Presidential Wife. The Wife of 3rd United States President Thomas Jefferson, she died long before he was elected to the office. The child of wealthy plantation owners John and Martha (Eppes) Wayles, little is known of her early years save that she was attractive, well-read, and an accomplished pianist. She married Bathurst Skelton in November 1766 and had one son (deceased 1771) by him; Skelton died in a September 1768 accident leaving Patty a rich widow; sometime in 1770, probably in Williamsburg, she met a rather shy attorney and scholar named Thomas Jefferson who was then serving in the House of Burgesses. The couple married on New Years Day 1772 at The Forest, Mr. Wayles' Charles City County plantation, and set-off for Jefferson's new house at Monticello in a major snowstorm. By all accounts the Jeffersons were happy and devoted to each other, though Jefferson burned all their letters after her death. Patty's health was never very good and it was further compromised by having five daughters and a son in 10 years, with only the daughters Patsy and Polly surviving to adulthood. Patty died of the lingering effects of her final childbirth leaving Jefferson completely prostrated for several weeks. According to legend Patty, on her deathbed, extracted a promise from Jefferson that he would never remarry; whatever the truth of the story he never did. As far as scholars can determine no images of Patty, save for a silhouette of the type popular in the 18th Century, exist.
Bio by: Bob Hufford
DAUGHTER OF JOHN WAYLES AND MARTHA EPPES
BORN OCTOBER 19TH 1748. O.S.
INTERMARRIED WITH THOMAS JEFFERSON JANUARY 1ST 1772.
TORN FROM HIM BY DEATH SEPTEMBER 6TH 1782.