Jefferson, Martha (b. Wayles Skelton)(1748–82) wife of Thomas Jefferson; born near Richmond, Va. Daughter of a well-known lawyer, she was a young widow when she married Thomas Jefferson in 1772 and settled at Monticello. Her premature death left Jefferson devastated; it was said he promised her he would never marry again, and he did not. Two of their children, Martha and Mary, survived to maturity and assisted their father as hostesses in the White House.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.