To the editor:

In 2001, an independent panel of more than a dozen scholars concluded, with only a single mild dissent, that the story that Thomas Jefferson had one or more children with Sally Hemings, one of his slaves, was probably false.

In his preface to M. Andrew Holowchak’s book, Framing a Legend – Exposing the Distorted History of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, Robert F. Turner, who chaired the panel, and who himself had thought the issue had been settled the other way because of what had been published in the science journal Nature, wrote:

“During our investigation we found that many of the alleged ‘facts’ being proffered too support the story were simply not true … and some of the documents being relied upon had been materially altered in transcription.”

There is much more along the same line.

How admirable it is for such scholars to put forth this kind of effort to counteract the pseudo-scholarship of those eager to denigrate our founding fathers.

R.E. Wehrwein

New Ulm

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