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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Thomas Jefferson, the man

Anyone who attended the University of Virginia was taught to revere President Jefferson. 
So, when questions arose about the parentage of Sallie Hemings' children, a heated debate ensued. 
A DNA test, pointing to a Jeffersonian genetic connection, proved to the satisfaction of some but not all, that the President was the father. 
As I pointed out in an earlier posting to this blog, "Did he or didn't he... Thomas Jefferson and DNA", 10 May 2010, DNA testing points to the family, not to the man.
This debate will apparently continue for some time. 
What does it mean to be descended from a President? Does it inspire someone to become President himself? Does it create the motivation to be a leader? What difference does it make in someone's life to know that he or she is descended from a particular someone? Genealogy, the study of our ancestors, is more than a passion. It has become a national obsession. And, in the end, we are all one family...

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