Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson
Born: October 30, 1748 at Charles City, Colony of Virginia
Died: September 6, 1782 (aged 33) at Charlottesville, Virginia
Spouse: Bathurst Skelton (m. 1766 – 1768), Thomas Jefferson (m. 1772 – 1782)
Children: She had 7 children
First Lady of Virginia (1779 – 1781)
Facts about Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson
- The exact cause of Martha’s death is not known; however, a letter from Jefferson to the Marquis de Chastellux would indicate that she never recovered from the birth of her last child.
- Martha asked Thomas Jefferson to never marry again, and he never did.
- There are no known portraits of Martha Wayles Jefferson, and descriptions of her appearance are scant.
- Martha Jefferson was talented in music.
Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson Childhood
Born Martha Wayles in 1748, Martha Jefferson was the first and only wife of President Thomas Jefferson. She, however, never got to fulfill any duties as first lady—she died years before he was elected president. A member of a wealthy family, she grew up at “The Forest,” a plantation in Virginia’s Charles City County. She was named “Martha” after her own mother who died shortly after giving birth to her.
Where is Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson buried?
She was buried at Monticello, Virginia.
How did Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson die?
Martha Jefferson was in delicate health for much of her marriage. She is believed to have suffered from diabetes, a condition aggravated by childbearing. The birth of their youngest child was reportedly the most difficult pregnancy for Mrs. Jefferson; she gained a dangerous amount of weight and was often too sick to act as head of the household or even to sit comfortably. She died on September 6, 1782.