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The Selling of Sally Hemings
Oregon Magazine ^ | September 14, 2003 | Thomas Lipscomb

Posted on 09/14/2003 1:36:48 PM PDT by WaterDragon

The myth of Sally Hemings is for sale again. There has always been something about Thomas Jefferson’s lovely black slave Sally Hemings that drives otherwise rational people nuts. From the pages of The New York Times to prize-winning historians, the spewings of pseudo-science and psychic friends network nattering have been truly monumental.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections; US: California; US: Oregon; US: Virginia; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: americans; dna; genealogy; hemings; hemmings; jefferson; lipscomb; middleclass; presjefferson; sallyhemings
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To: cyborg
I think "ancestor inspiration" would be a better view.

You are correct. It is agreed that Hemmings was a 50/50 mulatto at least is it not and that she was sired by someone connected to Jefferson and that she had liasions within the Jefferson family.

I'm not sure how much can be proved beyond that other than as you point out that she was loyal to him without question.

Is there any written correspondence detailing whether or not she was a concubine to him from him, his daughter or anyone else with close knowledge.

The probability of a liasion with a fairly cultured well traveled mulatto of her standing with an old widower planter-statesman is hardly inconcievable.

It's ironic that in American history it remains speculative whereas in non-English speaking slave owning societies, it would have been assumed as a given.
41 posted on 09/14/2003 3:57:49 PM PDT by wardaddy (Roland will be missed by me.)
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To: cyborg
Really I just see both sides engaging in this ancestor worship, which I find pointless.

It's not ancestor worship. It's more like stamp collecting, at least for me.

I've got a little bit of the whole world in my familly tree, from kings of England and Mayflower Pilgrims on the one hand, to abolitionist radicals and Indian chiefs and Mormon polygamists and black slaves on the other-- even one Gypsy.

The story of America is woven into every cell in my body. Probably it lives in yours too. Try to learn more about it someday, and I am sure you will find it interesting.


42 posted on 09/14/2003 4:02:46 PM PDT by ccmay
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To: All

An article in the November 5, 1998, edition of Nature provides DNA evidence that Thomas Jefferson or some other male Jefferson such as Randolph, the brother of Thomas, could have been the father of one of the sons of Sally Hemings, who was a slave at Jefferson's Monticello. The technique relies on the fact that the human Y-chromosome is handed down directly from father to son and that all paternally related males will have the same Y-chromosome. Although Thomas Jefferson did not have any sons who survived to produce children, his father's brother, Field Jefferson, did have sons and it has been possible to locate 5 descendants of Field Jefferson who are in a direct male-line of descent. Thus, these individuals (descendants of Field Jefferson) should have the same Y-chromosome DNA as the Y-chromosome DNA of Thomas Jefferson and any male-line descendant of his.

The male-line descendants of two of Sally Hemmings sons were located and their Y-chromosome DNA was examined for comparison to the Y-chromosome DNA of Field Jefferson's descendants. The DNA from the five male-line descendants of Thomas Woodson, oldest son of Sally Hemings, did not match the Jefferson DNA. In fact, one of Woodson's descendants did not match well with the other four. However, the DNA from the one descendant of Eston Hemings, youngest son of Sally Hemings, did match the Jefferson DNA.

This lends credence to the supposition that Thomas Jefferson may have been the father of Eston Hemings. However, historian Williard S. Randall, notes, "There were 25 men within 20 miles of Monticello who were all Jeffersons and had the same Y chromosome. And 23 of them were younger than Jefferson, who was 65 years old when Eston was conceived." Randall, wrote a 1993 biography of Jefferson, titled, Thomas Jefferson: A Life. More detailed information is available. Three different authors provide some perspective on Jefferson and Hemings in The Nation. Finally, the The Jefferson-Hemings Scholars Commission concluded that Randolph Jefferson, Thomas' brother, was more likely to have fathered Eston Hemings.

