2John Randolph was born in June 1773 at Cawsons, in
Prince George County, Virginia, near the joining of the
Appomattox and the James rivers. Cawsons was the home
of Theodorick Bland, Randolph's maternal grandfather,
and its American English magnificence typified the conceits and achievements of the special social class Randolph
joined at birth, the Virginia gentry. Like Randolph's other
youthful homes, Matoax and Bizarre, Cawsons was subsequently destroyed by fire. The fate of these homes always
symbolized to Randolph the disappearance of the social
world of his fathers (and his youth) during his own lifetime. The physical destruction visited on the houses was
only one early event in an external history which was unusually available for the dramatic personal symbolism he
developed to explain himself. In 1814, after a visit to his
birthplace, he wrote to Josiah Quincy:
|The sight of the broad bay, formed by the junction of the two
rivers, gave a new impulse to my being; but when the boat struck
the beach, all was sad and desolate. The fires of ancient hospitality
were long since extinguished, and the hearth stone-cold. Here
was my mother given in marriage, and here I was born; once the
seat of plenty and cheerfulness, associated with my earliest and |
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: The Education of John Randolph.
Contributors: Robert Dawidoff - Author.
Publisher: W. W. Norton.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1979.
Page number: 68.
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