Randolph was a slave-owning elegantly dressed ‘fashionista’, described by one author as “The most notorious American political curmudgeon of his time”. That may be putting it kindly. John Randolph specialized in what the Romans called the “Argumentum Ad Hominem” or the ‘argument against the man’. As a verbal tool it allows the speaker to change the subject, to argue the man not the issue, and thus to tar a political position with the alleged sins of one of its advocates, thus forcing advocates to defend themselves, not what they stand for. And if that method of attack sounds familiar, it is confirmation of the connection between Randolph’s ideological bloodline and its present Republican practitioners.
Mr. Holladay read the letter but did not dispatch the mare. Instead he immediately filed the missive away without answering it, in the hope he said later that "the aberration was but temporary". It was not. Randolph died in May of 1833. And the letter concerning Mr. Randolph's visit from Satan, was thought to be proof of his insanity. Or perhaps the visit was real, a sort of courtesy call, from one sly and merciless liar upon another.
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