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Randolph, John - History

Randolph, John - History

Randolph, John (1773-1833) Statesman: John Randolph ("of Roanoke"), a descendant of Pocahontas and John Rolfe, was born on June 2, 1773, in Cawsons, Virginia. In 1787, he was sent to the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), which he left the next year upon his mother's death. Transferring to Columbia College, in New York, he witnessed President George Washington's inauguration. A year later, Randolph's second cousin, Edmund Randolph, took up the position of Attorney General. Young Randolph was sent to Philadelphia to study law with his cousin. In Philadelphia, he attended debates and lectures in a wide variety of fields, including politics and medicine, and may have gotten involved in personal scandals as well. He developed into an eccentric individual, combining opposite characteristics and interests. At the beginning of the French Revolution, his heroes were Thomas Jefferson and Edmund Burke, two men who took quite different approaches to politics. He supported a strongly pro-slavery party, yet wrote a will which freed all his slaves. He supported the Federalists' Alien and Sedition Acts; yet offended President Adams by addressing him in a letter without the customary flowery titles and signing the letter as "your fellow citizen." Elected to Congress in 1799, he became the leader of the Democratic-Republicans in the House of Representatives and Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. He fought against the corruption of the Yazoo fraud and worked for the impeachment of Justice Chase. Randolph became known for his eloquence, honesty and wit, as well as his eccentricity. Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography described him as being "six feet in height and very slender, with long, skinny fingers, which he pointed and shook at those against whom he spoke." Jefferson and Randolph, formerly allies, split over their views of Napoleon: Jefferson, at least initially, idealized Napoleon, while Randolph abhorred him. After struggling to avert the War of 1812, coming into conflict with President Madison, he spent two years out of Congress, returning in 1815. In Congress, he opposed the Missouri Compromise and Nullification. Although he began working on creating a "States' Rights" party, he opposed slavery, and probably would have opposed the southern confederacy that would be formed because it was largely based in slavery. Later elected to the US Senate in 1824 and defeated in the next election, he was appointed Minister to Russia in 1830. After returning to the United States, Randolph died in Philadelphia on June 24, 1833.


John Randolph

John Randolph was an early American political leader, long time member of Congress and a United States ambassador to Russia. He was referred to as "John Randolph of Roanoke" to distinguish him from his father of the same name.

John Randolph was born in 1773 in Virginia and grew up on the family tobacco plantation. He was a member of the Democratic-Republican Party but disagreed with many of its policies. He was against war with England in the War of 1812. He also opposed slavery's expansion into Missouri under the Missouri Compromise. He died in 1833, and in his will, he freed his 518 slaves. He also gave them land near Carthagena, Ohio, so that they could begin their own lives as free people.

It was not until the 1840s that the former slaves tried to make their way to Carthagena. Randolph's brother had disputed the will and declared that John was insane when he wrote it. After thirteen years, the court ruled in John's favor and granted his slaves their freedom. When the African Americans reached Carthagena, white mobs confronted them and drove them away. The former slaves were forced to scatter. They settled in a number of other Ohio communities, including Piqua, Sidney, and Xenia.

The incident at Carthagena illustrates that prejudice existed in Ohio during the years before the American Civil War. Ohio was a state that did not allow slavery. Nevertheless, that did not mean that whites were open to granting African Americans equal rights. Free African Americans found that it was difficult to get fair treatment.

Slave owners residing in Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland had endured difficult economic conditions since the American Revolution. In some cases, it actually cost tobacco farmers more money to grow the crop than they could earn when they sold it. As a result of low prices for tobacco, many farmers in the Upper South switched to grain production while farmers in the Lower South grew cotton. Grain did not earn farmers as large a profit as tobacco and did not require as much labor to grow and harvest. Some slave owners in this part of the United States sold some of their slaves to cotton growers. Other people joined organizations such as the American Colonization Society and agreed to free their slaves if they would go to Africa. A few slave owners like John Randolph freed their slaves and provided them with opportunity in the United States.