43 posted on 09/14/2003 4:14:05 PM PDT by I_Love_My_Husband
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To: ccmay
What I meant was the way the people on both sides are putting such an immense stake in the life of one fallible human being. It is ancestor worship. I work with people everyday who worship Haile Selassie as God, that people worship making someone out to be more than they ever were.
How about just looking at one's immediate family? I carry around pictures of my mom and dad. I could be inspired by what my ancestors did and how hard they worked. It really would not matter to me that instead of a poor sigar cane planter, that my great grandfather was some rich colonist.

The story of America is woven into every cell in my body. Probably it lives in yours too. Try to learn more about it someday, and I am sure you will find it interesting.

** None of my relatives are from America but I look at my dad since he came here first. It was him that convinced my mother to stay here when she was wanted to turn around and go home. Not because she couldn't hack it in America, she found the vice and society very distateful. My mother was a stay at home mother. She taught me all there is to know about being a fanatical anglophile and how hard she had to work. My dad personified the European immigrant of the early twentieth century. Hard scrabble life in the ghetto then using a pushcarts (my dad sold hats) becomes a millionaire.

I have lots to be inspired about. But I am also inspired by other cultures as well. I don't need to be black to be inspired by black personalities that most Americans know about. If one thinks about it, loo at slaves who built businesses. There really is NO EXCUSE for anyone not to succeed in America.
44 posted on 09/14/2003 4:17:44 PM PDT by cyborg (and you thought I was joking about the tinfoil hat)
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To: All

Defining the Possible Link Between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings:
Lineages and DNA Markers

In order to answer the question of whether or not Thomas Jefferson could have been the father of any of Sally Hemings' sons it is necessary to compare the Y-chromosome DNA from the living male-line descendants of Jefferson and Hemmings. Is has been possible to locate male-line descendants of two of Sally Hemings' sons, Thomas Woodson (the oldest) and Eston Hemings the (youngest), but not Madison Hemings whose male-line descendants did not survive the Civil War. Shown in the figure to the right is the lineage of the one male-line descendant (H21) of Eston Hemmings and the five male-line descendants (W55, W56, W69, W70, and W61) of Thomas Woodson whose DNA was analyzed as part of the study.
Furthermore, Thomas Jefferson did not have a son survive to reproduce so it was necessary to locate the male-line descendants of Thomas Jefferson's paternal uncle, Field Jefferson. Five such descendants (J41, J42, J47, J49, and J50) were located and their DNA was analyzed.
It was also possible to locate three male-line descendants (C27, C29, and C31) of Samuel and Peter Carr -- the sons of Thomas Jefferson's sister -- whom some consider as the possible fathers of Sally Hemings' children.
In the table below are the results of an examination of the Y-chromosome DNA of the 14 male-line descendants described above. Where an individual differs from the other members of his cohort, the allele difference is shown in bold face. The five descendants of Field Jefferson (and proxies for Thomas Jefferson) have identical Y-chromosome DNA alleles except for one microsatellite DNA from J50. This difference is most reasonably accounted for by assuming that a mutation occured.
The lone descendant of Eston Hemings has the same set of Y-chromosome DNA alleles as the descendants of Field Jefferson. This supports the claim that Thomas Jefferson could have been the father of Eston Hemings although it does not prove it since the father could have been any male who had the same Y-chromosome as Thomas Jefferson and was in the immediate vicinity of Sally Hemings nine months before the birth of Eston Hemings. In fact, historical evidence implicates Randolph Jefferson, Thomas' brother, as the more likely father of Eston Hemings. The Carr descendants have similar DNA among themselves but are clearly different from either the Jefferson or Hemings descendants.
Four of the descendants of Thomas Woodson are quite similar among themselves but different from Jefferson and Hemings although they do have similarities to the descendants of the Carr line. One of the Woodson descendants is quite different from all of the other individuals which suggests that one of the genetic ancestors was not in the direct line from Thomas Woodson.

