Martha Jefferson Randolph
Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph, often managed the Monticello household after Jefferson's retirement. On Mulberry Row, she oversaw the wash house, dairy, smokehouses, and textile workshop. She supervised the enslaved men and women on the mountaintop, from choosing “the clothing for the house servants”1 to distributing weekly rations and soap. On Sundays, Martha Randolph regularly bought produce, meat, and objects produced by enslaved workers. On September 13, 1827, she and her daughter Mary recorded that they bought potatoes from Wormley Hughes, a beehive from Johnny, “a pail of Moses,” and eggs, fish, and chickens from numerous others.2 During Jefferson’s frequent absences from Monticello, his daughter sent news to him, once informing him that “the smith’s shop took fire a few days since.”3
- Thomas Jefferson, Memorandum for Edmund Bacon, May 13, 1807.
- Randolph Household Account Book, Sept. 13, 1827.
- Martha Jefferson Randolph to Thomas Jefferson, Aug. 7, 1819.