Barton Suggests Thomas Jefferson's Affair With Sally Hemings Was A Liberal Conspiracy

On September 9th David Barton addressed Liberty University where he delivered a speech on “deconstructionism.” Barton blames deconstructionism for most of the ills in society today, arguing that deconstructionism deliberately distorts history in order to promote a secular, left-wing agenda. Barton said that historians have smeared the Founding Fathers, particularly Thomas Jefferson.

According to Barton, the claim that Jefferson had an affair with his slave Sally Hemings and fathered her children was part of a liberal conspiracy to protect then-President Bill Clinton during the impeachment process:

Despite Barton’s allegations, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation found that the “DNA study, combined with multiple strands of currently available documentary and statistical evidence, indicates a high probability that Thomas Jefferson fathered Eston Hemings, and that he most likely was the father of all six of Sally Hemings's children appearing in Jefferson's records.”

Not so, says Barton, who argues that the DNA study was invented in order to protect Clinton. He specifically points to Joseph Ellis for distorting the record, but Ellis was originally a skeptic of the claim and did not write the study published in Nature. After the study was released, Ellis conceded it was “beyond any reasonable doubt that Jefferson had a longstanding sexual relationship with Sally Hemings,” but the study was conducted by Eugene Foster of the University of Virginia.

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