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Martha Jefferson*

Unfortuneatly, Martha never seved as "First Lady." She died in 1782. That was before Jefferson became President.

Martha was born on October 30, 1748 in Charles City County, Virginia.

When she was 18 she married Bathurst Skelton. He died four years later when she was 22.

On New Years day of 1772 she married Thomas Jefferson.

They lived in Monticello.

There are no know protraits of Martha Jefferson. (Several books include a picture of his daughter Martha in her place.)

She gave birth to six children. Only two of the children, Martha and Mary survived.

She died on September 6, 1782.

Jefferson never remarried.

Dolley Madison*, the wife of Jefferson's Secretary of State, often was the hostess of White House dinners.

Jefferson's daughter, Martha Randolf also was hostess an some affers. Martha Randolph and her husband lived with Thomas Jefferson until he died in 1826.

During these times, woman did not attend a social event if only men were at the affair. Therefore, Jefferson called on Dolley Madison and Martha Randolf to be the hostess. Future Presidents who did not have a wife followed this president.


Visit our site on U.S. Presidents



First Ladies

Books and Websites


Smithsonian Presidents and First Ladiesby James Barber and Amy Pastan.
First Ladies: Women Who Called The White House Home (First Ladies) by Beatrice Gormeley.

Websites National First Ladies Library of Congress, Images of the First Ladies




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This page was last modified: January 12, 2012