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The Jefferson-Hemings Controversy: Report of the Scholars Commission Hardcover – September 1, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0890890851 ISBN-10: 0890890854

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The Jefferson-Hemings Controversy: Report of the Scholars Commission + In Defense of Thomas Jefferson: The Sally Hemings Sex Scandal + Framing a Legend: Exposing the Distorted History of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Carolina Academic Press (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0890890854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0890890851
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #843,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

''In fairness to all parties, some of the historians, researchers, writers, and freelance controversialists to have weighed in on the question have made significant contributions to our knowledge of an understandably sensitive subject. Robert F. Turner in his meticulous and fair-minded 'The Jefferson-Hemings Controversy,' for example, does yeoman service poking holes in some of the claims of what might be regarded as the pro-Sally school, from Fawn Brodie to Annette Gordon-Reed. Turner's is a long-overdue corrective, worthy of respect and serious consideration.'' --Alan Pell Crawford, author, ''Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson''

''...the report provides a valuable documentary history, useful as much for what it suggests about the Jefferson-Hemings controversy as for its value for historiographical analysis. Summing Up: Recommended. For all research libraries, lower-level undergraduate and above.'' --J.D. Smith, CHOICE Magazine April 2012, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

''...Robert Turner's 'The Jefferson-Hemings Controversy: Report of the Scholars Commission' (2011)...presents a substantial argument for the position that Hemings's paternity is still unknown.'' --Alan Pell Crawford, Wall Street Journal, Sat., April 14, 2012, p. C8

About the Author

Robert Turner is Associate Director of the Center for National Security Law at University of Virginia School of Law.

Customer Reviews

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The author/editor of this book has proven that true scholarship still exists.
Mike Thompson Sr
NOW you can say that Thomas Jefferson DID NOT father Sally Hemings children and have a great book as your source of TRUE information.
Herbert Barger
To post this I have to write more words, so let me add this 400+ page book is the most detailed examination of the facts to date.
R. Turner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 85 people found the following review helpful By T. on September 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Two summers ago, my family and I spent a week or so in Charlottesville, Va. As part of our explorations, we decided to spend the day at nearby Monticello, which is the world-famous estate of Thomas Jefferson. The prestigious University of Virginia (U.Va.), which was founded and designed by Mr. Jefferson, is also located in Charlottesville and was recently voted the second-best public university in America. Incidentally, the editor of this book, Robert F. Turner, is a former professor at U.Va. I consider myself an amateur Thomas Jefferson historian, and a voracious reader of early American history in general.

Although we had been to Monticello several times before, we had never visited the beautiful new Visitor's Center. As we sat down in the theatre and began to view a biographical film of Thomas Jefferson, I was surprised to learn from the film that Mr. Jefferson had fathered all of his slave Sally Hemings's children. I fully expected there to be a mention of the possibility that Mr. Jefferson had fathered one of her children based on the infamous DNA test in 1998, but I did not expect to learn from the film that he had fathered every single one of them.

Based on my knowledge of the subject, I knew that this information was factually incorrect. I was aware of the first edition of this book and its conclusions. I was also aware that the infamous DNA study established the likelihood that a Jefferson male (DNA could not specify who the father was) may have fathered "one" of Sally Hemings's numerous children. But, that there were two-dozen candidates including Mr. Jefferson's brother Randolph in the vicinity at the time of each conception.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Fred A. on September 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Robert Turner's book provides a well-researched, even-handed review of the issues resulting from James Callender's charges in 1802 that Thomas Jefferson fathered children with his slave, Sally Hemings. In addition to providing historical information directly related to the subjects of the controversy and a clear explanation of the methodology and results of the DNA testing done in 1998, the book provides information about the treatment given this information over the years by scholars, authors and institutions such as the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.

The book is an easy read that appears to present all sides of the issues and leaves it to the readers to decide for themselves. There are also direct challenges to errors and misinformation written about Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemings and other elements of the controversy accompanied by an open invitation for public debate on the issues. The true value of this book will be realized if those invitations are accepted and the public has an opportunity to see those issues resolved based on the facts.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mike Thompson Sr on September 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I bought this extremely good book for $36 from the publisher, Carolina Academic Press in Durham, North Carolina -- new.

What an incredible and revealing research document that keeps the reader's interest! The facts are fascinating and clearly show that currently accepted reality that Thomas Jefferson fathered Sally Hemings' children is simply far from factually proven. From DNA analysis to letters from the period point to Jefferson's brother as the likely father. This is an important addition to the historical record and it should be the basis for a calm review of the Thomas Jefferson/Sally Hemings relationship. The author/editor of this book has proven that true scholarship still exists.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Herbert Barger on September 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Finally Prof. Turner has been able to complete this fine book, under research and deep study for about ten years, that completely exposes those who would DARE use the study of slavery to contaminate the history of Mr. Jefferson. He exposes them by name and cites their tactics and just how they have done it. Monticello, Annette Gordon-Reed and some other detractors do not come off well in this very revealing book. NOW you can say that Thomas Jefferson DID NOT father Sally Hemings children and have a great book as your source of TRUE information.

All citizens who treasure their freedom and the contributions made by Mr. Jefferson will stand and cheer at Prof. Turner's revelations. He tells you that in their zeal to add further beliefs in the study of slavery at Monticello they have dropped the word, "MEMORIAL" from their official title...........wonder who they are now memorializing?

Read how Dr Foster slanted his study by not informing Nature Journal that he was testing a man whose family had always claimed descent from "a Jefferson uncle or nephew", therefore that man would automatically show a Jefferson (not solely Thomas) DNA match, as it did. Eston Hemings (ancestor of John Weeks Jefferson the DNA subject) NEVER claimed descent from Thomas Jefferson as his brother Madison did. The Madison Hemings ancestors will not permit gaining a DNA sample from the son of Madison, william, in a grave in Leavenworth, Kansas. Presently there is no DNA for a comparison of Madison's and Eston's, thus we are unable to prove that the two brothers had the same father........why do they fear this test?

President Jefferson's much younger brother, Randolph, and sons, are those referred to by the Eston Hemings family.
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