Chapter

Sally Hemings

Francis D. Cogliano

in Thomas Jefferson

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9780748624997
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670697 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624997.003.0007
Sally Hemings

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One of the most controversial developments in the history of Jefferson's reputation has been his relationship with Sally Hemings, an enslaved woman at Monticello. First reported in 1802 the Jefferson-Hemings relationship was a subject of political controversy during Jefferson's lifetime and was the subject of historiographical debate since his death. This chapter reviews the history of the controversy including the path-breaking research of Annette Gordon-Reed which, along with Eugene Foster's DNA study of the descendants of Jefferson and Hemings, helped to shift prevailing historiographical opinion on the subject and persuaded the Thomas Jefferson Foundation to accept the relationship.

Keywords: Thomas Jefferson; Sally Hemings; Thomas Jefferson Foundation; Annette Gordon-Reed; Eugene Foster

Chapter.  12427 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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