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Randolph, Edmund

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The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language

, Edmund Jennings 1753–1813.


American Revolutionary leader and public official. A member of the Constitutional Convention (1787), he later served as US attorney general (1789–1794) and secretary of state (1794–1795).

Randolph, Edmund, 1753-1813, American statesman, b. Williamsburg, Va.; nephew of Peyton Randolph. He studied law under his father, John Randolph, a Loyalist who went to England at the outbreak of the American Revolution. He served briefly in the Continental army as aide-de-camp to George Washington. He was a member of the Virginia constitutional convention of 1776, state attorney general (1776-86), a delegate to the Continental Congress (1779-82), and governor of Virginia (1786-88). Randolph was prominent at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, presenting the Virginia, or Randolph, Plan, which favored the large states. He at first vigorously opposed the Constitution as finally drafted, although his plan, more than any other, closely resembled it; later he urged its adoption in the Virginia ratifying convention (June, 1788). First Attorney General of the United States (1789-94), he left that post to succeed Thomas Jefferson as...    Continue Reading
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