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1) Certainly no white man in freedom in the depths of villeinage, serfdom, or Arab enslavement, could be casually portrayed as so base and craven that he would pay gratuitous social calls on his sister's rapist and voluntarily make his sister's attacker his employer of first choice, because a white man would be presumed to have had a soul.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 364

2) Finally, this project is about who owns history.
Clarence Walker, Mongrel 9

3) As any historian will say, it is much too soon to know how much, or even whether, 2008 resembles 1800. But we can say that on Nov. 4, American voters said something about who they wished to be. They repudiated conventional wisdom about what was possible and expressed a desire to forge a new identity, discarding an old, confining one. Obama saw this yearning in the electorate, made a bet on it and won. Americans were willing to put on a new face for the world. That we have had the chance to move forward in this way is due, in part, to the Founders' vision. And, I will say it, Jefferson's vision. Whether he specifically dreamed of Barack Obama or not, whether he would have thrown himself into the ocean at the prospect of President Obama, he along with others put forth a set of ideas that helped put us on this path. Over the years countless Americans, black and white, heralded and unheralded, have struggled, and continue to struggle, to give meaning to the promise of America. It is no coincidence that the first nonwhite leader of the Western world should come from this country. The way we have arrived at this moment in history is truly the result of a dream.
Annette Gordon-Reed, "Jefferson's Vision"

4) In his famous book 1984, George Orwell wrote: "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." As we celebrate Thomas Jefferson's birthday, revisionist impulses have all but assassinated Jefferson's personal reputation since the distorted DNA test surfaced in 1998. The face on Mount Rushmore has been vilified as a slave-owning hypocrite, racist and father of slave children. Unfortunately, these "facts" are nothing more than the accumulation of rumors and irresponsible scholarship over the years. When facts contradict a scandalous story, it is the story that survives. Betsy Ross may have her American flag, so we can let Sally Hemings have Jefferson's love child.
William Hyland, "Politicization"

5) The debate about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings has always been about national identity or who we are. This was true in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and it will continue to be true well into the twenty-first.
Clarence Walker, Mongrel 96

6) Jefferson was involved in far too many aspects of Heming's life in France to be as detached from her as a suitable quasi-father figure should have been. Her ill-defined role in the household meant that there was no one thing to focus upon that could set firm boundaries for his attitudes toward her. Life in Paris demanded from him a higher degree of vigilance about Hemings, as well as about the other Virginians in his household, if they had all been at Monticello. His Virginia domain extended from the top of his mountain, down its sides, and over thousands or acres from its base. One had to travel some distance to leave it and his influence. That was not true in Paris. As soon as Hemings stepped out of Jefferson's courtyard, she was out of territory he controlled. . . . How far could she go? Could she go alone? How long could she stay?
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 297-98

7) American exceptionalism has always had a racial subtext. Perfect at its creation, according to the myth, America escaped the social processes--amalgamation/miscegenation--that characterized other colonial settler societies.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 6

8) In slavery and outside of it, members of Hemings's family--female and male--developed a practice of having children with, and marrying when that was available, people who looked something like themselves, which is what most people in the world tend to do. Jefferson probably resembled Hemings more than the average male slave on the plantation did, in terms of hair texture, skin color, and eye color.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 334

9) The fact that Jefferson slept with a woman designated as black by what later became the American law of hypodescent, his champions assume, would indicate some personal or national failing that has to be denied.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 28

10) Although the Scholars Commission was not the first to point out the alterations in historical documents transcribed by Professor Gordon-Reed and included in her 1997 book Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, the release of our report probably did bring them to the attention of a larger audience. When she was asked by the media about the "incorrect transcription of a key letter from one of Jefferson's granddaughters," Professor Gordon-Reed "acknowledged her mistake . . . but said it was a ‘non-issue,' because she would have used the letter regardless." (One has to wonder why, since when transcribed correctly the letter would be the only document in her appendices that clearly undermines the case she is a advocating.)
Robert Turner 368

11) The Sally "story" reflects one of the most striking derelictions of scholarly integrity in American historiography.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 168

12) And then there is the place itself. Monticello, one of the best-known residences in the United States during Jefferson's time and today, is rich with the history of the Hemings family. Hemingses helped build and maintain the house, crafted furniture for it, and laid its floors. They worked as servants within the household, tended the gardens, and performed other essential tasks throughout the plantation. They lived there as husbands and wives, raising their children in slavery as best they could. Some died and were buried there. It is, quite simply, impossible to tell an adequate history of the mountain without including Hemingses.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 23

13) Gordon-Reed, who is African American, is a close friend of Dianne Swann-Wright (also African American) and Cinder Stanton, both of whom wrote the official Monticello report accepting Jefferson's guilt. They also used Gordon-Reed's sympathetic 1997 book on the Hemingses as their blueprint for their official report released to the public. Among the courses Gordon-Reed teaches is one entitled Slavery and the Law.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 132

14) The plaintive cry of the Jefferson apologist is and always has been "Why are they saying such dreadful things about Mr. Jefferson?" As we have seen, the motive in the case of black testifiers such as Madison Hemings is construed to be uppityness or its opposite, low self-esteem. Others who have attempted to bring the Hemings-Jefferson story to light are presented as one species or another of the politically motivated scandalmonger. The specific type of political motivation is not always the same. Prior to 1998, Jefferson's accusers were variously identified as, among other things, Federalists, abolitionists, southerner-haters, and scoundrels motivated by personal animus. Some of the identifications were correct, at least in part. For example, James Callender.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 87

15) These items were quietly passed down in the Hemings family until well into the twentieth century. Slavery and racism worked such a distortion of human emotions (and continue to do so) that we may not feel comfortable attaching to this gesture the first inference that we would draw if the man whose belongings Hemings carefully saved and passed on to her offspring had been an enslaved black man or if she had been a white woman, even an unmarried white woman, handling a white man's possessions in this fashion.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 375

16) Unfortunately, Gordon-Reed and others, have injected race into a debate that should be singularly about evidence. For example, she has written that "in the black community, the Jefferson-Hemings liaison stands along the Declaration of Independence as evidence of the deeply conflicted nature of American society. It is easy to understand why the story of a white founding father of America, his black mistress, and their black offspring would capture the imagination of black Americans."
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 133-34

17) In studying Jefferson, historians should be equally willing to compartmentalize, to avoid conflating things that should remain separate. In the first place, they have to move beyond assertions that on her deathbed Jefferson's wife extracted "a promise that [he] would never put their children under the care of a step mother." If Jefferson made such a promise, it did not mean that he became celibate. Remarriage is one thing; sex is another. It is foolish, if not native, to think that a sexually active and mature man would live the rest of his life as a monk.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 72

18) Relations between the sexes in those days seem equally far away from our modern understanding of what constitutes civilized behavior. Much as it may assault present-day sensibilities, fifteen- and sixteen-year-old girls were in Hemings's time thought eligible to become seriously involved with men even men who were substantially older. Jefferson's daughter Patsy became a married woman, with her father's enthusiastic approval, just several months after her seventeenth birthday. That attitude made sense in an era when higher education and career, the reason for postponing marriage and child-bearing in modern times, did not compete with what were thought to be a woman's most basic functions in life: to be a wife and a mother.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 309

19) For Gordon-Reed, this issue boiled down to race, and in her own words: "What we are left with is a situation where the oral history of one family is pitted against the oral history of another family. It is black against white, under circumstances where whites for the most part have controlled the assemblage and dissemination of information." Through cross-examination, it can be established to an impartial jury that Gordon-Reed's opinions are marred by a cultural agenda against the "systematic dismissal" by white historians of the words of black slaves, such as Madison and Israel Jefferson. She indicts the entire white contempt to get at the truth of this matter. They ignored Madison Hemings because they had "no conception of slaves as human beings" and "doubted his words because he was a black man." She admits that her "moral imperative" in writing about Jefferson and Hemings was to "recapture the humanity of the Hemings" and "the identity of African Americans at Monticello."
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 132-33

20) This would make more sense if "the mistakes" had involved transcribing "that" as "the" or "1873" as "1973" -- most prolific scholars do occasionally make such mistakes -- but, in order to make the Coolidge letter useful to her case, Professor Gordon-Reed had to make nearly a dozen alterations to a single sentence. The "mistakes" do not appear random, but rather remarkably transformed the original sentence into a grammatically correct new sentence with a very different meaning. There was another little "mistake" in the same letter, involving transcribing "disbelief" as "belief" -- resulting in an implication that Thomas Jefferson's favorite grandson believed the allegations against the President. One might add the virtually all of the "mistakes" in her transcription of the 1873 story about Madison Hemings also appear to have corrected obvious inaccuracies in the original that might have decreased the document's credibility. Thus, Professor Gordon-Reed dropped a dozen words in a sentence so that it falsely appeared that Madison Hemings described not five-year-old Maria but nearly twelve-year-old Martha as "just budding into womanhood" when Thomas Jefferson went to live in Paris. The original document was very legible, and the words deleted could not be explained on the basis of mistakenly skipping a line while transcribing. As with other alterations in her book, the deletion of a dozen words from the sentence removes a passage that if not altered would have raised doubts about the credibility of the document being transcribed.
Robert Turner 369

21) She herself would always be for Jefferson the woman who had given up something of enormous value on the basis of his promises. He was in moral debt to her. With all of this, the focus of the Hemings family‘s existence at Monticello would shift to Sally Hemings herself in a way that gave her a measure of influence over her life and the lives of her children, siblings, and extended clan.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 342

22) Gordon-Reed uses the Jefferson-Hemings legend as a metaphor for race relations.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 134

23) In short, the myth of a white United States has to be abandoned and the Jeffersonian legacy broadened to include the idea that the sage of Monticello was the father of our country in more ways than one.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 55

24) How he dealt with her in that role mattered greatly. Her mother and siblings would have felt any of her misery he inspired, thus destroying the delicate ecology of the world he had built with the family. They would have had to carry on serving him, but in a changed climate, one that he would not have cared for. On the other hand, if they saw him acting in as decent a fashion as possible, that he was now bound to them by blood might have made at least some of them more inclined to see him a positive light, thus shoring up the affective role that they certainly played in his life. As will be shown in the chapter to come, members of Hemings' family, free and enslaved, sometimes responded to Jefferson in ways that suggest they thought of him as more a version of an in-law than the rapist of their family member.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 363

25) Gordon-Reed has taken her racial rationalizations of the evidence too far.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 135

26) In their treatment of Jefferson, Historians of the pre-DNA era focused too much on his writings, arguing that he could not possibly have slept with Hemings because of his published views on black people. What they ignored was that repression often coexists with desire.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 33

27) Certainly no white man in freedom in the depths of villeinage, serfdom, or Arab enslavement, could be casually portrayed as so base and craven that he would pay gratuitous social calls on his sister's rapist and voluntarily make his sister's attacker his employer of first choice, because a white man would be presumed to have had a soul.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 364

28) Even if we give Gordon-Reed the benefit of the doubt and assume that omissions or alteration of these crucial words was not deliberate, such negligence casts doubt on the reliability of her conclusions.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 136-37

29) All of the preceding has to be kept in mind when considering women like Sally Hemings and others living in slavery, postslavery emancipation, or racially stratified colonial societies where color is a mark of privilege. Sally Hemings was a slave, but this did not mean that her sense of self derived solely from bondage or from the racial category to which she legally belonged; "identity," according to Nishida, "often differs from a category imposed on the individual by the larger society."
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 50

30) Lest I be misunderstood, my concerns about Professor Gordon-Reed's scholarship go well beyond the apparent "evidence tampering" documented in Figures 1-4. Because racism is such an evil prejudice, I find highly offensive her false allegations that scholars like Merrill Peterson who reached conclusions that differed from her own were "racists" or "white supremacists." It has been an effective tactic for intimidating some scholars who might otherwise have been tempted to challenge her, but it is as irresponsible as falsely accusing an innocent man of rape. She is obviously a very bright and knowledgeable person on these issues -- too bright and knowledgeable to believe that Thomas Jefferson was "just a typical southern slave owner. . . " Her obvious talents and expertise make it difficult for me to dismiss as mere incompetence her exclusion of Randolph Jefferson and his family from her book (she included a book specifically about Randolph in her bibliography), or to ignore on similar grounds her clearly false assertions that the DNA tests disproved the Jefferson family's oral traditions that the Carr brothers fathered children by Sally Hemings.
Robert Turner 372-73

31) In fact, two other errors mar Gordon-Reed's transcription of Ellen's vital letter exonerating Jefferson.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 136

32) To describe Jefferson as a man of restrained sexuality seems to suggest that once he was widowed at the age of forty-one, he lost his sex drive and became passionless. It also presupposes, as the Puritans did, that character is based on the refusal of desire. To preserve Jefferson's reputation, his defenders have created in the popular mind the image of a founding Father with the heroic capacity for self-denial of an early Christian desert father. But to construct Jefferson in those terms is to entertain one of the major fantasies of Western, and specifically Anglo-Saxon, whiteness since the Age of discovery and the Enlightenment: the illusion of self-control over the venereal.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 39-40

33) The role that primarily fit the realities of Jefferson's life as the owner of Sally Hemings--at least as he would have understood it--was that of the patriarch, with everything that attended that designation. That was, almost certainly his earliest presentation of himself to her at the Hotel de Langeac, which likely contributed to what happened between them there.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 294

34) Gordon-Reed has not only injected race into the controversy, but she has played the race card "from the bottom of the deck." Her debate on slavery and race has diverted the attention from the central question: reliable, credible evidence on whether or not Jefferson had sex with a fourteen-year-old Sally.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 134

35) If we deconstruct the defense used by Malone and Miller in the twentieth century and Jefferson's family members Ellen Randolph Coolidge and her brother in the nineteenth, we find two closely connected strands to the argument. One is that Jefferson would never have polluted his family home and the environs of his children and grandchildren by engaging in "a vulgar liaison" (Malone) or "low amours" (Coolidge) that would produce a "race of half-breeds" (Coolidge). The other is that Jefferson, who was "devoted to his wife" (Malone), who lived by a "strict moral code" (Miller), who was "chaste and pure" (Randolph), who showed "devotion to his dead wife's memory" (Malone, and who had a clearly exalted "conception of women and their place in society" (Miller), could never have felt the need for sex after his wife died. The idea that Jefferson had a sex life after his wife's death is "unthinkable."
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 70

36) When a male buys clothes for a female who is not his daughter or wife, it almost immediately raises the intimacy level between him and the female recipient of his gifts, in ways that can make it much more difficult for the two to keep a safe emotional distance from each other. It too much resembles what happens between couples who are romantically involved with each other for the participants not to make that connection, even if just for fleeting moments. This was definitely not the way to maintain a "quasi-father/daughter" relationship.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 299-300

37) Professor Mayer argues in his critique that "the flawed scholarship of the book is further epitomized by a significant transcription error which appears in Appendix E, the text of Ellen Randolph Coolidge's 1858 letter to Joseph Coolidge."
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 136

38) It is this context that frames Jefferson's observations about the "ardent" nature of black sex. How did Jefferson know what black sex was like? Maybe he had engaged in fieldwork and stopped being a philosophical and conjectural historian. I say this because the description of black sex as "ardent" can be read as an example of a projection fantasy, an observation in which Jefferson, although ostensibly speaking about blacks, was really talking about himself.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 41

39) Jefferson had a deeper understanding of the true nature of America's racial dilemma than many are comfortable admitting. Yes, blacks are citizens. But look what it took to achieve that status and maintain it: a civil war followed by an endless procession of lawsuits, legal initiatives, commissions and efforts at social engineering, all designed to prop up blacks' civil and social rights.
Annette Gordon-Reed, "Sage"

40) Both Joseph Ellis and the leadership at Monticello were enigmas to me. Every indicator told me they were honorable and able people. Yet their revisionist scholarship on this issue was so terribly flawed that it made no sense to me. And between them, their influence in shifting public and professional thinking on the Sally Hemings issue had been extraordinary. Widely recognized as among the most outstanding members of his profession, when Joseph Ellis changed positions and announced the case was proven "beyond reasonable doubt," there was little reason for other scholars, who had not taken the time to examine all of the evidence in detail, to question the Hemingses' story. And when the Thomas Jefferson Foundation quickly conceded the point, and the public was told that DNA tests had "seal[ed] the case," the debate indeed seemed over.
Robert Turner 373-74

41) In this country, particularly in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, the myth that upper-class white men were averse to black ("trim") sex was part of the racial ideology to which white Americans hypocritically subscribed. I reference white Americans' hypocrisy here because it speaks to the twin processes of denial and attraction that have informed white American attitudes about the subject of interracial sex.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 26

42) One simply cannot say that being a slave owner made every white man equally prone to wanting to have sex with slave women to raping them, that every slave owner would rape any slave woman who refused his advances, or that every slave owner actively preferred his sexual encounters with slave women to be violent and unwanted.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 322

43) The "Sally" story is pure fiction, possibly politics, but certainly not historical fact or science. It reflects a recycled inaccuracy that has metastasized from book to book, giving a false stigma of Jefferson's guilt to the American public. In contrast to a mini-series version of history, layer upon layer of evidence points away from Jefferson with one inevitable conclusion: the historians have the wrong Jefferson -- the DNA, as well as other historical evidence, matches to his younger brother, Randolph, as the true candidate for a sexual relationship with Sally.
William Hyland, "Politicization"

44) Thomas Jefferson occupies a central place in our nation's pantheon of heroes. Author of the Declaration of Independence, third president of the republic, and exemplar of the Enlightenment, Jefferson embodies all the gentlemanly virtues that we are supposed to associate with the Virginia aristocracy. These qualities, in the popular mind, are honor, refinement, and probity--all qualities commonly associated with whiteness. The recent discovery that this American icon was the father of a mixed-race child or children and the inescapable correlative that he must have had sex with a black woman, had introduced a deep fault line in how the nation thinks about Jefferson, interracial sex, slavery, history, and black women--in brief, how we think about race
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 23-24

45) The death of children was not the only stalker of slave mothers and potential mothers like Hemings. She and other enslaved women faced the added, unspeakable reality that they could be separated from their children by sale. Above all of slavery's depredations, the separation of children from their families crystallized the system's barbarity so clearly that slave owners claimed that it rarely happened or spent endless time talking about how loath they were to do it--just before they did it. While enslaved women knew that nothing could be done to ensure that they would never lose children to early deaths, and that this tragedy could affect all women, separation from children by sale happened only to them. That shaped their identities as women. Hemings, like other enslaved girls, must have dreamed of a future in which her motherhood would never be blighted by such a moment.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 332

