The Info List - John Wayles Eppes

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John Wayles Eppes (April 19, 1773 – September 13, 1823) was an attorney, a United States
United States
Representative and a US Senator from Virginia. One of the wealthy planter class, he married his first cousin Maria Jefferson, the youngest surviving daughter of Martha Wayles Skelton and Thomas Jefferson. After his wife's early death following the birth of their third child, Eppes was a widower for five years before marrying Martha "Patsy" Burke Jones from North Carolina.[1] Descendants of his slave Betsy Hemmings, who was with his household from the age of 14, say that Eppes as a widower took her as a concubine when she was about 21. The oral tradition among her descendants is that their relationship continued through his second marriage, and she had several children with him.[2] Hemmings was buried next to Eppes in the planter's family cemetery at Millbrook plantation, and her grave is marked by a fine tombstone.[3] His second wife Martha "Patsy" Jones Eppes chose to be buried at her daughter's plantation.


1 Personal life 2 Marriage and family

2.1 Betsy Hemmings

3 Political career 4 Retirement and death 5 References 6 External links

Personal life[edit] Eppes was born at Eppington
in Chesterfield County, Virginia, the only son and youngest of six children of Francis Eppes VI and Elizabeth (née Wayles) on April 19, 1773. His father was a first cousin and his mother was a half-sister to Martha Wayles, who married Thomas Jefferson and lived at Monticello.[4] After being taught by tutors, Eppes attended the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, and graduated from Hampden–Sydney College in Virginia
in 1786. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1794, commencing practice in the state capital, Richmond. Marriage and family[edit] Eppes married his first cousin Mary Jefferson (known also as "Maria" and "Polly"), the daughter of Martha (Wayles) and Thomas Jefferson, October 13, 1797 at Monticello. The couple resided at Mont Blanco plantation in Chesterfield. Among the wedding gifts received from Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
was the 14-year-old enslaved girl Betsy Hemmings (1783–1857), the mixed-race daughter of Mary Hemings and granddaughter of Betty Hemings; and 30 other slaves.[5][2][6][7] Eppes and Maria had three children:[4]

child born December 31, 1799, who lived only weeks; son Francis W. Eppes
Francis W. Eppes
(September 20, 1801–May 30, 1881),[4] and Maria Jefferson Eppes (February 15, 1804–1806).[4][8]

