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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, March 01, 1936, Image 58

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John Randolph of Roanoke, and Mrs.
Woodrow Wilson, Descendants of Prin
cess of Tribe of Powhatan—Two Presi
dents Harrison Believed to Have Been
Included in List, Which Extends
to Several Virginia Families.
■r "
By John Clagett Proctor.
IT HAS been said that the late
Charles Curtis was the only Vice
President of the United States
whose ancestry was partly Amer
, lean Indian, and this may be perfectly
j, true, although some place Thomas
» Jafferson as among the descendants
, of Pocahontas, and he, by the way,
1 was the second man to serve this
* tuuntry as Vice President.
I Though there may be some doubt
t of JeflerBon being a descendant of
* John Rolfe and the daughter of Pow
j hatan, it is true that the Jeflersons,
; the Randolphs and the Bollings did
« intermarry, though the writer has thus
J far been unable to convince himself
• that the author of the Declaration was
\ actually descended through any of
these marriages.
As a matter of fact, it is sometimes
; Just as difficult to prove a thing as it
• Is to disprove a statement, and if some
one says that President Jefferson was
so descended, he may be right, for
there are missing branches in this
noted lady’s family tree, and in some
cases, even where the earliest genera
tions are accounted for. some of the
later ones have not been brought
down anywhere near to date.
Pocahontas, as is well known, mar
ried John Rolfe, and had by him one
son, Thomas Rolfe. Many stories have
been written of this wonderful Indian
princess, some in a light vein and oth
ers of a serious nature.
/"VNE of the most reliable and con
^ servative works on the North
American Indians is the “Handbook”
published by the Bureau of American
Ethnology, of the Smithsonian Insti
tution, during the years of 1907 and
1910. Here we are told that, by reason
of the alleged romance of her life, she
is one of the most famous of women.
•‘Her father's ‘dearest daughter,’ a
mere girl at the time, she is said to
have saved Capt. John Smith from a
cruel and ignominious death at the
hands of Powhatan’s people, whose
prisoner he then was, and she is
credited with enabling many other
Englishmen to escape the wrath and
Vengeance of her tribe’s people.
“What the truth is about some of
her alleged exploits can never be
known; some writers have even doubt
ed the episode with Capt. Smith. After
the departure of smith for England
in 1609, faith was not kept with the
Indians as promised, and Pocahontas,
by the aid of a treacherous chief, was
decoyed on board the ship of Caps.
Argali in the Potomac, carried off to
Jamestown (1612), and afterwards
taken to Werawocomoco, Powhatan’s
chief place of residence, where a sort
of peace was effected and the ransom
of Pocahontas agreed upon.
"While among the Englishmen, how
ever, Pocahontas had become ac
quainted with John Rolfe, ‘an honest
gentleman, and of good behaviour.’
These two fell in love, an event which
turned out to the satisfaction of every
body, and in April, 1613, they were
duly married, Pocahontas having been
previously converted to Christianity
and baptized under the name of ‘the
Lady Rebecca.’ This alliance was of
great advantage to the colonists, for
Powhatan kept peace with them until
his death.”
However, Mrs. Rolfe’s married life
was of short duration, for she died in
March, 1617, of smallpox, when on
board ship at Gravesend, ready to
return to America, after having ar
rived in England the year before. In
July, 1907, a skeleton believed to be her
remains, was unearthened within the
cite of Gravesend Parish Church.
uy the marriage oi jonn ttoue ana
Pocahontas, one son, Thomas
Rolfe, was born in 1615. An uncle,
Henry Rolfe, educated the lad in Eng
land, and, when, presumably, he had
grown to manhood, he returned to
Virginia, where he is said to have ac
quired wealth and distinction. His
wife was Jane Poythress, by whom he
left one child only, named Jane Rolfe,
who was born in Virginia, married Col.
Robert Bolling in 1675, and died the
following year, leaving but one child,
a son, John Bolling, born 1676. Thus,
it will be seen that for three genera
tions (Thomas Rolfe, Jane Rolfe and
John Bolling), there was but one child
born to perpetuate the Indian blood
of Pocahontas, and yet, from this time
on they became quite numerous, for
John Bolling (b. 1676, d. 1729), through
his marriage with Mary Kenno*;, had
six children: Maj. John Bolling, Jane,
Mary, Elizabeth, Martha and Anne.
