Biographical Sketches of Eminent American Statesmen, with Speeches, Addresses and Letters

By B. F. Perry | Go to book overview
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JOHN RANDOLPH.

The Randolph family is, perhaps, the most numerous family in Virginia, and connected with almost every distinguished man in the State. It would now be hard to find a family of any distinction in the Old Dominion that could not trace some connection with some branch of the Randolphs. Thomas Jefferson's mother was a Randolph. Chief Justice Marshall's great-grand mother was a Randolph. Governor James Pleasant's mother was a Randolph. Richard Bland, the celebrated Revolutionary leader and writer, was the son of Elizabeth Randolph. William Smith, the President of William and Mary College, and historian of Virginia, was the son of Mary Randolph. And hundreds of other distinguished Virginians might be named whose mothers, grandmothers, great-grand mothers or some more remote ancestor was a Randolph. The name of Randolph itself has always been distinguished in the history of the Commonwealth since the Declaration of Independence, as it was in Colonial times.

The founder of the Randolph family in Virginia was Colonel William Randolph, the son of a cavalier, whose fortunes were broken in the civil war. He came at a very early age to Virginia and established himself at Turkey Island, twenty miles below Richmond. He married the daughter of Henry Isham, of Bermuda Hundreds, Virginia, and was of the family of Ishams in Northamptonshire, England, who were baronets. He had seven sons and two daughters, a pretty good start to make towards founding a numerous family, and keeping the name of Randolph in existence. Six of these sons married and had large families. Richard,

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