December 15, 2003

Presidential Fun Fact of the Day

The Jefferson Family.

Thomas Jefferson was a widower when he entered the White House, so he brought along more slaves than family members when he moved in. Over the years, however, he was visited occasionally by his adult daughters Martha and Maria.

Martha spent a couple of years in the White House, bringing her husband, five daughters, and son. The presidential grandchildren fascinated the press and the public alike. The president favored his grandson, named Thomas Jefferson Randolph but nicknamed “Jeff.”

Thomas thought the boy had great potential, and spent a lot of time preparing him for boarding school. He warned him about his public visibility, “You will be more exposed than others...because of the relation in which you stand with me.” (Despite his grandfather’s high hopes, Jeff did not further his education and was considered a disappointment.)

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