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Sally Hemings (või Hemmings) võis algselt olla Sarah. Arvatakse, et ta oli orja ja Thomas Jeffersoni äia John Waylesi tütar. Hemings päriti Jeffersonilt ja tema abikaasalt 1774. aastal ning ta oli ilmselt Jeffersoni laste õde ja kaaslane. 1787. aastal saatis 14-aastane Hemings Jeffersoni tütre Mary Prantsusmaale, et liituda oma isaga diplomaatilisel missioonil. Mõned on spekuleerinud, et sel ajal sai alguse suhe Hemingsi ja Jeffersoni vahel. Kaks säilinud kirjeldust Sally Hemingsist nõustuvad tema jume ja komöödiaga: Jeffersoni lapselaps Thomas J. Randolph kirjeldas teda kui "heledat värvi ja kindlalt nägusat". alaline ori mäletas teda kui "vägevat valge lähedal. väga nägusad, pikad sirged juuksed mööda selga." Hemings teenis jätkuvalt Jeffersoni perekonda ega vabanenud kunagi seaduslikult. Hemings sünnitas vähemalt neli last; süüdistused Jeffersoni kaasosaluses esitas esmalt kibestunud endine töötaja. Artikkel Loodus (5. november 1998) teatas, et Jeffersoni järeltulijatelt võetud DNA -proove võrreldi Hemingsi järeltulijatega ja jõuti järeldusele, et Jefferson võis sündida ühele Sally Hemingsi poegadest. Hilisemad uuringud seavad kahtluse alla varasemad leiud ja märgib, et Jeffersoni teised sugulased elasid Monticello majapidamise vahetus läheduses ja üks võis olla kõnealuse lapse või laste isa. Kaks Hemingsi last, Madison ja Eston, andsid oma veendumusele teada, et nende isa on Jefferson ja ühe Thomas C järeltulijad Kuid erinevalt Madisonist ja Estonist ei esine Woodson Jeffersoni plaatides.
Vaadake olulisi ja kuulsaid naisi Ameerikas.
Sally Hemings oli Elizabeth Hemings'i ja väidetavalt John Waylesi, Thomas Jeffersoni äia ja#8211 tütar Elizabeth Hemings ja tema lapsed tema eluajal John Waylesi ja#8217 istanduses. 18. sajandi Virginias pärisid orjaemadele sündinud lapsed oma juriidilise staatuse, seetõttu olid Elizabeth ja Sally Hemings ning kõik nende lapsed seaduslikult orjad isegi siis, kui isad olid nende valged isandad.
Kui Sally Hemings ’ isa oleks John Wayles, oleks ta olnud Thomas Jeffersoni abikaasa Martha Wayles Jeffersoni poolõde. Pärast Waylesi surma 1773. aastal päris Martha Hemingsite perekonna, kui Martha 1782. aastal suri, jättis ta Hemingsite pere Thomas Jeffersonile.
Sally tuli koos emaga Monticellosse 1776. aastaks. Kuue -kaheksa -aastased orjatüdrukud olid lapsehoidjad ja abid õdede õdedele lõunapoolsetel istandustel. Alates aastast 1784 oli Sally ilmselt Mary Jeffersoni, Jeffersoni ja#8217 noorima tütre teenija ja kaaslane.
Sally Hemings ja Mary Jefferson elasid 1787. aastal Eppingtonis, Mary tädi ja onu elukohas, kui Jefferson palus, et tema tütar Mary liituks temaga Pariisis. Neljateistkümneaastane Sally ja kaheksa-aastane Mary ületasid sel suvel Atlandi ookeani ja suundusid Londonisse. Neid võtsid Londonis vastu John ja Abigail Adams, kes kirjutasid, et Sallyle tundub laps meeldivat ja ta on heasüdamlik. Jeffersoni prantsuse ülemteener Adrien Petit saatis kaks tüdrukut Londonist Pariisi.
Pole teada, kas Sally Hemings elas Jeffersoni elukohas, hotellis de Langeac või Abbaye de Panthemontis, kus Jeffersoni tütred Martha ja Mary olid internaadis. Olenemata nädalapäevade korraldustest, veetis Sally nädalavahetusi Jeffersoniga oma villas. Pariisis viibides sai Sally kahtlemata talle sobiva väljaõppe Jeffersoni tütarde teenijana. Prantsuse seaduste kohaselt oli Sally vaba.
Sally jäi Prantsusmaale 26 kuuks. Jefferson maksis talle Pariisis viibimise ajal palka, mis võrdub 2 dollariga kuus. Tema poja Madison ’s 1873 mälestuste kohaselt jäi Sally Jeffersonist rasedaks ja keeldus USA -sse naasmast, kui ta pole nõus oma lapsi vabastama ja et Jefferson nõustub selle tingimusega.
Väidetakse ja pole teada ainult kaudselt, et Thomas Jefferson ja Sally Hemings alustasid intiimsuhteid Pariisis. Pärast pere naasmist Virginiasse 1789. aastal näib Sally olevat jäänud Monticellosse, kus ta täitis majapidamisteenistuse ja neiu teenija ülesandeid.
Sally Hemingsist on teada ainult kaks kirjeldust. Ori Isaac Jefferson mäletas, et ta oli “vägev valge lähedal. . . väga nägusad, pikad sirged juuksed mööda selga. ” Jeffersoni biograaf Henry S. Randall tuletas meelde Jeffersoni pojapoega Thomas Jefferson Randolphit, kes kirjeldas teda heledavärvilisena ja kindlasti nägusana.
Sally Hemingsil oli kuus last, kellele praegu arvatakse olevat sündinud Thomas Jefferson, ja nende sünnikuupäevad on kirjas Jeffersoni taluraamatus või tema kirjutatud kirjades. Ta ei salvestanud Sally laste jaoks isa nime.
Neli last elasid täisealiseks:
Puusepp ja viiuldaja Beverly (sündinud 1798) lubati 1821. aastal istandusest lahkuda ning tema venna sõnul läks ta Washingtoni valgete ühiskonda.
Harriet (sündinud 1801), Jefferson ’s tekstiilipoe ketraja, lahkus samuti 1821. aastal Monticellost tõenäoliselt koos oma venna Beverlyga ja läks valgeks.
Puusepp ja tisler Madison Hemings (sündinud 1805) sai vabaduse Jeffersonis ja ta asus 1836. aastal ümber Ohio lõunaossa, kus ta töötas oma ametis ja pidas talu.
Puusepp Eston Hemings (sündinud 1808), kellele anti vabadus ka Jeffersoni testamendis, kolis 1830ndatel Ohio osariiki Chillicothe'i. Ta oli tuntud professionaalne muusik, enne kui kolis 1852. aastal Wisconsini, kus muutis oma nime koos rassilise identiteediga Eston Jeffersoniks. Nii Madison kui ka Eston Hemings andsid teada oma veendumusest, et nad on Jeffersoni pojad.
Jeffersoni ja#8217 Virginia istandus
Thomas Jefferson viibis Monticellos Sally Hemingsi ja kuue tuntud lapse tõenäolisel eostamise ajal. Puuduvad andmed, mis viitaksid sellele, et ta oli sel ajal mujal, või andmed sünnide kohta, mis välistaksid Jeffersoni isaduse. Monticelloga tuttavate inimeste kaasaegsetes raamatupidamisandmetes pole märke selle kohta, et Sally Hemingsil ja#8217 lastel oleks erinevad isad. Paljud kaasaegsed ütlesid, et Sally Hemings ja#8217 lapsed sarnanesid tugevalt Thomas Jeffersoniga.
Sally Hemings ja#8217 lapsed olid heleda nahaga ning kolm neist (tütar Harriet ja pojad Beverly ja Eston) elasid täiskasvanuna valge ühiskonna liikmetena, varjates oma päritolu. Vabad isikud, kes olid seitsme-kaheksandikvalged, nagu Sally ja Jeffersoni lapsed, olid Virginia seaduste kohaselt juriidiliselt valged.
