On October 19, 1796 an editorial appeared in The Gazette of the United States, written by someone claiming the alias Phocion. In this editorial Phocion accused Thomas Jefferson of having an affair with his slave Sally Hemings. (Phocion was the alias used by Alexander Hamilton who wrote 25 editorials for the Gazette using that pen name). This was the first time that Jefferson was specifically accused of sleeping with one of his slaves. (In 1792 an editorial charged him with sleeping with “his concubine”, but didn’t specify who that concubine might be.)
There are certain conservative elements in America who like to pretend that talking about Jefferson’s affair with Hemings is something that only revisionist (where revisionist means leftist or socialist) historians have done and it’s a recent trend to tarnish the legacy of America’s Founding Fathers.
Nothing in politics is old, and Jefferson was being accused of this affair quite early on.
This cartoon was published in 1804 and portrays Jefferson as a cock and Hemings as the rooster. The cock was a symbol of revolutionary France, and Jefferson was often accused of unduly favoring France in foreign relationships