Read Chapters 7 & 8 and the information included in Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson and The Master and the Mistress. Once all reading is complete, respond to the following items:
- Why do you think the accusations made by Callender were ignored during Jefferson’s lifetime and later by historians? Why do you think Madison Hemings’ assertions were ignored?
- Why do you think Callender’s claims failed to hurt Jefferson politically? Do you think a similar scandal would hurt an American president or elected leader today? Why or why not?
- Based on Madison Hemings’ family history, how common was racial intermixing in 18th and 19th century Virginia?
- According to Eric Foner, how and why has the work of Annette Gordon-Reed fueled a controversy over the Hemings-Jefferson relationship?
- Should his relationship with Sally Hemings influence how we view Jefferson and his place in American history? If no, why not? If yes, how should they influence how we view him?
You are required to submit an initial posting (200 words minimum) that addresses the items above.