Sally ei abiellunud kunagi. Orjana ei saanud ta Virginia seaduste alusel abielu tunnustada, kuid paljud orjad võtsid tavaabielus partnereid. Kuigi Sally töötas Monticellos, olid tal lapsed lähedal. Tema poja Madisoni sõnul lubati neil viibida ‘ suurepärases majas ’ ja nad pidid tegema ainult selliseid kergeid töid nagu asjaajamine. ” 14 -aastaselt alustasid lapsed trenni, vennad tisleritena ja Harriet ketrus- ja kudujana. Beverly, Madison ja Eston õppisid kõik viiulit mängima (Jefferson mängis viiulit).
Sally ’s nimi sai avalikult Jeffersoni ja#8217 -dega seotuks 1802. aastal, Jeffersoni esimese presidendiaja jooksul, kui Richmondi ajaleht avaldas väite, et ta on Jeffersoni armuke ja kandis talle mitmeid lapsi. Kuigi kuulujutte oli olnud enne 1802. aastat, levis see artikkel lugu laialdaselt ja avaldati Jeffersoni ülejäänud presidendiaja jooksul paljudes ajalehtedes.
Jeffersoni poliitika ei olnud pakkuda avalikku vastust isiklikele rünnakutele ja ilmselt ei avaldanud ta sellele küsimusele selget avalikku ega privaatset kommentaari. Tema tütar Martha Jefferson Randolph eitas avaldatud teateid eraviisiliselt ja tema lapsed väitsid aastaid hiljem, et selline side ei ole võimalik nii moraalsetel kui ka praktilistel põhjustel. Samuti väitsid nad, et Jeffersoni vennalapsed Peter ja Samuel Carr olid heleda nahaga Monticello orjade isad.
Kui hindajad saabusid Monticellosse pärast Jeffersoni surma 1826. aastal, et hinnata tema pärandvara, kirjeldasid nad 56-aastast Sally Hemingsit kui 50-dollarilist vanaprouat. 8220 omal ajal ja mitteametliku vabaduse vorm, mis võimaldaks tal Virginiasse jääda (tollased seadused nõudsid vabastatud orjade lahkumist osariigist aasta jooksul). Sally elas oma viimased üheksa aastat koos poegade Madisoni ja Estoniga Charlottesville'is, Virginias.
Sally Hemings suri 1835. aastal Charlottesville'is. Tema haua asukoht on teadmata.
Seda, et Jefferson-Hemingsi suhet ei saa ümber lükata ega põhjendada, vaidlustasid 1998. aastal DNA-testid, mis näitasid, et isasel Jefferson Y-kromosoomi kandval isal sündis Eston Hemings (sündinud 1808), viimane teadaolev laps, kes sündis Sally Hemingsile. Virginias elas sel ajal umbes 25 täiskasvanud isast Jeffersoni, kes kandsid seda kromosoomi, ja mõned neist on teadaolevalt külastanud Monticellot. Uuringu autorid aga ütlesid, et lihtsaim ja kõige tõenäolisem järeldus oli, et Thomas Jeffersonile sündis Eston Hemings.
Varsti pärast DNA -testi tulemuste avaldamist 1998. aasta novembris moodustas Thomas Jeffersoni fond uurimiskomisjoni, mis koosnes üheksast sihtasutuse personalist. Jaanuaris 2000 teatas komitee oma järeldustest, et kõigi DNA -uuringust teadaolevate tõendite kaal, originaaldokumendid, kirjalikud ja suulised ajaloolised aruanded ning statistilised andmed näitavad suurt tõenäosust, et isa oli tõenäoliselt Jefferson kõigist kuuest Sally Hemings ’ lapsest, kes on loetletud Monticello rekordites.
. kes abiellub Thomas Jeffersoniga ja.
. kelle segarassi orjastatud ema vägistas John Wayles
Selguse huvides (sest asjad lähevad veidi segaseks) on John Wayles mõlema isa.
Martha Wayles Jefferson ja Sally Hemings on poolõed.
Sally on 3/4 valge ja 1/4 must.
Kui John Wayles suri, päris Martha Sally Hemings.
Kui Martha abiellus Thomas Jeffersoniga,
tema vara sai tema omandiks,
nii sai temast Sally Hemingsi ori.
Jällegi on Martal ja Sallyl sama isa
-nad on poolõed-
kuid nüüd on üks neist abielus asutajaisaga ja teine on tema orjus.
Marthal ja Thomas Jeffersonil on enne Martha surma mitu last.
Pärast Marta surma,
Thomas viib oma vanima tütre Prantsusmaale kaasa, kui ta seal töötab
äsja moodustatud Ameerika valitsus.
Aastal 1787 saatis ta oma 9-aastase tütre Polly järele
tulla Prantsusmaale 14-aastase Sally hoole alla.
Sally Hemings teenib Jeffersoni perekonda
Prantsusmaal kaks aastat.
Nende kahe aasta jooksul mingil hetkel
Thomas Jefferson hakkab Sally Hemingsit vägistama.
Ta jääb rasedaks 16 -aastaselt.
Prantsuse seaduste kohaselt oleks Sally saanud avalduse esitada
oma vabaduse eest ja jäi Prantsusmaale.
Selle asemel naasis ta Ameerikasse
oma vägistaja omandina,
lubadusega, et vabastab nende lapse
kui laps sai 21.
Sallyl oleks kuus last
(kes olid ainult 1/8 mustad)
autor Thomas Jefferson.
Kuigi kõik need lapsed vabastati 21 -aastaselt,
Sally ei saanud kunagi oma vabadust.
Tema lapsed otsustasid enamasti oma elu elada
valgete inimestena pärast vabaduse saamist.
Kui soovite rohkem teada saada
Sally Hemingsist ja tema perekonnast,
Hemingses of Monticello: Ameerika perekond
autor: Annette Gordon-Reed.
Gordon-Reedi töö selle teksti kallal
esitas DNA tõendeid
tõestades nendevahelist "suhet"
Thomas Jefferson ja Sally Hemings.
Olulised ajaloo naised
Üks rääkis loo paljude ütlemata hulga seas.
Lugu algab paar põlvkonda tagasi. Seal oli see Aafrika naine, Susannah Eppes, kutsuti teda, kes sattus inglise kapteni John Hemings laevale. Ta seksis temaga. Ta jäi rasedaks. Varsti pärast seda leidis ta end Virginias, maaomaniku Francis Eppes IV orjana, kus ta sai oma lapse.
Laps oli tüdruk: Elizabeth Hemings, poolvalge, esimese põlvkonna Aafrika immigrant.
Ema ja tütar töötasid vana härra Eppesi heaks, kuni tema enda tütar, preili Martha, pidi abielluma. Sel hetkel sai Martha Eppes oma isikliku orja eest, mis oli osa pruutpaketist, Elizabeth Hemings.
Niisiis kolis Hemings majja ja sai pruudi ja tema uue abikaasa, advokaadi ja orjakaupleja John Waylesi koduteenijaks. Ta sai ka emaks: sai koos mehega, kes oli samuti orjastatud, ja sai temaga neli last.
Asi on selles, et John Waylesi ja#8217 naised lihtsalt surid. Esmalt Martha Eppes, siis veel kaks. Pärast kolmandat otsustas ta võtta oma liignaiseks Elizabeth Hemings. Nüüd oli Hemings juba nelja lapse ema, kellel oli juba pikaajaline suhe teise mehega. Sellest hoolimata sai Wayles temalt veel kuus last. Need Hemingsi lapsed ei olnud mitte ainult tema vere järgi (ta oli nende isa), vaid ka tema seaduslik omand (ta oli nende orjaomanik). Noorim oli Sally Hemings.
Johnil oli ka mõned lapsed, kes ei olnud ’t orjad muidugi. Sisestage Martha Wayles, tema tütar: ta on see, kes abiellus hiljem Thomas Jeffersoniga.
Sain aru? Nüüd peatu hetkeks. Juba praegu on perekondlikud sidemed Hemingsi naiste ja, ütleme nii, Martade vahel kummaliselt põimunud. Marta vanaisale kuulus Sally ja#8217 vanaema. Marta emale kuulus Sally ema. Martha ja Sally on õed.
Martha on valge ja#8211 tulevane esimene leedi.
Sally on kolmveerand valge ja#8211 teise põlvkonna Aafrika immigrant.
