Author: Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge


Letter from Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge to Joseph Coolidge (October 24, 1858)

In this letter to her husband, Joseph Coolidge, dated October 24, 1858, Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge denies the possibility that her grandfather, Thomas Jefferson, could have fathered children by the slave Sally Hemings. She also reports on speculation that Jefferson’s nephews, Peter and Samuel Carr, may have been responsible. The correspondence appears in Ellen Coolidge’s letterbook, which contains copies of letters in her hand, but not the letters she actually mailed.