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Scandal at Bizarre

Rumor and Reputation in Jefferson's America
Cynthia A. Kierner
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In the early 1790s Richard Randolph was accused of fathering a child by his sister-in-law, Nancy, and murdering the baby shortly after its birth. Rumors about the incident, which occurred during a visit to the plantation of close family friends, spread like wildfire. Randolph found himself on trial for the crime largely because of the public outrage fueled by these rumors. The rest of the household suffered too, and only Nancy, who later married the esteemed New York statesman Gouverneur Morris, would find any degree of happiness. A tale of family passion, betrayal, and deception, Scandal at Bizarre is a fascinating historical portrait of the social and political realities of a world long vanished.