Archive for August, 2010

Sally Hemings

Sarah “Sally” Hemings (circa 1773- 1835) was a mixed race slave owned by the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson.
“As in President Thomas Jefferson‘s household, the presence of lighter-skinned slaves as household servants was not merely an issue of skin color. Sometimes planters used mixed-race slaves as house servants or favored artisans because they were their own children or other relatives. Several of Jefferson’s household slaves were the grown children of his father-in-law John Wayles and the enslaved woman Betty Hemings, who were brought to the marriage by Jefferson’s wife. In turn, the widower Jefferson had a long relationship with Wayle’s and Betty’s daughter Sally Hemings. She was much younger than Jefferson, an enslaved woman who was mostly of white ancestry and half-sister to his late wife, a legitimate daughter of Wayles. The Hemings children grew up to be closely involved in Jefferson’s household staff activities; one became his chef. Two sons trained as carpenters. Three of his four surviving mixed-race children by Sally Hemings passed into white society as adults.”

P.S. The Photo shows the actress Thandie Newton playing the role of Sally Hemings in a film about Thomas Jefferson.


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