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Maria Jefferson Eppes (1778-1804) View Interactive Version ]

Maria Jefferson, called Polly as a child, was the second of the two children of Thomas and Martha Jefferson to survive to adulthood. Following her mother's death in 1782, Maria was sent to stay with her aunt, Elizabeth Wayles Eppes. Polly became very attached to the family at Eppington, and when Jefferson arranged for the eight-year-old to join him and Martha in Paris, she wrote, "I don't want to go to France, I had rather stay with Aunt Eppes." Upon her arrival in England, Polly lived briefly with Abigail and John Adams, who were so charmed by the little girl that Mrs. Adams wrote to Jefferson that "she was the favorite of everyone in the house."

In 1797, Maria married her cousin, John Wayles Eppes, and returned to live at Eppington. Like her mother, Maria suffered from poor health; she died in 1804 at the age of twenty-five.


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