Parents keep their children’s letters and drawings, now often putting them on the refrigerator. Unless the children were sent away for education, in the eighteenth and nineteenth-century, most stayed close to home and probably only wrote if a parent were away. There are some letters in our collection written by older students away at boarding school or college, but letters by very young children are few.
This letter was written by John Randolph the stepson of St. George Tucker. John Randolph of Roanoke (“Roanoke” was his home in Charlotte County, Va.) served in Congress and was an opponent of the War of 1812. Known for his eccentricity, he became estranged from Tucker. This erudite letter was written when Randolph was only eight years old!