America’s First Daughter

Book & Author

America’s First Daughter
The fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.


Stephanie Dray: Is fascinated by the founding of the American Republic and its roots in ancient Rome. It’s her mission to illuminate the stories of women in history and inspire the young women of today

Laura Kamoie:  Has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary and was an Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before becoming a full time author. She also writes romantic suspense and contemporary and erotic romance under the name Laura Kaye.

Quote from the Book:

I’m not only my father’s daughter, but also a daughter of the nation he founded. And protecting both is what I’ve always done.


Topics the book will bring up for discussion include:

  • How well Thomas Jefferson fulfilled his role as father.
  • Whether or not the group’s members agree with the choices that Patsy made.
  • Did the group members think that the various sacrifices that Patsy, Jefferson, Sally and William Short made in the book made were worthwhile ones?

More discussion questions are available from


Stephanie Dray has a collection of 18th Century Valentines inspired by America’s First Daughter posted on her website.  They could make neat table decorations for your meeting – and each group member could have one to take home.

Dray has also posted A Jeffersonian Recipe: Pasta with Ham and Peas.  Perhaps your group could give it a try at your meeting.

The authors provide several more suggestions in their “Book Clubbing Jeffersonian Style” flyer.  My favorite suggestion is to serve ice cream, since Jefferson is the first known American to record a recipe for it- in his own handwriting!


Tell other book groups what you thought of America’s First Daughter by commenting on this post.