How many children did Thomas Jefferson have with sally hemmings?
While Thomas Jefferson’s paternity of one or more of Sally Hemings’ children cannot be established with absolute certainty, and there are noticeable gaps in the historical record, many elements are widely accepted. Among these are: * Sally Hemings (1773-1835) was a slave at Monticello; she lived in Paris with Jefferson and two of his daughters from 1787 to 1789; and she had at least six children. * Sally Hemings’ duties included being a nursemaid-companion to Thomas Jefferson’s daughter Maria (c. 1784-1787), lady’s maid to daughters Martha and Maria (1787-1797), and chambermaid and seamstress (1790s-1827). * There are no known images of Sally Hemings and only four known descriptions of her appearance or demeanor. * Sally Hemings left no known written accounts. It is not known if she was literate. * In the few scattered references to Sally Hemings in Thomas Jefferson’s records and correspondence, there is nothing to distinguish her from other members of her family. * Thomas Jefferson wa
Controversy over Sally Hemings’s children Press reports and rumors Prior to 1802, vague insinuations had been published in the Washington Federalist newspaper regarding Jefferson’s alleged involvement with slaves. In 1802, James T. Callender, a muckraking political journalist and former supporter of Thomas Jefferson, published a claim in the Richmond Recorder newspaper that Jefferson was the father of five children by Sally Hemings, including a son, Tom. By that time, according to various written sources, Hemings had borne as many as five children, but at least two had died, the only record other than Callenders’s articles which names a son named “Tom” – Thomas Eston was born later – was a letter written by Thomas Gibbons on December 20, 1802, which contains information about the Hemings that did not appear in newspapers in 1802. Callender called the child “President Tom,” saying that he closely resembled the President and had been born upon Jefferson and Hemings’ return from Paris. Je