The Jefferson - Hemings ControversyHistory on trial Main Page

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On November 1, 1998, DNA fires a shot heard round the world: "Jefferson Fathered Slave's Last Child." DNA tests proved that a Jefferson male, most likely Thomas, fathered one of Sally's children. As of "today," says the leading Jefferson scholar of the moment, reversing his own position, the "likelihood of a long-standing sexual relationship" between Jefferson and Hemings "is now proven beyond a reasonable doubt." The guardians of the Jefferson shrine at Monticello, joining the groundswell of public opinion, even extend paternity to "perhaps all" of Sally's children. Henceforth, the "handful of vociferous deniers" are the underdogs.