After her son Francis was born, in 1802 Maria Jefferson Eppes "borrowed" Critta Hemings, one of Betty Hemings' daughters, from her father's domestic slave household, to care for the infant boy as a nurse. She cared for him for years. In 1827 after Jefferson's death, Francis W. Eppes
Francis W. Eppes
purchased his former nurse from the estate and gave her freedom. She was then 58 years old and lived in freedom for nearly a quarter century, until 1850.[9] Mary Jefferson Eppes died two months after the birth of her third child, Martha, on April 17, 1804 at her father's home. The girl died at age two.[8] Eppes remarried in 1809, to Martha ("Patsy") Burke Jones, daughter of Willie Jones, a prominent North Carolina planter and politician. Betsy Hemmings[edit] After Mary's death in 1804, Eppes moved his household and slaves from Mont Blanco to another of his plantations called Millbrook in Buckingham County, Virginia. The slaves included Betsy Hemmings, then 21 years old, who was recorded as being the nurse of his son Francis.[2][5] According to her descendants, Betsy became a concubine to Eppes in a relationship that began when he was a young widower. It continued for the rest of his life, even after his second marriage. Betsy bore his son, Joseph, likely named for her brother.[10] She named their daughter Frances,[2] a name traditional among men in the Eppes family. As noted above, Eppes named his son Francis after his own father. The names of Betsy Hemmings's other children were lost in 1869 when the records of Millbrook burned in a fire.[5] As the historians Philip D. Morgan and Joshua D. Rothman have written, there were numerous interracial relationships in the Wayles-Hemings-Jefferson families, as well as in Albemarle County and Virginia, often with multiple generations repeating the pattern.[11][12] Betsy Hemmings lived as a slave at Milbrook for the rest of her life, and cared for the children of Eppes' second family. The matriarch of the slave community, she was distressed when in 1828 Francis Eppes took some of her grown children with him as slaves when he moved with his young family and relations to Florida.[3] Betsy, also called Mam Bess, died at the age of 73 in 1857. She was buried at Millbrook plantation next to her master John Wayles Eppes in the white family cemetery, which was extremely unusual for those times.[6] Her gravesite is marked by a substantial tombstone attesting to the Eppes family's affection and respect for her. Her descendants believe its location also marks the importance of her role in the life of John W. Eppes.[2] These are the only two tombstones still visible in the family cemetery.[3] Political career[edit] Eppes was a member of the Virginia
House of Delegates from 1801 to 1803. On March 4, 1803 he was elected as a Democratic-Republican
to the Eighth United States
United States
Congress and the next three succeeding Congresses, so he was frequently away from his plantation. He chaired the Ways and Means Committee for the Eleventh Congress but failed to be elected to the Twelfth. He spent the next two years at his plantation, Milbrook. He was elected to the Thirteenth Congress (March 4, 1813 – March 4, 1815) and chaired the Committee on Ways and Means again. After losing the election to the Fourteenth Congress, he was elected to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1817, until December 4, 1819, when he resigned because of ill health. He chaired the Committee on Finance during the second session of the Fifteenth Congress. Retirement and death[edit] Eppes retired to his estate, Millbrook, in Buckingham County, Virginia, where he died September 13, 1823. He was buried in the private cemetery of the Eppes family at Millbrook, near Curdsville, Virginia. John's second wife Patsy Eppes died at Millbrook in 1862. She was buried in the family cemetery of her daughter Mary (Eppes) and her husband Philip A. Bolling at their plantation in nearby Chellowe. Local stories were that she did not want to be buried near her husband's concubine.[2] A portrait of John W. Eppes hangs in the dining room of Weston Manor house in Hopewell, Virginia. In 1787 he gave the plantation as a wedding gift to his cousin Christian Eppes and William Gilliam. References[edit]

^ Looney, J. Jefferson. "Eppes, John Wayles (1772–1823)". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved 2016-05-04.  ^ a b c d e f Edna Bolling Jacques, "The Hemmings Family in Buckingham County, Virginia", 2002, Official Website, accessed 13 February 2011. Note: The oral tradition of the Betsy Hemmings descendants (as they spelled it) was that Betsy, born in 1783, was fathered by her mother's master, the recently widowed Thomas Jefferson, whose wife died in 1782. ^ a b c "Betsy Hemmings: Loved by a Family, but What of Her Own?", Plantation & Slavery/Life after Monticello, Monticello, 14 February 2011 ^ a b c d "Maria Jefferson Eppes", Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Encyclopedia, Monticello
website ^ a b c "Betsy Hemmings", Hemings Family/People of the Plantation, Monticello, accessed 14 February 2011 ^ a b Laura B. Randolph, "THE THOMAS JEFFERSON/SALLY HEMINGS CONTROVERSY: Did Jefferson Also Father Children By Sally Hemings' Sister?" Archived 2012-01-19 at the Wayback Machine., Ebony, February 1999, accessed 16 February 2011 ^ Lucia Stanton, ’’Free Some Day: The African-American Families of Monticello,’’ Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Foundation, Monticello
Monograph Series, 2000. The historian Lucia Stanton found that Jefferson had taken Mary Hemings and her children with him as part of the household staff when he became governor; she lived with him and his family at Williamsburg and Richmond from 1779-1781. ^ a b "Thomas Mann Randolph to Peachy Gilmer, February 17, 1806", Jefferson Quotes & Family Letters, Monticello
website ^ "Critta Hemings Bowles", Plantation and Slavery, Monticello, accessed 21 March 2011 ^ Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello, New York: W.W. Norton, 2008, Frontispiece: "The Hemings Family Tree-1," pp. 127-128 ^ Philip D. Morgan (1999). "Interracial Sex In the Chesapeake and the British Atlantic World c.1700-1820". In Jan Lewis, Peter S. Onuf. Sally Hemings
Sally Hemings
& Thomas Jefferson: history, memory, and civic culture. University of Virginia
Press. ISBN 978-0-8139-1919-5. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link) ^ Joshua D. Rothman, Notorious in the Neighborhood: Sex and Interracial Relationships Across the Color Line in Virginia, 1787-1861, University of North Carolina Press, 2003

