Contact Us

Book Doubts Thomas Jefferson Fathered Children of Slave Sally Hemings

In a book released this week, a group of eminent scholars says it’s highly unlikely that the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence and later became the third President fathered children with one of his slaves.

These claims about Thomas Jefferson date back to 1802, in Jefferson’s first term as president.  One of Jefferson’s former supporters wrote in a Richmond newspaper that Jefferson kept a slave named Sally Hemings as a concubine, and had fathered “several children” with her.

via Nikonrobin

Hemings‘ children and descendants kept the story alive into modern times.  In November of 1998, results of DNA testing showed a genetic link between descendants of the Jefferson family and descendants of one of Hemings’ sons.  Many people on both sides thought the issue was settled, but it wasn’t.

The newest book says the DNA testing doesn’t prove Thomas Jefferson was the father of Hemings’ children.  It only proves it was a member of Jefferson’s family, and Jefferson’s brother Randolph was the most likely suspect.

Richard Dixon, with the Jefferson Heritage Society, which sponsored the Scholars Commission study, says while the book addresses both sides of the argument, it doesn’t settle it one way or the other.

He says there’s just no way of proving conclusively that Thomas Jefferson was — or was not — the father of Hemings’ children.

via New book disputes claim Jefferson fathered children of slave Hemings – Washington Times.

The photo attached to this story shows the stone on the grave of Eston Hemings Jefferson, who always believed he was the son of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.

Whether he was or not, when Jefferson died in 1826, his Last Will and Testament set Eston and all of Hemings’ children free.

Eston moved north to Madison, Wisconsin, changed his last name to “Jefferson”, and passed as white until his death in Madison in 1856.  He was able to do that because he had a very fair complexion, like his mother Sally who was also a child of mixed parentage.

And debate goes on.

More From Newstalk 860

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://ksfa860.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on NEWSTALK 860 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on NEWSTALK 860 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!