The evidence that Jefferson had anything to do with the conception of any of Sally Hemings' children is highly suspect. (See Civil War, Reconstruction & Creating Hate In America Today
As kin of his wife, and a trusted house servant of his daughter, Jefferson would naturally have wanted to see Sally Hemings and her children treated well. That is no evidence of paternity. The one (not seven) shown to have a possible DNA connection to Jefferson's father, may well indicate an involvement with a male Jefferson, but the probability is that such male Jefferson was not Thomas.
posted on 05/03/2003 11:12:17 AM PDT
DNA is not the evidence of proof that is significant. And I agree the story a few years ago that "proved" paternity was ludicrous as science or evidence. No serious researcher believes that testing another Jefferson's DNA is proof of Jefferson's paternity. The proof lies in the fact that Sally ONLY conceived within the time periods when Jefferson was at MOnticello (or France) and that all her children were freed when no other house servants were. Actually no slaves were freed who were not connected to the Hemings family.
Then there was the visual evidence of resemblence of the children to Jefferson marked by many contemporaries including red hair. And the highly favored treatment of the family.
The fact that one of her sons was taught to play the violin at Monticello (and allowed to have one to play) is to me the sort of little detail which (while irrelevent in court perhaps) rings too true for this story to be false.
I love the fact that his favored character assassin turned against him and spread the story. It may have been the only time he was telling the truth.
posted on 05/03/2003 6:27:16 PM PDT
(RATS will use any means to denigrate George Bush's Victory.)
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