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Martha Jefferson

Martha JeffersonAKA Martha Wayles

Born: 19-Oct-1748
Birthplace: Charles City County, VA
Died: 8-Sep-1782
Location of death: Charlottesville, VA
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Monticello, Charlottesville, VA

Gender: Female
Religion: Anglican/Episcopalian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: First Lady

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Wife of US President Thomas Jefferson

Martha Wayles' mother died giving birth to her, and her father, a slave trader, was widowed twice more. She was married at 18 to the brother of her second stepmother's former husband, then widowed at twenty. At 23 she married future President Thomas Jefferson, but she was already in generally poor health. She grew sicklier with each of her seven pregnancies, finally fading to death at the age of 33.

Martha Jefferson appears on the White House's official list of First Ladies, although she had been dead almost twenty years before her husband became President. During the Jefferson administration, the hostess functions of a First Lady were performed by Dolley Madison, the socialite wife of then-Secretary of State James Madison. The sexual functions of a wife were performed by Thomas Jefferson's slave, Sally Hemings, who was Martha Jefferson's half-sister -- one of five half-siblings sired by her father, John Wayles, with his favorite slave, Betty Hemings.

Father: John Wayles (slave trader-attorney, b. 31-Jan-1715, d. May-1773)
Mother: Martha Eppes Wayles (b. 10-Apr-1712, m. 3-May-1746, d. 5-Nov-1748 childbirth)
Mother: Mary Cocke Wayles (stepmother, m. John Wayles, d. 1759)
Sister: Sarah Wayles (stepsister, d. infancy)
Sister: Elizabeth Wayles Eppes (stepsister)
Sister: Tabitha Wayles (stepsister)
Sister: Anne Wayles (stepsister)
Mother: Elizabeth Lomax Skelton Wayles (stepmother, m. John Wayles 3-Jan-1760, d. 28-May-1763)
Brother: Nance Hemings (slave, half-brother, b. 1761 to John Wayles and slave, Elizabeth "Betty" Hemings, d. 1827)
Sister: Thenia Hemings (slave, half-sister, b. 1767 to J Wayles and B Hemings, d. 1795)
Sister: Critta Hemings (slave, half-sister, b. 1769 to J Wayles and B Hemings, d. 1827)
Brother: Peter Hemings (slave, half-brother, b. 1770 to J Wayles and B Hemings, d. 1834)
Sister: Sally Hemings (slave, half-sister, b. 1773 to J Wayles and B Hemings, d. 1835)
Husband: Bathurst Skelton (lawyer, b. 1744, m. 20-Nov-1766, d. 30-Sep-1768, one son)
Son: John Skelton (b. 7-Nov-1767, d. 10-Jun-1771)
Husband: Thomas Jefferson (US President, b. 1743, dated 1770-72, m. 1-Jan-1772, d. 1826)
Daughter: Martha Jefferson Randolph ("Patsy", b. 27-Sep-1772, d. 10-Oct-1836 stroke)
Daughter: Jane Randolph Jefferson (b. 3-Apr-1774, d. Sep-1775)
Son: Peter Jefferson (b. 28-May-1777, d. 14-Jun-1777)
Daughter: Mary Jefferson Eppes ("Polly", m. Congressman, b. 1-Aug-1778, d. 17-Apr-1804 childbirth)
Daughter: Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson (b. 3-Nov-1780, d. 15-Apr-1781)
Daughter: Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson (b. 8-May-1782, d. 13-Oct-1784 whooping cough)


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