Talk:Thomas Jefferson/Archive 18

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Archive 15 Archive 16 Archive 17 Archive 18 Archive 19 Archive 20 Archive 25

Jefferson-Hemings controversy, once again

(note topic change) Currently the section has little historical content. It doesn't even id Sally Hemings other than to mention she was just a mixed race slave. The lede sentence and the entire first paragraph is 'Callender'. Who's writing this? The section is simply shunted with a couple of disarrayed topics with the excessive commentary hovering over every other passage. We had a long discussion about getting neutral language into this controversial topic. Simply because you hunted around and found these websites doesn't change any of this. No one has qualified 'most historians' or any other such notions. If the Smithsonian, PBS, TJF or anyone makes this claim they must source it with RS's as is required by Policy : Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications.. Where is this established expert?? Also, claims made about 'most' constitute Original research. Where has the claim 'most historians' ever been published by an 'established expert in reliable third-party publications'?
While we're at it, why haven't you been able to source this claim with Reed, Finkelman, Onuf or any of the other 'favorites' used to source the Hemings topic?? THere are multiple policy issues with the section, once again, including undue weight given to items off topic. The section is hardly biographical. Focus is on histography, museums, etc, not Jefferson and Hemings. Strides need to be made to fix this.Gwillhickers (talk) 08:11, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

It's unclear what you mean by historical context, but I added more ID of Sally Hemings. As noted before on the TAlk page, TDOL asked for the content on Callender and the original reporting, and at one time you thought that added historical context. The controversy is largely about how historians have treated the evidence, including different oral history accounts; that is why historians are cited in this section, and always have been. TDOL also added to the details of the DNA test, to show why dissenters from the consensus take issue with it. PBS, an RS writing an overview and presenting extensive documentation about the J-H controversy, is sufficient as reporting on the consensus among historians and other experts (such as the National Genealogical Society, which I cited separately) and dissenting opinions. I didn't "hunt around" to find the PBS Jefferson's Blood; it is a major website accompanying the multi-part program.Parkwells (talk) 15:31, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
I think it's time that you stopped editing the article to please Gwill. I was about to come in here and post a new topic about how crappy the controversy section is, but then it all clicked into place. Neither you or Gwill are doing the article any favors acting in this manner. Gwill shouldn't be the dictator and you shouldn't be trying to please him. Just stop editing and let's figure out a better way to do this besides chaos. Brad (talk) 20:45, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't think Parkwells is trying to please anyone, I believe he's claiming that as justification for some of the edits he makes with his own agenda.TheDarkOneLives (talk) 06:36, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Agree; have added a quote from the Smithsonian exhibit in the cite.Parkwells (talk) 19:17, 3 April 2012 (UTC)


(Re-establish topic) ASW it would help if you would link to policy or guidelines that supports your various claims. Tertiary sources are only acceptable when they can show their claim is not original research: Because Wikipedia forbids original research, there is nothing reliable in it that isn't citable with something else'. Moreover, we are still dealing with self publicized sources.

Regardless of sources, the section needs to be largely rewritten, given a good intro, historical context, summary form, with brief commentary that reflects a wide view. Gwillhickers (talk) 08:11, 30 March 2012 (UTC)--

Your understanding of primary, secondary, and tertiary sources, original research, and self-publication are quite at odds with the more common interpretations. In particular, Wikipedia forbids original research by Wikipedia editors published only in Wikipedia. It has no problem to use original research first published by a reliable source elsewhere. Indeed, I would argue that that is its reason for being. Something published by the TJF or the Smithsonian or NPR is not usually considered "self-published", because it is published by an organisation with a reasonable reputation for accuracy and fact-checking. What I publish (only) on my personal website is self-published, but my papers published by Springer are neither self-published by me nor self-published by Springer. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 08:29, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
If an org publishes something written by independent historian then of course this isn't considered 'self published'. If that same org publishes something by one (or more) of their own members then we are dealing with a self publication regardless of what some people may 'consider it as'. If that same person is not an established expert then we have yet another policy issue that needs to be dealt with. Aside from that, the section still needs to be rewritten. It is not a forum for historical commentary, esp one sided commentary. The greater bulk of the text should be devoted to historical content, providing what FACTS are known. Ambiguous commentary regarding "the scholarship" should be brief, balanced and clear. The off topic details about the museum and "six slave families at Monticello and their descendants" do not belong in the Jefferson-Hemings Controversy section at all as it has nothing to do with the controversy or Jefferson's life, i.e.his biography. I am hoping the editor who included this 'paragraph' will be gracious enough to remove it on his own [and perhaps include it on the Jefferson slavery page]. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:40, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
As Alanscottwalker, Brad, Stephen Schulz and I have noted, your interpretation of WP:RS policy related to publications by scholarly institutions is incorrect. Parkwells (talk) 22:43, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Secondly, a 2012 national "landmark exhibit" on Jefferson as slaveholder, with content about a slave family which the academic consensus says he was likely related to by both marriage and paternity, and others who supported his family, is certainly pertinent both to his biography and to the historic controversy. Parkwells (talk) 22:43, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
More of your broad, sweeping and unclear claims. If an org publishes an article written by their own member(s), not an independent historian, then please explain how this is not a self published source. The claim "not usually considered as" is just another empty claim to support your first empty claim. You need to start explaining yourself and link to policy and/or guidelines that supports your claim. Also these Self Published articles must be written by an established expert, just like other sources, not by some unknown entity: Policy : Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications.. Again, where is this established expert?? Last you need to condense your commentary and simply state that the scholarship is widely divided as we did for the lede. Currently the section mentions Ellis, Burnstein, TJF, National Geographic and now the museum all used to promote the one myopic claim (not one or two children, but all six). The entire last three paragraphs is nothing but commentary. You are obviously trying to sway opinion with appearances rather than with facts. Understandable. The facts are sketchy and support other viable possibilities. Much more attention is given to historians than is given to Jefferson and Hemings. This is the only section where so many (selected) sources are dragged into the text. Would you please fix this now, or should I begin dragging in other sources to balance the ones you've selected? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:30, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
The Smithsonian is a legitimate source for current research on Jefferson! Cmguy777 (talk) 23:55, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

1/5 of children in Virginia during Jefferson's times were mixed race and born out of wedlock.

Janell L. Carroll (2010) John D'Emilio, Estelle B. Freedman (1988) Cmguy777 (talk) 17:37, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
You also forgot to mention title and page numbers, not that I contest the claim, but if you're going to make them it would be nice if you could actually source them. Btw, what was your point? Is the figure "1/5" supposed to give weight to the theory of Jefferson's paternity? That number could be 2/5's or 3/5's and the case for TJ's paternity would remain unchanged. Nice appearance though, but we're intellectuals around here, not a group of naive students who are easily goaded into an opinion with appearances and academic peer pressure. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:30, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

I brought this up since multi racial children were not uncommon in Virginia. There would be nothing out of the ordinary if Jefferson had children by Hemings. The Carroll (2010) source is on page 19. Carroll got this information from John D'Emilio, Estelle B. Freedman (1988). I do not have the page number for the John D'Emilio, Estelle B. Freedman (1988). Cmguy777 (talk) 03:58, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Sources: Carroll (2010) Sexuality now: embracing diversity ; John D'Emilio, Estelle B. Freedman (1988) Intimate matters: a history of sexuality in America Cmguy777 (talk) 04:03, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
How much historical weight needs to be devoted to Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings? Callander had no signifigant effect on Thomas Jefferson's political carreer in terms of his accusation that Jefferson was sleeping with a concubine. Jefferson's legacy with slavery has more historical weight. The South rebelled over the slavery issue, not the Jefferson-Hemings controversy. Cmguy777 (talk) 18:38, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, they rebelled over slavery, state's rights -- not Jefferson/Hemings. Also, I didn't use the term 'historical weight' but rather 'historical content'. How much? Enough to give the reader so he or she can make up their own mind without all the redundant opinion from unknown writers which was obviously included to do that for them. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:38, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Gwillhickers, readers do not need Wikipedia editors to do their thinking for them. There is historical consensus that Jefferson has a "relationship" with Sally Hemings, however, readers do not have to follow or endorse any opinions by any historians. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:58, 1 April 2012 (UTC) ────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

Section language

Cm', yes, students don't need WP editors to do their thinking -- and they don't need WP editors giving them a once sided picture, making it more difficult for them to do their own thinking. Parkwells has dragged in several web page articles (most with no writer, all with no recognized historian/professor) all so he can make the same statement, 'most'. TJF is mentioned twice in this capacity. None of these sources come from publications by established historians like Ferling, Berstein, Finkleman, Malone, not even Reed claims 'most', which is why he had to go to these high visibility cites who btw respond to or are dictated by political pressure and/or donations, unlike the other RS's.
You were the one who once insisted that sources be from Jefferson biographers when I wanted to cite 'treason' for the DOI section. Now look at you. We also went through a lot of discussion to get the language more neutral for controversial topics. After the page was blocked there was a notable effort to cooperate and we fixed the lede language. No one was 100% percent happy, but it was neutral. If you really want the students to think for themselves we must give them a neutral picture and focus on the facts, not opinion, because young and impressionable students often follow along. Again, commentary should be brief, acknowledge widely divided opinion because of inconclusive evidence with maybe mention for the Smithsonian/TJF on the one hand and TJHS on the other. This should take up no more than a couple of sentences. We can say Smithsonian/TJF claim 'most' while TJHS and many others disagree without all the off topic baggage.
Parkwells, ref #195 says nothing about the Jefferson/Hemings controversy and nothing about 'most historians', while ref 196 says most historians now believe there is a high probability that Jefferson fathered at least one of Sally Hemings' children. -- unlike the article which says the exhibit notes that evidence strongly supports the conclusion that Jefferson was the father of Sally Hemings' children. It doesn't say the evidence strongly supports, only that there is opinion, which is qualified by "Jefferson fathered at least one". That source doesn't say most historians think he fathered all six. In any case we need to summarize all this commentary. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:39, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
I added the direct quote from the Online Exhibition to cite #195, and an improved url that links to that page on Sally Hemings. As you will see, near the bottom after "What the DNA Says': it says, "While there were other adult males with the Jefferson Y chromosome living in Virginia at that time, most historians now believe that the documentary and genetic evidence, considered together, strongly support the conclusion that Jefferson was the father of Sally Hemings’s children." (my bolding) Parkwells (talk) 19:13, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Insert : We've been waiting for you to get your edits/sources to abide by policy and guidelines. WP policy regarding RS's clearly says: The word "source" as used on Wikipedia has three related meanings: the piece of work itself (the article, book), the creator of the work (the writer, journalist), and the publisher of the work ... (emphasis mine). Whom are you quoting? Does the article have footnotes/sources? Policy regarding RS-writers has been brought to your attention several times now yet you continue to ignore it. We need better sourcing than politically inspired and highly opinionated web-page articles written by unknown authors. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:28, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Gwillhickers, I am quoting the online exhibit material that is part of the exhibit, clearly labeled above. Please stop pushing your interpretation that the joint Smithsonian/Monticello exhibit webpage is not a RS. None of the other active editors on this article support your interpretation and they have repeatedly pointed out to you that you are incorrect.Parkwells (talk) 21:10, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

I suggested both on your TAlk page and on this article page that you take your problems with this interpretation of PBS, Smithsonian and TJF to the RS Noticeboard. Your continued refusal to abide by a common-sense interpretation, as has been pointed out by editors such as Brad, Stephen Schulz and Alanscottwalker is increasingly disruptive.

"Common-sense interpretation" is your opinion. I am not the one who has had this section bloated out to five pages in length, I am one of the ones who (once) brought 'common sense' back to the section, and am presently trying to get the section to concentrate on historical content, facts and clear language. I am not the one who has the idea of 'most' covered with the most commentary than any other topic on the page. You have a long history of pushing a pov on this page and it needs to stop, as it has caused the page to be blocked twice now. Please do not instigate further disruption and get the controversy section to cover historical content and facts with commentary reflecting a wide view. As I said, we can use Smithsonian/TJF, and the TJHS but the commentary should be brief. The section is not a forum for histography, esp a selected histography. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:21, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

According to Wikipedia policy, "If you feel that a policy is problematic, the policy's talk page is the proper place to raise your concerns. If you simply disagree with someone's actions in an article, discuss it on the article talk page or related pages. If direct discussion fails to resolve a problem, look into dispute resolution.

Practically speaking, it is impossible for Wikipedia to be 100 percent consistent, and its rules will therefore never be perfect. If consensus strongly disagrees with you even after you have made proper efforts, then respect the consensus, rather than trying to sway it with disruptive tactics."

