RICHMOND, Va., April 14 (UPI) — The Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society has rebutted claims that the third U.S. president had an affair with a slave and fathered several of her children.
Some have said Jefferson had relations with slaveSally Hemings after his wife’s death.
The Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch reported Tuesday that three authors and researchers have rebutted DNA evidence from nearly a decade ago that suggests the former president had a long term relationship with Hemings.
Cindy Burton, a genealogist, said the Hemings rumors were fanned by Jefferson’s political opponents and editorialists, the newspaper reported.
William Hyland, a Tampa, Fla., lawyer and author of “In Defense of Thomas Jefferson,” said Jefferson had only a “benevolent relationship” with Hemings.
Robert Turner, a national security expert who teaches at the University of Virginia, headed a 2001 study by 13 scholars of the Jefferson-Hemings relationship.
He said the panel voted 12 to 1 that evidence to suggest there was a relationship was flawed and circumstantial.