Hey, TJC, Fight the Jefferson-Paternity Lie!

The most blatant example of activity at UVA initiated by politically motivated faculty, especially in the history department and in the alumni magazine, is the lie that says Jefferson fathered Sally Heming’s children. After months of study, it is clear to me that this lie is bogus and is repeated purely to prove how slaves were mistreated. Promulgation of this lie has blackened Jefferson’s reputation and has led to calls to “cancel” his memory.

I have watched The Jefferson Council attack not very significant happenings at the University from people with the same kind of motivations while ignoring the biggest travesty of all. You seem to be pursuing capillaries while ignoring the hemorrhaging of the  main artery.

The belief on this paternity theory rests on a deliberately misleading interpretation of the DNA test. That test concluded that one of Heming’s children, Eston, conceived when Jefferson was 64 years old, had genes shared with the male Jefferson line. The Heming’s descendants, happy to be able to brag they were descended from Thomas Jefferson (which the DNA test had not established), refused to allow any other Heming descendants to be DNA tested.

Episode 3 of the Smithsonian Channel’s “One Thousand Years of Slavery,” presently viewable, featured a Heming descendant, a 43-year-old television commentator named Shannon LaNier who lives in NYC. He is all over Google, having written a book in 2000 entitled “Jefferson’s Children: The Story of One American Family” and is quoted in articles as demanding Jefferson’s monuments be removed. He says the vilest things about Jefferson. I have not yet found out which Heming’s child he claims is his ancestor, although I assume it is not Eston.

For all I know, he has already tested his DNA with one of the commercial companies. In any event, he and his living relatives who similarly claim they are Jefferson ancestors should be asked to have their DNA tested. If they refuse it would make a great story and may get a Judge to order them to submit to a DNA test. According to the most recent thinking, such as in William Hyland’s new book, “Family Secrets”, other that Eston, who was probably fathered by Jefferson’s younger brother who was between marriages when Eston was conceived, the rest of Heming’s children were likely fathered by one of the Carr brothers. Imagine if the non-Eston descendants have no Jefferson family DNA in their blood and do have Carr DNA. It will expose the myth once and for all!

A number of UVA faculty teach the paternity theory and claim it is proven conclusively. Shouldn’t the Law School, which is supposed to teach its students how to separate truth from fiction, or even the College, offer a course taught by someone, like Turner or Hyland,  who will review the contrary evidence?

I strongly recommend that The Jefferson Council turn its attention to this issue. Nothing else going on at UVA is as important to what you are trying to achieve.

— Joseph R. Sahid
Law School, Class of ’68

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Wahoo74
Wahoo74
30 days ago

I am one of the founders of TJC. Former UVA Law professor Robert Turner, who is the author of the 2001 Scholars Commission that corroborates Jefferson’s innocence from the Sally Hemings controversy, is one of our Board members. Sounds like you’re familiar with his study but here’s a link with details: https://www.tjheritage.org/the-scholars-commission.

We are attempting to organize a debate between Professor Turner and Harvard Law professor Annette Gordon-Reid who sits on the Monticello Foundation Board: https://www.monticello.org/get-involved/about-the-foundation/ . This is akin to Vladimir Putin being a member of the Ukrainian Parliament.

Stay tuned.

Last edited 30 days ago by Wahoo74
Earle Trone
Earle Trone
25 days ago
Reply to  Wahoo74

Jefferson was a great scientist and experimenter. Possibly Hemmings recognized this and they had the first test tube babies. This would explain it all. Sure, maybe in the lab one night, after a good Pinot, they did a little nasty, but that’s to be expected

Martin Anthony Senell
Martin Anthony Senell
30 days ago

I completely agree with Joseph Sahid. I have read the Scholars Commission on the Jefferson-Hemmings Controversy and the evidence is overwhelming against Jefferson’s paternity. Possible but not probable. I too wish there was some way of getting more public exposure to this report and bringing forth the truth about the DNA test. Unfortunately in this day of media bias that route seems mostly closed. And don’t hold your breath on that debate with Professor Turner happening.

Perhaps some type of open forum at UVA with media and others invited would be appropriate and would help to some degree. In any event I am a big supporter of the Jefferson Council and will help in any way I can.

Wahoo'74
Wahoo'74
30 days ago

Thank you, Martin!

Earle Trone
Earle Trone
25 days ago

DNA and science NEVER should TRUMP how someone “feels” what history be. History needs to written to make the whe race feel good about themselves.

Zach Young
Zach Young
30 days ago

Is it true that Sally Hemings accompanied Jefferson to Paris?

walter smith
walter smith
29 days ago
Reply to  Zach Young

No, not quite. Jefferson brought James Hemings with him to Paris to learn French cooking. Later, Jefferson asked for his other surviving daughter to join him and Martha in Paris with a suitable escort named Isabel. (His wife had died in 1782 and his youngest daughter Lucy died while he was in Paris.) Instead, Isabel being sick, Polly, then 8, was accompanied by Sally, then 14. So Jefferson was in Paris with his surviving daughters – Martha and Polly, and James and Sally Hemings. James was born in 1765, freed by Jefferson in 1796, and died, believed by suicide, in Baltimore in 1801.

Hal Juren
Hal Juren
30 days ago

Strongly recommend Hyland’s first book, “In Defense of Thomas Jefferson: The Sally Hemings Sex Scandal.” Hyland, an experienced trial attorney, analyzes every bit of the testimonial, documentary and scientific evidence on the issue, and evaluates it in terms of its admissibility and credibility as evidence.
After having been confronted for many years with incredulous people who have been convinced that TJ paternity is settled fact and anyone who disagrees is a nut, it is refreshing to hear that I am not alone.

Earle Trone
Earle Trone
25 days ago
Reply to  Hal Juren

Anyone who questions Jefferson’s paternity should send money to Youngkin to help feed the lie that CRT is taught in VA public schools

Wahoo74
Wahoo74
29 days ago

Joseph Sahid, I hope you spread the word to your friends to join TJC: http://thejeffersoncouncil.com/.
Thanks.

Last edited 29 days ago by Wahoo74
Earle Trone
Earle Trone
25 days ago

The folks who claim Jefferson fathered those children have science on their side along with historical evidence. When has this EVER stopped Trumpites?

Joseph Sahid
Joseph Sahid
17 days ago
Reply to  Earle Trone

That is not true. Read my original letter and the studies that make this clear. The paternity advocates made this all up. As I said, I have studied this carefully. Read what I and others mentioned. It is a complete fraud. The extremists have convinced the public that what you say is true, but it is not. I have pointed out a way to prove this once and for all, asking a blowhard and maybe ever some of the so-called “descendants” of TJ to submit to a simple DNA test, which millions have already done. If The Jefferson Council won’t take this simple step to rescue Jefferson it serves no purpose. I wish Professor Turner would pick up this battle.