Sally Hemmings is best known for the attempted
character assassination of President Thomas Jefferson. In her later years, she became an award winning inventor, author and talk show pundit.
Born the sixth of forty-seven children to Tyrel "Big Man" Hemmings, and Nassie "Let me get some sleep, for Christ's sake" Hemmings, Sally spent her childhood on the historic Jefferson estate of "Mount Cheerio".
Hers was a lonely childhood, assigned to work in the operating room of the elder Jefferson, Doctor George. But the doctor had few patients, in part because he was a doctor of philosophy and in part because everyone he operated on died.
Now it gets interesting
So Sally spent her days with friends brought to life only by her imagination - Tessie tongue depressor, Caleb cotton ball, and Mr. Speculum.
When it was time for young Thomas Jefferson to be indoctrinated into the ways of slave-lovin' it was Sally who papa George Jefferson picked for knock-kneed Tommy. "There's a woman who's gonna straighten him right up, y'hear!" is the quote made up for this article.
They were happy enough for thirty-two years (oh, sure he was married and like that, but you know what they say, "Once you've done a slave, you just can't behave.") until one day, Sally attempted to bludgeon Tom to death with a rolled up Atlanta Journal Sunday Edition. At her trial her attorney argued that she had merely been defending herself against rape because no one as drunk as she was could possible have consented, but the prosecuting attorney pointed out that a woman's right to defend herself against rape would would not be acknowledged for almost two hundred years until the invention of television and "Law and Order".
She was sentenced to prison where she would have died had it not been for a lucky stroke! They let her out.
Utter disappointment follows here
She went back to Mount Cheerio where she lived for two years, but eventually left bitterly disappointed by her grandchildren's disrespect and the declining quality of chitlins.
She lived the last six years of her life in a closet of the Mayor of Springfield. But during those years, she invented the toilfacyle - a combination toilet, sofa and uniexercycle - for which she received US patent number ought four. The toilfacycle is still a standard fixture in the slums of Atlanta.
Her book, "Get me out of this damn closet, O Lord!" was to win her a Pulitzer, albeit posthumously. But she's still credited with inspiring a generation of writers to find larger quarters.
Her tragic death
She died March 4, 1829, quite early in the morning. Because many people just couldn't get over the fact that she had almost killed Thomas Jefferson, ceremonies for her had to be secret. Her funeral, held surreptitiously at night during a thunderstorm was dark and wet. A fitting end for a woman who had lived her life that way.