Randolph, Peyton

Peyton Randolph

b. c. 1721, Williamsburg, Virginia
d. 22 Oct 1775, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Title: President of Congress
Term: 5 Sep 1774 - 22 Oct 1774
Chronology: 5 Sep 1774, elected to the office of the President of Congress, session of Congress, Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [1]
22 Oct 1774, ceased to exercise the functions of office [2]
Term: 10 May 1775 - 24 May 1775
Chronology: 10 May 1775, elected to the office of the President of Congress, session of Congress, State House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [3]
24 May 1775, ceased to exercise the functions of office [4]
Biography:
Studied law in London; was appointed King's attorney for Virginia (1748); elected a member of the House of Burgesses of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia (1764-1774, 1775) and served as its speaker in 1766-1775; chaired the committee of correspondence (1774); when the House of Burgesses was dissolved (26 May 1774) by the Royal Governor, he joined the other burgesses in organizing a session of the First Virginia Convention; served as President of the First (1 Aug 1774 - 6 Aug 1774) and Second Virginia Conventions (20 Mar 1775 - 27 Mar 1775); elected to the First Continental Congress (1774); when the Congress convened on 5 Sep 1774, he was elected its president by unanimous vote; presided over discussion of A Plan of Union of Great Britain and the Colonies and Declaration and Resolves; failed to attend the session "on account of indisposition" and was replaced with Henry Middleton (22 Oct 1774); was re-elected to the Second Continental Congress (1775); elected its president (10 May 1775) by anonymous vote; served for only two weeks and on 24 May 1775 left for his hometown to attend a session of the House of Burgesses which met 1 Jun 1775; elected President of the Third Convention (17 Jul 1775 - 16 Aug 1775); discharged of his functions as President 16 Aug 1775 when it was observed that "he was much indisposed"; died two months later.
Biographical sources: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress (2005), p. 1783; The Pennsylvania Gazette, October 25, 1775, Numb. 2444, p. [3] (obituary); The Pennsylvania Evening Post, Tuesday, October 24, 1775, Vol. I, Num. 118, p. 485 (obituary).

[1] Journals of the Continental Congress, 1:14.
[2] Journals of the Continental Congress, 1:102.
[3] Journals of the Continental Congress, 2:12.
[4] Journals of the Continental Congress, 2:58-59.
  Image: portrait by Charles Willson Peale.
Last updated on: 19 Dec 2010 12:57:41