John Randall (Annapolis mayor)

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John Randall (1750 – June 12, 1826) was an architect, American Revolutionary War soldier and officer, and was an early 19th-century mayor of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland. He was also the Collector of the Port of Annapolis, which included responsibility for fortifying the harbor.

Early life[edit]

John Randall was born in 1750 in Westmoreland County, Virginia, now Richmond County, Virginia to Thomas Randall and Jane Davis Randall, daughter of a plantation owner. He was the youngest son of 14 children born to his parents. His father came to the colonies in the early 18th century and settled in what was then Westmoreland County, Virginia. Thomas was a large landowner, planter, Justice of the Peace for the Northern Neck of Virginia,[1][2] and vestryman of North Farnham Parish.

Education[edit]

Randall was educated by William Buckland in Fredericksburg, Virginia in the 1760s. Buckland was a reputed architect and builder who "designed some of the most celebrated many of the most celebrated colonial residences and public buildings in Virginia and Maryland."[1][2][nb 1]

Career[edit]

Civilian careers[edit]

Randall owned a flour mill in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and owned a schooner, trading between Annapolis & Baltimore.

John's eldest son, John, was a partner with him in Randall & Sons.[3]

Beginning in 1770 Randall worked as an architect in Annapolis and designed and constructed several notable colonial buildings. One of the houses Randall worked on was the Hammond-Harwood House.[1] The lead architect for the house was William Buckland, Randall's teacher.[1][2][4][5] He also worked with Buckland on Edward Lloyd IV's House beginning in 1772 and the Maryland State House.[2][5]

After Randall's friend, James Monroe, became president (1817-1825), Monroe may have visited Randall's Middleton Tavern. The tavern, first opened in 1750 by Horatio Middleton, was known to be frequented by Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other notable men from the Continental Congress.[6]

Military[edit]

Regarding events leading up to the American Revolution, Randall signed protests against the British act of closing the port of Boston and refused to pay the British government and its subjects for debts due by the colonists.[2][7]

It was said of Randall:

He was an earnest upholder of the rights of the colonies in the years preceding the Revolution, but earnestly protested against the repudiation of debts due to the inhabitants of Great Britain, as by published signed protest of that day appear.[1]

Randall served in the United States Army during the American Revolution. He was appointed by the Governor and Council of Maryland to be Commissary to the Maryland troops and then became an officer of the Maryland Line.[1] Between 1778 and 1779 he became the State Clothier,[8] Quartermaster, and Ensign in the 4th Maryland Regiment.[9] He was then made colonel.[9][nb 2]

After the war and until his death in 1826, Randall was the Collector of the Port of Annapolis. He was appointed for the position by President George Washington.[9][11] One of his duties, starting in 1794, was to create a fort for Annapolis.[8][12][13] This resulted in the circular Fort Severn on Windmill Point and Fort Madison on the north side of the Severn, built to guard the port of Annapolis.[14]

Mayor of Annapolis[edit]

Randall was elected mayor of Annapolis three times: 1813-1814, 1815-1816, and 1817-1818.[8] He alternated his majoral position with Nicholas Brewer from 1813 to 1819.[15] In recognition for Randall's service as alderman, mayor and council member, it is believed that Randall Street in Annapolis was named for him.[16]

Marriage and children[edit]

John married Deborah Knapp, on January 7, 1783[1][8] in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. She was the daughter of William Knapp and Frances Cudmore, Deborah was born on May 3, 1763 in Cork, Ireland. They had 14 children: Elizabeth Hamilton "Eliza," Frances, John, Daniel, Thomas, Henry Knapp, Richard, Anne, Henrietta Sanford, Alexander, and Burton. William, James, and Francis K were not listed in the Maryland State Archives biography for John Randall.[8] Editor Clayton Colman Hall's biography of Randall states that 11 of the Randalls 15 children "reached the age of majority."[3]

His sons biographies were also included in The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland. Daniel and Henry had noteworthy military and political careers. Alexander was a successful attorney, member of Congress and member of the Maryland Continental Congress. Burton was a physician and appointed United States Army Assistant Surgeon. Thomas had a noteworthy legal and military career; He was an attorney, judge, and United States Special Agent. Richard was a successful physician, founder of the American Colonization Society and Governor to Liberia.[15][17]

In 1804 Randall purchased the Bordley House, then after known as the Bordley-Randall House or Randall House. The house is located between St. John's College and the Maryland State House on Randall Place. After his death, son Alexander inherited the house and his descendants owned the home for about 125 years.[18][19]

Death[edit]

Randall died on June 12, 1826. His wife Deborah died on December 18, 1852 in Annapolis, Maryland.[1][8] They were buried in St Anne's Cemetery in Annapolis.[8]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Warfield's "The Founders of Anne Arundel" book incorrectly spelled the architects name as Buckley, it's William Buckland
  2. ^ The record for John Randall in the Sons of the American Revolution records do not mention that he made colonel during the Revolutionary War.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h J. D. Warfield (2009). The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland: A Genealogical and Biographical Review from Wills, Deeds and Church Records (reprint ed.). Heritage Books. p. 116. ISBN 078840217X. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Lewis Historical Publishing Company (contributor) (1912). Clayton Colman Hall, ed. Baltimore: Its History and Its People, volume 2. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 229. 
  3. ^ a b Lewis Historical Publishing Company (contributor) (1912). Clayton Colman Hall, ed. Baltimore: Its History and Its People, volume 2. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 230. 
  4. ^ "Harwood-Hammond House". Harwood-Hammond House, 1774. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Jane W. McWilliams (2011). Annapolis, City on the Severn: A History. JHU Press. p. 74. ISBN 0801896592. 
  6. ^ Debbie Nunley; Karen Jane Elliott (2005). A Taste of Maryland History: A Guide To Historic Eateries And Their Recipes. John F. Blair, Publisher. p. 52. ISBN 0895874687. 
  7. ^ Elihu Samuel Riley (1887). "The ancient city": a history of Annapolis, in Maryland, 1649-1887. Record Print. Office. pp. 166–169. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "John Randall, MSA S 3520-13902". Maryland State Archives. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c Henry Hall (1891). Year Book of the Societies Composed of Descendants of the Men of the Revolution, 1890. Republic Press. p. 126. 
  10. ^ Sons of the American Revolution. District of Columbia Society (1896). William Jones Rhees, ed. Register of the District of Columbia Society of the American Revolution, 1896. The Society. p. 81. 
  11. ^ Lewis Historical Publishing Company (contributor) (1912). Clayton Colman Hall, ed. Baltimore: Its History and Its People, volume 2. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. pp. 229–230. 
  12. ^ "Funds for Mounting the Artillery at Annapolis, July 16, 1794, Papers of the War Department". National Archives and Records Administration: Ltrs Sent, Joseph Howell, WD Acct, RG93. National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  13. ^ Alexander Hamilton (author); Harold Coffin Syrett, Jacob Ernest Cooke (editors) (1972). The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. Columbia University Press. p. 397. ISBN 0231089163. 
  14. ^ Jane W. McWilliams (2011). Annapolis, City on the Severn: A History. JHU Press. p. 123. ISBN 0801896592. 
  15. ^ a b Jane W. McWilliams (2011). Annapolis, City on the Severn: A History. JHU Press. p. 132. ISBN 0801896592. 
  16. ^ Jane W. McWilliams (2011). Annapolis, City on the Severn: A History. JHU Press. p. 420. ISBN 0801896592. 
  17. ^ J. D. Warfield (2009). The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland: A Genealogical and Biographical Review from Wills, Deeds and Church Records (reprint ed.). Heritage Books. pp. 116–119. ISBN 078840217X. 
  18. ^ John Martin Hammond (1914). Colonial mansions of Maryland and Delaware. J.B. Lippincott company. pp. 76, 72–76. 
  19. ^ Federal Writers' Project (1940). Maryland, a Guide to the Old Line State. Best Books. p. 187. ISBN 1623760194. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Robert Harry McIntire (1979). Annapolis Maryland Families. Baltimore: Gateway Press, Baltimore.
  • Harry Wright Newman (1938 reprint). Maryland Revolutionary Records Index. Genealogical Publishing Company.
  • Henry C Peden (2009 reprint). Revolutionary Patriots of Anne Arundel County. Heritage Books. ISBN 1585492043.
  • William Hand Browne, Editor. (1901) Revolutionary War Records: Journal and Correspondence of the State Council March 20, 1777 - March 28, 1778. Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society. Repository: Archives of Maryland.