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JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke, one of the mag tuminent of those scholars, statesmen, and orators, who belong to Virginia, was the third d youngest son of John Randolph and Frances, a daughter of Colonel Theodoric Bland,* of family bearing that name in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He was born at Cawson's the seat of his grandfather, near the junction of the Appomatox and James rivers, in Viro on the second day of June, 1773. When scarcely three years old his father died, leav him to the sole care of his excellent mother. By her he was taught to read, and his mind was early imbued with the lessons of religion and duty. " When I could first rememb says he to a friend, “I slept in the same bed with my widowed mother-each night, befi putting me to bed, I repeated on my knees before her the Lord's Prayer and the Aposts Creed-each morning kneeling in the bed I put up my little hands in prayer in the sam form. Years have since passed away; I have been a skeptic, a professed scoffer, glorying to my infidelity, and vain of the ingenuity with which I could defend it. Prayer never crossed my mind, but in scorn. I am now conscious that the lessons above mentioned, taught me by my dear and revered mother, are of more value to me than all that I have learned from my preceptors and compeers. On Sunday, I said my catechism, a great part of which at the distance of thirty-five years, I can yet repeat.”

In September, 1778, Mrs. Randolph married Mr. St. George Tucker, a native of Bermuda, and retired to the family estate of the Randolphs, at Matoax, two miles above Petersburg, where she continued to reside until the time of her death. A more amiable and exemplary stepfather than Mr. Tucker, could not be found.” The instruction of the children, which, since the destila of their father, had been acquired at the hands of their mother, was now undertaken by Mr. Tucker. To that object he devoted all the leisure he could command in the midst of his professional duties, and always manifested the deepest interest in the welfare and improvement of his pupils. The extreme youth and delicate constitution of little John at this time rendered bis confinement to study impracticable, and he was allowed to follow his own inclinations. But he was not idle. Before he was ten he read Voltaire's History of Charles XII., and the Specta

cor.1 "" I read Humphrey Clinker, also,” he says, in the Letters to Dudley, " that is, Win's and Tabby's Letters with great delight, for I could spell at that age pretty correctly. Reynard, the Hbx, came next, I think; then Tales of the Genii and Arabian Nights. This last, and Shak

eare, were my idols. I had read them, with Don Quixote, Gil Blas, Quintus Curtius, Plutoch, Pope's Homer, Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver, Tom Jones, Orlando Furioso, and Thomson's seasons, before I was eleven years of age; also, Goldsmith's Roman History, and an old history

Colonel Bland was an active promoter of the Revolution. When Lord Dunmore, in the spring of 1775, under inbtructions from England, undertook to disarm the people, by secretly withdrawing the muskets and powder from the inagazine in Williamsburg, Colonel Bland was among the first to ronse the country to resistance. As munitions of war vere scarce, he, his son Theodoric Bland, junior, and his son-in-law John Randolph, father of the late John of Roanoke, da forty negroes, and with the money purchased powder for the use of the colony. Endowed with an ample fortune

da manly character, having been for å series of years in succession, lieutenant of the county of Prince George, clerk in the court, and representative in the House of Burgesses, he possessed a commanding influence among the people. His mse was the centre of a wide circle of friends and relations, who had pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor, to fue cause of independence.Garlund's Life of Randolph.

of Braddock's War. At about eleven, (1784–5,) Percy's Reliques and Chaucer became great favorites, and Chatterton and Rowley. I then read Young and Gay, &c. Goldsmith I never saw till 1787."

During the winter of 1781, John was sent with his brothers to a school in Orange county, where he remained until the latter part of the following year. The facts of this year of his life are not recorded. On retiring from this school, he was placed in the primary department of William and Mary College. Here he made considerable progress in the classics, "learned to repeat the Westminster Greek Grammar by heart,” and increased his knowledge of the French language. But, his health failing, he was compelled to relinquish his books, and, in the spring of 1784, in company with his parents he visited the Island of Bermuda. After an absence of eighteen months, he returned to Virgini 2, and, in 1787, entered Princeton College. Dissatisfied with this institution, he removed the nes t year to Columbia College, in New York city. Of his career in this place little is known.

From the time he left college until his appearance in opposition to Patrick Henry, at the Charlotte Court, in March, 1799, Mr. Randolph was engaged in the duties of his estate, in visiting the southern cities, and in acquiring a knowledge of the political affairs of the world. The exciting topics in 1799, were the alien and sedition laws. The Virginia Legislature had passed resolutions declaring those laws unconstitutional. Mr. Henry viewed the step with apprehension and alarm, and anxious to preserve the Union of his a country which seemed to be threatened with danger, he left the retirement of his home and offered himself as a candidate for the State Legislature. At the March Court

, he appeared on the electio in ground, and delivered one of his most eloquent and touching appeals. When he had finished, you kng Randolph, who was a candidate for Congress

, rose to reply. It was his first attempt at public speaking. He spoke three hours ; the people all that time, standing on their feet, hung with breathless silence on his words. His youthful appearance, boyish tones, distinct and thrilling utterance

his grace; his bold and manly thoughts, struck them with astonishment.* The result of the co

intest was the election of both of the speakers; Mr. Henry to the State Legislature and Mr. Rano

lolph to the Congress of the United States. Mr. Randolph took his seat in Congress in December, 1799, and soon became a

prominent and active member. His first appearance in debate was on the tenth of January, 180

10, at the time Mr. Nicholas's resolution for reducing the army was before the House. At the ope

ning of the first session of Congress under the administration of President Jefferson, he was plac

ne at the head of the Committee of Ways and Means, one of the most considerable and laborious

positions in Congress. In February, 1802, in accordance with the recommendation of the Presic he reported a bill to repeal the laws of the last session with respect to the judiciary, and, in

the debate on the subject, delivered a powerful and effective speech. This bill, after a warm :

and protracted discussion, in which nearly all the celebrated men in Congress took a part, was pas:

sed early in March, by a large majority. In the other important measures which originated or we.

ire discussed in this session, Mr. Randolph was constantly and indefatigably engaged. He intro duced a resolution, directing the Secretary of the Treasury to lay before the House a list of the exports to the Mediterranean, distinguishing those of the growth of the United States ;-too' part in the debates on the Apportionment Bill, the navigation of the Mississippi, and the pu chase of Louisiana. His agency in these measures is too well understood to require particul notice in this place.

In January, 1804, he offered a resolution that a committee be appointed to inquire into the official conduct of Judge Chase of the Supreme Court of the United States, and report whether he had so acted in his judicial capacity as to require the interposition of the House. This wa. the foundation of the celebrated impeachment of Judge Chase. Although Mr. Randolph's reso. lution met with a strong opposition, it was finally carried ; articles of impeachment were reported, but for want of time, were continued to the next session. In November, 1804, they were again reported, and Mr. Randolph was appointed to conduct the trial. On the fourteenth



* Mr. Henry's speech on this occasion will be found at page 12, of the first volume of this collection. A spiritod re. sume of Mr. Randolph's remarks is given in Mr. Garland's life of that celebrated man.

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