May 16, 1999 |
Descendants of Thomas Jefferson's slave Sally Hemings joined Jefferson's offspring at his plantation--the first such meeting in more than 170 years. The families were at the annual gathering of the Jefferson family's Monticello Assn. They promised to stay close, whether or not they become official blood cousins. Jefferson, who became president in 1801, was accused in 1802 of being the father of several of Sally Hemings' children.
March 23, 2000 |
A DNA test has again failed to link a descendant of Monticello slave Tom Woodson to Thomas Jefferson, according to a retired pathologist who performed the test in Charlottesville, Va. Woodson's descendants claim he was the son of the third president and slave Sally Hemings. Dr. Eugene A. Foster conducted the DNA test on the Rev. Thomas Woodson of Dayton, Ohio, a descendant of Tom Woodson's third son.
January 27, 2000 |
More than a year after a DNA test suggested that Thomas Jefferson may have had a son by his slave Sally Hemings, the foundation that owns Jefferson's home acknowledged that he probably was the father of one, if not all six, of her children. The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, which owns Monticello, released its findings Wednesday in response to an October 1998 DNA test that concluded a Jefferson male likely fathered Hemings' youngest son, Eston.
April 13, 2001 |
President Bush marked Thomas Jefferson's birthday at the White House in a ceremony that included descendants of Sally Hemings, the slave with whom Jefferson is said to have fathered six children. Before signing a proclamation in honor of Jefferson's 258th birthday, the president was joined onstage by six people. One of them, Troy Harding, wore his hair in distinctive cornrows. Also onstage was Paul Harris, a black man who now holds the Virginia General Assembly seat once held by Jefferson.
May 9, 2002
Re "Vote Rejects Hemings Claim," May 6: Once again racism rears its ugly head. I personally believe that the vote to reject the relatives of Sally Hemings, a slave of Thomas Jefferson's, into the Monticello Assn. has absolutely nothing to do with insufficient evidence, DNA or historical facts and has everything to do with the white Jefferson descendants not wanting to acknowledge any nonwhite descendants of Thomas Jefferson. John Works made the racism involved in the vote very clear by the e-mail he sent to Lucian Truscott IV: a face of a black man with a zipper in place of a mouth.
April 1, 2000
Re Greg Braxton's story "TV Finds Drama in Interracial Dating" (March 22): Among the 115 episodes of "Head of the Class" produced by Rich Eustis and myself, a good many were stories in which students of different races dated each other, fell in love, fell out of love--all the things teenagers do. We made it a policy never to articulate the obvious fact that these relationships were interracial. We wanted, instead, to leave our young audience with the impression that friendship, understanding and love between races is to be taken for granted, not used as a cheap hook for a "very special episode."
November 22, 2008
Re: "Jefferson, His Slave Mistress and the Antebellum South" [by Glen Speer, Nov. 14]. As one who has studied the life of Thomas Jefferson and portrayed him professionally across the nation for 18 years, may I offer another perspective to your review? Annette Gordon-Reed's book "The Hemingses of Monticello" is built on the premise that Jefferson fathered all seven of Sally Hemings' children. That has not and probably cannot be proven. The DNA testing of a decade ago narrowed the paternity of just one of Sally's children to a circle of Jefferson males, of whom Thomas was only one. That circle has been described as being as small as seven men, larger than 24 and several numbers in between.
May 13, 1995
How disappointing that Robert Koehler finds comfort in the treatment of Thomas Jefferson's relationship with his slave, Sally Hemings, as a "rumored affair" ("Doblmeier Sticks to the Facts in 'Thomas Jefferson,' " Calendar, April 28). I suppose--in Koehler's mind--Jefferson would need to be different in some way from the preponderance of male slaveholders who forcibly used/coerced their female chattel sexually. What is really priceless is that--in his relief that Jefferson only owned slaves (but couldn't possibly have forced them to sleep with him)