Sunday, November 13, 2016
Martha Wayles Skelton was a young widow when she met Thomas Jefferson. By most accounts, he was quickly smitten with her and she with him. They had a loving and happy marriage for ten years before she died at a young age after having not recovered from childbirth. Her death devastated Jefferson who did not leave his room for weeks afterwards. Although she didn't live to serve as the first lady, there is a lot of evidence that she influenced Jefferson's thinking a lot.
Unfortunately for historians, Jefferson destroyed all of the letters between he and his wife so the biography is a bit sketchy but Martha still comes across as a force.