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Re: Peyton Randolph and Family
Posted by: vh Date: November 09, 2000 at 12:56:39
In Reply to: Peyton Randolph and Family by Wilson Jeffreys of 3738

Hello Wilson,
Just in case you have never seen the book "The First Tunstalls in Virginia by Whitt Morris, I will paraphrase a couple of paragraphs out of it. This is his version of the Barker, Randolph, Jefferson story.
"William Tunstall married Elizabeth (Betsy) Barker, daughter of Thomas Barker and wife Mrs. Ferebee Savage Pugh, he one of the most prominent and wealthy men of North Carolina. A motherless girl, she was much in the home of her kinsman Peyton Randolph, Royal Attorney General, at Williamsburg, and there met William Tunstall (Va. Mag., xvi.90).

We cherish a tradition that Betsy Barker refused the hand of Thomas Jefferson. He was born Apr 1743 of a Randolph mother , went to Williamsburg in 1760 to attend William and Mary College, remained seven years, and married 1 Jan 1772. By 1762 he had been introduced 'to the acquaintance and familiar table of Governor Fauquier' Betsy and Jefferson were of the best in the small town and no doubt met constantly, especially in the Randolph home.

She was 14 or 15 in 1760, and we surmise that she spent a good part of 1761-1762 in England. On Christmas Day 1762, at age 19, he was writng passionately about his first love, 'Becca Burwell of williamsburg. In Oct. 1763 he wrote to a friend. 'Last night, as merry as agreeable company and dancing with Belinda in the Apollo could make me'; but that was one of his names for the ladies in general. And at some time William Tunstall entered the field, to marry Betsy about 1765. But Jefferson was aggressive and Betsy was attractive; very likely he made himself an opportunity to propose to her. John Buxton Williams wrote 25 Mar. 1884 that the story was believed by his mother, Betsy's daughter. Let's let it stand."


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