Author: Kerry Dahm


Thomas Mann Randolph (1768–1828)

Thomas Mann Randolph was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1803–1807) and a three-term governor (1819–1822). He also served in the Senate of Virginia (1793–1794) and the House of Delegates (1819–1820, 1823–1825). Born at the family plantation in Goochland County and educated in Virginia and Scotland, Randolph married Martha Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson‘s eldest daughter, and they had eleven surviving children, including Thomas Jefferson Randolph and George Wythe Randolph. The family lived at Monticello for much of the time, with Randolph managing his own and Jefferson’s properties while Jefferson was in Washington, D.C. In the meantime, Randolph served two terms in Congress, as an infantry colonel during the War of 1812, and as a founding member of the Agricultural Society of Albemarle. He became governor in 1819 and supported transportation infrastructure and the gradual emancipation and forced emigration of enslaved people to Liberia. While in Congress he nearly fought a duel with his cousin John Randolph of Roanoke. While governor he publicly fought with the Council of State and defended himself against accusations of being drunk on the job. And, in his later years, financial difficulties and his drinking caused conflicts with and a separation from his family. He died at Monticello in 1828