I just finished a book called MY THOMAS. It's an historical novel written as a journal by Jefferson's wife Martha. It's the story of a woman who loves her husband and thinks he can do no wrong. At the end of the book there's an epilogue that basically tries to poo poo the whole Sally Hemings story.
Here's the thing. I am a southern girl. I have known sweet talking, intelligent good 'ol boys all my life. Just because they are charming, doesn't mean they are saints. In fact, I think quite a few of them (Bill Clinton to name one) is so practiced in using charm to get out of trouble, that they don't really think anything they do is really wrong.
Politically, Jefferson talked the talk, but often failed to walk the walk. Morally, well, DNA says Sally's children could have been fathered by Jefferson. He was available physically at the dates of conception. The Hemings children were the only slaves freed (He didn't believe in slavery, but refused to free his slaves...See what I mean?) on his death and they always claimed him as there father.
The more things change, the more they stay the same....Jefferson is no better or worse then politicians today. History has a strange way of brushing aside our hero's rough spots. I don't know, but I think I'd rather know them moles and all from the start and skip the part where they fall of the pedestal.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Posted by Terri at Monday, August 07, 2006