Sally Hemings Thomas Jefferson

Author: Jan Lewis
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 0813919193
Release Date: 1999
Genre: History

The publication of DNA test results showing that Thomas Jefferson was probably the father of one of his slave Sally Hemings's children has sparked a broad but often superficial debate. The editors of this volume have assembled some of the most distinguished American historians, including three Pulitzer Prize winners, and other experts on Jefferson, his times, race, and slavery. Their essays reflect the deeper questions the relationship between Hemings and Jefferson has raised about American history and national culture. The DNA tests would not have been conducted had there not already been strong historical evidence for the possibility of a relationship. As historians from Winthrop D. Jordan to Annette Gordon-Reed have argued, much more is at stake in this liaison than the mere question of paternity: historians must ask themselves if they are prepared to accept the full implications of our complicated racial history, a history powerfully shaped by the institution of slavery and by sex across the color line. How, for example, does it change our understanding of American history to place Thomas Jefferson in his social context as a plantation owner who fathered white and black families both? What happens when we shift our focus from Jefferson and his white family to Sally Hemings and her children? How do we understand interracial sexual relationships in the early republic and in our own time? Can a renewed exploration of the contradiction between Jefferson's life as a slaveholder and his libertarian views yield a clearer understanding of the great political principles he articulated so eloquently and that Americans cherish? Are there moral or political lessons to be learned from the lives of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings and the way that historians and the public have attempted to explain their liaison? Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson: History, Memory, and Civic Culture promises an open-ended discussion on the living legacy of slavery and race relations in our national culture.

Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings

Author: Annette Gordon-Reed
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 0813918332
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Presents first-hand accounts, memoirs, letters, and recent DNA evidence that points to Thomas Jefferson's thirty-eight-year affair with his slave Sally Hemings, and refutes claims to the contrary.

In Defense of Thomas Jefferson

Author: William G. Hyland, Jr.
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1429969261
Release Date: 2009-06-09
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

The belief that Thomas Jefferson had an affair and fathered a child (or children) with slave Sally Hemings---and that such an allegation was proven by DNA testing—has become so pervasive in American popular culture that it is not only widely accepted but taught to students as historical fact. But as William G. Hyland Jr. demonstrates, this "fact" is nothing more than the accumulation of salacious rumors and irresponsible scholarship over the years, much of it inspired by political grudges, academic opportunism, and the trend of historical revisionism that seeks to drag the reputation of the Founding Fathers through the mud. In this startling and revelatory argument, Hyland shows not only that the evidence against Jefferson is lacking, but that in fact he is entirely innocent of the charge of having sexual relations with Hemings. Historians have the wrong Jefferson. Hyland, an experienced trial lawyer, presents the most reliable historical evidence while dissecting the unreliable, and in doing so he cuts through centuries of unsubstantiated charges. The author reminds us that the DNA tests identified Eston Hemings, Sally's youngest child, as being merely the descendant of a "Jefferson male." Randolph Jefferson, the president's wayward, younger brother with a reputation for socializing among the Monticello slaves, emerges as the most likely of several possible candidates. Meanwhile, the author traces the evolution of this rumor about Thomas Jefferson back to the allegation made by one James Callendar, a "drunken ruffian" who carried a grudge after unsuccessfully lobbying the president for a postmaster appointment---and who then openly bragged of ruining Jefferson's reputation. Hyland also delves into Hemings family oral histories that go against the popular rumor, as well as the ways in which the Jefferson rumors were advanced by less-than-historical dramas and by flawed scholarly research often shaped by political agendas. Reflecting both a layperson's curiosity and a lawyer's precision, Hyland definitively puts to rest the allegation of the thirty-eight-year liaison between Jefferson and Hemings. In doing so, he reclaims the nation's third president from the arena of Hollywood-style myth and melodrama and gives his readers a unique opportunity to serve as jurors on this enduringly fascinating episode in American history.

Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings

Author: Stephen O'Connor
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780698410336
Release Date: 2016-04-05
Genre: Fiction

“Dazzling. . . The most revolutionary reimagining of Jefferson’s life ever.” –Ron Charles, Washington Post Longlisted for the 2016 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize A debut novel about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, in whose story the conflict between the American ideal of equality and the realities of slavery and racism played out in the most tragic of terms. Novels such as Toni Morrison’s Beloved, The Known World by Edward P. Jones, James McBride’s The Good Lord Bird and Cloudsplitter by Russell Banks are a part of a long tradition of American fiction that plumbs the moral and human costs of history in ways that nonfiction simply can't. Now Stephen O’Connor joins this company with a profoundly original exploration of the many ways that the institution of slavery warped the human soul, as seen through the story of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. O’Connor’s protagonists are rendered via scrupulously researched scenes of their lives in Paris and at Monticello that alternate with a harrowing memoir written by Hemings after Jefferson’s death, as well as with dreamlike sequences in which Jefferson watches a movie about his life, Hemings fabricates an "invention" that becomes the whole world, and they run into each other "after an unimaginable length of time" on the New York City subway. O'Connor is unsparing in his rendition of the hypocrisy of the Founding Father and slaveholder who wrote "all men are created equal,” while enabling Hemings to tell her story in a way history has not allowed her to. His important and beautifully written novel is a deep moral reckoning, a story about the search for justice, freedom and an ideal world—and about the survival of hope even in the midst of catastrophe. From the Hardcover edition.

Modern and Postmodern Narratives of Race Gender and Identity

Author: Yoriko Ishida
Publisher: Peter Lang
ISBN: 1433108755
Release Date: 2010
Genre: History

The alleged affair between Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, and his slave Sally Hemings was proven as a fact by DNA analysis in 1998. While many historians continue to deny the affair, some have accepted the love affair between Jefferson and Hemings as fact, and many historical omissions regarding the affair have been revised since the 1998 DNA results. However, the identity and the dignity of the Hemings family, which were previously ignored in the official history, have been restored not only by science but also by literature. This book examines how African American writers have depicted the issues of race, gender, and identity for Sally Hemings and her descendants in modern and postmodern novels.

A President in the Family

Author: Byron W. Woodson
Publisher: Praeger Pub Text
ISBN: UOM:39015053527100
Release Date: 2001-01-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A sixth generation descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings chronicles the relationship between the founding father and his slave and the life of their son, Thomas Woodson, and discusses the Woodson family's efforts to uncover the truth about the different branches of their family tree and to find missing family members.

Mongrel Nation

Author: Clarence E. Walker
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 9780813929859
Release Date: 2009-01-01
Genre: History

The debate over the affair between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings rarely rises above the question of "Did they or didn’t they?" But lost in the argument over the existence of such a relationship are equally urgent questions about a history that is more complex, both sexually and culturally, than most of us realize. Mongrel Nation seeks to uncover this complexity, as well as the reasons it is so often obscured. Clarence Walker contends that the relationship between Jefferson and Hemings must be seen not in isolation but in the broader context of interracial affairs within the plantation complex. Viewed from this perspective, the relationship was not unusual or aberrant but was fairly typical. For many, this is a disturbing realization, because it forces us to abandon the idea of American exceptionalism and re-examine slavery in America as part of a long, global history of slaveholders frequently crossing the color line. More than many other societies--and despite our obvious mixed-race population--our nation has displayed particular reluctance to acknowledge this dynamic. In a country where, as early as 1662, interracial sex was already punishable by law, an understanding of the Hemings-Jefferson relationship has consistently met with resistance. From Jefferson’s time to our own, the general public denied--or remained oblivious to--the possibility of the affair. Historians, too, dismissed the idea, even when confronted with compelling arguments by fellow scholars. It took the DNA findings of 1998 to persuade many (although, to this day, doubters remain). The refusal to admit the likelihood of this union between master and slave stems, of course, from Jefferson’s symbolic significance as a Founding Father. The president’s apologists, both before and after the DNA findings, have constructed an iconic Jefferson that tells us more about their own beliefs--and the often alarming demands of those beliefs--than it does about the interaction between slave owners and slaves. Much more than a search for the facts about two individuals, the debate over Jefferson and Hemings is emblematic of tensions in our society between competing conceptions of race and of our nation.

Mongrel Nation

Author: Clarence Earl Walker
Publisher:
ISBN: UOM:39015082743975
Release Date: 2009
Genre: African Americans

