Thomas Jefferson Randolph, Jefferson’s grandson

Reading Level: Middle School

            Thomas Jefferson Randolph was born in1792 at Monticello. He was the oldest son of Martha Jefferson Randolph and Thomas Mann Randolph. He was named for his grandfather, Thomas Jefferson, but was known by his family as "Jeff". 

            At fifteen, Jeff Randolph was sent to school in Philadelphia. He studied botany, natural history and anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania.

            Jeff  took over the management of his grandfather’s lands. When Jefferson died, he struggled to pay off his grandfather’s $107,000 debt. To do so, he had to sell Monticello—the house, its belongings, the land and the enslaved workers. He described the sale as a "sad scene."  

            Jeff  served six terms in the Virginia House of Delegates. He supported the gradual emancipation of slaves. In 1875, at the age of eighty-three, Jeff died in a carriage accident.