John Randolph of Roanoke [NOOK Book]

Overview

One of the most eccentric and accomplished politicians in all of American history, John Randolph (1773--1833) led a life marked by controversy. The long-serving Virginia congressman and architect of southern conservatism grabbed headlines with his prescient comments, public brawls, and clashes with every president from John Adams to Andrew Jackson. The first biography of Randolph in nearly a century, John Randolph of Roanoke provides a full account of the powerful Virginia planter's hard-charging life and his ...

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John Randolph of Roanoke

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Overview

One of the most eccentric and accomplished politicians in all of American history, John Randolph (1773--1833) led a life marked by controversy. The long-serving Virginia congressman and architect of southern conservatism grabbed headlines with his prescient comments, public brawls, and clashes with every president from John Adams to Andrew Jackson. The first biography of Randolph in nearly a century, John Randolph of Roanoke provides a full account of the powerful Virginia planter's hard-charging life and his impact on the formation of conservative politics.

The Randolph lineage loomed large in early America, and Randolph of Roanoke emerged as one of the most visible -- and certainly the most bombastic -- among his clan. A colorful orator with aristocratic manners, he entertained the House of Representatives (and newspaper readers across the country) with three-hour-long speeches on subjects of political import, drawing from classical references for his analogies, and famously pausing to gain "courage" from a tumbler at his side. Adept at satire and uncensored in his verbal attacks against colleagues, he invited challenges to duel from those he offended; in 1826, he and the then--secretary of state Henry Clay exchanged gunfire on the banks of the Potomac.

A small-government Jeffersonian in political tastes, Randolph first entered Congress in 1799. As chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee he memorably turned on President Jefferson, once and for all, in 1805, believing his fellow Virginian to have compromised his republican values. As a result, Randolph led the "Old Republicans," a faction that sought to restrict the role of the federal government.

In this rich biography, David Johnson draws upon an impressive array of primary sources -- Randolph's letters, speeches, and writings -- previously unavailable to scholars. John Randolph of Roanoke tells the story of a young nation and the unique philosophy of a southern lawmaker who defended America's agrarian tradition and reveled in his own controversy.

LSU Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807143995
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 5/7/2012
  • Series: Southern Biography Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

David Johnson is deputy attorney general for the state of Virginia.

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Table of Contents

Prologue 1

1 Keep Your Land 8

2 Macbeth Hath Murdered Sleep 25

3 Ask My Constituents 42

4 Master of the House 53

5 An Evil Daily Magnifying 68

6 Yazoo Men 75

7 The Tertium Quid 88

8 Mystery of Affection and Faith 106

9 House Cynosure 118

10 Of Roanoke 134

11 An Irreclaimable Heretic 150

12 Dying, Sir, Dying 165

13 The Moral Authority of My Heart 176

14 Two Souls 182

15 A Fig for the Constitution 192

16 The Puritan and the Blackleg 206

17 Remorse 216

Epilogue 229

Acknowledgments 235

Appendix 1 Randolph Genealogy 239

Appendix 2 Randolph's Contemporaries 241

Notes 245

Bibliography 319

Index 335

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