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Portrait of Martha Jefferson Randolph by Thomas Sully

Martha Jefferson Randolph (1772-1836) View Interactive Version ]

Also known as: Patsy

Martha Jefferson Randolph, known as "Patsy" in her youth, was the eldest child of Thomas Jefferson and Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson. Educated in Philadelphia and Paris during the 1780s, she married her third cousin Thomas Mann Randolph, in 1790. The couple had 11 living children, whom Martha instructed at home. Closely following and supporting her fatherís career, Martha served as "first lady" from 1802-3 and 1805-6 in the Presidentís House, or the White House, earning a reputation for her intellectual abilities. After Jeffersonís retirement, Martha and her children spent their time primarily at Monticello, even while Thomas Mann Randolph served in Richmond as Governor. The financial difficulties of both her father and husband were a continual strain on Martha. After Jeffersonís death in 1826, she was forced to sell Monticello and move to Tufton to live with her eldest son, Thomas Jefferson Randolph. Martha reconciled with her estranged husband shortly before his death in 1828 and lived out the rest of her life with her children in Boston, Washington, D.C., and at her Edgehill estate in Albemarle County. Upon her death, she was buried alongside her husband and father at Monticello.

Source: Family Letters Project; Pictured: Portrait of Martha Jefferson Randolph by Thomas Sully


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