Family Pedigree
Bi Allelic Markers Microsatellite STR Mini Satellite MSY1

Jefferson J41 0000001 15,12,4,11,3,9,11,10,15,13,7 (3)5, (1)14, (3)32, (4)16
J42 0000001 15,12,4,11,3,9,11,10,15,13,7 (3)5, (1)14, (3)32, (4)16
J47 0000001 15,12,4,11,3,9,11,10,15,13,7 (3)5, (1)14, (3)32, (4)16
J49 0000001 15,12,4,11,3,9,11,10,15,13,7 (3)5, (1)14, (3)32, (4)16
J50 0000001 15,12,4,11,3,9,11,10,16,13,7 (3)5, (1)14, (3)32, (4)16

Hemings H21 0000001 15,12,4,11,3,9,11,10,15,13,7 (3)5, (1)14, (3)32, (4)16

Carr C27 0000011 14,12,5,12,3,10,11,10,13,13,7 (1)17, (3)36, (4)21
C29 0000011 14,12,5,11,3,10,11,10,13,13,7 (1)17, (3)37, (4)21
C31 0000011 14,12,5,12,3,10,11,10,13,13,7 (1)17, (3)36, (4)21

Woodson W55 0000011 14,12,5,11,3,10,11,13,13,13,7 (1)16, (3)27, (4)21
W56 0000011 14,12,5,11,3,10,11,13,13,13,7 (1)16, (3)27, (4)21
W69 0000011 14,12,5,11,3,10,11,13,13,13,7 (1)16, (3)27, (4)21
W70 1110001 17,12,6,11,3,11,8,10,11,14,6 (0)1, (3a)3, (1a)11,
(3a)30, (4a)14, (4)2
W61 0000011 14,12,5,11,3,10,11,13,13,13,7 (1)16, (3)28, (4)20

Other Sites of Interest

This document maintained by Robert J. Huskey Last updated on February 25, 2003.

45 posted on 09/14/2003 4:21:04 PM PDT by I_Love_My_Husband
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To: All
Jefferson did NOT have a male heir! They had to use Field Jefferson's DNA! So, that DOES skew the DNA results a bit anyways.
46 posted on 09/14/2003 4:22:40 PM PDT by I_Love_My_Husband
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To: WaterDragon
We who peruse the problems of mass immigration to Scotland, via the internet, are aware of it's many facets. Persons often post articles from The Scotsman. People who read the British press are aware of London's answer to the swarming incoming "refugees".

Fat burghers of officials are shipping them off to Scotland. I do not doubt your statement on your Scottish friend. Knowing the Scots (Some of 'em) as I do, I respectfully suggest said person was putting you on.

Moves are being made to create a melting pot there, by the multi-culturalist dabblers. Persons to the fore are Albanians at this point in time, trouble has errupted. Preferencial treatment the norm.

47 posted on 09/14/2003 4:26:23 PM PDT by Peter Libra
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To: I_Love_My_Husband
The purists cannot deny that Jefferson spent years in fornication with Sally Hemmings, so he was not the perfect man they want him to be. They do not know for sure if he was or wasn't fathering children by Sally Hemmings. If he was sleeping with her then it's a possibility. Some of the Jefferson descendants are willing to accept the other sides' claims and half aren't at all. The other side had their own Jefferson family reunion and some of the direct descents of Jefferson attended so... whatever. I just want to know what it would do for people to know that their ancestor is Thomas Jefferson.
48 posted on 09/14/2003 4:27:24 PM PDT by cyborg (and you thought I was joking about the tinfoil hat)
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To: WaterDragon
I've wondered if the "New York Slimes" staff are merely lazy

Well, I think that the Times is so committed to the idea of "diversity" as in diversity-at-a-glance, that they will automagically fall for anything that promotes a member of a minority group, and/or debases the memory of a key member of the traditional Establishment.

The irony is that the Times's own raace relations are disastrous... for one thing, individuals are seen as if the most important thing about them is their membership in a group. That Jayson Blair was a member of a group teh Times management wants to promote, to them, trumped all those little indicators of his character: the lying, the cheating on expences, the drug use. The really sad part of it is, that because they only see people based on group-membership, the next young black reporter to apply will meet the same insultingly low expectations that Blair did. Meanwhile the predominantly white (& disproportionately Jewish) editorial staff will be thinking what they don't dare say, "well, we can't expect much from one of 'them' because Blair showed us what 'they' are like."

Of course, it's a crock, but it's really how people who see the world through a prism of racism (benevolent no less than hostile) think.

Every once in a while the Time mentions some institution that doesn't have "enough" of some minority or other. They often compare the targeted institution to the military, where race relations are simply not much of an issue. They miss the point completely, because the Army, for instance, can do things employers can't do: conduct extensive pre-employment testing, and assign and train people strictly on their abilities without regard to superficialities. Black soldiers aren't resentful, because they know that they are assigned and promoted with scrupulous fairness. White soldiers serve confidently under black officers because they know that the officers met every standard every inch of the way. While a Jayson Blair can keep screwing up and go unpunished, a soldier can't hide behind his race or anything else: I saw a promising black colonel thrown out for a serious ethical lapse, and a white guy whose father was one of the legendary combat leaders in the history of the Army tossed out when he didn't measure up. If you have standards, race becomes a non-issue. But meaningful standards are forbidden to many civilian employers.

Compare the Army way to the NYT newsroom under Gerald Boyd, a man of limited ability who was put into a position of power because Punch and Raines wanted a black face and he was available.

The Sally Hemings story is of interest to these people, because the only thing in their world that matters is the part of your DNA that is similar to others from your own continent or geographical area. While racial differences are interesting to study, they are not proof of anything about specific human beings. Which is why conservatives, who see people as individuals, tend to be less focused on race (and indeed, less racist) than liberals, who define people based on involuntary group-membership.


Criminal Number 18F

49 posted on 09/14/2003 4:29:48 PM PDT by Criminal Number 18F (Support Billybob! >>>>========>>> http://www.
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To: Criminal Number 18F
How many people are coming back with complaints from soldiers that the US media isn't telling the truth? We're winning, the people love us,etc. and all the media reports is bad news? In case the media forgot, they do get news over there.
50 posted on 09/14/2003 4:33:36 PM PDT by cyborg (and you thought I was joking about the tinfoil hat)
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To: I_Love_My_Husband
Jefferson did NOT have a male heir! They had to use Field Jefferson's DNA! So, that DOES skew the DNA results a bit anyways.

No, it doesn't. The chromosome that was examined, the Y chromosome (the one that separates the boys from the girls!) is passed down unchanged from father to son. Therefore Thomas and Field, natural brothers, should have identical Y chromosomes.

The only way that the results would be "skewed" is if one of the other was a product of an extramarital affair (which probably explains the Woodson line that doesn't match... poor Tom Woodson thought he was that guy's father... only the mother knows for sure! ,P. D.O.L.

Criminal Number 18F

51 posted on 09/14/2003 4:53:19 PM PDT by Criminal Number 18F (Support Billybob! >>>>========>>> http://www.
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To: WaterDragon
Thomas Jerrerson had 10 children, mostly girls, who all died except one who survived him. She and her husband set about to pay all of Jeffersons overwhelming debts due to the inability of the Fed. Govt. to reimburse him for his exspenditures while holding the office President, and overseas ambassadorial forays into France.He contnued to entertain foreign ambassadors and politicos at his own expense once retired. They sold most of the furniture in Monticello and finally the property itself.

During the 20's a Jewish family named Levy bought it, collected what they could of the original furnishings, restored the house and grounds to their original grandeur and gave it to the State of Virginia as a memorial to Thomas Jefferson. All at their own expense.

If Sally Hemming was already partly white(half sister to Mrs. Jefferson) maybe it is that drollop of white DNA that has the smear Jefferson and Sally gang going nuts. Who really knows who the father of Sally's children were.

Thomas Jefferson and William Jefferson Clinton have nothing in common. I still think the child attributed to Bill with the black hooker is his child. He is a truly disgusting man.

Thomas Jefferson is an American Patriot and the President to whom we owe thanks for the American Continent. He was the father of the Louisianna Purchase from Napoleon, a huge tract of land, without which, we would never have achieved the greatness we have. We never would have settled the west into the Continental USA. We'd be stuck with the eastern colonies, with the elite NE states calling the shots. Sort of like they think they do now.
52 posted on 09/14/2003 5:11:33 PM PDT by wingnuts'nbolts (I agree with Dick Morris. Off with their heads! Let's start with the Clintons, all three of them.)
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To: wingnuts'nbolts
Thomas Jefferson and William Jefferson Clinton have nothing in common. I still think the child attributed to Bill with the black hooker is his child. He is a truly disgusting man.

