Anatomy of a Scandal: Thomas Jefferson and the SALLY Story

Rebecca L. McMurry, James F. McMurry Jr.

  • Anatomy of a Scandal: Thomas Jefferson and the SALLY Story

From the Foreword by David N.Mayer, Professor of Law and History, Capital University:

“For over two hundred years—ever since it was first raised in print by the notorious hatchet journalist James Callender in a Richmond, Virginia, newspaper in 1802—the allegation that Thomas Jefferson fathered the children of his slave Sally Hemings has been a popular American myth. Although many people today erroneously believe that the Jefferson-Hemings paternity claim is historical fact, the persistence of that belief is merely evidence of the power of the myth and of the various social forces that have helped sustain it throughout American history. Personal and political enmity, partisan conflict, and the slavery controversy helped fuel ‘the SALLY story’ in the early 19th century. Today, the story is kept alive because other forces, equally political, in American culture and in the history profession have created an atmosphere in which it has become difficult to separate myth from fact.

In this book Rebecca and James McMurry make a significant contribution to our understanding of the real, historical story behind the Sally Hemings myths. Although they are not professional historians, the McMurrys in fact have bested many of the historians and other professional scholars who have written on this subject, in doing their research thoroughly and carefully, uncovering the true origins of the SALLY story. They reveal, for the first time in print, the full chronology of the story—tracing it back to the scandalmongers with whom it originated, men whose enmity toward Jefferson (and his father-in-law, John Wayles) was both personal and political. It is a fascinating story that needs to be told, and this book tells it ably.”

Book
Author Rebecca L. McMurry ; James F. McMurry Jr.
Pages 236
Images 34
Maps 5
Bibliography Yes
Index Yes

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  • $19.95

Tags: 9781572493032, Rebecca L. McMurry, James F. McMurry Jr.