martha jefferson

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Martha and Thomas Jefferson lived in Monticello. They both shared a love of music, Thomas would play the violin while Martha accompanied him on the piano. They had eight children, but only two survived until adulthood. 

Martha never served as first lady, she was in delicate health for most of her marriage.She died after the birth of her last child. Jefferson was inconsolable,  he fainted and many feared he would never revive. After the funeral, he stayed in his room for three weeks, tormented by grief.

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I colored in this post which is Hamilton Ladies + my headcanons for the other women. Modern AU for an excuse to draw them all in modern clothing. Headcanons under the cut:

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Another powerpoint historical shitpost!

There were so many amazing women that we don’t really get to learn about since apparently those petty ass motherfuckers we sometimes call “The Founding Fathers” were more important! I couldn’t fit them all so I tried to do the ones people would be most familiar with! I also recommend looking up Mercy Otis Warren, Sally Hemings, Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson, Theodosia Burr Alston, Martha Jefferson Randolph, Louisa Adams, “Molly Pitcher”, and Deborah Sampson.


[See “The Founding Fathers 101 or The Only Thing They Could Agree On Was That England Could Go Suck A Dick” for the being of this powerpoint series!]

I want a show about the Founding Mothers. Like give me a show about them working behind the scenes. Give me Eliza, Abigail, Dolley, Deborah, and The Marthas (both Washington and Jefferson) and what they’re lives and how they ran things while their husbands were away. Give me Sally being included with them. Give me their accomplishments and their shortcomings.

(Also they were all at least friendly with each other. So you have women getting along even though their husbands don’t.)

It is a safe bet that Martha Jefferson did not stir boiling pots of lye to make soap, or empty hops into containers to make beer…. although her household accounts during her marriage record how much soap she made, how much beer she brewed.  Isaac Jefferson remembered her standing with a cookbook reading instructions to his [enslaved] mother, who actually baked the cakes.
—  The Hemingses of Monticello, by Annette Gordon-Reed

eight reasons why thomas and martha jefferson were all the #marriagegoals

“In every scheme of happiness she is placed in the foreground of the picture as the principal figure. Take that away, and there is no picture for me.”

1. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent many an hour analyzing the sexiest traits of our Founding Fathers. Some people are dazzled by Hamilton’s exquisite bone structure (they don’t put just anyone on the ten), while others are unable to resist legendary sassy bitch John Adams. And then there’s Franklin, who may have had 13 virtues, but the most important one of all was the one in which he vowed to fuck everything in sight. But deep down, we all know Jefferson was the sexiest founding father. Maybe it was the red hair and the lean frame, maybe it was the eloquence…it’s impossible to tell. But when you are the single most-lusted after piece of man candy in Virginia, you need a wife worthy of your fine ass, and Jefferson found her in Martha Wayles. Not only did Martha possess an exquisite figure, rich hazel eyes, and luxuriant auburn hair, but she was witty, generous, well-read, and vivacious. She was capable of “tartness,” but her “exceeding affection” for Jefferson prevented her from exercising it at his expense. Needless to say, TJ was smitten.

2. Prior to getting involved with Jefferson, Martha had been briefly married to an attorney named Bathurst Skelton, who died suddenly and left Martha with a young son. Not much is known about poor Bathurst, but when your posthumous competition is the man who invented America, you’re bound to be upstaged. In any case, now that Martha was a pretty young widow, the men came courting in droves. One of them was a rather insecure Jefferson, who feared that he would never win Martha’s hand. Unable to keep his feelings to himself, our favorite lovesick founding father poured out his heart to a mutual friend named Mrs. Drummond, who described Jefferson’s gushing torrents of Martha-inspired devotion  as “barring all the romantical, poetical ones I ever read.” At this stage, Mrs. Drummond had better insight into Martha’s mind than dear old TJ, and she let it slip that Martha’s heart was “already engaged” in regards to Jefferson. 