46) The lesson is obvious: Since the inception of the Sally myth two hundred years ago, many Americans want passionately to believe that Thomas Jefferson fathered some or all of Sally's children, whether or not the evidence supports the venal charge or not. The legend that Jefferson took Sally as his lover refuses to die because it is not good enough for some to know that his brother, Randolph, or his nephews, the Carrs, kept Sally as their mistress--for neither Randolph nor Peter Carr can be made a symbol for America.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 165

47) Something else can also be discerned in Jefferson's and Long's observations, namely, the historical power of white people to say who is and who is not white. This is why Jefferson could sleep with Hemings without experiencing cognitive dissonance, I would argue. Intimately acquainted with the history of the Hemings family, Jefferson could see the physical transformation from black to white within the Hemings clan across generations. Possibly he did not see in Sally and her affines the physical or mental degenerations that was supposed to characterize someone of mixed racial descent. Perhaps he persuaded himself that in some fundamental way, as well as in her physical appearance, she was not black and that in any possible offspring of theirs the stain of blackness would be even further bleached. Or perhaps, in the end, his attraction to Hemings owed less to philosophical hairsplitting than to simple sexual desire.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 33

48) More important for our purposes, we must also see the public spectacle surrounding Hemings and Jefferson as a defining episode in the lives of all the Hemingses. No contemporaneous evidence of what members of the family were thinking as the talk of the pair made its way through the country's newspapers and communities has come to light. They surely knew that people were talking because others at Monticello--members of Jefferson's white family, his friends, and at least one white Jefferson employee--are on record stating that the relationship was much talked about in Jefferson's neighborhood. In every community, throughout history, slaves and servants have been privy to the innermost secrets, anxieties, strengths, weaknesses, successes, and failures of the people they served. The Hemingses were no different.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 25

49) In addition to ridiculing white male historians, Gordon-Reed carefully selects her evidence and presents it in the light most favorable to the Hemings. In the process, however, she breaks down most accepted standards for weighing evidence, particularly for weighing unreliable, hearsay evidence, creating a double standard that supports hearsay about Jefferson's guilt. Legitimate, reasonable doubts about Madison's contrived "interview" are ignored, as Gordon-Reed ignores whether a word like "enceinte" would have been used by a semiliterate black man. Her goal, as she admits, is to vindicate Madison Hemings and "present the strongest case to be made that the story might be true."
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 135

50) Mount Holyoke President Joanne V. Creighton initially defended Professor Ellis, issuing a statement that said in part "We at the College do not know what public interest the Globe is trying to serve through a story of this nature." But, as pressure grew, she acknowledged what Ellis had done was wrong and finally was forced on August 17 to suspend her college's most distinguished faculty member for one year without pay. On the same day, Professor Ellis -- who had initially simply issued a statement through the college saying he "would not discuss any of the issues" raised in the Globe article -- released a statement through his lawyer saying in part: "By misrepresenting my military service to students in the course on the Vietnam War, I did something both stupid and wrong. I apologize to the students, as well as to the faculty of this institution, for violating the implicit covenant of trust that must exist in the classroom."
Robert Turner 374

51) The interest in Jefferson's racial views, long the subject of scrutiny, has reached a crescendo in our time. As Americans attempt to build a more egalitarian, multiracial future, we crave a better understanding of what the man credited with most eloquently expressing the American creed felt about race. What did Jefferson think about black people? How does his relationship with Sally Hemings complete our picture of him? How should we, in a more racially enlightened era, interpret what we know about his thoughts and actions?
Annette Gordon-Reed, "Sage"

52) Gordon-Reed hurls page after page, chapter after chapter of undocumented, unsourced psychological theory about Jefferson's sexual "thoughts" concerning "beautiful" Sally. She also crafts numerous narrative chapters based on Sally's "thoughts" of Jefferson, with no documentation, other than far-fetched sexual interpretations. Once again, there is not a scintilla of documented, eyewitnessed evidence to support Sally's "thoughts" about Jefferson. Gordon-Reed admits there has been no new documentary evidence left by either Jefferson or Sally--so she speculates with "total obsession," her own description of this slavery book.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 138

53) Given Jefferson's publicly expressed antipathy to the black body, he surely would have disagreed with the sentiment that "the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice/ I want a real black woman for my special use." How, then, are we to explain Jefferson's thirty-eight-year relationship with Sally Hemings?
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 30

54) The Hemings family of Monticello escaped the enforced anonymity of slavery for a number of reasons: first, because multiple generations of this large clan were owned by one of history's most well-known figures, Thomas Jefferson, an inveterate record keeper and writer of letters. Jefferson's papers have been grist for the scholarly mill for many years, and members of the Hemings family have long figured in Jefferson scholarship, but only as side characters in the saga of Jefferson and his white family. Only recently have the Hemingses and other members of Monticello's enslaved community become the focus of scholarly attention. It is a sad paradox, in a story overrun with paradox and irony, that their being the "property" of a famous man ensured that, as the Jefferson scholar James A. Bear has pointed out, more would be known about this family of slaves than is known about the vast majority of freeborn white Virginians of the time.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 23

55) Obviously a large number of people, for various reasons, passionately want to believe they have a place in American history and that Thomas Jefferson fathered Sally Hemings's children. But it is not the role of historians, or this jury, to make people feel good about their widespread family stories. As Professor David Mayer testified from the witness stand, the role of historians is simply to explain the past by following objective methodology and the evidence. However unsetting this conclusion may be, it is simply the case that no credible evidence proves that Jefferson fathered any of Sally's children.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 170-71

56) It is entirely possible that in his sex life with Hemings, Jefferson found a sexual excitement that was absent in his marriage with Martha. Given the sexual mythology that had developed around the black female body since ancient times and that in the New World in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had come to signify a corporal difference between white and black women, Jefferson may have found Hemings to be sexually exciting simply because he expected that she, as a black woman, would be.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 43

57) We must remember that, in the society in which the Hemingses existed, family was all. This was as true for blacks as for whites. Importantly, during the Hemingses' time at Monticello, family at its most elemental level was about blood ties. The Hemingses' situation vis-à-vis other slaves in their community was especially complicated because they were slaves in a household where they were genetically related both to one another and to those who held them in bondage. Because of that connection, the master of that household chose to treat them in a way that separated them from the rest of the enslaved population--for example, letting some of its members hire themselves out and keep their wages, exempting the women of the family from any hard labor, freeing only people from that family, giving certain of its males virtual free movement, and selecting them for special training as artisans. The master then chose a woman from the Hemings family, had children with her, and arranged for the freedom of that nuclear family. Any enslaved member of that community who knew the history of Monticello would have known that the only route to freedom (one traveled only infrequently) was the possession of Wayles, Jefferson, or Hemings blood. No one else had a chance.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 31

58) Commenting on the John F. Kennedy assassination in 1967, Walter Cronkite said: "Only in fiction do we find all the loose ends neatly tied. Real life is not all that tidy." And neither is the Jefferson-Hemings case.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson170

59) What we know about slavery and the sexual exploitation of black women under that system makes it easy to assume that the relationship was purely an instance of a powerful white man taking advantage of a powerless black woman. Yet this may not have been the case. When the Hemings-Jefferson relationship is understood as combining desire on his part with a strategy for survival on hers, it is possible to see that both parties may have had something to gain from the relationship. This line of argument requires that we rethink the problem of interracial sex in slavery and abandon the idea that all sexual encounters between white men and black women were rapes.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 45

60) Corneliussen is an agnostic on the paternity question but a student and critic of what he calls "Hemings-Jefferson science abuse," by which he means misuse of the special authority of science in the paternity controversy. He charges that this abuse began when Nature's editors confused the public worldwide concerning the DNA evidence by conflating molecular findings and historical interpretation of molecular findings. He charges that the abuse worsened when Dr. Fraser D. Neiman's statistical study confused both the public and "credulous historians" concerning the correlation between Hemings' conceptions and Jefferson's visits to Monticello. Corneliussen believes that, irrespective of whether or not Jefferson and Hemings were parents together, this abuse discredits science itself and requires scrutiny because of science's special authority on matters in public discourse.
Robert Turner 376

61) Although considerably researched, she fails to offer a shred of documentary evidence, eyewitness testimony, footnote, or source to support her venal opinion, yet she makes the "rape" charge repeatedly throughout the book.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 137

62) The fact that the United States, like Australia, Germany, Japan, and South Africa, constructed itself from the outset as a racial state has had a profound effect on how we understand the racial origins of the America republic.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 16

63) [Jefferson] well knew that in Virginia there were many other women, enslaved and not, who could satisfy any merely carnal impulses as soon as he returned to America. The problem was, however, that they would not actually have been Sally Hemings herself, a requirement that was evidently very important to him.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 372

64) Gordon-Reed was obviously influenced by several Charlottesville historians, who had already accepted Jefferson's guilt: namely history Professor Peter Onuf at the University of Virginia, the avatar of paternity proponents. Gordon-Reed writes in the acknowledgments section of her book: Professor Peter Onuf has been "a great supporter of my work, giving me invaluable comments, bolstering my confidence by making me feel at home in his own home." To a fair jury this will be evidence of partiality and motive. Onuf clearly influenced her views, as evidenced by her own admission: "I look forward to continued associations with Peter, as well as more opportunities to spend evenings with him and his wife Kristin and their very handsome cats." She also describes the writings of her book as "my obsession." One can only assume her obsession is with the Hemings, not a fair and impartial weighing of the evidence for Jefferson.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 137

