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This Day (Totally Bizarre Edition)

February 23rd, 2013 by Brendan Wolfe · 2 Comments

Martha Jefferson RandolphThomas Mann Randolph Jr.

On this day in 1790, Thomas Jefferson‘s eldest daughter, Martha Jefferson, married Thomas Mann Randolph Jr. Our entry notes that “the Randolphs were a difficult and troubled family.” How so? Well, apparently one of Tom’s sisters, Judith Randolph, was married to Richard Randolph (they must have been cousins). Richard allegedly impregnated another Randolph sister, Nancy, and then—again, allegedly—helped her to commit infanticide. The cherry on top  of this very sad story is that Richard Randolph resided on a Cumberland County plantation called Bizarre.

There was a trial, by the way, but you should read the entry for more on that.

IMAGES: Martha Jefferson Randolph (Thomas Jefferson Foundation); Thomas Mann Randolph Jr. by Edmund P. Archer, ca. 1928 (Library of Virginia)

Tags: This Day

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sue P. // Feb 24, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Readers of EV will be pleased to hear that EV contributor Cynthia Kierner’s book on Martha Jefferson Randolph has been nominated for the George Washington Book Prize. So there’s lots to read about Jefferson’s daughter on EV at the MJR entry, in Martha Jefferson Randolph: Daughter of Monticello, and relevant here: Scandal at Bizarre: Rumor and Reputation in Jefferson’s America–all by Kierner.

  • 2 Brendan Wolfe // Feb 24, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Thanks, Sue!

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