Randolph Jefferson

Randolph Jefferson (October 1, 1755—August 7, 1815) was Thomas Jefferson's younger brother. The only other surviving son of Peter Jefferson, Randolph was married twice and had seven children.

He was born at Shadwell, the twin brother of Anna Scott Jefferson, and was only two years old when his father died. According to the terms of Peter Jefferson's will, his older son Thomas would inherit his choice of a portion of his landholdings, while Randolph would receive the remaining portion. Randolph inherited the "Fluvanna lands," 2,291 2/3 acres in the area of present-day Scottsville and the Hardware River, along with the plantation known as Snowden in Buckingham County.[1]

As a young boy, Randolph was schooled by Benjamin Snead, whose school was located at his uncle Charles Lewis, Jr.'s plantation, Buck Island. When he was sixteen, he was sent to Williamsburg for further schooling, although he stayed only a few years (1771-1772). He served in the Virginia Light Dragoons during the Revolutionary War and was a signer of the "Oath of Allegiance to the Commonwealth of Virginia" in 1777.[2]

He married Anna Jefferson Lewis (daughter of the aforementioned Charles Lewis and his wife, Mary Randolph Lewis) on July 30, 1781. They had six children: Isham Randolph, Thomas Jefferson Jr., Field, Robert Lewis, James Lilburne, and Anna Scott {add link}. Anna Jefferson Lewis Jefferson died sometime before 1808; Randolph was married again, presumably around 1809, to Mitchie Ballow Pryor. There was one posthumous son by his second wife, named John.[3]

There is evidence that his second wife and sons did not get along well; apparently Mitchie convinced Randolph to amend his will in her favor after their marriage. Randolph Jefferson died at Snowden, of unknown causes, on August 7, 1815. His older brother was on the way to see him at the time, and noted in his Memorandum Books for that day, "My brother Randolph Jefferson died this morning."[4]

Footnotes

  1. Peter Jefferson Will, Albemarle County Will Book 2:32.
  2. In PTJ, 2:128-9.
  3. After Randolph's death, Mitchie moved to Tennessee with John and remarried; John Jefferson died there at the age of 29, apparently childless. See "Jefferson, John R.," in the Nashville City Cemetery.
  4. MB, 1312.

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