Category Archives: Randolph, John

I imagine one function of this blog might be to discuss new possibilities in history and how we can educate ourselves about them. My name is John Randolph, and I’m an associate professor here in the department, where I teach Russian history. I’m developing a new interest in the historical meaning and uses of sound, and I wanted to invite interested students to contact me to discuss possible audiohistory projects. I’m going to teach a History 200 on the subject next fall in our department. But I’m also thinking this might be something we could develop a lab or working group on. I’m talking to people at WILL, Fine Arts and the Library about possible collaborations, so I’m hoping it will be a cross-campus project as well.

Here’s part of a blurb I’ve written up for the course, describing what it’s about:

“How can historians tell their stories through the spoken word, and sound? Until quite recently, too few historians (inside or outside academia) had access to the sort of studio equipment and distribution channels that make such questions worth pondering. But now all that is changing. Digital audio, desktop editing suites and the rise of the Internet are combining to create new genres and audiences for historians to explore (audio-books and podcasts being among the most prominent). But how can historians learn to work in such media? What sort of opportunities, what sort of challenges, do they pose? Most basically: how can sound be added to history?”

Thus, there are two sets of issues involved here: 1) How can historians take advantage of the new authoring possibilities of digital sound, and the new distribution channels of the internet (podcasts, streaming audio, etc.) 2) What role does sound play in history, and how can historians analyse and describe it?

As I mentioned, I’m hoping to teach a 200 on this subject next fall. There, we will look at readings on the history of sound, as well as learn digital editing tools such as the freeware Audacity. The goal will be to combine recordings we make with digital archival audio available to us (through libraries, the internet, etc.) to explore how we can express ourselves in audio genres (such as interviews, documentary radio, oral history) as well as synthesize these to create a new forms of history, and scholarship. We will study ongoing projects such as Storycorps, Librivox, WILL’s archival audio projects on WWII and the Civil Rights Movement, etc. The final project will be an .mp3 file / podcast, instead of an essay.

So if you’re interested in the course, I’d love to know. On the other hand, I also just thought this is the sort of thing people might be interested in collaborating on as a sideline, or as part of some other work they are doing. Perhaps PAT might even be interested in beginning to create an audio-history section or lab. What that space might look like is wide open.

You’ll be able to see a more detailed course description (and, I hope, website) relatively soon, when the department listings come out. But I also look forward to your thoughts about audio initiatives the department might undertake, in or out of class time, or the possibilities or problems you see with trying to produce history in digital audio. I welcome your thoughts and questions here, or by e-mail to jwrATillinoisDOTedu


Born in 1831 in Macedon, New York to New England Quakers Cornelius and Anna (nee Brownell) Hoxie, John graduated from the Macedon Academy for Boys in 1848 [1] before moving west to Michigan where he began working in livestock and stockyards. He moved west again at age 28 and settled in Chicago in 1859 and worked as a manager at the Lake Shore Road stock yards through the Civil War. [ citation needed ]

In 1873, Hoxie married Mary J. Hamilton, the daughter of Chicago pioneer, Polemus D. Hamilton. John and Mary Hoxie built a home on land he developed in Hype Park at 4440 S. Michigan Avenue and Gustavus Swift built a mansion across the street in 1890, both of which still stand as of 2021. Mary Hoxie stayed in the home until she died in 1924. Hoxie thrived in post-war Chicago, first as a manager for the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad, then as a co-founder of the Union Stock Yards, a President of the Stock Yards National Bank and active in city politics as a Democrat. [2]

Hoxie for Congress Edit

John R. Hoxie entered the Democratic convention seeking the 1876 nomination for Illinois' 1st Congressional District in an open seat race against Republican William Aldrich. The progressive news coverage of the day implies Hoxie's candidacy was "bled" by Chicago's machine politics once it was known Hoxie was spending his own considerable fortune to secure delegates. [3]

in 1878, seeking relief from long Chicago winters, purchased 9,000 acres northeastern Williamson County, Texas and in 1882 he completed building his "Hoxie House." [4] Hoxie personally managed the vertical integration of his Chicago meatpacking business through the acquisition of nearly a million acres near San Gabriel, Texas where he ranched hundreds of thousands steer and hogs, reportedly the largest hog farm in North America. In 1888, Hoxie was being promoted by his business associates as a potential candidate for Mayor of Fort Worth. The following year, Hoxie was President of the Farmers and Mechanics Bank of Fort Worth. [5] By 1890, he had become a leading figure in business and politics in Fort Worth and Austin, culminating in a BBQ described as a "triumph" and featuring the Fort Worth Mayor and thousands of citizens. [6] In 1894, Hoxie was made President and added to the Board of Directors of the First National Bank of Taylor, TX. [7]

