New Book - Reclamation: Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson, and a Descendant’s Search for Her Family’s Lasting Legacy

Join us for an in-person and virtual book talk and signing with Gayle Jessup White. Jessup White, Monticello’s Public Relations & Community Engagement Officer and descendant of Thomas Jefferson and the Hemings family, will discuss her new book.

In-Person Event Information

FULLY BOOKED - No new reservations available

  • Book talk in the theater, located at the visitor center, 6:30 - 7:15 p.m.
  • Book signing with Jessup White at the Shop at Monticello, located at the visitor center, 7:15 - 8:00 p.m. 
  • In-Person Event Registration (see details just below for in-person attendance)

We request that all persons attending this indoor event are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Facial coverings are required while indoors for all guests.

All who register for the in-person book talk will be registered to win a free copy of Reclamation. Winners must pick up their copy at the Shop at Monticello during the book signing.

Virtual Attendance

Unable to attend in person? Join our livestream of Jessup White’s book talk, streamed on our Facebook, YouTube, and website at 6:30 p.m. ET. No registration necessary.

From the Publisher

Book cover

Gayle Jessup White had long heard the stories passed down from her father’s family, that they were direct descendants of Thomas Jefferson—lore she firmly believed, though others did not. For four decades the acclaimed journalist and genealogy enthusiast researched her connection to Thomas Jefferson, to confirm its truth once and for all. After she was named a fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, Jessup White discovered her family lore was correct. Poring through photos and documents and pursuing DNA evidence, she learned that not only was she a descendant of Jefferson on his father’s side; she was also the great-great-great-granddaughter of Peter Hemings, Sally Hemings’ brother.

In Reclamation Jessup White chronicles her remarkable journey to definitively understand her heritage and reclaim it, and offers a compelling portrait of what it means to be a Black woman in America, to pursue the American dream, to reconcile the legacy of racism, and to ensure the nation lives up to the ideals advocated by her legendary ancestor.

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About the Author

Gayle Jessup White is the Public Relations & Community Engagement Officer at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s historic estate. A former award-winning television reporter and anchor, Jessup White started her career at the New York Times. She’s written and spoken extensively about her work at Monticello. She is a direct Jefferson descendant, and is also related to two well-documented families enslaved at Monticello—the Hemingses and the Hubbards. She lives in Virginia.