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Randall, James Ryder Papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: GTM-190722

Content Description

Papers of the American poet James Ryder Randall (1839-1908), who is best remembered for his poem "Maryland, My Maryland". The collection includes autograph letters to/from Randall, poetry manuscripts, photographs of the poet, newspaper clippings and printed ephemera.

Folder 4 contains a fair copy autograph manuscript signed by the author of "Maryland, My Maryland." Autograph note by Edward Devitt, S.J., on verso of page 2: "Presented by the author to his former school-mate at G.T. Coll. Jas. A. Doonan, S.J. on the occasion of Mr. Randall's reception at the College when he read the Poem."


  • 1846 - 1909

Conditions Governing Access

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical / Historical

James Ryder Randall was born on January 1, 1839 in Baltimore, Maryland. He is remembered for writing the poem "Maryland, My Maryland," which became the war hymn of the Confederacy and the state song of Maryland. The poem was set to the tune "Lauriger Horatius" during the Civil War by Jennie Cary, a member of a prominent Baltimore family.

In 2021, the Maryland State Legislature removed the designation of state anthem from the song "Maryland, My Maryland" becasue it is racist and it glorifies the Confederacy. (Source: "Washington Post," 3/22/21).

Randall was a student at Georgetown College from 1848 until 1855 when he was forced to withdraw due to pneumonia. He was a member of the Class of 1856, but did not complete a degree.

After college, Randall traveled to South America and the West Indies. He returned to teach English at Poydras College in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. It was during this time that he penned "Maryland, My Maryland". Tuberculosis prevented him from enlisting in the Confederate army. However, he was able to serve with the Confederate States Navy in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Although he was a Marylander by birth, he wrote his famous poem while residing in Augusta, Georgia. After the Civil War, Randall became a newspaper editor and a correspondent for the “Augusta Chronicle” in Washington, D.C. He continued to write poems, although none achieved the popularity of "Maryland, My Maryland".

Randall died on January 15, 1908, in Augusta, Georgia, where he is buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

Source: Wikipedia


0.21 Linear Feet (1 Hollinger Slim Document Case (legal))

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of James Ryder Randall pre-1908; and Ruth Robinson, 1955.

Related Materials

Consult the University Archives for additional materials on James Ryder Randall, as a former student of Georgetown College.

James Ryder Randall Papers
L. Matano, Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections.
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057