Siin ja siin muutuvad imelikuks. Kui John Wayles suri, pärisid Martha ja Thomas Jefferson palju. Palju maad, palju võlgu, ka palju orje. Nende hulgas olid Hemingsi lapsed: Sally ja tema vennad ja õed. Mis tähendab, et kui John Wayles suri, päris Martha oma õed -vennad. (Jefferson, tema ämma.)
Need Hemingsi lapsed ei teinud ilmselt kunagi välitöid Jeffersonite orjastamise ajal, sest see oli väärt. Kuid muster jätkus: pärast Martha surma ja Thomas oma hävingust üle saamist hakkas ta seksima Sally Hemingsiga.
See sai alguse ajal, kui ta oli välismaal, töötades Ameerika saadikuna Prantsusmaal. Tema kaks noorimat tütart olid viibinud sõpradega USA-s, kuid kui väike Lucy läkaköhasse suri, kutsus Thomas üheksa-aastase Polly endaga välismaale. Ta korraldas, et temaga kaasas käib ja hoolitseb vanem naine, kuid kui nad kohale jõudsid, osutus õde Sallyks.
Abigail Adams, kes need Londonis vastu võttis, ei olnud liiga vaimustuses. Sally oli vaid umbes 15 -aastane ja Abigaili sõnul ei olnud ta eriti õde. Kuid Sally jäi edasi, liitudes samal suvel Pariisis Jeffersoniga, kus ta leidis teisi põhjusi, miks teda väärtustada.
Et see ütlemata jääks, on mõned väited, et kogu see “konsort ” äri on legendide värk, mida Thomas Jefferson, kes rääkis nii ahvatlevalt orjastatud mustanahaliste inimväärikusest, poleks kunagi oma varalahkunud naisega maganud. #8217 orjastas poolõe.
“ Saatuseraamatusse pole kindlasti midagi kirjutatud kui see, et need inimesed peavad olema vabad.
Ma värisen oma riigi pärast, kui mõtlen, et Jumal on õiglane ja et tema õiglus ei saa igavesti magada. ”
Sally ’ laste DNA ei nõustu. Igatahes, mis on nii üllatav? Jefferson oli võimas mees, kes elas ajal, mil võimsad mehed orjastasid värvilisi inimesi ja seksisid nendega sageli. Vaatamata tema näilistele väärtustele oli see kognitiivse dissonantsi aeg. Nii on ka meie enda aeg. Nii ka iga kord.
Kuid ärgem kõrvale kalduge. Hemings õppis Pariisis natuke prantsuse keelt. Veelgi olulisem on see, et teda peeti juriidiliselt vabaks, kuni ta viibis, sest orjus oli seal ebaseaduslik. Ta oleks võinud lahkuda. Jefferson jäi aga rasedaks ja lubas oma lapsed koju tulles vabastada, nii et ta tegi seda hoopis.
Laps suri, kuid pärast seda sündis Hemingsil veel kuus last, kelle nimed Jefferson oma orjaraamatusse – üheainsa eripäraga üles kirjutas. Erinevalt kõigist teistest orja sündidest, mida ta registreeris, ei kirjutanud ta üles, kes oli nende isa.
Jefferson ei vabastanud kunagi Sally Hemingsit ega ka kõiki tema lapsi, nagu ta ’d lubas. Jefferson vabastas oma eluajal vaid kaks orja. Oma testamendis vabastas ta veel viis ja kõik Hemingsi mehed, mõned oma lapsed. Ainus naissoost ori, kes tema käe all vabaks läks, oli Sally põgenenud tütar, keda Thomas otsustas mitte jälitada.
Pärast Thomase surma otsustas Sally ’ õetütar Martha Jefferson (rida kolmas Martha) oma tädi oksjonilt eemal hoida, seejärel vabastas ta Sally mitteametlikult, ehkki seda ei juhtunud kunagi trükis. Järgmised üheksa aastat elas Hemings Virginias koos oma kahe noorima pojaga ja#1811 ning 1833. aastal olid nad kõik rahvaloendusel vabad valged.
Ühe mõtteviisi kohaselt on Sally Hemings märkimisväärne ainult seetõttu, et Thomas Jefferson on märkimisväärne. Hemings ei kirjutanud iseseisvusdeklaratsiooni, pigem oli ta sunnitud magama selle autori juures. Tõeliselt oluline on see, kuidas Jeffersoni suhe temaga muudab seda, millest me arvame tema.
Teisisõnu, ta ei ole oluline mitte sellepärast, kes ta oli või mida ta tegi, vaid selle pärast, mis talle tehti.
See on tähendus, mille James Thomson Callendar hääletas 1802. aastal, vihjates Richmondis Salvesti et Hemings ’s nimetab sullies Jefferson ’s, et ta kuidagi solvab Ameerika ajalugu sellega, et on sellest osa saanud.
Tõsi, ainus põhjus, miks me Hemingsit teame, on see, et ta sattus patriootliku arhetüübi asjadesse. Ometi oli lugematu arv teisi naisi, kes elasid sama lugu, kelle nimesid me ei tea, ja on oluline meeles pidada, et ka ajalugu sisaldab neid: nähtamatuid, teatamata paljusid. Need on lood, mida Hemings ’ elu aitab valgustada.
Sally Hemings polnud ainulaadne. Ta elas juba mitmendat põlvkonda sügaval matrilineaalsel mustril, kui see temani jõudis: tema vanaema Susannah Eppes, keda ajendas John Hemings, ja tema ema Elizabeth Hemings, keda tõukas John Wayles ja#8230 ise, ajendas Thomas Jefferson.
Sõna “impelled ” on teadlikult valitud. Me ei tea, mida need naised oma seksuaalpartneritest arvasid, kuid me teame, et nende partneritel oli nende olukordade üle täielik kontroll. Kus a “no ” ei oma kaalu, ei saa a “jah ” eksisteerida. Sõna “ nõusolek ” seda ei kirjelda.
On veel üks põhjus, miks Hemingsi lugu on oluline: selle tõstatatud küsimuste puhul. Kus on seksuaalne nõusolek täna olemas, kus mitte? Kui palju me sellele kaalu anname? Mil moel lainetavad alles 200 aasta tagused mustrid? Kuidas me jätkame inimeste õiguste ja privileegide määramist vastavalt rassile, soole ja muudele tunnustele?
Samuti, kuidas erineb naiste ajalooline perspektiiv Hemings'i loost tavapärasest jutustamisest? Selle viimase küsimuse jaoks uurige seda artiklit.
Sally Hemings ja tema koht Ameerika ajaloos
Kolmanda klassi õpilasena mäletab Annette Gordon-Reed oma esimest Thomas Jeffersoni elulugu. Tema vaimustus sellest endisest presidendist jätkus noorukieas ja täiskasvanueas, inspireerides teda lõpuks saama silmapaistvaks ajaloolaseks ja kirjanikuks. Kuid kõige rohkem sütitas tema kujutlusvõime mitte Jefferson ise, vaid tema kauaaegne ori Sally Hemings (1773–1835).
Kogu oma tähistatud karjääri jooksul on professor Gordon-Reed ja Carl M. Loebi ülikooli professor Harvardi õigusteaduskonnas ja ajaloo professor Harvardi ülikoolis pühendanud suure osa oma ümberkujundavast stipendiumist proua Hemings & rsquo tähelepanuväärse loo rääkimisele, keskendudes mitte ainult talle aastakümneid kestnud suhe Jeffersoniga, kuid selle kohta, kes ta oli keeruline naine, keda kujundasid rass, sugu, staatus ja asjaolud.
26. jaanuaril oli Chapini kogukonnal selge privileeg veeta virtuaalne õhtu selle tuntud teadlasega. Aastal 2021 Gilder Lehrmani instituudi lektorina keskendus ta kaasakiskuvale jutule oma Pulitzeri auhinnaga pärjatud raamatu & ldquo The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family & rdquo (2008), jätku tema varasemale tööle, & ldquo Thomas Jefferson ja Sally Hemings & rdquo (1997).