** Am I alone in believing that Roger Clinton may be the father? Hmmm... I too did not believe that DNA outcome either. THE KID LOOKS JUST LIKE HIM. Maybe my tinfoil hat is getting too tight. Klintoon is a scumbucket either way.
53 posted on 09/14/2003 5:16:39 PM PDT by cyborg (`)
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To: exit82
The Democrats used the Sally Hemings lie to bash a truly great American just so they could somehow redeem their rapist President,Bildo. This psuedo-history broke at the time of the FreeRepublic "March for Justice" 10/31/98.

DANGIT, ya beat me to it!

(clinton voice-over) Whatch'all gettin' worked up about over me for? Hell, if ol' TJ could do it, that's a precendent, kinda. Ho'bout it, Hillary, think it'll fly? (heh heh, that was a good one!)

54 posted on 09/14/2003 5:27:29 PM PDT by Old Sarge (Serving You... on Operation Noble Eagle!)
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To: I_Love_My_Husband
Nice concise post.
55 posted on 09/14/2003 5:40:15 PM PDT by wardaddy (Roland will be missed by me.)
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To: cyborg
We don't know that Thomas Jefferson ever had sexual relations with that woman, Sally Hemings. A political enemy, James Callender, claimed in 1802 that Jefferson had children by Sally; Callender died less than a year later (drowned while intoxicated). Jefferson denied the truth of the allegation in a letter in 1805.

The DNA evidence is ambiguous, since Thomas Jefferson was not the only Jefferson male in the vicinity.

The main argument in favor is the oral tradition among Sally's descendants, that Sally had children by Thomas Jefferson.

Madison Hemings, one of her children, told the census taker in 1870 that he was the son of Thomas Jefferson; the census taker was sufficiently impressed that he made a note of that on the census form (clearly legible on the microfilm of the census record). Later, in 1873, a newspaper in Pike County, Ohio, carried an article about Madison Hemings being the son of Thomas Jefferson, evidently based on what Madison had told the author.

There is a good short treatment of this in Willard Sterne Randall's Thomas Jefferson: A Life (1993). The late Fawn Brodie, who did more than anyone else to revive interest in the Sally Hemings story, located several of her descendants who claimed to have heard of their descent from Thomas Jefferson from family tradition.

Sally's mother was a mulatto, so she was no more than one-quarter African by ancestry.

56 posted on 09/14/2003 5:46:32 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus
Sally's mother was a mulatto, so she was no more than one-quarter African by ancestry.

** Well she was white practically, much closer to my ancestry which in those days were called quadroon. I wonder why when I read about these speculations they always make her out to be some black field hand. Seems to be they're trying to serve some agenda. Either way, I do not get the fascination. Why aren't they as equally fascinated with Benjamin Franklin? He had a child out of wedlock.
57 posted on 09/14/2003 5:54:55 PM PDT by cyborg (`)
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To: Verginius Rufus
Personally, I don't care one way or the other, and I would doubt that many other people do, either. (BTW, I think oral family histories, based on my experience, are pretty unreliable because people tend to embroider the heck out of their past.)

But the whole Sally Hemmings uproar was clearly an attempt by the Clinton crowd to say, "See? Jefferson was as bad as Billy (Jefferson) Clinton." It was clearly a political thing that had nothing to do with a desire for historical accuracy.
58 posted on 09/14/2003 6:04:51 PM PDT by livius
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To: mrustow
59 posted on 09/14/2003 7:34:55 PM PDT by foreverfree
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To: WaterDragon
Recently a friend who is originally from Scotland told me she at least knows her
race is 'pure.' LOL. How sad. She's not yet Americanized enough to
understand the sterility of that view.

Your friend might want to look at a glossary in a good human genetics book for
"inbreeding" and "hybrid vigor".
(although the later term may usually be applied in plant breeding).

But your friend doesn't scare me as much as the sperm banks do...those are the cats
we really make sure we can't know if we're going to try to marry and produce
off-spring with a half-sibling.
60 posted on 09/14/2003 7:41:24 PM PDT by VOA
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