Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge, Jefferson’s granddaughter

Reading Level: Middle School

            Ellen was the fourth child born to Martha Jefferson Randolph and Thomas Mann Randolph. Ellen was a favorite of her grandfather, Thomas Jefferson. She often rode with him on trips. Ellen called him "her earliest best friend."

            Ellen was educated by her mother and became an accomplished student. Like Jefferson, she studied long hours. Jefferson noted that Ellen and her sister Cornelia "were the severest of students. . . They never leave their room but to come to meals."

            Later, Ellen was considered the belle of the family. She traveled to Richmond, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia to visit friends and young gentlemen.

            In 1825, Ellen married Joseph Coolidge, a Boston merchant. She gave birth to six children including twin boys. She had a long and happy marriage and died in 1876.