Please respect the consensus of editors on these sources.Parkwells (talk) 21:48, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

What's more at issue is your redundant use of the sources, all used to support the same opinion of 'most'. This in not the first time one-sided claims regarding Hemings have been over-sourced. Previously the lede mentioned slavery a half a dozen times. Before that, the lede once had more sources in the lede than any other topic there. This is occurring all over again. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:21, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
The idea of inconclusive evidence needs to be established in the section. Currently the section only says that TJHS says insuffcient evidence. The evidence is indeed inconclusive and this needs to be stated early on in the section and not offered merely as an opinion of the TJHS. The section also needs to clearly state that the 'opinion' of Jefferson's paternity' is based on inconclusive evidence. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:17, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
This is your opinion; no one else has asked for it. The qualifications on the DNA testing are there. The consensus of historians do not think the evidence is "inconclusive," so you would need to provide a cite for saying that critics/dissenters believe the evidence is inconclusive. The material as it is summarizes the major points of view and reflects current scholarship, as seeen in the Smithsonian/Monticello exhibit.Parkwells (talk) 19:13, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Please don't use the term "current scholarship" as if they are one unified group of monolithic thinkers. This is yet another example of your continued use of sweeping, unclear and deceptive language. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:21, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Even Foster said DNA evidence was not conclusive, and I am sure there are other sources that also say this. Also, why isn't Foster and his opinion included in the section? Foster was a central figure in the controversy yet his name doesn't even occur once in the section! You also forgot to mention that Foster's DNA tests disproved Callander's accusations. The section starts off with Callander but fails to mention this item. Why are you reluctant to include clarity to the section? Why are you leaving out important facts? Perhaps if you were not trying to return pov language to the section you would concentrate more on the historical content -- and the facts. The section has far too much redundant opinion saying the same thing, while there are major items missing from the text. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:28, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
There is sufficient discussion of the qualifications of DNA testing. This is not the place for lengthy discussion of all the details by all the players and it is about more than the DNA testing. The overview hits the important aspects, which was chiefly historians relying more on Jefferson descendants' testimony (proved wrong for the Carrs) than accepting Hemings descendants' testimony. Foster's test did not disprove Callender's accusations; major historians think it affirmed Jefferson's paternity of Hemings' children. Other editors did not want the material on Woodson included and I agree that it does not belong in this section, but in the main article.People can go to the main article for details.Parkwells (talk) 21:10, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Insert : DNA tests disproved Callander's accusation that Woodson was Jefferson's son, and I noticed you didn't mention that but fell back on the term "Hemings' children". This is typically deceptive. No one said DNA tests disproved Jefferson's paternity of "Hemings' children" just Callender's accusuation which pertained to Hemings' first born child, Thomas Woodson. Also, if Woodson is not the son of Jefferson then we know that Hemings had multiple partners. The section needs to be clear on that also. As for your selected concern regarding putting mention of DNA clarity, Woodson, etc in 'main articles' -- there is also a main article for Slavery, Hemings, etc, where much of the excessive commentary should go. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:21, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Ref 195 still says nothing about the exhibit and the conclusions they have jumped to. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:28, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
The quote is directly from the Online Exhibition webpages. Not sure why the url is not taking you there; go to Online Exhibition/Enslaves Families/Hemings/Sally Hemings. Not sure why the url doesn't take you there, as you can read that in it. The quote is there as part of the exhibition. Parkwells (talk) 21:10, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you're doing, but you need to link to the actual page that spells out the claim you've made in the article. If you can't do this then the source and the claim needs to be removed. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:21, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Here is the link again - it goes directly to the page: [1]. Both TDOL and I disagree with noting Woodson in this section. As I noted before, Callender did not name him, only noted that Hemings had a son named "Thomas" and other children. He never visited Monticello so had seen none of her children. It was Thomas Woodson descendants who claimed he was the first son of Hemings and Jefferson, but his name did not enter into the Jefferson family's defense. It is appropriate that he be dealt with only in the main article on the controversy.


Bogus claim

Parkwells, the source you used is putting out (very) inaccurate claims! The page you linked to says in the last paragraph: The test results show a genetic link between the Jefferson and Hemings descendants i.e.More than one. As we all know, DNA tests only linked to one child, Eston. It's bad enough that this section is written in less than clear language with key points about the controversy left out, i.e.inconclusive DNA results, disproved Callender accusation, Hemings having multiple partners, but when you find sources that make a fundamental error of this scope something needs to be done. The web-page article as it reads claims there is a DNA link between the Jefferson line and all of Hemings' children!! -- 'descendants' ?? -- This is typical of the deceptive pov language used to sell this topic to the uninformed reader. Since your source put out a glaring 'untruth', what do you proposed to do about it? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:04, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
The paragraph could be worded better unless it's meant to be outright misleading. There would of course be more than one descendant with the Jefferson DNA as it gets passed from one generation to the next but it isn't at all clear that's what they meant given the way it's written.TheDarkOneLives (talk) 01:45, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
The last two words in that sentence are 'Hemings descendants' and whether or not the plural use of 'descendant' includes Jefferson males it still reads that 'Hemings descendants', i.e.all of them, have been linked by DNA. This is typical of the unclear weasel wording that is commonly used in the section. Currently the section reads ... the documentary and genetic evidence, considered together, strongly support the conclusion that Jefferson was the father of Sally Hemings’s children. It could be said that the DNA and the other evidence 'strongly suggests' TJ was the father of Eston. However, all that is left as 'evidence' for the other children doesn't amount to anything that "strongly suggests". This is the perspective, along with clarity, that is missing in the section. If someone wants to argue that these 'details', i.e.clarity, belong in the main article then so should all the detailed commentary which repeatedly functions no more than to assert the idea of 'most' and 'all six children'. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 03:45, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
You've misread the source. Also, your interpretation of evidence is not RS. Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:06, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Actually, you've misread the source. The sentence reads a genetic link between the Jefferson and Hemings descendants'. This means all the Jefferson descendants and all of Hemings descendants. That same paragraph closes with the claim: documentary and genetic evidence, considered together, strongly support the conclusion that Jefferson was the father of Sally Hemings’s children. The paragraph is written in such a way as to suggest that there is a Jeffersaon DNA link to all of Hemings' children. Can you show me the passage on that page that clearly says there is only a link to Eston and not the other Hemings descendants?? At this point I am no longer challenging the source in terms of disqualifying it as an RS, but attention still needs to be brought to this type of unclear writing. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:12, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
No. I think you should re-read it more closely and not try to read into it. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:14, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

GW, You are contesting a sentence which I did not even use as a quote. Here is the quote I had included: "While there were other adult males with the Jefferson Y chromosome living in Virginia at that time, most historians now believe that the documentary and genetic evidence, considered together, strongly support the conclusion that Jefferson was the father of Sally Hemings’s children." In addition, as I have already noted in cited sources with direct quotes from the historians, yes, historians including Joseph Ellis and Andrew Burstein have concluded that the test results for the Eston Hemings descendant mean that Jefferson fathered the rest of the children. That is their professional opinion based on all the evidence. You are beating a dead horse to continue to attack every sentence you don't like.Parkwells (talk) 21:00, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Insert : Whether or not you used the quote in question the page you linked/referred to clearly says The test results show a genetic link between the Jefferson and Hemings descendants. i.e.More than one. And I only attack sentences that lack clarity and/or are downright deceptive. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:12, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
A note was added for the readers who read this source, reminding them that DNA evidence links to only Eston and 25 other Jefferson related males. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:49, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Gwillhickers, the Smithsonian is the most practical recent (2012) view point on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Parkwell's is correct in mentioning the most recent view point on Jefferson and Hemings in the article. The Smithsonian is independant from the Thomas Jefferson foundation and apparently is a neutral source. As far as I know the Smithsonian is a conservative organization. I have been there in 1988 when Ronald Reagan was President. As far as I know the Smithsonian does not support fringe theories on Jefferson. Cmguy777 (talk) 22:59, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Views on Jefferson/Hemings vary greatly as has been brought to your attention several times, regardless of what TJF is claiming on behalf of the Smithsonian. As for "fringe theories" is the fact that Foster's DNA evidence inconclusive a FT? Is the fact that the DNA tests disproved Callander's Woodson accusation a FT? Dissenting views regarding Jefferson's paternity are common and are grossly under-represented in the section, and referring to them as 'fringe' is just another example of the deceptive language used to gloss over the many inconsistencies surrounding 'the evidence'. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:21, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Slow down here; I think Cmguy is only saying that the Smithsonian reflects consensus and is not a radical institution. He did not say that the DNA test disproving Woodson as a Jefferson descendant is a fringe theory. Parkwells (talk) 20:43, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Gwillhickers, I was discussing the Smithsonian Institute as a conservative source, not DNA evidence! The current article does have dissenting opinion on Jefferson and Hemings. There is enough opinions on both sides of the issue. As has been agreed upon, the Jefferson-Hemings controversy does not have as much weight as Jefferson and slavery, in terms of historical impact. Also, I believe there is importance that the narration remain neutral as possible; not an argumentative courtroom dialogue. I agree with Parwells that the Smithsonian Institute represents current consensus opinion on Jefferson and Hemings. Cmguy777 (talk) 06:00, 6 April 2012 (UTC)


The 'Controversy section has far too much commentary, and the claim of 'most' is covered and 'sourced'(?) more than any other item in the entire biography. Propose suggestions to get commentary better summarized and representative of the wide range of opinion:


  • The subject of Jefferson and Hemings has been the source of much controversy and disagreement and as such historical consensus is widely divided. Many historians and The Smithsonian in conjunction with the Thomas Jefferson Foundation claim that most historians believe Jefferson was the father of some or all of Hemings' children while the Thomas Jefferson Heritage society and other historians maintain evidence is insufficient to make any such conclusions. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:55, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
This represents your opinion of your reading of the sources, and editor opinion is not the way to establish whether there is an academic consensus, as noted in the WP guidelines above which I copied to this page. You do not have a source that says "consensus is widely divided." I have three sources that say there is a consensus of "most historians...", while acknowledging that some scholars disagree, and I only need one RS: PBS Frontline Jefferson's Blood (2000), TJF overview (2010), and Smithsonian/Monticello 2012 Online Exhibit associated with Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: The Paradox of Liberty. Perhaps they can be summarized as to the current state of Jeffersonian scholarship on this issue, while separately cited; it calls for reworking the section.Parkwells (talk) 21:10, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
We had this conversation before but like many other issues, you avoided that one too. If there are an appreciable number of notable historians, professors of history, etc, who disagree with the 'conclusions' then we can deduce that there is wide disagreement. As I asked once before If one sources says 'Apple Trees' grow on Smith Hill and another sources says 'Peach Trees' grow on Smith Hill are we not allowed to make an obvious deduction and say 'Fruit Trees' grow there? A direct answer would be appreciated. Again, as editors we are not merely copy-reword-paste bots and are allowed to make obvious and reasonable deductions based on the RS's. To be fair to the readers we should say that TJF, etc claims 'most' while many others historians disagree, all in a summary statement that doesn't overshadow the facts and historical content. Also, you have not provided any names of the historians/professors (assuming they are) who have made these claims. If the Smithsonian is this conservative org that Cm' claims it is, then I sort of doubt they are all on the same page as the TJF, etc. As guidelines and policy state, we need a name of the writer, where the info in question was published and from what sources the claim is based on. ALL of these things are missing from your 'sources'. This was the standard I was held to when I wanted to make a simple comment about 'treason'. Then of course we still have undue weight issues with all of this excessive commentary. Your part-time allegiance to policy and established guidelines is getting a bit much. You said you were going to have ArbCom look this issue over. Why haven't you done that? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:33, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Please see the WP policy on Academic Consensus above. I have an RS with a quote from the PBS Frontline program. As numerous other editors have noted, you are misreading policy about RS, so this discussion is non-productive. No active editor except for you does not think that the Smithsonian exhibit is an RS. I provided the names of the curators of the exhibition, who are responsible overall for the content. Your opinion is that "some disagreement" is "wide disagreement," but your itemizing sources does not establish that. Accept the cited sources and other editors' opinions and move on.Parkwells (talk) 14:53, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Arbcom does not settle content disputes, (I don't think Parkwells mentioned Arbcom) only conduct issues such as repeatedly misstating policy per wp:competence and ignoring what other editors say. As every editor has discussed the sourcing issues with Gwill, and tried to explain why he is mistaken about the terms in policy, the only thing that can be suggested to Gwill, at this point, is take it to the RS/N for further explanation, should he wish, or that he wp:drop the stick. Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:00, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

The Smithsonian display, Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello; Paradox of Liberty is a collaborative effort between The National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation . You can contact the Smithsonian to ask questions. Here is the link: Smithsonian Contact. Here is the link for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Contact. Here is the contact link for the The National Museum of African American History and Culture. Readers can contact these organizations to request how the Smithsonian exhibit on Jefferson and slavery was put together. Cmguy777 (talk) 19:38, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

This is farking ridiculous

The Hemings section only keeps growing and growing. Does anyone realize how redundant and bloated it is now? Why are two paragraphs needed to push "most historians" when one would do? Why are there two paragraphs explaining how the debate came about? Why is there so much redundant crap in there? The section has 750 WORDS!!!!. The article is already several thousand words over size but Hemings gets bigger...and larger...and more bloated. Will it ever be possible to get this section into two paragraphs like I had it late last year? Two paragraphs.....Two. No more. Brad (talk) 02:59, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Above I suggested a brief summary for all the redundant commentary, with more emphasis on established facts and historical content. Several times I pointed out that the commentary for items like 'most' and 'all six children' is way over sourced and one sided, and all the text that has been inserted into the references is equally over-done, and merely echos the same message, i.e.'most', that is already in the section. Now some of these 'sources' are putting out very misleading statements, i.e.'Hemings descendants', so I added a little content and a note to add clarity and balance to the coverage. Meanwhile we have an entire paragraph devoted to a "landmark museum" -- dragged into the section only to repeat the same claim of 'most historians' -- all the while key figures like Foster are not even mentioned once in the section. This is what the section looked like back in early February -- two paragraphs Even then, the entire 2nd paragraph was nothing but opinionated commentary. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 09:29, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I'd like to attempt a cleanup and reduction but the last time I did that Parkwells began blowing it up again. The version you pointed out was the one that contained the 'out of Egypt' nonsense. It was that comment that finally convinced me how strong the agenda is here. Brad (talk) 21:52, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
It is amazing how editors forget that TDOL added the stuff on Callender and both he and Gwillhicker wanted more added on DNA qualifications, as well as TJHS complaints of the TJF report. Don't blame me for all the changes. Gwillhickers just added much content. The fact that a new, landmark museum exhibit opened in 2012 is an update and current news. This article is not going to stay stuck in the year 2000/2001 forever, as new information continues to be published.Parkwells (talk) 01:13, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, TDOL added Callander, etc. No one is 'blaming' you for all the changes, just for loading up the section with all the redundant commentary, the likes of which also exist in lengthy notes throughout the references. In fact, this is the only topic that has filled up the references with redundant and opinionated notes, the topics of which are already echoed in the section. Instead of using facts and historical content you have obviously been trying to 'wooo' the reader into an opinion with appearances and opinionated commentary which is why the section is full of it. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:34, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I may be in agreement with Brad on this issue. The Jefferson-Hemings controversy, in terms of historical weight, even if taken that Jefferson had children by Hemings, needs to be limited to allow the reader enough information, without getting into the specific argumentative details since there already is an article written on the subject. The best source for this controversy, in my opinion is the 2012 Smithsonian Institution Jefferson and slavery online exhibit. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:13, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

New Suggestion on Jefferson-Hemings controversy

As we have been unable to agree on our own language about content, I recommend we adopt a quote by an RS, and use two other brief sections:
1) use the overview summary quote from the 2000 PBS Frontline program, Jefferson's Blood (2000), which surveyed the field.
2) Include some details from the 2001 Scholars Commission Report, commissioned by the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society. Cite this report.
3) Include a brief note on the 2012 Smithsonian exhibit, Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello, as it is a landmark exhibit. Also, it shows that the SCR and similar dissenting books published in the 11 years since the PBS report have not changed the consensus. This deletes 5700 bytes from the last version by Gwhillhickers. Editors can put other comments/details/arguments/cites in the main article on this topic.Parkwells (talk) 02:21, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