External links[edit]

United States
United States
Congress. " John Wayles Eppes (id: E000197)". Biographical Directory of the United States
United States

U.S. House of Representatives

Preceded by Anthony New Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia's 16th congressional district March 4, 1803 – March 4, 1811 Succeeded by James Pleasants

Preceded by James Pleasants Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia's 16th congressional district March 4, 1813 – March 4, 1815 Succeeded by John Randolph

U.S. Senate

Preceded by Armistead T. Mason U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Virginia March 4, 1817 – December 4, 1819 Served alongside: James Barbour Succeeded by James Pleasants

v t e

United States
United States
Senators from Virginia

Class 1

Grayson Walker Monroe S. Mason Taylor Venable Giles Moore Brent J. Barbour Randolph Tyler Rives Pennybacker J. Mason Willey Bowden Lewis Withers Mahone Daniel Swanson Byrd Sr. Byrd Jr. Trible Robb Allen Webb Kaine

Class 2

Lee Taylor H. Tazewell Nicholas Moore Giles A. Mason Eppes Pleasants Taylor L. Tazewell Rives Leigh Parker Roane Archer Hunter Carlile Johnston Riddleberger J. S. Barbour Hunton Martin Glass Burch Robertson Spong Scott J. Warner M. Warner

v t e

Chairmen of the United States Senate
United States Senate
Committee on Finance

Campbell Eppes Sanford Holmes Lowrie Smith Webster Wright Clay Evans Woodbury Calhoun Lewis Atherton Dickinson Hunter Pearce Fessenden Sherman Fessenden Sherman Morrill Bayard Morrill Voorhees Morrill Aldrich Penrose Simmons Penrose McCumber Smoot Harrison George Millikin George Millikin Byrd Long Dole Packwood Bentsen Moynihan Packwood Roth Baucus Grassley Baucus Grassley Baucus Wyden Hatch

v t e

Chairmen of the United States
United States
House Committee on Ways and Means

Fitzsimons W. Smith Harper Griswold Randolph Clay G. Campbell Eppes Bacon Cheves Eppes Lowndes S. Smith McLane Randolph McDuffie Verplanck Polk Cambreleng J. W. Jones Fillmore McKay Vinton Bayly Houston L. Campbell J. G. Jones Phelps Sherman Stevens Morrill Schenck Hooper Dawes Morrison Wood Tucker Kelley Morrison R. Mills McKinley Springer Wilson Dingley Payne Underwood Kitchin Fordney Green Hawley Collier Doughton Knutson Doughton Reed Cooper W. Mills Ullman Rostenkowski Gibbons Archer Thomas Rangel Levin Camp Ryan Johnson Brady

Italics indicates acting chairman

v t e

Thomas Jefferson

3rd President of the United States
United States
(1801–1809) 2nd U.S. Vice President (1797–1801) 1st U.S. Secretary of State (1790–1793) U.S. Minister to France (1785–1789) 2nd Governor of Virginia
(1779–1781) Delegate, Second Continental Congress
Second Continental Congress

Founding documents of the United States

A Summary View of the Rights of British America (1774) Initial draft, Olive Branch Petition
Olive Branch Petition
(1775) Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms (1775) 1776 Declaration of Independence

Committee of Five authored physical history "All men are created equal" "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" "Consent of the governed"

