Mongrel nation: the America begotten by Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
University of Virginia Press,
Pub. Date:
2009.
Language:
English
Description

The debate over the affair between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings rarely rises above the question of "Did they or didn’t they?" But lost in the argument over the existence of such a relationship are equally urgent questions about a history that is more complex, both sexually and culturally, than most of us realize. Mongrel Nation seeks to uncover this complexity, as well as the reasons it is so often obscured.

Clarence Walker contends that the relationship between Jefferson and Hemings must be seen not in isolation but in the broader context of interracial affairs within the plantation complex. Viewed from this perspective, the relationship was not unusual or aberrant but was fairly typical. For many, this is a disturbing realization, because it forces us to abandon the idea of American exceptionalism and re-examine slavery in America as part of a long, global history of slaveholders frequently crossing the color line.

More than many other societies--and despite our obvious mixed-race population--our nation has displayed particular reluctance to acknowledge this dynamic. In a country where, as early as 1662, interracial sex was already punishable by law, an understanding of the Hemings-Jefferson relationship has consistently met with resistance. From Jefferson’s time to our own, the general public denied--or remained oblivious to--the possibility of the affair. Historians, too, dismissed the idea, even when confronted with compelling arguments by fellow scholars. It took the DNA findings of 1998 to persuade many (although, to this day, doubters remain).

The refusal to admit the likelihood of this union between master and slave stems, of course, from Jefferson’s symbolic significance as a Founding Father. The president’s apologists, both before and after the DNA findings, have constructed an iconic Jefferson that tells us more about their own beliefs--and the often alarming demands of those beliefs--than it does about the interaction between slave owners and slaves. Much more than a search for the facts about two individuals, the debate over Jefferson and Hemings is emblematic of tensions in our society between competing conceptions of race and of our nation.

More Details
ISBN:
9780813927770
Also in this Series
More Like This
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID beb61b97-cb1c-029b-c501-94890f771d91
full_title mongrel nation the america begotten by thomas jefferson and sally hemings
author walker clarence earl
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:35AM

Solr Details

_version_ 1576240164862164992
accelerated_reader_interest_level
accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Walker, Clarence Earl.
author-letter Walker, Clarence Earl.
author_additional Clarence E. Walker.
author_display Walker, Clarence Earl
availability_toggle_arlington Available Now, Entire Collection
available_at_arlington Central
callnumber-a E185.62
callnumber-first E - United States History
callnumber-subject E - United States History
callnumber_sort_arlington 306.846 WALKE
collection_arlington Adult Nonfiction
date_added 2011-01-26T05:00:00Z
days_since_added 2398
detailed_location_arlington Central Adult Nonfiction
display_description
format_arlington Book
format_boost 10
format_category_arlington Books
grouping_category book
id beb61b97-cb1c-029b-c501-94890f771d91
isbn 9780813927770
item_details ils:.b13090860|.i13913487|Central Adult Nonfiction|306.846 WALKE|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf|Oct 27, 2012|can||
itype_arlington Hardback
language English
language_boost 10
language_boost_es 1
lexile_score -1
lib_boost_arlington 50
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington 306.846 WALKE
local_callnumber_exact_arlington 306.846 WALKE
local_callnumber_left_arlington 306.846 WALKE
local_days_since_added_arlington 2398
num_holdings 1
oclc (OCoLC)231745527
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Central
physical xii, 128 p. ; 22 cm.
popularity 1
primary_isbn 9780813927770
publishDate 2009
publishDateSort 2009
publisher University of Virginia Press,
rating 2.5
rating_facet oneStar, twoStar
record_details ils:.b13090860|Book|Books||English|University of Virginia Press,|2009.|xii, 128 p. ; 22 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
scope_has_related_records a, arlington, c, d, g, h, o, p, s, u, v, w
scoping_details_arlington ils:.b13090860|.i13913487|On Shelf|On Shelf|false|true|true|false|false|true|999|||
series Jeffersonian America
series2 Jeffersonian America.
series_with_volume Jeffersonian America
subject_facet United States -- Race relations
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title Mongrel nation : the America begotten by Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
title_display Mongrel nation : the America begotten by Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
title_full Mongrel nation : the America begotten by Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings / Clarence E. Walker
title_short Mongrel nation :
title_sort mongrel nation the america begotten by thomas jefferson and sally hemings
title_sub the America begotten by Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings