David Barton: The Jefferson Lies

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This morning on radio David Barton join Glenn to discuss his new book The Jefferson Lies: Exposing The Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson.

Glenn introduced David by explaining how he really opened his own eyes to America’s true history that so many Americans have never heard before. In his latest book, Barton exposes the lies that are taught to Americans about Thomas Jefferson, which is exactly how he opened his interview with Glenn this morning – disproving the claim that Thomas Jefferson slept with his slave, and has descendants from Sally Hemming.

“Sally Hemming didn’t happen,” David told Glenn. “First off, it’s really hard to get DNA testing. To do DNA testing in a later generation you have to have a male descendant.”

Pat expanded David’s comment explaining that in November 1998, there was supposedly a DNA test proving that it he had this lineage with Sally Hemming, but that’s not what it did.

“It did nothing of the sort. In fact, they retracted the story six weeks later – nobody carried the retraction – but it was impossible to prove Jefferson did it, because he had no male descendants, and you have to have the DNA of the male descendants,” Barton explained. He later added, “It blew out 200 years of history.  But nobody ran the retraction of that DNA story in 1998.”

“The story you also sometimes hear associated with this one is that it was maybe one of his relatives – one of the twenty-seven Jefferson men – that’s not even true?” Pat asked.

“Not true,” David responded. “They did find that in the fourth child there was Jeffersons DNA – not Thomas Jefferson’s DNA, but that’s been known for a while too. It’s been known for 200 years that Thomas’s younger brother Randolph had a relationship with some of the slaves. You can point to Jefferson’s younger brother, but you still can’t point to Jefferson.”

Glenn next asked David about a story that he had wrong before learning more about Thomas Jefferson – Jefferson rewriting the Scripture. “I’ve always heard he took out what he kind of believed were the magic tricks of Jesus. He just went to the teachings of Jesus, and he called them “Jesus of Nazareth.”  It was just the teachings,” Glenn said.

David explained that there was one he did in 1804 at the White House and another in 1820 – bother were called The Jefferson Bible. The one from 1804 he did after hear a sermon that told him the best way to share the Gospel with Native Americans was to make a simple abridged version. They basically took the four Gospels and cut it down into the life of Jesus and gave it to his missionary friends. It explained the Gospel and it was cheaper to print. David also explained that it did not cut out the miracles like many claim that it does.

The version from 1820 was Jefferson’s solution to morality. Jefferson read the teachings of over thirty philosophers and after doing so found that the teachings of Jesus were the best. He pulled fifty of the moral teachings of Jesus and put them together in a book he called The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth – which, David pointed out, is also filled with the miracles of Jesus.

Glenn next asked David about Jefferson’s use of the separation of church and state.

David explained that this was a quote he used that had been in existence for 250 years. Back in 71AD the state took over the church, and for the next 1,200 years it wasn’t the church taking over the state it was the state taking control. They told the church what to enforce, they decreed the doctrine, and when Henry VII wanted a divorce, and the church said no, he said he would start his own church and give himself a divorce. One of the dissenters, because of this, said that there needs to be separation of the church and commonwealth. The pastor of the pilgrims was killed for saying that Queen Elizabeth should not be head of the church. The pastor that followed, John Robinson, became one of the big inspirations for the founder’s view of church and state.

Barton continued, explaining that Thomas Jefferson received a letter from settlers in Connecticut that they were scared to death the government was going to regulate their religious expression. This is when Jefferson said that there needs to be separation of church and state and wrote a letter to the Supreme Court.

Glenn also asked David Barton about Jefferson’s connection to Islamic terrorism. Jefferson printed the first Koran.

“He had the first war on Islamic terrorism,” Barton added, explaining that Jefferson spent five years fighting Islamic terrorism, because twenty percent of the budget was going to fighting extremists.

David closed by explaining the Glenn that the reason he wrote this book was to set the record straight. So of the history of Thomas Jefferson is backwards, like separation of church and state.

“If you’ve never read a David Barton book, you’ve not read a history book,” Glenn said. “David is one of the best, if not the best historians in America. He is doing everything he can to turn history back and write it and put it back to where it was and tell history like it was, and to tell the truth, both good and bad. Thomas Jefferson is such an important figure. This is a watershed book that you need to equip yourself with and equip your family and children with, so they know about the truth about Jefferson.  It is The Jefferson Lies: Exposing The Myths You’ve Always Believed About Jefferson.”

  • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    The way of the progressives and of radicals is simple:

    Lie about a common subject until it becomes accepted fact and fable.
    Rewrite history to support your points of view.
    Eliminate as much truthful and factual sources as possible.
    Anyone challenging the fabricated reality is to be deemed an enemy and is to be stopped in any way possible – discredit, defame, intimidate or destroy.

    Mr Barton thank you for writing of the true Jefferson; the truth of our beginnings must be brought forth to the fullest if we are to rediscover who we are to be and not what we have been made into by the progressives.

    • Anonymous

      My favorite of his, I call them investigations,  concerns the black man and the myth perpetuated by the left.  DB has an entire series in DVD that are exceptional.   If you get a chance Snow, check them out.

    • Anonymous

      And here is another story the dems lied about

      • Anonymous

        Thank, Kitty.  A good article from Ann Coulter which is very informative.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BDH3GO4BMSXPSNLU3NSSD5BAGU Samuel

      U guys are all aware at this point I imagine that the book has been retracted for fabrications and falsifications, right?  Its quite appropriate, everything you wrote, snowleopard… until the last paragraph.

      • Anonymous

        The book was never retracted for fabrications, falsifications, or anything else.  The publisher simply stopped producing it after complaints were received.  (Even though the publisher vetted the book before printing).  Chief among the complainers is a “Christian” who doesn’t like Jefferson being portrayed as a Christian because their opinion of the nature of God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost differ.  Jefferson thought it was silly to consider them all-in-one, everywhere-yet-nowhere, etc…   I tend to agree with Jefferson, and not with the rabble-rouser…

  • Corran Horn

    I think I am going to get this book.

  • Anonymous

    David Barton is a worthless hack!!!
    His “history” books are criticized and mocked by genuine American historians every time he writes one of the fictitious books.
    Lets looks at his lies and omissions…
    1.  Barton makes the assumptive leap that since their is no DNA proof, Jefferson did not have a child with Sally Hemming.  Of course he leaves out countless observations and proof that proves the fact that he did. 
    2.  Barton ignores the letter Jefferson sent to the Supreme Court because he states that it only discusses the Connecticut problems.  He leaves out that the letter doesn’t specify Connecticut as the only people who need the separation of church and state.
    3.  Barton leaves out the fact that Jefferson owned slaves while President and Ambassador.

    David Barton lacks the knowledge and credentials needed to be a respected historian.  To make up for being a laughing stock in his own profession, he panders to the whims and fancies of bigoted liars like glenn beck to peddle his fiction.

    • SoThere

      You’re a worthless Media Matters hack.

      Please see a professional about your fixation on little children strtlk/mtclayboy.You’ve been caught in your lies and have no credibility here. You’re a Wikipedia sailor and a lying puke.1. As mtclayboy you claimed that you served on a BOOMER. As strtlk you claimed not to know what a Boomer or a SSBN was “I don’t care” were your exact words. You also stated that you didn’t know where Bangor, Wa. was which is where Boomers (submarines) are fitted for duty.
      Any real Submariner would know that. You didn’t!2. You then changed your story and claimed that you were on a BOOMER. You lied.3. As mtclayboy you claimed that you had damaged your ears while serving on a Submarine. As strtlk, you claimed that you damaged your ears while serving on a submarine.4. As mtclayboy you claimed that you joined the Navy and served for five years on a submarine but according to the timeline you gave that was proven to be a lie. You lied.5. As mtclayboy you said that you were a Fireman. As strtlk, you claimed you were a Fireman.6. As mtclayboy and as strtlk, you posted the same bigotry and hate against Glenn Beck almost word for word even using the same spelling and grammatical errors and focusing on the children. I’ve posted many of them here already.Are you catching on everyone? He’s a liar plain and simple and nothing he claims can be believed. Take your bigotry and hate and Phony Soldier ID and leave us honest people alone?

    • SoThere

      The truth is really a shock to you idiots on the left, isn’t it?


      Stop your whining you ignorant little twit.

      • Anonymous

         Here is a pretty well written and fair review of the book from the wall street journal (not exactly leftists) that I think would put the criticisms of Barton’s view of history in a little more context.   The main criticism being his tendency to simplify complex people.

        • SoThere

          Interesting article but it doesn’t prove or disprove anything.

          When all the leftists were tearing down our Founding Fathers with rumors and fake DNA results (later proven to be false) some people felt that it was time to put the myths to bed with FACTS.

          • Anonymous

            Someone needs to tell Ancestry.com that their information on Thomas Jefferson being the ancestor of Sally Hemming’s descendants is false. I canceled my membership and will not ever  trust their information again. If they will promote that lie, they will make up any other lie to sell their product.

          • SoThere

            I never trusted Ancestry.com because of the personal information they collect. ID theft central.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BDH3GO4BMSXPSNLU3NSSD5BAGU Samuel

        I think you’re due for a news update, btw. The funny thing about truth… if it doesn’t come out in the wash, it comes out in the rinse.  Barton’s book has been retracted, dropped by the publisher for falsification and fabrication.  It was a hack. Plain and simple.  I don’t say that with glee.  But its the way it is.

    • http://twitter.com/JoeyNorris3 Joey Norris

       What are you talking about?  Barton never denied Jefferson owned slaves. You left wingers think you  owned the truth..NOT!!!!

    • Anonymous

      What are your historical credentials and education?

      • SoThere

        Historical credentials and education??? Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

        I can’t wait for his reply if he replies to you at all.  Check back tomorrow morning around 4 AM when he gets off of his janitorial job.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Morgan/100000253121773 Carol Morgan

           hey, don’t insult janitors..actually i picture him more like in his parents basement up til 5 am playing video games and trolling. my husband is a janitor and it is hard work!  😉

          • SoThere


      • Anonymous

        No education, totally hysterical!

    • Anonymous

      So you claim to have knowledge of “countless observations and proof” that Jefferson had a child with Sally Hemming. Were there witnesses peeking through the window or did Jefferson leave behind a sex tape? Please provide a link to this “proof that proves” (as opposed to proofs that don’t prove.) 

    • clifton le

      What assumptive leap? You mean the leap that countless criminal cases have had the “countless” observations overturned based on DNA evidence! OR maybe it is your assumptive leap that that leaves you to the determination that supporting evidence of observation leads to a known fact. What Barton does is present the evidence and construct a theory of what is more likely than not within the understanding of the times and beliefs of our founders. 
      It must be really difficult for you to harbor so much intellectual dishonesty so that you may maintain your flawed ideology.

    • Anonymous

      Who are all these Historians you quote ? I don’t believe you have any. Except those far lefters like Soros or his cronies !

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chad-Javier/100000275487269 Chad Javier

       To your 1st point …aren’t you ignoring the fact that the DNA evidence that “proved,” Jefferson fathered at least one of her children was then “OOOOPS! -This is all wrong.” By the very same people who were trying to prove that he was the father? …Of course this news was met with very little fanfare 

  • http://www.facebook.com/burningbeard.fya Donovan Bock

    Nice historical revisionism. How fitting of Republicans and Democrats who just love to rewrite history as they see fit.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Barton, it was with great pleasure that I took your American Christian Heritage classes through my church.    I am up there in age and it’s been quite awhile since I attended school;  I learned more about American history in the 12 week course than I learned in my 12 years in my youth.
    I encourage everyone to get the DVD set-they will blow your mind.   The Thomas Jefferson myth is but one in many.

  • http://www.facebook.com/debbie.schreiber1 Debbie Allison Schreiber

    david barton .. another of my hero’s  …. the list is getting very long .. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/22E4PHAIDCOJZQBO2S57DKHAJQ JB

    I just ordered the book and am looking forward to reading it. However, there have been several criticisms about David Barton that raise some concerns, including the whole “Unconfirmed Quotations” deal. While I certainly wouldn’t put it past the left to just use a barrage of name-calling and source-citing of their own versions of history, is there any rebuttal to those criticisms beyond both sides calling each other a liar, or is that addressed in the book itself?

  • Anonymous

    You guys should correct some of your print from this conversation.  The date ”71AD” should be

    371AD.  And that would be Henry VIII (the much married Tudor), not Henry VII.

  • Anonymous

    I enjoyed reading the article but…. good grief! …. please have someone who knows how to proof-read articles in the future.  Please interpret this sentence:  “So of the history of Thomas Jefferson is backwards, like separation of church and state.”

  • Anonymous

    There is currently an extensive exhibit at the Smithsonian American History Museum of Jefferson’s bibles. In addition to 1st printings It has Jefferson’s actual cut-up new testaments that he used to help develop them. Definitely worth seeing.

    Also having read the Quran twice (I was so totally flabberghasted and depressed I had to read it again to make absolutely sure) I have to totally agree with President Jefferson’s warning. It is obvious the the Islamic radicals aren’t the radicals at all. They are doing what is commanded of them. It’s the so called Islamic moderates that are the radicals. I also tried reading the Haditha but quickly gave up because everything I read was even worse. If more people had actually read the Quran there wouldn’t be this insanely ignorant and misguided tolerance of Islam. If more Islamists actually read the Quran they wouldn’t be Islamists. I challenge all the people in the media and everyone else for that matter to actually read the Bible hebrew, old and new testaments and the Quran cover to cover. Contrary to what many would have you believe these books speak for themselves and can be understould without commentary. I recomend yoou read them first and get your own understanding and opinion before reading any commentary. These books are way too important to be ignored. Everyone should actually know what’s in them before they actually voice an all too often ignorant opinion. Too many misconceptions are being continually floated around due to a willfull ignorance on the part of all. Glenn if you or your staff haven’t given these these books a thorough read I would recommend doing so immediately. If you haven’t, you are doing yourself and your audiance a great disservice.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting article. I’m a big Beck fan and a bigger Dave Barton fan. However, someone please “proof read” your articles before they are posted! Looks like someone with AT&T’s customer service in the Philippines transcribed and posted this. Come on Glen. We hold you to a higher standard…………..

  • Anonymous

    As much as I appreciate the effort which went into this article, I really wish that proof reading was more of a priority.  We lose credibility when we don’t take the time to re-read what we have written.  It’s not just typos, of which there are many in this article… it’s also factual issues, such as mentioning Henry the 7th wanting a divorce when it was really Henry the 8th.  

    Another example of perfectly horrid grammar with multiple issues is from the sentences which read, “David explained that there was one he did in 1804 at the White House and another in 1820 – bother were called The Jefferson Bible. The one from 1804 he did after hear a sermon…””There was one he did…” What does this even mean?  “Bother were called…” I know the writer meant “both”, but it smacks of illiteracy to the critics.  “…he did after hear a sermon…”  Again, it meant “hearing”, but if you count the number of errors in this article, it starts to raise serious questions about the competency level of the writer, and casts dispersions against Glenn himself.

    In case you think I’m being picky about the wrong things or have a misplaced sense of propriety, then please understand… I’ve also heard from other conservatives that we lack credibility when we place uneducated people in positions of disseminating information or our position to others, especially our critics.


  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.bannister2 Jeff Bannister

    I will open myself up to your wrath but I will not be quiet.  I love Glenn Beck and am a grateful follower of GBTV.  We do not completely agree on everything.  Glenn has always asked us to “Question with Boldness”. Many will disagree with me as I will seem like a contradiction to the general theme of most of your sentimentalities.  I am an athiest conservative libertarian.  I used to be a liberal(ashamed to say that).  I guess you could say I am evolving.  I am also a janitor so that will bring into question of my intellect as well.  So be it(Amen)

    I have enjoyed David Barton and respect him.  I do believe the left can twist history to suit their agenda.  I grew up in an lefty family and thus was taught that President Jefferson was an athiest(to support my fathers point of view) and yes mated with his slave mate.  If I was wrongly taught about that as I was about other ideas I am willing to examine the alternate point of view.

    We are not all equal.  Some of us are smarter than others.  As my friends in my favorite band RUSH have said “We need someone to talk to and someone to sweep the floor” Just because I sweep floors does not mean that I cannot learn to talk to someone who considers themselves to be elitist or above my intellect and I fully acknowledge this to be true. 

    We all search for arguments for continuing to think as we already do.  It is the very few who are willing to change their thinking after true evaluation for themselves of the facts that they come across.  Nobody knows everything about everything.

    It is my understanding of DNA that the maternal MtDNA lineage is just as relevent as the Y-Chromosone factors.  You will likely disagree with me over the DNA record which leads all humankind back to Africa. http://www.eebweb.arizona.edu/Courses/ECOL223/Greatest_Journey_NG_06.pdf
    I will disagree with your lineage back to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. 

    Can we agree to disagree on some issues without name calling.

    I am an athiest who has moved from being a radical like the extremist athiests who are butting their noses into every part of other peoples lives to now supporting and fighting for the “Freedom of Religion” as long as you do no harm to others. I am Canadian(another negative as far as many here are concerned) and I used to despise the USA.  Now I am an ardent supporter of your Founding Fathers principles.  Thomas Paine is one of my favorites.

