Jefferson's Children: The Story of One American Family

Jefferson s Children The Story of One American Family Following the headlines about DNA links between Thomas Jefferson and descendants of slave Sally Hemmings the authors traveled around the country amassing historical materials and interviewing an

  • Title: Jefferson's Children: The Story of One American Family
  • Author: Shannon Lanier
  • ISBN: 9780375805974
  • Page: 409
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Following the 1998 headlines about DNA links between Thomas Jefferson and descendants of slave Sally Hemmings, the authors traveled around the country amassing historical materials and interviewing and photographing members of both sides of the family The result is this story of one American family.

    One thought on “Jefferson's Children: The Story of One American Family”

    1. This book was interesting to read, given that it was written in 2002, very soon after there began to be hard DNA evidence that Jefferson fathered children through his slave, Sally Hemings. The way the book discusses this now fact demonstrates that back then, this very idea was still extremely controversial. There was still a resistance from many Jefferson-Martha Jefferson descendants to accept this truth. The book traces some current Sally and Martha descendants back to their roots, and intervie [...]

    2. The perfect book to read following The Hemingses of Monticello. This book brought life to the idea that Sally Hemings indeed had children with Thomas Jefferson, and there are hundreds of descendants who claim this legacy. Lanier traveled over the country making contact with many of his family members he never knew before. There are some who refuse to accept that those who claim lineage through Sally Hemings also have that lineage through T. Jefferson. To do so is to deny the reality of slave cul [...]

    3. This book was a highly rated book for any age group about the descendants of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, who was a slave in his house for many years. We don't know if they were in love, but Jefferson supposedly fathered many of Hemings' children. The book is written by a direct descendeant of this relationship and interviews all the people who were direct descendants of both Jefferson's marriage and his relationship with Hemings' after his wife's untimely death. All of the family have me [...]

    4. This is a very interesting book about Thomas Jefferson's legitimate and illegitimate families. It explores the controversy of the Sally Hemmings relationship through interviews with family members. Shannon Lanier is a descendant from the Sally Hemmings side of the family and wants to get to know all of his new cousins after the revelations about the relationship were announced and the family attended the reunion at Monticello. I found it fascinating to hear all the stories of this blended family [...]

    5. The author, a college student, wants to meet other descendants of Thomas Jefferson, black and white. So he travels around America making a pictoral essay of the Jefferson clan, which turns out to be a mirror of a blended America. Some folks embrace the Sally Hemmings descendants; others reject and/or deny them. The annual Jefferson family pinic on the grounds of Monticello doesn't want to admit the Hemmings descendants at first, but the author and his family are eventually accepted. In a larger [...]

    6. The Hemings Jefferson story is interesting to me, like many blacks, I have wondered about my ancestors. As a light skin black person, I know there has to be white ancestors; but my very light skinned grandmother denies any white relatives. Now she is dead. We will never know. So I found this book interesting in that there are white people with my unique last name as well as black; and I have always thought some were the owners and some were slaves, thus the same last name. The book showed dffere [...]

    7. Shannon Lanier is a descendant of Sally Hemmings and Thomas Jefferson. In 1999 the Hemmings were invited to the Monticello Family reunion because of the DNA findings that proved their familial relationship. But not everyone was welcomed with open arms. Shannon, interviewed different family members about their oral traditions and definitions of family.Why I started this book: Someone checked this book in at the library and it grabbed my attention.Why I finished it: I have always been interested i [...]

    8. I decided to read this book on the heels of visiting the Jefferson: Paradox exhibit at the National Museum of American History. If you have never followed this story line of Sally Hemmings children with Jefferson, or even Hemmings parentage (Elizabeth Hemmings and Thomas Jefferson's father-in-law), I highly recommend you read this book and other modern writings about one of our nation's founding fathers. All men are not apparently created equal, and it is only through forensic evidence that Jeff [...]

    9. Classified in the library as "teen nonfiction," this is a valuable book for readers of all ages. Stories from members of the Jefferson and Hemings family, the discussion is so civil and adult, no blame or anger or hatefulness on either side. There are those who refuse to accept the evidence, or interpret it in different ways, but even those interviews are respectful of difference of opinion. I think if we could all approach race discussions (or discussions on any charged issue) this way, our cou [...]

    10. I remember hearing this story years ago on the Oprah show and while looking for books the other day found it. I am so glad I did. An absolutely fabulous book. The families of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings are brought together through oral history, DNA, rumor, innuendo, secrecy and some shame. This book examines their story though interviews by many cousins, young and old. The only sadness is that the hope expressed when this book was published, that our racial tensions were easing, has turn [...]

    11. I enjoyed this. I'd heard of the Jefferson/Hemmings theory, but not in detail. I didn't know about the oral history on the Hemmings' side, or Sally's staying in town to care for Thomas's grave. That makes it a lot more believable, to me, that it was probably Thomas himself and not his brother as some people say. Besides that, though, it was fascinating to see the points of view and memories of so many people laid out as interviews in a book - all the facets and sides of a single story.

    12. My mother gave me a signed copy of this book as a gift. The story of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings has fascinated me for a very long time. Add that to my interest in genetics, heritage, and tracing your family roots, and this book was pretty much a perfect gift for me. Lovely color pictures and great stories.

    13. Very interesting! A little confusing following family after family to come down to the truth. I believe the story of Thomas Jefferson having a "second" family with his slave (who was half-sister to his wife). I'm sure he loved her for who she was. Sad that they families had to "hide the family secret" for so many years!

    14. VERY good read. I loved not only the WAY this family's story was presented from the modern day tracing the roots back, but I adored reading the stories the people this young man interviewed told from their own perspectives, & the best part was the PICTURES!!!!

    15. During a visit to Monticello, I purchased this book. I wanted to learn more about Jefferson's two families. This was the perfect book to feed my curiosity as told by family members. The book confirmed my belief in the importance of providing oral or written histories for those who follow us.

    16. Genealogy is a passion of mine so I found this book interesting. It is a quick read. Short sketches on Jefferson descendants and their view on the Jefferson/Hemings relationship.

    17. I just bought this book at Monticello. The ISBN is a later edition 2002. It is very interesting with many lovely photographs!

    18. I am currently re-reading this book and it is making me wonder if it is not time for Oprah to revisit this family.

    19. Such a fascinating story - chronicles the descendants of Thomas Jefferson, from both Sally Hemings and Martha Jefferson.

    20. Current Woodson/Hemings/Randolph-Jefferson thoughts on the their mutual relationship. This book was published after their first meeting at Monticello.

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