Maj. John Bolling, of the fourth in
descent, bom in 1700 and died Sep
tember 6, 1757, married Elizabeth,
daughter of Dr. Archibald Blair, and
ts recored as having had 19 children.
The five sisters of Maj. BoUina mar
ried as follows: Jane, to Col. Richard
Randolph: Mary, to Col. John Flem
ing of Mount Pleasant; Elizabeth, to
Dr. William Gay; Martha, to Thomas
Eldridge; and Anne, to James Murray;
the total issue from these six descend
ants being 63 children.
In the fifth degree of descent from
Pocahontas we find John Bolling mar
rying Martha, the sister to President
Thomas Jefferson; and in the same de
gree of descent we find John Randolph,
son of Richard Randolph (who married
Jane Bolling) marrying Frances Bland;
and from this union was born the
famous John Randolph of Roanoke
of whom it is said that he probably
never loved any human being with
natural affection except his mother;
and that his love for her bordered
on the supernatural. At one time, it
is related that even she whom he
sought for his bride, at almost the su
preme moment when he was to bind
her to his side forever, fled terrified
from his embrace, and that on the
instant, he angrily mounted his horse
and never saw her again. Apparently,
neither party ever divulged the reason
for the sudden breach between them.
A/f ANY stories have been told re
garding this queer and eccentric
..character, especially when residing in
Washington during the many years he
served in Congress, both as a member
of the House of Representatives and
as a United States Senator, from 1799
to 1829, with brief interruptions. For
his legislative duties he was surely well
equipped, having been privately tutored
*wnd later attended William and Mary
^College, Princeton University and Cru
Jlumbia University, New York, when
v they were known as colleges, and stud
lied law in Philadelphia, but he seems
Sto have lacked the polish of the real
Southern gentleman^ though endowed
with a wonderful intellect. Perhaps,
after all, it was the blood of Chief
Powhatan that gave him his arrogant
and domineering disposition.
When he first attended Congress in
Washington and for some years there
after he boarded at the Union Hotel
in Georgetown, and, according to
early accounts, he would ride on horse
back from his lodgings, on High street,
to the Capitol, and enter the House
wearing a fur cap with a large visor,
a heavy great-coat over a suit of Vir
ginia homespun, and white-topped
boots with jingling silver spurs.
“Striding down the main aisle, fol
lowed by his brace of pointer dogs,”
the story goes, "he would stop before
his desk, upon which he would de
liberately place his cap, his gloves and
his riding whip, listening meanwhile
to the debate. If he took any Interest
in it, he would begin to speak at the
first opportunity, without any regard
to what had previously been said.
After he had uttered a few sentences
(and had drunk a glass of porter,
which an assistant doorkeeper hod or
ders to bring whenever he rose to
speak), his tall, meager form would
writhe with passion; his long, bony
index finger would be pointed at those
on whom he poured his wrath, and the
expression of his beardless, high
cheeked and sallow countenance
would give additional force to the
brilliant and beautiful sentences which
he would rapidly utter, full of stinging
witticisms and angry sarcasm. So dis
tinct was his enunciation that his
shrill voice could be heard in every
part of the hall; his words were select
and strictly gramatical, and the ar
ragement of his remarks was always
harmonious and effective,"
'T'HE duel near the Chain Bridge be
tween John Randolph of Virginia
and Henry Clay of Kentucky has often
been referred to, though nearly 110
years have elapsed since it occurred
on April 8, 1826.
As has been said. Senator Randolph
was hot-headed and vitriolic in his
language, and his many indiscretions
usually kept him in hot water.
Upon this particular occasion he de
nounced, in his usual scathing terms.
President John Quincy Adams and Mr.
