About Madison Jefferson (Hemings)
Madison HEMINGS [Parents] 1, 2, 3, 4 was born on 19 Jan 1805 in Monticello, Virginia. He died in 1877. He married Mary Hughes MCCOY in 1831.
Madison Hemings was born in Monticello, Albemarle, Virginia 19 Jan 1805. Madison died 28 Nov 1877 in Ross County, Ohio, at 72 years of age.
He married Mary McCoy in Virginia, 21 Nov 1831. Mary was born in Virginia ca 1810. Madison was freed upon the death of his master 1826. He was manumitted by Jefferson's will.
The Madison Hemings family oral tradition is given in Madison Hemings Interview of 1873. SEE: Madison Hemings's 1873 interview, published as "Life Among the Lowly: Number 1," Pike County (Waverly, Ohio) Republican, 13 March 1873.
Mary Hughes MCCOY was born in 1808 in Virginia. She died in 1867. She married Madison HEMINGS in 1831.
They had the following children:
- M Unnamed Son HEMINGS was born about 1833 in <Ohio>.
- F Sarah E HEMINGS was born in 1835. She died in 1884.
- M Thomas Eston HEMINGS was born in 1838 in Ohio.
- F Harriet HEMINGS was born in 1839.
- F Mary Ann HEMINGS was born in 1843 in Ohio.
- F Catherine Jane HEMINGS was born in 1844 in Ohio.
- M William Beverly HEMINGS was born in 1847 in Ohio. He died in 1910. He was buried in Section 28, Row 7, Grave #12 at the Leavenworth National Cemetery, Leavenworth, Kansas.
Herbert Barger Jefferson Family Historian 301-292-2739 http://www.angelfire.com/va/TJTruth
Madison Hemings (1805-1878), a carpenter and joiner, was given his freedom in Jefferson's will; he resettled in southern Ohio in 1836, where he worked at his trade and had a farm.
Madison Hemings, born James Madison Hemings (18 January 1805 – 28 November 1877), was the son of the mixed-race slave Sally Hemings; he was the third of four children to survive to adulthood. Born into slavery by his mother's status, he was freed by the will of his master Thomas Jefferson in 1826. Based on historical and DNA evidence, historians widely agree that Jefferson was likely the father of all Hemings' children. At the age of 68, Madison Hemings claimed the connection in his memoir published in 1873, which attracted national and international attention. 1998 DNA tests demonstrate a match between the Y-chromosome of his brother Eston Hemings and that of the male Jefferson line. Madison's sons did not have male-line descendants, so his line was not tested. Historians continue to debate the issue.
Madison and his younger brother Eston Hemings were freed in Jefferson's will of 1826; they each married in Virginia and lived with their families and mother Sally in Charlottesville until her death in 1835. Both brothers moved with their young families to Chillicothe, Ohio to live in a free state. Madison and his wife lived there the remainder of their lives; he worked as a farmer and highly skilled carpenter. Among their ten children were two sons who served the Union in the Civil War: one in the United States Colored Troops and one who enlisted as a white man in the regular army.
Among Madison and Mary Hemings' grandchildren was Frederick Madison Roberts, the first African American elected to office on the West Coast, who served in the California legislature for nearly two decades. In 2010 their descendant Shay Banks-Young, who identifies as African American, together with two Wayles' and Hemings' descendants who identify as European American, received the international "Search for Common Ground" award for work among the Jefferson descendants to bridge gaps and heal "the legacy of slavery." They have founded "The Monticello Community" for descendants of all the people who lived and worked there in Jefferson's lifetime.
Further information: Sally Hemings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sally_Hemings
Madison was born into slavery at Monticello, where his mother Sally Hemings was a mixed-race slave inherited by Martha Wayles Skelton, the wife of Thomas Jefferson. (Sally and Martha were reported half sisters, both fathered by the planter John Wayles. He was said to have a "shadow family": six children with his slave, Betty Hemings.) As the historians Philip D. Morgan and Joshua D. Rothman have written, there were numerous interracial relationships in the Wayles-Hemings-Jefferson families, Albemarle County and Virginia, often with multiple generations repeating the pattern. According to his memoir, Sally Hemings told Madison that his father was Thomas Jefferson, and that their relationship had started in Paris in the late 1780s, where he was serving as a diplomat. Pregnant, she agreed to return with Jefferson to the United States based on his promise to free her children.
Madison grew up at Monticello. His surviving mixed-race siblings were an older brother Beverly and sister Harriet, and a younger brother Eston. According to his 1873 memoir, Madison was named for Jefferson's close friend and future president James Madison at the request of Madison's wife Dolley. Madison lived as a child with his siblings and mother, who were all spared from hard labor. He described Jefferson as kind but showing little or no paternal interest in the Hemings' children.
