DHR DONATES JANET RANDOLPH PORTRAIT TO VIRGINIA DIVISION
On July 25, Alexander Wise, Director of Virginia's Department of Historic Resources (DHR), presented to the Virginia Division UDC an oil painting of one its most noteworthy early members, Mrs. Norman V. (Janet Weaver) Randolph.
Mr. H. Alexander Wise, Director of the Department of Historic Resources; Mrs. Mark R. Allen, Virginia UDC President; and Mrs. H.M. Giragosian, past president of the Virginia Division, pose with the portrait of Janet Randolph.
As a young girl during the War Between the States, Janet Weaver helped feed and nurse Confederate troops around her home town of Warrenton, Virginia. (The Weaver house was used as a field hospital on many occasions, and the men who died there are among those whose names will be included on the memorial wall planned by Warrenton's Black Horse Chapter as a part of their To Name the Fallen project.) In 1880 she married Norman Randolph, a member of the Executive Committee of the R.E. Lee Camp of United Confederate Veterans who helped build the Old Soldiers Home, and moved with him to Richmond. It was Mr. Randolph who traveled to Washington in 1886 to commission the taxidermist who did the work on the remains of Little Sorrel, the warhorse of Confederate General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.
After her husband's death, Mrs. Randolph devoted her life to Confederate memorial and relief work. She was instrumental in obtaining the first appropriation from the General Assembly of Virginia to aid the widows and daughters of Confederate veterans. Her primary legacy to the UDC was the establishment of the fund now known as the Mrs. Norman V. Randolph Relief Fund, which continues to provide assistance to the surviving daughters of Confederate veterans.
Janet Randolph founded the Richmond Chapter of the UDC in 1896 and remained its president until her death 31 years later. She was also instrumental in the rebirth of the White House of the Confederacy as a museum, the erection of statues of Confederate heroes on Monument Avenue (she was chairman of the Jefferson Davis Monument Association and a member of the committees for the other four monuments), and the maintenance of Confederate graves in Hollywood Cemetery, serving as president of the Memorial Association. She was offered the position of Virginia Division President but declined because she felt strongly that her other work for the UDC had to take precedence. Consequently, she was named Honorary President of both the Virginia Division and the General Organization.
When the Richmond Community Fund was established in 1925, she became its "poster girl," posing in her black bonnet and veil, her arms outstretched, with the words "Mother Richmond asks, How much do you care?"
Janet Weaver Randolph died in 1927 and was buried in Richmond's Shockoe Cemetery with military honors provided by the Richmond Light Infantry Blues, the only woman other than Winnie Davis (the daughter of Confederate President Jefferson Davis) to be so honored. The Richmond Juniors Chapter, which she founded in 1925, changed its name to Janet Randolph in her honor.
The portrait of Mrs. Randolph hung in the Confederate Ladies Home in Richmond, among those she had done so much to help, until the home was closed. The Virginia DHR then took possession of the painting and displayed it in their offices until this summer, when it was turned over to Division President Mrs. Mark R. (Juanita) Allen. The Virginia Division is pleased to welcome Mrs. Randolph home after so many years.