The section has been turned into an awkward, obfuscated mess. A section about a topic should start out defining what the topic is, not talking about PBS. Parkwells is clearly bound and determined to keep Callender's slander out of the article.TheDarkOneLives (talk) 04:40, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Without attempting to side with TDOL, the narration, although factually accurate, in the current Jefferson-Heming controversy section does not match the rest of the article. I believe there needs to be a brief historical background given, and cut to the chase; use the most current source out there, the 2012 Smithsonian Exhibit as source. Cmguy777 (talk) 05:46, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Parkwells what are you doing?? The section has been reduced in text, but it is now a joke. It starts off with mention of a TV program -- in the year 2000. Barely any facts and historical content. We need an intro describing the controversy, with mention of key players. i.e.Jefferson, Hemings, Randolph, Callender, Foster and a brief outline of the facts used to 'support' or 'challenge' the idea of paternity set in the framework of historical context. At the end, a brief commentary about historians. We can say 'most historians', with 'a' source, and then mention descending views with another source. Parkwells this section is not your personal sketch pad and forum. And please, no more quoting unless you can attach a recognized name to it. The section should be at least 90% FACTS and HISTORICAL CONTENT !! Please discuss major changes in the future. I am going to revert this mess shortly but will wait for comment, and from here we can all work on a very simple summary/draft. Fair? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:58, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I suggest we do nothing more to the text. lets discuss my proposal below. No more reverts, etc. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:55, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Smithsonian Exibit 2012

I believe the 2012 Smithsonian Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello; Paradox of Liberty is the best source currently for Thomas Jefferson and slavery, including the Jefferson-Hemings controversy. Parkwells is correct. Let's not get stuck in the 2000-2001 past. Wikipedia needs to have the most up to date sources on Jefferson. I have read through the online exhibit, and I believe the 2012 Smithsonian Exhibit is really fair to Jefferson, possibly even giving Jefferson a "light touch" at times. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:24, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

The Smithsonian Exhibit changes nothing regarding the consensus of most historians that right or wrong, was laid out 10 years ago. The fact that this exhibit is a current event holds no more or less weight than the 10yo information does, as nothing has changed. It's certainly a valid source regardless. Brad (talk) 23:57, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
That would mean that the 2012 Smithsonian exhibit has validated the 10 year old source information. 2012 adds weight to the Smithsonian source, in my opinion, and the Smithsonian exhibit covers much more then the Jefferson-Hemings controversy, possibly new material on Jefferson and slavery. Cmguy777 (talk) 00:12, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Time to move on with the sources

Enough has already been discussed about sources for the Hemings section. Picking the sources to death is no longer helpful here. It's been weeks since the PBS and the TJF sites were considered good enough to use. No more picking and arguing. Remember that this latest blowout started with a change to the lead section. I'd suggest going back to the lead or just leaving everything the hell alone. It's amazing how things get sidetracked. Brad (talk) 21:25, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

At this point I would have to agree. Even if we got a ruling on one source, another would take its place. I also share your concern that None of these sources would survive the scrutiny of Featured Article requirements. So because Parkwells can not find a source where many of these claims are made by prominent historians, bonafied and unquestionable RS's, he has to resort to these web-page articles, written by unknown or less than expert authors, preventing the page from ever reaching FA status. I was recently taken to task for not using a Jefferson biographer. Where are those same descending voices now? The double standard, the pov pushing, the fuzzy language not to mention the hypocrisy used to push this topic is disappointing. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:36, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
Brad agreed that PBS Frontline Jefferson's Blood and the TJF pages were RS, so take your mistaken ideas about RS elsewhere. As noted long ago on this Talk page, none of your complaints are the reasons why the article did not reach FA status. If you would look at the discussion above on that topic, you would see what their points were. I have cited three RS for quotes about consensus.Parkwells (talk) 01:23, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm behind in my responses because I've been on a "disgust break" the past few days. I still agree that the TJF, Frontline or whatever else sources would not stand up to FA scrutiny but this article has almost a zero chance of ever making FA status because of this Hemings crap and its agenda editors. Otherwise the sources are fine for the current condition the article is in.. which itself is crap. Brad (talk) 22:06, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Inaccuracies remain intact

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation does not accept the conclusion of the original DNA study as stated in the article, saying "This study by itself does not establish that Hemings's father was Thomas Jefferson, only that Hemings's father was a Jefferson" []. TJF's actual conclusion is very different than the one posted in Wikipedia, "a committee commissioned by the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society, after reviewing essentially the same material, reached different conclusions, namely that Sally Hemings was only a minor figure in Thomas Jefferson's life and that it is very unlikely he fathered any of her children." [] The Wikipedia article at this time is inaccurate as it does not reflect the findings of TJF and leads readers to believe TJF agrees with conclusions that it does not. Revzack (talk) 12:19, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Excuse me, but you are looking at the wrong material. Please see the direct quote by TJF with their summary opinion in the article. They look at the DNA and historic evidence.Parkwells (talk) 01:17, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
The Thomas Jefferson Foundation runs Monticello and the website It is a very distinct organisation from the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society, a conservative group that was explicitly founded "To further the honor and integrity of Thomas Jefferson" and "To stand always in opposition to those who would seek to undermine the integrity of Thomas Jefferson". The TJF does report on the TJHS's Scholars Commission report, but indeed does not endorse it. I also notice that we apparently use Herb Barger's self-published account as a source for the (arguably) contentious claim that "In the late 20th century others have also used the idea of Jefferson's paternity to advance their own political and ideological agendas", which is very much unacceptable. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:53, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't see where the TJHS identifies themselves as conservative, and since there have always been various political and ideological/biased entities trying their best to denigrate Jefferson the position of the TJHS is defensive. We can still consider it a 'bias' but more accurately it is a defensive position in response to all the lies, half truths and distortions thrown at Jefferson for political, ideological and racial motivations. All one has to do is scrutinize org's like the present day TJF to see what sort of individuals are running the show over there. (i.e.Dianne Swann-Wright, Lucia (Cinder) Stanton, Julian Bond, Chairman of the NAACP) all heavily involved in racial and ideological pursuits. Historians like Barger are correct in asserting that the issue of Jefferson's alleged paternity has been and remains a means by which to advance their own ideologies. Such motivations are what started the controversy in 1802. Political, ideological and racial bias are the driving forces behind the controversy and remain so today. It is important that the uninformed reader be made aware of this perspective so they can better evaluate all the 'conclusions' made by these entities. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:45, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but you need to urgently recalibrate your realitymeter. Jefferson is, arguably, the most idolized person in American history - nobody but Washington and Lincoln even comes close. "Defending Jefferson" is a worthy aim. Defending the sanitized, bowdlerized, squeaky clean image of him is propping up the falsification of history. There is plenty of the real Jefferson left to be proud of, even if we accept his failings and quirks. I have to say that I'm deeply concerned if you consider people like Stanton, Bond, and Swann-Wright to be "biased" because of their "racial and ideological pursuits". Since when is Herb Barger a historian? I certainly cannot find any publication by him in Google Scholar, nor a CV showing any formal education. As far as I can figure out, he is a hobbyist and a self-published internet activist. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:26, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Barger isn't an academic historian, however "hobbyist" isn't synonymous with being un-knowledgeable, nor is a degree a guarantee of competence. From where did Abraham Lincoln graduate high school or get his law degree?TheDarkOneLives (talk) 11:45, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Insert : Realities have a way of making themselves quite apparent so let's not lay claim to that for ourselves, shall we? Thanks. As for the reminder of Jefferson's place in history, yes, he has been both idolized -- and demonized, by his political enemies and others. As for the 'squeaky clean' rhetoric, I think most folks can live with the idea that if Jefferson had a child, or children, years after Martha was gone and he had admitted it, the story would have just come and gone as many other presidents, kings, queens, etc throughout history have had 'other partners'. Chances are he wouldn't have been reelected. Jefferson would have been 'given a number' and put on the shelf with all the others and more or less forgotten about. The inference that Jefferson's paternity is somehow wrong because Hemings was a slave is largely the product of conjecture and opinion as we have seen. Esp since Hemings and her children were all well provide for regardless of who the father(s) were. What is at issue is when an individual like Callander attacks a standing president for political reasons, with widespread publication in major newspapers, or when others along the line in history repeat the allegations for their own particular reasons, then we have issues. i.e. A Controversy. This is not to say that any author who goes along with the idea of Jefferson's paternity is motivated by agenda or ideology, but at the same time there are many entities who simply are -- and they are the ones who have been very often in the forefront and have managed to keep 'The Controversy' alive at various points in history, and largely for their own reasons. This idea is pivotal to the machinations and various forms we have seen this controversy take. It's important that readers new to this issue be made aware of this perspective. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 23:21, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to have to agree that this Barger source is in no way reliable. A self-published Angelfire page will not cut the mustard. Brad (talk) 22:02, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Barger is a noted Jefferson family historian and an expert on Jefferson and a geneologist. He and his wife Evelyn wrote 'The Jefferson Family of Virginia', 1987. Url2 He was the one who worked closely with Dr. Foster and Mrs. Bennett, the woman who approached Foster with the idea of looking into DNA evidence. Barger is the one who located the grave of William Hemings, the son of Madison Hemings when they were searching for DNA candidates. However, we can use the University of Virginia Magazine where Barger says the same thing. He even goes further and outlines the bias motives of some of the TJF staff and names Stanton and Bond in particular. Also, self published sources are ok if an expert is involved as I pointed out before when some editors didn't seem to mind that TJF web page articles are also written by TJF staff and self published, and with no expert's (or any) name. When I made issue with self published sources it was because there was no experts involved. Barger is an expert on the controversy and his and Foster's findings have been published by reliable third party sources everywhere. In any event, if you are not comfortable with Barger's personal web page we can use other sources. Apparently the complaint of bias and ideology/agenda pushing is common to this issue . -- Gwillhickers (talk) 23:21, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Barger has not written in the University of Virginia Magazine, but only in the open online forum in reply to an article. This is again not reliably published. And you keep repeating that "Barger is a credentialed historian and an expert on Jefferson" without providing any valid evidence for this claim. Barger has been replying to every other Jefferson/Hemings discussion online and off, but that makes him dedicated, not competent. Again, as far as I can tell he has no formal training as an historian, nor published significant works in the scholarly literature - or even in the popular literature. Barger is not listed as a co-author of the Nature paper by Foster, either. And yes, Barger has called himself "Jefferson family historian" over and over and over again - that does not make him an expert. You are aware of the fact that you link to Barger's self-description in the Blurb of Hyland's book, not to an independent opinion, right? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 00:16, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Insert : Barger was not mentioned in the Nature article because they wouldn't allow other acknowledgements. Science magazine, 8 Jan 1999 : Foster says he didn't credit Barger because Nature doesn't permit acknowledgments in the correspondence section, where his report appeared. The Science magazine article also outlines Barger's involvement with Foster. Barger was chosen by Foster to locate family members and other descendants because of his in depth knowledge of Jefferson family members and others involved with the Jefferson family. Much of the material involved here is new, discovered, and is a specialized area of Jefferson's history, and at that time was not taught in your average university. Barger is more than an expert in this area of Jefferson history, he is a specialist which is specifically why he was approached by Foster and Bennett. Trying to block his perspective from the controversy on such baseless grounds is pov manipulation all over again. The Science magazine article also covers how the political influences played out and also highlights Barger's perspective in this area. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:18, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Before you try to make issue about Barger, founder of the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Foundation who has also published his writings about this issue, tell me why you were silent when I pointed to all the web articles with no expert or any writer to speak of. Again, Barger is the one who worked with Foster and was the one who provided them with historical research, etc. He was the historian that Foster and Bennett chose, approached and asked for research help. If he was good enough for Foster and others I think we can assume he is more than qualified to give us insights to this controversy. Your complaint is academic and without basis, considering all involved here. Again where was your concern for experts or historians when issue was made with other articles earlier? The fact that you previously referred to him as a 'hobbyist' tells us how little you know about him and the issue for that matter. Sort of like when you referred to treason and the DOI as a "common myth". -- Gwillhickers (talk) 00:27, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I do think that the TJF is a good and reliable publisher of material on Jefferson. They have a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. Your interpretation that stuff published by the society is "self-published" was widely rejected. On the other hand, Barger is indeed the founder of the TJHF, which lacks a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy, and which you have previously accepted to not be a reliable source. A book review by Barger, published by Barger's society, is indeed self-published and not a reliable source. Let me add that the so-called book review is not a book review, but rather a mostly incoherent rant that only mentions the book in passing. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 00:53, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Even the TJF refers to Barger's work The Jefferson Family of Virginia in Appendix J of their sources. Also, thanks for your opinion about the "reputation" of the TJHS, whose members include former TJF committee member Dr. Ken Wallenborn. Again where was your concern for experts, actual writers, earlier? As for your concern about fact checking and accuracy I only have to point out how the TJF has held up 200+ year old 'oral history' as gospel and have used it in their "conclusions". -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:12, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Agree with Brad and Stephen Schulz, the links provided do not show themselves to be RS; there is a lot of RS out there on Jefferson but this is not it (for the many reasons stated above.) Yes the TJF analyzed the book "complied by" (not authored by) Mr. Barger. They reviewed tons of stuff to come to their conclusions, which only increases TJF's reliability, not Mr. Barger's. More to the point, that 20 some odd year old Barger book is not being cited in Wikipedia's article for anything, and is not being cited by you, here, for anything in it. Given the tons of works on everything about Jefferson, that have been published since then, there is no reason to cite such a minor work, here, from such a minor compiler. Alanscottwalker (talk) 02:31, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Barger edit break

