Daniel P. Jordan, of Philadelphia, Monticello Leader Who Expanded Educational Mission of Thomas Jefferson’s Plantation, Remembered

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Daniel P. Jordan at his desk
Image via Monticello
As president of Monticello, Daniel P. Jordan helped broaden its educational mission. He has now passed away at the age of 85.

Daniel P. Jordan, a Philadelphia native and former president of the foundation that owns Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s plantation in Virginia, died on March 21 at the age of 85, writes Richard Sandomir for The New York Times.

During his time as the Monticello foundation president, Jordan broadened its educational mission and, most famously, commissioned a study that determined that Jefferson almost certainly had six children with Sally Hemings, one of his many slaves.

Questions about Jefferson’s relationship with the woman he enslaved circulated among historians for two centuries. In 1998, the results of DNA testing appeared to confirm that the former president was the father of Eston Hemings, one of Sally Hemings’s sons.

Monticello announced that the test would be evaluated by a research committee at Monticello.

“We will follow the truth where it leads,” he said at the time.

The Monticello study validated the findings and also examined historical and scientific documents and conducted interviews with descendants of Jefferson’s slaves.

It found that there was a strong likelihood that Jefferson was the father of “one and, perhaps, all of the known children of Sally Hemings,” said Jordan.

Read more about Daniel P. Jordan and what he’ll be remembered for at The New York Times.

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