John Wayles

From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia

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Wayles' second marriage, according to Jefferson's notes, was to a woman of the Cocke family (no first name is given). The first child of this marriage, Sarah, did not survive to adulthood. The second child, Elizabeth, was born 24 February 1752; Tabitha was born 16 November 1753; and Anne was born 26 August 1756. Jefferson notes that Wayles' second wife died, but not the date; obviously sometime between August 1756 and 26 January 1760, when Wayles married his third wife, Elizabeth Skelton (incidentally the widow of Reuben Skelton, brother of Martha Wayles' first husband Bathurst Skelton). Elizabeth Skelton Wayles died a little more than a year after her marriage to John Wayles, on 10 February 1761; they had no children.<ref>All of the above information comes from a memorandum by Thomas Jefferson in the Edgehill-Randolph Papers at the University of Virginia.</ref> Wayles' second marriage, according to Jefferson's notes, was to a woman of the Cocke family (no first name is given). The first child of this marriage, Sarah, did not survive to adulthood. The second child, Elizabeth, was born 24 February 1752; Tabitha was born 16 November 1753; and Anne was born 26 August 1756. Jefferson notes that Wayles' second wife died, but not the date; obviously sometime between August 1756 and 26 January 1760, when Wayles married his third wife, Elizabeth Skelton (incidentally the widow of Reuben Skelton, brother of Martha Wayles' first husband Bathurst Skelton). Elizabeth Skelton Wayles died a little more than a year after her marriage to John Wayles, on 10 February 1761; they had no children.<ref>All of the above information comes from a memorandum by Thomas Jefferson in the Edgehill-Randolph Papers at the University of Virginia.</ref>
-After the death of his third wife Wayles took his slave Elizabeth Hemings as his mistress, according to several sources. He was the father of her children [[Robert Hemings|Robert]], [[James Hemings|James]], [[Peter Hemings|Peter]], [[Critta Hemings Bowles|Critta]], [[Sally Hemings|Sally]], and Thenia Hemings.<ref>[[Short Title List|Isaac Jefferson, ''Memoirs'']], 4; Madison Hemings, "Life Among the Lowly," ''Pike County Republican'', March 13, 1873. A December 20, 1802 letter from Thomas Gibbons, a Federalist planter of Georgia, to Jonathan Dayton states that Sally Hemings "is half sister to his first wife." Similarly, a letter from Thomas Turner in the May 31, 1805 Boston ''Repertory'' states, "an opinion has existed . . . that this very Sally is the natural daughter of Mr. Wales, who was the father of the actual Mrs. Jefferson."</ref>+After the death of his third wife Wayles took his slave [[Elizabeth Hemings]] as his mistress, according to several sources. He was the father of her children [[Robert Hemings|Robert]], [[James Hemings|James]], [[Peter Hemings|Peter]], [[Critta Hemings Bowles|Critta]], [[Sally Hemings|Sally]], and Thenia Hemings.<ref>[[Short Title List|Isaac Jefferson, ''Memoirs'']], 4; Madison Hemings, "Life Among the Lowly," ''Pike County Republican'', March 13, 1873. A December 20, 1802 letter from Thomas Gibbons, a Federalist planter of Georgia, to Jonathan Dayton states that Sally Hemings "is half sister to his first wife." Similarly, a letter from Thomas Turner in the May 31, 1805 Boston ''Repertory'' states, "an opinion has existed . . . that this very Sally is the natural daughter of Mr. Wales, who was the father of the actual Mrs. Jefferson."</ref>
Wayles died on 28 May 1773, leaving substantial property and debt which took years for Thomas Jefferson and the other co-executors of Wayles' estate to deal with. The majority of Wayles' papers and financial records do not survive, having disappeared from [[Eppington]] in the mid-nineteenth century. Wayles died on 28 May 1773, leaving substantial property and debt which took years for Thomas Jefferson and the other co-executors of Wayles' estate to deal with. The majority of Wayles' papers and financial records do not survive, having disappeared from [[Eppington]] in the mid-nineteenth century.

Revision as of 15:03, 27 November 2007

John Wayles was Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson's father, Thomas Jefferson's father-in-law. He was born in Lancaster, England, on 31 January 1715. At some point he emigrated to Virginia. His home was The Forest, in Charles City County. His first wife was Martha Eppes, born at Bermuda Hundred on 10 April 1721; they married on 3 May 1746. Martha gave birth to twins on 23 December 1746, a boy and a girl; according to Thomas Jefferson's notes, the girl was stillborn and the boy lived only a few hours. Almost two years later, on 31 October 1748, Martha Wayles gave birth to her only surviving child, also named Martha. She died less than a week later, on 5 November 1748, at the age of 27.

Wayles' second marriage, according to Jefferson's notes, was to a woman of the Cocke family (no first name is given). The first child of this marriage, Sarah, did not survive to adulthood. The second child, Elizabeth, was born 24 February 1752; Tabitha was born 16 November 1753; and Anne was born 26 August 1756. Jefferson notes that Wayles' second wife died, but not the date; obviously sometime between August 1756 and 26 January 1760, when Wayles married his third wife, Elizabeth Skelton (incidentally the widow of Reuben Skelton, brother of Martha Wayles' first husband Bathurst Skelton). Elizabeth Skelton Wayles died a little more than a year after her marriage to John Wayles, on 10 February 1761; they had no children.[1]

After the death of his third wife Wayles took his slave Elizabeth Hemings as his mistress, according to several sources. He was the father of her children Robert, James, Peter, Critta, Sally, and Thenia Hemings.[2]

Wayles died on 28 May 1773, leaving substantial property and debt which took years for Thomas Jefferson and the other co-executors of Wayles' estate to deal with. The majority of Wayles' papers and financial records do not survive, having disappeared from Eppington in the mid-nineteenth century.

Footnotes

  1. All of the above information comes from a memorandum by Thomas Jefferson in the Edgehill-Randolph Papers at the University of Virginia.
  2. Isaac Jefferson, Memoirs, 4; Madison Hemings, "Life Among the Lowly," Pike County Republican, March 13, 1873. A December 20, 1802 letter from Thomas Gibbons, a Federalist planter of Georgia, to Jonathan Dayton states that Sally Hemings "is half sister to his first wife." Similarly, a letter from Thomas Turner in the May 31, 1805 Boston Repertory states, "an opinion has existed . . . that this very Sally is the natural daughter of Mr. Wales, who was the father of the actual Mrs. Jefferson."

See Also

Further Sources

  • Goochland County Deed Book 10:169-170, 12:217-219,
  • Hemphill, John M., II, ed. "John Wayles Rates His Neighbors." VMHB 66(3):302-306.
  • Hochman, Steven Harold. "Thomas Jefferson: A Personal Financial Biography." PhD diss., University of Virginia, 1987.
  • John Wayles Will and Codicil, Charles City County Deeds and Wills, 1766-1774, pp. 461-463.
  • MB 329-333.
  • PTJ 1:95-6, 100, 103.
  • "Will of John Wayles." Tyler's Quarterly Magazine 6(3):268-270.
  • Thomas Jefferson's accounts with John Wayles, Fee Book.
  • Malone, Jefferson, 1:432-433 (Appendix 1D, "The Wayles Family").