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Answer: Martha Wayles was Sally Hemings's half sister.

Sally Hemings's mother was the slave Elizabeth Hemings; Sally's father was John Wayles, a white slave owner who owned Elizabeth. And, Wayles also was the father of Martha Wayles who became Jefferson's wife. Thomas Jefferson described John Wayles in his autobiography as "a most agreeable companion, full of pleasantry and good humor, and welcomed in every society." Wayles, in turn, thought highly enough of Jefferson to make him an executor in his will.

"John Wayles had seen three wives die. The first, Martha Eppes Wayles, died within three weeks of her daughter Martha's birth. The second wife, a Miss Cocke, bore four daughters, three of whom, Elizabeth, Tabitha, and Anne, grew to maturity. After she died, Wayles married for a third time, one Elizabeth Lomax, widow of Reuben Skelton, but she survived only eleven months. At her death Martha Wayles was thirteen. After the death of this third wife, John Wayles had turned for solace to a mulatto slave within his own household. This was Betty Hemings, who had already borne six children to a slave father. She bore John Wayles six more, and after his death, two additional children, one to a white man, the other to a black slave. ... all but three of her fourteen children would grow to maturity, their ages recorded in Jefferson's Farm Book, and she herself would survive at Monticello until 1807, aged seventy-three." . [Excerpt from Fawn Brodie's Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History, pg 89.]

"There is a story handed down among the Monticello slaves, and recorded by Edmund Bacon, who became overseer in 1806, that the house slaves, "Betty Brown, Sally, Critta, and Betty Hemings, Nance and Ursula" were in the room when Martha died. "They have often told my wife that when Mrs. Jefferson died they stood around the bed. Mr. Jefferson sat by her, and she gave him directions about a good many things she wanted done. When she came to the children, she wept and could not speak for some time. Finally, she held up her hand, and spreading out her four fingers, she told him she could not die happy if she thought her four children were ever to have a stepmother brought in over them. Hold her hand in his, Mr. Jefferson promised her solemnly that he would never marry again. And he never did. He was quite a young man and very handsome, and I suppose he could have married well; but he always kept that promise." [From Fawn Brodie's, Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History. pg 209].

5. How "black" was Sally Hemings?

·  All "black"
·  Half "black"
·  One-quarter "black"
·  One-eighth "black"

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