65) Historians do not change their ideas easily, especially not when the subjects is a man like Thomas Jefferson, whose name is synonymous with America.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 3

66) As for the transformation by love so important to modern sensibilities, we can see little trace of it in Sally Hemings, because of the status and relative invisibility in the records. One looks at Jefferson and sees none of the transformations that some, ignoring the clear limitations of his eighteenth-century Anglo-American heritage, might hope would naturally have flowed from his having loved her: giving up career and legacy and openly acknowledging her and their children, working to get himself in the position to free all of his slaves, recanting any disparaging comments about the nature of black people. Jefferson did none of those things. What he did instead was to ring down a curtain on his relations with Hemings and their children so heavy and thick that it took over a century and a half to effectively raise it. Any personal transformation that took place was conducted behind that curtain at Monticello, off-limits to all who did not see Hemings and Jefferson there and experience what it was like to occupy the same space with them.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 371

67) Indignant revisionism, however, is not a substitute for concrete facts and relevant evidence. Blatant speculation is not drawn with a sharp pencil, but a broad brush. Thomas Jefferson, both the man and his family, amounts to something more important than sordid gossip now obscuring his memory. Jefferson was arguably the most accomplished man who ever occupied the White House--naturalist, lawyer, educator, musician, architect, geographer, inventor, scientist, farmer, philosopher, and more. James Parton, one of Jefferson's biographers, characterized his subject as a man who "could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, dance a minuet, and play the violin." And Parton was describing a young Jefferson who had not yet written the Declaration of Independence.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson165

68) The Jefferson-Hemings liaison is one of the issues that sits at the heart of what I refer to as the racial tension between black and white America.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 7

69) Sixteen-year-old Hemings, in her particular circumstances in Paris, was perfectly positioned to be swept up in a Jeffersonian charm offensive to the detriment of what made any sense. Throughout his life, men and women far more worldly than she were similarly swayed, even when Jefferson did not seem to be trying very hard. No young girl was better prepared by the complex nature of her family configuration and her life to date to take seriously the professed intentions of a man whom, by any system of logic, she should have seen as an enemy, but who undoubtedly believed himself to be--and presented himself to her and her family as if he were--the very opposite of that.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 307

70) Leary also asserts without the slightest explanation that all of Sally's children "were likely offspring of the same man." Indeed, unwarranted assumption seems to be Ms. Leary's favorite analytical tool. She notes Jefferson's long and close friendship with George Wythe -- noting Jefferson called Wythe "my earliest & best friend" -- and then notes rumors that Wythe may have fathered a son by a "free mulatto who kept his home." From this she concludes: "Obviously convinced by Jefferson's stoicism in the face of Federalist pressures concerning the Hemings children, Wythe named Jefferson as executor and entrusted to him the responsibility for overseeing Brown's property and education." Is this really all that "obvious," or might the choice of Jefferson as executor have been influenced by the fact that the two men had been best of friends since Jefferson's days as Wythe's student at William & Mary?
Robert Turner 379

71) Stated another way, Hemings's features were almost certainly more Caucasoid than Negroid, and in a sense her attractiveness was defined by the absence of black features. She probably had thin lips and a thin nose and hair that was not nappy, if I may speculate here. She probably also was light-skinned.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 30-31

72) Close as Colbert and Jefferson would become over the years, Jefferson and Sally Hemings were, from the very start, at another level of intimacy; skin-to-skin, sexual and emotional vulnerability--bearing, closeness. If he worked years to cultivate a favored manservant, to gain his loyalty and affection, there is every reason to believe that when he first determined he wanted Sally Hemings in his life in an even more intimate way, he followed the same pattern.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 306-7

73) As a final footnote, the New York Review of Books labeled Gordon-Reed's work "a brilliant book." Unfortunately, the authors of the review, Edmund S. Morgan and Marie Morgan, failed to disclose that they helped her write and edit the book--a profound conflict of interest.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 143

74) The reality of America in 1789, when the Constitution was adopted, was that the land mass that became the United States already held a mixed-race society, not a white one, in which racial intermixture occurred with great frequency. In this context, the importance of the Hemings-Jefferson liaison lies in its symbolic function as a national unifier. It ties black people and other racialised subjects in the United States to the nation's creation, reinforcing what Huggins called "birthright claims" In reality, the nation should recognize Sally and Thomas as its founding parents and abandon the idea that the United States was a white nation from its inception. This will require a jettisoning of the idea that Jefferson, as a white supremacist, was averse to sleeping with a woman designated "black" in the popular imagination and in American law.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 29

75) That the traditional order has fashioned husbands and wives--and husband and wife substitutes--along the lines of fathers and daughters poses acute problems for intergenerational males and females thrown into close contact. Throughout history when the male teacher/guardian/coach closely interacts with the female student/ward/athlete, or any situation where there is no incest taboo to check their feelings and behavior, there is always a great danger of their sliding out of the quasi-father/daughter configuration into the role of lovers or potential spouses. Jefferson and Hemings, locked in the patriarch and erstwhile "child" paradigm in Paris, were from the start at great risk of doing just that.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 296

76) Randolph Jefferson is Sally's most likely sexual partner. He would have the same Jefferson Y chromosome as his older brother that matched perfectly the DNA. Randolph had a reputation for socializing with Jefferson's slaves and he was expected at Monticello approximately nine months before the birth of Eston, the DNA match. This is not mere coincidence, since the oral history of Eston's family held that they descended from a Jefferson "uncle." Randolph was known at Monticello as "Uncle Randolph."
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 166

77) Although it is important to understand that physically Hemings would not have fit preconceived notions of phenotypical blackness, we are still faced with the fact that legally and culturally she was identified as black. Jefferson's concubine, was, in short, a member of a race that Jefferson is on record as regarding as "inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind." How do we deal with this paradox?
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 32

78) As her time in France passed, Hemings was at once slave, child, and woman during the days of the week when Jefferson's daughters were away, a singular figure as the lone Virginia female in his household. There is no reason to suppose that she, the woman/child living under this patriarchal cover, would not have responded to any displays of male protectiveness and truly positive attention from Jefferson in the same way that most females of the day, in the American context and others, were trained to respond to them--as welcome and positive things. The political, legal and social meanings of slavery and the distortions of human relations that it worked, though mitigated in the French setting, were present. The very basic human requirement of finding a way to live daily life with the people in one's immediate surroundings--taking in and processing the meaning of the good and bad gestures they sent one's way--was no less so.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 300-1

79) Jefferson's health, especially in the last two decades of his life, would physically prevent, and otherwise dissuade him, from engaging in a vibrant sexual relationship with a fourteen-year-old girl. His severe migraine headaches, diarrhea, rheumatoid arthritis, and emotional distress over his finances and the death of his wife and daughter contributed to a deteriorating physical and mental health for a sixty-four-year-old man, at the time of Eston's conception. It is simply beyond common sense to believe he was having an ongoing sexual affair at his age.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 169

80) In the original letter, Ellen Randolph Coolidge wrote -- and I have here kept her lines as they appeared in the original hand-written letter (see Figure 4 on page 37) so readers can consider the possibility that Professor Gordon-Reed merely "skipped a line" in making her transcription:

No female domestic ever entered his chambers except
at hours when he was known not to be there and none
could have entered without being exposed to the public gaze.

Professor Gordon-Reed transcribed this as:
No female domestic ever entered his chambers except at hours when he was
known not to be in the public gaze.

This is the most critical sentence in the altered letter, and it was transformed from a piece of evidence for the defense into an "admission against interest" by a defense witness confirming that Sally was allowed to go to Jefferson's bedroom when no one was thought to be looking.
Robert Turner 382-83

81) Then there is the story of John Hemings, the extremely talented carpenter and joiner whose work is still on display at Monticello. In John Hemings's life we see the blend of slavery as a work system and as a system of personal relationships. Hemings, who helped Jefferson realize his vision for the look of Monticello, was also a surrogate father to Jefferson's sons Beverley, Madison, and Eston.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 26

82) All at age fourteen? And why does it make sense for Jefferson to fixate on someone his daughter's age? His universe consisted of classic literature, law, politics, agriculture, astronomy, voluminous correspondence, and sophisticated social company. Which universe did Sally fit into? This statement makes sense only to revisionist, sound-bite historians trying to rationalize the "story" of Sally.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 142

83) After all, the personal is often political, and in the case of Hemings and Jefferson the political issue raised by their personal relationship is the central one of how we represent our nation and its origins. The fact that first the Founding Fathers and then generations of American historians denied the role that miscegenation played in the creation of New World societies suggests how deeply disturbing the idea of a mixed-race state is to the American conception of a moral nationhood. Fundamental to this notion is a mythic conception of Jefferson. As the historian Joyce Appleby has recently cautioned us, "Presidents serve us as inspirations, and they also serve us as warnings."
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 23

84) On the eve of the civil war, Abraham Lincoln declared, "All honor to Jefferson. His principles are the definitions and axioms of a free society." As his granddaughter proclaimed, "there are such things as moral impossibilities." Although the Sally rumor survives, no reasonable, sensible person hearing all the evidence, not just rank speculation, has ever declared his or her belief in it.
William Hyland, "Politicization"

