Colonial Craftsman: Benjamin Randolph


Benjamin Randolph was a skilled craftsman, and a relative of Thomas Jefferson. While in Philadelphia for the Continental Congress in 1775, Jefferson lodged with Randolph. When he returned in 1776 for the Second Continental Congress, and lodged again with Randolph for a time. During this second stay, Jefferson commissioned Randolph to build a writing box to his specifications. Randolph's skill as a cabinetmaker is evident in the resultant lap desk. This is an image of Randolph's trade card, which he would have given to his clients as a reminder of his services.