Consider this very real possibility: When Maria was sent to Paris she was to be accompanied by an older slave woman. When Maria arrived in England on her way to France Abigail Adams was shocked to see that she was accompanied by Sally. The excuse given was that the older woman had "gotten sick." What was the best deal in slavery? Being the favored mistress of the master! And who was Sally's mother - Betty Hemmings, the reputed mistress of Jefferson's father in law. What do you suppose Betty said to Sally? How about - "You are now old enough to marry. You can marry a field hand or you can become master's mistress. If you become his mistress you protect all of the family. Go to Paris, become his mistress, and come back and protect the rest of us. I have found a ham to give the woman who will 'get sick.'" And the plan worked. Sally went to Paris, became his mistress, and then refused to go home and would only do so if Jefferson promised to free their children. He agreed. However, when he wrote his will about 6 weeks before he died he freed no one. But 2 days later he added a codicil freeing the two remaining children, etc. Wonder what the conversations were like between those events? All in all a very human story that is probably far more complicated than we will ever know.