85) With no opportunity for legal marriage, Sally Hemings, unlike her sister Martha, was operating without the benefit of any written rules. The plan for her life at Monticello with Jefferson was made up to suit their particular circumstances, and the carrying out of that plan depended not upon law but upon Heming's ability to hold Jefferson in some serious fashion over the years and, more importantly, the quality of his personal character and his willingness to remain committed to her.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 356-57

86) Whether Jefferson, or others at Monticello, were racists is an entirely different scholarly issue than whether he had sex with a fourteen-year-old Sally Hemings. The issues are not linked in any way, shape, or form. You should not let the Hemingses tie these politically charged issues to the evidence proving Jefferson's innocence.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 171

87) Horror of horrors, what if Thomas Jefferson, one of the fathers of our country, was bored by women of his own race and class and took a black woman slave to bed?
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 44

88) Under the circumstances of Hemings's life, given her society and her family history, what type of man would be most able to end slavery for her children along with all the problems associated with being a person with black skin in America? If not Thomas Jefferson, who? She may have though him as good a white man as any other, perhaps even better in some ways. That was a judgment to ponder.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 337

89) The sexual allegation is preposterously out of character for Jefferson, being unthinkable in a man of his standards and habitual conduct. His major weaknesses were not of this sort, and would have prevented any liaison. To charge Jefferson with this degree of remarkable imprudence requires extraordinary credulity.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 168

90) Ms. Leary also assures her readers that Thomas Jefferson Randolph and his sister Ellen Randolph Coolidge could not have been telling the truth when they separately described hearing President Jefferson snoring or singing in his bedroom at night or early in the morning. "[B]oth implied that they would have heard any midnight visits by Sally because their rooms were either above or besides their grandfather's. There was no bedroom within sound of Jefferson's bedchamber (unless he was a thunderous snorer) and there was no room above it." One must wonder if Mr. Leary has ever been permitted to visit the upper floors of Monticello, which are generally closed to the public because the very narrow staircases are viewed by the fire marshal as a safety hazard. There is indeed a room above Jefferson's chamber where one can readily hear the voices of tour guides below as they point out the unusual features of Jefferson's bed. And in Jefferson's day, before modern air conditioning -- when windows were normally kept open during the hot summer months, it would presumably have been easier for the grandchildren sleeping in the "Appendix" above his chamber to hear any unusual noises coming from his bed during the night.
Robert Turner 384

91) It has been a hard road, and the Jefferson of the Notes would be astounded that we have come this far. The Jefferson of the Declaration, who at the end of his life voiced the hope that the document's mandate would one day apply "to all," would understand that we still have ground to cover.
Annette Gordon-Reed, "Sage"

92) The Jefferson-Hemings debate has dissolved into a second and third draft of a politicized novel. Jefferson is, as historian Virginius Dabney wrote: "one of the principle historical victims of the current orgy of debunking" our heroes. The Hemings' true believers have turned the debate into an obsessive agenda on the color of Sally's skin and slave status. The slave historians have taken "diversity" and created a hostile environment in which scholars feel pressured to accept the Hemings myth as truth. Thus, one statement should be made concerning our greatest founding father: Thomas Jefferson was either the most prolific, hypocritical liar in American history or the victim of the most profane, 200-year-old defamation of character allegation in legal annals.
William Hyland, "Politicization"

93) That is, I am suggesting that at the moment of its creation the nation was not a white racial space but a mixed-race one, in which Jefferson and Hemings, as a mixed-race couple, rather than George and Martha Washington, should be considered the founding parents of the North American republic.
Clarence Walker, Mongrel 2

94) Her behavior suggests something of Hemings's own confidence -- or vanity -- that she believed she could hold Jefferson to his promises over what would be a very long period. Twenty-one years from 1789 was an eternity for a sixteen-year-old. Other children would extend the years. Then again, Hemings was a young person without the benefit of personal experience to provide a chastening dose of reality about how devastating to her and her children it would be if she turned out to have made the wrong calculation about Jefferson's character. She had to trust that he understood and valued what she was giving up by coming back to Virginia, and she staked both her and her children's future on that critical belief of him.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 339

95) This is mastery of negative evidence, even if you do not consider the towering character of Jefferson, Gordon-Reed assumes that all eighteenth-century heterosexual, middle-aged males would have taken advantage of this situation, with not a shred of evidence, or eyewitness account to substantiate the statement. We are led to believe by Gordon-Reed that Jefferson would take advantage of a fourteen-year-old immature slave girl, who was nanny to his two daughters, in front of all who lived with him at his small Hotel in Paris.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 141

96) It is time for a more nuanced look at black culture, one that allows for variations in perspectives and attitudes among black Americans both inside and outside the context of slavery. What we know about the black female experience in American Negro slavery should not lead us to conclude that black women were united in some single, shared consciousness based on their subjectivity. Not all women defined as black identified or perceive themselves as black.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 48-49

97) Like other enslaved people when the all too rare chance presented itself, Hemings seized her moment and used knowledge of her rights to make a decision based upon what she thought was best for her as a woman, family member, and potential mother in her specific circumstances. She did not see Jefferson as the same type of man as her father, who had left his children in slavery, or she would never have trusted him.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 342

98) The standing of African Americans in our shared history should not depend upon on DNA test. Descendants of Sally have reasons to be proud of their heritage. They overcame slavery to produce in later generations a doctor, a legislator, and a musician, among other professions. And as much as they emotionally want to claim the honor and privilege to be descended from a president, they cannot. If this jury, and the jury of public opinion, is forced to accept an "official story" by means of a process more political than scientific, we do so at the expense of truth.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 165

99) In brief, interracial sex was normative, if largely unacknowledged, in this aristocratic world we have lost, and the sexual exploitation of black women was a central feature of New World slavery. What makes the Hemings-Jefferson relationship important is Thomas Jefferson's stature as a man of the Enlightenment and a principal architect of the American nation state. Had Jefferson been a Virginia planter without influence beyond Monticello and the social world of Albermarle County, his sexual relationship with a black bonds-woman would have been deemed an unexceptional example of the customs of the colonial South, a bygone era that some would like to think has little relevance in our own time. But Jefferson represents much more, for the Jeffersonian legacy is inextricably linked to the formation of the American republic and, more generally, to the American national character. This fact has made the Hemings-Jefferson union an extremely vexing issue for some, as it calls into question dearly held contemporary misconceptions about who we are as a nation.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 27-28

100) On balance, while the report of the Scholars Commission released nine years ago has certainly not ended the debate, criticism of the report on its merits has been rare and there seems to be a growing recognition that the case that Thomas Jefferson fathered one or more children by Sally Hemings is far from established fact. It is not insignificant, in my view, that during this period not one of the senior scholars who once championed the Hemings cause has been willing to engage us in public debate on the merits of the controversy.
Robert Turner 395-96

101) When it came to women, Jefferson's nature was sheepish, some would say awkward and "geekish," but certainly not lustful, except for his youthful indiscretion in the Betsy Walker affair.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 169

102) Whatever feelings Jefferson may have had for Sally Hemings were circumscribed by a set of cultural and political taboos that made the personal political. There was no institution in Jeffersonian Virginia like the custom of "Surinam marriage," a form of concubinage that John Gabriel Stedman shared with the slave girl Joanna in the eighteenth century.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 25

103) Very importantly for Hemings and Jefferson, if we look closely at how we think we know when love and authenticity exist between a man and a woman, and when we are firm in our understanding that it did not and could not have existed, we can see the almost hidden hand of the law and the very open hand of white supremacy leading us to exalt the humanity of whites to seriously discount the humanity of blacks in much the same manners as was done during slavery.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 355

104) For the founding Fathers, including Jefferson, the American republic was created with blacks as either de jure or de facto outsiders. To be black was a sign of American inauthenticity.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 17

105) I argue that when perceived from this perspective, the relationship between Jefferson and Hemings was neither unusual nor exceptional in terms of master-slave sexuality in the New World or, for that matter, in world history. In brief, we have to abandon the idea of an American exceptionalism when dealing with Jefferson and Hemings.
Clarence Walker, Mongrel 6

106) Her age, fatherless state, time in France, knowledge of her family's relations with Jefferson, and the way he treated her specifically contributed to the way she viewed him and evidently gave her ideas about how she thought she might be able to handle him. French law, a check on his Virginia-based power over her, also helped her shape her view of Jefferson in this setting.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 303

107) The opposition of some whites to the revelation that Thomas Jefferson fathered black children constitutes a form of resentiment directed at blacks for staking a claim on what was previously though of as a white icon. This hostility raises questions about the United States' being color blind and challenges the comfortable notion that race is no longer an important marker of status in American society. Within the South and the United States at large, race may not have the importance that it had in Jefferson's day or before the civil rights movement, but it is still salient.
Clarence Walker, Mongrel 99

108) While he was no doubt a respected and loved older brother, who provided emotional support and guidance, he was probably not equipped to be cast in the role of father figure. Without question Jefferson was the male authority figure at the Hotel de Langeac, and he occupied that role without the buffer of any other adult Hemings could have looked to.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 294

109) Nor has this relationship produced in black America the same response that Hernan Cortes's affair with the enslaved Indian princess Malinche created in Mexican and Chicano history. No one in black American history has given Hemings a nickname like the one given to Malinche: "La Chingada" (literally, "The Screwed One"). The dual senses of victimhood and racial or national betrayal embodied in this characterization of Malinche are not part of the black American understanding of Sally Hemings's relationship with Thomas Jefferson. In retrospect, their affair has been viewed by black Americans since the nineteenth century as complicating an American past often rendered in simplistic terms, one in which the relationship of black people to the founders and creation of the republic has been largely ignored.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 8-9

110) No young girl was better prepared by complex nature of her family configuration and her life to date to take seriously the professed intentions of a man whom, by any system of logic, she should have seen as an enemy, but who undoubtedly believed himself to be -- and presented himself to her and her family as if he were -- the very opposite of that.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 307

111) The continuing contretemps surrounding Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings reveals something about how some white Americans, both Southern and Northern, want to think about the past. What they seem to want is a "color-blind" past in which both slavery and amalgamation/miscegenation are somehow erased but, as Arthur Schlesinger says "a nation denied a conception of its past will be disabled in dealing with its present and its future." This is why the Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings affair needs to be affirmed rather than denied.
Clarence Walker, Mongrel 99

112) If what had happened between them in France had been along the lines of more typical master-female slave sex, Heming's expressed desire to stay in the country, especially after she became aware that she was pregnant, would have been exactly what Jefferson needed. He could have left her in Paris with her quite capable older brother, helped the pair financially, and found James Hemings employment, thus ridding himself of a potentially embarrassing problem in a way that actually bolstered, instead of hurt, his image. . . . Instead of doing that, Jefferson insisted on setting up an arrangement with a young woman that he knew could easily result in a houseful of children whose existence would be easily tied to him.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 372-73

113) Given the equation of Jefferson with America and his affair with Hemings, I think their union has a symbolic significance that extends beyond most acts of amalgamation and miscegenation. Jefferson's central place in American national identity has created a problem for people who want to think of him as the father of a white nation and who feel that they alone have "the cultural authority to shape the public memory of the American past."
Clarence Walker, Mongrel 96

114) And before he left for France, Hemings knew Jefferson as the loving and attentive father of the little girls with whom she spent her time.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 292

115) The continuing dialectic between black and white pasts in the South explains, for example, the Monticello Association's opposition to the black Hemings's being buried in the Jefferson family graveyard. One member of the Association is alleged to have said that "he had no interest in associating with Hemings' descendants in this life -- or death."
Clarence Walker, Mongrel 98

116) However familiar they were with its contents, one thing that all of the enslaved people at Monticello would have known about the Farm Book, not just the Hemingses, is that it described some parts of their lives, but definitely not all, reproducing only a tiny fraction of a snapshot of life at Monticello that provides a very useful baseline for inquiry. What is in the book must be added to information from other sources, including the statements and actions of the Hemings family, Jefferson's family letters, even some writings from Hemingses that reveal the family's complicated relationship to the master of Monticello, and the wealth of information about the institution of slavery as it was lived during the Hemingses' time.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 16-17

117) To read post-DNA discussion about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings is to confront an obsession focused on the question, Who are we? Jefferson can remain an American hero only if he never slept with a black woman. Yet if Thomas Jefferson is removed from the pantheon of white American heroes, then what is America? Is this a white nation, or was it a mongrelized one at the moment of its creation? How will the United States represent itself in the family of nations in the future? Will George and Martha Washington continue to be the nation's founding parents, or will they be replaced by Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, or some other mixed-race couple, in the twenty-first century? What, in brief, is the public face of America to be?
Clarence Walker, Mongrel 96

118) How is it possible to get at the nature of a relationship between a man and a woman like Jefferson and Hemings when neither party specifically writes or speaks to others about that relationship or their feelings? Even written words can be quite deceptive and seldom tell the whole story, for people sometime choose, for whatever reason, to tell a story of their lives that is rosier, or grimmer, than it actually was.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 316

119) The 1998 DNA revelation was not a step backward in historical understanding or an example of totalitarian propaganda. Nor was it a "politically correct" version of the Nazis' "big lie." It was an effort to create a more inclusive understanding of the American past . . . where amalgamation/miscegenation was commonplace.
Clarence Walker, Mongrel 95

120) Even though she was not in control of her life, Hemings must be seen as a figure of historical importance for a multiplicity of reasons, not the least of which is that her name and her life entered the public record during the run-up to a presidential election. Much has been written about Jefferson's daughters and grandchildren, and they are treated as historically important simply because of their legal relationship to him, even though none of them ever figured in the politics and public life of his day. On the other hand, politically ambitious men with power used Hemings and her children as weapons against Jefferson while he was alive and in the decades immediately following his death. Her connection to him inspired the first novel published by an African American. It had resonance within black communities as ministers and black journalists in the early American Republic preached on and referred to Hemings's family situation, one that would have seemed quite familiar to their predominately mixed-race audiences, most of whom were free precisely because their fathers or immediate forefathers had been white men. Finally, Hemings's story affected members of Jefferson's white family, notably his grandchildren who, for the benefit of the historians who they knew would one day come calling, fashioned an image of life at Monticello designed in part to obscure her relevance. Even without direct agency in these matters, Sally Hemings has had an impact on the shaping of history.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 24-25

121) In the post-DNA era the Jefferson apologists have identified three fresh avatars of Satan to explain the new impetus of the Hemings-Jefferson story: political correctness, multiculturalism, and historical revisionism. Underlying their continuing hostility is a racist and reactionary angst that extends well beyond the reputation of Jefferson himself to include anxiety about how the history of the American republic as a whole is to be written and evaluated.
Clarence Walker, Mongrel 89-90

122) What we may call the bright-line "no-possible-consent rule" must also include all white men, not just the legal owners of women. . . . White supremacy, a force strong enough to have survived slavery, gave even white men who were the legal owners of enslaved women wildly disproportionate amounts of power over them -- far more than enough to force sex upon them without real consequence.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 315

123) The pre-DNA history written about Jefferson and Hemings, to which the apologists now look back nostalgically, was in face a history for white Americans only. It told whites who they were and who they were not by constructing a past unmarked by racial intermixture. To borrow a phrase from Mark Twain, this was "chloroform in print," an anesthetic designed to blot out the place of race, slavery, and sex in Jefferson's world and, more broadly, in the national myth.
Clarence Walker, Mongrel 92

124) We do not have, in the Hemingses, an enslaved family with loose ties, little knowledge of family history, and no family cohesion. That Virginia law did not protect their family does not end the inquiry, for legal regimes are not omnipotent. Powerful as they may be, they never have (and never will, because they cannot) control all human feelings and arrangements. While it is certainly important to be aware of what could have happened to this enslaved family because its members were not ultimately in control of their destiny, that knowledge should not overshadow what can be gleaned by considering what actually happened to them. Under the circumstances of their lives, the Hemingses were able to achieve and maintain a coherent family identity that existed within slavery and survived it.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 28

125) No look at Monticello and slavery would be complete without a portrait of Sally Hemings's brother James Hemings, who lived in France with Jefferson for five years along with his sister Sally. These two members of the Hemings family traveled the farthest distance from slavery at Monticello, experiencing life in what was, at the time, perhaps the most cultivated city on earth and even witnessing the start of the French Revolution. Their time in France forever altered the course of their lives. For Sally Hemings it marked the beginning of her time with Jefferson. For James Hemings it marked the beginning of the end. In his life we see the tragedy of talent thwarted by the limitations of slavery and white supremacy.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 26

126) The term politically correct is a cliche deployed to dismiss historical scholarship that deviates from a tradition of historical writing supporting "the idea of the nation as a continuous narrative of national progress" . . . In this rivalry for cultural capital--prestige and influence -- factions deploy an arsenal of rhetorical devices to discredit the opposition and enhance their own position in the public-intellectual field.
Dirk Moses quote from Walker, Mongrel 91

127) It was not just the males in the family who were prime movers, as much as enslaved people could be. Mary Hemings, the eldest of the first generation of Hemings siblings, exerted a remarkable influence upon the family. She was the first to maneuver her way out of slavery on the mountain. She was able to be a source of refuge, stability, and monetary support for her relatives who remained in bondage at Monticello--up to and beyond the time of the family's dispersal in 1827, when Jefferson's human property was sold after his death to pay his enormous debts.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 26-27

128) Post-DNA apologists have an unsophisticated idea of historical scholarship. History, they believe, is about great men, a pleasant and uncomplicated tale unmarked by either contingencies or disjunctures, a narrative both uplifting and teleological. . . . The post-DNA critics see those who now affirm a relationship between Jefferson and Hemings as advocates of "feel-good history" driven by "radical multiculturalism and postmodernism -- which have . . . undermined traditional standards of? objectivity in historical scholarship."
Clarence Walker, Mongrel 92

129) It is doubtful that other members of the community could have avoided seeing the Hemingses as different from themselves. It is also unlikely that members of the Hemings family could have avoided seeing themselves in something of a special light, even if the harsh reality of slavery might have served to check the tendency to see themselves as completely separate from other enslaved people. These and many other issues must be considered as we examine the Hemings family's progress through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 31

130) In summary, there exists no evidence, either modern or ancient, that Thomas Jefferson fathered even one child with Sally Hemings, much less five. In fact, if Jefferson were alive today and if he were charged with a crime for allegedly having sex with the young Hemings, it would be an open-and-shut case: he would be acquitted.
David Barton, "Lie" 30

