Eppington Plantation

Historical Significance

Eppington was built circa 1770 by Francis Eppes VI, Thomas Jefferson's brother-in-law and cousin to Martha Jefferson. Eppes married Martha's sister Elizabeth Wayles. The two families, Jefferson and Eppes, were close; when Jefferson went to France, he left his two motherless youngest daughters, Lucy Elizabeth and Mary, with the Eppes family. When Lucy died in 1784, Jefferson, grief stricken, sent for Sally Hemings to bring Mary to France. Sally and her family, including her sister Critta, lived at Eppington, as well as at Monticello and other family properties.

Throughout his life, Frances Eppes VI owned hundreds of slaves. Because his father in law, John Wayles (of Forest, Charles City County) died in debt, both Eppes and his brother-in-law Thomas Jefferson struggled to settle the estate. A great portion of that estate was comprised of enslaved individuals; for, along with more genteel titles, John Wayles was also a slave trader. Wayles did not sell all of his slaves; for example, Betty Hemings remained enslaved on his plantation. One reason for this may be that John Wayles was the father of many of her children. In addition, Betty's sisters, Sally and Critta Hemings remained at Eppington, along with their white half siblings, Martha Jefferson and Elizabeth Eppes. 

Physical Description

The original 1770's house sits on a fraction of its original 4,000 acres, surrounded on two sides by the Appomattox River. The site includes a mill and archeological evidence for other commerce, such as exporting crops and importing goods. The house is a Palladian inspired frame structure with a central two story and a half, banked by wings on both sides.

Geographical and Contact Information

3800 South Middlebrook Court
Chesterfield, Virginia
Phone: 804-748-8230
Fax: 804-751-4131