John Randolph – the name is synonymous with education, healthcare, agriculture, and politics. A number of well-to-do families were all related to Randolph in and around Petersburg. Young John lived at Matoax (Matoaca) until he was nine years old. The old Matoax home was located on Randolph Farm in Chesterfield and is now part of Virginia State University.
According to Alan Taylor, “The Internal Enemy,” Randolph vehemently opposed the War of 1812 and the Missouri Compromise of 1820; he was active in debates about tariffs, manufacturing, and currency. With mixed feelings about slavery, he was one of the founders of the American Colonization Society in 1816, to send free blacks to a colony in Africa. However, he also believed that slavery was a necessity in Virginia, remaining dependent on hundreds of slaves to work his tobacco plantation.
“I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality.”