The Info List - Mary Jefferson Eppes

Mary Jefferson Eppes (August 1, 1778 – April 17, 1804), known as Polly in her childhood and Maria as an adult, was the younger of Thomas Jefferson's two daughters who survived infancy. She married a first cousin, John Wayles Eppes, and had three children with him. Only their son Francis W. Eppes
Francis W. Eppes
survived childhood. Maria died months after the birth of her third child. Early life and education[edit] Mary Jefferson was born to politician and future president Thomas Jefferson and Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson
Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson
(née Wayles). Known as "Polly the Parrot" and "gopher" in her childhood, she later chose the nickname "Maria." She was known as such until her death at age 25. She had a sickly disposition as her mother did, who died in 1782 when Polly was four. Polly also inherited her mother's beauty, which was frequently complimented, to her chagrin. She preferred to be known for her character or mind. When her widowed father was first serving as Minister to France, Polly and her younger sister Lucy were cared for by relatives, her mother's cousin Francis Wayles Eppes and his wife Elizabeth, her mother's half-sister, at their plantation Eppington.[1][2] After Lucy died of whooping cough, Jefferson requested that Polly be sent to him in France. In the care of the young slave Sally Hemings, at age nine Polly sailed to Europe to join her father and older sister Martha in Paris. They first landed in England, where Abigail Adams, wife of the U.S. Minister John Adams, looked after the girls before they joined her father in Paris: Abigail developed a deep and lasting affection for Polly.[3] In France Polly attended the Pentemont Abbey
Pentemont Abbey
convent school with her older sister Martha (Patsy).[4] After some time, her father had the girls tutored at home. Accompanied by their slaves Sally Hemings
Sally Hemings
and her older brother James, who had served Jefferson as chef in Paris, the family returned to Virginia in 1789. At that time, Polly adopted the pronunciation and name "Maria" (with a long "i" in the Virginia fashion), which she used the rest of her life.[1] After living for a time in the temporary national capital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while Jefferson was Secretary of State, the family returned to Monticello. Maria spent most of the rest of her short life in Virginia. Marriage and family[edit] Maria married her childhood friend and cousin John Wayles Eppes on October 13, 1797, at Monticello. The couple resided at his plantation, Mont Blanco, on the James River
James River
in Chesterfield. They also spent much time at his family's plantation home Eppington, on the Appomattox River where she and her younger sister Lucy had lived as a child in their care while her father was Minister to France.[2] His father Francis was a cousin and his mother Elizabeth the half-sister to Maria's late mother Martha. Maria and Wayles, as he was known, had three children, of whom only their son Francis VII survived childhood:

Baby Boy Eppes (January 1800; aged 3 days),[5] Francis W. Eppes
Francis W. Eppes
(September 20, 1801 – May 10, 1881; aged 79 years) (Francis Wayles Eppes VII),[1] Maria Jefferson Eppes (February 15, 1804 – February 1806).[1]

Their first child was born in January 1800; but lived only a few days. Mary gave birth to Francis W. Eppes
Francis W. Eppes
in 1801; he was their only child to survive infancy. Their last child, Maria, was born in February 1804. She died about two years later.[1] Maria never recovered physically from her third childbirth. Her condition worsened and her father, by then the President, rushed home when Congress adjourned on March 27. She was moved to Monticello
and nursed by her sister Martha and Jefferson. Maria died on April 17, 1804 and was buried beside her mother, at her request. Her death prompted Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams
to send written condolences to President Jefferson, thus ending a long silence between the two families that had resulted from their political differences during the presidential campaign of 1800. Abigail wrote movingly of the immediate affection she had felt for Maria when meeting her in London as a girl, which had never altered.[6] References[edit]

^ a b c d e "Maria Jefferson Eppes", Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Encyclopedia, Monticello
website ^ a b Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission Staff (July 1969). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Eppington" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources.  ^ McCullough, David. John Adams, New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001 p.373 ^ " Sally Hemings
Sally Hemings
and Her Children", Plantation and Slavery, Monticello ^ "Mary Jefferson Eppes, Jefferson's daughter", Learning Resources, Monticello
Classroom. Quote: "She gave birth to three children." ^ McCullough John Adams
John Adams

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 78357150 LCCN: no94033488 SNAC: w6280mhc

v t e

Thomas Jefferson

3rd President of the United States
President of the 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
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
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 (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

Virginia State Capitol White House
White House

Other writings

Notes on the State of Virginia
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 dynasty


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 Randolph
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

← John Adams James Madison
James Madison