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Martha Jefferson Randolph


In office
March 4, 1801 – March 4, 1809
Preceded by Abigail Adams
Succeeded by Dolley Madison

Born September 27, 1772(1772-09-27)
Monticello, Virginia
Died October 10, 1836 (aged 64)
Albemarle County, Virginia, U.S.A.
Spouse(s) Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr.
Relations Thomas Jefferson and Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson
Children 12 total
Occupation First Lady of the United States
Religion Christianity
Signature

Martha Washington Jefferson Randolph (* September 27, 1772 – † October 10, 1836) was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, and his wife Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson.
She was born in Monticello, near Charlottesville, Virginia and was named in honor of her mother and name of Martha Washington, wife of George Washington. Her nickname was Patsy.

Early Life and Marriage

Tall and slim with angular features and red hair, she closely resembled her father, to whom she was devoted. From age 12 to 17, she lived in Paris while her father served as U.S. Minister to France. Jefferson enrolled her at Abbaye Royale de Panthemont, an exclusive convent school, after receiving assurances that Protestant students were exempt from religious instruction. Nevertheless, Patsy not only expressed a desire to convert to Catholicism, but also informed her father that she was thinking about becoming a nun. Jefferson quickly withdrew her from the school.

In 1790, Martha married Thomas Mann Randolph Jr., who served as Governor of Virginia from 1819 to 1822. The couple had twelve children:

  • Anne Cary Randolph (1791–1826).
  • Thomas Jefferson Randolph (1792–1875).
  • Ellen Wayles Randolph (1794–1795).
  • Ellen Wayles Randolph (1796–1876). Named after deceased older sister. Married to Joseph Coolidge {1798-1879} {Via common ancestor John Coolidge a cousin 10 times removed was US President Calvin Coolidge}.
  • Cornelia Jefferson Randolph (1799–1871).
  • Virginia Jefferson Randolph (1801–1882).
  • Mary Jefferson Randolph (1803–1876).
  • James Madison Randolph (1806–1834). First child born in the White House.
  • Benjamin Franklin Randolph (1808–1871).
  • Meriwether Lewis Randolph (1810–1837). His widow Elizabeth Martin remarried to Andrew Jackson Donelson—nephew of President Andrew Jackson.
  • Septimia Anne Randolph (1814–1887).
  • George Wythe Randolph (1818–1867), Secretary of War of the Confederate States of America.

She educated her children at home. She inherited Monticello from her father in 1826. She faced increasing financial difficulties and had to sell Monticello to James T. Barclay in 1831, who then sold it, in 1834, to a naval officer and Jefferson admirer named Uriah P. Levy. Martha was estranged from her husband until shortly before his death in 1828. She died at her Edgehill estate in Albemarle County, Virginia. She also accepted cash gifts totaling $20,000 from the states of South Carolina and Louisiana.

First Lady of the United States

She is now considered to have been First Lady of the United States from March 4, 1801 to March 3, 1809 because her father was a widower, making her the first First Lady not to be a wife of the president. She earned a reputation as an intellectual.

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Abigail Adams
First Lady of the United States
1801–1809
Succeeded by
Dolley Madison
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