1786 Virginia
Statute for Religious Freedom

freedom of religion

French Revolution

Co-author, Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen


Inaugural Address (1801 1805) Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves Louisiana Purchase Lewis and Clark Expedition

Corps of Discovery timeline Empire of Liberty

Red River Expedition Pike Expedition Cumberland Road Embargo Act of 1807

Chesapeake–Leopard affair Non-Intercourse Act of 1809

First Barbary War Native American policy Marbury v. Madison West Point Military Academy State of the Union Addresses (texts 1801 1802 1805) Cabinet Federal judicial appointments

Other noted accomplishments

Early life and career Founder, University of Virginia


Land Ordinance of 1784

Northwest Ordinance 1787

Anti-Administration party Democratic-Republican
Party Jeffersonian democracy

First Party System republicanism

Plan for Establishing Uniformity in the Coinage, Weights, and Measure of the United States
United States
(1790) Kentucky and Virginia
Resolutions A Manual of Parliamentary Practice (1801)

Jeffersonian architecture

Barboursville Farmington Monticello


Poplar Forest University of Virginia

The Rotunda The Lawn

State Capitol White House
White House

Other writings

Notes on the State of Virginia
(1785) 1787 European journey memorandums Indian removal letters Jefferson Bible
Jefferson Bible
(1895) Jefferson manuscript collection at the Massachusetts Historical Society The Papers of Thomas Jefferson


Age of Enlightenment American Enlightenment American Philosophical Society American Revolution


Member, Virginia
Committee of Correspondence Committee of the States Founding Fathers of the United States Franco-American alliance Jefferson and education Religious views Jefferson and slavery Jefferson and the Library of Congress Jefferson disk Jefferson Pier Pet mockingbird National Gazette Residence Act

Compromise of 1790

Sally Hemings

Jefferson–Hemings controversy Betty Hemings

Separation of church and state Swivel chair The American Museum magazine Virginia


United States
United States
Presidential election 1796 1800 1804


Bibliography Jefferson Memorial Mount Rushmore Birthday Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Building Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Center for the Protection of Free Expression Jefferson Lecture Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Star for Foreign Service Jefferson Lab Monticello
Association Jefferson City, Missouri Jefferson College Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
School of Law Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
University Washington and Jefferson National Forests Other placenames Currency depictions

Jefferson nickel Two-dollar bill

U.S. postage stamps

Popular culture

Ben and Me (1953 short) 1776 (1969 musical 1972 film) Jefferson in Paris
Jefferson in Paris
(1995 film) Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
(1997 film) Liberty! (1997 documentary series) Liberty's Kids
Liberty's Kids
(2002 animated series) John Adams
John Adams
(2008 miniseries) Jefferson's Garden (2015 play) Hamilton (2015 musical) Jefferson–Eppes Trophy Wine bottles controversy


Peter Jefferson
Peter Jefferson
(father) Jane Randolph Jefferson
Jane Randolph Jefferson
(mother) Lucy Jefferson Lewis (sister) Randolph Jefferson (brother) Isham Randolph (grandfather) William Randolph
William Randolph
(great-grandfather) Martha Jefferson
Martha Jefferson
(wife) Martha Jefferson
Martha Jefferson
Randolph (daughter) Mary Jefferson Eppes (daughter) Harriet Hemings
Harriet Hemings
(daughter) Madison Hemings
Madison Hemings
(son) Eston Hemings
Eston Hemings
(son) Thomas J. Randolph (grandson) Francis Eppes (grandson) George W. Randolph
George W. Randolph
(grandson) John Wayles Jefferson
John Wayles Jefferson
(grandson) Thomas Mann Randolph Jr.
Thomas Mann Randolph Jr.
(son-in-law) John Wayles Eppes (son-in-law) John Wayles (father-in-law) Dabney Carr
Dabney Carr
(brother-in-law) Dabney Carr
Dabney Carr

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James Madison


Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 21227431 LCCN: n88087419 US Congress: E000