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Jefferson-Hemings Resources




DWalker's picture
I had been wondering how this issue would be resolved and it seems that it has been resolved by the white descendants that it remain unresolved, but in whose interests? I find the mental (and moral) gymnastics of the white Jefferson descendants to be those of white American society regarding slavery writ small. There is a narcissistic unwillingness to accept any of the thorny realities of the past on the part of too many whites, and therefore its consequences, so we (as a country) don't/can't grow, we don't/can't heal, we don't/can't learn. But I guess for some it's better to be self-satisfied than have integrity, or even a passing relationship with honesty.
Twin620's picture
Why is this behavior still considered taboo or 'shocking' or even abnormal given the diabolical nature of systemic human enslavement? This was an absolute part of the culture of enslavement. The economic system of chattel slavery was a spider's web of complexity and irony. The total and shocking debasement of humans fostered by greed, perversion and convenience. There is no 'sugarcoating' the facts here, this type of behavior was often encouraged by 'gentlemen's rules' to perpetuate control of male & female 'chattel'. There is a not a more classic or better example of a psycho/social behavioral control system, probably written by the master himself, Mr. Jefferson. If not committed by slaveowners themselves these acts were absolutely encouraged to those hired to physically control the victims.
ccrittenden's picture
DNA says a male Jefferson fathered one of Sally Hemings's children; documentary evidence points more closely to TJ as the father of all of her children.
Catherine Coine...
aberkes's picture
Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson is a complicated and sometimes confusing topic to dive into, but this page makes it easy to get started. It's my go-to place for patrons who are curious about this topic and want to explore it themselves. There's even a comprehensive bibliography of sources that cover this topic, from all sides (under "Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: Sources").
Anna Berkes


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