Hoxie, Texas Edit

A community sprung up to support the operations of Hoxie House including a blacksmith, school, gin, saddlery and 300 Texans which was named Hoxie, Texas when the U.S. Postal Service established an office there in 1900. Today, only the post office remains as part of a neighborhood of Taylor, TX. [8]

John R. Hoxie died on November 22, 1896 at his home on S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago. He was 65 years old. His nephew, Richard Mortimer "Mort" Hoxie took over the Texas hog ranch and meatpacking business in Fort Worth. Mort's granddaughter, Patricia Kirchner (nee Bower), the owner of the Poki Roni Ranch in El Paso, TX, [9] was murdered in 2008 by her son, Travis Kirchner, who subsequently died in custody by suicide. [10]


I suppose superlatives become cliche, or at least they’re overused when discussing Virginia’s leading colonial dynasties. The Randolph family, however, deserves those superlatives just as much as any of the preceding families that we’ve discussed in this series, if not more. They were an immense family that impacted Virginia and the United States in such a way that few others, even from this series, can claim.

William Randolph of Turkey Island is often credited as being the first Randolph to immigrate, but he followed his uncle, Henry, who was already established in the colony. Henry Randolph came to Virginia and soon settled just west of Bermuda Hundred on Swift Creek in today’s Colonial Heights in the early 1640s. From there Henry got involved in mid-17th Century Virginia politics, where he rubbed shoulders with all of the colony’s leading men, he even married one of their daughters when he wed Henry Soane’s daughter Judith.

Henry continued to expand his footprint throughout the 1650s and 1660s. He became friend with Sir William Berkeley, was involved in rewriting Virginia’s legal codes, and built one of the colony’s first grist mills at Swift Creek. Newly found wealth allowed Henry to return to England in the late 1660s, where he convinced his nephew William to join him in the New World.

William accompanied his uncle’s trip back to Virginia, and settled near him along the James River’s Curls section. It was from here that William Randolph earned his name as being from Turkey Island, and from here that an enormous family grew into being one of Virginia’s largest. Largest didn’t always mean best, as the family has a few interesting characters dotting the history books, but the Randolphs have do have some of American History’s stalwarts.

This First Family of Virginia episode takes a look into the Randolph patriarch’s life, and then summarily dives into some of those characters and stalwarts. Find the links below.


About the John Randolph Foundation

John Randolph Foundation partners with donors and organizations in the Tri-Cities area of Virginia to support healthy communities and bright futures.

Click the image above to watch the 2005 video celebrating JRF’s 10th Anniversary

JRF was initially established in 1991 as a supporting organization to the John Randolph Medical Center, a nonprofit hospital at the time. In 1995, the Medical Center was sold to Columbia/HCA, a for-profit corporation, and the Foundation became a separate, nonprofit organization. The proceeds from the sale were given to the Foundation to establish an endowment, our Mission Fund, which has grown steadily under our prudent investment policies.

Today, the Mission Fund supports the Foundation’s grant program, carrying out our mission to improve the health and well-being of the Tri-Cities area.

Since 1995, JRF has invested over $18 million in the community through grants and over $1.6 million in scholarships. Through the generosity of our donors, we manage 12 endowments, 65 scholarships, and three award programs.

John Randolph Foundation is one of Virginia’s 14 health legacy foundations, a founding member of the Virginia Consortium of Health Philanthropy, and a member of the Virginia Gift Planning Council.

A Timeline of Growth

John Randolph Foundation is established as a supporting organization to John Randolph Hospital.

John Randolph Hospital is sold to HCA & the Foundation becomes an independent nonprofit.

JRF awards its 1st round of grants.

