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Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri September 2nd, 2011, 9:08 pm

Good articles, Matt. That DNA evidence is very ambiguous, and from what I know of DNA, impossible to determine which of the many Jefferson men might have fathered Hemmings children. I agree with this quote from the second:
"In a way, it has become important for many Americans to believe that Jefferson was a hypocrite for owning slaves and an abuser of his power and privilege, as evidenced by his fathering Hemings’ children whom he never acknowledged. This is the larger narrative in which the Hemings story is the trump. Diminishing Jefferson answers a need among many Americans eager to diminish the claims of American exceptionalism."

Ah, the voice of reasonable doubt, soon to be drowned out by those who prefer opinionated certainty. The product of our entertainment-at-all-costs society.

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Fri September 2nd, 2011, 11:52 pm

I found this part of the article from Matt's second link, particularly interesting:
The descendants of Sally Hemings’ youngest son, Eston, however, are clearly related to the Jeffersons. The question is which “more than two dozen adult Jefferson men who were in Virginia at the time he was conceived” was Eston’s father. The DNA evidence is silent on that score.
Didn't one of Jefferson's nephews claim to have fathered Sally's children? Maybe he was telling the truth.

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Sat September 3rd, 2011, 5:41 am

[quote=""LoveHistory""]I found this part of the article from Matt's second link, particularly interesting:

Didn't one of Jefferson's nephews claim to have fathered Sally's children? Maybe he was telling the truth.[/quote]

I'm pretty sure that I heard that too. Which could be one explination
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