Jefferson and Sally Hemmings

Discussion in 'Education' started by Orange_Juice, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. Orange_Juice
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    Orange_Juice Senior Member

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    American Unions

    Pretty interesting book review. I'm not endoring the book, just saying it looks interesting
     
  2. Cecilie1200
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    Cecilie1200 Gold Member

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    Oh, for pity's sake. The DNA didn't "strongly suggest" anything of the sort, and it would be nice if someone who's going to write an entire book on the subject could have been bothered to read the DNA report itself, rather than the summaries provided in the "news" media, which drew conclusions not in evidence.

    In truth, the DNA tests could only be done on the descendant lines of two of Hemings' children, her oldest son, Tom, and her youngest, Eston. They showed conclusively that NO Jefferson male fathered Tom, which is rather interesting insofar as the original rumors about Jefferson and Hemings, circulated during his lifetime by disgruntled political opponents, centered around this child. While the DNA tests allowed for the possibility that one of the 25 adult Jefferson males living when Hemings conceived Eston could have been the father, it is scientifically impossible to narrow it down any further, not to a definite relationship and certainly not to a definite on a specific father.

    I always found it interesting that every news outlet on the planet trumpeted the claim that Thomas Jefferson had been "proven" to have fathered all of Hemings' children - a flat-out lie - almost none of them bothered to print the correction that followed, and certainly not prominently.
     
  3. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    I am amazed that the news media would digest the Nature study and regurgitate something to the public that was less than true. This is completely irresponsible.
     
  4. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    There is still the possibility that Jefferson may have fathered a male child with Sally Hemmings. But because he didn't have any sons of which we are aware to compare, there is no conclusive proof.
     
  5. Cecilie1200
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    Cecilie1200 Gold Member

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    Granted, it's irresponsible. Sadly, in regards to the news media, I find that not the slightest bit amazing.
     
  6. Cecilie1200
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    Cecilie1200 Gold Member

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    There is a remote possibility that Jefferson may have been the father of Hemings' youngest child. The DNA tests show that SOME Jefferson male MAY have been responsible, but even that isn't conclusive, and the man was 64 when Eston was conceived. Considering how many adult male relatives he had at the time, seven of them living at Monticello itself, it's an enormous leap to pin it on him, and patently absurd to say that means that he fathered ALL of her children.
     
  7. Orange_Juice
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    Orange_Juice Senior Member

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    I'm not sure what you are saying is correct. From what I've seen is that it was a Jefferson male but they don't know for sure which one, but the circumstantial evidence leans heavily towards Thomas Jefferson
     
  8. Cecilie1200
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    Circumstantial evidence such as what? The rumors about Jefferson and Hemings were originally started by a guy who was pissed off at Jefferson for not giving him a job he wanted. They were started about Hemings' FIRST child, and the DNA did conclusively prove that his descendants weren't related to the Jeffersons in any way. At the time that Hemings' last child, Eston, was born (Eston and the first child, Tom, were the only ones whose descendants were available for testing, and Eston's line is the one with the possibility of relation), Jefferson was 64 years old. He had twenty-four living male relatives at that time, seven of which actually lived at Monticello. This latter group included Jefferson's brother, Randolph, who was twelve years younger and known for socializing with the slaves.

    In addition, for Thomas Jefferson to have fathered Eston Hemings, he would have had to have impregnated Sally five years AFTER the original rumors started. Thomas Jefferson wasn't exactly a stupid man, so why would he decide to make an untrue scandal like that true after the fact?
     
  9. Walt
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  10. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    So Thomas Jeffereson might or might not have been the father of children with a slave.

    Who cares?

    I mean, really, except for those people who feel they might be his decendent, what difference does it make?
     

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