The Hemings Family of Monticello

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Hemings family had close blood ties with President Thomas Jefferson, due to Jefferson’s relationship with slave Sally Hemings, who was also the half-sister of his late wife Martha. Historian Annette Gordon-Reed traces the Hemings family from Virginia in the 1700s to its dispersal after Thomas Jefferson’s death in 1826. Her new book is "The Hemingses of Monticello."


Annette Gordon-Reed

Comments [4]

Annette Gordon-Reed from New York City

As is true with English, the French language has more than one way to say "free". 'Franche" an old province in France "Franche-Compte (Free County) is associated with people who were free from servitude. It's from the Old French. The "franch" part of it has now come to be associated with the right to vote: the "franchise"-- a marker of freedom.

Dec. 09 2008 07:00 PM
David from New York

By all accounts it seems that Sally Hemings loved Mr. Jefferson. Their grandson precided over my great-great-grand-parents' wedding in Ohio in 1856.

Dec. 09 2008 01:41 PM
Peter Joseph from New York City

"Franc" in French does not mean "free."' it is the name of the people in that country. "Free" would be translated as "libre."

Dec. 09 2008 12:48 PM

Do the Hemming's family believe that they are the product of rape? Is it appropriate to say that Jefferson was a rapist?

Dec. 09 2008 12:37 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.