2006. aastal avatud Chapin & rsquose iga -aastane loeng on kooli ja rsquose suurepärase partnerluse tulemus Gilder Lehrmani Ameerika ajaloo instituudiga, mis edendab haridusprogrammide kaudu USA ajaloo mõistmist. 7. ja 11. klassi õpilased logisid virtuaalsesse veebiseminarisse koos praeguste ja endiste vanemate, elukutseliste kogukonnaliikmete, alumide, vanavanemate ja sõpradega.
Lisaks Pulitzeri ajalooauhinnale on professor Gordon-Reed pälvinud hulgaliselt autasusid, sealhulgas riikliku raamatuauhinna, rahvusliku humanitaarmedali, Guggenheimi stipendiumi ja MacArthur & ldquogenius & rdquo stipendiumi. Arvukate köidete autor oli enne juriidilist karjääri kirjutamist ja akadeemilist ringkonda advokaat.
& ldquoSee raamat tähendab mulle nii palju, & hüüdis rdquo pärast koolijuht Suzanne Fogarty & rsquos sooja vastuvõttu ja Gilder Lehrmani instituudi presidendi James Baskeri sissejuhatust professor Gordon-Reed.
Ma ei olnud rahul Hemingsi pere vallandamisega seoses Jeffersoniga, seega küsisin endalt: & lsquoMida ma saan teha? & rsquo & rdquo
Professor Gordon-Reed viitas & ldquodismissal & rdquo Sally Hemings'i ja tema perekonna süstemaatilisele eemaldamisele ajaloolistest andmetest. 150 aastat eitasid ajaloolased, et Jeffersonil oleks olnud oma orjaga intiimsuhe ja ta oleks saanud tema kuue lapse, hoolimata veenvatest tõenditest, mis seda väidet toetavad. Kuigi enamik kaasaegseid ajaloolasi usub, et suhe oli tõepoolest olemas, tõestas DNA testimine Jeffersoni ja rsquose isaduse alles 1998. aastal.
Oma murranguliste ja vaevarikaste uuringutega heidab professor Gordon-Reed sellele pikalt kuumenenud ajaloolisele arutelule uue valguse, aidates taastada Hemingsese õige koha Ameerika narratiivis. Uurides Jeffersoni ja rsquose rikkalikke arhiive ja ta oli & ldquoan veatu rekordipidaja & rdquo & ndash, kirjeldas kõneleja, kuidas ta suutis kokku panna ajajoone, mis jälgis Hemingsite perekonda alates 1700. aastatest Virginias kuni aastateni pärast Thomas Jeffersoni ja rsquose surma 1826. aastal.
Professor Gordon-Reedi ja rsquose pühkimine, 800-leheküljeline raamat, mida ta iseloomustas kui orjastatud perekonna põlvkondlikku saagat, & rdquo sai kasu ka sellest, et hemingid elasid Monticello, Jeffersoni ja rsquose Virginia istanduses üle poole sajandi. & ldquoMa võiksin nende elu jälgida, erinevalt [orja] peredest, kes on müügiga eraldatud, & rdquo ütles ta. Ta märkis ka, et Sally Hemings oli Jeffersoni ja rsquose surnud abikaasa Martha Wayles Jeffersoni poolõde, mis võis aidata kaasa Jefferson & rsquose eelistamisele tema suhtes.
Koos Sally Hemingsiga sisaldab raamat olulisi lõike tema emast Elizabeth Hemingsist, tema õdedest -vendadest ja neljast tema lapsest koos Jeffersoniga, kes elasid (kaks surid imikueas): pojad Beverly, Madison ja Eston ning tütar Harriet. Tahtsin minna kaugemale Sally Hemingsist, & rdquo ütles ta, lisades, et mälestused Madison Hemingsist mängisid tema uurimistöös olulist rolli.
Ühel hetkel jagas professor Gordon-Reed paljastavat lugu noorest Sally Hemingsist ja ajast, mil ta ja ta vend James veetsid Pariisis, kus Jefferson oli diplomaatilises esinduses. Pr Hemings saatis Jeffersoni ja rsquose tütre teekonnale 1787. aastal ja temast sai aja jooksul Jefferson & rsquos & ldquoconcubine, & rdquo, selgitas professor.
Saades teada, et ta on rase, soovis pr Hemings jääda Pariisi, kus ta teadis, et orjus on Prantsuse seaduste kohaselt ebaseaduslik. Jefferson tegi talle aga omamoodi pakkumise. Kui ta naaseb Virginiasse, lubas ta vabastada oma lapse ja kõik tulevased lapsed, kui nad on täiskasvanuks saanud.
& ldquoSally otsustab koos Jeffersoniga tagasi tulla, & rdquo ütles professor Gordon-Reed. & ldquoMiks ta seda tegi? inimesed küsivad minult. Mõtle selle üle. Tema perekonnast lahkuda oleks olnud väga raske. See on kõigi orjastatud inimeste dilemma. Kas võtate vabaduse ja jätate oma pere maha? & Rdquo
Lõpuks pidas Jefferson oma lubaduse. Nagu professor kordas, tõsteti Sally Hemings ja tema perekond teistest orjastatud inimestest kõrgemale, tõenäoliselt nende bioloogilise seose tõttu tema varalahkunud naisega. Seega pidasid Hemingsi lapsed koduseid töökohti ega pidanud kunagi teenijatena töötama. Lisaks sai & ldquothey alguse emantsipatsioonil. & Rdquo
& ldquoMõned nägid seda kui ellujäämislugu, & nbsp; professor Gordon-Reed juhtis tähelepanu, mõtiskledes proua Hemings'i tehtud keeruliste valikute üle. Sellised inimesed nagu Sally kasutasid mis tahes agentuuri, et endal ja oma perel parem elu teha. & rdquo
Oma köitva loengu viimastel minutitel vastas professor Gordon-Reed lahkelt paljudele varem esitatud küsimustele, millest üks puudutas tema uurimisprotsessi väljakutseid.
& ldquoSee on raske, kui tegelete väikeste infokildudega. See on meeldiv pusle. Peate loovalt ja laialt mõtlema ning valmistuma kuivadeks aukudeks, mis ei vii kuhugi, & rdquo ütles ta, lisades & ldquoTe peate oma projekti uskuma ja iga võitu nautima. Ja sa pead seda armastama! & Rdquo
Lõppsõnas kiitis dr Basker professor Gordon-Reedi kaastundliku ja mõtlemapaneva kõne eest. & ldquoSee, mida te nende õpilaste heaks tegite, avab tõepoolest erinevate inimeste ja erinevate olude maailma ning aitab meil neid inimestena mõista, & rdquo.
Teine asi, mida te tegite, on see, et te modelleerisite võimaluse. Loodan, et on Chapini õpilasi, kellel on võimalus teid täna õhtul kuulda ja kes näevad sinus midagi, mille poole nad võiksid pürgida ja saada. & Rdquo
Kas John Adams tõi välja Thomas Jeffersoni ja Sally Hemings?
1802. aasta esimesed kaheksa kuud olid president Jeffersoni jaoks halastavalt igavad. Prantsusmaa ja Inglismaa sõlmisid rahulepingu, avades Euroopa ja Kariibi mere sadamad Ameerika kaubandusele. Merevägi tegi Vahemeres Barbary piraatide vastu edu. Loodi West Point. Peamine mure oli riigivõla tasumine. 1800. aasta kibedad valimised olid mälust kustumas.
Thomas Jefferson ja Sally Hemings: Ameerika poleemika
Siis, 1. septembri numbris Richmondi salvestaja, Kurikuulus ajakirjanik James Callender teatas, et Ameerika Ühendriikide presidendil oli mustanahaline orjaarm, kes oli talle sünnitanud mitmeid lapsi. “IT on hästi teada, et mees, keda rõõmustab rahvas austada, hoiab ja on aastaid hoidnud oma liignaisena ühte oma orjast ja lugu sai alguse. Tema nimi on SALLY. ”
Föderalistlikud ajalehed Maine'ist Gruusiasse trükkisid loo uuesti. Avaldati rassistlikke luuletusi presidendi ja “Dusky Sally kohta. ” Jeffersoni ja#8217 kaitsjad olid vaiksemad, oodates asjatult eitust, mis ei tulnud kunagi Executive Mansionist. Skandaal raputas algavat rahvast.
