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UVA Prof Stands Up to Anti-Thomas Jefferson Scholars

UVA Prof Stands Up to Anti-Thomas Jefferson Scholars

“a lot of the department chairs aren’t very happy with Jefferson”

Why should Jefferson need to be defended at the university he founded?

The Daily Caller reports:

UVA Prof Thinks Anti-Jefferson Scholars Are Trying To Suck Up To Department Chairs

A professor at the university founded by Thomas Jefferson thinks anti-Jefferson scholars are trying to suck up to their department chairs.

University of Virginia law school professor Bob Turner made the remark while disputing Thomas Jefferson’s alleged rape of his slave, Sally Hemings, in a conversation with The Daily Caller News Foundation. Anti-Jefferson scholars and activists have pushed the Jefferson-rapist narrative heavily in the 21st century, with the vandalism of a Jefferson statue with the phrase “racist & rapist” constituting the most recent allegation.

“I think there were a lot of people well to the left of center who stayed in graduate school to avoid Vietnam and wound up chairing departments over the year,” Turner told TheDCNF. “If you want to get promoted [as a professor], you’ve got to keep your department chair happy and right now, a lot of the department chairs aren’t very happy with Jefferson.”

The law professor traced the origins of the “Jefferson is a rapist” narrative all the way back to 18th century political journalist and pamphlet writer James Thompson Callendar, whom he argued tried to smear Jefferson when the Founding Father refused to appoint Callendar as postmaster of Richmond. Turner asserts that Callendar first branded Jefferson a French agent and then an atheist, neither of which stuck, before claiming the former president had an affair with Hemings. Callendar claimed Jefferson and Hemings produced a son named “Tom,” though six DNA tests refuted the allegation and Jefferson’s political adversaries Alexander Hamilton and John Adams also dismissed them.

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Comments

“Callendar claimed Jefferson and Hemings produced a son named “Tom,” though six DNA tests refuted the allegation and Jefferson’s political adversaries Alexander Hamilton and John Adams also dismissed them.”

Six DNA tests? In the 18th century?

    Milhouse in reply to Icepilot. | April 23, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    No, tests done about 20 years ago. They showed that Tom’s male-line descendants do not have Jefferson family Y chromosomes, while male-line descndents of Heming’s youngest son, Eston, do. Therefore Eston was fathered by a Jefferson — if not Thomas then his brother or one of his nephews. But he was born in 1808, six years after Callender made the allegation that Tom was Thomas’s son.

      tarheelkate in reply to Milhouse. | April 24, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      I think there was a nephew living in the general vicinity who is usually thought to be the father of Eston’s line, that is, thought by those who aren’t committed to demonizing Thomas.

        Milhouse in reply to tarheelkate. | April 24, 2018 at 4:12 pm

        The nephew who used to be blamed was Jefferson’s sister’s son, so he couldn’t have been it. If it wasn’t Jefferson it was someone in the same male line.

        But the point that seems obvious to me, and yet that everyone else seems to deliberately ignore, is that since Tom’s descendants, and those of Heming’s other sons before Eston, do not have Jefferson Y-chromosomes, it follows that Tom (about whom the original allegation was made) and most of his brothers are almost definitively proven not to have been Jefferson’s sons. And yet every source I read reports this result and then says “therefore Jefferson was Eston’s father, and almost certainly also that of all Heming’s other children”.

Close The Fed | April 28, 2018 at 11:48 am

Still amazed no one talks about Jefferson’s efforts in the Virginia House of Burgesses to make it legal to free slaves.

Before the Revolution….

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