Examining Related Evidence: Sorting out the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings Relationship
This internet activity is based on the Examining the Evidence feature found on page 213 of The American Pageant
, Twelfth Edition. Or you can view the feature here
This interesting controversy has been in the news a lot in recent years. To explore it further, historians need to know some key details of Jefferson's life.
To investigate further, go to the Thomas Jefferson Timeline at the Library of Congress
Use the Chronology, spanning the colonial period, the American Revolution, and the early republic, to answer the following questions:
- When and how did Jefferson acquire the Hemings family?
- When and how did Jefferson's wife Martha die?
- When, why and with whom did Jefferson first travel to Paris? When did Sally join them?
- What eventually happened to James Hemings in 1796?
- Why did James Callender turn on Jefferson in 1802?
- How did this investigation affect your view of the Sally Hemings controversy?
To learn more: go to the to the following website: www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jefferson/