« 上一頁繼續 »
mand was disbanded, and he was honorably discharged from service, August 18, 1815. In recognition of his patriotic service he was elected, by the General Assembly, Governor of Virginia, to succeed Wilson Cary Nicholas, December 1, 1816, and served in that capacity by annual re-election until December 1, 1819. It is noteworthy that in the last year of his incumbency, on the 25th of January, the law was passed establishing the University of Virginia, in Albemarle County, upon a site near Charlottesville which had previously belonged to Central College, which was purchased. Fifteen thousand dollars per annum were appropriated from the Literary Fund to meet expenses of building and of subsequent endowment. The institution was to be under the direction of seven visitors, appointed by the Governor and Council, and from their number these visitors were to elect a rector to preside and give general superintendence. Thomas Jefferson was elected the first rector and retained the office until his death. He drew all the plans for the buildings, which were so nearly completed in 1824 that preparations were made for opening the schools the following year. This was done with professors chiefly obtained from Europe. Only the chairs of law, chemistry and ethics were filled from the United States. In the year 1819, also, a revision of the Code of Virginia was made. Subsequent to his gubernatorial service, Mr. Preston was for several years postmaster of the city of Richmond. He finally retired to his atrimonial inheritance, the homestead “Smithfield,” in Montgomery E. , where he died May 4, 1843. The county of Preston, now in West Virginia, formed in 1818, from Monongalia County, was named in his honor. He married Ann Taylor, the second daughter of Robert Taylor, a rominent merchant of Norfolk, Virginia, and the sister of General bert Barraud Taylor, of Virginia, and left issue three sons and three daughters: i. Woo. Ballard Preston, a member of the Virginia Conventions of 1850–1 and 1861, Secretary of the Navy in the Cabinet of President Taylor and Confederate States Senator; married Lucy Redd, and left issue; ii. Robert Taylor Preston, Colonel Confederate States Army, married Mary Hart, of South Carolina, and left issue; iii. James Patton Preston, Jr., Colonel Confederate States Army, married Sarah Caperton, and left issue; iv. Susan Preston, died unmarried; v. Virginia Preston, died unmarried; and vi. Jane Grace Preston, married Judge George Gilmer. In support of the claim made in the opening paragraph of this sketch, it may be said of “the Preston family” that it has furnished the National Government a Vice-President (the Hon. John Cabell Breckinridge), has been represented in several of the Executive Departments, and in hoth branches of Congress. It has given Virginia five Governors–McDowell, Campbell, Preston, and the two Floyds—
and to Kentucky, Missouri, and California, one each—severally in Governors Jacobs, B. Gratz Brown, and Miller; Thomas Hart Benton, John J. Crittenden, William C. and William Ballard Preston, leading moulders of public sentiment; the Breckinridges, Dr. Robert J. and William L., distinguished theologians of Kentucky; Professors Holmes, Venable, and Cabell of the University of Virginia, besides other distinguished educators. Nor is their battle-roll less glorious. It is claimed that more than a thousand of this family and its connections served in the contending armies in our late civil war. Among the leaders were Generals W. Hampton, Albert Sydney Johnston, Joseph Eggleston Johnston, John Buchanan Floyd, John Cabell Breckinridge, and John S. and William Preston. When it is stated that besides the names enumerated, the family is connected with those of Baldwin, Blair, Bowyer, Brown, Buchanan, Bruce, Cabell, Carrington, Christian, Cocke, Flournoy, Gamble, Garland, Gilmer, Gibson, Grattan, Hart, Henry, Hughes, Howard, Lee, Lewis, Madison, Marshall, Mason, Massie, Mayo, Parker, Payne, Peyton, Pleasants, Pope, Radford, Randolph, Read, Redd, Rives, Siddon, Sheffey, Taylor, Thompson, Trigg, Venable, Watkins, Ward, Watts, Winston, Wickliffe, among many others as well esteemed, some idea may be formed of its oi characteristics and social influence.
Thomas MANN RANDOLPH.
