The Connection Between Thomas Jefferson and Charlayne Hunter-Gault

I posted the following information on Jay Bookman’s blog on December 18, 2017:

“I need to get this in writing before I forget it. I can cut and paste it elsewhere, later.

I was watching ‘Finding Your Roots’ by Dr. Henry Louis Gates a few minutes ago. The civil rights person by the name of Charlayne Hunter-Gault, who is my age of 75, integrated one of our Southern all-white colleges during the 1960s (University of Georgia). Many of you probably remember her. She is still alive and still an attractive, well-educated and well-spoken journalist.

Her great grandmother, Felicia Alexander Hunter, was the slave of a man by the name of Francis Eppes. Francis Eppes was the grandson of Thomas Jefferson by his younger daughter, Maria Jefferson Eppes, who died at age 26, after childbirth of a daughter who also died as a toddler. Maria (Mary) Jefferson had married her first cousin John (Jack) Wayles Eppes. John and Maria named their one child who lived past the age of two, Francis Wayles Eppes, who died at the age of 80 in Jefferson, Florida. Charlayne Hunter-Gault’s great-grandmother, Felicia Hunter, was married on the plantation of T. J. Eppes, great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson and son of both Francis Eppes, the grandson of Thomas Jefferson, and his first wife Mary Elizabeth Randolph Eppes. Thomas Jefferson (T. J.) Eppes had no slaves, I believe, but his father, Francis Eppes had inherited some of the land of his grandfataher Thomas Jefferson as well has some of Thomas Jefferson’s slaves. Francis Eppes ended up with 107 slaves before he moved to Florida, of whom one was the great-grandmother of Charlayne Hunter-Gault, as best as I can determine. I put all of this together from my readings of various historians and viewing “Finding Your Roots.” “Finding Your Roots” stopped going backwards in history with the name of Francis Eppes, grandson of Thomas Jefferson. The Emancipation Proclamation no doubt freed the slaves who had been owned by Francis Eppes so that his son, Thomas Jefferson Eppes, would have not had any slaves, at least after the Civil War, yet Felicia Hunter still elected to marry as a free woman on the Eppes plantation. Is history complex and mysterious or not?”

Another poster to MES:
“I was watching that myself.”


MES in response to that other poster:
“Notice that Henry Louis Gates did not tell his audience the information that I have here put together from my readings. I suspect that that would have been too controversial for public knowledge at this time and Gates was smart enough to avoid that direct connection of Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Thomas Jefferson, but I would think that he would have shared that information with Hunter-Gault privately after the program was filmed, so I believe she probably knows of her connection to Thomas Jefferson.

Moreover, Francis Eppes, grandson of Thomas Jefferson, moved to Florida after Thomas Jefferson had died (1826) and probably after his first wife, Mary Elizabeth Randolph Eppes, had died in 1835 in her mid-thirties. He took several of his slaves with him to Florida. The slaves of Thomas Jefferson who had remained in Virginia would have been freed by law with the end of the Civil War. Thomas Jefferson (T.J.) Eppes, great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson also migrated to Florida, where his father, Francis Eppes, had become an attorney and was appointed to the Board of Directors of Florida State University, which he (Francis Eppes) was instrumental in founding. In that Thomas Jefferson died penniless, his estate was not valuable when he died. I believe that may have been one reason that Francis Eppes, his grandson, wanted to give back to the Jefferson estate the land that Jefferson had left to him, specifically, but that was refused. I suspect that Francis Eppes left for Florida from Virginia after his first wife, Mary Elizabeth Randolph Eppes, had died in 1935 in order to make his own way, without much of an inheritance, from his grandfather because of the penniless state of Thomas Jefferson’s estate. Francis Eppes, the only surviving child of Thomas Jefferson’s younger daughter, Mary (Maria) Jefferson Eppes and John (Jack) Wayles Eppes, her first cousin, himself fathered 14 children, at least 6 of whom were birthed by his first wife, Mary Elizabeth Randolph Eppes, before her untimely death in 1835.

I, also, suspect that Thomas Jefferson, from the grave, would be pleased that all of his slaves had been freed by the actions of Abraham Lincoln. Thomas Jefferson told his only surviving child (at the death of Thomas Jefferson) with his wife, Martha Jefferson Randolph, also named Martha, to keep his slaves, as much as possible, within the Jefferson family. That is why, I suspect that Francis Eppes had so many slaves (107) while he lived in Virginia. He took only a few of these slaves to Florida with him. He had inherited those slaves from Thomas Jefferson’s estate, I would imagine. Jefferson did not want to break up slave families. I doubt Hunter-Gault realizes that fact.

