Randolph, Edmund

Randolph, Edmund (1753-1813) Governor of Virginia: Randolph attended the College of William and Mary, then studied law under his father, John Randolph. Edmund Randolph's uncle, Peyton, was first president of the Continental Congress. After serving briefly as an aide-de-camp to General Washington in 1775, Randolph began his public career. He served as a delegate to the Virginia Convention in 1776, Attorney-General of Virginia from 1776 to 1786, a member of Congress in 1779, and Governor of Virginia from 1781 to 1782. Randolph was a delegate to the Annapolis Convention of 1786, and attended the Constitutional Convention of 1787, where he presented the Virginia Plan. He helped support the Constitution in the Virginia ratifying convention of 1788, although he was not able to sign the document. As a representative in the state legislature, Randolph helped revise Virginia's laws, then served under Washington as Attorney-General. He became Secretary of State in 1794, but was forced to resign when a letter by the French minister containing damaging references was captured. Randolph published A Vindication of Mr. Randolph's Resignation, in an attempt to clear his name. Although he made a substantial living from his private law practice, he was never able to overcome his debt.