Sally Hemings was a woman of mixed race. Even though she was enslaved she still had many other privileges that other enslaved women may not have had. Most people who were slaves did not have the opportunity to learn how to read or write, but Sally was able to go into a new country and even learn a new language. Even though she was enslaved, while she lived in Paris she was able to experience a different type of life. She was able to work and be a free citizen while there and was even well taken care of nicely dressed etc. Even her house chores were not too strenuous, she did light things like sewing.
I think that the core of her identity was being a woman, not being enslaved. She was given options as far as what she wanted to when it came to staying in Paris or returning to Virginia. Like most women do, she thought about the life of her children and the opportunities that they could have. Being that she was biracial and Jefferson being a white man, their children were considered to be white. Although she knew that she could live as a free woman in Paris with her brother and start a new life with a new man if she so wished, she chose to return with Jefferson under the condition that her children and herself would be free.
Sally made decisions based on her woman and motherhood. When she returned to Virginia she also made the decision to not be involved with any other male. She felt as though if she bore children from any other man that all her of children would not have the opportunity to be free as well because they would not have any ties to Jefferson. Although, some people tried to make it see like Sally and Jefferson had a relationship based solely on sex, there were things that proved that it was something more. Jefferson made sure that Sally was present in his life and kept his word that her children would be free.