The 1st scholarship is established to honor Frank Boyce’s service to John Randolph Hospital & the Foundation as the 1st CEO.

Hopewell-Prince George Community Health Center sees first patients.

The Foundation moves into 112 N Main, formerly home to Pioneer Federal Savings.

The first endowment is established to support the Appomattox Regional Library System.

Like many other foundations, JRF is impacted by the global economic downturn causing our grantmaking decisions to be more strategic.

JRF hits $1 million mark in scholarships awarded.

Ursula M. Gibbs leaves $4.6 million bequest to JRF, the most remarkable act of philanthropy we have ever witnessed.

JRF adopts the Youth Development Master Plan for the City of Hopewell.

The Trudy Bogese Endowment for Youth Development awards its 1st campership, a summer camp scholarship program for Prince George youth.

JRF rebrands, creating a new tagline “Healthy communities. Bright futures.”

JRF is chosen by John Tyler Community College Foundation to receive the Chancellor's Award for Leadership in Philanthropy from Virginia's Community Colleges.

JRF now administers 62 scholarship programs!

JRF launches "Susie's Fund for Medication Assistance" made possible through a bequest from the late Ursula M. Gibbs.


John Randolph

Lawyer. Known as "John the Tory". Succeeded his brother, Peyton, as King's Attorney in 1766, appointed by Governor Faquier. He was still in this position when the war for independance looked inevitable, and he decided it was against his oath of office to assist in this rebellion. At this time he took his family to England. While in England, he corresponded frequently with his cousin, Thomas Jefferson. He remained in England until his death several years after the war. His last request was to be buried on his home soil. Despite being opposed to his brother during the war, he was laid to rest next to him.

Burial: Chapel of the College of William and Mary Williamsburg Williamsburg City Virginia, USA

𠈫orn ca. 1727 in Williamsburg, Virginia

•Member of House of Burgesses

𠈪ttorney General for Virginia Colony

𠈭ied 1784 in London, England

John Randolph was born in 1727 or 1728, probably at what is now called the Peyton Randolph House on Market Square, and his heritage was thoroughly Virginian. Educated at the College of William & Mary, he traveled to London in 1745 to study law at the Middle Temple at the Inns of Court in London, and returned to Williamsburg to practice in 1749.

Among Virginia's best-trained attorneys, John Randolph climbed the rungs of civic responsibility toward authority and power. He had become a member of the city's common council, then a burgess for the College of William & Mary. When his older brother Peyton Randolph was elected speaker of the House of Burgesses, John succeeded him as the colony's attorney general. He could not, however, follow Peyton down the road to rebellion.

At odds with brother’s political views

John Randolph’s brother Peyton Randolph followed the call of duty to the chair of the Continental Congress, but conscience summoned John Randolph "home" to England. As the day approached when he would quit America and its Revolution, he wrote a farewell letter to his cousin Thomas Jefferson. "We both of us seem to be steering opposite courses," he said, "the success of either lies in the womb of Time."

The third child of Sir John and Lady Susannah Randolph, John was convinced British-Americans owed more loyalty to the Crown than to the Massachusetts hotheads or to firebrands like his friend Patrick Henry. Historians have tagged him with the nickname John "The Tory." By the summer of 1775, an anonymous piece in the Virginia Gazette insulted John Randolph for his Loyalist views and "dependence on l[or]d D[unmor]e."

Read transcript of article

View Virginia Gazette, July 27, 1775, Page 3, bottom of column two and top of column three (Will open in new window)

If Randolph's associates in Williamsburg disagreed with his views, they nevertheless admired his integrity. Most Virginians referred to England as home John Randolph meant it.

While Peyton chaired the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia, John sat in Williamsburg, a confidant of the pugnacious Governor Dunmore. As Peyton prepared to leave for the Second Continental Congress, John was closing up his house, Tazewell Hall. Renowned for its hospitality, Tazewell Hall sat at the southern end of South England Street commanding a 99-acre estate. It was a popular literary and social center frequented by the elite of the community. Its master had been a close friend of Governor Fauquier and Lord Botetourt.

