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  Jefferson Eppes, Mary "Polly" "Maria"
NameMary "Polly" "Maria" Jefferson Eppes
, Virginia , United States
Born August 01, 1778
DiedApril 17, 1804 (25 years)
ContributorThomas Walker
Last ModifedThomas Walker
Jan 30, 2008 01:23pm
InfoMary Jefferson Eppes (August 1, 1778 – April 17, 1804) was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, and his only wife Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson. She is the youngest of Jefferson's two children to survive infancy. Her older sister Martha Jefferson Randolph was considered First Lady of the United States while their widowed father served as President. She was affectionately known as "Polly" in her childhood, but later chose the nickname "Maria." She was known as such until her death at age 25.

She always had a sickly disposition as her mother did, but she also inherited her mother's beauty which was frequently complimented, to her chagrin. She preferred to be known for her character or mind.

She married her childhood friend and cousin John Wayles Eppes on October 13, 1797. Their first child was born in January 1800; but lived only a few days. She gave birth to Francis W. Eppes in 1801. This was their only child to survive infancy. Their last child was born in February 1804. The baby girl was small and died later that year.

Maria never recovered from her third childbirth. Her condition worsened and her father, by then the President, rushed home when Congress adjourned on March 27. She was moved to Monticello and nursed by Jefferson and her sister Martha. She died a few weeks later and was buried beside her mother.

She was born on August 1, 1778. She died from complications of childbirth at the age of 25 April 17, 1804. She was nicknamed "Polly" by her family. Separations from her famous father for much of her early life caused her to desperatley seek her father's approval.
After her mother's death, she traveled to Paris to join her father and older sister Martha, where she became known as Maria. Accompanying Maria was a Jefferson household slave, the fourteen-year-old Sally Hemings. Some believe Sally later bore several illegitimate children to Jefferson. Polly/Maria married her cousin, John Wayles Eppes, who became a member of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

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Husband John W. Eppes 00, 0000-
Father Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826
Sister Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph 1772-1836
Niece Ellen Randolph Coolidge 0000-
Nephew Meriwether Lewis Randolph 1810-1837
Nephew George Wythe Randolph 1818-1867
Sister Jane Randolph Jefferson 1774-1775
Brother [FNU] Jefferson 1777-1777
Sister Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson I 1780-1781
Sister Lucy Elizabeth Jefferson II 1782-1784
Mother Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson 1748-1782