Talk:John Randolph of Roanoke

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Creeping nationalism[edit]

...creeping Federalism and nationalism should be shortened to creeping nationalism. Federalism has a capacity to be a misnomer, and it might confuse readers about the connotation of Federalism and lead to presumption. Randolph was not against the federal character of the Union and stood for its preservation, but he was not for the ideology of the Federalist Party by any means.

Barton's claims[edit]

No one seems to have attempted to put it here yet, but on Keith Ellison (politician) a user has inserted a claim by David Barton for that Randolph was a Muslim when elected to Congress in 1799 (and therefore that Ellison is not the first Muslim Representative). Barton seems to be the sole source of this claim, and his quoted source is The Life of John Randolph of Roanoke (vol. II) by Hugh A. Garland. The book does exist, see here and here, and I was able to access a ten-page excerpt through JSTOR that was reprinted in the William & Mary Quarterly in 1915. The excerpt concerns Randolph's school days and unfortunately does not include the page cited by Barton (p. 102) -- it makes no mention of any religion.

From what I've read about Barton's work (see his page), there is reason to be skeptical about his claims -- but to be rigorous, and to forestall edit wars, does anyone have access to the Garland biography?

Three white leopards 05:14, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Update: The book is on Google Books. [1] Page 102, which is the only citation given by Barton in support of his claim, says only:

"Very early in life I imbibed an absurd prejudice in favor of Mahomedanism and its votaries. The crescent had a tailsmanic effect on my imagination, and I rejoiced in all its triumphs over the cross (which I despised) as I mourned over its defeats; and Mahomet II Himself did not more exult than I did, when the crescent was planted on the dome of St. Sophia, and the cathedral of the Constantines was converted into a Turkish mosque. To this very day I feel the effects of Peter Randolph’s Zanga on a temper naturally impatient of injury, but insatiably vindictive under insult."

There is no way to infer from this alone that Randolph was ever actually a Muslim, and therefore no reason to give Barton's claim (which is also self-published and therefore not an accepted source, as he is founder and president of WallBuilders [2]) any credibility. -Three white leopards 07:15, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I have added information from wiki-reliable sources that state he was always an Episcopalian.--Wowaconia 04:05, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Religion segment[edit]

The segment on Randolph's religion should remain as it reflects the reason Randolph, an otherwise obscure figure, is currently in the news in 2007. Visitors to this page will be seeking this information in particular. The sources cited are all up to wiki-standards and the quotes are from Randolph's biographers revealing information about him. His biographers went into pages and pages of information about his religion - so much data that even a full sub-page that is linked to in this article does not come close to. His religious journey was seen as particularly notable by every biographer writing about him.

--Wowaconia 17:06, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Randolph's religion seems to have played little part in his political life, and had little influence on others. So why pay disproportionate attention? The nonsense about being a Muslim was never stated by a credible source and does not need extended refutation. Rjensen 09:54, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I do not have a problem with the current layout, as previously the religion segment was removed and a sentence or two incorporated into the "Outsider status" segment. With its own segment intrested parties can click on it directly from the table of contents and go to the sub-page from the link there. I would point out that this article is a biography of all aspects of the man and should not be limited to "his political life" or "influence on others", Randolph hid his severe depression that centered around religous issues from all but a handful of friends, but these severe episodes kept him homebound for months on end. Though this was hidden to prevent others from seeing it, its still a major aspect of his life.--Wowaconia 16:36, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the reference to piety "colored by his own eccentricities", as it wasn't clear whether the example about taking communion was an example of Randolph's piety or eccentricty. Sir rupert orangepeel (talk) 01:01, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Eccentricity and Outsider Status[edit]

Organization aside, what does the following mean? I'm hesitant to delete it until I understand where it's coming from: "Despite being a Virginia gentleman, one of the great orators in the history of Caroline, and House leader..." History of Caroline? Is this supposed to read "...history of Congress"? Jperrylsu 00:28, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Biography Summary Box Should Include Randolph's House Service[edit]

The biography box at the top right of the page mentions Randolph's service in the Senate but not his service in the House. How do we add that? bszoka (talk) 02:11, 4 March 2008 (UTC)


Surely the strange illness in childhood that left him beardless and high-voiced would have been the mumps? BeeTea (talk) 04:55, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

I, too, wonder about this one. Even though it would seem that Klinefelter's is a good fit here, I would be more comfortable with a solid reference from an authoratative source concerning the possibility that Randolph had Klinefelter's syndrome.--Paraballo (talk) 03:43, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Since Klinefelter's is genetic, it is not a acquired illness -- thus if Randolph's condition was the result of a "strange illness in childhood" it was not Klinefelter's. Mikedelsol (talk) 08:16, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

I found some talk about this in sources, both in discussions about him being impotent: William Cabell Bruce, 1922, G.P. Putnam's Sons,New York, NY John Randolph of Roanoke 1773-1833, A Biography based largely on new material

quoting The Charlottesville Progress, Aug. 26,1918 "we entertain no doubt that his want of masculine vigor in his later life was caused by mumps or some other wasting disease"

He also points out that he wasn't always unable to grow facial hair, citing from the Clay papers, in Libr. Cong. "June, 1830" & "Memo. of Finances" "It is certain at all events that, in one of his communications to John Randolph Clay, he speaks of having been in the habit of shaving himself when he was a youth in Philadelphia."

American Heritage: Part 5, American Association for State and Local History, Society of American Historians "That his impotentance followed an attack of scarlet fever, or of measles or mumps, as his biographers have variously suggested"

Hope this helpsWowaconia (talk) 18:03, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Career. Slave Power symbol?[edit]

from text not clear how he was a symbol of slave power..

 Should slave power link to slave power wiki page?

>>>John Greenleaf Whittier's poem "Randolph of Roanoke," although written after the Virginian had become a symbol of "slave power," captures his strange brilliance: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Stampdxer (talkcontribs) 09:43, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

"history of Caroline"[edit]

Reiterating Jperrylsu's nearly six-year-old post. Who is Caroline and how is she associated with oratory? Mrgate3 (talk) 12:51, 17 March 2013 (UTC)