If the TJF can compile information and write an article, without a writer acknowledged, than so can Barger, a Jefferson historian and genealogist, with a name btw, who was approached by Foster and Bennett for help in research and finding present day DNA candidates. Yours is little different than the academic complaint Schulz made. Where the controversy is concerned Barger emerges as one of the best experts on the issue. You can criticize his web page domain perhaps, but he is referred to elsewhere, and it's sort of curious how you can so easily write off the fact that he worked with Foster, or that the TJF consulted his earlier work and listed it in their sources. To the contrary, Barger increased TJF's credibility as he is in opposition to their views, yet they refer to and cite him anyway. Sorry. You simply can't impeach his knowledge and credibility on such flimsy grounds as he was right in the middle of the issue along with Foster and Bennett as it unfolded. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:12, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
-- The important role Barger played with Foster is covered by a PBS /Frontline article, which is well sourced: 'A Primer on Jefferson DNA'. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:46, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
-- Here is an article covering how Peter Onuf invited Barger to a discussion about his book where he was then refused admittance to the discussion upon arrival. It also outlines how the advocates of Jefferson's paternity have refused to test William Hemings' DNA against Eston's DNA. Wonder what they were afraid of this time. This whole issue reeks of political/partisan manipulation. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:09, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
No, it does not. Will you please read the "sources" you propose? The only mentioning of Barger in that context is his research long after the Foster paper had been published. And it's not particularly important, either. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 06:43, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Excuse me, yes it does. Will you please read the source you oppose? The sources mentions his 18 month search for the William Hemings grave site and mentions also how he provided irrefutable evidence, which more than defines his role and involvement in the controversy as it unfolded. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:33, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Barger's role is outlined rather well in this article. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:44, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
As a genealogist, Barger helped track down Jefferson descendants for DNA testing; he was not intimately involved with anything else. It was Fawn Brodie McKay's research that had revealed the Eston Hemings Jefferson descendants and others on that side. He is simply referred to as a compiler of Jefferson genealogy, not as some expert.Parkwells (talk) 13:18, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Barger's work also appears to have COI/POV issues arising in family (his wife, it is claimed, is somehow related to the subjects of the DNA testing) and heritage groups. He may be, it appears, retired military but it's difficult to find his training in any field related to this. Given the amount of sources available, there seems little reason to try to rely on the opinions of present day family associated persons, unmediated by independent filters in scholarship. In this sense, the pedia should treat present day Jefferson family, Hemings family, and Woodson family opinions the same way scholarship does, if scholarship has examined them. But none of that should be in this short subsection of this article. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:30, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Nonsense. Barger was approached by Foster and Bennett 'because' he was intimately familiar with Jefferson history which in turn helped him to located grave sites and DNA candidates. ASW, why haven't you made the same demands for other sources, demanding 'experts', 'training', etc? Barger was chosen as a compiler of Jefferson history because -- why? Because he was not an expert in Jefferson history?? Enough of this academic BS and double standard. Barger is more than an adequate RS for mention on certain points in the controversy. If we can uses some ghostwriter with no name, or some curator whose qualifications are also unknown then we certainly can use Barger as a RS.-- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:33, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
No. Researchers went to family members to find out their claims, and their documents. They thus became the study of research by independent researchers. (And no it's not adequate for the many reasons many editors have stated above). Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:48, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
This is not at all clear. The only valid criticism made about Barger came from Brad regarding Barger's personal website. All other complaints are empty claims that revolve around a double standard. Please be more specific with your criticism. Again, if ghostwriters and 'curators' with unknown qualifications can be used as sources so can Barger. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:06, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
At the time all you supplied for a reference was that webpage. Since then you haven't supplied anything else that qualifies Barger as a reliable source. You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding about what constitutes a reliable source. In one link you supplied, Barger was used in a book by Hyland; the Hyland book could be used as a source. Your arguing over sources is way past the norm and disruptive. Brad (talk) 23:38, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, Hyland's book cover's Barger's involvement rather well also. Sources. We were flooded with a barrage of web-page articles, many without even an expert/author named, yet Barger the noted family historian approached by Foster, is attacked as a 'hobbyist', not a historian, etc. The sources still need to be checked. Look what happens to the section when no one says anything. That is far more disruptive than what occurs on talk pages. As I said several days ago, I am done trying to disqualify the sources in question and am just pushing for brief commentary no matter which source is used, with the bulk of the text devoted to historical facts and content. Again, this is the only topic in the biography that has received so much (one sided) commentary, so much so that it takes up the bulk of the text in the section. This is "Farking" RIDICULOUS! -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:44, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Has Barger himself published any major work that has appeared in books or peer reviewed publications? Does he have any credentials as an historian? If not, then he's not a RS. Just because he put up his own webpage and made some comment to a magazine article makes him neither an expert or a RS. Additionally, he's not doing himself any favors by trolling around the www posting things in angry CAPS to make his point. The TJF had a panel of historians review the evidence and make a decision. Frontline is and has been a reputable investigative news magazine for several decades. It's beyond anyone's control here what the TJF decided to do with the report they were given. While I agree that the TJF pulled a politically correct shuck and jive, your continual warring over sources is disruptive. Brad (talk) 16:59, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Brad, as I have twice said I've stopped trying to disqualify these questionable sources days ago. When I offered Barger as a source it wasn't me who initiated the 'warring', and I haven't taken TJF to task for some time, however I may do so again if I feel there is a need. Esp if they put out blatantly false claims e.g.'Hemings descendants', as one of these sources has. As for a RS and the idea that it must be from an 'expert', does this include all the sources? i.e.A Jefferson historian? No one has been very clear with that, at all. I think from here on end, any complaint aimed at a source must be based in policy, not the 'opinion' of a couple of editors (not you) with a history of waving policy when it suits them. I am in agreement that the Angelfire domain is less than adequate, however as for Barger the 'individual' he is referenced as a historian by a number of sources, including TJF, Hyland1, Hyland2 and PBS Frontline (used as a source in the section). The fact that Barger is a Jefferson family historian and a genealogist and was sought out by Foster and Bennett and worked with them helps to establish him as an expert on the various family members and other individuals involved with the controversy. Will look for other sources where he is acknowledged and referred to. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:38, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Here is another third party source that has published Barger's account The Jefferson-Hemings myth:an American travesty, by Eyler Robert Coates Sr, .p.25. See also: Amazon This book is also listed under further reading on the Sally Hemings page. Coates (deceased) was a graduate of Louisiana State University and he was Section Head (Supervisor), at the Library of Congress from 1974-78. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:27, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
I no longer even understand what you're trying to establish here. Barger cannot be used as a source for this article but that does not prevent using the sources that he was consulted for, Hyland etc. Barger has moved over to which contains an entire section devoted to discrediting Joseph Ellis and reads like a tabloid hit-piece. This is all I've left to say on the matter of Barger. Brad (talk) 21:17, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Am trying to establish Barger as a source, either directly or indirectly via a third party. Barger is a valuable source for items regarding Jefferson family descendants and others close to the Jeffersons, as were the Hemings, and who, again, was chosen by and worked with Foster and Bennett because of his in depth knowledge in this area. His wife being a Jefferson/related descendant he apparently had a natural interest in family history. Apparently what history he has sought out and compiled is not the stuff you're going to have spoon fed to you in college. He also saw the political and other interests play their role as the DNA evidence unfolded. So he attacks Ellis. Many of these historians at one time or another do the same. I can only image how many times Barger has been the subject of a 'hit piece'. This is an issue? Don't quite understand this aversion to someone like Barger. Does he require a phd? So far the only criticisms put forth have been academic and ad'hom. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 03:27, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Section not a coatrack for any one source

We can use the PBS frontline article as a source, but quoting and posting a two paragraph account in the middle of the section is ridiculous. We can say 'most historians' etc, but there is no need to post two paragraphs from just one source smack in the middle of the section. All this text was inserted without discussion so I am going to remove it and just use it as a source where the reader can read their account directly. With all the RS's for Jefferson, posting this very lengthy commentary from just one source is also ridiculous. This, btw, has reduced the word count for the section considerably and has rendered the section to only about a page long now. Also, copying and pasting this much text brings up copyright issues. See bottom of page. The text that was inserted into the section is copyrighted: In 99.9% of cases, you may not copy and paste text from other sources into Wikipedia. Doing so is a copyright violation and may constitute plagiarism.. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:35, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

The best practice at this time would be not to edit the section. Let's not spark another edit war and subsequent lockout. Brad (talk) 21:27, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Agree, but it seems this advice should be directed at the editor who not only made sweepings deletions but also turned half the section in to sort of a TV guide -- all done not long after the page was indeed blocked. With that two paragraph piece stuck in the middle of the section, with its dedicated format/indentation, it seems to me someone else was trying to spark an edit war, or was just temporarily blinded by enthusiasm. All this after a lot of discussion about lengthy commentary that gave a ton of weight to just one opinionated point. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:01, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Gwillhickers, you added a lot of content to the page without discussing it here, so don't be so critical. I said clearly that my intention was to use the language of an RS, as we were having so much difficulty coming up with our own. It seemed like a good way to try to move this discussion forward.Parkwells (talk) 03:31, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Meanwhile, TDOL continues to edit the section. At this point I hope the article gets locked again. Brad (talk) 04:33, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

You apparently enjoy bloated, obfuscated, badly worded content. I don't. Someone getting paid to write wouldn't be fired for handing in what Parkwells butchered it into, they'd be summarily executed.TheDarkOneLives (talk) 00:09, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Since Gwillhicke has added much content, I have added facts that support Jefferson's paternity and deleted overlap in the dissenting section. This section should be a summary, as ASW suggested and I would agree to that. But I won't agree to having more details in the "dissenting" section than in the "consensus" section. Parkwells (talk) 06:01, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Parkwells, I added a detail about Randolph along with a couple of tweaks in the text. This hardly constitutes "much content". As usual, you describe things in an exaggerated, broad-brushed manner. Please make an effort to be more 'clear', here, and in the main article.
This addition is the only definitive 'detail' about Randolph in the entire section and you obviously deleted it because it casts considerable doubt on the TJ paternity theory. Because there is a wide body of disagreement, both views need to be represented fairly as there is more than a 'fringe' group of dissenting historians out there. Because you found a 'source' that says 'most historians' doesn't change that, nor does it give you the right to slant the presentation as you have a history of doing. I have restored this one important detail. Please stop these disruptive and provocative deletions without first discussing them. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:26, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
I think both of you are forgetting that a summary style is proper for that section. There should not be any source stacking and point/counterpoint warring going on. I'm wondering if this will ever stop. Brad (talk) 18:53, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Summary style is what I have always wanted. Presently we have four paragraphs, with only the first covering any sort of history. There are three paragraphs of commentary most of which only serves to redundantly advance the same statement. The idea of 'most historians' is pushed four separate times, not including the same verbatim statement used in one of the lengthy 'notes'. While comments about TJHS and Scholarship Commission were added there are no other details. Yet the section currently has outlined at least six points, (2nd paragraph) that all try to advance the idea of TJ paternity. On top of this we have all this redundant commentary piled. Once again we need to have a summary, mostly devoted to important historical facts. i.e.Field Jefferson, Callender allegations, DNA results, etc. We do not need all the lengthy commentary and 'source stacking', to do this. It's taking up the bulk of the text. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:17, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Lengthy notes mixed in with references

The various lengthy notes mixed in with the references are inappropriate to the biography and also make it difficult to edit/navigate the section. For example we have this stuck in the middle of the ref's :

Alexander Boulton, "The Monticello Mystery-Case Continued": reviews of The Jefferson-Hemings Myth: An American Travesty; A President in the Family: Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemings and Thomas Woodson; and Free Some Day: African American Families at Monticello; in William & Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol. 58, No. 4, October 2001. Quote: "Past defenses of Jefferson having proven inadequate, the TJHS advocates have pieced together an alternative case that preserves the conclusions of earlier champions but introduces new "evidence" to support them. Randolph Jefferson, for example, had never seriously been considered as a possible partner of Sally Hemings until the late 20th century, when DNA evidence indicated that a Jefferson was unquestionably the father of Eston."

Once again, this is the Jefferson biography, it needs to stop being used as a coatrack for lengthy unbiographical commentary and text -- this stuff belongs in Bibliography of Thomas Jefferson. Parkwells, you need to stop filling the section and the references with all this stuff. Also, we have a notes section. If you need to make a note, please place it there. Notes are added to clarify points, they are not supposed to function as a page in a book that merely advances a point already made. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:08, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Many Wikipedia articles always include the quote that is the basis of the cite. Given the constant arguments about sources and interpretations, I added the quotes so that readers could see the original text. It is a valid approach.Parkwells (talk) 12:29, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
My issue was mostly with the extreme length of the commentary and those that served only to repeat the same claim of 'most'. The commentary is just as easily viewed via a reference link. In fact, once there, the reader will be able to look at other material also. Seems this is what you would prefer, but because I have insisted on short commentary you seem to think this is automatically unbecoming to your view. This is what often happens when you fixate on the editor rather than the issue. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:29, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

This information can be transfered into the Jefferson-Hemings controversy article, if not done so already. Cmguy777 (talk) 21:45, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

A blast from the past

Just for perspective this is the way the section looked in 2005. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:29, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Remarkable, as it has no reflection of the changes among major historians such as Ellis and Burstein, no note of the overview provided by the PBS Frontline program in 2000, and more space devoted to the TJHS attacking paternity than acknowledging why many historians had concluded in favor of Jefferson's paternity.Parkwells (talk) 03:19, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Gwillhickers, the 2012 Smithonian Exhibit is the most current and extensive source for Thomas Jefferson and slavery. Cmguy777 (talk) 21:39, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, that was before Parkwells came along and slanted it in the other direction with weasel wording and cherry picked quotes. Brad (talk) 02:44, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

New suggestion - have Brad and Alanscottwalker do the summary

I have a new suggestion: let's appoint Brad and AlanSW to do the summary of the J-H controversy section. They know about the sources, have read and seen everyone's viewpoints, and agree that a summary is a good idea. The facts and interpretations have been discussed on this page long past the point of productivity. GW, TDOL and I will agree to stay out of it. I'm enjoying working on other articles.Parkwells (talk) 12:29, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

I've just tweaked my propsal to see what Brad thinks and also addressed Gwill's request. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:28, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
As long as the bulk of the 'summary' is devoted to historical facts, per an encyclopedia and a biography, I suppose I can go along with that suggestion. Let's also remember that 'summary' doesn't mean it should be written like a dictionary account either. As for 'commentary', yes, we can say 'most historians' qualified with 'many that disagree', using TJF and TJHS as sources. As I said, we have three out of the four paragraphs mostly devoted to commentary which is totally inappropriate. Along with basic historical content (Field Jefferson, Hemings, Monticello, Callender) I recommend noting just the most compelling evidence for both views: DNA/Eston (written clearly), times of conception and Randolph/fratenizing, closing with no more than two sentences for commentary, perhaps with links to other info and sources. Much of this is already in place, so it would appear that all we need to do mostly is reduce the commentary and refine some of the text. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:43, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
ASW your current draft is not much of an improvement. Aside from leaving out much of the historical content it is still largely devoted to commentary. If the commentary was directly related to the 'over all history' of the controversy, it would be warranted perhaps. Present commentary is devoted to only one small aspect of the topic, not the subject itself even, but to 'most', an opinion, something that is aside from the history. History is what the text should be devoted to. In closing we should state the idea of 'most historians' and qualified by 'many others', sourced. Your present commentary is not clear on that, and like the section itself only serves to inflate that section like a blimp so it can be used to advertise and sell an opinion, rather than using those opinions as sources. Your draft is very brief, the first paragraph is little more than a dictionary presentation. i.e. I'm not opposed to expanding to one page (at the very most) for the section so long as it is devoted to historical fact. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 03:04, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
I've seen no RS, that overview scholarship and use the word "many," in the way proposed. Wikipedia therefore should not, according to the academic consensus rule. As mentioned previously there is a lot of background for all of this in the rest of the article. Similarly, Wikipedia editors do not make independent judgments about the "most compelling," "strong" or "weak" points, for the various views of RS. For example, you view Randolph "fraternizing" as compelling but it's not when the additional facts are that Sally did not live in the "slave quarters", and no mention is made in RS that Sally or any woman was present, for this episode or any such episode, nor is there any suggestion of sexual congress, in that episode or any episode. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:28, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
I have not used or proposed using words like 'compelling' in the article. Also, no one said Sally lived in the slaves quarters, however, no one has offered anything that suggests where in fact she did reside, and even so it would not rule out that Randolph and his sons were known to have very friendly associations with various slaves at night. Also, you need to address the amount of commentary that should be used in the section. Half of the text devoted to commentary, on such a small item that doesn't involve historical fact, but rather outside opinion, is again, totally inappropriate for an encyclopedia and biography. Last, there are at least seven statements in the Jefferson article that are tagged for no citations. Other statements have other tags also. To show that you are sincere about not using unsourced statements in the article would you remove all seven unsourced statements now? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:56, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
ASW, I have no intention of making important statements without a RS. My question asking to delete tagged statements was figurative, made only to point out that sometimes policy is rigidly expected of some while not of others, something that has occurred here too often. Gwillhickers (talk) 00:01, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
I've no objection to working with Alan on an acceptable version but will not put up with GWill and his WP:TLDR posts. If you want us to write the section then be quiet and allow that to happen. Comment afterward on what we present. Brad (talk) 02:56, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
I have addressed important issues, prolonged an lingering issues. Get the #@#! redundant boat out of the section, focus on historical fact and you will have no complaints from me. The section and the references are full of this stuff. It's been two years, plus. Why don't you apply that tuff guy attitude at the real problem? [appologies]-- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:49, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm quite capable of seeing where the agenda is coming from and working to gather an acceptable version of events that are as neutral as possible. What we don't need is a full-time siren blasting in our ears. Parkwells may be biased but he doesn't engage in disruptive editing which seems to be a tactic of yours. There's bias coming from two directions and one of them is yours because of your attempts to discredit acceptable sources and verbose amounts of essentially unneeded conversation. Brad (talk) 08:02, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Wrong reference

The reference for this statement is evidently wrong.

It is the first exhibit at a national museum on the Mall to address these topics. Created in collaboration with the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, it notes that evidence strongly supports the conclusion that Jefferson was the father of Sally Hemings' children.[196] [Note 4

First, it is TJF that "...notes that evidence strongly supports...", not the museum. The page linked to is a TJF page and there is nothing on the page that speaks of the Hemings children or any opinion thereof, btw. We just recently discussed linking to correct pages. Also, the long note that's been attached to reference 196 is information taken from another page and quoted here and is nothing but the same statement about the Smithsonian already made in the section.(!) Why the long note? The address for this ref needs to be linked to a page that supports the claim made in the section, and if this claim is saying the 'museum notes the evidence', then we need the page of the museum that makes such a claim about this evidence. If we're ever going to stablize the page we need to get all of this highly irregular activity, the bloat and the redundancy under control, make your brief commentary, not over shadow the history, and be done with it. Please. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 00:54, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

This is the website for the exhibit, which is a collaboration between Monticello and the Smithsonian; it is being held at the National Museum of American History, and both organizations are listed on the exhibit website and each of the exhibit pages. I have added this url numerous times, and added the note to show the exact quote, as explained before. Please stop trying to disqualify the RS. I don't know why the url has bounced back to the main page of the exhibit, but I re-entered the url and it worked for me: it links to the page on Sally Hemings; at the bottom of the page, after brief discussion of DNA results, is the cited quote. Parkwells (talk) 23:04, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Just make sure the source/address backs up what the claim in the article says. This is expected of any source. Don't expect the reader to go fishing around. Last, this will make at least three times I have said that I have long since stopped challenging these sources on this talk page. So your retort "Please stop trying to disqualify the RS" is uncalled for and is yet another example of the sort of language you use to prop up points that can't stand on their own. I ask again, will you please make a sincere effort to use clear language when you deal with other editors and esp when editing the page? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:02, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

another diversion

Ownership of articles is prohibited by Wikipedia. All editors can edit any section at any time freely and without any obstructions or impediment. Cmguy777 (talk) 21:35, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

What ownership issue are you referring to specifically? You forgot to say. And btw, there are many things an editor must consider before making edits, so no, editors are not free to do what ever they want "without any obstructions or impediment", and thanks for that insight. It helps to explain what has been going on with the page for some time. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:12, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
What issues are there with ownership? You tried this tactic a month ago and were promptly shown the door. If you have specific incidences in mind please take them to the proper admin board. This is not the place for them. Brad (talk) 02:36, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
What in the world are you talking about? My user name doesn't even show up once on the page you liked to. Brad, get the section summarized and get rid of the BS you yourself complained about: In essence: "We should not be pushing a conclusion for this article since it's a hotly contested one." -- Remember?? Apparently not. I have not pushed any conclusion, neither have you, as I recall. Can't say the same for a couple of others. If no one stands up to this coatrack BS we will only see the page go through the same pov nonsense we've seen it go through, time and again. Thanks for keeping your 'troops' concentrated on the problem. Summarize please. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 05:21, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
My response was to Cmguy. I think you need to review Wikipedia:Talk page formatting which explains how to indent properly. Initial topics are responded to with one indent; responses from there should two and three etc respectively for each respondent. I often have to fix your indents; have done so twice already in this section now. I'd also suggest you take a break from this article to prevent things from getting nasty. Brad (talk) 07:38, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Geesch! -- Sorry Brad. Yes, will be mindful of formatting, but sometimes it's convenient to insert, or indent the opposite way. -- A break? Well, Parkwells suggested you and ASW take the helm for the section, and I concurred, however, there doesn't seem to be much willingness to get commentary, redundant commentary, under control from ASW or Parkwells. Let's see what happens. Will tend to other sections adding citations and bits of content where needed, keeping page length in mind. Or maybe I'll just go scrap barnacles off of one of the ship's articles. Good luck for now. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:55, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Brad, if you would edit my proposal above or do rewrite of your own we can meld them, hopefully. Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:42, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Glad to see my comment got so much attention. Must have struck a grain of the truth. Everytime Parkwells edits he seems to get the third degree. Parkwells has done allot for this article. Maybe people could actually give praise for other works, including Parwells, then rip them to shreds. I keep mentioning that the Smithsonian 2012 exhibit needs to be used for this article and could mend allot of fences. Cmguy777 (talk) 06:19, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Baseless accusations have no place here. Since this entire section is off topic and unproductive to article improvement I'm archiving it now. Brad (talk) 12:30, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

I keep mentioning the Smithsonian (2012) Exhibit and that keeps getting sidelined. I believe my defense of Parkwell's was justified. How is reporting Wikipedia policy "baseless"? Cmguy777 (talk) 15:25, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Why does the Frontline (2000) source have precedence over the Smithsonian (2012) Exhibit source? That is twelve years of difference. Parkwells stated we need not be stuck at the turn of the Century. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:51, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Sidelined? Here is yet another of your comments that makes no sense. The Smithsonian mention is quite present in the draft that Allen posted above. You've also posted your protest several times which I've read. Stop being a siren and like I told GWill, be quiet and allow the section to progress. Every time I have to put out another fire like this one means less time I'm working on the section. Brad (talk) 21:16, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Brad, the whole Jefferson-Hemings controversy needs to cited with the Smithsonian (2012) Exhibit cite. Frontline was 12 years ago and the Monticello cite does not mention the date. As a reader of this article when I look at a 12 year old cite I get uneasy. The Smithsonian (2012) Exhibit is the most up to date honest assessment of Thomas Jefferson, a proverbial gold mine of information on Jefferson and slavery and the Jefferson-Hemings controversy. Cmguy777 (talk) 00:21, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

No it does not. You're actually suggesting something that's detrimental to your agenda. Having a cross-section of references that cover 12 or more years of increasing revenue for the TJF a hypothesis is a good thing. Instead of one reference salivating the claim of "most" or "many" you have three. duh. Brad (talk) 16:29, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Reboot of New draft section on Hemings

(Copied entirely from the thread above with commentary excluded. Brad (talk) 21:28, 17 April 2012 (UTC))

The Jefferson-Hemings controversy has remained a subject of discussion and disagreement among historians for two centuries. [citation needed] In 1802, the journalist James T. Callender published allegations that the widower Jefferson took Sally Hemings -- a slave at Monticello -- as a concubine and had fathered several children with her.[1] The story was repeated by Federalist papers during the election campaigns of 1802 and 1804; most historians argue Jefferson privately denied the rumor in 1805.[2] [3] In 1998, a panel of researchers conducted a Y-DNA study of living descendants of Jefferson's uncle, Field, to establish the male line DNA, and a descendant of Sally's son Eston Hemings. The results showing a Y-DNA match were published in the journal Nature. [4] In 2000, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (TJF) assembled a study team of historians who concluded that, together with the DNA and historic evidence, the probability is that Jefferson was the father of Easton and likely all of Hemings' children. [5]

Since then, biographers, historians, and organizations have concluded that the widower Jefferson had a long relationship with Hemings.[6][7][8] Other scholars, including those associated with the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society (TJHS), argue that the evidence is insufficient to conclude Thomas Jefferson's paternity, and argue for the likelihood of other Jeffersons, including Thomas's brother Randolph.[9] In 2012, the Smithsonian Institution and the TJF examines, Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty,[10] at the National Museum of American History and in an online exhibition; it notes that most historians view the DNA and historical evidence as supporting the conclusion that Jefferson was the father of Sally Hemings' children.[11]

  1. ^ "Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: Brief Account", Monticello website, Thomas Jefferson Foundation
  2. ^ Jefferson's Blood: Chronology, PBS Frontline, 2000
  3. ^ Annette Gordon-Reed, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy, University of Virginia Press, 1998 (reprint, with new foreword, first published 1997), pp. 40-41, 210-223
  4. ^ Foster, EA; Jobling MA, Taylor PG, Donnelly P, de Knijff P, Mieremet R, Zerjal T, Tyler-Smith C (1998). "Jefferson fathered slave’s last child" (PDF). Nature 396 (6706): 27–28. doi:10.1038/23835. PMID 9817200.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  5. ^ "Report of the Research Committee on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings". Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  6. ^ Richard Shenkman, "The Unknown Jefferson: An Interview with Andrew Burstein", History News Network, 25 July 2005, accessed 14 March 2011.
  7. ^ "Online Newshour: Thomas Jefferson". 1998-11-02. Retrieved 2006-08-04. 
  8. ^ Helen F. M. Leary, National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 89, No. 3, September 2001, pp. 207, 214 – 218
  9. ^ "The Scholars Commission on the Jefferson-Hemings Issue", 2001, Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society
  10. ^ Michel Martin, "Smithsonian Sheds Light on Founding Father's Slaves", NPR: Tell Me More,, 20 February 2012, accessed 25 March 2012.
  11. ^ "Enslaved Families: Sally Hemings", Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty, 27 January - 14 October 2012, Smithsonian Institution, Accessed 15 March 2012.

last paragraph

In the proposal the last sentence in the paragraph is not really needed. The first sentence should simply read (additions in bold):

Since then, most biographers, historians, and organizations like the Smithsonian Institution have concluded from DNA and other evidence that the widower Jefferson had a long relationship with Hemings.[6][7][8] Other scholars, including those associated with the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society (TJHS), argue that the evidence is insufficient to conclude Thomas Jefferson's paternity, and argue for the likelihood of other Jeffersons, including Thomas's brother Randolph.[9] In 2012, the Smithsonian Institution and the TJF examines, Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty,[10] at the National Museum of American History and in an online exhibition; it notes that most historians view the DNA and historical evidence as supporting the conclusion that Jefferson was the father of Sally Hemings' children.[11]

This paragraph mentions 'most historians', mentions the Smithsonian (which is more neutral than TJF) and it mentions TJHS and dissenting opinion, with Randolph. Any further parading of these sources would seem to be pov pushing, trying to sell the idea of TJ paternity with rah-rah-rah. Over sourcing this topic occurred once with the lede, about a year ago, and we finally cleaned it up, with the usual couple of editors dragging their feet all the way. Now it seems the same thing is going on here. The first sentence already has three sources. We don't need all the other commentary to say the same thing all over again. The proposal is still very unstable with its provocative over sourcing and pov parading. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:29, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

both paragraphs

In the first paragraph we have this:

In 2000, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (TJF) assembled a study team of historians who concluded that, together with the DNA and historic evidence, the probability is that Jefferson was the father of Easton and likely all of Hemings' children. [5]

In the second paragraph we have this:

In 2012, the Smithsonian Institution and the TJF examines, Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty,[10] at the National Museum of American History and in an online exhibition; it notes that most historians view the DNA and historical evidence as supporting the conclusion that Jefferson was the father of Sally Hemings' children.

