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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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7153. RANDOLPH (Peyton), Estimate of.—
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7153. RANDOLPH (Peyton), Estimate of.—

He was indeed a most excellent man;
and none was ever more beloved and respected
by his friends. Somewhat cold and coy towards
strangers, but of the sweetest affability when
ripened into acquaintance. Of Attic pleasantry
in conversation, always good humored and conciliatory.
With a sound and logical head, he
was well read in the law; and his opinions, when
consulted, were highly regarded, presenting always
a learned and sound view of the subject,
but generally, too, a listlessness to go into its
thorough development; for being heavy and inert
in body, he was rather too indolent and
careless for business, which occasioned him to
get a smaller proportion of it at the bar than his
abilities would otherwise have commanded. Indeed,
after his appointment as Attorney-General


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[of the King], he did not seem to court, nor
scarcely to welcome business. In that office, he
considered himself equally charged with the
rights of the Colony as with those of the crown;
and in criminal prosecutions, exaggerating nothing,
he aimed at a candid and just state of the
transaction, believing it more a duty to save an
innocent than to convict a guilty man. Although
not eloquent, his matter was so substantial
that no man commanded more attention,
which, joined with a sense of his great worth,
gave him a weight in the House of Burgesses
which few ever attained.—
To Joseph Delaplaine. Ford ed., x, 59.
(M. 1816)