Brief Biographies from the Jackson/Van Buren Era (R):


Radcliff, Jacob ? - ?:

Mayor of New York from 1816-1818.


Randolph, John (1773 - 1833):

"John Randolph of Roanoke". Representative and Senator in the U.S. Congress. Known for brilliance, biting invective, and eccentricity bordering on madness.

Studied under private tutors; attended Walker Maury's School at Burlington, Orange County, VA, the grammar schools of the College of William and Mary, the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1787, and Columbia College, New York City in 1788 and 1789.

Served as a States Right Democrat (this is from Bio ... American Congress - their capitalization. I haven't heard of an actual party by that name though) from 1799 - 1813. He was a major opposer of the U.S. declaration of war on Britain in 1812. He ran for election in 1812 as an anti-Madison candidate and was defeated. He served again from 1815-1817 and was again defeated, then served from 1819 to December 26,1825 when he resigned and accepted election to the senate. In the Senate, he was among those determined to thwart the John Qunicy Adams presidency in everything it tried to do. He was particularly insulting to Henry Clay, then serving as Secretary of State, which lead to Clay challenging him to a duel, though neither party was hurt.

He lost the bid for reelection to the Senate, but was sent back to the House from 1827-1829. Member of the Virginia Constitutional Convention in Richmond in 1829. Appointed minister to Russia by Andrew Jackson and served from May 26 to September 29, 1830, when he resigned. Elected again to the House and served from March 4, 1833 to May 24, 1833 when he died.


Randolph, Robert Beverley


Rapp, George 1757 - 1847 :

Born in Wurttemberg, he became the leader of a group of religious separatists in Germany. Founded very successful communal enterprise in Harmony, Butler County, PA, and later founded Harmony (or Harmonie), Indiana, later called New Harmony. According to Eckhardt, Fanny Wright, he once explained that they liked to improve a place over the course of about ten years, and then move on.


Reed, Thomas Buck (May 7, 1787 - Nov. 26, 1829):

Raised in Lexington KY. Studied at Princeton College and was admitted to law practice in 1808. Moving to Natchez, Miss. in 1809, he became city clerk in 1811, attorney general of Mississippi from 1821-1826. He was elected to serve out the U.S. Senate term of a resigned member which he did from Jan, 1826 to March, 1827. He was not relected them, but was again elected to the Senate in 1828, and served from March 1829 to his death in November of that year.


Reeve, Tapping 1744 - 1823:

Conducted the first (one teacher, I think) Law School in the United States, in Litchfield CT. Students included John C. Calhoun. Friend of Lyman Beecher. Married his housekeeper and was criticized for it, but defended by Beecher. Chief justice of the CT supreme court of errors from 1814 to 1816, when he retired.


Remond, Charles Lenox ? - ?:

Black anti-slavery lecturer who accompanied Frederick Douglass and others on western speaking tours. Apt to lose his temper when insulted, as happened all to often, or even when, for instance, John A Collins, a white abolitionist, brought in Fourierist socialism when Collins was supposed to be lecturing against slavery(source: McFeely, Douglas).

He toured Ireland (in 1840?), and was exceptionally well received there. In December 1841, he delivered to America an anti-slavery appeal signed by 60,000 Irish, addressed to their fello-countrymen in the U.S. (Source: p9, Ignatiev, How the Irish Became White).


Revere, Paul 1735 - 1818:

Silversmith and engraver. Helped organize the mechanics class in Boston during the Revolution, and most well known for his ride to warn of the British approach that lead to the battles of Lexington and Concord.

He was very successful in his trade, discovered a process for rolling sheet copper, and was contracted to put copper sheathing on the Constitution, or "Old Ironsides".

His two storey wooden house at 19 North Square, probably built in 1680, is all that remains of the 17th century North End (Whitehill, Boston, p15; photograph, p16).


Rhett, Robert Barnwell 1800 - 1876

b.12/21,d.9/14
One of the most determined and effective of secessionists, with a major role in making South Carolina the first state to leave the Union.


Ripley, George (1802-1880):

A member of the transcendentalist circle who, after 15 years as a Unitarian minister (1826-1841) at the Purchase Street Church in Boston, quit the ministry, founded and help edit The Dial. From 1841-1847, his main interest was Brook Farm, an experiment in communal living involving many of the transcendentalists.

