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
The DNA testing that was performed proved that "A" Jefferson was the father.Not necessarily Thomas Jefferson. That confirmation is lost to history.
posted on 12/16/2003 11:34:51 AM PST
(You may disagree with what I have to say, but I will defend to your death my right to say it)
It's sloppy research, for one thing. Dishonest, for another. Historical revisionism is never valuable.
posted on 12/16/2003 11:36:42 AM PST
"Sally Hemmings was half white, the half sister of his wife. She probably looked A LOT like his dead wife."
Bingo. You just nailed the most crucial piece of circumstantial evidence, completely omitted by the above hagiography.
Jefferson, as I recall, was deeply grieved by his wife's untimely death. Her half-sister was, by all accounts, a dead-ringer, younger, and a slave to boot (the easier to keep the matter quiet.) Does anyone think Jefferson was celibate for the rest of his life after his wife's death?
Her kids (some anyway) were reputedly red haired and freckle-faced. I admit that either Jefferson or his brother could have been the fathers. Based on the above,my dime is on Jefferson. After all, she was HIS slave, not his brother's, right?
There's a dispute as to whether Jefferson's wife and Sally Hemings were half-sisters, but I'm not competent to do it justice. As for why people should have a problem with all of this, I can't rationally answer that question, but I took a stab at the irrational part, in #128.
posted on 12/16/2003 4:36:06 PM PST
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