Not only is this redundant but TJF is mentioned twice in the paragraphs while this text takes up more than 40% of the section! -- Are then 'any' plans to fix this? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:25, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Unfair language

The proposal mentions that the TJF "assembled a 'study team' of historians" while it only mentions that "the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society (TJHS), 'argue'". The TJHS put together a 'study team', a commission of 13 independent and prominent historians and professors. The TJHS isn't mentioned until the middle of the second paragraph and that they only 'argue'. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:25, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

In the 'Controversy section I have replaced "argue" with clear language. I expect to see the same fairness in presentation in the proposal or we may just as well wad it up and toss it in the trash. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:51, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Vandalism Jefferson-Hemings contoversy

TheDarkOneLives has apparently caused vandalism in the Jefferson-Hemings section. This needs to be addressed. The edits appear to be purposefully designed to humiliate the section. Cmguy777 (talk) 23:53, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

"...which was Thomas Jefferson's plantation near Charlottesville, Virginia, USA, Earth during the 1770's, which was the same decade in which the first Partition of Poland occurred, the Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji was signed, and during which the American Revolution began. The 1770's were part of the century during which musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived. She was a bilaterally symmetrical biped. [1]
If you're going to quote it, give 'em the whole show:
"..Sally Hemings was a slave brought to Monticello which was Thomas Jefferson's plantation near Charlottesville, Virginia, USA, Earth during the 1770's, which was the same decade in which the first Partition of Poland occurred, the Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji was signed, and during which the American Revolution began. The 1770's were part of the century during which musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived. Sally Hemings was a female homo sapien who had a spleen, liver, lungs, teeth, a digestive tract, feet, hair and two eyes. She was a bilaterally symmetrical biped.." TheDarkOneLives (talk) 02:28, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Hey, others seem determined to keep adding bloat-verbiage - I was just following the trend. Everything I added was true, if not particularly useful in conveying the topic at hand in a concise manner, just like what others keep tacking on. I find it hilarious that someone removed a few words but left the rest TheDarkOneLives (talk) 03:18, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Actually, my "additions" were more verifiable than a LOT of what's been visited on this article at various times...TheDarkOneLives (talk) 00:38, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
I am a U.S. citizen TDOL's and I do not appreciate you denegrating one of America's founding fathers. Cmguy777 (talk) 06:03, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
Not sure if you're being tongue-in-cheek here but it's funny either way.TheDarkOneLives (talk) 00:38, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
TDOL, I saw you add that yesterday but didn't revert it because I was laughing too hard and pounding my desk. And again while I'm typing this :) Maybe some can't see the humor in the point you were making but I sure did. It was a welcome change from the arguing and fighting. Brad (talk) 07:03, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
heh heh... TheDarkOneLives (talk) 08:26, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
WP:POINT applies. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 09:04, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. Shearonink (talk) 22:36, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but accusing someone, however subtly, of being disruptive is something that should be done with (a lot of) discretion. Neither of you are involved with much if any editing, and your input, most welcomed, has been minimal. I was alarmed, but not in the least disrupted. Look at Parkwells, he edits in the midst of heated debate, with ease, apparently. And here I am, typing away with glee, my enthusiasm undaunted(!!). Okay, while we should be concerned with actual disruption of contributing editors (i.e.radical edits and changes to the page without discussion, as we have just recently seen, and of course the blocked page a month or so ago, etc, etc ...), I think maybe its best to not denigrate the real meaning of this 'offense' too much by crying wolf. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 03:04, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
I have a sense of humor, but not at the expense of the Jefferson article on the world wide web. I expect a certain amount of decor decorum on Wikipedia. Why not express "humor" in the talk page rather then the web article. Extending arguments into the article is inappropriate. I believe this is the second time TDOL has had edits removed, the first time caused a shut down of the article. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:27, 21 April 2012 (UTC) Cmguy777 (talk) 22:13, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
If this is a matter of words, then editors can decide how many paragraphs to dedicate to the Jefferson-Hemings controversy. My view is three paragraphs are sufficient. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:44, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
While I am in agreement with the point TDOL makes, that we "keep adding bloat-verbiage" into the section, I have to say that adding those edits to the actual article was not the best way to demonstrate the point, esp at a sensitive time like this while we're all skating over thin ice in terms of the page being blocked again. TDOL, has made some good points, but now we need to get this directed at the section in terms of getting the summary in shape and giving due weight to the historical content. Again, this is an encyclopedia, not a political opinion piece. Let's get the proposal cleaned up. We've had more than enough time and we, myself included, are getting side tracked too often. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:06, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
...I expect a certain amount of decor on Wikipedia... - The decor in here could use an overhaul. The carpet is dingy and worn. Drapes are dated. Definitely could use a coat of paint. Hey, I've had to suffer comically bad writing, campaigns of POV/OR, bloatage - every bit of which was completely intentional by parties who knew *exactly* what they were doing to the article on the WWW. Well, they probably didn't & don't get how bad their writing is.TheDarkOneLives (talk) 18:33, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
A little bit of assuming good faith could really go a long way towards getting some of the other 800+ editors who watch this article to thoughtfully participate in any discussions about how to improve this article. Shearonink (talk) 22:36, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

I appreciate TDOL that you are keeping your "humor" in the talk page rather then in the article. Cmguy777 (talk) 22:13, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

It's good to see we're all, I'm assuming, getting a good chuckle out of this at this point. When I saw the edits, before Cm' weighed in, I said to myself, uh-ooh, vandalism, mild as it may be, they're going to nail his hide to the front door of Monticello for this one. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 00:09, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Friendly reminder

Before we get too absorbed with the RS noticeboard we should remember that regardless of the outcome, the sources in the proposal are still paraded in a redundant pov manner. If you repeat the same claim, using quotes in the article, again and again, you are pushing a pov. All the selected commentary about exhibits, private orgs and media does exactly that and takes up a very large portion of the text raising undue weight issues also. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 23:32, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

New draft section on Hemings

(here's a short (and hopefully sweet draft, that I propose - Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:35, 10 April 2012 (UTC))

In 1802 the journalist James T. Callender reported that the widower Jefferson took as a concubine at Monticello his slave Sally Hemings.[2] This was after Callender was refused a postmaster appointment and threatened Jefferson.[2] The story was repeated by Federalist papers during the election campaigns of 1802 and 1804. The Jefferson family later denied the rumors.[3] [4] Researchers in 1998 did a Y-DNA study of living descendants of Jefferson's grandfather (the "male line" DNA), and a descendant of Sally's son Eston Hemings. Based on the match between the Jefferson male line and the Eston Hemings descendant, the study team concluded that, together with historic evidence, the probability is that Jefferson was the father of Eston Hemings.[5]

Since then, biographers, historians, and organizations have concluded that the widower Jefferson had a long relationship with Hemings.[6][7][8] Other scholars, including those associated with the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society (TJHS), argue that the evidence is insufficient to conclude Thomas Jefferson's paternity, and argue for the likelihood of other Jeffersons, including Thomas's brother Randolph.[9] In 2012, the Smithsonian Institution and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation examines, Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty,[10] at the National Museum of American History and in an online exhibition; it notes that most historians view the DNA and historical evidence as supporting the conclusion that Jefferson was the father of Sally Hemings' children.[1]

  1. ^ a b "Enslaved Families: Sally Hemings", Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty, 27 January - 14 October 2012, Smithsonian Institution, Accessed 15 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: Brief Account", Monticello website, Thomas Jefferson Foundation
  3. ^ Jefferson's Blood: Chronology, PBS Frontline, 2000
  4. ^ Annette Gordon-Reed, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy, University of Virginia Press, 1998 (reprint, with new foreword, first published 1997), pp. 40-41, 210-223
  5. ^ Foster, EA; Jobling MA, Taylor PG, Donnelly P, de Knijff P, Mieremet R, Zerjal T, Tyler-Smith C (1998). "Jefferson fathered slave’s last child" (PDF). Nature 396 (6706): 27–28. doi:10.1038/23835. PMID 9817200.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  6. ^ Richard Shenkman, "The Unknown Jefferson: An Interview with Andrew Burstein", History News Network, 25 July 2005, accessed 14 March 2011.
  7. ^ "Online Newshour: Thomas Jefferson". 1998-11-02. Retrieved 2006-08-04. 
  8. ^ Helen F. M. Leary, National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 89, No. 3, September 2001, pp. 207, 214 – 218
  9. ^ "The Scholars Commission on the Jefferson-Hemings Issue", 2001, Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society
  10. ^ Michel Martin, "Smithsonian Sheds Light on Founding Father's Slaves", NPR: Tell Me More,, 20 February 2012, accessed 25 March 2012.


This covers it and gives all the major cites. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:35, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Your proposal is mostly commentary ! We need a summary of the historical facts. This is an encyclopedia, not a forum for historical commentary. The section should be at least 90% facts ABOUT THE ACTUAL CONTROVERSY. Mention most historians, source it with one RS, and get all the commentary out of the section once and for all. Two brief paragraphs, clear language, and 90% historical facts please. Thank you. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:56, 10 April 2012 (UTC
  • Thanks for the brave attempt! For my taste, it jumps to quickly from Callender to Foster, when Fawn Brodie and Gordon-Reed already had had significant influence earlier. To also add something constructive: I think we could shorten and clarify the beginning to "In 1802, James T. Callender, a journalist whom Jefferson had previously refused an appointment as postmaster, reported that Jefferson had taken his slave Sally Hemings as a concubine. The story was repeated by Federalist papers during a heated election campaign (1). After Jefferson's death(2), the Jefferson family denied the rumors." Can we clarify which election campaign for (1)? Was it the 1804 presidential election? And for (2), when did the family start to deny the allegations? I'm fairly sure this was not in the 1802/1804 time frame. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 18:05, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
The section should describe the controversy in terms of historical facts overall, and then it can mentioning DNA tests, with 'most historians while others disagree' with one or two sources for the commentary. All this lengthy commentary and unbiographical details belong in the main article, if anywhere. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:21, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Gwillhickers, I suggest listing the "historical facts" concerning the Jefferson-Hemings controversy in the talk page would clear things up a bit. Cmguy777 (talk) 19:04, 10 April 2012 (UTC) Cmguy777 (talk) 19:10, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the comments. I think Brodie and Reed are important to historiography but do we need them here other than cites? I made some small changes and encourage more. Emphasis on "small" :) My outline is Jefferson to Hemings to Callender to denial to DNA to current scholarship. There is quite a bit of background for all this in other sections. Gwill, which fact(s) would you add? Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:40, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
{edit conflict, insert:) Just the basic ones. Jefferson, Hemings at Monticello, Callander allegations, mention of the Foster DNA tests linking Eston to 24 other Jefferson males including Randolph (in clear language) with brief commentary with no more than two sources at the end. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:53, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I believe the 2012 Smithsonian cite covers these facts. Cmguy777 (talk) 19:10, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I believe the Smithsonian (2012) cite is being under utilized in the above section. As Parkwells mentioned, let's get out of the turn of the century, please. Cmguy777 (talk) 18:45, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
What would you add/change/move? Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:12, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I suggest we at least put the intro, etc, back in for now, the one that was in place before Parkwells came through, which is what I am about to do now. From there we can get the other things ironed out. We can't leave the section looking like a joke while we work this out. Former first two paragraphs are being returned to the section. Please (everyone) discuss any major deletions first in the future. btw, the section is still bloated with un-biographical commentary. Historical facts should account for at least 90% of the text. All text in that section should not take up more than a couple of good paragraphs. I have no qualms about the section growing a bit more so long as the historical facts are being given priority over opinion and account for the greater bulk of the section text. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:41, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Good attempt - I combined the first two paragraphs that GW had added, as they are overlapping and too lengthy, even if to be kept. This section can never convey the differing historical facts, which is why we've been trying to summarize it. The controversy was carried on mostly by historians, which is why it is appropriate to tell what they said, and how some changed their opinions. I like the attempt above- readers can go to the main article to read all the details. The family denied in the 1850s (Thomas Jefferson Randolph told the historian Henry Randall the father was Peter Carr, and that his mother had said Jefferson was away 15 months before Eston was born - both assertions since proven wrong by documented facts, but Randall passed this info on to James Parton, who published the Carr thesis in his bio of 1874, which was adopted by later historians up until Brodie in 1974); the DNA test proved the Jeffersons wrong on Carr as the Eston Hemings descendant matched the Jefferson line; and most historians, considering all the other evidence, have concluded Jefferson was the father.Parkwells (talk) 00:09, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Sure Parkwells. You seem to forget that the section is about the Jefferson Hemings controversy and that as such first priority is given to historical facts. The bulk of the text is still wrapped up in commentary which can all be wrapped up with one or two sentences, and sourced. If you continue to keep all of this commentary you will only compel others to add additional commentary with a different view for clarity and balance and there is a lot of it out there. Also, the controversy has been kept alive and exploited by political and ideological interests. Historians in of them selves are not responsible for all the politics and controversy involved, which is why we have to mention this advent to the readers for perspective. The controversy is largely the product of Callander and others like him who have exploited the issue for their own reasons. This is as flagrantly apparent today as it was when Callander first shot off his mouth in 1802. I find the attempts to keep this perspective from the readers a bit curious. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:16, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
This is your perspective. It is not from an RS.Parkwells (talk) 02:41, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
The Barger website is not the only source. The controversy has been picked up and revived by various interests for their own reasons time and again. This fact was included in the section before you came plowing through and removed it, and it was 'also' sourced by a Jefferson historian, David N. Mayer, (author of 'The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson'). On page 177 he outlines one such example by a newspaper editor, Joseph Dennie, who used the issue in one of his many attacks on Jefferson during his presidency. In yet another separate seven chapter essay, published by Ashland Univ in Ohio, in chapter II, Mayer also writes 'Throughout American history, the Jefferson-Hemings paternity allegation has been used for partisan purposes. and goes at length to outline this advent. This is an important part of the controversy and helps to explain, or expose, the motivations and biases that have distorted the facts surrounding this issue from the beginning, starting with Callander. Your perspective that the controversy is only the product of fair minded historians is not only naive but it's not supported by a RS and flies in the face of history with its many examples to the contrary. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 00:14, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
You seem to forget the facts: there were several children born to Sally Hemings at Monticello who looked most like Thomas Jefferson, and every visitor could see that. Even his grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph acknowledged the resemblance. That's the basis of the controversy, in a context of widespread interracial relationships in the South, including that of TJ's father-in-law John Wayles with Betty Hemings, which produced many mixed-race children. My point was to look at how the historians reported and interpreted facts.Parkwells (talk) 04:01, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
The 'basis' of the controversy is the allegation of JEFFERSON paternity, not "interracial relationships". It has always been the Callender types who have hyped the idea, with newspapers, political and ideological attacks, etc. Do we need to walk through all the major examples, past and present? The partisan politics and other interests are still being played out today in politics and in certain areas of academia and media. btw, didn't Randolph "resemble" his brother Thomas, and as such, wouldn't his descendants share the resemblance? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:58, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Asking Parkwells or any editor what Randolph or his descendants look like is not pertinent and not going to lead anywhere. The question is what do the sources say that discuss it. They say, (particularly, the grandson), the children of Sally Hemings looked like Thomas Jefferson. But that detail need not be in this article. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:02, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Origin of male line DNA