3. After declaring their love for each other (Mrs. Drummond shipped it, let’s be honest), Thomas and Martha were married on January 1, 1772, in one of the heaviest snowstorms to ever hit Virginia. After the ceremony, the newlyweds set out for Monticello, traveling by carriage through as much as two feet of white powder. When the snow got too heavy to bear, they traversed the final eight miles on horseback. They finally arrived at Monticello late in the evening to find a deserted house, with no one around and the fires out. Snowed in but undaunted, TJ found a good bottle of wine, lit a fireplace, and stayed up late with his new wife, with the two of them engaging in “idle love talk” until they eventually fell asleep together under a blanket. Actual Disney prince Thomas Jefferson.

4. When you consider the fact that Martha was basically living in Jefferson’s bed full-time at this point (she was pregnant throughout most of their marriage), she somehow found time to run Monticello, which was already home to dozens of fine wines, one of the country’s premier collections of books, and a forest stocked with domesticated deer. Much like a later Martha, Mrs. Jefferson was a domestic dynamo: She made soap and candles, brewed her own beer, and read numerous cook books in order to have the best cakes and tarts in all of Virginia. Naturally, Jefferson wasn’t one to miss out on all the fun, and he and Martha often worked together in the gardens, read poetry to each other, and performed musical duets. 

5. Tragically, the domestic bliss came to a halt when Martha died in 1782. Her exact cause of death is somewhat foggy, but one suspects that that endless string of pregnancies probably had something to do with it. Jefferson was utterly unable to cope with the situation, and kept a constant vigil at his wife’s side. Although she was incredibly weak, Martha felt the need  to express her grief at her imminent parting from her beloved husband, and while she was on her deathbed, she composed the following lines from Tristram Shandy on a scrap of paper: “Times wastes too fast: every letter I trace tells me with what rapidity life follows my pen. The days and hours of it are flying over our heads like clouds of a windy day never to return more – everything presses on.” Overcome by sorrow and weakness, Martha was unable to continue, and Jefferson took the paper from her and continued the passage in his own hand: “And every time I kiss thy hand to bid adieu, every absence which follows it, are preludes to that eternal separation which we are shortly to make.”

6. After Martha died, Jefferson’s grief was so intense that some people worried for his health. In the immediate aftermath of his wife’s passing, he was escorted from the deathbed “almost in a state of insensibility,” whereupon he collapsed. When he recovered, Jefferson did not leave his room for three weeks, and he spent his days relentlessly pacing up and down. When he finally rejoined society, he spent hours on horseback aimlessly traversing the woods around Monticello, accompanied only by his daughter: "In those melancholy rambles I was his constant companion, a solitary witness to many violent bursts of grief. The violence of his emotion to this day I dare not describe to myself.” In a rare insight into his personal life, Jefferson himself described his grief-induced stupor thusly: "This miserable kind of existence is really too burdensome to be borne, and were it not for the infidelity of deserting the sacred charge left me, I could not wish its continuance a moment. For what could it be wished?  All my plans of comfort and happiness reversed by a single event and nothing answering in prospect before me but a gloom unbrightened with one cheerful expectation.”

7. Jefferson erected a marble tombstone for his wife at Monticello, with the inscription stating she had been “torn from him by death.” Standing as  a testament to Jefferson’s unutterable grief, the slab is engraved with two lines from the Iliad: “If in the house of Hades men forget their dead, Yet will I ever there remember you, dear companion.”

8. Thomas never fully recovered from Martha’s death. Years after she died, he still referred to her as "the cherished companion of my life, in whose affections, unabated on both sides, I had lived the last ten years in unchequered happiness.” Upon Jefferson’s own death, locks of Martha’s hair and the Tristram Shandy passage were found among his possessions. Sara Randolph was well aware of the deep love between her great grandparents, and she astutely remarked that “if the attractions of a woman can be measured by the love borne her by her husband, hers must have been great indeed, for never was a wife loved with more passionate devotion than she was by Jefferson.”

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lol don’t think about how both the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson had to sit by their wives’ deathbeds and how Adrienne de Lafayette’s last words to her husband were “I am all yours” and how Jefferson didn’t leave his room for three weeks after Martha died lol don’t do it you guys 

One time, these three guys who hated Thomas Jefferson went over to his house. They waited downstairs, but while they were downstairs they heard upstairs Thomas Jefferson playing his violin and Thomas and Martha Jefferson were singing together. It was such a beautiful sound that the three guys left immediately and never bothered him again.