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A Woman’s World

I wrote the following on Jay Bookman’s blog on December 13, 2017: (Link:

“Thanks for this column, Jay Bookman.

I think many factors are at play here with this tsunami of women across America deciding to become more assertive.

(1) The impact of Hillary Clinton’s, a woman of substance, having lost the presidential election to a male jerk like Trump is hitting the consciousness of women across the world hard. And, they have had enough of the role-playing that society throughout history has assigned to women, i.e. subordinate player.

(2) Women, as a group, seem to have more maternal instinct to nurture than dominate and the world is moving in that direction, aside from the liberation of women. Moving from dominating to nurturing will be liberating to men, also.

(3) Society is breaking through norms of all kinds and one of those is the rigid societal pressure to believe the Bible, quite literally. As women become freed as autonomous persons in their own rights, aside from their relationships with men, they feel liberated to reject certain parts of the fundamentalist Christian’s Bible while also embracing the Holy Spirit of our common Creator.

(4) Personal example to seal my points above: Yesterday I wrote a line here late in the evening, with as much dry humor, as anger, stored in my psyche. It was: ‘I am absolutely sick of the sexism of Donald Trump.’ The responses were interesting and some even caught the humor and responded with a light touch.

This, however, was the response of another poster to me upon his reading my words, above: ‘Mary Elizabeth, you need to read your Bible more. There is no way that women are going to become what you want in your lifetime.’ That intensity of his feelings and his preaching at me to be a more submissive woman has run its course with women across this planet. The time for egalitarianism for all people is at hand. And, I believe most of you will see it happen in your lifetimes, even if I don’t see the completed process in mine. There is no going back from an elevation of consciousness.”

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Black Americans Have The Potential To Save America

I wrote the following on Jay Bookman’s blog on December 13, 2017. Link:

“I had written in my blog maybe two years ago that the black people would save America, but my reasoning was based upon the grace, graciousness, and wisdom I saw in black leaders such as Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King, John Lewis, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young and others. It was not based on the anger and arrogance and gloating of the young Michael Harriot of “The Root,” whose full article I had read below. Harriot embraces tribalism and self-identification based on superiority as much as any white racist had in my past. Once more, only with the Holy Spirit acting in one’s mind can this nation survive ultimately in order to be able to live out its true meanings of liberty combined with egalitarianism.

Michael Harriot’s emotions are understandable, and probably do need to be let out; however, I am not content with that alone. It is not enough for black people and Americans of all demarcations to seek their revenge. Few people of any race transcend their chance circumstances of birth into a higher consciousness which MLK grew into, as well as black people like Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson, John Lewis and Coretta Scott King. But I must continue to ask them not to settle for the lower plateau of consciousness reached by Michael Harriot in his article,

“You’re Welcome, White People: Alabama’s Black Voters Just Saved America,” (Link:

but to be better and reach higher as did King, and as did Barack Obama, and as is Corey Booker is reaching as well as others of the present generation of black Americans. I continue to think that the black people will save the ideals of America, as Thomas Jefferson had so relevantly and poignantly described them, but they cannot do this without a transformation of the spirit to something higher than revenge.

We all need justice, tempered with mercy, as MLK well understood.

I worked through with angry black people about the injustices having been done them for centuries with my students and their parents during the last half of my teaching career, from 1984 – 2000. I saw and felt their pain, and they knew that I did.

However, it is now time in history for black people, as a whole, to move past anger to leadership of all others in our nation through insight, intelligence, humility, and higher consciousness whereby they see themselves no longer as victims but as spiritual and political leaders in the whole community of all races. But, first, they have to help to save the spirit and even soul of America, and that has to be done with wisdom and love, not anger and revenge.”

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Thomas Jefferson’s Progeny with Sally Hemings

The above is a photo of Thomas Jefferson’s grandson by Sally Hemings through their son, and Jefferson’s last child, Thomas Eston Hemings Jefferson who traveled from Virginia to Ohio to Wisconsin, (after his mother Sally Hemings had died in Virginia) where he took the surname Jefferson instead of Hemings and passed for white along with his wife and three children. One of three children of Thomas Eston Hemings Jefferson was the old man in the above photo with his three sons, who would be Thomas Jefferson’s three great-grandsons through Sally Hemings. All the above progeny of Thomas Jefferson passed for white. Thomas Jefferson’s first cousin was named Thomas Eston Randolph, whose father William Randolph was the brother of Thomas Jefferson’s mother, Jane Randolph Jefferson. What is amazing is that Jefferson named his last child, fathered in his 60s with Sally Hemings, Thomas Eston Hemings who ended up looking so very much like Jefferson, himself.