131) Sally Hemings and her children have overshadowed the lives of other members of her family. How could they not, given their relationship to Thomas Jefferson, who himself looms like a colossus over the lives of all those who will be discussed in these pages. In recognition of the importance of the topic, chapters 14 through 17 veer slightly form the narrative to provide an in-depth analysis of the pair's beginnings in Paris. There is, however, far more to the Hemingses than "Sally and Tom," and although that pair must be a critical part of our consideration, this book is not designed to tell just their story. There are many others who complete the picture of the family's time in slavery and whose lives deserve to be woven into the tapestry of American history.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 26

132) Amazingly, Jefferson's lifelong policy of refusing to answer false claims has today been translated into culpatory evidence against him. In fact, one prominent national news outlet pointed out that since Jefferson "never directly denied" having an affair with Sally, it was proof that he had fathered her children! (Consider the unreasonableness of declaring that an individual is guilty of whatever he does not deny.)
David Barton, "Lie" 26

133) We know little about Sally Heming's attitudes about her life as a slave. What we have to go on, as we try to reconstruct her biography as completely as possible, is what others have said about what Hemings did and how she felt and what we can make of the various known details of her personal history, of which there is actually more to consider than has been generally allowed. To do this we will step away from strict narrative for the following four chapters to analyze closely the world of the enigmatic enslaved woman whose name has gone down in history with Thomas Jefferson's.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 289

134) Jefferson knew that he could never rebut the falsehoods as rapidly as they could be concocted. So long before Callender leveled his charges against him, Jefferson had made it his standing personal policy to ignore all ridiculous claims made against him by his enemies. He gave three reasons for this policy: First, any response he made might seem to dignify the charges. Second, he was convinced that his personal integrity would eventually prevail over the false accusations made against him. And third, Jefferson trusted the good judgment of the people. Jefferson acknowledged that he could have successfully taken libelers like Callender to court, but he refused to lower himself to that level, instead turning them over to the Judge of the universe to Whom they would eventually answer.
David Barton, "Lie" 25

135) Behind all of this stands Elizabeth Hemings, the person of origin for the family and their story. The unnamed African woman who was her mother, John Wayles (who fathered six of her children, including Sally Hemings), Martha Wayles Jefferson (Wayles's eldest daughter, Jefferson's wife, and Sally's half sister), Thomas Jefferson, and Sally Hemings--all of them lived for a time under her knowing gaze. If one person could be brought forward to help tell this story of slavery, intertwined families, pain, loss, silence, denial, and endurance, hers would be the most valuable voice.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 27

136) As far as Clinton defenders were concerned (especially his supporters in the media), the announcement of Jefferson's alleged moral failings was a gift from heaven. The entire nation was bombarded with the Jefferson paternity story for weeks; and the news of his moral failings was burned deeply into the consciousness of Americans. But many groups beyond Clinton supporters also welcomed the test results as useful to their particular agendas. For example, the Jefferson-Hemings affair became the perfect platform for the feminist movement to discuss the nature of sexual relations. Many in that movement had already asserted that any type of sexual relations between a male and a female constituted rape, but this development seemed especially to prove their point. It was questioned whether any sex could be consensual if it was between individuals from different stations in life.
David Barton, "Lie" 2-3

137) Part of a historian's job is to try to navigate the gap stretching between those who lived in the past and those who live today, especially pointing out the important differences. At the same time, it remains equally important to recognize and give due consideration to those points of commonality that the past the present share. While there's truth in the old saying that the past is a foreign country, anyone visiting a foreign land also encounters many familiar sights, rituals, and behaviors, because the basic realities of the human condition remain the same.
Annette Gordon-Reed, "Did Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson Love Each Other?"

138) The DNA testing did not show Jefferson to be guilty of any sexual liaison with Hemings. The so-called smoking gun turned out to be a waterlogged pea shooter.
David Barton, "Lie" 13

139) The lives of the various members of the Hemings family, which must include the white men who had children with Hemings women, provide important windows through which to view the development of slavery and the concept of race in the Virginia of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. While there was much about the Hemingses that made them unique--Jefferson and Monticello--like other enslaved people, they were subject to all the insecurities and deprivations associated with that condition. It seems especially appropriate to tell one part of the story of slavery through life at a place that holds such symbolic importance for many Americans--Monticello. For it is there that we can find the absolute best, and the absolute worst, that we have been as Americans. We should not get too far into the twenty-first century without looking back at the Hemingses and their time to remember and to learn.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 32

140) Another movement that benefited from the Jefferson-Hemings story included those who wished to keep open the racial wounds of previous generations. They pointed to Jefferson and his sexual exploitation of the slave Hemings as proof of how all African Americans were treated by all white Americans, not only in Jefferson's day, but also throughout much of the rest of American history. The Jefferson announcement rekindled demands for restitutionary policies that would provide preferential treatment and elevation of status and opportunity as repayment for past wrongs committed.
David Barton, "Lie" 3

141) Clearly, the legend of Sally Hemings has experienced major setbacks since the start of the new millennium. Professor Gordon-Reed's account has suffered from the disclosure that key historical evidence she relied upon was altered to materially change its meaning. The dilemma we encountered in trying to reconcile Professor Joseph Ellis' distinguished reputation as a scholar with his misstatement that the DNA tests had proven the case against President Jefferson "beyond a reasonable doubt" became a bit easier for some when, two months after our report was released, the Boston Globe disclosed that Professor Ellis had a long history of telling falsehoods to his students, colleagues, and others.
Robert Turner 401

142) Dr. Eugene Foster, who conducted the DNA testing, had been very clear about the limitations of his testing, but his findings were misrepresented by Joseph Ellis, historian and professor at Mt. Holyoke College. Ellis, who opposed what was happening to President Clinton at the time, has written the sensationalistic "announcement" for Nature, but his personal spin went well beyond Foster's scientific findings, making the story both inaccurate and unfactual. Perhaps this should not be surprising: four years later, in 2002, it was revealed that Ellis was also guilty of publicly lying to his classes on many occasions. (For example, he told students that he went to Vietnam as a platoon leader and paratrooper in the 101st Airborne and served on General Westmoreland's staff during the war; he did neither. He also said that he did active civil rights work in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement and was harassed by the state police for his efforts; again, neither was true. He claimed that he scored the winning touchdown in the last football game of his senior year in high school; it turns out he wasn't even on the team.) As one columnist properly queried, "How can you trust a historian who makes up history?
David Barton, "Lie" 12

143) Sadly, when someone dismisses Madison Hemmings' claims because of their many provable and obvious inaccuracies, writers such as Gordon-Reed cry "Racism!" and lament that black witnesses from history are automatically given less credence. Other writers such as Jan Lewis and Peter Onuf believe that those who do not accept the testimony of Madison Hemings carte blanche are simply racists. Such irrational refusals to consider the substantial evidence that contradicts Madison Hemings' claims indicated that personal predilections and political agendas have been placed above an honest search for the truth. Genuine scholars require verifiable documentation- something completely lacking in the case of Thomas Woodson's and Madison Hemings' oral testimonies. In fact, their oral testimonies are factually disprovable, which eliminates the second category of are factually disprovable, which eliminates the second category of "evidence" used to "prove" Jefferson's paternity through Hemings.
David Barton, "Lie" 15

144) As the meeting progressed, the emotions increased. Several numbers of the Woodson family announced that their strong "oral history" was more persuasive than the DNA tests, and a common theme was that anyone who opposed their admission was a racist. This, in turn, understandably offended some of the descendants of Martha and Maria Jefferson (who, I sensed, felt they had been very civil to the Hemingses for the previous two years), and the debate became even more rancorous. When one MA member made reference to the Scholars Commission report, an angry Woodson family member shouted that it was "funded by the KKK." Someone else said that it had been "refuted by a recent issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly . . . but there was little substantive debate on the merits and I heard no specific attempt to challenge a single one of our factual conclusions. However, several Hemings family members and supporters made it clear that if the family voted against admission they would immediately rush to tell the assembled media that the vote was motivated by racial bigotry -- an approach that did little to calm the growing anger of both sides of the debate.
Robert Turner 360

145) That the names of the children of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson appear in a book detailing the lives of slaves conveniently and poignantly encapsulates the tortured history of slavery and race in America. But Monticello was a world unto itself for four generations of Hemingses whose lives cannot be reduced to the saga of one nuclear family within its bloodline, important as that subset was. We must, and will, pay attention to them, but they were only part of a much larger family story. Opening the world of the other members of this family--to see how those particular African Americans made their way through slavery in America--is the purpose of this book. Theirs was a world that is (mercifully) gone, but must never be forgotten.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 17

146) Finally, this project is about who owns history. Is our understanding of the American past to be forever shaped by white male historians, as it has been for most of American history, or will the voices of other men and women be integrated into the canon of American history rather than dismissed as political correctness or special pleading? Personally, I do not think that the complicated racial and sexual past of America can be denied any longer. This book is an effort to correct that understanding.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 9

147) While noting that some progress was evident from the positive reviews of her book even before the DNA tests were announced, she laments: "very few reviewers grappled with the role that the doctrine of white supremacy played in all of this." I can assure readers that the fear that anyone who disagreed with Professor Gordon-Reed might be attacked as a "racist" or "white supremacist" deterred several able Jefferson scholars who were approached about joining the Scholars Commission in 2000.
Robert Turner 371

148) As to Sally Hemings, there is no one response to rape. It takes a huge liberty with her life, however, to assume that she was raped, and that she knew she could escape from her rapist forever, and for a time actually asserted her right to be free of him, but nevertheless decided to return with him to Virginia to live out the rest of her life having more forced sex. That construction too easily uses the fact that she was born a slave (and a black person) to presume an irreparably damaged, completely cowed, and irrational personality over one who had the capacity to know her circumstances and to intelligently use her knowledge to assess the risks and possible rewards of taking a particular action--in other words, to think. Her son, who was clearly proud of her, depicted her as a person who thought rationally about her situation and came to a conclusion. In the absence of any specific information about her to rebut his portrayal, all that is left is stereotype.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 361-62

149) I could not escape the suspicion that either Professor Ellis was not the outstanding historian that his record suggested or he was not the honorable individual his letter to me strongly suggested. I was unwilling to believe that he would intentionally misrepresent the truth, and yet I could not reconcile his obviously false and exaggerated scholarship with my perception of his skills as a professional historian.
Robert Turner 373

150) Gordon-Reed vilifies virtually every historian who had chronicled Jefferson and Sally before her book: these included prominent Jefferson scholars such as Merrill Peterson, Douglass Adair, Dumas Malone, John Chester Miller, and Virginius Dabney. Her initial treatment of historian Andrew Burstein is illustrative of her technique. In his 1995 book The Inner Jefferson: Portrait of a Grieving Optimist, Burstein briefly addressed Madison Hemings's 1873 newspaper interview, noting that it was "possible that his claim was contrived, by his mother or himself, to provide an otherwise undistinguished biracial carpenter a measure of social respect." Burstein added, "Would not his life have been made more charmed by being known as the son of Thomas Jefferson than the more obscure Peter or Samuel Carr?" Gordon-Reed answers this rhetorical question with an emphatic "no," in the process ridiculing Burstein's choice of words, particularly his reference to a "charmed" life. Here criticism completely misses Burstein's point: family genealogists are looking for ancestors of great distinction. If I were the Hemingses, I would much rather be descended from Thomas Jefferson than his obscure nephews, or brother.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 135

151) Two months after the Scholars Commission report was made public, a highly respected journalist dropped a bombshell, disclosing on page one of the Boston Globe that Professor Ellis had a long history of telling untrue stories to students, colleagues, and the media about such things as having served in the Vietnam War, having been a civil rights and anti-war activist, and having scored the winning touchdown in his high school homecoming football game. Careful research had revealed that Ellis was at Yale earning two master's degrees and a PH.D. in history during the years he claimed to have been in Vietnam as an infantry platoon leader with the elite 101st Airborne Division and later on the personal staff of General William Westmoreland. His high school yearbook revealed that he played no sports (but may have been on the football field at halftime as a member of the band), and his Yale friends and advisers had no recollections of any summer spent with the civil rights movement in Mississippi or anti-war activism on campus.
Robert Turner 374

152) In the Jeffersonian world there was no place for Jefferson to "come out."
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 24

153) The Boston Globe revelations made it easy for some who were struggling to decide whether Professor Ellis was a poor historian or was simply willing to misrepresent the truth when it served his interests. It was already known that he had been actively involved in the campaign to prevent the impeachment of President Clinton at the time he wrote that the DNA tests had proven Thomas Jefferson was also guilty of sexual misconduct while in office. Indeed, Ellis made frequent reference to the similarities between Jefferson and Clinton in several of his articles and public statements at the time.
Robert Turner 374

154) The most that can be said is that Hemings and Jefferson lived together over many years and had seven children, four of whom lived to adulthood. Jefferson kept his promises to Hemings, and their offspring got a four-decade head start on emancipation, making the most of it by leading prosperous and stable lives. That, I think, is about as much as one can expect from love in the context of life during American slavery.
Annette Gordon-Reed, "Did Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson Love Each Other?"

155) Ms. Leary asserts that "the conception of each Hemings child coincided precisely and exclusively with Jefferson's visits to Monticello. Again, one wonders what she is trying to say. Is she telling us that Jefferson arrived "precisely" on the day Sally conceived each of her children and left the following morning, that Sally always became pregnant when Jefferson visited Monticello, and that Jefferson was the "exclusive" potential father present on that day? Whatever she is trying to say, we have no evidence that any of these possible interpretations is true.
Robert Turner 378

156) Gordon-Reed's newest book, The Hemingses of Monticello, is an acidic, eight hundred-page regurgitation of her flawed 1997 book with the Jefferson-Hemings sexual allegation at the center of her social commentary on slavery.
William G. Hyland, Jr., In Defense of Thomas Jefferson 137

157) [Leary] notes census taker William Weaver's 1870 marginal notation next to Madison Hemings' name that "This man is the son of Thomas Jefferson!" and declares that this is "primary information from an original source." One wonders what on Earth she is talking about. Presumably, while Weaver was speaking with Madison Hemings to obtain his name, age, and other information necessary for the census, Madison declared that he was Thomas Jefferson's child. Recording this hearsay adds little to the Pike County Republican story published three years later that made the same claim. The sole basis for both claims is Madison Hemings, who could not have known with certainty the facts involved because they occurred before his birth.
Robert Turner 381

158) All of the preceding is intended to indicate that I think of the history of the American republic as a racial history. The genocidal dispossession of the Native American, the enslavement and "Jim Crowing" of blacks, the invasion of Mexico and the colonization of Mexicans, the exclusion of Asians, and the racialization of various white ethnic groups suggest that historically the United States has been a society obsessed with race and racism.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 19

159) While it is true that Eston's father was almost certainly a Jefferson, he did not have to be "in residence" on a full-time basis as Ms. Leary contends, but merely present at Monticello on the mornings (and, presumably, through part of the previous night) that Bacon observed him. Jefferson did not keep a record a routine visits by brother Randolph or his family members (unless their visits pertained to some business matter that on that basis warranted an entry in his records), and if Randolph and his sons only made the twenty-mile trip twice a year and stayed only a week or two each visit it is perfectly possible that Bacon could have observed one of them leaving Sally's room a half dozen times over a period of two or three years and thus made the statement to Pierson. Leary's attempt to persuade her readers that Sally's lover for some unexplained reason had to be a full-time resident at Monticello (versus an overnight visitor who came to Monticello from time to time over a period of time), and thus Bacon had to be talking about Thomas Jefferson, is obviously absurd.
Robert Turner 384

160) In a world where there was no such thing as consensual sex, the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings can be located on a continuum of sexual practices.
Clarence E. Walker, Mongrel Nation 13

161) We really do not know if Bacon was visiting or doing odd jobs at Monticello around the time Harriet II was conceived -- but even if we assume his observations were made several years later, when we know with certainty that Bacon was the Monticello overseer, his statement is inherently among the least obviously biased and is the only clearly eye-witness account pertaining to the question of Sally's monogamy. And it really does not matter whether Bacon's observations took place about the time Harriet II was conceived or closer to Eston's conception. For if the story is true, the account strongly suggests that Sally either was not sexually involved with Thomas Jefferson or else was not monogamous in such a relationship. If she was monogamous with a man other than Thomas Jefferson, then it follows the President was not the father of any of her children. If she was not monogamous, the foundation for much of the case against Jefferson --which is expressly premised upon a presumption of monogamy -- crumbles.
Robert Turner 389-90

162) But one can safely say that Hemings, who lived her life as a person, not a statistic, the difference between being forced, physically or psychologically, by a man and being charmed by him would have made all the difference in the world to her inner life, a thing that was and is, indeed, always a great moment.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Hemingses of Monticello 319-20

163) If Finkelman was the chief prosecutor, the star witness for the prosecution was Robert Cooley, a middle-aged black man who claimed to be direct descendant of Jefferson and Sally Hemings [through their alleged first son, Thomas Woodson]. Cooley stood up in the audience during a question-and-answer session to offer himself as "living proof" that the story of Jefferson's liaison with Sally Hemings was true. No matter what the scholarly experts had concluded, there were several generations of African-Americans living in Ohio and Illinois who knew they had Jefferson's blood in their veins. . . . His version of history might not have had the hard evidence on its side, but it clearly had the political leverage. When he sat down, the applause from the audience rang throughout the auditorium. The Washington Post reporter covering the conference caught the mood: "Jefferson's defenders are on the defensive. What tough time these are for icons."
Robert Turner 397

164) However, only eight weeks after the initial blockbuster DNA story was issued, it was retracted quietly and without fanfare, with the scientific researcher who had conducted the DNA test announcing that it actually had not proven that Jefferson fathered any children with Hemings. But this news exonerating Jefferson did not make the same splash in the national headlines, for it aided no agenda being advanced at that time. Since doing justice to Jefferson's reputation was not deemed to be a worthy national consideration in and of itself, the retraction story was simply buried or ignored.
David Barton, "Lie" 3

165) There are numerous inaccuracies in the Gordon-Reed volume, and there were at least six other Jefferson males who were likely at Monticello when Eston was conceived. For various reasons, all but one of them may have been a more likely candidate for Eston's paternity than the elderly President. The most likely candidate is probably Thomas Jefferson's younger brother Randolph, who is documented by a slave memoir to have spent his nights at Monticello socializing and dancing with his brother's slaves, is reported to have fathered children by other slaves, and is the only "suspect" who is consistent with the oral traditions passed down by Eston's descendants prior to the mid-1970s. For generations the story was told that Eston was not the President's child, but rather the child of a Jefferson "uncle" -- and the President's brother was widely known at Monticello as "Uncle Randolph" because of his relationship to Jefferson's daughters.
Robert Turner 401