Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 444.
RANDOLPH was formed in 1787, from Harrison. It is 85 miles long, with a mean width of 25 miles. This county is made up of several parallel ranges of mountains, with their intervening valleys: it is drained by the head-waters of Elk River, and the Monongahela. The mountains are covered with the finest timber, and abound in coal and iron ore. Much of the soil of the mountains is rich, and they abound in slate, freestone, and limestone. In some parts are small caves having a kind of copperas, which is used for a dye; and along some of the water-courses, alum projects in icicle-like drops. Salt springs are numerous. Within the last twelve years, elk and beaver have been seen in small numbers. Randolph is principally a stock-raising county, and live stock of every description are annually exported to market Population in 1840, whites 5,799, slaves 216, free colored 193; total, 6,208.