Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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RANDOLPH, James Fitz, congressman, born in Middlesex county, New Jersey, 26 June, 1791 ; died in Jersey City, New Jersey, 19 March, 1871. He was the descendant of Edward Fitz-Randolph, who emigrated to this country in 1630. After receiving a common-school education, James entered a printing-office, and in 1812 became co-editor of the " Fredonia," a weekly newspaper, in which he continued for thirty years. He was United States collector of internal revenue in 1815-'46, and was subsequently clerk of common pleas for Middlesex county, and a member of the legislature for two years. He was elected to congress as a Democrat in 1828 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of George Holcombe, served till 1833, and subsequently invested largely in coal lands.--His son, Theodore Frelinghuysen, senator, born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, 24 June, 1816; died in Morristown, New Jersey, 7 November, 1883, was educated at Rutgers grammar-school, and entered mercantile life at sixteen years of age. He settled in Vicksburg, Mississippi, about 1840, where he married a granddaughter of Chief-Justice Marshall, and on his return to New Jersey in 1850 resided first in Hudson county and subsequently in Morristown, New Jersey He was a member of the legislature in 1859-'60, declined the speakership of that body, was chairman of the special committee on the peace congress in 1861, and was the author of the measure for relief of the families of soldiers that should engage in the civil war. He became state senator the same year, served by re-election till 1865, and was appointed commissioner of draft for Hudson county in 1862. He was president of the Morris and Essex railroad in 1867, doubled its gross tonnage in eighteen months, and negotiated the existing lease of that road to the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western railroad by which the bondholders were guaranteed seven per cent. in perpetuity. He became governor of New Jersey in 1868, during his tenure of office caused a repeal of the Camden and Amboy monopoly tax, established a general railway law, made the state-prison system self-supporting, and suggested the plan of the present State lunatic asylum at Morris Plains, which is the largest in the world. On 11 July, 1871, the day preceding the Orange riot in New York city, he issued a proclamation insuring the right of parade to the Orangemen of New Jersey. To secure the speedy transmission of this proclamation throughout the state and in New York city, where it was alleged rioters were arranging to invade New Jersey, he went in person to the telegraph-offices and took " constructive" possession of several of them. He also ordered out the militia, and by these measures prevented disturbance. He was elected United States senator in 1874, served one term, was chairman of the committee on military affairs, and a member of the special committee to investigate election frauds in South Carolina. He procured patents for several inventions, including a " ditcher," and an application of steam to type-writing machines.
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