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'Monticello' Tells Untold Story Of Sally Hemings

Sep 22, 2008 (Talk of the Nation)

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Thomas Jefferson's biography got significantly more complicated when, 11 years ago, DNA evidence linked him to the descendants of Sally Hemings, a slave on his estate.

Until recently, Hemings' story and her family's story remained largely untold. Now, author and historian Annette Gordon-Reed seeks to fill in these historical gaps in her new book, The Hemingses of Monticello. The book is an exhaustive study of Sally Hemings and her role in the Jefferson household. It also details the shifting fortunes the larger Hemings family and their descendants.

Gordon-Reed is a professor of law and history at New York Law School, and the author of Race on Trial and Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy.

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