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John Hampden Randolph, a native of Virginia born in 1813 came to Mississippi with his parents in 1819. He grew up on his father's plantation in Wilkinson County and subsequently became a cotton farmer. This was his occupation in Mississippi until 1841 when he bought a plantation in Iberville Parish, Louisiana to which he moved in December of that year. For three years he raised cotton as a staple on his plantation. "Forest Rome," but at the end of that time changed to sugar cane.

In the period prior to the Civil War and in the years shortly after its close, Randolph built up a large estate and in the meantime became a very successful sugar planter. By 1871 his landed possessions in Iberville Parish amounted to over 7000 acres which, however, included more than 3000 acres of swamp land. He also owned lands in the states of Iowa, Minnesota, and Texas. In 1858 he built a beautiful mansion on his plantation fronting the Mississippi River and named it "Nottoway," after the County in Virginia where his ancestors had lived.

During the Civil War Randolph held on to his land in Louisiana and Texas, and about 1863 took his slaves and other valuable property to Texas, where he cultivated his land in that state. After the war he returned to Louisiana with a number of the Negroes, many of whom continued to work for him as freedmen.

The estate diminished in size in the 1870's and at the time of his death in 1883, Randolph owned only Nottoway plantation end his swamp land. His heirs disposed of these lands that remained.