The Hemingses of Monticello

Thomas Jefferson portrait
Wikimedia Commons

Many Americans revere Thomas Jefferson as a founding father establishing the principles of a young republic. Jefferson was also a slave owner and DNA suggests he fathered children with Sally Hemings. What do we do with that information today?

Two scholars visiting Grand Valley’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies tackle the troubled crossroads of race and American memory.

“What’s the point of talking about Jefferson at this time moment since he seems to represent a past we are reputiating.”