In 1844 he changed Brook Farm's constitution, making it a Fourierite "phalanx", and from 1845-1849, he edited the Harbinger, a Fourierite magazine.

In later years, he was a literary critic, for the New York Tribune (from 1849-80), and for Harper's New Monthly Magazine, which he founded in 1850. In 1858-63, he edited the New American Magazine, with Charles A. Dana.

Source:Websters.


Ritchie, Thomas 1778 - 1854:

Publisher and editor of the Richmond Enquirer from 1804 - 1845, and the Washington Union from 1845-51. Cousin of Spencer Roane (Source: DAB).

"Tall and aristocratic, and always dressed in the silk stockings and low shoes of the old style; manager of most of Richmonds public balls" [and leader of the most prestigious Richmond social functions]; leader of the "Richmond Junta". After he left the Enquirer in the charge of his sons, one bitter quarrel with the Richmond Whig got so out of hand that Thomas Jr., fought a duel with, and killed, the rival editor, John H. Pleasants.


Ritchie, Thomas Jr. ? - ?:

Son of the founder of the Richmond Enquirer, and one of the editors after 1845; quarrel with the Richmond Whig got so out of hand that Thomas Jr., fought a duel with, and killed, the rival editor, John H. Pleasants.


Roane, Spencer 1762 - 1822:

Prominent Virginia lawyer and judge, sitting on the Virginia supreme court of appeals for 27 years beginning 1794. He joined his cousin, Thomas Ritchie, in founding the Richmond Enquirer, and wrote many articles of a strong states rights tendency. (Source: DAB).


Rogers, Nathaniel P. ? - ?:

Antislavery activist with a "strong pro-Irish record", at least until the Irish became caught up in anti-black racism.

Source: Ignatiev, How the Irish...


Royall, Anne Newport 1769 - 1854:

b.6/11,d.10/1
A celebrated figure in the Jackson Era and for a decade or so after. She wrote several "travel books" -- accounts of places and encounters with famous, unknown and infamous people. Often shrill and relentless in her criticisms.

Many, if not all, of her books were published "for the author", and as she went around the country collecting interviews, and notes on whatever she saw, she collected subscriptions for forthcoming books, and sold already published books out of a trunk she always brought with her.

Her first book, Sketches of History, Life, and Manners, in the United States, "by a traveler", was published in 1826, printed in New Haven, CT. This, and a series called the Black Book, vols 1, 2, and 3, sold well, and made Anne Royall widely known over the next few years.

During these years, the evangelical movement sprung up in America, led largely by Presbyterians. At the same time, the Freemasons came under attack, and the death of John Morgan, the same year Anne's first book was published, lead to Anti-Masonic Party, which published scores of newspapers, had its own candidate for president, and caused the majority of lodges in America to close.

Anne Royall, widow of a prominent Freemason, called on the fraternity for support, especially in the first years of her career. The responded most generously, and in New York, on February 28, 1825, the manager of the Chatham Garden Theater, Jonathan Stevenson, staged a benefit performance for her, from which she gained the magnificent sum of $180. Ever after, she was a zealous defender of the Masons, and they were constantly befriending her.

Meanwhile, revivals were spreading throughout America, along with many reform and pseudo-reform movements, notably the Sabbatarian movement, which aimed to stop all work on Sundays, including public transportation (such as stagecoaches, canal boats and river boats), and the delivery of Sunday mails. Rev. Ezra Stiles Ely, of Philadelphia, was one prominent leader in all of this, and was particularly involved in trying to organize a strictly Christian political party.

Anne Royall, like some others in her time, saw one big conspiracy of the "blueskins", lead by Rev. Ely. At the same time, she fell in with Jacksonian politicians, who tended to fear church interference in the state, and were the party least aligned with the Anti-Masons.

The result was that people mostly either loved or hated Anne Royall. On December 16, 1827, she was touring New England, peddling her books and jotting down observations for new books, when she arrived in Burlington, VT. There she walked into a store run by Samuel Hecock, whom she knew to be a "very good specimen of blueskins", and in her usual rather confrontational style "called on him for his patronage". He pushed her out the door, where she fell down a tall flight of stairs, and was seriously injured. The prosperous Hecock was threatened with a damage suit, and apparently made some kind of financial settlement. She was mostly bedridden for weeks, though she managed to get herself hauled by coaches to Washington.

