Martha "Patsy" Washington Randolph (Jefferson) (1772 - 1836)

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Martha "Patsy" Washington Randolph (Jefferson), First Lady's Geni Profile

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Nicknames: "Patsy/washington/"
Birthplace: Monticello, Albemarle, Virginia, United States
Death: Died in Edgehill Estate Albemarle County Virginia
Occupation: Daughter of Thomas Jefferson
Managed by: Noah Gregory Tutak
Last Updated:

About Martha "Patsy" Washington Randolph (Jefferson)

"First Lady of the United States"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martha_Jefferson_Randolph

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), briefly in 1862 he was Secretary of War of the Confederate States of America.

She educated her children at home. Being engrossed with the cares of her large family, she passed only a portion of her time in the White House, which she visited with her husband and children in 1802, with her sister in 1803, and during the winter of 1805/06. After Thomas Jefferson's retirement, she devoted much of her life to his declining years. He describes her as the "cherished companion of his youth and the nurse of his old age," and shortly before his death remarked that the "last pang of life was parting with her."

She inherited Monticello from her father in 1826. After business reverses and the death of her husband, she contemplated establishing a school, but was relieved from the necessity by a donation of $10,000 each from South Carolina and Virginia. However increasing financial difficulties still obligated her 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.

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.

-------------------- 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), briefly in 1862 he was Secretary of War of the Confederate States of America.

She educated her children at home. Being engrossed with the cares of her large family, she passed only a portion of her time in the White House, which she visited with her husband and children in 1802, with her sister in 1803, and during the winter of 1805/06. After Thomas Jefferson's retirement, she devoted much of her life to his declining years. He describes her as the "cherished companion of his youth and the nurse of his old age," and shortly before his death remarked that the "last pang of life was parting with her."

She inherited Monticello from her father in 1826. After business reverses and the death of her husband, she contemplated establishing a school, but was relieved from the necessity by a donation of $10,000 each from South Carolina and Virginia. However increasing financial difficulties still obligated her 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.

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.

Thomas Jefferson took charge of the entertaining details at the White House during his presidency, particularly the food and the form of protocol and ceremony; whenever he had women dinner guests, he invited Dolley Madison (1768-1849), the wife of his highest-ranking Cabinet member, Secretary of State James Madison, as his escort, his vice president Aaron Burr also being a widower. At large open functions in the White House, Dolley Madison also assumed a public role as hostess, assisting the President in welcoming the general citizenry.

 

Patsy Randolph, eldest daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson, has often been incorrectly identified as the White House hostess during the eight-year Jefferson presidency. In fact, she spent almost his entire time in the White House at either Monticello or the Virginia plantation, "Edgehill" of her husband. She bore four of her twelve children during the eight-year Administration. She was not present at either of his Inaugurations, in 1801 and 1805 and made only two lengthy stays with her father in Washington, during which time she served as his White House hostess - the winter of 1802 and the winter of 1806. During her second visit, she gave birth on January 17, 1806 to her eighth child, James Madison Randolph; thus he became the first child born in the White House.

 

During Patsy Randolph's 1802 sojourn there, she was accompanied by Jefferson's other child who survived into adulthood, Polly Eppes. Both Thomas Mann Randolph and John "Jack" Eppes, the husbands of Jefferson's daughters, lived in the White House with their father-in-law the President during their terms as U.S. Congressmen from Virginia. Polly Eppes died at her Virginia plantation, "Eppington," during the Jefferson presidency on April 17, 1804 just eight weeks after giving birth to her third child, a daughter, on February 15, thus dying shortly after childbirth as had her mother and maternal grandmother.

 

Largely through their correspondence, but also during his lengthy visits home, Patsy Randolph became her father’s comfort and close advisor, perhaps the single most important personal factor that stabilized him during his presidency. When the newspaper story that Jefferson and his half-sister-in-law and Monticello slave Sally Hemings had children out of wedlock was first widely reprinted in the first weeks of 1802, Patsy Randolph may have served a political purpose: she immediately joined her troubled father in Washington, along with her two children, Ellen and Jeff, and her delicate sister Polly Eppes, as a sign of family unity. The usually non-churchgoing Jefferson also suddenly began publicly appearing at the Sunday religious services then held in the hall of Congress - always politically shielded by the presence of his two daughters and two grandchildren. When she was at Monticello, Patsy Randolph was put in the difficult situation of supervising her half-aunt, Sally Hemings as a privileged house slave - without ever openly acknowledging that they shared the same blood.

 

After the Jefferson presidency, Patsy Randolph continued to live at her home Edgehill; eventually the heavy debts incurred by the late president at Monticello, and the mental illness endured by Thomas Randolph forced the clan to sell both plantations. Patsy Randolph initially lived in Boston with her daughter Ellen and her husband, Joseph Coolidge. Although estranged from her husband in the last years of their marriage, Patsy Randolph returned to Virginia to care for him in his final days; he died in 1829. She often visited her daughter Septimia Meikleham (1814-1887) in Washington, D.C. and later lived there; she was a guest of President Andrew Jackson in the White House on several occasions. At one point, some Democratic Congressmen, loyal to Jeffersonian principals, considered proposing a pension for the impoverished and widowed Mrs. Randolph as a sign of respect for her late father, but none was made. South Carolina and Louisiana, however, awarded her cash gifts totaling $20,000, which she accepted; she died on October 10, 1836 during a visit to Virginia, and is buried with her parents at Monticello. In 1834, she dictated an informal addendum to her will, instructing her children that she wished that her half-aunt Sally Hemings would be given her "time," or freedom, but that would also mean the now-elderly mistress of Jefferson would be forced to leave Virginia by law. It became moot since Sally Hemings died a year before Patsy Randolph.

-------------------- 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), briefly in 1862 he was Secretary of War of the Confederate States of America.

She educated her children at home. Being engrossed with the cares of her large family, she passed only a portion of her time in the White House, which she visited with her husband and children in 1802, with her sister in 1803, and during the winter of 1805/06. After Thomas Jefferson's retirement, she devoted much of her life to his declining years. He describes her as the "cherished companion of his youth and the nurse of his old age," and shortly before his death remarked that the "last pang of life was parting with her."

She inherited Monticello from her father in 1826. After business reverses and the death of her husband, she contemplated establishing a school, but was relieved from the necessity by a donation of $10,000 each from South Carolina and Virginia. However increasing financial difficulties still obligated her 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.

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.

Thomas Jefferson took charge of the entertaining details at the White House during his presidency, particularly the food and the form of protocol and ceremony; whenever he had women dinner guests, he invited Dolley Madison (1768-1849), the wife of his highest-ranking Cabinet member, Secretary of State James Madison, as his escort, his vice president Aaron Burr also being a widower. At large open functions in the White House, Dolley Madison also assumed a public role as hostess, assisting the President in welcoming the general citizenry.

Patsy Randolph, eldest daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson, has often been incorrectly identified as the White House hostess during the eight-year Jefferson presidency. In fact, she spent almost his entire time in the White House at either Monticello or the Virginia plantation, "Edgehill" of her husband. She bore four of her twelve children during the eight-year Administration. She was not present at either of his Inaugurations, in 1801 and 1805 and made only two lengthy stays with her father in Washington, during which time she served as his White House hostess - the winter of 1802 and the winter of 1806. During her second visit, she gave birth on January 17, 1806 to her eighth child, James Madison Randolph; thus he became the first child born in the White House.

During Patsy Randolph's 1802 sojourn there, she was accompanied by Jefferson's other child who survived into adulthood, Polly Eppes. Both Thomas Mann Randolph and John "Jack" Eppes, the husbands of Jefferson's daughters, lived in the White House with their father-in-law the President during their terms as U.S. Congressmen from Virginia. Polly Eppes died at her Virginia plantation, "Eppington," during the Jefferson presidency on April 17, 1804 just eight weeks after giving birth to her third child, a daughter, on February 15, thus dying shortly after childbirth as had her mother and maternal grandmother.

Largely through their correspondence, but also during his lengthy visits home, Patsy Randolph became her father’s comfort and close advisor, perhaps the single most important personal factor that stabilized him during his presidency. When the newspaper story that Jefferson and his half-sister-in-law and Monticello slave Sally Hemings had children out of wedlock was first widely reprinted in the first weeks of 1802, Patsy Randolph may have served a political purpose: she immediately joined her troubled father in Washington, along with her two children, Ellen and Jeff, and her delicate sister Polly Eppes, as a sign of family unity. The usually non-churchgoing Jefferson also suddenly began publicly appearing at the Sunday religious services then held in the hall of Congress - always politically shielded by the presence of his two daughters and two grandchildren. When she was at Monticello, Patsy Randolph was put in the difficult situation of supervising her half-aunt, Sally Hemings as a privileged house slave - without ever openly acknowledging that they shared the same blood.

After the Jefferson presidency, Patsy Randolph continued to live at her home Edgehill; eventually the heavy debts incurred by the late president at Monticello, and the mental illness endured by Thomas Randolph forced the clan to sell both plantations. Patsy Randolph initially lived in Boston with her daughter Ellen and her husband, Joseph Coolidge. Although estranged from her husband in the last years of their marriage, Patsy Randolph returned to Virginia to care for him in his final days; he died in 1829. She often visited her daughter Septimia Meikleham (1814-1887) in Washington, D.C. and later lived there; she was a guest of President Andrew Jackson in the White House on several occasions. At one point, some Democratic Congressmen, loyal to Jeffersonian principals, considered proposing a pension for the impoverished and widowed Mrs. Randolph as a sign of respect for her late father, but none was made. South Carolina and Louisiana, however, awarded her cash gifts totaling $20,000, which she accepted; she died on October 10, 1836 during a visit to Virginia, and is buried with her parents at Monticello. In 1834, she dictated an informal addendum to her will, instructing her children that she wished that her half-aunt Sally Hemings would be given her "time," or freedom, but that would also mean the now-elderly mistress of Jefferson would be forced to leave Virginia by law. It became moot since Sally Hemings died a year before Patsy Randolph.

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Martha "Patsy" Washington Randolph (Jefferson), First Lady's Timeline

1772
September 27, 1772
Monticello, Albemarle, Virginia, United States
1790
February 23, 1790
Age 17
Monticello, Albemarle, Virginia, United States
1791
January 23, 1791
Age 18
Monticello, Albemarle, Virginia, USA
1792
September 12, 1792
Age 19
EDGE Hill, Albemarle, Virginia, USA
1796
October 13, 1796
Age 24
Albermarle, Virginia
1799
July 26, 1799
Age 26
Albermarle, Virginia
1801
August 22, 1801
Age 28
Albermarle, Virginia
1803
November 3, 1803
Age 31
Albermarle, Virginia
1806
January 17, 1806
Age 33
The White House, Washington, DC
1808
July 14, 1808
Age 35
Albermarle, Virginia