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The story of Jefferson and Sally Hemming first emerged as an example of application of contemporary issues in explaining past events rather than putting them events in their historical context. By so doing, Wilson Douglas discusses the story of Jefferson’s claimed illicit sexual relationship with his house slave whose name was Sally Hemming. The purpose this story’s publication was to give a real picture of liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the human progress. It also gave a scheme for the colonization and emancipation of the slaves.
The relationship between Jefferson, a free man and Sally Hemming, a slave, has been taken on different meanings and interpretations through the years. His behavior is seen as hypocritical and shameful, and his relationship with Hemming did not fit him. He is believed to have been acting out of character and violation of his decency and standards.
The author describes Jefferson as modern and surprisingly accessible to the present as his leading ideas on governments and politics remains to be look to be seen. The ideals potentially contained in Jefferson’s Declaration have necessitated changes and adjustments in the American laws and institutions. Jefferson’s contribution as an inventor and an architect is found in his beautifully smart and detailed drawings that reveal imaginary structures that were never built. This was his residence that names a small mountain in the Virginia, among the familiar objects in the iconography of America. He is also regarded as having the ability to calculate an eclipse and survey an estate. He also invented a revolving bookstand and a moldboard for a plough.
Jefferson, being a member of the slaveholding society, opposed the strange institution. The author’s thesis seems to contradict since, in some way, he seemed to believe in the morality of slavery. Though he pushed for its abolition, he still did not free them as he still kept 180 slaves and 3 large plantations. Jefferson viewed slavery as morally wrong hence; declared it be abolished. There were obstacles to the freedom of slaves as there was a belief that slaves would enjoy no freedom hence the well-being of the slaves remained a dilemma. There were also legal restrictions and other obstacles that existed in the nineteenth century.