Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Aug 05

The Curious Case of Richard Randolph: The Land

Posted on August 5, 2016 at 10:29 AM by Elise Kelly

Daniel Watts, an intern at the Greene County Archives, is the author of this blog post.

Last week, we examined the family lineage of the renowned Randolph family. Now that we have an understanding of how Richard Randolph of Greene County fits into the  Randolph family tree, let's turn our attention to some land that he owned in Miami Township (See Below).

                     Virginia Military Land Survey Greene County, Ohio

The Randolph land was located in the far eastern part of Miami Township just below the Little Miami River. Greene County 1855 Atlas.

As mentioned in a previous post the funds acquired from the sale of the Miami Township land was to be used to emancipate the slaves owned by his second cousin, Robert Randolph, and Robert’s descendants. The story of how Richard acquired the land begins with the direct result of victory over the British in the Revolutionary War. When the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, the United States of America was granted large areas of land west of the original colonies.

 The land in Miami Township was located north of the Ohio River and west of the Allegheny Mountains. After 1783, the Continental Congress decided to expand this area of land which resulted in the passing of the Northwest Ordinance in 1787. sdfsd
Northwest Territory 1787 via Wikimedia Commons

The Northwest Ordinance was established to allow the United States to expand westward through the creation of new states. The Northwest Ordinance also established the Ohio River as a border between free and slave states.

After the Revolutionary War the British were still attempting to disrupt daily activity and expansion in the territory they lost. Even though the British were using others, such as the local Native America tribes to do their bidding, the threat was strong enough to warrant action.

In 1792, American General Anthony Wayne defeated combative Native Americans and opened up the Northwest Territory for settlement. Once the northern portion of the territory was open, families began to set up homesteads.

Families acquired land through the traditional land sale such as the Symmes Purchase. The Symmes Purchase, also known as the Miami Purchase, totaled roughly 333,000 acres. A small portion of this land was originally located in what would later become Greene County. sfdsfd
Ohio Lands via Wikimedia Commons

  At this time, a large part of the land, (later to be part of Greene County) was part of the state of Virginia. These lands came to be called the Virginia Military District. This land was surveyed and awarded to Virginians who fought in the Revolutionary War. The amount of land granted was based on a soldier's rank and length of service.

Robert Randolph served as a Captain in the Continental Army during the Revolution and continued to serve after the war ended. He eventually was promoted to the rank of Colonel and served as an aide to General Anthony Wayne. For his service during the Revolution, President John Adams granted Robert 1000 acres out of the 4000 acres that comprised military warrant 811 (See Below).

First part of the deed where President John Adams is giving land to Robert Randolph for his military service. Greene County Deed Book 20 Pg. 235.

Although Robert never lived on this land in Ohio, he made his claim and had the land surveyed, securing his ownership.

Robert Randolph passed away in 1825 and left his entire estate to his wife and children. Robert’s sons received equal allocations of the land Robert owned. These allocations included all of the property - slaves, cattle, etc.

"I give to my son Charles during his mothers life my plantation in Safford called Cedar Grove containing 929 acres with all the negroes[,] cattle[,] sheep[,] hogs waggons and plantation utensils,"

Robert’s daughters received the money from his liquidated stocks and bonds. Robert also stipulated in his will that his “two thousand acres in the Western Country [Greene County, Ohio] be sold and the money arising there from be divided among my daughters and granddaughter.”

The land was eventually sold to Richard Randolph. Randolph settled on the land and spent the rest of his living days in relative seclusion. That is, until his death….

Until Next Time!

This Week's Trivia Question: What townships in Greene County encompass the Virginia Military Land District?

Answer to Last Week's Trivia Question: John Randolph of Roanoke had an intense dislike for a certain U.S. Representative. At one point, they even got into a heated argument and began throwing tableware at each other. Name this U.S. Representative. Answer: U.S. Rep. Willis Alston


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