John Randolph arranged passage across the Atlantic for himself, his wife, Ariana, and their two daughters, Susannah and Ariana. His son, Edmund, stayed behind Edmund joined the American army and served as aide-de-camp to General George Washington.

Enjoyed music and gardening

Gardening and music were among John Randolph's avocations. About 1765 he wrote what is believed to be the earliest American book on kitchen gardening, A Treatise on Gardening by A Citizen of Virginia. Cousin Thomas Jefferson thought Randolph's violin was the finest in the colony and John, in turn, admired Tom's library. In 1771, they struck a lighthearted bargain. If Randolph died first, Jefferson was to have the fiddle if Jefferson died first, Randolph was to have 򣄀 worth of Jefferson's books. George Wythe and Patrick Henry witnessed the agreement.

In August 1775, Jefferson sent their mutual friend Carter Braxton to Williamsburg with ꌓ pounds and posted a letter saying he meant it for the instrument. The reply was Randolph's farewell, though the men corresponded after Randolph reached England.

The state government confiscated loyalist properties as the Revolution wore on, and an embittered Randolph spent years fruitlessly trying to reclaim his.

Died in England buried in Virginia

John Randolph died at Brampton, England, in 1784. In death, as he could not in conscience do in life, Randolph returned to Williamsburg. He is interred beside his father and brother in the family vault in the chapel at the College of William and Mary.

John Randolph, of Williamsburg, son of Sir John Randolph and Susanna, nພ Beverly, was b. 1727, and was Attorney General for the Colony of Virginia. He married (1752) Arianna Jennings, daughter of Edmund Jennings, of Annapolis, Md., who was at one time Attorney General for both Maryland and Virginia. They had two children:

1. Edmund Randolph, b. Aug. 10, 1753 d. in Frederick Co., Va., Sept. 12, 1813. When the American Revolution broke out John Randolph, of Williamsburg, went to England, but his son Edmund remained and cast his lot with the colonists. He was adopted by his uncle Peyton Randolph, who was President of the first American Congress. Edmund Randolph, b. 1753, was the first Attorney General of the U. S. of America, 1790 having been Gov. of the State 1786-88. He married Image Not Shown Gov. Thomas Nelson Yorktown, York County, Virginia Signer of the Declaration of Independence, July 14th, 1776 (From the Original Portrait by Chamberlin, London, 1754.) (Aug. 29, 1796) Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Carter Nicholas, Speaker of the House of Burgesses and Treasurer of Virginia. They had issue:

Thomas Nelson, of Yorktown, York Co., Va., signer of the Declaration of American Independence, Governor of the State of Virginia and Major General in the American army, was born at Yorktown, Virginia, December 26, 1738. He was the eldest son and child of President William Nelson, of the same place, and Elizabeth (called Betty) Burwell, his wife and President William Nelson was the eldest son and child of Thomas Nelson, known as Scotch Tom, of England, and Margaret Reid, his wife.

Governor Nelson died during an attack of asthma, caused by exposure during the war of the Revolution.

Edmund Randolph began a career of prominence, and figured largely for many years as the defender of his country in the councils of his state and of the nation, and was the zealous supporter of the Church against all which he believed to be assaults upon her rights. He had been adopted by his uncle, Peyton Randolph, and had espoused his patriotic views with regard to the independence of America.

His father bitterly regretted going to England, died of a broken heart, and directed that his remains be brought to America. They were buried in the college chapel.

In 1775 Edmund Randolph was a delegate to the Virginia Convention, May, 1776, and from 1779 to 1783 he was a member of the Continental Congress.

Being a member of the Virginia delegation to "The Constitutional Convention," which met in Philadelphia, May 25, 1787, Edmund Randolph introduced, on behalf of his delegation, a series of propositions, fifteen in number, embodying a new scheme of central government, known in history as the Virginia plan. This plan, discussed for two weeks in committee of the whole, was so modified, amended and changed that it could only be called the foundation of what was finally accepted and signed by the delegates in due form. The authorship of the constitution, as then laid down, was clearly the product of many minds, and the source of some of its most vital phrases will never be given to posterity. We only know that the end attained was after long, laborious, anxious discussion and most sagacious compromise.Sectional differences of opinion were reconciled, and a distinct plan of constitutional union finally arranged. Washington presided at this convention, and by his inflexible course did much to keep the assembly together, a convention whose almost continuous session of four months had more than once threatened to break up in disorder.

