Edmund Randolph (c. 1820-1861)

From Special Collections Research Center Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Biographical Sketch

Edmund Randolph (c. 1820-1861) was born June 9, 1820 in Richmond, Virginia to Peyton and Maria Randolph. He was the grandson of the first United States Attorney General, Edmund Jennings Randolph (1753-1813) and Elizabeth Nicholas Randolph.[1] Edmund attended the College of William and Mary in 1835/36 and 1838/39.[2] He moved to New Orleans in 1843 where he practiced law and became clerk of the United States circuit court for Louisiana. He married Tarmesia Meaux, daughter of Dr. Thomas O. Meaux and Eliza Ettis Nash Meaux, some time before 1847. They had four daughters, Charlotte F., Margaret, Lucy Nelson and Mary Crittenden "Carey". [3]

In 1849, he moved to San Francisco where he was elected to the lower branch of the then Republic of California legislature, meeting at San Jose, December 15, 1849. After this session concluded, he left the legislature.[4] California was elected the 31st state to enter the Union on September 9, 1850.

"In the Kansas controversy of 1857-1848, Randolph warmly espoused the Anti-Lecompton [pro-slavery] position of Stephen A. Douglas, and in 1859 was the Anti-Lecompton-Republican candidate for the United States Senate. Although a staunch defender of slavery, he openly opposed secession and upheld the Union. But he was untroubled by considerations of consistency and was soon denouncing the early measures of the Lincoln administration."[5]

Randolph's anti-Lincoln sentiments were highlighted in his speech to the 1861 Democratic National Convention where he said, "For God's sake speed the ball; may the lead go quick to his heart, and may our country be free from this despot usurper that now claims the name of president of the United States (cheers)."[6]

Edmund Randolph died September 8, 1861.[7]

Materials in the Special Collections Research Center

Randolph, Edmund. 1861 Speech "Mass meeting at San Jose". Broadside. Call # Double Folio (E453 .R3. Randolph speaks out against the nascent state of California forming its own independent republic, as well as against President Lincoln and his abolitionist ideals. Request to view in SCRC Rare Books Collection


  1. Carolyn Golowka, U. S. Find A Grave Index 1600s-Current, "Edmund Randolph" (1820-1861), Memorial #173657967, record added December 8, 2016, accessed through Ancestry.com April 18, 2017, https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=173657967&ref=acom
  2. "A Provisional List of Alumni, Grammar School Students, Members of the Faculty, and Members of the Board of Visitors of the College of William and Mary in Virginia, from 1693 to 1888" (Richmond: Division of Purchase and Printing, 1941), accessed through Special Collections Research Center Digital Archive, Swem Library, William & Mary, April 19, 2017, https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/bitstream/handle/10288/13856/provisionallist.pdf?sequence=1.
  3. Oscar T. Shuck, Representative & Leading Men of the Pacific, (San Francisco Bacon & Co., 1870), accessed through Internet Archive April 19, 2017, https://archive.org/details/representativea03shucgoog
  4. Malone, Dumas, Ed., Dictionary of American Biography (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1946), 335-356.
  5. Ibid, p. 356.
  6. Winfield J. Davis, History of Political Conventions in California, 1849-1892,) Sacramento: California State Library, 1893), p. 173, accessed through Internet Archive April 19, 2017, https://archive.org/details/politicalconventions00davirich
  7. Find A Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=173657967&ref=acom.

External Links / Further Reading

  • Scroggs, William O. The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 198-211. "William Walker's Designs on Cuba". Oxford University Press on behalf of Organization of American Historians. Accessed through JSTOR April 19, 2017. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1894950.

Need help?

To search for further material, visit the Special Collections Research Center's Search Tool List for an overview of the Special Collections Database, W&M Digital Archive, Flat Hat-William & Mary News-Alumni Gazette index, card catalogs, and other tools available to help you find material of interest in William & Mary Libraries Special Collections Research Center.

Questions? Contact the Special Collections Research Center at spcoll@wm.edu or 757-221-3090, or visit the Special Collections Research Center in the Earl Gregg Swem Library at William & Mary.

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. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center and elsewhere. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use the Special Collections search tools for their research as the information contained in this wiki is by no means comprehensive.