries, ice cream, and Champagne? Of course you do; you're not a monster. If you're an American, don't forget to thank James Hemings for bringing these delicious French delicacies to your plate. Read more about his brief yet lasting legacy below.

9

French food was introduced to the U.S. during the American Revolution, but it didn't stick around until it was popularized by Thomas Jefferson and JamSource: Mental Floss

8

Thomas Jefferson brought his 19-year-old slave James Hemings to Paris in 1784. Jefferson wanted Hemings to learn how to cook French food. CRACKED COM

7

In a cruel arrangement, Jefferson promised Hemings his freedom if he learned French cuisine and passed it on to another slave. Slavery was illegal in

6

Jefferson and Hemings were brother-in-laws. Jefferson had inherited the Hemings family. Hemings was Jefferson's wife's half brother - as in Jefferson'

5

Hemings excelled at cooking. After three years of study, he became the head chef of Jefferson's French residence that also served as the American emba

4

Hemings also played an important part during the Compromise of 1790. It was over one of Hemings' meals in the room where it happened when Jefferson,

3

After returning to the States, Hemings was eventually freed, per their agreement. After transforming Jefferson's Monticello kitchen with his French cu

2

Hemings went on to work as a cook in a Baltimore taven. After he was elected president, Jefferson offered for Hastings to be a chef at the White HouseSource: Chicago Tribune

1

Hemings is survived by only 8 receipes, but his legacy continues to influence American cuisine to this day. Hemings died, supposedly by suicide, at agSource: Monticello

To turn on reply notifications, click here

45 Comments

Load Comments