Kuidas “ hästi teada ” oli Jeffersoni ja Hemingsi suhe? Callender kirjutas, et talle oli ajalehtedes vihjatud “kordselt või kaks korda, nagu see oli tõepoolest aastatel 1800 ja 1801. Ja vastuseks tema segadusele Ameerika Ühendriikide väljaanne ütles, et on kuulnud sama teemat vabalt Virginias ja Virginia härrasmeestel. ” Kuid kuigi teadlased on allikaid kamminud, ei ole nad enne Callenderi ilmumist tuvastanud ühtegi konkreetset kirjalikku viidet Jefferson-Hemingsi kontaktisikule. #8217 skandaalne aruanne.
Usun, et olen leidnud kaks sellist viidet. Nad eelnevad näitustele ja#233 rohkem kui kaheksa aastaga ning pärinevad kellegi muu kui Jeffersoni vana sõbra ja poliitilise rivaali John Adamsi sulest. 1794. aasta jaanuaris oma poegadele Charlesile ja John Quincyle saadetud kirjades osutab Adams Monticello salvei ja kauni noore naise vahelisele suhtele, mida istanduse ümbruses tuntakse kui “Dashing Sally. ” Viited on seni tähelepanuta jäänud, sest Adams kasutas klassikalist vihjet, mille tähtsust pole ajaloolased ja biograafid hinnanud.
Adamsi kirjad pakuvad käegakatsutavaid tõendeid selle kohta, et vähemalt üks riigi juhtivatest poliitilistest perekondadest oli Jefferson-Hemingsi suhtest teadlik juba ammu enne skandaali puhkemist. Dokumendid heidavad uut valgust eliidi teadlikkusele suhetest, ajakirjanduse olemusele varajases vabariigis ja Adamsile endale.
Telli ajakirja Smithsonian nüüd vaid 12 dollari eest
See artikkel on valik ajakirja Smithsonian novembrinumbrist
Jefferson resigned as George Washington’s secretary of state on the last day of 1793. It had not been a good year. His efforts to force his hated rival Alexander Hamilton out of the cabinet for financial misconduct failed miserably. Continuing to support the French Revolution despite the guillotining of the king and queen and the blossoming of the Terror, he alienated Adams and was disappointed by Washington’s proclamation of American neutrality in France’s latest war with England. At 50 years old, he was eager to return to his beloved Virginia estate to live as a gentleman farmer and philosopher.
Adams, the vice president, refused to believe that his estranged friend was really done with public life. In letters to his two eldest sons, he sourly assessed the man he was convinced would challenge him to succeed Washington as president. On January 2 he wrote to Charles:
Mr Jefferson is going to Montecello to Spend his Days in Retirement, in Rural Amusements and Philosophical Meditations—Untill the President dies or resigns, when I suppose he is to be invited from his Conversations with Egeria in the Groves, to take the Reins of the State, and conduct it forty Years in Piety and Peace.
On January 3 he wrote to John Quincy at greater length, enumerating seven possible motives for Jefferson’s resignation.
5. Ambition is the Subtlest Beast of the Intellectual and Moral Field. It is wonderfully adroit in concealing itself from its owner, I had almost said from itself. Jefferson thinks he shall by this step get a Reputation of an humble, modest, meek Man, wholly without ambition or Vanity. He may even have deceived himself into this Belief. But if a Prospect opens, The World will see and he will feel, that he is as ambitious as Oliver Cromwell though no soldier. 6. At other Moments he may meditate the gratification of his Ambition Numa was called from the Forrests to be King of Rome. And if Jefferson, after the Death or Resignation of the President should be summoned from the familiar Society of Egeria, to govern the Country forty Years in Peace and Piety, So be it.
In the vernacular of the time, “conversation” was a synonym for sexual intercourse and “familiar” was a synonym for “intimate.” The obvious candidate for the person whose conversation and familiar society Jefferson would supposedly be enjoying at his bucolic home is Sally Hemings.
But who was Egeria, and how confident can we be that Adams intended Hemings when he invoked her name?
Egeria is a figure of some importance in the mythical early history of ancient Rome. According to Livy and Plutarch, after the death of the warlike Romulus, the senators invited a pious and intellectual Sabine named Numa Pompilius to become their king. Accepting the job with some reluctance, Numa set about establishing laws and a state religion.
To persuade his unruly subjects that he had supernatural warrant for his innovations, Numa claimed that he was under the tutelage of Egeria, a divine nymph or goddess whom he would meet in a sacred grove. The stories say she was not just his instructor but also his spouse, his Sabine wife having died some years before. “Egeria is believed to have slept with Numa the just,” Ovid wrote in his Amores.
Age 40 when he became king, Numa reigned for 43 years—a golden age of peace for Rome during which, in Livy’s words, “the neighboring peoples also, who had hitherto considered that it was no city but a bivouac that had been set up in their midst, as a menace to the general peace, came to feel such reverence for them, that they thought it sacrilege to injure a nation so wholly bent upon the worship of the gods.”
Numa Pompilius converses with the nymph Egeria in a 1792 sculpture by the Danish artist Bertel Thorvaldsen. (Kongressi raamatukogu)
Adams, who was well versed in Latin and Greek literature, had every reason to feel pleased with his comparison. Like Rome at the end of Romulus’ reign, the United States was a new nation getting ready for its second leader. Jefferson would be the American Numa, a philosophical successor to the military man who had won his country’s independence. Like Numa, Jefferson was a widower (his wife, Martha, died in 1782) who would prepare himself for the job by consorting with a nymph, his second wife, in a grove that was sacred to him.
I asked Annette Gordon-Reed, the Harvard scholar and author of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy, what she made of the Adams references. “While the two letters to his sons do not definitively prove that Adams knew about the Jefferson-Hemings liaison in early 1794,” Gordon-Reed said in an email, “this elucidation of the allusion to Egeria makes that an intriguing possibility.”
One didn’t require a classical education to grasp the Egeria allusion in the early 1790s. In 1786, the French writer Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian had published Numa Pompilius, Second Roi de Rome, a romantic novel dedicated to Marie Antoinette—she liked it—and intended as a guide for an enlightened monarchy in France. (“People will believe I’ve written the story / Of you, of Louis, and of the French,” Florian’s dedicatory poem declares.) Soon translated into English, Spanish and German, the novel became a runaway best seller in the North Atlantic world.
It was while researching a novel of my own about the life and afterlife of Numa and Egeria that I happened upon the allusions in the two Adams letters. As a student of religion in public life, I have long been interested in Numa as an exemplary figure in the history of Western political thought from Cicero and St. Augustine to Machiavelli and Rousseau.
In fact, John Adams had made a point of invoking Numa and his divine consort in the three-volume Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, which he published while serving as minister to England in 1787. “It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men,” he writes in the preface. “Among the Romans, Numa was indebted for those laws which procured the prosperity of his country to his conversations with Egeria.” Later in the work he explains, “Numa was chosen, a man of peace, piety, and humanity, who had address enough to make the nobles and people believe that he was married to the goddess Egeria, and received from his celestial consort all his laws and measures.”
In the Defence, Adams was at pains to inform the world that, unlike other nations past and present, the recently united American states “have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature.” In other words, no Egerias need apply: “It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.”
In a 1794 letter, John Adams gossiped slyly to son Charles about Jefferson’s “Conversations with Egeria." (Collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society) The second page of Adams' letter to Charles (Collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society) The third page of Adams' letter to Charles (Collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society) The letter written by John Adams to his son John Quincy Adams likely on January 3, 1794 (Collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society) The second page of Adams' letter to his son John Quincy (Collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society)
Jefferson was the American avatar of Enlightenment rationality, a staunch opponent of the government establishment of religion, and the Washington administration’s foremost advocate of war with the Barbary pirates. Adams’ portrayal of him consulting with a goddess in order to govern “in Piety and Peace” was sharply pointed on all counts. But did he intend the goddess in question to refer to Sally Hemings?
There’s good reason to think so. Seven years earlier, Jefferson had arranged for his 8-year-old daughter, Mary, to join him and his elder daughter, Martha, in Paris. Hemings, a slave who was also a half-sister of Jefferson’s late wife, accompanied Mary on the trans-Atlantic passage to England upon their arrival, the two girls went to stay with the Adamses in London. Hemings was then 14 years old but, tellingly, Abigail Adams thought she was 15 or 16.
Writing Jefferson that the two had arrived, Abigail Adams took them under her wing until an emissary showed up two weeks later to convey them to Paris, where Jefferson almost certainly began having sex with Hemings. So in 1787 John Adams had seen for himself that Jefferson had a nubile beauty in his possession. By the end of 1793, John Quincy and Charles presumably would have been aware of it, too. Otherwise, the sexual allusion to Egeria would have been lost on them.
Significantly, John Adams did not allude to the matter when he wrote to Abigail at around the same time. She and Jefferson had something of a mutual admiration society, after all. “My Love to Thomas,” she wrote her husband on the very day that Jefferson resigned as secretary of state (though she wasn’t yet aware of that). Despite the two men’s political rivalry, she maintained a high regard for Jefferson through the 1790s, describing him as a man of “probity” in a letter to her sister. So while John Adams, in Philadelphia, did not refrain from criticizing Jefferson in his January 6, 1794, letter to Abigail, in Massachusetts, he did so with care.
Jefferson went off Yesterday, and a good riddance of bad ware. I hope his Temper will be more cool and his Principles more reasonable in Retirement than they have been in office. I am almost tempted to wish he may be chosen Vice President at the next Election for there if he could do no good, he could do no harm. He has Talents I know, and Integrity I believe: but his mind is now poisoned with Passion Prejudice and Faction.
There was no mention of Numa and Egeria. As I see it, John knew that his wife would not be amused by the insinuation that Jefferson was retiring to an intimate relationship with the maidservant she had cared for in London seven years earlier. That joke was reserved for the boys.
Among the African-Americans enslaved at Monticello were up to 70 members of the Hemings family over 5 generations. (Kongressi raamatukogu) A photograph of Jefferson’s Monticello, circa 1920 (Library of Congress)
A political eon passed between the vice president’s private joke and the presidential scandal. In 1796, Jefferson was narrowly defeated for the presidency by Adams and, under Article II of the Constitution (changed in 1804), indeed became vice president, having received the second-largest number of electoral votes. Four years later, he returned the favor, besting Adams in perhaps the ugliest presidential election in American history.
By then, Callender had won his muckraking spurs by publishing the story of Alexander Hamilton’s affair with a married woman and subsequent illicit financial arrangement with the woman’s husband. Jefferson was sufficiently impressed to provide the journalist with financial support to keep up his anti-Federalist work. But in May of 1800, Callender was convicted and sentenced to nine months in prison under the Sedition Act for “The Prospect Before Us,” a tract alleging pervasive corruption in the Adams administration. After his release, he approached Jefferson and asked to be appointed postmaster of Richmond. Jefferson refused. Callender traveled to Charlottesville and ferreted out the Hemings story, published under the headline “The President, Again.”
One of the more scurrilous commentaries on the story came from John Quincy Adams. On October 5, he sent his youngest brother, Thomas Boylston, a letter with an imitation of Horace’s famous ode to a friend who had fallen in love with his servant girl that begins: “Dear Thomas, deem it no disgrace / With slaves to mend thy breed / Nor let the wench’s smutty face / Deter thee from the deed.”
In his letter John Quincy writes that he had been going through books of Horace to track down the context of a quotation when what should drop out but this poem by, of all people, Jefferson’s ideological comrade in arms Tom Paine, then living in France. John Quincy professed bafflement that “the tender tale of Sally” could have traveled across the Atlantic, and the poem back again, within just a few weeks. “But indeed,” he wrote, “Pain being so much in the philosopher’s confidence may have been acquainted with the facts earlier than the American public in general.”
Historians have assumed that John Quincy, an amateur poet, composed the imitation ode in the weeks after Callender’s revelation hit the press. But in light of his father’s letters, it is not impossible that he had written it before, as his arch little story of its discovery implied. Thomas Boylston arranged to have his brother’s poem published in the prominent Federalist magazine The Port-Folio, where it did in fact appear under Paine’s name.
The Adamses never dismissed Callender’s story as untrue. No direct comment from Abigail Adams has come to light, but Gordon-Reed argues in The Hemingses of Monticello that the scandal deepened her estrangement from Jefferson after the bitter 1800 election. When Mary Jefferson died in 1804, Abigail wrote Thomas a chilly condolence letter in which she described herself as one “who once took pleasure in subscribing herself your friend.”
John Adams, in an 1810 letter to Joseph Ward, refers to James Callender in such a way as to imply that he did not consider the Hemings story credible. “Mr Jeffersons ‘Charities’ as he calls them to Callender, are a blot in his Escutchion,” he writes. “But I believe nothing that Callender Said, any more than if it had been Said by an infernal Spirit.” In the next paragraph, however, he appears more than prepared to suspend any such disbelief.
Callender and Sally will be remembered as long as Jefferson as Blotts in his Character. The story of the latter, is a natural and almost unavoidable Consequence of that foul contagion (pox) in the human Character Negro Slavery. In the West Indies and the Southern States it has the Same Effect. A great Lady has Said She did not believe there was a Planter in Virginia who could not reckon among his Slaves a Number of his Children. But is it Sound Policy will it promote Morality, to keep up the Cry of such disgracefull Stories, now the Man is voluntarily retired from the World. The more the Subject is canvassed will not the horror of the Infamy be diminished? and this black Licentiousness be encouraged?
Adams goes on to ask whether it will serve the public good to bring up the old story of Jefferson’s attempted seduction of a friend’s wife at the age of 25, “which is acknowledged to have happened.” His concern is not with the truth of such stories but with the desirability of continuing to harp on them (now that there is no political utility in doing so). He does not reject the idea that Jefferson behaved like other Virginia planters.
Adams’ sly joke in his 1794 letters shows him as less of a prude than is often thought. It also supports Callender’s assertion that the Jefferson-Hemings relationship was “well known,” but kept under wraps. It may be time to moderate the received view that journalism in the early republic was no-holds-barred. In reality, reporters did not rush into print with scandalous accusations of sexual misconduct by public figures. Compared with today’s partisan websites and social media, they were restrained. It took a James Callender to get the ball rolling.
John Adams’ reference to Jefferson’s Egeria put him on the cusp of recognizing a new role for women in Western society. Thanks largely to Florian’s 1786 best seller, the female mentor of a politician, writer or artist came to be called his Egeria. That was the case with Napoleon, Beethoven, Mark Twain, Andrew Johnson and William Butler Yeats, to name a few. In Abigail, Adams had his own—though so far as I know she was never referred to as such. It was a halfway house on the road to women’s equality, an authoritative position for those whose social status was still subordinate.
Gordon-Reed has criticized biographers who insist that it is “ridiculous even to consider the notion that Thomas Jefferson could ever have been under the positive influence of an insignificant black slave woman.” Ironically, Adams’ sarcastic allusion conjures up the possibility. Did Sally Hemings, Jefferson’s French-speaking bedmate and well-organized keeper of his private chambers, also serve as his guide and counselor—his Egeria? The question is, from the evidence we have, unanswerable.
In the last book of his Metamorfoosid, Ovid portrays Egeria as so inconsolable after the death of Numa that the goddess Diana turns her into a spring of running water. When Jefferson died in 1826, he and Hemings, like Numa and Egeria, had to all intents and purposes been married for four decades. Not long afterward, his daughter Martha freed Hemings from slavery, as her children had been freed before her.
We do not know if, as she celebrated her liberation, she also mourned her loss. But we can be confident that her name, like Egeria’s, will forever be linked with her eminent spouse, as John Adams predicted.
About Mark Silk
Mark Silk is a professor and the director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College. A former reporter and editorial writer at the Atlanta ajakiri-põhiseadus, he is the author of several books on religion in contemporary America and is a senior columnist for the Religion News Service.
Meie toimetajad vaatavad teie esitatud teabe üle ja otsustavad, kas artiklit muuta.
Sally Hemings, (born 1773, Charles City county, Virginia [U.S.]—died 1835, Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.), American slave who was owned by U.S. Pres. Thomas Jefferson and is widely believed to have had a relationship with him that resulted in several children.
Hemings, known as Sally but who was likely named Sarah, was born into slavery to a white father, John Wayles, and his mulatto slave, Elizabeth Hemings. According to oral history passed down through the Hemings family, Elizabeth was the daughter of a white sea captain named Hemings and an African slave owned by Wayles. Sally was thus three-fourths white. When Wayles died in 1773, Elizabeth and her children were inherited by Martha Jefferson, who was Wayles’s daughter by Martha Eppes Wayles and the wife of Thomas Jefferson. The Hemings family was sent to Monticello, Jefferson’s farm and estate in Virginia, where they were given positions as house slaves.
Two years after Martha’s death in 1782, Jefferson went to France to serve as a diplomat. In 1787 he sent for his youngest daughter, Maria, who was escorted by Hemings, then 14 years old. It was during that time that an intimate relationship between Hemings and Jefferson is thought to have begun. In 1789 Jefferson and Hemings returned to the United States. She resumed her work at Monticello, and Jefferson’s records noted that, over the next two decades, she gave birth to six children. Harriet was born in 1795 but lived only two years. Hemings gave birth to a son, Beverly, in 1798 and another daughter named Harriet, in 1801. An unnamed daughter was born in 1799 but died in infancy. Hemings later had two sons, Madison and Eston, who were born in 1805 and 1808, respectively. Some have claimed that Hemings’s first child was Thomas C. Woodson, born in 1790. However, there is no evidence that Hemings had a child that year—notably, Jefferson never noted the birth—and later DNA tests revealed that he was not the father.
In Jefferson’s records from 1822, Harriet and Beverly were listed as runaways, but they actually were allowed to leave freely. Their light-coloured skin helped them blend into the white world of Washington, D.C. Madison and Eston were freed in 1826 at the time of Jefferson’s death. Hemings was not mentioned in Jefferson’s will. In 1827 she was listed as a slave on the official slave inventory of the Jefferson estate and valued at $50. It later appears that she received unofficial freedom from Jefferson’s daughter Martha, and Hemings lived the rest of her life with her sons Madison and Eston in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The first public mention of Hemings came in 1802, when The Recorder newspaper published an article by James Callender, an adversary of Jefferson, who claimed a relationship between her and Jefferson. Jefferson never responded to the allegations, which became the source of much debate and speculation. Although some of his white descendants later denied the claims—Peter Carr, a nephew of Jefferson, was often cited as the father of Hemings’s children—Hemings’s descendants argued, on the basis of oral history and an 1873 memoir by Madison Hemings, that Jefferson was the father. With conflicting and inconclusive evidence, the majority of scholars found the allegations unlikely. In 1998, however, DNA samples were gathered from living descendants of Jefferson and Hemings, and the subsequent tests revealed that Jefferson was almost certainly the father of some of Hemings’s children Carr was ruled out. Although the scholarly consensus became that Jefferson and Hemings were sexual partners, some, citing the lack of scientific certainty, continued to contest Jefferson’s paternity. (Vt “Tom and Sally”: the Jefferson-Hemings paternity debate.)
This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.
Did Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson Love Each Other?
In the years since the publication of my book Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy, I have traveled throughout the United States and overseas talking about them—and life and slavery at Monticello. Writers are, in the main, solitary creatures. Or, at least, the process of writing forces us into solitude for long stretches of time I find it refreshing and gratifying to meet people who have read one’s work (or plan to) and have questions, observations, and opinions about it. In all the venues I have visited, from Houston to Stockholm, one question always arises: Did they love each other?
To call this a loaded question does not begin to do justice to the matter, given America’s tortured racial history and its haunting legacy. To be on the receiving end of that question is to be thrown into a large minefield. It is even worse for someone who is considered an expert on Hemings and Jefferson. You wrote the book about them, didn’t you?
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.
See the essay in the June 1972 American Heritage, "The Great Jefferson Taboo" by Fawn Brody, which reignited the controversy over Jefferson and Hemings
What does this mean for Sally and Thomas, the enslaved woman and the man who owned her? Their legal relationship to one another—and the world they shared—is strange to us today. Certainly people suffer oppression today: many work for little or no pay, while countless women and children are forced into prostitution. Yet this cannot match the horrific nature of America’s racially-based chattel slavery, in which a person’s children were enslaved in perpetuity unless an owner decided to give up his or her ownership of that person. What love could exist between a man and a woman enmeshed in—and negotiation the rules of—that world? And what difference does it make if they “loved” each other? Why are members of my audience so intent on knowing that?
The question about Hemings and Jefferson, of course, does not arise from a vacuum. We modern people have a history, so to speak, with love, especially of the romantic kind. Not other human emotion excites such passionate interest and longing or gives rise to such high expectations at all levels of society. Songs tell us that “love” is “the answer” to almost everything that ails us: war, famine, disease, and racial prejudice. Love is all we need.
Indeed, I suspect that love’s supposed capacity to heal lies at the heart of people’s interest in Hemings and Jefferson. And he is the prime focus of the inquiry. My impression from talking with people and reading the letters they writing to me, not to mention the many operas, plays, screenplays, and proposals for novels they send, is that Jefferson’s love for Hemings could somehow redeem and heal him. Thomas Jefferson—in need of redemption?
As much as we admire the author of the Declaration of Independence and the two-term U.S. president, a man who doubled the size of the nation, sent Lewis and Clark west, founded the University of Virginia, championed religious freedom, and acted as an all-around renaissance man, Jefferson the slaveholder poses a great challenge. He publicly aired his suspicions that the mental capacity of blacks was inferior to whites’, not exactly as a popular believe in a society that claims (note the operative word “claims”) to find such notions completely abhorrent. For some, the knowledge that Jefferson had loved the enslaved African American woman with whom he had seven children would rescue him from the depravity of having been a slave owner who made disparaging comments about blacks—perhaps not totally exonerating him, but in some small but important way moderating the disturbing facts. That much-longed for human connection would have worked its magic.
Love, which remains extremely difficult to capture and define today or in the past, poses a major hurdle in sorting out the nature of their relationship. Speaking of love in the context of a master-slave relationship is even more difficult, given the moral and political implications. After all, the idea of “love” was used during the antebellum period and afterward as a defense of slavery. Apologists for the peculiar institution claimed that a genuine “love” existed between the races during slavery, putting the lie to northern abolitionists’ claim that the institution was evil and exploitative. Southern slaveholders often pointed to their affection for their individual “mammies” and the supposedly deep ties they formed with their enslaved playmates (of the same sex, of course) on the plantation. Significantly, they never spoke about the possibility of love and regular heterosexual relationships between males and females of mixed races. That type of love was taboo then, and it has remained discomfiting to many Americans even into the 21st century.
Then there’s the question of consent and rape. While Martha Jefferson had given her perpetual consent to sexual relations with her husband by the act of marrying him—there was no such thing as marital rape—Jefferson owned his wife’s half sister, Sally, in a completely different way. Being a man’s wife was not the same thing as being a man’s slave, even if Sally and Thomas’s relationship had begun under unusual circumstances. They became involved while Jefferson was serving as the American minister to France. Under French law, Hemings would have had a clear route to freedom had she chosen it. Instead, she agreed to return to America with him, placing herself entirely under his power. At any time, Jefferson had the right to sell her and their children if he wanted to.
White males, not just slave owners—exercised inordinate power over black women during slavery. Rape and the threat of it blighted the lives of countless enslaved women. At the same time, some black women and white men did form bonds quite different in character than from those resulting from sexual coercion. No social system can ever stamp out all the constitutive aspects of the human character. Heterosexual men and women thrown together in intimate circumstances will become attracted to one another.
Consider how Hemings and Jefferson lived at the Hôtel de Langeac in Paris between 1787 and 1789. What parents would send their pretty teenaged daughter to live in a house with a lonely, middle-aged widower whose daughters spent all week away at boarding school—and place him in charge of her well-being? Jefferson would never have allowed his daughters Patsy and Polly to live under such a situation unless a female chaperone was present. The question of appropriateness never came up with Sally Hemings, because she was a slave. Her mother, Elizabeth Hemings, had no say in the matter, just another of the countless reasons why slavery was an inhumane institution.
