Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/61

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The Virginia Convention of 1788.

with this affection; that I refused to subscribe because I had, as I still have, objections to the Constitution, and wished a free inquiry into its merits, and that the accession of eight States reduced our deliberations to the single question of Union or no Union." But though Governor Randolph was in favor of the Constitution, in referring to the proposed method of ratification, he said: "It is demonstrably clear to me that rights not given are retained." Edmund Randolph's memory is dear to the people of Richmond, because for years he was identified with us as a citizen. He was one of the twelve vestrymen of St. John's church, elected March 28, 1785. At the following meeting of the vestry he was chosen church warden and his autograph as such appears in the vestry book of the old church. He also represented St. John's church in the convention of the reorganized Diocese of Virginia, held at Richmond in June, 1785. He was a prominent Mason, having been Grand Master of Masons in Virginia in 1786. Richmond Randolph Lodge, No. 19, was named in his honor, he having assisted in laying the cornerstone of Mason's Hall in 1785.


The poet has drawn the following picture of

"A judge – a man so learned,
So full of equity, so noble, so notable;
In the process of his life, so innocent;
In the manage of his office, so incorrupt;
In the passages of state so wise, in
Affection of his country so religious;
In all his services to the King so
Fortunate and exploring, as envy
Itself cannot accuse or malice vitiate."

Had the poet, the person or portrait in his mind's eye, he could not have drawn John Marshall more truly than in the above lines. When this distinguished jurist appeared in the Convention of 1788, he was quite a young man, being only thirty-three, but destined to fill the office of Chief Justice of the United States.