Iam writing in response to the Highlights column in the July 4 View section.
(A Newsmakers) item stated that historical documents indicate that (new federal judge Timothy) Lewis is the great-great-great-great-great grandson of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings. It is highly unlikely that Lewis is a direct descendant of Thomas Jefferson.
In the summer of 1988, just after completing the course of study for a master's degree in American history at the University of Virginia, I was a tour guide at Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. Tourists from around the world hurled questions at me concerning the affair and romance between Jefferson and his slave mistress. I will write here how I would usually respond to the inquisitive guests at the plantation.
There is no historical documentation whatsoever indicating that Jefferson had an affair with Hemmings. No one has a produced a letter or note from that period that even alludes to a friendship between the two of them.