Suggesting that their possible feelings for one another made a difference is a romantic notion
So what do I say to people about Hemings, Jefferson, and love? I am ever mindful of the dangers of romanticizing the pair. Apologists for slavery have not all gone away, and they will fasten onto any story that appears to “soften” the harsh contours of that institution and mitigate southern slaveholder guilt. I believe, however, that saying that they may have loved each other is not romantic. Suggesting that their possible feelings for one another made a difference is a romantic notion. I am not one who believes that “love” is the answer to everything. Strong emotions that two individuals may have had cannot mitigate the problem of slavery or Jefferson’s specific role as a slave owner.
Other factors make it difficult to determine the nature of their relationship. Neither spoke publicly about it, leaving us only to draw inferences. We do know that Jefferson bargained intensely with Hemings to return to America, promising her a good life at Monticello and freedom for her children when they became adults. Was that merely in-the-moment lust? While lust can last minutes, months, or even a few years, it cannot typically span the decades during which they were involved. It simply takes more than lust to sustain an interest in another person over such an extended time period.
In addition, Jefferson had access to many other women at Monticello who could have satisfied his carnal interests. Yet, so far as the record shows, he remained fixated on Sally Hemings, arranging her life at Monticello so that she interacted with him on a daily basis for almost four decades. Despite the brutal public attention focused on the pair after James Callender exposed their relationship in 1802, Jefferson continued to have children with Hemings. Their children—James Madison, Thomas Eston, William Beverly, and Harriet—were named for people important to him. His white daughter was said to have wanted Jefferson to send Hemings and their children away so as to spare him further embarrassment. He declined.
Judging Hemings’s feelings about Jefferson proves more difficult, because she exercised no legal power over him. While she did abandon her plan to stay in France and then came home to live and have children with him, Hemings may well have had second thoughts about leaving her large and intensely connected family back home. Several of their great-grandchildren explain that Hemings returned to America because Jefferson “loved her dearly,” as if that meant something to her. Upon their return, Hemings’s relatives, both enslaved and free, behaved as if Jefferson was an in-law of sorts. After he died in 1826, Hemings left Monticello with several of Jefferson’s personal items, including pairs of his glasses, an inkwell, and shoe buckles, which she gave to her children as mementos.
While marriage is generally taken as a proof of love between a given man and woman, the quality of the relationship between couples who are not married, or cannot marry because of legal restrictions, may be better than that of men and women whose unions are recognized by law.
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.
2 thoughts on &ldquo Sally Hemmings &rdquo
I am not sure that we can say that it was outstanding for Hemings to return to the U.S. with Jefferson. I feel like it is always better to be free than enslaved and she could have had a better life had she stayed in Paris, where she would have been given greater rights. While she may have consensually entered a relationship with Jefferson, I find it puzzling that he did not free her. If he really respected her and valued her, then he wouldn’t have continued to hold her as his slave after they had been in a relationship.
I am beyond fascinated with this blog post. I find it so interesting considering that my maternal grandmother was born in France but she was forced to come to america as a teenager and married a black man so my mother and my aunts and uncles are all mixed. Also that my paternal grandmother owned slaves and my grandfather happen to be one of her family’s slaves. So this kind of hit home for me.
Of the seven children born to Hemings over the next two decades, only four (five, according to Woodson&aposs descendants) lived to adulthood. Her second child, Harriet, died after only two years. Beverly (a son), born in 1798, left Monticello in 1822 and moved to Washington, D.C., where he lived as a white man. A second, unnamed daughter died in infancy. Harriet, born in 1801 and named for the first lost daughter, moved away near the same time as Beverly and also entered white society. Hemings&apos youngest children, Madison and Eston (born in 1805 and 1808, respectively) were freed by order of Jefferson’s will in 1826. While Madison Hemings lived as a Black man (first in Virginia and later in Ohio) all his life, his brother Eston changed his name to Jefferson and began living as a white man in Wisconsin at the age of 44.
Jefferson, in fact, freed all of Hemings&apos children ironically, however, he never freed Hemings herself. After Jefferson&aposs death, she remained at Monticello for two years, after which Martha Jefferson (acting on her father&aposs wishes) gave her "her time," a form of unofficial freedom that allowed her to remain in Virginia (freed enslaved people were required by Virginia law to leave the state after a year). Before his death, Jefferson had also arranged for Madison and Eston Hemings to be allowed to stay in Virginia. After leaving Monticello, Hemings moved with her two youngest sons to nearby Charlottesville, Virginia, where she died in 1835.
Sally Hemings wasn’t Thomas Jefferson’s mistress. She was his property.
The room at Monticello where Sally Hemings is believed to have lived. (Norm Shafer/For The Washington Post)
Archaeologists at Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia plantation, Monticello, are unearthing the room where Sally Hemings is believed to have lived, allowing for a new way to tell the story of the enslaved people who served our third president. The excavation has once again reminded us that 241 years after the United States was founded, many Americans still don’t know how to reconcile one of our nation’s original sins with the story of its Founding Fathers.
Just before the Fourth of July, NBC News ran a feature on the room, setting off a spate of coverage about the dig. Many of these stories described Hemings, the mother of six children with Jefferson, as the former president’s “mistress.” The Inquisitr, the Daily Mail, AOL and Cox Media Group all used the word (though Cox later updated its wording). So did an NBC News tweet that drew scathing criticism, though its story accurately called her “the enslaved woman who, historians believe, gave birth to six of Jefferson’s children.” The Washington Post also used “mistress” in a headline and a tweet about Hemings’s room in February.
Language like that elides the true nature of their relationship, which is believed to have begun when Hemings, then 14 years old, accompanied Jefferson’s daughter to live with Jefferson, then 44, in Paris. She wasn’t Jefferson’s mistress she was his property. And he raped her.
Such revisionist history about slavery is, unfortunately, still quite common. In 2015, Texas rolled out what many saw as a “whitewashed ” version of its social studies curriculum that referred to enslaved Africans as “immigrants” and “workers” and minimized slavery’s impact on the Civil War. One concerned parent spoke out, forcing a textbook publisher to revise some of the teaching materials.
In a speech at the Democratic National Convention last year, Michelle Obama reminded Americans that no less a symbol of our government than the White House was built by those in bondage. In response, then-Fox News host Bill O’Reilly offered a softer, gentler take: Those enslaved workers were “well fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government,” he said. That they had no choice in their food, lodging or whether they even wanted to do the backbreaking work of building Washington by hand was nowhere to be found in O’Reilly’s version.
That same sanitization of history happened again with the Hemings news. On Twitter, some users defended the “mistress” label, suggesting, essentially, that Jefferson and his slave may have truly loved each other. One person even went so far as to wonder whether “Hemings’s exalted wisdom and beauty compelled Jefferson’s love” and whether “she was perhaps not a victim but an agent of change?”
Jefferson could have forced Hemings into a sexual relationship no matter what she wanted, though. And it’s impossible to know what Hemings thought of Jefferson. As with many enslaved people, her thoughts, feelings and emotions were not documented. According to Monticello.org, there are only four known descriptions of the woman who first came to Jefferson’s plantation as a baby on the hip of her mother, Elizabeth Hemings, whom Jefferson also owned.
Jefferson, an avid writer, never mentioned Hemings in his work. He did, however, grapple with issues of emancipation throughout his life. In his “Notes on the State of Virginia,” Jefferson spent a substantial section attempting to answer the question, “Why not retain and incorporate the blacks into the state, and thus save the expence [sic] of supplying, by importation of white settlers, the vacancies they will leave?” Despite fathering Hemings’s children, Jefferson argued against race mixing because black people were “inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind.”
Other slave-owning founders rose above the times to change their minds about the dreadful institution — including Ben Franklin, who became an outspoken abolitionist later in life, and George Washington, who freed his enslaved servants in his will. But Jefferson did no such thing. He owned 607 men, women and children at Monticello, and though some argue that he “loved” Hemings, he granted freedom to only two people while he was alive and five people in his will — and never to her.
Romanticizing Hemings and Jefferson’s so-called relationship minimizes the deadly imbalance of power that black people suffered under before the Civil War. It also obscures our collective history as a nation that moved from being built on the blood, bones and backs of enslaved African Americans and indigenous people, to being the imperfect, hopeful and yet still unequal country we are today.