I think it's important to point out that this "Jefferson male line" DNA was taken from decedents of Field Jefferson, TJ's paternal uncle. One of the most annoying facts of the controversy is that by using "Jefferson male line" it leads people to believe that TJ's DNA matched Eston which is not the case at all. This is just a part of the sloppy reporting and weaseling plaguing the issue overall. Brad (talk) 00:58, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Please explain, isn't the validated scientific theory that Field and TJ would share the same Y-DNA (assuming the undisputed that Feild was in fact TJ's paternal uncle)? So, scientifically, it would not matter, would it? Moreover, that kind of minutia should be in the cited material and other article, if relevant. Alanscottwalker (talk) 01:07, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I was under the impression that the DNA means only that some male Jefferson fathered Eston, that TJ is a possible candidate but only one of a number. I read somewhere that even if they exhumed Jefferson's remains and found viable samples - which would be impossible, it still wouldn't conclusively indicate TJ.TheDarkOneLives (talk) 12:42, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
It very much depends on what tests one does. Foster's Jefferson DNA test used the Y chromosome, which is essentially passed on unchanged from father to son. It only changes very slowly via random mutation, which is why Jefferson and his uncle Field Jefferson had essentially the same Y chromosome inherited from Jefferson's grandfather (Field's father), and why male-line descendants of Field Jefferson and Eston Hemings have essentially the same Y chromosome. Other chromosomes are mixtures of paternal and maternal DNA, so a child would only match either parent to about 50%, a grand-child to 25%, and after 200 years with maybe 10 generations, the match is down to 1 in a million, which is very hard to distinguish from the background noise. But if one tested the remains of William Hemings (Sally's grandchild) and Jefferson himself, there should be a very noticeable match in a whole-genome comparison. However, neither side seems to be willing to have their ancestors dug up (and I don't know how likely the graves would yield useful DNA after 200 years). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:35, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
What's interesting is that present day Hemings descendants have been advised not to submit to any future DNA tests. When present day Madison Hemings descendants were located and approached by Herbert Barger and asked if they would permit DNA testing, all eight family members refused saying they were happy with establishing their relationship to Thomas Jefferson on their family's 'oral history' and said they would never submit to DNA testing in the future. The inquiry into Madison Hemings' DNA would show whether there was a Jefferson match, or a Carr descendant match, thus confirming Jefferson family claims, or no match to either. Understandable why they wouldn't submit. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 23:22, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
This is totally wrong! Madison Hemings has no surviving direct-line male descendants, so there are no living males to be tested for Y-DNA. (There are living women who are his descendants.) Barger found the grave of Madison's son William Hemings, who enlisted as a white man in the Union Army during the Civil War, and died in a VA hospital in 1910. William never married and had no known descendants. Barger suggested to the Hemings family that the remains of William Hemings be disrupted for Y-DNA testing - to that, the Hemings family descendants have said no, thanks, they weren't going to disturb his remains for DNA testing unless the Thomas Jefferson remains were tested, and they were satisfied with what had been done in the testing of the Eston Hemings descendant and their family history. Perhaps editors can better understand their perspective with this accurate information. Parkwells (talk) 23:24, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Mayer speaks of Madison Hemings descendants in his essay, chap.II Also, Hyland refers to a Madison descendant named William Hemings whose grave was discovered by Barger in a veteran's cemetery in Leavenworth, Kansas.
After taking a peek it appears the same sort of weasel wording and unclear phraseology is being used on the Madison Hemings page. There is only a DNA match for Estson. The introduction to that page obviously attempts to mislead the reader into believing there is a DNA match for Madison and looks like it was intentionally written to be deceptive. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:55, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, Gwillhickers, that's what I said: William Hemings was Madison's son and Barger found his grave in a VA cemetery from his death in 1910. His relatives (not descendants as he didn't have any) do not want him dug up for DNA testing, just as Thomas Jefferson descendants do not want him dug up for DNA testing. Mayer's essay added nothing; he simply was referring to Hemings' descendants having the oral tradition of descent from Thomas Jefferson.Parkwells (talk) 03:36, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Grabbing a sentence from the above proposal it can be changed to read:
  • A Y-DNA study in 1998 of descendants of Jefferson's paternal uncle, Field and of Sally's son Eston Hemings was done. (Need to explain why these were tested, if you are providing this much detail.) Based on the match between Field Jefferson's male line DNA and the Hemings descendant, the study team concluded that, together with historic evidence, the probability is Jefferson was the father of Eston Hemings [or something similar after copyedits]
Ok? no details or long explanations required. It is what it is and should not be weaseled to confuse it as TJ's DNA. Brad (talk) 16:17, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
The precise way to say that would be "male decendents of Jefferson's grandfather" if it's needed.Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:02, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Field Jefferson was not TJ's "grandfather" but rather an uncle. Noting one grammatical error, Brad's suggestion looks good. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:27, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
I did not write Field was his grandafther. You need to read things more closely. Both Field and TJ would have inherited the Y-DNA from TJ's Grandfather (Field's father). Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:40, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
And here again you're being weasely. TJ's father Peter had a brother named Field. Peter and Field were sons of Thomas Jefferson, TJ's grandfather. No matter which way you want to spin the story the facts are that the Y-DNA line was established from male descendants of Field Jefferson. TJ had no established male descendants, other than a son who died in infancy. A common misconception is that TJ's own DNA was tested and this is not the case. Brad (talk) 21:44, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
No. The relevance of the Y-DNA is it was inherited from the common ancestor, the Grandfather. Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:51, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
For all of the sense your making, they established Jefferson male DNA going back to some Neanderthal living in a cave in France (he probably had illegitimate cave children). I understand the scientific part about Y-DNA but it's undeniable that for this DNA study the Jefferson male line DNA was established from descendants of Field Jefferson. Would you like to disprove that or do you care to continue weaseling? Brad (talk) 04:43, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
It's not weaseling to make it clear that TJ and Field Jefferson would have had the same Y-DNA, as they were descended from the same father. That's why Y-DNA studies can be done.Parkwells (talk) 05:20, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Brad, If its pertinent information, its only pertinent because Y-DNA was inherited from Thomas Jefferson(I) by all his male descendants. You don't appear to either understand that or it's you who wish to introduce unclear language about that. That's also the reason this minutia is unnecessary in a short summary, it belongs in the YDNA article. Alanscottwalker (talk) 08:15, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

{{User:ClueBot III/ArchiveNow}}

Comments for reboot of new draft section on Hemings

Looks good. Thanks for taking it on. The cites 5,6,7 conclude that Jefferson was likely the father of all Hemings' children, not just that he had a long relationship with her.Parkwells (talk) 23:15, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Needs a better intro. It starts off with Callender, first name mentioned. I don't believe I'm saying this, but couldn't the section be a bit larger? Monticello is not even mentioned. And why are we using PBS to source Callender's involvement? There must be a number of established historians who can source this rudimentary item. Even Malone, Finkleman, Ferline, 'someone' must mention Callender. The only historical facts mentioned in the section revolve around Callender. The writing could be better. The draft as proposed is unstable and will only invite corrective edits.-- Gwillhickers (talk) 03:48, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Monticello is in the first sentence. PBS site is good for overview but we could add another source. I take it Cmguy's suggestion (in above sections)is to use the Smithsonian exhibit. As mentioned previously there is a lot of background for this section in the rest of the article. I am not opposed to Parkwell's added clause but then again don't think it's absolutely needed. What copy edit ("better writing") is requested? Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:35, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Monticello , yes, staring me right in the face -- by the time I was done reading the paragraph, 'Callender' was the only thing that seemed significant a few minutes later. The subject of the paragraph as it reads is about Callender. Also, the first sentence in the section/draft reads:
"In 1802 the journalist James T. Callender reported that the
widower Jefferson took as a concubine at Monticello his slave Sally Hemings."

This sentence reads like Callender had 'reported' a fact. It should read that Callender alleged, as we had once discussed before when we were dealing with the lede. The lede reads:
In 1802 allegations surfaced that he was also the father of
his house slave Sally Hemings' children.

Also, this passage:: 'Based on the match between the Jefferson male line and the Eston...' should instead read the DNA match...-- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:12, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

The idea was to move the proposed text here so it could be worked on without all of the attached commentary... so much for that. Brad (talk) 15:43, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

(edit conflict - insert:) The proposed section is trying to sell the idea of TJ paternity with opinion and unclear language, once again. If we are going to devote a paragraph to commentary then we should balance it with an even larger paragraph filled with facts. DNA/Eston, Foster, times of conception, Randolph fraternizing with slaves and the fact that the 'Controversy' has a long history of being promoted for partisan reasons. This would put the 'opinion' in its proper perspective. Facts have a way of doing that. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:12, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
How about this for the first sentence: "The Jefferson-Hemings controversy has remained a subject of discussion and disagreement among historians for two centuries concerning the "relationship" between Jefferson and Sally Hemings, a slave brought to Monticello during the 1770's."[1] Cmguy777 (talk) 17:00, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
A good step in the right direction. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:12, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Hard to imagine, but I agree. Just drop the scarce quote around "relationship", which serve no useful purpose and can be misinterpreted. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:34, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Thanks Gwillhickers. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:16, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

I added introduction sentence to paragraph in article, dropped quote around relationship, and tweaked the first paragraph. Attempting to keep commentary to a minimum. I believe the introduction sentence was necessary to the article. Cmguy777 (talk) 18:38, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Making a separate section for comments on the draft. Avoid edit conflicts. Brad (talk) 17:58, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Ok I'll not edit any further for now. I've made some changes and will await further discussion. Note that the draft is starting to get wordy again. Brad (talk) 18:16, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
I believe that the article section needs three paragraphs; historical setting; 1998 DNA testing; analysis by historians. The current version for the first paragraph in the article is the best for now, in my opinion. Mixing DNA evidence in the first paragraph is confusing. Cmguy777 (talk) 18:54, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
If myself and Alan are supposed to be working on a proposal why is Stephan editing the draft? Brad (talk) 18:56, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I forgot about that. Feel free to revert, and maybe add a reminding header. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:09, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Once again dissenting commentary is placed in among the other commentary. We should place dissenting commentary last. If 'most historians' is the consensus, give mention to this first, and conclusively, before dissenting commentary is mentioned. Also, we have three different sources, paraded inside one sentence, just to relate an opinion about 'most'.
"In 2012, the Smithsonian Institution and the TJF examines, Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello:
Paradox of Liberty,[9] at the National Museum of American History and in
an online exhibition; it notes that most historians..."
Three. This is over sourced and redundant and IMO is a statement specifically made to sell the idea of paternity with (apparent) popular opinion, rather than with an opinion from a historian with a name. Regarding ref 9 in the proposal: we don't need the NPR to say that the 'Smithsonian sez..' when we are using the Smithsonian itself to say this. Why is the draft still filled with redundant bloat? If we keep all of this stuff than I am going to insist on including some of the other historical facts. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:59, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Aside from the Shenkman - Burnstein interview, does anyone realize that the proposal doesn't have one established historian as a ref -- and that the bulk of the references are for asserting opinion rather than sourcing historical content? Regarding refs 5,6 and 7, sources for one sentence, why are we using a pbs web page for a ref when the other two refs are offering us accounts with names? This is more high visibility and redundant bloat. [Not even Reed or Finkleman are used!] The proposed section is not much of an improvement. I think it's time we started including more of the hard facts. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 03:41, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Cite first sentence

Is the first (proposed) sentence true? My reading of the history is that it was not a controversy among major historians, they all basically agreed for most of "two centuries." Until it was first reexamined in the late 50s and 60s by mostly African American history journals, then 70s (notably Brodie, who was marginalized) and then 90s. But if there is a source for the statement (that gives good context), perhaps we could include. Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:49, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

I would suggest to just strike out "among historians" - it moved from a political to a historical debate over time, with varying levels of public interest thrown in. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:31, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
As noted above, you have made me see that we have simply perpetuated the exclusion by historians of the direct Hemings' account. Perhaps it should say something like, "Despite the memoir by Madison Hemings in 1873 late in his life, in which he claimed Jefferson as his father, for nearly two centuries historians relied instead on Thomas Jefferson Randolph's testimony to deny the president's paternity." That's a more accurate statement of the facts of the controversy, and Annette Gordon-Reed provided such an overview. As was noted above, it wasn't seriously examined by historians until the mid-later 20th century.Parkwells (talk) 12:52, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't know who "we" is and I don't think it matters. What matters is that statements of fact and commentary are reliably sourced to the best sources available. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:25, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Enter the proverbial wrench

I've been reading Hyland's In Defense of Thomas Jefferson in which he claims that TJ owned three slaves named Sally over the years. Callender never said "Sally Hemings" but only "Sally". I'm not done reading the whole book yet but when did the accusation turn from a "Sally" to "Sally Hemings" and by whom? Brad (talk) 13:11, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Callender identified Sally, as the slave Sally who went to France with Jefferson and his two daughters. Also, do consider Hyland, as a source, in the context of the Publishers Weekly review. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:33, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
My goodness, we don't want to scrutinize sources, do we? While you're mulling over Hyland, a credentialed professor, with a name, what is the proposal for all of the actual sources used in the proposal? As I've pointed out, much of it is bloat -- three sources used for one statement, and others. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 15:19, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, we consider sources that are evaluated by other sources. Wikipedians opinions, not so much. The highest quality sources are used according to our RS rules. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:51, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
insert : We consider Wikipedia's opinions to establish consensus. Consensus is what determines what is a RS. A source doesn't come into use as something automatically reliable. Through scrutiny and consensus a source becomes reliable, and accepted, at Wikipedia. Also remember that a POV can be pushed by following the letter of policy. Simply because a few sources are reliable it doesn't give one the right to parade down POV Street with them. The article is still overwhelmed with commentary and offers the reader nothing about the actual Jefferson - Hemings history controversy other than to plug the names of high visibility orgs. We should remember that this is an encyclopedia, not a political opinion piece. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 03:25, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Sally Hemings was the only house slave named Sally in addition to being found pregnant on Jefferson's return to France. I do not believe Callander was accurate in identifying any children, i.e. "Tom", from a potential Jefferson-Hemings "relationship". The link to Sally Hemings has been removed from the article and Callender is quoted only as saying "Sally", not Sally Hemings. Cmguy777 (talk) 15:49, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

What? The little nugget about a pregnant Sally in France is only supported by some rumor of the Hemings family. You really believe this crap to be gospel? And Jefferson's return to France? Jefferson never "returned" to France; that plan was interrupted by his call to the Sec of State appointment. Brad (talk) 17:28, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
I added an introduction sentence with reference that states "Sally Hemings" was brought to Monticello during the 1770's. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:23, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Allen, yes, I recall now that the "Sally" was explained as the one who went to France. Don't be so quick to jump on sources. I simply said that I was reading the book; not intending to use it as a source although Hyland is a lawyer just like Reed. Interestingly, Hyland supports the "Most / Many" that agenda wants to insert here. I'm sure that suddenly Hyland is a reliable source as long as he supports the agenda. Brad (talk) 17:28, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

