American Sphinx - Study Guide Appendix Summary & Analysis

Joseph Ellis
This Study Guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of American Sphinx.
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Politicians have long been subjected to rumors of sexual scandal, and Thomas Jefferson was no exception. The most enduring scandal of Jefferson's life was the alleged relationship with Sally Hemings, a quadroon slave he inherited from his father-in-law. "Indeed the alleged liaison between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings may be described as the longest-running miniseries in American history."

During Jefferson's first term as president, James Callender printed scurrilous, vengeful allegations that Jefferson was the father of all five of Sally Hemings's living children. These rumors gained credence because Callender had previously revealed the adulterous affair between Alexander Hamilton and Maria Reynolds. Hemings had several children whose father was obviously white, and some of their features resembled Jefferson's. Callender also reported, accurately, that while still a young, unmarried man, Jefferson had made improper advances to a married woman, Elizabeth Walker. Jefferson admitted these charges...

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This section contains 515 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the American Sphinx Study Guide
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