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Dandridge was born in 1737 at Chestnut Grove in New Kent County, Virginia. He was the fourth child and third eldest son of Col. John Dandridge Jr. and his wife Frances Jones. His eldest sister was Martha Washington, the first First Lady of the United States.
Dandridge studied law and quickly made an outstanding reputation practicing. He was elected to the Convention in Richmond in 1775. In 1779, Dandridge was appointed to the general court and because of that he was a judge on the first Court of Appeals. He held that position until his death in 1785.
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