Like his older brother Beverley, at 14 years of age, Madison was apprenticed to his uncle, Sally's brother John Hemings, the most skilled artisan at Monticello, to learn carpentry and fine woodworking; his younger brother Eston joined him two years later. This gave each of them a valuable trade. All three of the Hemings brothers studied and learned to play the violin, the instrument associated with Jefferson. Beverley, the oldest, was good enough to be invited to play at dances held by the Jeffersons at Monticello. As an adult, Eston Hemings made a living as a musician and entertainer in Ohio.
 Freed in Jefferson's will
In his will, Jefferson gave immediate freedom to three slaves: John Hemings, a brother of Sally, to whom he also bequeathed "the service of his two apprentices Madison and Eston Hemings", with instruction that the brothers each be freed at his respective 21st birthday. Jefferson freed two of Sally's nephews: Joseph Fossett and Burwell Colbert. (John Hemings was a widower and evidently childless by 1826, but Fossett and Colbert were married and the fathers of large families. As Jefferson did not free their wives and children, all were sold along with Monticello's nearly 130 other slaves at auctions held on the plantation to settle the heavy debts against his estate. The men and their friends worked to buy the freedom of their families.) Although the three older men had served Jefferson for decades, Madison and Eston were distinguished by being freed as they "came of age" at 21. Madison was nearly 21 at the time of Jefferson's death; Eston was given his time and freed before age 21.
Knowing that his estate was in debt and that freed slaves could not legally remain in Virginia for more than one year, Jefferson by his will requested the legislature of Virginia to guarantee the manumission of the five slaves, and to grant the men special "permission to remain in this State, where their families and connections are." Both requests were evidently granted.
Further information: Eston Hemings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eston_Hemings
Twenty-one-year-old Madison Hemings was emancipated almost immediately after Jefferson died; Eston soon after. The brothers rented a house in nearby Charlottesville, where their mother Sally joined them for the rest of her life. (She was not formally freed but was "given her time" by Jefferson's surviving daughter Martha Randolph, who was also Hemings' niece). In the 1830 Albemarle County census, Madison, Eston and Sally Hemings were all classified as free whites.
According to Madison's 1873 memoir, his older brother Beverley and his older sister Harriet had moved to Washington D.C. in 1822 when they "ran away" from Monticello. Jefferson ensured that Harriet was given money for her journey. Because of their light skin and appearance (they were 7/8 European or octoroon), both identified with the white community after their moves and likely changed their names. Hemings said they had married white spouses of good circumstances, and moved into white society. They apparently kept their paternity a secret, as it would have revealed their origins as slaves, and disappeared into history.
In September 1831, in his mid-twenties, Madison Hemings was described in a special census of the State of Virginia as being "5:7 3/8 Inches high light complexion no scars or marks perceivable". Forty-two years later at the time of his interview, a journalist described him as "five feet ten inches in height, sparely made, with sandy complexion and a mild gray eye."
In 1834 Madison wed Mary Hughes McCoy, a free woman of mixed-race ancestry (at least one grandfather was white, the planter Samuel Hughes who freed her grandmother Chana from slavery and had children with her.) They had two children born in Virginia.
In 1836 Madison, Mary and their infant daughter Sarah left Charlottesville for Pike County, Ohio, probably to join his brother Eston, who had already moved there with his own family. They lived in Chillicothe, which had a thriving free black community, abolitionists among both races, and a station of the Underground Railroad. Surviving records in Pike County state that Hemings purchased 25 acres (100,000 m2) for $150 on July 22, 1856, sold the same area for $250 on December 30, 1859, and purchased 66 acres (270,000 m2) for $10 per acre on September 25, 1865. The Hemings had more children born in Ohio.
In 1852, Madison's brother, Eston, moved with his family away from Ohio (and his brother) to Madison, Wisconsin, to get further from possible danger due to passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Slave catchers were known to kidnap free blacks and sell them into slavery, as demand was high. In Wisconsin, the family all took the surname Jefferson and entered the white community. They lived according to their appearance and mostly white ancestry. Their oldest son John Wayles Jefferson served as a Union officer in the War Between the States, and was promoted to colonel. Their son Beverly also served in the Union Army and married a white woman. Their daughter Anna married a white man. All Eston's descendants identified as white.
Madison and Mary Hemings were the parents of 10 surviving children. According to his memoir, their daughter Sarah (named for his mother) and an unnamed son who died in infancy were born in Virginia; nine more children were born in Ohio. He had a quiet life as a modestly successful free black farmer and carpenter.
Sarah, married Mr. Byrd. (Her descendants later reported that some family members' identified as white and families became fragmented as a result, even when living in southern Ohio.
Their three Ohio-born sons were:
Thomas Eston (named for Madison's father and his brother Eston), enlisted with the US Colored Troops; died in the Civil War.
William Beverly (named for brother Beverley), enlisted as a white man in the Civil War; died unmarried in a veterans' hospital in 1910.
James Madison (named after his father), moved to Colorado and was said to have identified as white. He was not known to have married.