I didn't jump on it, I just said it has to be considered within the scope of the literature. Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:12, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
I think too much is packed into the first sentence referring to Callender: "In 1802, the journalist James T. Callender published allegations that the widower Jefferson took Sally Hemings -- a slave that had come to Monticello in the 1770s -- as a concubine and had fathered several children with her."[1] Note: Hemings went to Monticello as an infant with her mother and siblings after the death of John Wayles. This was not info published by Callender, but included in later material on that Monticello source page.Parkwells (talk) 21:50, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
For a summary, the section has too many details on specifics of the DNA test - makes for more confusion, not less, as it doesn't explain why other male DNA was used. Also, the summary has skipped altogether Thomas Jefferson Randolph's naming of Peter Carr as the father, and historians adopting his story; this was more important than Jefferson's 1805 letter. The other significant part of the DNA test was that it disproved Carr paternity of Eston H. If you're going to note historians interpreting Jefferson's 1805 letter as a denial, you need to deal with the larger family story about Carr and it's being overturned in the DNA testing.Parkwells (talk) 21:50, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
While we're at it, we can mention that the DNA tests disproved Callender's allegations also. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 03:25, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Hyland may be a lawyer, but Publisher's Weekly strongly criticized his book.Parkwells (talk) 21:50, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Aside from any sweeping overtures about scholarship what exactly did they criticize? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:33, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
It's on the Amazon site for the book: From Publishers Weekly:

"This provocative, ill-organized defense brief tries to exculpate Thomas Jefferson from growing evidence that he fathered at least one child with his slave Sally Hemings... he fails to see the historical context of the evidence or to provide a balanced assessment of the known facts. In this respect, he's ill-equipped to take on great contemporary experts of the matter, especially award-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed, whose work he terms a œconcocted myth. Surely not the last word on the matter, regrettably it's not dependable word either." (June) (Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.)Parkwells (talk) 02:49, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

All opinionated conjecture. e.g."...fails to see the historical content"? And the way they came to Reeds defense is sort of curious. Sorry, we can't judge a source by third party opinion. Sources are judged on their content, factual accuracy, etc. This is just typical fluff and opinion that is too often substituted for actual criticism about specific issues and items. Since Hyland isn't even going to be used as a source in the section this dialog isn't serving much use. We need to address over-sourcing an opinion and giving more weight to it than we are the historical content. We can't propose a section with undue weight and pov issues still lingering. We're writing an encyclopedia, not an opinion column. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 03:30, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
That review is hilariously biased. Anyhow, I think the idea of having Brad and Alan write a draft is quickly going down the drain. We're right back to Parkwells vs Gwillhickers with occasional comments from the uninformed Cmguy. Brad (talk) 05:08, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
The redundant source stacking still exists in absurd proportions to what is supposed to be a small summary of the controversy. Not one concession along these lines has been offered by Parkwells or ASW. If the section had a nice summary of history with simple commentary without a parade of all these summary and unspecialized sources it would bring stability to this page. I think in light of the pov pushing that has occurred on this page time and again, by the same couple of editors, mostly, that this should be our priority. An encyclopedia is not the place to devote a paragraph of political commentary. The section is being used as a coatrack to promote exhibits and sources that are clearly partisan, as is the TJF. We should comment about 'most historians' using the Smithsonian and be done with it. We can use TJF and TJHS as sources but the preoccupation with and focus on trendy opinion rather than historical fact needs to be addressed. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:35, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Alan commented on the PW review first and GW asked to see it. Now he doesn't like what it says so dismisses it as fluff. Next time I'll just tell you all to go look it up yourselves. "Award-winning Annette Gordon-Reed" is a fact, not a defense.Parkwells (talk) 12:30, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Insert : What I "asked to see" was what 'exactly' did they criticize -- and you directed me to an obviously biased ad'hom opinion piece that didn't zero in on any specific item. Again, you need to make serious efforts about using clear language when you speak on behalf of other editors and esp when you edit the page. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:31, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
Take a break from the constant criticism. I did not write or paraphrase it, but copied it here as a courtesy for you. It's not my fault that the review does not satisfy your criteria; it's not my language. "You need to make serious efforts to pay attention" before you fly off with more unjustified criticism of other editors.Parkwells (talk) 20:51, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
"Award-winning any author" is completely biased. Awards won by authors do not have any bearing on the quality of the work. As if it somehow makes the author more reliable. Would crowing about the award winning Dumas Malone, who held an entirely different opinion about Hemings, make his work any more credible? Brad (talk) 18:31, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
This is a quote from a cited review. Noting awards is a common way that reviewers and reporters refer to works or authors. Yes, the awards for Malone in his time were a sign of the professional respect for his work, just as they are for awardees today. The fact that different works are being awarded is the nature of changing scholarship.Parkwells (talk) 20:51, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Brad, bias is not a valid criticism of a professional review; they are all meant to be biased; that is thier purpose. The advantge they have over individual wikipedian opinions is they are used in the real world and don't require wikipedians to argue over thier own opinions, which is generally a matter of diminishing returns. But you may be right about the future of the article, it will apparently remain in its state of whatever state it is in, although, if people are interested we could go to mediation, perhaps? Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:47, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

I just made another trim and will attempt to move on and drown out the din. Note that right now I'm not attempting to keep citations in their correct place. Once things come together it will be easier to cite. Brad (talk) 18:31, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Awards do not confirm accuracy and objective research. Most of the RS's for Jefferson have no awards. That by itself makes them no less reliable than the many that have. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:42, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

RS Noticeboard suggestion

I left comment on the RS notice board about all the bloat that was added and I got a reply on my talk page to this effect. Yes, it almost looks as if someone is trying to scare off other editors with overwhelming and off topic fill. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:26, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Proposed external link

I believe the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (2000) minority report is extensive enough to put in and counter the TJF majority findings. Here is the proposed external link: Thomas Jefferson Foundation minority report. Unless there is a current and more extensive minority opinion external link, then I believe this is the best link concerning an alternative view point concerning the Jefferson-Hemings controversy. Cmguy777 (talk) 22:10, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

It would seem that the Scholars Commission Report (2001) is the most complete alternative viewpoint, or at least the earliest one. I know that it has been linked or cited in these pages and is probably available at the website of TJHS. They also revised their study and published it as a book in 2011, so you could probably link that.Parkwells (talk) 01:18, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Parkwells. I am sure the book is a good source, however, I wanted something that the readers could go to for free instead of purchasing a book. Is there any issue with the TJF minority report as a link? Cmguy777 (talk) 15:55, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
The Scholars Commission Report is a more complete study, as Wallenborn's comments are just one person, and the SCR is referred to often in this and the main controversy article. I think there is still a link for the 2001 version before the book was published.Parkwells (talk) 18:54, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Here's the link to the SCR:"Jefferson-Hemings Scholars Commission, Report on the Jefferson-Hemings Matter'&#39" (PDF). Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society. April 2001. 
Thanks Parkwells, added as external link to Thomas Jefferson article. Cmguy777 (talk) 19:11, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

War of the Pulitzer's

Since Reed can be supported with her Pulitzer as a source superior over all others I will insist on using the Pulitzer awarded Dumas Malone who devotes entire appendixes to debunking the Hemings accusations. No more of these shitty little cherry picked web citations to support agenda. Only Pulitzer winning authors will be allowed. Brad (talk) 20:25, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Dumas Malone is a very respected author, and his books are indeed a good source in general, although they are nowadays regarded as somewhat hagiographic. However, he published the last of the series more than 15 years before Gordon-Reeds reanalysis and the DNA data, and he died more than 10 years before these events. Hence, with respect to Jefferson's paternity, his books are outdated. Moreover, as far as I understand, Malone had tried to show that Jefferson could not be the father by looking at the timing of Hemings' pregnancies and Jefferson's absences from Monticello, but was a good enough scholar to admit that indeed Jefferson was around Hemings in time to father all of her children. If you want more Pulitzers, there are Jack Rakove of Stanford University and Alan Taylor of UC Davis, both on the TJF ICJS Advisory Board. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:36, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
It would appear that Brad's insistence of Pulitzer prize works are tong-in-cheek. Speaking of sources, we still have a POV pushing issue with the current section. Most of the text is commentary that only serves to make the same redundant point. Section is being used as a coatrack for media presentations, exhibits, etc. dragged into the section just to comment on 'most' and we still have lengthy notes mixed in with the refs that again asserts the same claim. From what I have seen with the proposal not much is being done about this. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:01, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
"Tong-in-cheek" sounds like something the Spanish Inquisition would do, and quite painful, too ;-). The core of the problem is that you (primarily) don't want to accept that modern scholarly opinion indeed mostly accepts Jefferson's paternity of Hemings' children as likely. The reaction to that is that people try to bring in more and more sources, leading to a ballooning of the issue. If we could simply state the position without piling on more and more minor aspects to try to confuse the issue, we could indeed have a better article. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:10, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
As I have explained before I can accept that 'most' of the current scholarship goes along with the TJ paternity theory, my issue is that the claim is unsubstantiated and is not qualified with dissenting scholarship assessment, which by no means is a "fringe" group. The redundant commentary making the same claim, in the section, and mixed in with the ref's, needs to be cleaned up.

Btw, here's an interesting insight into Pulitzer prize: Some critics of the Pulitzer Prize have accused the organization of favoring those who support liberal causes or oppose conservative causes. Syndicated columnist L. Brent Bozell said that the Pulitzer Prize has a "liberal legacy", particularly in its prize for commentary.[12] He pointed to a 31-year period in which only five conservatives won prizes for commentary. The claim is also supported by a statement from the 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary, Kathleen Parker: "It's only because I'm a conservative basher that I'm now recognized."[13]
Pulitzer is administered by NYU, which by most estimations is an acutely liberal organization with a history of America bashing. So the opinion game goes. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:36, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
stop with the forum on whether you agree with the Pulitzer Prize for History or not. History is interpretation of available evidence, and the consensus is that Jefferson is the father. Many brief accounts simply say that, since the DNA tests, most historians think Jefferson is the father. Since you disagree, you count it as "unsubstantiated" but your opinion is not RS. The SCR content is covered, so it is unclear why you keep saying they are not. It appears that no one has edited the text in that section for a while; I haven't, except for the reversion tonight, as you moved material to the wrong plance. It looks pretty close to what it had been for some time, so maybe it's finished.Parkwells (talk) 02:10, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Insert : Consensus is largely split as has been pointed out to you on several occasions. Simply because you found a couple of web-page articles that say 'most' doers not change this. Your continued effort to conceal this distinction only tells most folks you can't sell the idea of TJ paternity by using the facts -- which is why you have concentrated almost all of your efforts on trendy opinion that can't be found in books authored by people like Reed, Ferline, etc, etc. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:05, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
No. You are wrong in this. You have found no support at WP:RS/N. Nor have you, IIRC, presented any reliable sources that challenge the evaluation of the consensus. This is becoming disruptive. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 18:10, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
I am correct on every note. 1.Only web page summary articles mostly with no expert/historian attributed to, are making the claim, one of them clearly partisan. 2.Most of the effort to get the section in shape centers around redundant opinion i.e.facts are few. 3.Consensus is widely split, as anyone doing a search on this material can readily see. My appeal to the RS notice board only involved TJF, for use in the controversy. Different issue. We are discussing pov pushing with the redundant commentary, undue weight and unclear language -- all items that continued to be side stepped as you seem to be attempting now. If anything is "disruptive" it's all the redundant commentary piled high, radical edits/changes added with no discussion, discussion came after that fact, not to mention misguided complaints like this.. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:38, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Remember that I introduced a non-web based source which supports the many/most agenda but the source was dismissed based on one anonymous review by Publishers Weekly. Brad (talk) 20:16, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
No one said the source was dismissed; I simply reported the review quote from Publishers Weekly. You all took it from there.Parkwells (talk) 23:27, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Really Brad? Who else won:

This Decade? Do tell. :)

Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:21, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

And the MacArthur Fellowship in 2010. Yeah, just another slacker liberal. They had nothing better to do with their awards. Parkwells (talk) 01:59, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
You seem to be in denial of the partisan politics surrounding this issue. It would be unfair to label any view as entirely 'liberal' or 'conservative', but as awards like the Pulitzer ala NYU are concerned, their track record speaks for itself. As I mentioned already, awards do not effect the eligibility of a RS here ay WP -- so perhaps it would be best if we instead directed our efforts at the job/proposal at hand, which, btw, seems to be far from completed. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:05, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
This is really disruptive. No editor's opinion of the Pulitzer Prize matters in terms of determining RS. You and Brad have carried on because of a quote in Publisher's Weekly about a fact - that Gordon-Reed won the Pulitzer Prize. You have spent your time making a deal and arguing about a PW review. It was not an original opinion by editors on this page. Dumas Malone won a Pulitzer, too, in his time. Your opinion of the award does not matter in terms of using authors/historians/scholarly organizations that meet WP:RS as sources, so stop using this Talk page as a forum for your complaints about liberal academia.Parkwells (talk) 23:27, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
If I'm not mistaken, Reed's awards were referred to before in an attempt to hold her work above others: The fact that Annette Gordon-Reed's book won the Pulitzer Prize and 15 other major awards made by committees of her peers, and that she won a MacArthur Prize for "changing Jeffersonian scholarship" shows that this position/conclusion is accepted. Barger's criticism in an Amazon review or other minor articles cannot be weighed equally against the recognition in the academic world for her accomplishments; he does not have equivalent standing. Notice the signature, Parkwells. Now do a search through archives for 'Pulitzer' and see who's name is attached to the conversation, foremost. Amazing how soon we forget. Having said that I do agree however that there has been enough talk about 'awards' altogether. Now all you need to do is stop demanding of others what you yourself have been involved with, at length, several times before. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:34, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Unlike you, I was referring to recent discussions by you and Brad on this Talk Parkwells (talk) 19:44, 27 April 2012 (UTC)page in relation to the quote by PW.

Awardee Joseph Ellis, in 2001 suspended from his chair for lieing about his military record and involvement with anti-war and civil rights movements. Suspended from teaching for one year. Chair restored in 2005. Brad (talk) 22:58, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

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