Scandal At Bizarre

Between its grim beginning on a Virginia plantation and its surprising end at a great New York estate, the career of Nancy Randolph involved many of the famous figures of the post-Revolutionary era. The lovers, the scorned ex-suitor, the cheated wife, all four were cousins in a great southern dynasty. This tale of hate and “honor” is recounted by a descendant of Edmund Randolph, the first Attorney General of the United States


The story of Anne Gary Randolph, called Nancy, is strangely interwoven with that of her spectacular cousin, John Randolph of Roanoke, and touches other famous names in unfamiliar moments; it gives us a glimpse into the intimate history of the times. Her career opened with tragedy before she had come of age, pursued a course of wretchedness and poverty while she was still a young woman, and ended, as she was touching middle age, in serene happiness and contentment.

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The Charleston Tradition

In the Low Country of South Carolina, English and Huguenot planters raised up a prosperous American city-state with a high culture and a lasting charm.

From the beginning, Charleston was different. Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper, chief among the Lords Proprietors, planned it that way. For his “darling,” as he called the settlement, he had philosopher John Locke prepare Fundamental Constitutions designed to avoid “a too numerous democracy.” This frontier province, the future Earl of Shaftesbury hoped, would be a bulwark of the aristocratic principle in government, a New World version of the England of gentlemen seated on their estates.