Edwin Archer Randolph

Edwin Archer Randolph (1850- unknown) was an American lawyer, politician, and journalist from Virginia. In 1880, Randolph became the first African-American to graduate from Yale Law School. In July 1880, Randolph was the first African-American to be admitted to the Connecticut bar.[1][2]

Randolph was born in 1850, to a family of free parentage. In his youth, Randolph worked as a driver for a white physician, Dr. James B. McCaw. McCaw was the medical superintendent of Chimborazo Hospital, during the Civil War.[3] In the mid-1870s Randolph left Richmond to attend Wayland Seminary and then in 1878 he entered Yale Law School.[4]

Whilst practicing law in Virginia, Randolph also served as a councilman and alderman in Richmond. Randolph was elected to the common council in Richmond, from 1881 to 1883. From 1883 to 1886 he served on the board of alderman and from 1884 to 1885, he was on Virginia’s commissions for the World Exposition in New Orleans. Randolph also served on both houses of the Virginia state legislature and also edited and published an African-American newspaper, The Richmond Planet, also edited by John Mitchell Jr.[5]  In 1884, he published ‘'The life of Rev. John Jasper, pastor of Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Richmond, Va. : from his birth to the present time, with his theory on the rotation of the sun’'.[6]

The Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity (LCD) presents Edwin Archer Randolph Diversity Awards for those who promote "inclusion and advancement of lawyers of color and other professionals".[7][8]


  1. ^ Inc., Yale Alumni Publications. "Yale Alumni Magazine: Yale's first African American students (Jan/Feb 06)". archives.yalealumnimagazine.com. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  2. ^ Negro History Bulletin. Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. 1958.
  3. ^ Leveen, Lois. "Richmond's Medical Miracle". Opinionator. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  4. ^ Alexander, Ann Field; Alexander, Professor Ann Field (2002). Race Man: The Rise and Fall of the "Fighting Editor," John Mitchell Jr. University of Virginia Press. ISBN 9780813921167.
  5. ^ Jr, J. Clay Smith (1999). Emancipation: The Making of the Black Lawyer, 1844-1944. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0812216857.
  6. ^ "Edwin Archer Randolph, b. 1854. The Life of Rev. John Jasper, Pastor of Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Richmond, Va., from His Birth to the Present Time, with His Theory on the Rotation of the Sun". docsouth.unc.edu.
  7. ^ "Moy Ogilvie received Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity's Edwin Archer Randolph Award | News & Resources | McCarter & English". www.mccarter.com. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  8. ^ "Honorable Gerald L. Harmon Judge of the Superior Court Will Chair the 2018 Edwin Archer Randolph Diversity Awards Ceremony | The Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity". The Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity. Retrieved 2018-08-24.