He wasn't an actual uncle, and it's only RANDOLF JEFFERSON, him specifically, that remains as a serious candidate for paternity of Hemmings children.
When Jefferson returned, so did Uncle Randolf. He has the appropriate tail-male DNA. He *played the violin* - spent much time "fiddling" down by the slave quarters. He is known to have fathered children by his own slaves.
The oral tradition of some Hemmings descendants is that a Jefferson *Uncle* (Randolf Jefferson was referred to as "Uncle" Randolf)was their forebear, not Thomas Jefferson.
Jefferson's preferential freeing of Hemmings children could have as much to do with their physical traits as the possibility he sired any of them. They would have looked nearly white. They wouldn't look like african slaves. The chances of them suceeding as free persons in the wider world was higher. They were certainly related to his wife and his own children!
Randolph Jefferson is as likely, if not more likely, father to Hemmings children as Jefferson is. Until he is eliminated, it is highly irresponsible to claim that the facts "prove" Jefferson's paternity. It's not even close.
I have no vested interest one way or another...but truth is truth. Another perfectly plausible father exists in History.
posted on 05/05/2003 9:03:44 AM PDT
From my reading into this that "plausibility" is not very plausible.
There were other white slaves at Monticello who were not freed either prior to or after J's death. "Appearance" as a reason to free them appears to be an insufficient explanation of the freeing of Hemmings family.
Another claim is that Peter Jefferson was the father.
Annette Gordon-Reed Thomas Jefferson An American Controversy is the book I referenced earlier. It does a good job of examining the various possiblities.
posted on 05/05/2003 10:41:44 AM PDT
(RATS will use any means to denigrate George Bush's Victory.)
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