RANDOLPH, Thomas Mann,
patriot, born at Tuckahoe, his father's homestead, in Virginia, in 1741; died
there, 19 November, 1793. He was the son of "William of Tuckahoe,"
who, at his death (1745), confided his infant and only child to Peter ,
Jefferson, father of Thomas, who thereupon removed to the child's estate
(Tuckahoe) in Goochland (now Albemarle) county, Virginia The young man was
graduated at William and Mary college, and in 1761 married Anne, daughter of
Colonel Archibald Cary (b. 1745 ; died 1789), widely known by her charities. He
was a member of the Virginia house of burgesses, and of the convention of 1776.
He was also a member of the Colonial committee of safety from the first.
His son, Thomas Mann Randolph, governor of Virginia, born at
Tuckahoe, on James river, Virginia, 1 October, 1768; died in Monticello,
Charlottesville, Virginia, 20 June. 1828. In 1785 Randolph was sent with a
younger brother to Edinburgh university, where he was very studious, and formed
the friendship of Sir John Leslie, who returned with the brothers and was for
two years tutor in their Virginia home. While at Edinburgh he formed a
scientific society, of which Thomas Jefferson was elected an honorary member.
Jefferson acknowledged the diploma with cordiality ; he also wrote several
letters of advice to the youth, with whose father he had been brought up almost
as a brother. In the summer of 1788 he visited the Jeffersons in Paris, and
there first met Martha Jefferson (q. v.), whom he married, 23 February, 1790, at
Monticello. This marriage of his daughter gratified Jefferson, who described the
youth as "a man of science, sense, virtue, and competence." The
event also put an end to his daughter's desire for a conventual life, which had
Randolph, at the entreaty of Jefferson, resided at Monticello for a time, and gave much attention to study. Among his frequent visitors was the Abbe Corea, a botanist. In 1803 he was elected to the house of representatives, where he sharply resented remarks of John Randolph of Roanoke, and a duel nearly resulted. He continued in congress until 1807. While in Washington the family resided in the executive mansion. In 1812 he enlisted in the military service, and on 3 January became lieutenant of light artillery. He marched to Canada as captain of the 20th infantry, but resigned on 6 February, 1815, on account of a misunderstanding with General Armstrong. He was governor of Virginia in 1819-'21. His death was caused by exposure while riding, after giving his cloak to an aged and thinly clad man whom he passed on the high-road.
--His son, Thomas Jefferson Randolph,
born at Monticello, 12 September, 1792; died at Edge Hill, Albemarle County,
Virginia, 8 October, 1875, was Thomas Jefferson's oldest grandson, and was
described by his grandfather as "the staff of his old age."
When six years of age he used to walk five miles to an "old-field
school," so called, and used to say that, he had a watch in his pocket
before he had shoes on his feet. He went to school in Philadelphia at fifteen,
and afterward in Charlottesville, Virginia In 1824 he married Jane Hollins,
daughter of Governor Wilson Cary Nicholas. After the sale of Jefferson's
property, debts to the extent of $40,000 remained, and these were paid by
Randolph out of regard for his grandfather's honor. He also supported and
educated his brothers and sisters. He had been appointed literary executor of
Jefferson, and in 1829 published the " Life and Correspondence of Thomas
Jefferson" (4 vols., Boston). Being in the Virginia legislature at the
time of the Southampton Negro insurrection in 1832, he introduced a bill for
emancipation on what was called the " post-natal" plan,
originally suggested by Jefferson. This was necessarily postponed to the
following session, and then failed through the resentment excited by the
harangues of George Thompson, who was regarded as an " abolition
emissary" from Great Britain.
Thomas Jefferson Randolph
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Randolph was an eminent financier, and secured the passage of a tax-bill
through the Virginia legislature in 1842 which placed the state finances on a
sound basis. He wrote an able pamphlet, entitled "Sixty Years'
Reminiscences of the Currency of the United States," a copy of which
was presented to every member of the legislature. It is still a document of
historical interest. In 1851-'2 he was in the convention that revised the
Virginia constitution. After the fall of the Confederacy, which he supported, he
devoted himself to restoration of the prosperity of his state. He was for seven
years rector of the University of Virginia, and for thirty-one years on its
board of visitors, in his last illness he had his bed removed to a room from
which he could look on Monticello, where he was buried. In taking the chair at
the Baltimore Democratic convention of 1872 he was described as " six feet
six inches high, as straight as an arrow, and stood before the convention like
one of the big trees of California."
--Another son, George Wythe Randolph, born at Monticello, 10 March, 1818;
died at Edge Hill, near Charlottesville, Virginia, 10 April, 1878, at the death
of his grandfather. Thomas Jefferson, was placed under the care of his
brother-in-law, Joseph Coolidge, of Boston, by whom he was sent to school at
Cambridge, Massachusetts At the age of thirteen he received from President
Jackson a midshipman's warrant, and he was at sea almost continuously until his
nineteenth year, when he entered the University of Virginia. After two years of
study he resigned his naval commission, studied law, and gained high rank at the
Richmond bar. At the time of the John Brown raid at Harper's Ferry he raised a
company of artillery, which continued its organization, and was the main
Confederate force against General Butler at the battle of Bethel. He was then
given a large command, with the commission of brigadier-general, which he held
until he was appointed secretary of war of the Confederate states. He afterward
resigned and reported for service in the field. He was one of the commissioners
sent by Virginia to consult President Lincoln, after his election, concerning
his intended policy, with the hope of maintaining peace. A pulmonary affection
having developed during the war, he ran the blockade to seek health in a warmer
region, and remained abroad for several years after the fall of the Confederacy.
--Thomas Jefferson's daughter, Sarah Nicholas, author, born at Edge Hill,
near Charlottesville, Virginia, 12 October, 1839, has become widely known in
Virginia by her school at Edge Hill and as principal of Patapsco institute. She
has now (1888) a school in Baltimore. She has published " Domestic Life of
Thomas Jefferson " (New York, 1871); a story for the young, "The Lord
will Provide" (1872); a paper on Martha Jefferson Randolph in Mrs. Wister's
"Famous Women of the Revolution" (Philadelphia, 1876) ; and "
Life of Stonewall Jackson" (1876). In addition, Miss Randolph has written
various contributions to current literature, among which is an article of
historical value entitled "The Kentucky Resolutions in a New Light,"
founded on her family papers, printed in the , ' Nation," 5 May, 1887.