Thomas Jefferson Son's Headstone Repair in Madison Wisconsin

Thomas Jefferson Son's Headstone Repair in Madison Wisconsin

From Lorenzo Southall

This is the grave of Thomas Eston Hemmings Jefferson, the biological son of our founding father Thomas Jefferson. Money is needed to repair the huge crack in the tombstone.

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over 1 year ago

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The date of the vandalism and damage is unknown. Although the visible physical damange is pretty obvious. Unfortunately it is not the responsibility of the cemetary to make repairs or amend tombstones in their cemetary.  The family descendants has all but forgotten the grave because Eston was African American.  And again unfortunately most people don't even know how important he was, because he had to live anonymously. The grave is located in Madison, Wisconsin at the Forest Hill cemetary. Once a month I do upkeep on it and Eston immediate family, whose buried beside him. I have not found any photos of the tombstone before the damage. There appears to have been some writing at the bottom an possibly a picture of Eston's face. We simple can't tell with the damage. Its my belief that the damage was not cause by grave robbers, but because of the scrapings and the direct hit, that made the crack in his name was done by a person of hate. This is to me an obvious attempt to destroy who this man was. I refuse to let him be forgotten. He was not only the child of Thomas Jefferson, the author of our declaration of Independence, but Mr. Jefferson practically raised by him, in his household and treated as a son. The money we raised will go towards buying an appropriate gravestone for this madison immigrant and dignitary from Ohio via Virginia, looking for a new beginning. By all accounts he did find it here. My ancestors family also grew up on the Monticello plantation in the legal service of the Jefferson family.  African Americans were treated like free people at Mr. Jefferson's home, the Monticello.  The condition of this grave is terrible and forgotten by most.  I consider it  a priviledge to be a part of getting it repaired. Check out some interesting facts below about Thomas Eston Hemings Jefferson.  Then PLEASE help with a small, generous, but historical contribution.  All donations are important regardless of the amount, however gifts exceding $300 will have their name engraved on a plack near the grave as a major contributor. Thank you on behalf of Friends of Thomas Jefferson Family. 

Some facts:

Thomas Eston H. Jefferson, was the son of Thomas Jefferson. our third president, and Sally Hemings. He moved to Madison in 1852. Sally Hemings was the half sister -- as well as the slave -- of Jefferson's deceased wife. Eston's link to Jefferson was established by DNA evidence in 1999.

Thomas Eston Jefferson, who was one-eighth white, was described by peers as a tall, fine-looking man with straight reddish hair and gray eyes. He was freed by Jefferson's will in 1829, and when he came to Madison changed his name from Thomas Eston Hemings Jefferson to E.H. Jefferson. A Hemings biographer speculates that Eston "passed" as white so his family would have more opportunities, separating himself from his black family.

It worked. Although Eston died of smallpox only four years after coming to Madison, his sons became successful Downtown hoteliers; one owned a transportation company and was listed as one of Madison's top taxpayers and a leading citizen. Both of Eston's sons, Beverly and John, fought in a Wisconsin regiment during the Civil War.

Sally Heming's biographer believes that Eston took the story of his ties to Thomas Jefferson and Monticello to his grave. His widow lived on at 121 N. Webster St. in Madison for 33 more years.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/lifestyles/a-place-in-black-history/article_5dff1324-d8ea-5241-ab81-d2b76756f9ce.html#ixzz2lzZhqrkS

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/people-of-note/article_620f031a-204a-5ac5-94ba-b05d7f77e40e.html#ixzz2mA2YvOV1

View Jefferson Family Tree

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Lorenzo Southall posted a new update:
over 1 year ago

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Help me reach my campaign goal on #Fundly! You can donate as much or little as you want. Check it out: http://fundly.com/thomas-jefferson-son-s-headstone-repair-in-madison-wisconsin

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