It is to be regretted that so little can be known of the Constitutional Convention of Philadelphia, but the injunction of secrecy under which its deliberations were held was never removed. The official journal deposited by Washington in the public archives, and Madison's notes, are the only extended testimony to throw light on this intensely interesting period-a time when Washington himself declared "that our political affairs were suspended by a thread." In that dread crisis the past furnished no light to guide the statesmen of this august meeting the present was full of doubt and despair, and the destiny of the American liberty hung trembling in the balance. But in the injunction the majestic reason of George Washington triumphed. "It is too probable," said he, "that no plan we propose will be adopted."

"Perhaps another dreadful conflict is to be sustained. If to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterward defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair. The event is in the hands of God." If, in this memorable speech, Washington counseled immediate action, and thereby cemented the opposing sentiments of the convention by one decisive and imperishable step if he now laid the foundation of honesty and purity in constitutional government, we, the heirs of this rich legacy, are indebted no less to another Virginian for making the constitution practically all that it has been, is, and yet may be.

To John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States from 1801-1835, do we turn with gratitude for lifting these resolutions from the mist and cloud of doubt, to be the radiant source of light and life, and happiness to millions of enraptured freemen. When, as yet, the constitution was a doubtful experiment, Judge Marshall by his clear, unanswerable logic, laid it before an eager world as a wonderful combination of liberty and law, and by his practical construction of its beneficent provisions he established it in the hearts and minds of his fellow-citizens as a wise and never-to-be-abandoned system of free government.

At the close of the momentous deliberations of the Constitutional Convention the plan adopted was disapproved by Edmund Randolph, but in June, 1788, when it was submitted to the Virginia Convention, in Richmond, for ratification, he pronounced decidedly for it.

Of the deputies from Virginia, who signed the constitution in Philadelphia, September 17, 1787, were: George Washington, John Blair, James Madison, Jr. Those of the Virginia delegation who did not sign it were: Edmund Randolph, George Mason, George Wythe and James McClung. But the constitution was finally accepted by Virginia, through her convention held at Richmond, and ratified June 25, 1788, by a vote of 89 to 79.

𠈫orn ca. 1727 in Williamsburg, Virginia

•Member of House of Burgesses

𠈪ttorney General for Virginia Colony

𠈭ied 1784 in London, England

John Randolph was born in 1727 or 1728, probably at what is now called the Peyton Randolph House on Market Square, and his heritage was thoroughly Virginian. Educated at the College of William & Mary, he traveled to London in 1745 to study law at the Middle Temple at the Inns of Court in London, and returned to Williamsburg to practice in 1749.

Among Virginia's best-trained attorneys, John Randolph climbed the rungs of civic responsibility toward authority and power. He had become a member of the city's common council, then a burgess for the College of William & Mary. When his older brother Peyton Randolph was elected speaker of the House of Burgesses, John succeeded him as the colony's attorney general. He could not, however, follow Peyton down the road to rebellion.

At odds with brother’s political views

John Randolph’s brother Peyton Randolph followed the call of duty to the chair of the Continental Congress, but conscience summoned John Randolph "home" to England. As the day approached when he would quit America and its Revolution, he wrote a farewell letter to his cousin Thomas Jefferson. "We both of us seem to be steering opposite courses," he said, "the success of either lies in the womb of Time."

The third child of Sir John and Lady Susannah Randolph, John was convinced British-Americans owed more loyalty to the Crown than to the Massachusetts hotheads or to firebrands like his friend Patrick Henry. Historians have tagged him with the nickname John "The Tory." By the summer of 1775, an anonymous piece in the Virginia Gazette insulted John Randolph for his Loyalist views and "dependence on l[or]d D[unmor]e."

Read transcript of article

View Virginia Gazette, July 27, 1775, Page 3, bottom of column two and top of column three (Will open in new window)

If Randolph's associates in Williamsburg disagreed with his views, they nevertheless admired his integrity. Most Virginians referred to England as home John Randolph meant it.

