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Conference Refuting Jefferson-Hemings Relationship

Interesting - a whole conference to address the scholarship on this subject matter....

*Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society*

***For further information contact: Mr. Gar Schulin at (540) 349-5864; *


*Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society presents: "Cracking the Fable:The
Truth behind Jefferson and Hemings”*

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – The Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society will host a
panel of distinguished authors, researchers and nationally acclaimed
scholars to address the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings controversy in a
comprehensive review of the facts of the historic record to date.The
academic seminar, “Cracking the Fable:The Truth behind Jefferson and
Hemings,” will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2012, in
Charlottesville, Virginia on the grounds of the University of Virginia
in the Commonwealth Room at Newcomb Hall, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30
p.m.Admission to this special event is free and open to the public.

The seminar will include a presentation by Dr. Robert F. Turner,
Chairman of the independent Jefferson-Hemings Scholars Commission. This
group of thirteen distinguished scholars, independent and unpaid, spent
a year studying all the available evidence relating to whether Jefferson
could have been the father of a child by Sally Hemings. It was their
“unanimous view that the allegation is by no means proven; and we find
it regrettable that public confusion about the 1998 DNA testing and
other evidence has misled many people into believing that the issue is
closed.” Significantly, in addition to the unanimous conclusion that the
allegations were not proven, the Scholars Commission voted 12-1 that the
allegations were probably not true.

A public question-and-answer, panel discussion will be held following
each lecture session.The day will conclude with book signings of _The
Jefferson-Hemings Controversy: Report of the Scholars Commission_; _In
Defense of Thomas Jefferson_ and _Jefferson Vindicated_.

Guest presenters for the Morning Session are Mr. John Works, /“The
Monticello Association and the Graveyard at Monticello;” /Ms. Cynthia H.
Burton, /“Did Poor Scholarship Affect the Paternity Debate?”/ and Dr. M.
Andrew Holowchak, /“As Well-Established as… Many More Things in History.”/

//The Afternoon Session will feature Guest Presenters Mr. William G.
Hyland, /“In Defense of Thomas Jefferson:What Sally Hemings Tells Us
about Our Times,” followed by/ Dr. Robert F. Turner, /“Is the
Jefferson-Hemings Debate Over?Report of the Scholars Commission.”/

*John Works* is a Jefferson descendant, past president of The Monticello
Association and of the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society.His published
articles include “A Primer on Jefferson DNA,” published in 2000 and
available online
at:** ,
as well as “The Jefferson-Hemings Controversy:A New, Critical Look,”
published in Volume 28, Number 3 of the Fall 2010 edition of the Sons of
the Revolution’s Drumbeat Magazine and available online at:
was instrumental in influencing The Monticello Association’s
deliberations on whether to admit the Hemings into the Association.

*Cynthia H. Burton* is a professional researcher; veteran genealogist;
and she is an authority on Jefferson's private life, his brother
Randolph Jefferson, and the enslaved community at Monticello. She has 35
years’ experience studying the historic neighborhood and its
inhabitants, and she has worked closely with several authors writing
about the Hemings controversy. Mrs. Burton is the author of *_Jefferson
Vindicated - Fallacies, Omissions, and Contradictions in the Hemings
Genealogical Search_//*with Foreword by James A. Bear, Jr., Emeritus
Director and Curator at Monticello. She is currently working on a
publication focusing on new research and the scholarship in the Hemings

In the search for truth in the Hemings controversy, serious flaws have
been documented in the scholarship of certain historians.Exploration of
the record pinpoints enormous gaps in the evidence plus data that have
been overlooked, ignored, and/or distorted.Mrs. Burton’s presentation
will illuminate the questions, “Have revisionist historians' techniques
of filling in gaps with imagination influenced by their own biases
undermined traditional standards for objectivity in historical
scholarship?” and “Did poor scholarship affect the paternity debate?”

*M. Andrew Holowchak*, Ph.D., is a Professor of Philosophy at Rider
University.He has published over 70 peer-reviewed papers in areas such
as ethics, psychoanalysis, ancient philosophy and science, philosophy of
sport, and social and political philosophy and has authored 19 books.His
articles on Thomas Jefferson include:“The Historical Pillorying of
Thomas Jefferson:The ‘Seismic Effect’ of a DNA Study Gone Wrong” and
“*Jefferson’s Moral Agrarianism.”*He is the author of
Dutiful_ Correspondent:Philosophical Essays on Thomas
Jefferson_ (forthcoming) and,_Framing a Legend:Exposing the Distorted
History of Thomas Jefferson andSally Hemings_ (forthcoming).

