Commentary

Dissing Thomas: An Apologia

David Dietrich examines in Dissing Thomas: an Apologia the basis behind Thomas Sowell's comment that:  Those who criticize the writers of the Constitution of the United States for 'condoning slavery' by their silence on the subject have a valid point only if its abolition was in fact an option open to them at the time, in a new country struggling for survival.

Was Jefferson a Racist?

Slavery was pervasive throughout the colonies and firmly entrenched in the Virginia plantation system for more than 100 years. Although Thomas Jefferson wrote eloquently that the system must be abolished, it was not possible for him in his lifetime to bring about a general manumission, or to free his slaves. Because of his empirical observations on the nature of slaves, he has been charged by historians using present-day standards that he was a racist. In this essay, Was Jefferson a Racist?, M. Andrew Holowchak takes an impartial look at the charge.

For Want of an "A", Confusion Reigns: The Day NATURE Goofed

The journal NATURE overstepped the evidence in its November 1998 issue when it headlined an article, "Jefferson Fathered Slave's Last Child." Edwin M. Knights, Jr. comments in his study of the DNA testing on the Jefferson and Hemings descendents, that "(U)nfortunately, the editor who wrote the heading either did not read the entire article or did not understand it.." With permission of Dr. Knights, we provide here his small book, For Want of an "A", which examines the DNA evidence and the extent to which it contributes to the ongoing paternity debate ignited by NATURE.

The Historical Pillorying of Thomas Jefferson

M. Andrew Holowchak, author of "Freud, From Individual Psychology to Group Psychology," has brought his psychological and analytical expertise to the paternity dispute. Prior to the DNA tests, historians generally concluded that the historical evidence was not sufficient to establish that Jefferson fathered children with Sally Hemings. After the DNA tests, historians generally recognized that Eston Hemings could have been fathered by any number of men with the Jefferson halotype. However, there was a sudden and general acceptance by many historians that these two insufficient factors in combination established paternity. Hollowchak examines this unique subversion of historical analysis in The Historical Pillorying of Thomas Jefferson.

A Trial Analysis on the Evidence of Paternity

Richard E. Dixon examines from a legal perspective the results of the DNA tests and any relevant historical evidence to establish whether Thomas Jefferson was the father of one or more of the children of Sally Hemings.