What really happened?
Kimberly Bradley, along with almost everyone else who has researched the topic, believe that Thomas Jefferson, former president of the United States and the author of the Declaration of Independence, fathered seven children with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings, after his wife Martha past away. The names, ages, and the work that the children did are historically documented, but their feelings and conversations are not. With painstaking detail, Bradley writes the story of what it might have been like to be those children. Not quite fitting in with the other slaves because of the special privileges they receive (violin lessons, better clothes, safer jobs) and definitely not accepted by the other members of the Jefferson family, this is a fascinating story of slavery versus freedom. A thought-provoking read for kids and adults alike.
A special note for Wisconsinites: One of Jefferson's sons with Hemings, Eston, was freed, got married, changed his last name to Jefferson and moved to Madison, Wisconsin in the 1850s. He is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery.