For more than 200 years the descendants of Thomas Woodson, a slave in Thomas Jefferson’s household, have bragged about their lineage to slave-owner Thomas Jefferson (who despite all his fine words didn’t even have the deceny to free his slaves in his will).
Mainly, this claim was based on ‘oral history’; that is, a boast fabricated by an illiterate slave and passed down through the family for generations. More the reason that in 1998 when the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation commissioned three of the world’s most respected DNA laboratories to put this question to test, the Woodsons danced in the streets at the prospect of their centuries’ old oral history finally being proved true.
Only problem, it wasn’t. The labs reported back Thomas Woodson had absolutely no kinship to Thomas Jefferson.
None. Zero. No more than you or I have to the Prince of Wales.
And further, that there is not a shred of evidence showing Thomas Woodson was even the son of Sally Hemmings. In fact, even before the DNA results there existed nothing historians know of (save the Woodsons’ oral history) suggested Thomas Woodson might be Sally Hemmings child.
All of Sally’s children are documented both in Thomas Jefferson’s ‘farm book’ and historical accounts of the time. But not a particle of history eludes to the possibility of Thomas Woodson being the child of Sally Hemmings (let alone the son of Thomas Jefferson).
Nothing. Zero. Nunca.
All this yet on their family website the Woodsons have the unmitigated gall to boast —
“Thomas Woodson was the eldest son of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Hemings was also the half-sister of Thomas Jefferson’s wife, Martha Wayles.”
Pathetic…? You betcha. And note how in their claim they include the irrelevant fact of Sally Hemmings’s relationship to Martha Wayles. Clearly, pasting the documented fact onto the documented falsehood is done to prevent the sentence from being dismissed in its entirety, a rhetorical tactic also associated with denial and deception.
Here’s the Woodson site; visit it to marvel at how delusional we black folk can get. And don’t miss how they encourage visitors to write the Thomas Jefferson Foundation in protest of the Foundation’s decision not to allow the long-faithful Woodsons their rightful place in the latest version of slave-master Thomas Jefferson’s farm book.