While Peyton chaired the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia, John sat in Williamsburg, a confidant of the pugnacious Governor Dunmore. As Peyton prepared to leave for the Second Continental Congress, John was closing up his house, Tazewell Hall. Renowned for its hospitality, Tazewell Hall sat at the southern end of South England Street commanding a 99-acre estate. It was a popular literary and social center frequented by the elite of the community. Its master had been a close friend of Governor Fauquier and Lord Botetourt.

John Randolph arranged passage across the Atlantic for himself, his wife, Ariana, and their two daughters, Susannah and Ariana. His son, Edmund, stayed behind Edmund joined the American army and served as aide-de-camp to General George Washington.

Enjoyed music and gardening

Gardening and music were among John Randolph's avocations. About 1765 he wrote what is believed to be the earliest American book on kitchen gardening, A Treatise on Gardening by A Citizen of Virginia. Cousin Thomas Jefferson thought Randolph's violin was the finest in the colony and John, in turn, admired Tom's library. In 1771, they struck a lighthearted bargain. If Randolph died first, Jefferson was to have the fiddle if Jefferson died first, Randolph was to have 򣄀 worth of Jefferson's books. George Wythe and Patrick Henry witnessed the agreement.

In August 1775, Jefferson sent their mutual friend Carter Braxton to Williamsburg with ꌓ pounds and posted a letter saying he meant it for the instrument. The reply was Randolph's farewell, though the men corresponded after Randolph reached England.

The state government confiscated loyalist properties as the Revolution wore on, and an embittered Randolph spent years fruitlessly trying to reclaim his.

Died in England buried in Virginia

John Randolph died at Brampton, England, in 1784. In death, as he could not in conscience do in life, Randolph returned to Williamsburg. He is interred beside his father and brother in the family vault in the chapel at the College of William and Mary.

Born ca. 1727 in Williamsburg, Virginia Studied law in England Member of House of Burgesses Attorney General for Virginia Colony Died 1784 in London, England Buried in Virginia Early Years

John Randolph was born in 1727 or 1728, probably at what is now called the Peyton Randolph House on Market Square, and his heritage was thoroughly Virginian. Educated at the College of William & Mary, he traveled to London in 1745 to study law at the Middle Temple at the Inns of Court in London, and returned to Williamsburg to practice in 1749.

Among Virginia's best-trained attorneys, John Randolph climbed the rungs of civic responsibility toward authority and power. He had become a member of the city's common council, then a burgess for the College of William & Mary. When his older brother Peyton Randolph was elected speaker of the House of Burgesses, John succeeded him as the colony's attorney general. He could not, however, follow Peyton down the road to rebellion.

At odds with brother’s political views

John Randolph’s brother Peyton Randolph followed the call of duty to the chair of the Continental Congress, but conscience summoned John Randolph "home" to England. As the day approached when he would quit America and its Revolution, he wrote a farewell letter to his cousin Thomas Jefferson. "We both of us seem to be steering opposite courses," he said, "the success of either lies in the womb of Time."

The third child of Sir John and Lady Susannah Randolph, John was convinced British-Americans owed more loyalty to the Crown than to the Massachusetts hotheads or to firebrands like his friend Patrick Henry. Historians have tagged him with the nickname John "The Tory." By the summer of 1775, an anonymous piece in the Virginia Gazette insulted John Randolph for his Loyalist views and "dependence on lord Dunmore."

If Randolph's associates in Williamsburg disagreed with his views, they nevertheless admired his integrity. Most Virginians referred to England as home John Randolph meant it.

While Peyton chaired the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia, John sat in Williamsburg, a confidant of the pugnacious Governor Dunmore. As Peyton prepared to leave for the Second Continental Congress, John was closing up his house, Tazewell Hall. Renowned for its hospitality, Tazewell Hall sat at the southern end of South England Street commanding a 99-acre estate. It was a popular literary and social center frequented by the elite of the community. Its master had been a close friend of Governor Fauquier and Lord Botetourt.

