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John Randolph

John Randolph
Artist
John Wesley Jarvis, 1780 - 14 Jan 1840
Sitter
John Randolph, 2 Jun 1773 - 24 May 1833
Date
1811
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on wood
Dimensions
Panel: 68.6 x 55.6 x 1.3cm (27 x 21 7/8 x 1/2")
Frame: 89.9 x 77.2 x 7.6cm (35 3/8 x 30 3/8 x 3")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Mrs. Gerard B. Lambert
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.70.46
Exhibition Label
Born Cawsons, Prince George County, Virginia
Against the wave of War Hawks who swept into Congress in 1811, John Randolph of Roanoke, congressman from Virginia, stood opposed. Randolph saw war with Britain as foolhardy, driven by land hunger rather than as a defense of American sovereignty. “We have heard but one word,” Randolph accused his fellow congressmen, “like the whip-poor-will . . . Canada! Canada! Canada!” An aristocratic and eccentric man who brought his hunting dogs into the House chamber, Randolph’s colleagues feared his sharp tongue; his biting speeches proved in some ways prophetic: “Gentlemen, you have made war. You have finished the ruin of our country. And before you conquer Canada . . . the Capitol will be a ruin.” With a brief interruption, he continued to serve in Congress until 1829. He was a financially successful slaveholder who defended the necessity of slavery but freed his slaves in his will.
Provenance
Grace Lambert [Mrs. Gerard B. Lambert], Princeton, N.J.; gift 1970 to NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
American Origins
On View
NPG, East Gallery 142