    Even though people do not think the same please allow others to re-evaluate their position.  I ask you to do the same.  If it does not change your mind.  So be it.  The most important thing is that you have a right to your opinion still and we all need to keep up the fight to retain that freedom.  For you that freedom is given to you by God. For me it comes from Nature.

    David Barton should keep up his action to right the wrongs he sees in history.

    Sorry for the length of this post.  I guess I have been holding back for some time now.  Peace.

    • Anonymous

      Welcome to this site, Canadian atheist conservstive libertarian.
      Your post is well thought out and well written;  there’s nothing to suggest you aren’t a person of intelligence.
      We are all equal in importance to our existance as human beings….don’t let anyone tell you differently;  a docter is no more special than a janiter in the eyes of God.
      As an American, I ask that our Canadian brothers and sisters pray for our recovery in the coming year.
      Thank you and God Bless.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.bannister2 Jeff Bannister

        I live in Alberta so there is hope even from this socialist country.  Thanks for understanding.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. Like all the rest I genuinely believed that story until I watched this, I am completely shell shocked. Once again I’m furious with all my past history teachers for not telling the truth about Jefferson.

    I remember in my teen years I was disgusted with Jefferson, but now I’m almost to the point of revering him. I am so buying this book first chance I get.

  • Anonymous

    Wait. I do genetic genealogy. Y-DNA (y chromosomes) is passed from father to son, virtually unchanged, generation after generation.

  • Anonymous

    WAIT! As a genealogist who uses genetics as a tool, what about Y-DNA!? Y-DNA passes from father to son, generation after generation, unchanged. To say that there is no way to prove a connection between a Jefferson male and a male son of Sally Hemings is false. Y-DNA passes through the MALE lineage. MALE ONLY.

    If TJ fathered a MALE child with Sally, and that male child had a male son, and male grandson, etc etc etc, and a MALE direct descendant was tested, then you COULD have a match. But here is the key:
    TJ did NOT have a white male son. So, to test Y-DNA, another Jefferson male descendant would have to be found. Remember: TJ, and his father Peter Jefferson, had the same Y-DNA. Therefore, Randolph, and any other son of Peter, would have the same Y-DNA.

    In short, IF a male descendant of a male Jefferson slave had a matching Y-DNA signature, it could be said that a JEFFERSON male fathered the male child with Sally. What CANNOT be proved is that TJ fathered that child.

    I personally believe it is possible, but not probable. I think it was Randolph.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/56RVOMS4XT72QYOQ6E4LAWEKY4 GARY

    An important point I haven’t seen mentioned so far is the special connection, despite the age difference, Jefferson may have felt for Sally Hemings in that she was his beloved deceased wife Martha’s half sister and of three-quarters European ancestry.  Martha and Sally had the same father John Wayles.  Sally’s mother Betty was herself the child of a bi-racial relationship.  Jefferson may have seen something of his lost wife Martha in Sally.  This has to be part of the discussion.   

  • Gary Casebier

    If one really studies T. Jefferson’s work, he believed in an form of of what would be more like Taoism and Judaism. He believed the first five books of the BIble were the most inspired books written but he could not believe in Jesus. He would be more Jewish than anything and believed in Creator.

  • Anonymous

    I need to buy another book.

  • Anonymous

    I need to buy another book.

  • http://suburbanpatriot.wordpress.com SuburbanPatriot

    Hahahahaha this guy is a fraud and even his publishers think so!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chad-Javier/100000275487269 Chad Javier

    Hmph … had an exchange with a fellow at a website called “freethinkers,” after I had discovered (but had not purchased yet) The Jefferson Lies. His very FIRST reaction, without my having mentioned him, was to attack David Barton.
    Mr. Barton you are CLEARLY upsetting all the right people … Don’t ever stop!!

  • Jillian Jacks

    How you can ever trust a word out of David Barton’s mouth is a mystery to me. Every claim he’s made had been disproved over and over. Glenn, if you want people to listen to your message, don’t ally yourself to liars and con-men and delusional misfits. You lessen our strength with every misstep.

  • Anonymous

    Jefferson was a secularist. People like David don’t actually tell the truth. He’s not a credible historian. Honestly Jefferson was a deist. Then again people believe Thomas Paine was a christian, but none of those people read the book Age of Reason

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