VIEWSrnTom and Sally and Joe and FawnrnThe New Jefferson Mythrnby Egon Richard TauschrnThe liming of Nature magazine’s “expose” of Thomas Jefferson’srnalleged affair with his slave Sally Hemings receivedrna great deal of press attention, coming as it did just beforernelections which were expected to determine a modernrnphilandering president’s fate. At the same time, Joe Ellis, thernauthor of the article, signed a full-page newspaper ad againstrnthe impeachment of Bill Clinton. Ellis calls the reappearancernof the scandal “impeccable timing,” being far too modest aboutrnhis role in it.rnI have known Joe Ellis since we were assistant professors togetherrnin the American History Department at West Point, inrnthe early 1970’s. The Vietnam War was still going on, and thernUnited States Military Academy was desperate for officer faculty.rnJoe, a newly credentialed Ivy Leaguer, was drafted and givenrnthe choice of fighting in the war or teaching history at WestrnPoint. For Joe, the decision was a no-brainer. While at thernacademy, we shared an interest in Thomas Jefferson, which oftenrnput us at loggerheads at faculty conferences and betweenrnclasses. I eventually resigned my Regular Army commissionrnand became a lawyer, partially due to my reverence for hard evidence.rnJoe remained a revisionist historian, a growing field atrnthe time.rnClintonites have long telegraphed their intention of smearingrnAmerica’s early presidents in the hope of making the currentrnone appear less despicable. Some of our Founders couldrnuse critical reevaluahon, but the task should wait unhl Clintonrnleaves office, or every common criminal in our past will appearrnas pure as Parson Weems’s George Washington by contrast.rnUnfortunately, the media’s concentration on Ellis’s publicationrndates and motives has obscured the most important pointrnEgon Richard Tausch is an attorney in San Antonio, Texas.rnabout Ellis’s “bombshell”—that his charge is untiue, and thatrnthe best efforts of his geneticist collaborators are useless window-rndressing. Since the American mainstream media has takenrnthe headline of the genetics article as gospel truth and ignoredrndisclaimers and flaws throughout, the allegation againstrnJefferson must be rebutted in detail. Whatever one thinks ofrnThomas Jefferson—and much can be said against him politicallyrn—historical truth and competent science are more importantrnthan the “legacy” of Bill Clinton.rnIt is not an exaggeration to say that semi-educated Americansrnhave, as a result of the media barrage (and the obscurity of thernoriginal article), now decided that Thomas Jefferson fathered atrnleast one child through his slave, “surely as heinous an act asrnsex-games with an intern.” The accusation fooled even JosephrnSobran and William F. Buckley, Jr. Since the Clintonites haverncontinually argued that their troubles stem only from “lyingrnabout sex,” the rest of us must waste valuable time on an otherwiserntrivial historical subject. Fortiinately, Ellis’s article to therncontiary, no previous president, including Thomas Jefferson,rncan hold a candle (or a cigar) to the sexual corruption of therncurrent occupant of the White House.rnThe “study” published in Nature consisted of a little over arnpage of genetic speculation and an editorial by Joe Ellis, also arnlittle over a page, of Clinton apologetics masking as history. Irnwill discuss the faults of the “scientific” page later, concentratingrnfirst on history, since the geneticists had to rely on the historyrnprovided to them. As Dr. Carl Ladd, supervisor of the DNArnunit of the Connecticut State Police Department, told thernWashington Times, “If they are combining scientific and historicalrndata, this is not a scientific shidy.” Considering the historicalrndata which Ellis gave to the geneticists, Ladd’s comment isrnan understatement.rnMARCH 1999/13rnrnrn