Thomas Jefferson is one of the giants of Enlightenment thought and political activism. Yet to the historical record of his accomplishments, several myths have been added by both admirers and detractors of Jefferson. In this work, historian David N. Mayer investigates several of those myths, including the claims that Jefferson was “the father of American democracy,” that he had an extend affair with Sally Hemings and fathered some or all of her children, and that he was an atheist. In addition, Dr. Mayer identifies some of Jefferson’s shortcomings despite his genius and many outstanding accomplishments.
Professor Mayer received his J.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He is Professor of Law at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Mayer is the author of The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson (University of Virginia Press, 1994) and many articles and reviews in academic journals and other publications.