DNA Study

“This brings us to the crux of today’s revisionism, elevating Adams and diminishing Jefferson.  In our history, Jefferson has been the patron political saint for those who believe in small government, decentralized power, low taxes, and individual liberty.  Thomas Jefferson, in other words, is the icon of everything today’s Socialist-Marxist Left wants to destroy.  They are delighted to minimize and demonize him.”

-Lowell Ponte, FrontPageMagazine.com, 7/11/2001

In November 1998, the British science journal Nature published the results of Dr. Eugene Foster’s DNA Study. This study resulted in a great deal of controversy on the issue of Thomas Jefferson’s paternity of the children of his slave Sally Hemings.

There are many people who feel this DNA study, either alone or combined with other historical evidence, resolves the issue once and for all. The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation issued a report in January 2000 concluding that there is a strong likelihood that Thomas Jefferson was the father of at least one and perhaps all the children of Sally Hemings.

These resolutions and conclusions are based on subjective and incomplete historical information. This web site was created to provide the misinformed public with the other side of the story and to highlight information that tends to exonerate Thomas Jefferson of these allegations.

In May 2002 the Monticello Association (descendants of Thomas Jefferson) voted to not admit descendants of Sally Hemings into their organization. The decision came after their careful review of all available information resulting in the conclusion that there was not sufficient evidence to prove Jefferson fathered Hemings’ children.

On February 24, 2003, The Thomas Jefferson (Memorial) Foundation revised their statement regarding the children of Sally Hemings:

Although the relationship between Jefferson and Sally Hemings has been for many years, and will surely continue to be, a subject of intense interest to historians and the public, the evidence is not definitive, and the complete story may never be known. The Foundation encourages our visitors and patrons, based on what evidence does exist, to make up their own minds as to the true nature of the relationship.

Their previous statement dated July 15, 2002, read as follows:

It likely will take newly uncovered historical evidence or scientific methods still unknown to determine beyond doubt the truth about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, and the complete story may never be known. The Thomas Jefferson Foundation stands by its original findings – that the weight of evidence suggests that Jefferson probably was the father of Eston Hemings and perhaps the father of all of Sally Hemings’ children – but is ready to review new evidence at any time and to reassess its understanding of this matter in the light of new information.

This revised statement can be found at: http://www.monticello.org/plantation/hemingscontro/hemings-jefferson_contro.html