Martha Jefferson: An Intimate Life with Thomas Jefferson

by William G Hyland Jr

Martha Jefferson is the first and only biography of Thomas Jefferson’s greatest love and true kindred spirit, who died an untimely death at the young age of 33 in 1782. Drawing on a wealth of newly probed sources, including family letters, documents, and the handwritten notes left by Jefferson’s famed biographer, Dumas Malone, William Hyland captures the charm, sophistication, grace and a profound sense of history of this little known and elusive figure who, until now, has been a mere footnote to the story of America’s founding.

Hyland brings us a conflicted and honest Martha Jefferson, who endured the Revolution as valiantly as some men, defending her very doorstep from raiding British troops, and presided over the domestic life of their “little mountain,” Monticello, during Thomas Jefferson’s long absences and historic rise to power. A revealing and insightful look at an oft-overlooked American woman, this book provides a unique and previously unexplored understanding of America’s Revolutionary Era, and the men (and women) upon whose bravery, talent, and resolve our nation was founded.

William G. Hyland Jr., is an adjunct professor of law at Stetson University and the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law, as well as a practicing attorney, is the author of In Defense of Thomas Jefferson: The Sally Hemings Sex Scandal, and Long Journey with Mr. Jefferson: The Life of Dumas Malone.