By Cynthia A. Kierner. ISBN 13: 978-0-8078-3552-4. Copyright 2012. Hardcover with 360 pages including 32 black and white illustrations, notes and bibliography.
Finalist for the 2013 George Washington Book Prize.
This biography of Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph (1772-1836), the oldest and favorite daughter of Thomas Jefferson, explores the privileges and limits of celebrity of women in the founding era.
Following her mother’s death, Patsy lived in Paris with her father and later served as hostess at the President’s house and also at Monticello. Her marriage to Thomas Mann Randolph, a member of Congress and governor of Virginia, was often troubled. She and her eleven children lived mostly at Monticello, greeting famous guests and debating issues ranging from a woman’s place to slavery, religion, and democracy. Later, after her family’s financial ruin, Patsy became a fixture in Washington society during Andrew Jackson’s presidency.