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  • Rita Caufield

No Reason to Distort Reality

The Feb. 7 edition of The Journal carried a half-page historical display on Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States. The “Vital Statistics” summary in this tribute is erroneous in stating that Mr. Jefferson had six children -- Martha, Maria, Lucy and three children who died in infancy. By now it is widely accepted that Mr. Jefferson was the father of 12 – six children by his wife Martha and, after her death, six children by the enslaved woman Sally Hemings. The Hemings siblings who lived to adulthood were Beverly, Harriet, Madison and Eston.

The fact of Thomas Jefferson’s paternity was established by DNA evidence more than 20 years ago. Sally Hemings and her children are featured in educational material that is produced and displayed at Monticello, Jefferson’s home.

There are members of our society who do not wish to know -- or let our children learn -- many of the facts of American history. However, that is no reason for a reputable newspaper to distort reality. Facts are facts, and black lives matter.

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