Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge
Ellen (Eleonora) Wayles Randolph (October 13, 1796-April 30, 1876) was the fourth child born to Thomas Mann and Martha Jefferson Randolph. An accomplished scholar, particularly in languages, and a favorite with her grandfather, Ellen often accompanied Jefferson on trips to Poplar Forest, his home in Bedford County. She was considered the belle of the family and traveled to Richmond, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia, where she was popular with her grandfather's old friends, as well as young gentlemen. On 27 May 1825, in the parlor at Monticello, Ellen married Joseph Coolidge, the son of a prosperous Boston merchant, whom she had met when Coolidge visited Virginia in 1824. After their marriage, the Coolidges maintained close ties with the Monticello family from their home in Boston, Massachusetts, but they did not return to Monticello until after Ellen's grandfather's death. Ellen gave birth to six children in six years, including twin boys. Joseph's business interests took him to China for long periods, leaving Ellen to single-handedly manage the family. Ellen met him in London in 1838 for an extended visit and described her activities and impressions of the people and country in a journal still extant. After Joseph left China in 1844, he rejoined Ellen and his family in Switzerland and they spent some years in Europe before returning to Boston. Ellen died in April 1876 and was buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Family Letters, 457.
- Kimball, Marie. "A Playmate of Thomas Jefferson." North American Review 213 (1921): 145-56.
- Malone, Jefferson, 6:161-€“2, 290, 296, 459.
- Richmond Enquirer, 24 June 1825.
- Shackelford, Descendants, 1:89-€“99.
- Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Family Letters Project.
- Thomas Jefferson Foundation. The Monticello Classroom. "Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge, Jefferson's Granddaughter." A brief biography of Ellen for elementary and middle-school readers.