Peyton Randolph House

Williamsburg
VA

The Peyton Randolph House in
Colonial Williamsburg

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Originally built in 1715, it was purchased in 1721 by Randolph’s father — who built a second structure — and willed it to his son. Peyton Randolph built a middle structure to unify the whole. Part of Colonial Williamsburg.
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What ultimately convinced Americans that they must revolt in 1776 was not that they were naturally and inevitably republican, for if that were truly the case evolution, not revolution, would have been the eventual solution. Rather it was the pervasive fear that they were not predestined to be a virtuous and egalitarian people that in the last analysis drove them into revolution in 1776. It was this fear and not their confidence in the peculiarity of their character that made them so readily and so remarkably responsive to Thomas Paine’s warning that the time for independence was at hand and that delay would be disastrous. By 1776 it had become increasingly evident that if they were to remain the kind of people they wanted to be they must become free of Britain.

Gordon S. Wood
The Creation of the American Republic, 1776—1787 (1969)