Bizarre Scandal

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A scandal involving the Randolph family of Virginia arising from a 1792 incident and a murder trial the following year.

Individuals Involved in Events

Richard Randolph was married to Judith Randolph (see letters of Judith Randolph to St. George Tucker). Her sister was Ann Cary "Nancy" Randolph (Letters of Ann Cary "Nancy" Randolph to St. George Tucker who married Gouvernour Morris to St. George Tucker, near date of event and also see letters in 1815). They lived at “Bizarre,” the names of their plantation in Cumberland County, Virginia near Farmville. The plantation is no longer standing. He died in 1796. In his will, he emancipated his slaves who formed the Israel Hill settlement in Prince Edward County (for more on this settlement, see Melvin Patrick Ely, Israel on the Appomattox : a southern experiment in Black freedom from 1790s through the Civil War).

Richard Randolph's brothers were John Randolph of Roanoke and Theodorick Bland Randolph.

Their parents were John Randolph and Frances Bland Randolph. Frances Bland Randolph married St. George Tucker and after her death Tucker married twice more. She is buried at Mattoax, now on the campus of Virginia State University.

Material in the Special Collections Research Center

  • Nancy Randolph Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
  • Circular, 1793 May 5, produced by St. George Tucker and letter, 1793, of Thomas Jefferson to St. George Tucker. Jefferson is a cousin of both the wife and husband in the scandal.
  • Papers of John Marshall, Vol. 2, Marshall’s evidentiary notes re: Commonwealth v. Randolph and editors' note.
  • Melvin Patrick Ely. Israel on the Appomattox : a southern experiment in Black freedom from 1790s through the Civil War. New York : A. Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 2004.
  • Tucker-Coleman Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
    • Letters of Judith Randolph to St. George Tucker.
    • Letters of Ann Cary "Nancy" Randolph to St. George Tucker who married Gouvernour Morris to St. George Tucker, near date of event and also see letters in 1815.

References

  • For more on the Bizarre Scandal see Cynthia A. Kierner. Scandal at Bizarre : rumor and reputation in Jefferson's America. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2004; Amazon.com summary and review.

Need help?

To search for further material, see Finding Materials in the SCRC for an introduction to the SCRC Collections Database, card catalogs, Flat Hat-William & Mary News-Alumni Gazette index, etc.

Questions? Contact the SCRC at spcoll@wm.edu or 221-3090, or visit the Special Collections Research Center in the Earl Gregg Swem Library at the College of William and Mary (hours).

A Note About The Contents Of This Wiki
The information available in this wiki is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in the SCRC's collections and elsewhere. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use the SCRC's access tools for their research as the information contained in this wiki is by no means comprehensive.