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First published in 1853 amidst rumors that Thomas Jefferson fathered children with one of his slaves, Clotel is a fictional chronicle of one such child. After Jefferson's death, his mistress and her two daughters are auctioned. One daughter, Clotel, is purchased by a white man from Virginia who impregnates her. Despite the promise of marriage, Clotel is instead sold to another man and separated fr…

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