*William G. Hyland*, Professor of Law, Stetson College of Law and
attorney, is the author of _In Defense of Thomas Jefferson: The Sally
Hemings Sex Scandal_ (St. Martins) and the forthcoming biography, _Long
Journey with Mr. Jefferson: The Life of Dumas Malone_ (Potomac
Books).The belief that Thomas Jefferson had an affair and fathered a
child (or children) with slave Sally Hemings- and that such an
allegation was proven by DNA testing- has become so pervasive in
American popular culture that it is not only widely accepted but taught
to students as historical fact.In this startling and revelatory
argument, William G. Hyland shows not only that the evidence against
Thomas Jefferson is lacking, but that in fact he is entirely innocent of
the charge of having sexual relations with Sally Hemings.

*Robert F. Turner*, SJD, is a cofounder of the Center for National
Security Law (1981) at the University of Virginia School of
Law.Professor Turner holds both professional and academic doctorates
from the University of Virginia School of Law, and is a former Charles
H. Stockton Professor of International Law at the U.S. Naval War College
and a Distinguished Lecturer at West Point.He has taught both in
Virginia's Department of Government and Foreign Affairs and the Law
School, and is the author or editor of more than a dozen books.A former
president of the congressionally-established U.S. Institute of Peace, he
has had a strong professional interest in Jefferson for more than four

Dr. Turner served as Chairman of the independent Jefferson-Hemings
Scholars Commission, and he is the editor of _The Report of the Scholars
Commission on the Jefferson-Hemings Controversy_.The Report documents
the results of a year-long, independent panel inquiry by thirteen
distinguished academics from across the nation.Working without
compensation at the request of the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society,
the scholars were unanimous in their conclusion that "the allegation is
by no means proven," and with but a single mild dissent their views
"ranged from serious skepticism about the charge to a conviction that it
is almost certainly untrue."Each argument in the debate is examined in
careful detail in the comprehensive 412-page volume, with more than
1,400 footnotes documenting their analysis. Many of the commonly
accepted premises behind the story were found to be false, according to
the panel of scholars.

A fable has been defined as “A fictitious narrative; usually of known
origin.”Dr. Robert Turner notes the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings Fable
is clearly documented in the historic record as political smear
allegations originating from the pen of a disreputable journalist named
James Thomson Callender in October, 1802, and subsequently picked up by
Federalist editors and abolitionists in the United States and abroad.

While the significant evidence in the historic record to date
overwhelmingly vindicates Thomas Jefferson as a man of great character
and moral rectitude; and as someone wholly innocent of the charges of
fathering slave children,Dr. Donald Livingston, Emeritus Professor of
Philosophy at Emory University, National Endowment for the Humanities
Fellow, President of the Abbeville Institute for the Study of Southern
Culture and Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society Board Member, notes there
is a great deal of ideologically driven "advocacy scholarship"
throughout academia, foundations, museum institutions, and the pop
culture media today, which is more interested in changing public
behavior than in truth.Dr. Livingston asserts solid scholarship and
truth will eventually out those omissions of fact; intentional or
unintentional errors in the transcriptions of historic documents; and
other blatant falsehoods which contradict everything known about Thomas
Jefferson contained in the historic record to date.

About the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society:

The Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society (_ is
a Charlottesville, Virginia-based nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization which
has a five-fold purpose: to further the honor and integrity of Thomas
Jefferson, and to promote his vision and ideas, and their application in
our times and in the future; to pursue truth in all matters that touch
upon the legacy of Thomas Jefferson; to promote the principles of
freedom, patriotism and truth, which were hallmarks of Thomas
Jefferson's life; to sponsor and perform research in matters pertaining
to the private and public life of Thomas Jefferson; and to stand always
in opposition to those who would seek to undermine the integrity of
Thomas Jefferson. Additional detailed facts documenting the work of
the independent Scholars Commission and other distinguished scholars can
be referenced at the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society web site.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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