Author of the Declaration of Independence. Founder of the University of Virginia. Father of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

These were some of the accomplishments for which Thomas Jefferson wanted to be remembered.

But today, the first thing most people say about America’s third president is he had children by a slave, Sally Hemings. And now, even at Monticello, Jefferson’s beloved home and retreat, there is a new focus for visitors that emphasizes Jefferson’s alleged sexual relationship with a slave.

There’s only one problem. It’s not true, contends David Barton, historian and author of the controversial New York Times besteller “The Jefferson Lies.”

He denounced the decision by Monticello to put Jefferson’s purported relationship with Hemings at the center of the tourist experience.

A recent report by the Washington Post states baldly Hemings “was owned by Jefferson and had a long-term relationship with him.”

This, said Barton, is a lie.

“For over two centuries, Jefferson-haters accused him of a sexual liaison with his slaves, especially Sally Hemings,” Barton said.

“In 1998, those rumors were seemingly verified when national headlines announced that DNA now proved that Jefferson fathered Hemings’ children. But some six weeks later, the storyline changed – but the public was not told about it.

“It turns out that the DNA definitely did not prove that Jefferson fathered her children. In fact, Thomas Jefferson’s DNA was not even used in the test! So how could he have been proven to be the father?”

Barton deconstructs the case against Jefferson in his book, pointing out the sensational media coverage of the 1998 report was simply not supported by the evidence. Indeed, later investigations only further discredited the idea Jefferson fathered children with a slave.

Discover the truth behind the most mysterious Founding Father. Read the book which a fanatic media offensive pulled from publication – now available once again only from WND. “The Jefferson Lies” by David Barton. Don’t miss it!

“A blue-ribbon commission of 13 leading scholars was assembled to examine the Jefferson paternity issue,” Barton explained. “Those scholars were all PhDs from prestigious schools such as Harvard, the University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina, the University of Kentucky, Indiana University and others. Several of them believed Jefferson had fathered Hemings’s children, but after a year of study, they changed their opinion.

“Monticello chooses to go against historic and even scientific evidence in order to take a politically correct position against Jefferson.”

Barton laments how Monticello’s treatment of Jefferson has changed over the years.

“It is a sad thing to visit Monticello these days,” he said. “To visitors who have even a cursory knowledge of American history, it is obvious that those who run Jefferson’s home definitely do not like the historic Jefferson,” he said.

“Visitors are even told that the reason Jefferson built narrow hallways in his home was because his wife, Martha, wore hoop skirts, and the narrow hallways prevented her from finding him engaged with sex with the slaves in the back rooms. Several other Jefferson-bashing declarations are also made on the tours. Today’s progressives and liberals hate Jefferson, and are happy to promote anything that demeans him.”

The media, in contrast, is largely celebrating the change. The Washington Post hailed the increased focus on Hemings at Monticello in its article.

“[I]t will mark a dramatic shift in the way one of the nation’s most revered Founding Fathers is portrayed to the more than 440,000 visitors who tour this landmark annually,” gushed author Krissah Thompson.

Barton contends the media is both uninformed about Jefferson’s real history and biased against him. He sees the attacks on Jefferson’s reputation as a proxy for an attack on the limited-government beliefs the author of the Declaration of Independence espoused.

“While there are some exceptions, generally the media is very, very uniformed,” he said. “They specialize in giving their opinions and their spin, and creating controversy where there is none. Numerous studies confirm that the two most liberal and progressive groups in America are media and academia, and studies have shown that two-thirds of those in the media feel that they have a ‘moral’ responsibility to convert their readers/viewers to their viewpoint.

“Liberals and progressives frequently display disdain and open hatred for traditional American history, institutions and heroes, which includes Jefferson. He represents everything they are against: a limited government, a restrained judiciary, welfare reform, protection of the rights of religious conscience, decreased government spending and much else.

“With these limited government views, Jefferson definitely would not be on the Christmas card list of most of the media today.”

The attack on Jefferson goes beyond the media. The Founding Father is also becoming a target of hatred at American universities. At his own alma mater, the College of William & Mary, Jefferson’s statue is a repeated target for vandalism.


At the University of Virginia, which Jefferson founded, students and faculty are leading an effort to prevent the school’s president from favorably quoting him. Jefferson’s alleged racism is the common link between these efforts.

Barton asserts these attacks on Jefferson are completely unfair and untrue. He maintains Jefferson was a fierce opponent of slavery who, until recently, was regarded as a civil rights icon.

“Citizens today should ask themselves why black civil rights leaders for almost two centuries openly praised Jefferson for his tireless efforts to end slavery and achieve racial civil rights,” he said. “Citizens should also read Jefferson’s actual quotes on slavery, as I compiled them in ‘The Jefferson Lies.’ The historical Jefferson they will discover, is not the politically correct version that today’s progressives in academia and media frequently portray.”

Yet Barton has no illusions the establishment media or most people in academia are interested in the truth about Thomas Jefferson. And he warns that the lies about the nation’s third president have both political and moral consequences.

“The Bible records in 2 Thessalonians that if you believe a lie, even innocently, it will still have an adverse impact on you,” he said. “For example, if someone tells you that you can jump off the Empire State Building and gravity will take you up rather than down, that is a lie; but if you believe it and act on it, you will pay the price, even if you innocently believed the lie.

“If citizens accept the lie that Jefferson was largely an immoral person, then they will reject him out of hand and will thus ignore his cogent advice about how to deal with Muslim terrorists, prevent judges from making public policy, prevent the expansion of federal government, oppose gun control, eliminate federal deficit spending and so many other areas where we still need his wise recommendations today.”

Discover the truth behind the most mysterious Founding Father. Read the book which a fanatic media offensive pulled from publication – now available once again only from WND. “The Jefferson Lies” by David Barton. Don’t miss it!

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