The Dialogue Between John Works and Annette Gordon-Reed and the Dean of New York Law School

When the transcription errors, discovered and documented in The Jefferson Hemings Myth: An American Travesty, were included in The Jefferson – Hemings Controversy: Report of the Scholars Commission, John Works notified the Dean of New York Law School in a letter of July 4, 2001, that the Ellen Coolidge letter had been "doctored." Annette Gordon-Reed was at that time an adjunct professor at the school.

The first response to Works was from Gordon-Reed by a letter of July 16, 2001. She defended the transcription error as a "mistake."

The next response was a letter of July 18, 2001 to Works from Richard Matasar, Dean and President of New York Law, affirming that Gordon-Reed "strongly denies" Works' "accusations."

Works responded to Gordon-Reed by a letter of August 5, 2001, questioning how a "scholar possessing your impressive credentials," could make a mistake that "involved a complete rewrite of the critical sentence in a document to produce a complete sentence with the opposite meaning of the original?"

In a follow-up letter of August 14, 2001, Matasar admits to having "made similar mistakes."

Works then sent a letter of September 10, 2001 to Matasar asking for examples of his mistakes "in which more than a dozen words in a key sentence were altered." There were no further communications from Matasar or Gordon-Reed.