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Lucy Randolph Letter

Identifier: Ms-1988-031

Scope and Content

This collecton consists of a single two-page letter written by Lucy Randolph, of "New Market, near Millwood, Frederick County," Virginia. Randolph mentions that she is sending a Bible to Patsy, in hopes that Patsy will "meet with some kind friend who will read its blessed pages" to her. Randolph continues at length to urge Patsy to lead a virtuous life and to pray for help in being a "good faithful servant" to her "earthly master." Randolph concludes with some general personal news, noting that "Archie is playing out before the door with John Knox" and "Bet is at Chapel Hill." Randolph asks that Patsy have somebody write a return letter on her behalf and address it to her at the home of Dr. Robert C. Randolph. A note appended to the bottom of the letter states that Patsy was gone from Winchester before the letter had arrived there and that the family never heard from her.


  • n.d.


Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.

Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

The clues to Lucy Randolph's identity may lie in the letter. She directs that return mail be addressed to "Doctor Robert C. Randolph, New Market, near Millwood, Frederick County, Virginia." Millwood was in that part of Frederick County that in 1836 became Clarke County, Virginia. Lucy Nelson Wellford (1810-1882) married Dr. Robert Carter Randolph (1808-1887) at "Chapel Hill," the Frederick (now Clarke) County home of her stepfather. The letter also mentions "Bet" and "Archie," the context making it obvious that the latter was a boy at the time of the writing. Among Lucy Wellford Randolph's children were Elizabeth "Bettyie" (1831-1899) and Archibald (1833-1887). The 1830 census for Frederick County indicates that the Randolphs were enslaving 17 people that year. The Randolphs continue to be listed as enslavers in Clarke County through the 1860 census.

No information about Patsy, formerly enslaved by the Randolphs, could be found.


0.1 Cubic Feet (1 folder)


Two-page letter from Lucy Randolph of New Market, Virginia, to Patsy, a woman she formerly enslaved.

Source of Acquisition

The Lucy Randolph Letter was purchased by Special Collections and University Archives in 1988.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Lucy Randolph Letter by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing and description of the Lucy Randolph Letter commenced and was completed in April 2021.

Lucy Randolph Letter, n.d.
John M. Jackson. Archivist
2021 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US