Notice the photos of the progeny of Eston Hemings Jefferson below. Notice especially the photo of the young man in the oval photo and how much he resembles Thomas Jefferson.

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Thomas Jefferson: The Torch of the Statue of Liberty

From the Krugman column below:

“We can go on down the list. The simple fact is that big spending on people who ‘won’t lift a finger’ doesn’t actually happen in America — only in Hatch’s meanspirited imagination.”


One thing about Thomas Jefferson that many fail to understand, is that Jefferson did not have a “meanspirited imagination.” His imagination, like his mind, was generous-spirited and visionary. That magnanimous quality in Jefferson is what gave him the far-reaching vision to be able to write, “All men are created equal.” Jefferson gave his life and his finances to supporting himself from his own estate as he spent a lifetime in public service to create a government, as Lincoln said, inspired by Jefferson, “of, for, and by” the people. Jefferson warned us that the oligarchs and the plutocracy would take over our precious republic if we did not stay wise to them and stay two steps ahead of them. He warned us that the way to save our democracy was through educating the people to see into the machinations of these self-serving people. Jefferson’s huge spirit helped him to create an America in his mind worthy of the Declaration of Independence. Now the mean-spirited of the politicians are about to destroy the monumental work and efforts of our Founding Fathers.

Column from Paul Krugman, November 5, 2017, “New York Times,” entitled,
“Republicans Are Coming For Your Benefits”:

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Breaking Through Barriers of Identification

Here were my words written in relation to an article shared on Jay Bookman’s blog this evening, December 3, 2017:

“All of these, though, are attempts to work out how we should revise our categories in the way that best reflects the human reality and allows us to talk coherently. The traditional categories were just too simple to capture the more complicated facts of how gender actually works. ”


These sentences are from the link another poster shared with this group this evening, below. Notice how self identification is becoming more fluid because human beings are becoming more educated and more conscious. The number of transgendered people who committed suicide has not been because they have acknowledged to themselves or to the world how gender identity is fluid but because of the limited consciousness of those within the world with whom they interact.

My opinion: Those people with limited consciousness tend to bully and berate those who are “different” or those who threaten the bully’s limited understanding of the complexity of life, including their lack of understanding of transgendered people and multi-racial people.

This is a very interesting article if you can get past the nonsense around the ego of Ben Shapiro and those who are caught up in all of that silliness.

The article explores in depth racial stereotyping. It explores gender identification. It leaves room for thinking about breaking barriers of limited identification of all kinds as we evolve as human beings. It explores the destructiveness of bullying others. Give it a read and ignore the juvenile parts.

Here is the other poster;s link again:

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Mass Killings in America

On November 6, 2017, I wrote the following in response to Jay Bookman’s column in this link,

“We cannot afford to simply think in binary ways on this massive problem.

Of course, we must do something substantive regarding our gun control laws, but we cannot fail to understand how the psychological sickness in our society, with its presently warped values that has created Donald Trump as America’s president, is not also responsible for mass killings of others.

Someday we will understand that the will to domination is creating a sick society, and that the only lasting solution to both verbal and physical violence, is a spiritual one in which the essential value of seeing that all people are one with us, because all people are equal in the eyes of God, is finally grasped.

There is much we can do and that includes raising American consciousness through education to understand what I have written above is true and that not understanding that eternal truth is killing our people and our egalitarian democracy.”


If we believed that egalitarianism among all people is a critical need to solve our problems, we might start to solve them because we would come to know that we are all only very small children of God. This is not the domain of any political party or any worldview, such as liberal and conservative. It is a spiritual need in our world.

If we saw each other as brothers and sisters in the Holy Spirit:

(1) We would not have a need to dominate others.

(2) We would not have a need to win by bullying others.

(3) We would not have a need to prove ourselves better than others either through our wealth or our worldly positions.

(4) We would want others to reach their potential as we hope to do for ourselves. We would invest in others, in their mental health, in their poverty, in their education.

(5) We would be kind to one another.

(6) We would seek to help more than to judge, and therefore be compassionate and intelligent in our assessing of others.

(7) We would remember that “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” and that would give us kindness and humility.

(8) We would know that God exists and that God watches over us, still.

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