Edmund Randolph, Governor

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Edmund Jennings Randolph

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Williamsburg, James, Virginia
Death: Died in Clarke, Frederick, Virginia
Place of Burial: Old Chapel Cemetery, Millwood, Clarke County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John "The Tory" Randolph, Jr. and Arianna Randolph
Husband of Elizabeth Carter Randolph
Father of Susan Beverly Taylor; Peyton Randolph; John Jennings Randolph; Edmonia Madison Randolph and Lucy Nelson Daniel
Brother of Susannah Beverley Randolph; Sarah Randolph; Ariana Randolph and Peter Randolph

Occupation: 7th Governor of Virginia, 1st US Attorney General, 2nd US Secretary of State
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Edmund Jennings Randolph

A Patriot of the American Revolution for VIRGINIA with the rank of AIDE-DE-CAMP. DAR Ancestor # A094169

Birth: Aug. 10, 1753 Death: Sep. 13, 1813

Politician. Statesman. Edmund was born at Tazewell Hall in the colonial town of Williamsburg, Virginia to the prominent Randolph family and went to William and Mary College there. After graduation he studied law under his father, John Randolph, and uncle, Peyton Randolph. At the start of the Revolutionary War his father, a loyalist, returned to England while Edmund joined the Continental Army as aide-de-camp to George Washington. In October 1775 Edmund would return to Williamsburg to act as executor of his uncle's estate and was elected as a representative to the Virginia Convention while attending to those duties. He soon became Mayor of Williamsburg and then the State of Virginia's first Attorney General. From 1779 through 1782 he was a delegate to the Continental Congress and at the same time ran a private law practice where he handled legal issues for George Washington and others. In 1786 Edmund was elected Governor of Virginia and in 1787 proposed the Virginia Plan as an blueprint for a new national government. As a member of the "committee on detail", they were to adapt the Virginia Plan into the first draft of the U.S. Constitution. Upon its completion, he refused to sign the document as he felt it lacked sufficient checks and balances. In October 1787 he published an account of his objections but never-the-less urged its ratification in 1788. In September 1789 Edmund became the first U.S. Attorney General and in 1793 succeeded Thomas Jefferson when he resigned as Secretary of State. In August of 1795 Edmund was urged to resign by President Washington due to allegations from the British he was prone to bribery. The allegations were later proven false but the stigma would follow him for years. He returned to Virginia to continue his law practice and in 1807 defended Aaron Burr against treason charges. In September of 1813 he died while visiting his friend Nathaniel Burwell of Carter Hall near Millwood, Virginia. (bio by: Jon Coulter)


Family links:

Parents:
 John Randolph (1727 - 1784)
 Adrianna Jennings Randolph (1723 - 1808)

Spouse:
 Elizabeth Carter Nicholas Randolph (1753 - 1810)*

Children:
 Susan Beverely Randolph Taylor (1781 - 1836)*
 Lucy Nelson Randolph Daniel (1788 - 1847)*
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Burial: Old Chapel Cemetery Millwood Clarke County Virginia, USA

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Randolph

Edmund Jenings Randolph (August 10, 1753 – September 12, 1813) was an American attorney, the seventh Governor of Virginia, the second Secretary of State, and the first United States Attorney General.

Randolph was born on August 10, 1753 to the influential Randolph family in Williamsburg, Virginia. He was educated at the College of William and Mary. After graduation he began reading law with his father John Randolph and uncle, Peyton Randolph. In 1775, with the start of the American Revolution, Randolph's father remained a Loyalist and returned to Britain; Edmund Randolph remained in America where he joined the Continental Army as aide-de-camp to General George Washington.

Upon the death of his uncle Peyton Randolph in October of 1775 Randolph returned to Virginia to act as executor of the estate, and while there was elected as a representative to the Virginia Convention. He would go on to serve as mayor of Williamsburg, and then as the first Attorney General of the United States under the newly-formed government.He was married on August 29, 1776 to Elizabeth Nicholas (daughter of Robert C. Nicholas), and had a total of six children, including Peyton Randolph Governor of Virginia from 1811 to 1812.

Randolph died at age 60, suffering from paralysis, September 12, 1813 while visiting the home of a friend, Nathaniel Burwell of Carter Hall, near Millwood, Virginia, in Clarke County and is buried at a nearby Burwell family cemetery "Old Chapel". Ref.: < findagrave.com > , Clarke County, Va., Old Chapel Cemetery, Edmund Randolph.

Political career

Randolph was selected as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1779, and served there to 1782. During this period he also remained in private law practice, handling numerous legal issues for George Washington among others.

Randolph was elected Governor of Virginia in 1786, that same year leading a delegation to the Annapolis Convention.

