As governor of Virginia for two years during the Revolution, Jefferson signed a bill to promote military enlistment by giving white men land, "a healthy sound Negro...or £60 in gold or silver."  As was customary, he brought some of his household slaves, including Mary Hemings , to serve in the governor's mansion in Richmond. In the face of British invasion in January 1781, Jefferson and the Assembly members fled the capital and moved the government to Charlottesville, leaving Jefferson's slaves behind. Hemings and other slaves were taken as British prisoners of war; they were later released in exchange for British soldiers. In 2009, the Daughters of the Revolution (DAR) honored Mary Hemings as a Patriot , making her female descendants eligible for membership in the heritage society. 
Jefferson died at age 83 at Monticello on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Coincidentally, John Adams, Jefferson’s friend, former rival and fellow signer of the Declaration of Independence, died the same day. Jefferson was buried at Monticello. However, due to the significant debt the former president had accumulated during his life, his mansion, furnishing and slaves were sold at auction following his death. Monticello was eventually acquired by a non-profit organization, which opened it to the public in 1954.