Members of the Judith Randolph-Longwood Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution visited the birthplace of the chapter’s namesake, Judith Randolph, in historic Tuckahoe in Richmond on Friday, July 30.
Randolph was born there on November 24, 1772 and enjoyed her childhood and early adolescence there. She was a member of the fourth generation of Randolphs to reside in Tuckahoe.
After her marriage to Richard Randolph in 1789, she moved to her extensive plantations in Prince Edward and Cumberland, Bizarre and Buffaloe counties. After that of her husband in 1796, she began the slow process of simplifying the assets of the plantation, resulting in the sale of lots to individuals wishing to settle in the region.
As a result, the town of Farmville was established in 1798 on plantation land south of the Appomattox River on the Prince Edward side of the Randolph property. A plaque marking a corner of land sold to create Farmville can be seen on the west side of what is now Farmville United Methodist Church.
In accordance with Richard Randolph’s wishes, Judith freed around 90 enslaved people in 1810, giving them 350 acres of land on which they established the Israel Hill settlement just outside the fledgling town of Farmville. As noted in the state history marker, Free Blacks of Israel Hill, âThese ‘Israelites’ and other free African Americans worked as farmers, artisans, and boatmen on the Appomattox River; some worked alongside whites for equal pay and defended their rights in court. “
A few years later, in 1813, Judith’s house in Bizarre burned down and she became dependent on friends for shelter. She died at the age of 44 on March 10, 1816, in Richmond, and was buried in her childhood home, Tuckahoe.
Judith Randolph of Tuckahoe and Bizarre was honored when a new DAR chapter was established in 1925 in Farmville. After much deliberation, the founders of the chapter chose its name from a list of 12 under consideration. Thirty-three years later, chapter members marked Randolph’s resting place by inserting a marker into the brick wall forming the boundary that encompasses the Randolph family burial site in Tuckahoe. Judith Randolph Chapter existed independently until its merger with the Longwood Chapter in 1989.
The July visit by current Judith Randolph-Longwood Chapter members included lunch in the shade of beautiful trees on the Tuckahoe grounds, a tour of part of the historic house, and a wreath laying ceremony at the tomb of Randolph. The wreath was left beside the marker established by the 1958 Chapter as a visual token of the esteem with which Judith Randolph-Longwood Chapter members hold this wonderful 18th century lady, the “Mother of Farmville”.