Devastating expose of one of the biggest race hoaxes in recent years.
posted on 12/16/2003 11:18:45 AM PST
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Does it really matter?
I don't see this as particularly slanderous, nor did the acusations seem to have hurt him during his lifetime.
I don't think the revelations that were acknowledged true today about Strom Thurmans 'love child' are going to damage his reputation.
Whether we are speaking of Thurman or Jefferson, it is a non-issue.
Thomas Jefferson was a radical in every sense of the word.
It was not until the 20th Century that norms had changed enough that even the Democrat Party wanted to claim him as one of their own.
No one is gonna prove any of this either way.
posted on 12/16/2003 11:31:48 AM PST
by Servant of the 9
(Think of it as Evolution In Action)
The basic retelling is manipulated by a lot of people. Sally Hemmings was half white, the half sister of his wife. She probably looked A LOT like his dead wife. Why do people have such a problem with this? Thomas Jefferson was a human being not a god.
posted on 12/16/2003 11:32:37 AM PST
Madison Hemings seems to have claimed that his mother told him that Jefferson was his father. At any rate on the 1870 census the census taker wrote next to Madison Hemings' name that "this man is the son of Thomas Jefferson"--which can only mean that Madison told him that. Whether he was telling the truth about what his mother had told him, or whether Sally was telling the truth if she did say that, are other questions. Fawn Brodie turned up an 1873 newspaper article which reported Madison Hemings' claims (but he admitted that Jefferson never treated him as if he considered him his son).
I don't know what the truth of the matter is, but I could understand Madison Hemings preferring to tell people "I am the son of Thomas Jefferson" instead of "I am the son of Thomas Jefferson's brother."
Ah yes, Annette Gordon-Reed....
Remember C-SPAN's excellent AMERICAN PRESIDENTS series? They did right by most of the Founding Fathers, going into fascinating detail about their lives and presidencies.... but when it came time to do the show on Jefferson, they brought in Annette Gordon-Reed and spent THE ENTIRE TWO HOURS debating whether the 3rd President had a kid with one of his slaves. A tragic waste of a show.
posted on 12/16/2003 11:40:06 AM PST
by Flux Capacitor
(Deck us all with Boston Charlie)
TJ originally hired Callender to print lies about Adams but since TJ was a chronic debtor he was unable to pay Callender for his "services". TJ also lied to his old friend Adams about his sponsorship of the slanders Callender wrote. When Jefferson refused to pay Callender, he retaliated by printing the TJ/slave story. DNA testing indicates a Jefferson male did in fact boink his slaves but it does not narrow it down to TJ himself. Given TJ's duplicitious deceptive nature, I wouldn't put it past him.
Jefferson brought this on himself.
posted on 12/16/2003 11:40:52 AM PST
(I always shoot for the moon......sometimes I hit London.- Von Braun)
I've always been a Jefferson fan (although sometimes a critical one). Years before any of this was popular, I read Dumas Malone's massive six volume Thomas Jefferson
, which dealt with the Hemmings matter rather straighforwardly in an appendix, and concluded that some Jefferson male, probably Randolph, had fathered the Hemmings children. Either Randolph or a nephew (also a possibility) was a nortorious rake-hell and generally rumored to cut a wide swath among the slave women.
The further interesting fact, and a possible reason why Jefferson freed Hemmings and her progeny in his will, is that she may well have been an illegitimate daughter of Jefferson's wife, Martha's father (making her a half-sister to Martha).
Then came the report in 1997 -- knowing the story well, I wondered why the authors discounted the possibility of Randolph being the culprit, as the DNA did not in any way point directly to Jefferson, just to a Jefferson familiy male. The DNA would have been complicated, also, if it is true that Hemmings and Jefferson's wife Martha shared the same father.
So, I was much relieved to read the 2000 blue ribbon scholars report, which I commend to anyone intrested. I remain convinced Thomas Jefferson was not responsible for Sally Hemmings children.
posted on 12/16/2003 11:46:42 AM PST
(Ceterum Censeo [Gallia][Germania][Arabia] Esse Delendam --- Select One or More as needed)
...liberal historians Joseph Ellis and Eric Lander, sought to exploit the hoax, to rescue the authors sexually compromised hero, Bill Clinton.
IMO, the motive for the entire expose` was to lower Jefferson down to Bill Clinton's level in an attempt to protect Clinton. Considering Clinton and the group he rode in on, it's to be expected of them. As for Jefferson, I don't care if he fathered no slaves or twenty, it neither robs me of my respect for him, or breaks my faith in Jefferson's character.
posted on 12/16/2003 11:49:17 AM PST
Heres what is known: Thomas Jefferson owned a slave named Sally Hemings.
How much more likely then, that Jefferson fathered one of her children. If she lived on his property, it would have been very peculiar for other members of Jefferson's family to pay a visit to his slave. Can you just see them sneaking around back, on an ostensible visit to Jefferson - it just isn't plausible. And how would such a relationship with one of his relatives have been initiated? It just makes more sense that a relationship would have developed between Jefferson and his slave - though, with him being in a position of authority, how much of a relationship would that have been?
well...I think on the basis of the preponderance of the evidence ( The historical standard) it is fairly clear that Jefferson fathered one of more children by Sally Hemmings.
I am sure that there are last ditchers who, for emotional reasons, feel compelled to deny that. I see no slander against Jefferson in that reasonable assertion. He was man of his times and of his class. The phenomenon of interracial progeny in was, if not common, then frequent enough for commentators of the day to note it.
I guess they can find some strained method to question the DNA evidence or come up with a very convoluted and tortured explanation for it. But is you put Occam's Razor to the question it isn't all that complex.
If fully expect somebody to come up with an odd explanation of the Strom Thurmond issue by claiming that it wasn't Strom but his long dead third cousin from Aiken who happened to visit the family within the month that Miss Butler was impregnated in 1925 etc...etc.
posted on 12/16/2003 12:04:40 PM PST
(Follow The Money)
Thomas Jefferson ping. What are your thoughts re: Reply No. 10?
Ping, pass to the Jefferson cousins
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posted on 12/16/2003 12:39:11 PM PST
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