The debate over the affair between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings rarely rises above the question of "Did they or didn’t they?" But lost in the argument over the existence of such a relationship are equally urgent questions about a history that is more complex, both sexually and culturally, than most of us realize. Mongrel Nation seeks to uncover this complexity, as well as the reasons it is so often obscured. Clarence Walker contends that the relationship between Jefferson and Hemings must be seen not in isolation but in the broader context of interracial affairs within the plantation complex. Viewed from this perspective, the relationship was not unusual or aberrant but was fairly typical. For many, this is a disturbing realization, because it forces us to abandon the idea of American exceptionalism and re-examine slavery in America as part of a long, global history of slaveholders frequently crossing the color line. More than many other societies--and despite our obvious mixed-race population--our nation has displayed particular reluctance to acknowledge this dynamic. In a country where, as early as 1662, interracial sex was already punishable by law, an understanding of the Hemings-Jefferson relationship has consistently met with resistance. From Jefferson’s time to our own, the general public denied--or remained oblivious to--the possibility of the affair. Historians, too, dismissed the idea, even when confronted with compelling arguments by fellow scholars. It took the DNA findings of 1998 to persuade many (although, to this day, doubters remain). The refusal to admit the likelihood of this union between master and slave stems, of course, from Jefferson’s symbolic significance as a Founding Father. The president’s apologists, both before and after the DNA findings, have constructed an iconic Jefferson that tells us more about their own beliefs--and the often alarming demands of those beliefs--than it does about the interaction between slave owners and slaves. Much more than a search for the facts about two individuals, the debate over Jefferson and Hemings is emblematic of tensions in our society between competing conceptions of race and of our nation.

Sally Hemings

Author: Frances E. Ruffin
Publisher: The Rosen Publishing Group
ISBN: 0823958280
Release Date: 2002-01
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction

Describes the life and legend of Sally Hemings, a slave belonging to Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States.

Sally Hemings

Author: Barbara Chase-Riboud
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
ISBN: 9781569766798
Release Date: 2009-04-01
Genre: FICTION

The story of the love affair between Thomas Jefferson and his quadroon slave, that lasted thirty-eight years, until his death in 1826.

Framing a Legend

Author: M. Andrew Holowchak
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 9781616147303
Release Date: 2013-04-16
Genre: History

A penetrating critical perspective on the question of Thomas Jefferson's paternity that will make you rethink recent conventional wisdom. It is accepted by most scholars that Jefferson had a lengthy affair with his slave Sally Hemings and fathered at least one of her children, a conclusion based on a 1998 DNA study published in Nature and on the work of historian Annette Gordon-Reed. Framing a Legend argues compellingly that the DNA evidence is inconclusive and that there are remarkable flaws in the leading historical scholarship purporting to show such a liaison. Author M. Andrew Holowchak critically examines well-known books by Fawn Brodie, Annette Gordon-Reed, and Andrew Burstein, labeling their views as "three prominent spins." He then delves into what we know about Thomas Jefferson's character, showing that the historical facts do not suggest any romantic interest on Jefferson's part in his female slaves. Turning to the genetic evidence, Holowchak points out that, though DNA analysis indicates the presence of a Y-chromosome from some Jefferson male in the Hemings family line, it is unwarranted to conclude that this must have come from Thomas Jefferson. Finally, he discusses Jefferson's racial attitudes and says that they argue against any liaison with Sally Hemings. From the Hardcover edition.

President s Daughter

Author: Barbara Chase-Riboud
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
ISBN: 1569767335
Release Date: 2009-09-01
Genre: Fiction

Illuminating an enigma of the past, this is the provocative continuation of the irrefutable chronicle of Sally Hemings—Thomas Jefferson’s mistress, the mother of his children, and the slave he would never set free, even when the scandal nearly cost him the presidency. Epic in proportion yet rendered in exquisite detail, this controversial story begins in 1822, recounting the tale of Harriet Hemings, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings’ beautiful and headstrong slave daughter. Harriet is allowed to run away from Monticello and pass for white, as Jefferson had promised Sally their children would be able to do. Experiencing the turbulent events leading up to the American Civil War, Harriet eventually finds herself thrust into the very heart of the Battle of Gettysburg. Astonishing in its depiction of American history, this is an authentic and classic account of love and color in the United States. Includes a new reader's guide written especially for this edition.

Anatomy of a Scandal

Author: Rebecca L. McMurry
Publisher: White Mane Pub
ISBN: 1572493038
Release Date: 2002
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Through research with new sources and technology, the McMurrys seek out the origins and the historical development of the longest running presidential scandal in American history.

Jefferson Vindicated

Author: Cynthia H. Burton
Publisher:
ISBN: WISC:89082359522
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Paternity testing

Re-examines the controversy over the nature of Thomas Jefferson's relationship with his slave Sally Hemings by looking at the DNA evidence, written accounts, oral histories, and other sources in an attempt to resolve ambiguities and speculations, and determine their relevance and credibility. Includes 20 pages on Jefferson's brother, Randolph Jefferson and his sons.