The Family Denial
What one might call the "family denial," begun by Jefferson's grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, holds basically that Jefferson was not at Monticello when Sally Hemings' children were conceived, and that they were fathered instead by one of his nephews, either Peter or Samuel Carr. Apart from the fact that this allegation does not explain the case of the child conceived in Paris, it can easily be demonstrated—by checking Jefferson's Farm Book and the chronologies of his life as assembled by Dumas Malone and Paul L. Ford—that Jefferson was indeed at Monticello nine months before the birth of every one of Sally Hemings' children mentioned in the Farm Book. I have presented this documentation in full within the pages of this book. Moreover, it takes very little research in the enormous file of family letters at the University of Virginia to demonstrate that both Peter Carr and his brother Samuel were elsewhere, managing plantations with slaves of their own, during most of the years that Sally Hemings was bearing children at Monticello.
Numerous letters between Peter Carr and Jefferson show that in 1791, 1792, and part of 1793 young Carr alternated between Spring Forest, where his mother lived, and Monticello. He then left and began practicing law, returning briefly during the summer of 1796. Jefferson wrote to Thomas Mann Randolph on November 28, 1796, that "P. Carr is on the point of marriage." 1 By 1799 he had a son. Samuel Carr, who corresponded very little with Jefferson, did not live at Monticello save briefly during his youth when his mother's whole____________________