Constitutional Convention

The following year, as a delegate from Virginia to the Constitutional Convention, Randolph introduced the Virginia Plan as an outline for a new national government. He argued against importation of slaves and in favor of a strong central government, advocating a plan for three chief executives from various parts of the country. The Virginia Plan also proposed two houses, where in both of them delegates were chosen based on state population. Randolph additionally proposed, and was supported by unanimous approval by the Convention's delegates, "that a Nationally Judiciary be established" (Article III of the constitution established the federal court system).[2] The Articles of Confederation lacked a national court system for the United States.

Randolph was also a member of the "Committee of Detail" which was tasked with converting the Virginia Plan's 15 resolutions into a first draft of the Constitution. Randolph refused to sign the final document, however, believing it had insufficient checks and balances, and published an account of his objections in October 1787. He nevertheless reversed his position at the Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788 and voted for ratification of the Constitution because eight other states had already done so, and he did not want to see Virginia left out of the new national government.


Washington's Cabinet

Randolph was appointed as the first U.S. Attorney General in September 1789, maintaining precarious neutrality in the feud between Thomas Jefferson (of whom Randolph was a second cousin)[3] and Alexander Hamilton. When Jefferson resigned as Secretary of State in 1793, Randolph succeeded him to the position. The major diplomatic initiative of his term was the Jay Treaty with Britain in 1794, but it was Hamilton who devised the plan and wrote the instructions, leaving Randolph the nominal role of signing the papers. Randolph was hostile to the resulting treaty, and almost gained Washington's ear. Near the end of his term as Secretary of State, negotiations for Pinckney's Treaty were finalized.

Resignation

A scandal involving an intercepted French message led to Randolph's resignation in August 1795. The British Navy had intercepted correspondence from the French minister, Joseph Fauchet, to the U.S. and turned it over to Washington. Washington was dismayed that the letters reflected contempt for the United States and that Randolph was primarily responsible. The letters implied that Randolph had exposed the inner debates in the cabinet to the French and told them that the Administration was hostile to France. At the very least, Elkins and McKitrick conclude, there "was something here profoundly disreputable to the government's good faith and character." Washington immediately overruled Randolph's negative advice regarding the Jay Treaty. A few days later Washington, in the presence of the entire cabinet, handed the minister's letter to Randolph and demanded he explain it. Randolph was speechless and immediately resigned. Elkins and McKitrick (pages 425-6) conclude that Randolph was not bribed by the French but "was rather a pitiable figure, possessed of some talents and surprisingly little malice, but subject to self-absorbed silliness and lapses of good sense."

After leaving the cabinet he returned to Virginia to practice law; his most famous case was that of defense counsel during Aaron Burr's trial for treason in 1807.

Edmund Randolph

•Born August 10, 1753 in Williamsburg, Virginia

•Parents: John "The Tory" and Ariana Jenings Randolph

•Siblings: Susannah Beverly and Ariana

•Spouse: Elizabeth Nicholas

•Children: Peyton, Susan, John Jenings, Edmonia, and Lucy

•Died September 13,1813 at Carter Hall, Frederick County, Virginia

Edmund's "autobiographical" letter states that he and his wife learned the basics of reading at a local school. He attended the College of William and Mary grammar and philosophy schools in 1770 – 1771. After leaving William and Mary, he studied law, but it is unknown from whom he received his instruction. It is possible that he studied with his father, John.

In 1774, Thomas Jefferson retired from his law practice and turned his clients over to Edmund Randolph. Edmund practiced law until his death, although he did so only part-time while he held public office. His most famous case was that of defense counsel during former Vice President Aaron Burr's trial for treason in 1807.

Edmund held the following positions:

•Clerk of the Committee on Courts and Justice, House of Burgesses, May 1774

•Deputy Muster Master General of the Continental Army, Southern District, 1775 – 1776 (he was appointed to this position by the Continental Congress. He had to resign when he was elected to the Virginia Convention.)

•Aide-de-camp to General Washington, August – November 1775

•Delegate (representing Williamsburg) to the Fifth Virginia Convention, 1776

•Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1776-1786

•Mayor of Williamsburg, 1776 – 1777; Justice of the Peace for James City County, 1777

•Clerk of the Virginia House of Delegates, 1778 – 1779

•Delegate to the Continental Congress, 1779, 1781 –1786

•7th Governor of Virginia, 1786 – 1788

•Delegate to the Constitutional Convention, 1787

•Delegate to the Virginia Ratification Convention, 1788

•1st United States Attorney General, 1789 – 1794

•2nd United States Secretary of State, 1794 – 1795

Resided in:

•Williamsburg, 1753 – 1775

•Philadelphia and Boston, July 1775 – November 1776

•Williamsburg, December 1776 – early 1780

•Richmond, Virginia, 1780 – 1813

The only evidence about the tension that must have existed between Edmund and his father, John "The Tory", as the colonies moved to war with Great Britain is a letter from Benjamin Harrison to General George Washington written July 21, 1775. In this letter, Harrison reported that Edmund was seeking support for his effort to become an aide to General Washington. Harrison noted that Edmund made his decision to join the army at Boston without consulting anyone and that he did so because he feared "his father's conduct may tend to lesson him in the esteem of his countrymen." By joining the American army, Edmund may have felt that his loyalty to the colonial cause would not be questioned. His father's reaction to Edmund's act is summed up in a line from a letter he wrote to his son in August 1775: "For God's Sake, return to your Family & indeed to yourself."

