By Andrew Ferguson
The Monticello Association voted conclusively that Hemings descendants were ineligible for membership, absent more evidence of Jefferson's paternity.
Issue of Jefferson's Issue
United Press International
The Monticello Association's 67-5 decision not to admit the Hemings was not based on race, as some have asserted. It would have been shockingly out of character for Jefferson to have sexually exploited a 13- or 14-year-old child whom he owned and to conduct such a relationship under the eyes of his daughters and his 11 grandchildren. In his Notes on the State of Virginia , he singled out for particular criticism the sexual exploitation of slave women, which he described as "unremitting despotism" by the master and "degrading submissions" by the victim. He condemned in particular the effect of such behavior on the master's children.
Many people believe that rewriting history might give African-Americans a better connection to our past, allowing them to feel better about the future. Many of the members of The Monticello Association who voted against changing the membership rules work daily to improve race relations in their local communities.
If science or history eventually provides conclusive evidence, The Monticello Association has stated it will accept Sally Hemings' descendants with open arms. Up to now, the case cannot be proven according to the existing standards of The Monticello Association. Until the case can be made under the current criteria, The Monticello Association should not sacrifice Jefferson on the altar of political correctness, ignoring science and the historical record in the face of modern political pressure. Defenders of Thomas Jefferson should take some pride in the fact that the family had the courage to accept the consequences of their decision. Thomas Jefferson would be proud, too.
An American Myth?
The Washington Post
The leading scholars supporting the Hemings position have rejected invitations to engage with members of The Scholars Commission. The Scholars Commission and more than 94% of Thomas Jefferson's descendants believe that the allegation that Thomas Jefferson fathered children by Sally Hemings is a myth.
The Scholars Commission Report said there were far more likely suspects for the paternity of any of Sally Hemings' children, including Jefferson's younger and mentally challenged brother Randolph, or any of his 5 sons, who often visited Monticello when Jefferson was in residence.
By John H. Works, Jr.
Discussion of the Hemings family's lack of documentary evidence of paternity from Thomas Jefferson.
Correspondence between John Works and Lucian Truscott concerning errors of judgment and behavior, and request for reconciliation and healing.
No Family Ties
By John H. Works, Jr.
San Jose Mercury News
Thomas Jefferson did not seduce the 14-year old intellectually challenged daughter of a slave laborer starting when he was 43.
Jefferson Comments Showed Ignorance
By Jacques Walker
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Monticello Association includes African Americans, Jewish Americans, Italian-Americans, and Native Americans (90% of our membership claim direct descent from Pocahontas).
Decision Wasn't About Bigotry
By Catherine Coolidge Lastavica
The Boston Globe
For Monticello Association members, race was not an issue when it voted overwhelmingly to limit membership to descendants of Jefferson's two acknowledged daughters.
By Sam Francis
A tip of the hat to The Monticello Association, who voted to do the right thing by telling the purported descendants of Jefferson's slave Sally Hemings to take a walk-into some other family.
Today Show Transcript
The Today Show
Transcript of The Today Show of interview with John H. Works, Jr. and Shay-Banks Young.
Articles include proposed MA resolutions on the Hemings issue, the MAC report supporting the SC's conclusions, discovery of the new Monticello slave graveyard, the proposed umbrella graveyard is too small, and Sally Hemings was not the daughter of John Wayles.
Despite what has been widely reported in the press, the recent DNA evidence does not specifically link Thomas Jefferson as the father of any of Sally Hemings' children.