North Carolina-Randolph County-September 17

North Carolina People, Places, and Things-September 17

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special. Everyday this year I am doing a post on what I have learned new.

If you know who Peyton Randolph is you are much more aware of US History than I am. He is the name sake for Randolph County. Randolph County like many NC Counties is named after someone who was not from NC.

Map of Randolph County depicted in red below.


Peyton Randolph was a planter and public official from the Colony of Virginia. He served as Speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses, president of Virginia Conventions, and the first President of the Continental Congress. He also was a cousin to Thomas Jefferson.

His decision to preside over the Continental Congress got him added a black list of patriots the British proposed to arrest and hang.

Great biographical info on Peyton Randolph at link below:

Randolph County was annexed from Guilford, Randolph County and was formed in 1779. It county seat is Asheboro, NC. Asheboro is home to the NC Zoo. Today it has over 140,00 residents.


Randolph County has had a deep history steeped in the religious fervor of the early Quakers and Baptists. During the 1740s, The Pennsylvania Quakers were the first religious group to inhabit the region. These Quakers, including the Coffin family, strongly opposed slavery, and some helped create the Underground Railroad.  At the onset of the Civil War, Quakers and other pacifists fled to the covered hills of Randolph.

I also was fascinated to learn that Duke University has its roots in Randolph County.

Trinity College the precursor to Duke University, was established in Randolph in 1838-39; Methodists wanted a school to cultivate young ministers to later sow Christian doctrine.  Originally in a small log cabin, Trinity was then called Union Institute.  In 1851, its name changed to Normal College and its scope shifted to equipping teachers with skills for common schools.


After a period of financial difficulty, the Methodist Conference took control of the institution and changed its name to Trinity College. By the 1870s the college had almost two hundred students, but the school was later relocated in  Durham and became known as Duke University in 1892.



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