From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Randolph, Benjamin Franklin

(born: 1820  -  died: October 16, 1868) 

Free-born in Kentucky, Benjamin F. Randolph was a Methodist minister and political leader in South Carolina during Reconstruction. An educated man, he attended school in Warren County, OH and Oberlin College.

Randolph served as a chaplain for the 26th Colored Infantry during the Civil War. He co-founded the Charleston Journal in 1866 and became editor of the Charleston Advocate in 1867.

Within the South Carolina Republican Party, he organized the Union League. In 1876 Randolph was appointed Vice President of the South Carolina Republican Executive Committee and the next year was appointed president of the committee. In 1868 he was elected to the South Carolina Senate for Orangeburg County.

Randolph advocated legal equality for African Americans, including the integration of schools. In 1868, while soliciting for the Republican Party, he was shot and killed in Donaldsville, SC, a predominately white area of the state.

For more see American National Biography (2004), by P. R. Betz and M. C. Carnes; "Benjamin F. Randolph, Chaplain, and Community Leader born," 2/2/1820, in African American Registry; "The Murder of Senator Benjamin Franklin Randolph" at the website; and a South Carolina legislative resolution in his honor at the South Carolina State House website.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Charleston journal (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Charleston advocate (newspaper)
NKAA Source: American National Biography Online (database)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Randolph, Benjamin Franklin,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 22, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-06-29 17:33:31