Benjamin Franklin Randolph

From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia

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Benjamin Franklin Randolph (1808-1871), was Thomas Jefferson's grandson. He was the ninth child and the third son of Martha Jefferson Randolph and Thomas Mann Randolph, born on July 14, 1808 at Edgehill. A delicate child, Benjamin was educated by his mother and sisters and at Mr. Hatch's school. He was a student at the University of Virginia when his grandfather died on July 4, 1826, and the family's financial difficulties caused him to leave college. By 1829, he was back at UVa studying medicine. He had been elected three times as the University's prize essay writer. The Jefferson Society also elected him as a member, and Dr. Dunglison considered him best in his class. He graduated on July 18, 1831.

He moved to Halifax County near Danville, then to Church Hill neighborhood in Richmond before he moved back to Albemarle County. Dr. Randolph courted and married Sally Champe Carter on November 13, 1834. They received 642 acres of land adjacent to Redlands, the estate of Sally's parents. It was here on the side of a small mountain near Carter's bridge where they built their estate named "Sharon," later renamed "Round Top." Dr. Randolph was a physician and farmer and interested himself in public affairs. He became a magistrate in 1846 and served for eighteen years. He was also a state senator from 1853-1856. Dr. Randolph and Sally had three children: Isaetta (March 24, 1836), Lewis (June 13, 1838), and Robert (April 15, 1851).

Dr. Randolph was a strong supporter of secession and the Confederacy during the Civil War. Both Lewis and Dr. Randolph's son-in-law served in the Confederate Army. Early in 1867, Benjamin Randolph suffered a severe illness and he never fully recovered. Dr. Randolph died on February 18, 1871 and was buried in the graveyard of Christ Church, Glendower, near Keene in Albemarle County.

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