Jefferson-Hemings Controversy

Jefferson-Hemings Controversy

The Jefferson–Hemings controversy concerns the question of whether there was an intimate relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his mixed-race slave, Sally Hemings, that resulted in his fathering her six children of record. The controversy started as early as the 1790s. Jefferson's grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, told a historian in the 1850s that the late Peter Carr, a nephew of Jefferson's, had fathered Hemings' children. Historians generally asserted this denial for nearly 180 years. While some historians of the late twentieth century started reanalyzing the body of evidence, for many consensus was not reached until after a Y-DNA analysis in 1998: results showed a match between the Jefferson male line and a descendant of Eston Hemings, Sally's youngest son, and no match between the Carr line and the Hemings descendant.

In the 21st century, a consensus has emerged among historians that the entirety of the evidence suggests Jefferson's paternity for all of Hemings' children. Exhibits at Monticello, as well as its recent publications about Jefferson and his times, and other new works published by a variety of scholars, use the new consensus as a basis for studies into Jefferson and the Hemings family. Current scholarship reflects new works on the interracial society of the times and since. In 2012 the Smithsonian and Monticello collaborated in a major exhibit on Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: The Paradox of Liberty, held at the National Museum of American History from January to October; it addresses Jefferson as slaveholder, and examines six slave families at Monticello in detail, including the Hemingses. Some historians continue to publish works arguing against Jefferson's paternity.

Read more about Jefferson-Hemings ControversyBackground, Controversy, New Evidence in DNA Study, DNA Study, Conclusions, Dissenting Views, Monticello Community, Current Scholarship

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Thomas Jefferson And Haitian Emigration - Sally Hemings - Jefferson-Hemings Controversy
... Major Jefferson biographers, such as Joseph Ellis and Andrew Burstein, changed their opinions to acknowledge the likely paternity of Jefferson of all of Hemings' children ... Separate studies by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation in 2000 and the National Genealogical Society in 2001 reached the same conclusion, and in 2000 PBS produced a major program, Jefferson's Blood, covering the issues, and noting the new consensus and "dissenting opinions." On a popular level, no major historian argued against the television mini-series Sally Hemings An American Scandal (2000), based on a relationship between Jefferson and Hemings by contrast, twenty years earlier, prominent Jefferson scholars put pressure on the president of CBS to drop a similar project ...
Madison Hemings - Jefferson-Hemings Controversy
... The Jefferson-Hemings controversy concerns the question of whether, after Jefferson became a widower, he had an intimate relationship with his mixed-r ... The controversy dates from the 1790s ... a book that analyzed the historiography of the controversy, demonstrating how historians since the nineteenth century had accepted early assumptions and ...

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