His six younger daughters were:
Julia (who died before 1870),
Harriet (named for his sister),
Mary Ann (named after Mary's mother),
Ellen Wayles (named for Madison's maternal white great-grandmother)
In his memoir, Hemings said their son Thomas Eston Hemings died in Andersonville prison during the American Civil War, after having fought on the Union side with the United States Colored Troops. Their son William Beverly also served in Union ranks, where he was with the 73rd Ohio Infantry, having been accepted as white at enlistment.
Main article: Jefferson-Hemings controversy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson-Hemings_controversy
The Jefferson-Hemings controversy concerns the question of whether, after Jefferson became a widower, he had an intimate relationship with his mixed-race slave, Sally Hemings, resulting in his fathering her six children of record. The controversy dates from the 1790s. In the late twentieth century historians began reanalyzing the body of evidence. In 1997, Annette Gordon-Reed published a book that analyzed the historiography of the controversy, demonstrating how historians since the nineteenth century had accepted early assumptions and failed to note all the facts. A consensus began to emerge after the results of a DNA analysis in 1998, which showed no match between the Carr male line, proposed for more than 150 years as the father(s), and the one Hemings descendant tested. It did show a match between the rare haplotype of the Jefferson male line and the Hemings descendant.
Since 1998 and the DNA study, which affirmed historical evidence, many historians have accepted that the widower Jefferson had a long, intimate relationship with Hemings, and fathered six children with her, four of whom survived to adulthood. The Thomas Jefferson Foundation (TJF), which runs Monticello, conducted an independent historic review in 2000, as did the National Genealogical Society in 2001; the scholars of both reviews concluded Jefferson was likely the father of all Hemings' children.
Critics, such as the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society (TJHS) Scholars Commission (2001), have argued against these conclusions. They have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to determine that Jefferson was the father of Hemings's children. The TJHS report suggested that Jefferson's younger brother Randolph Jefferson could have been the father, and that Hemings may have had multiple partners.
There are no living male-line descendants of Madison Hemings, and Beverley Hemings' descendants have been lost to history. Descendants of Madison Hemings declined to have the remains of his son William Hemings disturbed to extract DNA for testing (he was buried in a VA cemetery), just as Wayles-Jefferson descendants declined to have Thomas Jefferson's remains disturbed.
In 2012, the Smithsonian Institution and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation held a major exhibit at the National Museum of American History: Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: The Paradox of Liberty; it says that "evidence strongly support[s] the conclusion that Jefferson was the father of Sally Hemings' children."
The Hemingses' daughter Ellen Wayles Hemings married Andrew Jackson Roberts, a graduate of Oberlin College. They moved from Ohio to Los Angeles, California in the late 19th century with their first son Frederick, age six. Roberts founded the first black-owned mortuary there and became a civic leader in the community. Their son, Frederick Madison Roberts, named for his maternal grandfather, was first elected to the California legislature in 1918. He was re-elected and served for 16 years, becoming known as "dean of the assembly". He is believed to have been the first person of African-American ancestry elected to office west of the Mississippi River. Both he and his brother William Giles Roberts graduated from college. The Roberts descendants for generations have had a strong tradition of college education and public service.
"The experiences of descendants of both Madison and Eston Hemings illustrate the benefits and costs of passing for white. None of Madison Hemings's sons married. William Beverly Hemings served in a white regiment--the 73rd Ohio--in the Civil War and died alone in a Kansas veterans hospital in 1910. His brother James Madison Hemings seems to have slipped back and forth across the color line, and may be the source of stories among his sisters' descendants of a mysterious and silent visitor who looked like a white man, with white beard and blue eyes. Several of Madison Hemings's grandsons also passed for white, divorcing themselves from their sisters who stayed on the other side of the line.
Passing was not always permanent. Intermittent passing became a strategy for securing anything from a job to a haircut. Their racial identities calibrated by the day or hour, light-skinned members of the Hemings family were white in the workplace and black at home, or they borrowed a white surname to make a hairdressing appointment in a neighboring town."
Many of the Hemings' descendants who remained in Ohio were interviewed in the late twentieth century by two Monticello researchers as part of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation's "Getting Word" project. It was to collect oral histories from among the descendants of slave families at Monticello; material has been added to the Monticello website. The researchers found that Hemings' descendants had married within the mixed-race community for generations, choosing light-skinned spouses of an educated class and identifying as people of color within the black community.
In 2010 Shay Banks-Young and Julie Jefferson Westerinen, descendants of Sally Hemings who identify as black and white, respectively, were honored together with David Works, a descendant of Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson, with the Search for Common Ground award for "their work to bridge the divide within their family and heal the legacy of slavery." They have been featured on NPR and in other interviews across the country.
Madison Jefferson's Timeline
January 18, 1805
Virginia, United States
Ohio, United States
March 16, 1845
Ross, Ohio, United States