LETTER- Don't judge TJ, don't bless GW
[Re: Facetime, "Lengel frankly: Washington man cuts a swath in a Jefferson town," September 18, 2008.]
I have never wavered in my admiration of Thomas Jefferson, and I most certainly look up to him and always will. I know many people who look up to Jefferson. In fact, on page 12 of last week's Hook, a University of Virginia ad states proudly, "Building on Jefferson's Legacy."
Jefferson was asked to take a vow by his dying wife that he would not remarry. He honored that vow. That's pretty noble. And do we have evidence that he did not love Sally Hemings? Do we have evidence that Sally did not love Jefferson? In the absence of love, do we have evidence that this was an abusive relationship? Mr. Lengel sounds very much like the Moral Majority in his judgment.
Who knows– maybe George Washington's supposed sterility (I assume no definitive tests were available at the time) provided cover for a few (a few hundred?) sexual liaisons. Just because we don't have the DNA evidence (yet!), by what authority can we give GW history's Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval?