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Thomas Jefferson

The Daughter Who Slipped Away: Thomas Jefferson, Race, Class and the Search for a President’s Lost Family

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After 40 years of research by historians that was supported with extensive DNA study, the stories that Thomas Jefferson fathered children with an enslaved woman, Sally Hemings, are now accepted as fact. Now to the family archives comes a new book, Jefferson’s Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America by Catherine Kerrison, a professor of American history at Villanova University. “Their lives provide a unique vantage point by which to study the complicated American Revolution itself,” said Kerrison at the U.S. National Archives in Washington, D.C., where she recently spoke about her book for Black History Month. Thomas Jefferson—Founding Father, author of the Declaration of Independence, and third president of the United States­­­­—had six children with his wife,…

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‘The Eves of Our Destruction’: Can Citizens be Ignorant and Free at the Same Time?

in Nonfiction by

As authors, we tend to specialize in writing fiction or nonfiction. A few writers are able to successfully write both entertaining fiction and erudite nonfiction but in a terrible irony, increasingly, our society seems to be so easily manipulated in blurring the distinction. In 1816 in a letter to John Adams, Jefferson wrote, “bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant.” I have been wondering lately if it is possible to be free and ignorant at the same time. This is very troubling to me because in the last few years and particularly this year, what counts for knowledge and facts has been so blurred, I don’t think we can know the difference.…

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