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.)
But that isn't proof. The Jefferson relative visited when Jefferson each time Jefferson returned to Monticello. The familial resemblance can also be explained this way...
posted on 05/04/2003 2:02:55 PM PDT
Until Fawn Brodie persuaded them they were mistaken, the descendants of Eston Hemings were told that his father was not the famous president but "an uncle." Randolph Jefferson was widely known as "Uncle Randolph" at Monticello (because of his relationship to Jefferson's daughters).
An investigator who believed the Jefferson-Hemings story half-a-century ago reported that Hemings descendants had told her that Randolph fathered children by his own slaves. The book Memoirs of a Monticello Slave, by former Monticello blacksmith Isaac Jefferson, reported that when Randolph visited Monticello he would spend his nights playing his fiddle and dancing "half the night" with Monticello slaves. The timing of the birth of Hemmings children also coincided with a time when Uncle Randolph was between wives.
posted on 05/04/2003 2:07:40 PM PDT
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