Thomas Mann Randolph, the eldest son of Thomas Mann and Anne (Cary Randolph, was born at “Tuckahoe,” the family seat, in Goochland County, Virginia, in the year 1768. His father, a member of the Virginia Convention and of the Committee of Safety of 1775, and o afterwards of the State Assembly, was the son of Thomas and Anne (daughter of Tarleton Fleming) Randolph, and the grandson of the emigrant William Randolph, of “Turkey Island.” His mother was Anne, daughter of Colonel Archibald Cary, of “Ampthill," Chesterfield County, an ardent patriot of the Ross. whose uncompromising resistance to British rule gained him the sobriquet of “Old Iron.” The wife of Colonel Cary was Mary, daughter of Richard Randolph, of “Carles,” and his wife Jane, daughter of John Bolling, #.o who was fourth in descent from Pocahontas and John
Thomas Mann Randolph, the subject of this sketch, after a preliminary course at William and Mary College, completed his education at the University of Edinburgh, and visited Paris in 1788, where Thomas Jefferson was then residing as the Minister from the United States, having with him his daughter Martha. The young people were second cousins, and had been attached to each other from childhood. Young Randolph in person and mind exhibited marked traces of both lines of his descent. “He was tall, lean, with dark expressive features and a flashing eye, commanding in carriage, elastic as steel, and had that sudden sinewy strength which it would not be difficult to fancy he inherited from the forest monarchs of Virginia.” His education was a finished one. His reading was extensive and varied. His fortune was ample, and would have i. immense but for the change effected in the Virginia statutes of descent. Few young men had attracted more attention abroad. He received marked attentions in the Scottish capital, and made friends, too, among the grave and learned. Thomas Mann Randolph and Martha Jefferson were married at “Monticello,” February 23, 1790. The young couple for a time lived at “Warina," a few miles below Richmond, in Henrico County, noted as having been the county seat, the residence of Rev. William Stith, the historian, and as the point of exchange of Confederate and Federal prisoners during the late war. Thomas Mann Randolph served as a member of the Virginia Senate in 1793 and 1794. He removed soon after this period to “Edge Hill,” Albemarle County, where he continued to reside until 1808, when his family was domesticated with Mr. Jefferson, at “Monticello.” He was a representative from Virginia in the United States Congress from 1803 to 1807. On the last day of the session of 1806, misapprehending an expression in a speech made by his brilliant and eccentric kinsman, John Randolph “of Roanoke,” he rose and passionately resented the supposed reflection in bitter denunciation. The calmer counsels of friends, however, convinced him of his error, which he with due manliness admitted in the House, regretting his expressions, and disclaiming any “disposition to wound the feelings of any gentleman who did not intend to wound his.” A duel, however, for a time seemed imminent, and Mr. Randolph repaired to Richmond with the expectancy of a hostile meeting, but reason prevailed and the matter was ended. The sentiments of two eminent men, elicited by this affair, are worthy of transmission. They are extracted from the original letters, before the writer. Mr. Jefferson writes from Washington, June 23, 1806: “I had fondly hoped that the unfortunate matter be. tween yourself and John Randolph, the last evening of Congress, had been stifled almost in the moment of its birth;” and, in reference to the wife and children of Mr. Randolph : “is it possible that your duties to those dear objects can weigh more lightly than those to a gladiator? Be assured this is not the opinion of the mass of mankind, of the thinking part of society, of that discreet part whose esteem we value. If malice and levity find sport in mischief, rational men are not therefore to exhibit themselves for their amusement. But even the striplings of fashion are sensible that the laws of dueling are made for them alone, for lives of no consequence to others; not for the fathers of families or
for those charged with other great moral concerns. The valuable part of society condemns in their hearts that knight-errantry which, following the ignis fatuus of an imaginary honour, bursts asunder all the ligaments of duty and affection.” Mr. Jefferson, writing again, July 13th, says: “I find but one sentiment prevailing (and I have that from very many)—that the thing may stop where it is with entire honour to yourself, and with no other diminution of it to the other party, than showing that, he has not that ravenous appetite for unnecessary risk which some had ascribed to him; and which indeed is the falsest of honour, as a mere compound of crime and folly. I hope, therefore, that the matter is at an end, and that great care will be taken not to revive it. I believe that will be the case on his side, for I think you have been mistaken in supposing he meant to try any o: on your sensibility. Of this |. is acquitted, I find, by all who had opportunities of observing his selection of characters to be the subjects of his sarcasms.” The celebrated John Taylor, “of Caroline,” writing from Fredericksburg, June 26, 1806, to Wilson Cary Nicholas, says: “The two Randolphs are preparing, I see, to cut each other's throats—the devil having made such men mischievous in society as would imbibe vice, could only rob it of those who would not be wicked by a stratagem. Therefore he invented a delusion called ‘honour, concealing the epithet of “false,’ which ought to belong to the inscription upon all his manufactures. * * * Nothing can, in my view, be more ridiculous than the controversy which may eventually rob the State of one or of two of her most valuable citizens. *, *, * And pray, for be assured it will be a good action, stop where it is, the progress of this “affair of his majesty's honour.’” Mr. Randolph now, in deference to the desire of his wife, withdrew from public life, and devoted himself to agricultural pursuits at “Edge Hill,” riding thither daily from “Monticello.” He possessed a restless and vehement energy—but it was not sufficiently accompanied with that degree of perseverance which is the basis of important and continued success. e corresponded widely with leading agriculturists in the United States and England—in the latter with Sir John Sinclair, who was also a correspondent of Washington. The claims of his beloved State, invaded by the enemy in the war with Great Britain in 1812, met with instantaneous response in the ardent patriotism of Mr. Randolph. He was among the first to raise a command and rush to her defence. He gallantly participated in the engagements of the sea-board, and was soon promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and placed in command of the 1st Light Corps. On the 20th of March, 1813, he became the Colonel commandant of the 20th United States Infantry, and performed efficient service on the Canada line. December 1, 1819, by election of the Assembly, he succeeded James P. Preston as Governor of Virginia, and thus served by annual re-election until December 1,