What we learned during An Evening of History…
- There is more than enough reasonable doubt in the Jefferson/Hemings controversy- yet we accept the story as historical fact.
- Reasonable scholars have endorsed the Jefferson/Hemings story out of fear- but have disguised their fear as an attempt at racial reconciliation.
- The DNA results were not conclusive, in fact, they have made the situation more confusing
- Oral history is rarely reliable
- Jefferson did not father any of Sally Hemings children- her children had multiple fathers
- Joe Ellis, Andrew Burstein, and Jon Meacham are talented historians who have produced less than stellar books about Jefferson.
- Fawn Brodie will never be vindicated.
- Annette Gordon-Reed has reduced vital historical discourse to tabloid level conjecture.
- Jefferson was not a christian, but he was no atheist either- the tug-of-war over his spiritually completely misses the point.
- We need Dumas Malone more than ever….
And now, we catch our breath….