A second dramatic incident came in the summer of 1829, when Anne Royall was put on trial as a "common scold"; a term dredged up out of English common law, for which the punishment was supposed to be ducking under water in the "ducking stool". She lost, and was fined $10, but journalists and the Jackson White house fought over the honor of paying he fine.

She frequently was given free transportation and lodging because of her anti-Sabbatarian stand, her defense of Masons, or just being a "good Jackson man". The Stagecoach and boat lines , except for the few "six day" lines, saw her as their defender.

She was born in Baltimore, but spent her early years (til about age 13), in extreme poverty, on what was then the edge of the frontier -- western Pennsylvania. Savage raids by British and Tory-led Indians led Anne Royall's mother to flee back east, along with other settlers. By this time, Anne Royall's father had apparently died, and her mother had taken, and lost, a second husband named Butler by whom she had a son, James.

Mrs. Butler worked for a couple of years with an Anderson family near Staunton, VA, and then served Major William Royall in present day West Virginia, near Lewisburg.

Royall was a Revolutionary War veteran, well-educated son and heir of a well-to-do Virginia family, and a product of Enlightenment optimism and faith in rationality. He had a good library, and seems to have done much to educate the intellectually curious Anne, who was 18 when they arrived at his house.

On May 4, 1798, Anne married William Royall. She had been living in his house for ten years, and rumors would follow her that they had been on intimate terms for some years before the marriage. Anne was 28 then, and the Major was in his middle 50s.

In December, 1812, Major Royall died, after spending much the last few years ill and drunk. At first the widow Royall seemed well provided for, but soon a struggle over the will began, in which a niece of the Major, and her husband attacked Anne's character viciously, got the will declared a forgery, and took over most of the estate. Between legal fees, mismanagement on her part, and the cloud that hung over her properties for years, the one third of the estate that technically remained to her was entirely lost. For some time she had to dodge constables for fear of going to debtors prison.

TRAVELS OF ANNE ROYALL


Ruffin, Edmund 1794 - 1865:

A promoter of very valuable agricultural reforms, for restoring tobacco-depleted soil using "calcareous manures" (deposits of shells, for calcium).

Later he was known as an energetic southern secessionist.


Ruggles, David ? - ? :

New York City abolitionist and greengrocer and later, near Northampton, Massachusetts, proprietor of a water-cure establishment. In 1835 he "became secretary of the New York Vigilance Committee, to raise funds to help slaves escaping to freedom". Edited The Mirror of Liberty, a quarterly in (or beginning?) 1838. (Source for prev 2 facts: Bergman, Chronological..., p 156, 165). After he became blind, he settled in the Northampton Association, and after that broke up, became a water-cure entrepreneur.
 


Ruggles, John, 1789-1874

Senator from Maine; born in Westboro, Mass., October 8, 1789; attended the common schools; graduated from Brown University, Providence, R.I., in 1813; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Skowhegan, Maine, in 1815; moved to Thomaston, Maine, in 1817; member, State house of representatives 1823-1831, and served as speaker 1825-1829, 1831; justice of the supreme judicial court of Maine 1831-1834; elected as a Jacksonian to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Peleg Sprague, and at the same time was elected for the full term beginning March 4, 1835, and served from January 20, 1835, to March 3, 1841; was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1840; chairman, Committee on Patents and Patent Office (Twenty-fifth Congress); framer of the bill for the reorganization of the United States Patent Office in 1836; resumed the practice of law in Thomaston, Knox County, Maine; also engaged as an inventor, orator, and writer; died in Thomaston, Maine, on June 20, 1874; interment in Elm Grove Cemetery.

Years of Service: 1835-1837; 1837-1841; Party: Jacksonian; Democrat

Source of above: Biog. Dir. of Am. Congress.


Russell, William, 1798 - 1873:


Russwurm, John 1799 - 1851:

Established Freedom's Journal with Samuel Cornish? (Cornish was a partner, whether or not from the beginning), Also "probably the first person of acknowledged African descent to finish an American college course" (source: DAB on Russwurm)