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Ninth Regent (1958-1968)

Rosamond Randall was born in Annapolis, Maryland, on March 8, 1894, to attorney Daniel Richard Randall and Elizabeth Harding. In November 1919, she married Francis Foulke Beirne, an editor at the Baltimore Sun.

Prior to her 1948 election as Vice Regent for Maryland, Mrs. Beirne served on the boards of the Hammond-Harwood House in Annapolis and the Society for the Preservation of Maryland Antiquities as well as on the council of the Maryland Historical Society.

As Vice Regent, she headed several committees that reflected her interest in scholarship, including Research and Records (1950–53), Emergency (1955–56), and Special Lands (1955–57). As chair of the One Hundredth Anniversary Committee, commemorating the Association’s centennial, she facilitated publication of the organization’s first definitive history—Mount Vernon: The Story of a Shrine, by Gerald W. Johnson—released in 1953.

In addition, Mrs. Beirne was deeply interested in the first president’s papers and instrumental in convincing the Association to publish them in collaboration with the University of Virginia. Mount Vernon still provides financial support for this ongoing endeavor, and its library will be the repository for all files and records related to the project once the final volume is completed.


Also involved throughout her tenure in preserving Mount Vernon’s remarkable view of the Potomac River shore, Mrs. Beirne was a trustee of the Accokeek Foundation, which stewards 200 acres of Piscataway Park in Accokeek, Maryland, directly across the river from the estate.

She authored two books on Maryland history and architecture as well as several articles for the Maryland Historical Magazine.

Elected Regent in 1958, Mrs. Beirne was a woman of whom Mrs. Marvin Holderness, Vice Regent for Tennessee, wrote in 1970, “Every phase of the work of the Association was enriched by her brilliant mind [and] her devotion to the ideals established by Miss Cunningham.”

Mrs. Beirne died suddenly at Mount Vernon on October 24, 1969, following a day of meetings with the Vice Regents at their annual Council. Edgar F. Shannon, Jr., president of the University of Virginia, assured the Ladies that “Mount Vernon’s grievous loss is shared by [the university]," adding that “Rosamond Beirne’s friendship and her major role in founding The Papers of George Washington will be gratefully remembered by my colleagues.”

President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy hosted their state dinner at Mount Vernon in 1961, making it the first dinner held outside of the White House. Mrs. Beirne presents a bust of George Washington to Ayub Khan, the President of Pakistan. MVLA.

First State Dinner Held Outside the White House

President and First Lady Kennedy hosted a state dinner at Mount Vernon in 1961.

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