--------------------

RANDOLPH, Edmund Jenings, (nephew of Peyton Randolph), a Delegate from Virginia; born in Williamsburg, Va., August 10, 1753; was graduated from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Williamsburg; served in the Revolutionary Army and was aide-de-camp to General Washington; attorney general of Virginia in 1776; Member of the Continental Congress in 1779, 1781, and 1782; elected governor of Virginia in 1786 but resigned in 1788 to serve in the state house of delegates in order that he might participate in the codification of the laws of Virginia in 1788 and 1789; delegate to the Federal Convention in Philadelphia in 1787; was appointed the first Attorney General of the United States, in the Cabinet of President Washington, on September 26, 1789; transferred to the State Department as Secretary of State on January 2, 1794, and served until August 19, 1795, when he was requested to resign following charges (subsequently found to be false) preferred by Minister Fauchet of France; was the principal counsel for Aaron Burr when the latter was tried for treason; died in Clarke County, Va., September 12, 1813; interment in the Old Chapel Cemetery, Millwood, Va.

Edmund Randolph

Born August 10, 1753 in Williamsburg, Virginia Parents: John and Ariana Jenings Randolph Siblings: Susannah Beverly and Ariana Spouse: Elizabeth Nicholas Children: Peyton, Susan, John Jenings, Edmonia, and Lucy Died September 13,1813 at Carter Hall, Frederick County, Virginia Attended College of William & Mary

Edmund's "autobiographical" letter states that he and his wife learned the basics of reading at a local school. He attended the College of William and Mary grammar and philosophy schools in 1770 – 1771. After leaving William and Mary, he studied law, but it is unknown from whom he received his instruction. It is possible that he studied with his father, John.

Practiced law until his death

In 1774, Thomas Jefferson retired from his law practice and turned his clients over to Edmund Randolph. Edmund practiced law until his death, although he did so only part-time while he held public office.

Served in public offices

Edmund Randolph served in the following positions:

Clerk of the Committee on Courts and Justice, House of Burgesses, May 1774 Deputy Muster Master General of the Continental Army, Southern District, 1775 – 1776 (he was appointed to this position by the Continental Congress. He had to resign when he was elected to the Virginia Convention.) Aide-de-camp to General Washington, August – November 1775 Delegate (representing Williamsburg) to the Fifth Virginia Convention, 1776 Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1776-1786 Mayor of Williamsburg, 1776 – 1777; Justice of the Peace for James City County, 1777 Clerk of the Virginia House of Delegates, 1778 – 1779 Delegate to the Continental Congress, 1779, 1781 –1786 Governor of Virginia, 1786 – 1788 Delegate to the Constitutional Convention, 1787 Delegate to the Virginia Ratification Convention, 1788 United States Attorney General, 1789 – 1794 United States Secretary of State, 1794 – 1795 Resided in:

Williamsburg, 1753 – 1775 Philadelphia and Boston, July 1775 – November 1776 Williamsburg, December 1776 – early 1780 Richmond, Virginia, 1780 – 1813 Disagreement with John Randolph

The only evidence about the tension that must have existed between Edmund and his father, John, as the colonies moved to war with Great Britain is a letter from Benjamin Harrison to General George Washington written July 21, 1775. In this letter, Harrison reported that Edmund was seeking support for his effort to become an aide to General Washington. Harrison noted that Edmund made his decision to join the army at Boston without consulting anyone and that he did so because he feared "his father's conduct may tend to lesson him in the esteem of his countrymen." By joining the American army, Edmund may have felt that his loyalty to the colonial cause would not be questioned. His father's reaction to Edmund's act is summed up in a line from a letter he wrote to his son in August 1775: "For God's Sake, return to your Family & indeed to yourself."

Edmund Randolph

AKA Edmund Jennings Randolph

Born: 10-Aug-1753 Birthplace: Tazewell Hall, Williamsburg, VA Died: 12-Sep-1813 Location of death: Carter Hall, Millwood, VA Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male Race or Ethnicity: White Sexual orientation: Straight Occupation: Politician

Nationality: United States Executive summary: First Attorney General of the U.S.