Clay, the then Secretary of State, who
at the time was residing in the Deca
tur house, at the southwest corner of
F street and Jackson place, into whose
portals its late owner. Commodore
Decatur, had only a few years before
been carried, following his fatal duel
at Bladensburg with Commodore Bar
The result of Randolph’s utterances
was a duel—fortunately a bloodless
one. Near the Chain Bridge an ap
propriate spot was selected. Mr. Clay
fired twice, the second shot passing
through the coat of Mr. Randolph,
who, having come to the conclusion
that he was in the wrong, discharged
his pistol in the air and advanced to
ward Clay, at the same time offering
his hand and saying, “I did not fire at
you, Mr. Clay.” The latter met the
Senator in the same spirit, whereupon
Randolph jocosely remarked, “You owe
me a cloak, Mr. Clay,” to which Clay
replied, “I am glad the debt is no
rPWO of our Presidents, William
x Henry Harrison and his grandson,
Benjamin Harrison, are said to have
been direct descendants of Pocahon
tas and, as would naturally follow, of
her father, the Indian Chief Pow
hatan. But the writer confesses he
has been unable to prove this to his
satisfaction in his brief study of the
subject. William Henry Harrison, the
ninth President of the United 8tates,
was the son of Benjamin Harrison,
signer of the Declaration of Inde
pendence, and his wife, Elizabeth
(Bassett) Harrison, and back of this
his relationship with Pocahontas is
said to begin through Richard Ran
dolph. ’
This Richard Randolph, according
to Robertson, in his “Pocahontas and
Her Descendants* married Nancy
Meade and had by her 10 children,
as follows: Richard Randolph, officer
of cavalry, Revolutionary War, mar
ried Maria Beverly: David Meade
Randolph, born 1760, died 1830, an
officer of cavalry, Revolutionary War,
married Molly Randolph; Brett Ran
dolph, married Lucy Beverley; Ry
land Randolph, married Elizabeth
Trayzer; Susanna Randolph, married
Benjamin Harrison of Berkeley, 1770,
member of the Non-Importation As
sociation; Jane Randolph, married
Archibald Bolling; Ann Randolph,
married Brett Randolph; Elizabeth
Randolph, married David Meade;
Mary Randolph, married William
Bolling; and Sarah Randolph, mar
ried William Newbum.
Thus it will be observed that, ac
cording to Robertson, Benjamin Har
rison of Berkeley married Susanna
Randolph, whereas, elsewhere we find
William Henry Harrison’s mother re
corded as Elizabeth (Bassett) Har
rison. Here is undoubtedly an am
biguity that the writer will have to
straighten out at some future date.
There is an unquestioned blood rela
tionship between Pocahontas and
many of the noted people of Virginia,
and we frequently run across inter
marriages between known descendants
of the Indian princess and prominent
families bearing the names Jefferson,
Henry, Harrison, Robertson, Archer,
Kennon, Payne, Cabell, Webster,
Storrs, Poythress, Griffin, Morrison,
Woodlief, Boush, Tanner, Underwood,
Fountains, James, Logan, Douglass,
Goode, Kincaid, Graves and ever so
many others.
TjoWEVER, regardless of any in
x consistencies which may appear
in the Harrison family tree, it is quite
probable that the presidential branch
of the Harrison family did inherit In
dian blood through Susan or Susanna,
the daughter of Richard Randolph,
and William Henry Harrison, the
ninth President, at least made a good
warrior and chief for the white man
and, incidentally, helped to extermi
nate his supposed savage kinfolk, just
as the Indians were doing to their
neighboring tribes before and after
the white man made his appearance
in Virginia.
Today we hear much of the forth
coming presidential election, but to
the old-timer this is just the same old
merry-go-round, though in former
years they did bury the hatchet occa
sionally and argued and worked for
the good of the Republic and showed
a better spirit than exists today.
When William Henry Harrison was
running for the presidency, one of the
campaign slogans was “Tippecanoe
and Tyler, too,” and the expression
“The log-cabin candidate,” a phrase
which was first used in contempt of
“the hero of Tippecanoe,” was taken
up by his supporters and used to good
advantage in his favor, and in Wash
ington arid elsewhere log cabins were
erected, while the local press of 1840
refers to the one erected here as fol
"There is a log cabin now in course
of erection, near the Center Mar
ket, which has had a tendency to
promote more good feeling between
men of both parties than anything
which has occurred here since the
political canvass commenced. The
Whigs say ‘We will have a log cab
in' and the Democrats reply ‘We had
rather you would have it than not’:
so that on this point they are all
agreed. Differ as we may in pol
itics, in the name of Heaven let us
remember that we are all children of
one family, who breathe the same
pure air, drink of the same clear
fountains and worship at the same
altars; then let us preserve our tem
pers and discharge our duties as
freemen, according to the dictates of
our own consciences.”
'T'HE site of this log cabin, erected
A nearly a century ago, is now
occupied by the United States Ar
chives Building, having replaced in
the last few years the old Center
Market, the site of which, on the
Ninth street side, was many years
ago given over to the sheltering of
pigs, goats, cows and geese, which
once enjoyed the freedom of the city.
In those days, just as now, the peo
ple of the District of Columbia had
no voice in the choosing of the Presi
dent, yet they undoubtedly did make
a lot of noise, and probably were re
sponsible to some extent fra: the
overwhelming majority Gen. Harri
son received, which is recorded as
234 out of 294 electoral votes cast.
His journey to Washington was
one continuous ovation. He arrived
here at the old Baltimore and Ohio
Railroad station at Second street and
Pennsylvania avenue, during a snow
storm, on February 9. 1841, and was
escorted from there to the National
Hotel, where the people had secured
quarters for him. Col. W. W. Sea
ton was then mayor of the city, and
to him fell the lot of welcoming the
President elect. What he said has
almost an up-to-date ring. It con
cluded with these words:
“Still, undismayed by the men
aces of power and unsubdued by in
justice, the people of Washington
shrank not from their duty. They
continued to assert the free right of
opinion and of speech, to proclaim
their own wrongs and those of their
country and to bear testimony against
the incompetency and unfaithfulness
of the public rulers: and they have
the proud satisfaction of believing
that their voice was not altogether un
heard in the awakening of their
countrymen to a sense of the public
UTS inauguration, which took place
11 on March 4, 1841, was witnes
ed by a vast crowd from all parts of
the country. There were two in
augural balls held here in his honor.
One, the “Tippecanoe Ball," was held
in the theater building which then
stood on the south side of Louisiana
avenue a little east of Sixth street,
and the other one, called the “Peo
ple's Tippecanoe Ball,” was held at
Carusi’s, then on the northeast cor
ner of Eleventh and C streets, on
the same site later occupied by the
Theater Comique, Kernan’s Yyceum,
and when removed a few years ago,
by the Preseldent Theater, with en
trance at 1014 Pennsylvania avenue.
President Harrison’s life in the
White House was a short and an un
happy one and lasted just one month
to the day. His cabinet, though a
brilliant one, was hand-picked by
the politicians and this, in part,
caused him much trouble.
Upon one occasion, however, he did
not hesitate to assert his authority,
when the cabinet had decided to ap
point to the position of Governor of
the Territory of Iowa some one other
than the one to whom he had promised
it; the other man being backed by
Daniel Webster, then Secretary of
State, while the President had already
pledged the office to Col. Chambers
of Kentucky, a very close friend.
“At the cabinet meeting,” according
to the story, “Mr. Webster informed
the President that it had been decided
by the gentlemen of the cabinet that
James Wilson should be Governor of
Iowa. 'Ah! That is the decision, then,
is it?’ said Gen. Harrison. The gentle
men of the cabinet replied in the af
firmative. Without making any fur
ther remark, the old gentleman wrote
a few words upon a piece of paper
and handed it to Mr. Webster, re
questing him to read it aloud. The
Secretary of State looked a little em
barrassed, but there was no alterna
tive, and he read, in an audible voice.
‘William Henry Harrison, President of
the United States.’ The general, ris
ing to his feet, said, ‘And William
Henry Harrison, President of the
United States, tells you, gentlemen,
that by -, John Chambers shall
be Governor of Iowa.’ Of course,
that concluded the subject, and Cham
bers was appointed.”
of the two Presidents who died in
the White House, the other one being
Gen. Zachary Taylor. Gen. Harrison
died on April 4, 1841, at 12:30 in the
morning, and upon the arrival oi
President Tyler in Washington, a few
days later, he went to the Metropoli
tan Hotel, which became the official
headquarters of the executive branch
of the Government until Mr. Tylei
removed to the White House on April
17. At a more recent date, it will be
recalled that, following the death ol
[ President Harding, President Coolidge
' made his headquarters at the Willard
Gen. Harrison took his office very
seriously, and his last words but be
spoke the conscientiousness of the
man. "Sir,” he said, as if conscious
of his approaching end, and as if he
were addressing his successor, “I wish
you to understand the principles of *
the Government. I wish them carried
out. I ask nothing more.”
There is no question about the
widow of the late President Woodrow
Wilson and the members of her branch
of the Bolling family being descend
ants of Pocahontas, and there is a
possibility that Dolly Madison also
had a strain of this Indian blood
within her veins, although it has been
said that on both her father’s side
and her mother’s side she was of Eng
lish, Irish and Scotch ancestry, and
from her mother, Mary Coles, in par
ticular, she is said to have inherited
her laughing Irish eyes, her heavy
eyebrows and long lashes, her • black
curling hair, the brilliancy of her
: skin and, perchance, the smoothness
of her tongue.
