Skip to comments.After Jefferson, a Question About Washington and a Young Slave
Posted on 05/28/2009 5:25:39 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Three descendants of Venus' son, who was called West Ford, say that according to a family tradition two centuries old, George Washington was West Ford's father. They hope to develop DNA evidence from Washington family descendants and his hair samples to bolster their case... There is, however, reason to believe that if the child's father was not Washington, it might have been someone closely related to him. The cousins' claim has several elements of truth, enough to set up a historical mystery as to the identity of West Ford's father and to add a new strand to the emerging links between the black and white sides of slave-owning families.... there is no evidence that George Washington ever met Venus. Unlike Sally Hemings, who was a personal attendant of Jefferson, Venus lived on a distant estate belonging to Washington's brother, John Augustine Washington. The plantation was at Bushfield, one and a half to two day's hard riding from Washington's home at Mount Vernon... Mary V. Thompson, a research specialist at Mount Vernon, said she had consulted many records but could find no evidence that Washington and Venus were ever in the same place at the same time. West Ford, Venus' son, seems to have been born before June 1784, or possibly before November 1785, according to an ambiguous statement in the will of Hannah Washington, John Augustine's wife, Ms. Thompson said. Only the later date allows any possibility that George Washington was the father: the general was away fighting the Revolutionary War and did not return home to Mount Vernon until Christmas Eve of 1783.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
West Ford , drawing by Vinson Loffing, 1858
Janet Allen, left, and her sister Linda Bryant, descendants of West Ford, son of a slave, contend that his father was George Washington. [Steve Groer/Rocky Mountain News]
The NYT story is from 1997, but I don't believe I'd heard of this before. I checked for FR topics about it (nothin') but didn't check for updates on the web.
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I am soooooo tired of this. The DNA evidence used for the Sally Hemmings test, werent’ even from TJ himself, and apparently these aren’t from GW either. I am just not sure what the point is here, more evidence condemning those evil white Founders or pride in the heritage. I suspect I know.
West Ford more closely resembles Looter Guy than the women in the picture.
Oh, and I can really see the similarity between George and West from that drawing.
OK I guess I'll believe it, not sure tho
This really doesn’t mesh with anything we know about President Washington.
George failed to produce children with Martha who had previously produced two.
GW is high on my list of sterile possibilities.
Was the father of our country a father?
As a girl of 18--about five feet tall, dark-haired, gentle of manner--she married the wealthy Daniel Parke Custis. Two babies died; two were hardly past infancy when her husband died in 1757. *
GW is high on my list of sterile possibilities.
George Washington had a severe case of smallpox in his youth (he had horrible scars due to this) and smallbox often causes sterility, particularly in males.
Thanks, I think you nailed it. Funny how the reporter and the families involved don't mention this (...seems fairly... uhh... significant...).
Few people who had cases of smallpox as severe as Washington’s even survived, so it is highly probable that there were long-term effects and sterility is right at the top of the list.
Also, a person of Washington’s social status (and he was VERY conscious of this) would do everything possible to produce a male heir. Martha Custis was twenty-seven when she married George Washington, she had already had four children and had no known medical problems after this, so it is a virtual certainty that she was fertile. The only real logical conclusion is that George Washington was sterile.
Martha had 4 children, two of whom died in childhood before she married George.
Is there any point at which we are all going to start treating these things with the contempt they so richly deserve?
Even nutjob America-haters know this is buncombe.
This sad little lizard told me that he was a brontosaurus
on his mother’s side.
I did not laugh; people who boast of ancestry often have
little else to sustain them.
Humoring them costs nothing and adds to happiness in a
world in which happiness is always in short supply.
It is entirely possible that a fertile relative fathered Ford ... or not.
[takes a bow]
As everyone should know by now, Looter Guy is the illegitimate son of Willie Mays and May West. Please stop spreading baseless rumors.