The American statesman Edmund Randolph was born on the 10th of August 1753, at Tazewell Hall, Williamsburg, Virginia, the family seat of his grandfather, Sir John Randolph (1693-1737), and his father, John Randolph (1727-84), who (like his uncle Peyton Randolph) were king's attorneys for Virginia. Edmund graduated at the College of William and Mary, and studied law with his father, who felt bound by his oath to the king and went to England in 1775. In August-October 1775 Edmund was aide-de-camp to General George Washington. In 1776 he was a member of the Virginia Convention, and was on its committee to draft a constitution. In the same year he became the first Attorney General of the state (serving until 1786). He served in the Continental Congress in 1779 and again in 1780-82. He had a large private practice, including much legal business for General Washington. In 1786 he was a delegate to the "Annapolis convention", and in 1787-88 was governor of Virginia. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and on the 29th of May presented the "Virginia plan" (sometimes called the "Randolph plan".) In the Convention Randolph advocated a strongly centralized government, the prohibition of the importation of slaves, and a plural executive, suggesting that there should be three executives from different parts of the country, and refused to sign the constitution because too much power over commerce was granted to a mere majority in Congress, and because no provision was made for a second convention to act after the present instrument had been referred to the states. In October 1787 he published an attack on the Constitution; but in the Virginia convention he urged its ratification, arguing that it was too late to attempt to amend it without endangering the Union, and thinking that Virginia's assent would be that of the necessary ninth state. In 1788 he refused re-election as Governor, and entered the House of Delegates to work on the revision and codification of the state laws (published in 1794.) In September 1789 he was appointed by President Washington first Attorney General of the United States. He worked for a revision of Ellsworth's judiciary act of 1789, and especially to relieve justices of the supreme court of the duties of circuit judges, and advocated a Federal code; in 1791 he considered Alexander Hamilton's scheme for a national bank unconstitutional; and in 1792-93, in the case Chisolm v. Georgia before the supreme court, argued that a state might be sued by a citizen of another state. On the 2nd of January 1794 he succeeded Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State. In 1795 he wrote thirteen letters (signed "Germanicus") defending the President in his attack on the American Jacobin or democratic societies. He was the only cabinet member who opposed the ratification of the Jay treaty (his letters to the President on the subject are reprinted in The American Historical Review, vol. xii. pp. 587-599), and before it was ratified the delicate task of keeping up friendly diplomatic relations with France fell to him. Home despatches of the French minister, Joseph Fauchet, intercepted by a British man-of-war and sent to the British minister to the United States, accused Randolph of asking for money from France to influence the administration against Great Britain. Although this charge was demonstrably false, Randolph when confronted with it immediately resigned, and subsequently secured a retractation from Fauchet; he published A Vindication of Mr. Randolph's Resignation (1795) and Political Truth, or Animadversions on the Past and Present State of Public Affairs (1796). He was held personally responsible for the loss of a large sum of money during his administration of the state department, and after years of litigation was judged by an arbitrator to be indebted to the government for more than $49,000, which he paid at great sacrifice to himself. He removed to Richmond in 1803, and during his last years was a leader of the Virginia bar; in 1807 he was one of Aaron Burr's counsel. He died at Carter Hall, Millwood, Clarke county, Virginia, on the 12th of September 1813.

Father: John Randolph Mother: Ariana Jenings Randolph Sister: Susannah Beverley Sister: Ariana Wife: Elizabeth Nicholas Son: Peyton Daughter: Susan Son: John Jenings Daughter: Edmonia Daughter: Lucy

   University: College of William and Mary
   US Secretary of State 2-Jan-1794 to 1795
   US Attorney General Sep-1789 to 1794
   Governor of Virginia 1787-88
   Delegate to the Continental Congress 1779, 1780-82
   Mayor Williamsburg, VA 1776-77
   Society of the Cincinnati 

Is the subject of books: Life and Papers of Edmund Randolph, 1888, BY: Moncure D. Conway

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Edmund Randolph, Governor's Timeline

1753
August 10, 1753
Williamsburg, James, Virginia
1779
1779
Age 25
1781
1781
Age 27
Richmond, VA, USA
1783
1783
Age 29
1787
April 17, 1787
Age 33
VA, USA
September 17, 1787
- September 17, 1787
Age 34
Independence Hall, Philadelphia,

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Benjamin Franklin
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George Read
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Jacob Broom

Maryland
James McHenry
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John Blair
James Madison, Jr.
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Lives of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence, by the Rev. Charles A. Goodrich. Published in 1829.
The United States Manual of Biography and History, by James V. Marshall. Published by James B. Smith & Co., in Philadelphia in the year 1856.
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The U.S. Constitution at the National Archives
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1788
1788
Age 34
Albermarle, Virginia
1813
September 12, 1813
Age 60
Clarke, Frederick, Virginia
????
????
Millwood, Clarke County, Virginia, United States