John Randolph arranged passage across the Atlantic for himself, his wife, Ariana, and their two daughters, Susannah and Ariana. His son, Edmund, stayed behind Edmund joined the American army and served as aide-de-camp to General George Washington.

Enjoyed music and gardening

Gardening and music were among John Randolph's avocations. About 1765 he wrote what is believed to be the earliest American book on kitchen gardening, A Treatise on Gardening by A Citizen of Virginia. Cousin Thomas Jefferson thought Randolph's violin was the finest in the colony and John, in turn, admired Tom's library. In 1771, they struck a lighthearted bargain. If Randolph died first, Jefferson was to have the fiddle if Jefferson died first, Randolph was to have 򣄀 worth of Jefferson's books. George Wythe and Patrick Henry witnessed the agreement.

In August 1775, Jefferson sent their mutual friend Carter Braxton to Williamsburg with ꌓ pounds and posted a letter saying he meant it for the instrument. The reply was Randolph's farewell, though the men corresponded after Randolph reached England. The state government confiscated loyalist properties as the Revolution wore on, and an embittered Randolph spent years fruitlessly trying to reclaim his.

Died in England buried in Virginia

John Randolph died at Brampton, England, in 1784. In death, as he could not in conscience do in life, Randolph returned to Williamsburg. He is interred beside his father and brother in the family vault in the chapel at the College of William and Mary.


John Randolph

A member of the powerful Randolph family that contributed to Virginia political life for most of two centuries, John Randolph, also known as John Randolph of Roanoke, was born in Prince George County, Virginia, on June 2, 1773. A great-grandson of William Randolph, the founder of the family in Virginia, he studied at private schools and at three colleges: New Jersey (later Princeton), Columbia, and William and Mary. Elected to Congress in 1799, Randolph became head of the Ways and Means Committee as a supporter of Jefferson. As leader of the House Democratic-Republicans, Randolph was unable to compromise or to tolerate others who did, and eventually split from the main party as one of the "quids." Opposed to the War of 1812, he lost his seat in Congress but returned the following year, and served off-and-on until 1829. In the debate on the Tariff of 1816, he opposed laying "a duty on the cultivator of the soil to encourage exotic manufactures." When Daniel Webster demanded that the United States express its support for the Greek rebellion in 1823, Randolph argued against such a step. "For my part, I would sooner put the shirt of Nessus on my back than sanction these doctrines." He also served briefly in the Senate, and was the United States minister to Russia in 1830. Known for the acid tone of his speeches, Randolph had few friends in Congress. His frequent periods of physical illness, combined with and perhaps contributed to mental instability. He died in Philadelphia on May 24, 1833.


John Randolph of Roanoke

One of the most eccentric and accomplished politicians in all of American history, John Randolph of Roanoke led a life marked by controversy. The long-serving Virginia congressman and architect of southern conservatism grabbed headlines with his prescient comments, public brawls, and clashes with every president from John Adams to Andrew Jackson. The first biography of Randolph in nearly a century, John Randolph of Roanoke provides a full account of the powerful Virginia planter's hardcharging life and his influence on the formation of conservative politics. John Randolph of Roanoke tells the story of a young nation and the unique philosophy of a southern lawmaker who defended America's agrarian tradition and reveled in his own controversy.

David Johnson is deputy attorney general for the state of Virginia and the author of a biography of Douglas Southall Freeman. (Introduction by Paul Levengood and Andrew Cain).

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John Randolph

John Randolph is a specialist in Imperial Russian history, and is member of the History Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently a visiting researcher at the Institut für Osteuropäische Geschichte und Landeskunde at the University of Tübingen (Germany). His wife, Kim Curtis, is a fine art painter.

John’s first book was a biography of the Bakunins, a prominent Russian noble family, in the years 1780-1840. Currently, he is researching the life of Russia’s roads in the 18th century, and more specifically the elaborate horse-relay system–staffed by specially formed coach communities–that ferried people, things and information around the Empire, as its modern culture and society was fashioned.

John has few pictures of himself.


Watch the video: A. Philip Randolph - Civil Rights Pioneer. Biography (January 2022).