Her father was John Payne, Jr.,
originally of Hanover County, Va„
and there is a record of intermarriage
of the Bolling, Fleming and Payne '
! families. Of course, if this surmise
is accurate, then the wife of Stephen
A. Douglass would be included among
the many descendants of the famous
Indian chief, Powhatan.
i -.- •]
Base Ball
(Continued From First Page.)
that permanent grass stand a single
Florida cities, where our leading
base bailers prepare for action, spend
approximately $50,000 annually for
new clay loam reinforcements with
which to fortify their fields of play.
This is necessary because much of
this man-provided soil washes down
into the sand during heavy semi
tropical downpours, and some also
blows away during Summer wind
storms. The imported clay is mixed
with compost and commercial fer
tilizer and then is distributed by hand
over the infields and outfields, an
overcoating from four to five inches
deep being essential to put the ball
yards in the best playing condition.
One season not so long ago 10 car
loads of imported clay loam were
shipped all the way from Central Ohio
for use in improving the Lakeland,
Fla., field where the Cleveland Ameri
cans trained that Spring.
The groundkeepers of all the major
league outfits which train in Florida
arrive in the Peninsula State several
weeks in advance of the players in
order to spruce up the playing fields.
Florida municipalities provide the ma
terials, including the imported clay
loam, workmen and funds for the
diamond improvement campaigns.
Genial Mike Martin, expert advance
man of the Senators, supervises these
activities at Orlando, so that when
the Nats begin practice the diamond
is in as good condition as their home
hangout at Griffith Stadium.
The presence of the Washington
Nats in Orlando for four or five weeks
in February and March assures that
National Capital visitors Wintering
in Florida in large numbers will ram
ble to that city of enticing lakes
and handsome hibiscus for a pre
season lookover of the newest model
National. The Orlando placeline
during the training season is carried
daily, with thousands of yarns pub
lished in the sports pages of news
papers throughout the United States.
Florida does not neglect a »*U*.*y
iota in capitalizing from all Itlch
current and potential publicity.
PREVIOUS to the first appearance
of the Boston Braves in St.
Petersburg that city entertained less
than 1,000 regular Winter visitors
from Massachusetts. The tourist Influx
from Massachusetts increased seven
fold with the coming of the knights
of base ball who play by day. “Al”
Lang's notable banquets for the base
ball writers who congregate in Florida
during the training days is the “piece
de-resistant” of the publicity pro
gram. Once 300 diners, including
about 100 of this country’s leading
sports writers, enjoyed Al’s hospi
tality; Judge Kenesaw Landis, base
ball commissioner, was the stand
out honor guest of the feast. The
St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce
kept tab that year on the press
notices which the city gained from
“Spring” base ball in Florida et Al
and reported to this writer that'it
would have cost over $250,000 If the
publicity bad been paid for at cus
tcgnary space rates.
Here’s what Clark Griffith, grizzled
owner of the Senators and one of
the ranking deans of America's bil
lionaire base ball business, has to
say about conditioning thd leaguers
in Florida, in general, and at Or
lando, in particular: “I have sam
pled base ball training conditions in
virtually every propitious Winter
weather State in the country; natural
circumstances and facilities in Florida
are the best of the lot. The main
trouble we formerly had when we
trained at Tampa—a condition which
unquestionably will repeat itself at
Orlando—was to check the boys
I from overexerting themselves early in
the season. Jumping from the cold,
icicles and snow of the North to this ^
land of Summer sunshine and gentle"
breezes peps the players to such an
extent that they tend to forget them
selves. overdo and go stale because
„ they feel so fit and fine.** {
(1) Inauguration of President William H. Harrison,
March 4, 1841. (2) The Indian Princess Pocahontas, who
has many notable descendants living. (3) William Henry
Harrison, ninth President of the United States, a possible
descendant of the Indian princess. (4) Pen sketch of
John Randolph of Roanoke, a descendant of Pocahontas.
(5) Benjamin Harrison, twenty-third President, and
grandson of William Henry Harrison.
“Names You’ll Recall’*
—By Dick Mansfield
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