Hemingses scholar Gordon-Reed reads at Monticello
Annette Gordon-Reed will discuss her widely reviewed new book, The Hemingses of Monticello, on Friday, September 26 at 3:30pm at Monticello's Jefferson Library. From the Washington Post: "Gordon-Reed first probed the Jefferson-Hemings relationship in her 1997 book "Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy." Now she deepens and widens her view to encompass the entire sprawling Hemings clan as actors on the stage of history. In Sally Hemings's day, Gordon-Reed writes [in her new book], she was "the most well-known enslaved person in America." Her connection to Jefferson was brutally exposed and mocked by his political opponents during his first presidency, while black churchmen in the early republic preached sermons on her "family situation." The publicity was sufficiently embarrassing that Jefferson's partisans and descendants crafted a sanitized and sexless version of life at Monticello that continued until our own day. Although controversy persists, recent DNA research has caused most historians to accept Jefferson's paternity of Hemings's children."
The event is free, but space is limited, so the folks at Monticello suggest you e-mail to register.