Thomas Jefferson Papers

Marriage Settlement for Martha Jefferson, 21 February 1790

Marriage Settlement for Martha Jefferson

This indenture made on the 21st. day of Feb. in the year of our lord 1790. between Thos. Jefferson of the 1st. part, Martha Jefferson daughter of the said Thos. of the 2d. part Thos. Mann Randolph the elder of the 3d. part and Thos. Mann Randolph the younger, son of the said T.M.R. the elder of the 4th. part witnesseth that forasmuch as a marriage is shortly to be had between the said Thos. M.R. the younger and the said M.J. and the said T.M.R. the elder hath undertaken to convey in feesimple to the said T.M. the younger and did convey by deed indentured bearing date the 15th. day of this present month for his advancement a certain tract of land in the county of Henrico called Varina and containing 950. acres with 40. negroes then on and belonging to the same tract and the stocks and utensils thereto also belonging, now the said T.J. in consideration of the said undertaking and conveyance of the said T.M. the elder and also of the marriage so proposed to be had and of the natural love and affection which he the said Thos. bears to his said daughter Martha, and for her advancement in life, and for the further sum of 5/ to him in hand paid by the said M. and another like sum of 5/ to him in hand paid by the said T.M. the elder, and yet another like sum of 5/ to him in hand paid by the said T.M. the younger, hath given granted bargained sold and appointed unto the said Martha and her heirs, and by these presents doth give grant bargain sell and according to powers in him legally vested doth appoint unto the said M. and her heirs a parcel of land in the county of Bedford containing 1000. as. be the same more or less, part of the tract of land called the Poplar Forest and at the Westernmost end thereof to be laid off and separated from the residue of the said tract by a line to begin at a red oak sapling expressed in the patent to be at the intersection of the two lines No. 21. W. 145. poles and N. 53½ E. 40. po. and to run thence across the said tract directly to the line expressed in the said patent to bear S. 60. E. 420. po. and to the point thereof which shall be 230. po. from a white oak expressed in the same patent to be at the Westernmost end of the said line: together with the following slaves to wit, Jack, Patty, Betty and Judy forming one family, Tom, Lucy, Polly and Davy forming another family, Jeffery, Joan, Scilla and Nancy forming another family, Lundy and Betty being husband and wife, Jupiter, Phyllis the elder, Phyllis the younger, Sandy, John and Sam forming a 5th. family which said five families are now on or belonging to the premisses, and also one other family of seven persons at the old plantation, to wit Billy, Sarah, Peg, Louis, Abby, Patty and Harry, and also all the stock of work horses, cattle, hogs and sheep and the plantation utensils now on or belonging to the plantation called Wingo’s where the said five families first mentioned are employed: to have and to hold the said parcel of lands with it’s appurtenances and the said slaves and stocks to her the said M. and her heirs free of every incumbrance in law or equity. In witness whereof the said T.J. hath hereto set his hand and seal the day and year first above written.

Signed sealed and delivered in presence of (the words ‘and appointed’ 19th line being first interlined) Th: Jefferson
Nicholas Lewis
Nicholas Lewis Jr.
Robert Lewis

Tr. (ViU); entirely in TJ’s hand; the plat survey is at foot of text.

It was perhaps on the day of the settlement that TJ and his prospective son-in-law executed a bond in the sum of £50 for “a Marriage Suddenly intended to be solemnized”: the bond bears the date “the Day of February 1790” in which the clerk began the upper stroke of the figure 2 in the space for the day of the month, and then broke off, perhaps because the exact date of the ceremony had not been fixed. A few days before the elder Randolph arrived at Monticello, TJ said that the date had been set for the 25th, but his urgent need to depart for New York no doubt caused the parties to advance the date to the 23rd. On the latter date TJ made this entry in his Account Book: “my daughter Martha is this day married to Thos. Mann Randolph junr.” The same day he paid the Rev. James Maury £4 15s. for the marriage fee and on the 28th he paid John Nicholas, Sr., £1 6s. 8d. for the license fee (TJ to Randolph, 4 Feb. 1790; TJ to Madison, 14 Feb. 1790; marriage bond, in a clerk’s hand, signed by TJ and Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., in Albemarle County Court House, Charlottesville, Virginia). The Virginia Independent Chronicle for 3 Mch. 1790—the same issue that presented the address of the citizens of Albemarle and TJ’s response of 12 Feb. 1790—announced a different but erroneous date: “Married, on Monday the 22d ult. at Monticello, in Albemarle, Thomas Randolph, jun. Esq.; to Miss Patsey Jefferson, eldest daughter of His Excellency Thomas Jefferson Esquire.”

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