Executive papers, 1859-1863.


Virginia. Governor (1860-1864 : Letcher). Executive papers, 1859-1863.

Executive papers, 1859-1863.

Governor Letcher's Executive papers are organized into two series. Series have been designated for Chronological files and Subject files. The bulk of the material can be found in the Chronological files' series which primarily consists of incoming correspondence between 1860 to 1863. Although Governor Letcher did not take office until 1860, there is correspondence addressed to Governor Letcher soon after he was elected between November and December 1859. Correspondence, court cases, telegrams, poll books, pardons, proceedings, receipts, clippings, reports, petitions, resignations, contracts, proclamations, requisitions, resolutions, and other items can be found in this series. Noteworthy correspondents include Jefferson Davis, Gen. Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Joseph R. Anderson (President Tredegar Iron Works), L.P. Walker & James A. Seddon (C.S.A. Secretaries of War), and James Mallory (C.S.A. Secretary of the Navy). The correspondence from Jefferson Davis involves Virginia troops (May 2, 1861), the reduction of service for some soldiers' companies (July 16, 1861), the enrollment of conscripts (Dec. 2, 1862), and the reduction of the number of slaves working on fortifications (Feb. 25, 1863 & March 5, 1863). As commander of all land and naval forces in Virginia, Gen. Robert E. Lee received correspondence referred from Governor Letcher. One such letter relates to the civil and military government alleged to have been established in Norfolk and Portsmouth (March 24, 1862). These letters include Lee's response written on the endorsement. Stonewall Jackson wrote Governor Letcher on several occasions. On October 12, 1861, Jackson wrote regarding Letcher's intended visit. On January 31, 1862, Jackson wrote Letcher complaining about an order from the Secretary of War to fall back from Romney. Jackson expresses his opposition to this order and requests a resignation and another order to be sent back to the Virginia Military Institute. Joseph R. Anderson wrote to Governor Letcher asking him to exempt workers at Tredegar from volunteer service (May 7, 1861) and for other purposes. Also included is a contract between Anderson and the Board of Commissioners to manufacture arms (Aug. 23, 1860). A letter from Secretary of the Navy, James Mallory, involves the transfer of the steamers Jamestown and Yorktown to the Confederate navy (July 15, 1861). Much of the correspondence to Governor Letcher consists of recommendations of Virginians for appointments. The governor appointed coroners; inspectors of salt, flour, tobacco, warehouses and vessels; commissioners; Bank of Virginia directors; and notaries, in addition to positions in the Provisional Army. Numerous petitions accompany these recommendations. Letters by individuals stating their desire to be considered for a particular position are also present. One such letter from Elizabeth L. Stuart asks the governor to reserve a position in the Virginia Provisional Army for her son, Jeb Stuart (April 23, 1861). Governor Letcher dealt with numerous such requests for commissions in the Provisional Army before the governor transferred all Virginia's forces to the Confederate States. Also common are letters and telegrams, mostly from April 1861, to the governor from individuals in support of secession and others who are tendering their service for the war effort. Letcher sent letters to the convention nominating colonels, calling volunteers into service, and issuing commissions (May 1-2, 1861). Letcher nominated Robert E. Lee as commander of all land and naval forces with the rank of Major General (April 22, 1861) and also Thomas J. Jackson as colonel of volunteers. Along these same lines are various requests for exemptions from military service. An ordinance of the convention exempted railroad officers and employees from service. A list of Central Railroad exemptions can be found in these papers (July 16, 1861). An important function of the governor was issuing reprieves and pardons. Copies of court cases, clippings, petitions, and correspondence supplement the pardons. All of the pardon papers are filed separately in the chronological series at the end of each month. One significant pardon involved the case of Notley P. Adams of Patrick County who was charged with arson. Letcher pardoned Adams in December 1863, after he served three years in the penitentiary. A map of the area in Patrick County where the crime was committed is included in the papers. The governor also received and issued proclamations and requisitions regarding escaped convicts and fugitives. Significant are the requisitions involving conspirators who assisted John Brown in his raid on Harper's Ferry (see below). Other noteworthy documents within the chronological series include: a rough copy of the ordinance of the Virginia Convention defining the duties of the Advisory Council (April 23, 1861); a letter from the Virginia Convention to Jefferson Davis inviting him to make Richmond the seat of government of the Confederacy (April 27, 1861); an anonymous letter to Letcher warning of the U.S. government's intention to take Arlington Heights (May 6, 1861); a letter from Letcher to Sam Houston, Governor of Texas, enclosing a copy of the resolution in response to the request of South Carolina and Mississippi for a Conference of the Southern States (May 24, 1860); a resolution of the state of Tennessee on state's rights (May 24, 1860); telegrams from the states of Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi announcing their secession from the Union (Jan. 10-12, 1861); a proclamation by Letcher to the people of northwestern Virginia regarding secession (June 17, 1861); deed of the state of Virginia to the Confederate States of America transferring property including all the machinery and stores at Harper's Ferry and the armory in Richmond (Oct. 3, 1861). A drawing of a "steam gun" designed by Philip Strickler (Oct. 29, 1861); a message from Letcher to the General Assembly announcing the death of former President John Tyler (Jan. 18, 1862); a 15-page report by Jeb Stuart to Gen. Lee on the Pamunkey expedition (June 23, 1862); lists of negro convicts employed by Joseph R. Anderson & Co. (Sept. 3, 1862); a list of prisoners taken by Maj. Gen. Floyd confined in the State Armory (Dec. 29-30, 1862); report of S. Bassett French calculating the slave population in those counties where requisitions were made for slaves to work on fortifications (March 20, 1863); deed of the Hollywood Cemetery Company to the Commonwealth of Virginia for a section to bury President Tyler (March 17, 1863); a telegram from James P. Smith, Guineas Station, to Letcher regarding the condition of Gen. Jackson (May 5, 1863); and a message from Letcher to the House of Delegates transmitting a statement of the number of troops furnished the Confederate States by Virginia (Oct. 8, 1863). The second series of Governor Letcher's Executive papers contains subject files. There are three subjects represented in this series: the Advisory Council, John Brown's Raid, and Railroads. The materials related to the Advisory Council include correspondence, proceedings, and reports of committees between April and June of 1861. Governor Letcher often referred correspondence to the Advisory Council and the endorsement on the letter details the Council's action with regard to the letter. One letter, in particular, from Robert E. Lee is relevant to the preparations for the defense of Virginia (June 15, 1861). The majority of the correspondence, however, concerns appointments in the Provisional Army and other military matters. The proceedings contain reports of the Committee for Courts of Justice, the Committee of Propositions and Grievances, the Committee on Finance, and the Committee on Military Affairs. The John Brown's Raid documents include correspondence related to the request for pardon of conspirators, Aaron D. Stevens and Albert Hazlett, and information concerning fugitive conspirators Barclay Cappoc, Owen Brown, and Francis Merriam. Particularly interesting is a printed protest by the Democratic members of the Iowa General Assembly condemning Governor Kirkwood's refusal to extradite Barclay Cappoc. There are copies of the indictments for Francis Merriam, Jeremiah Anderson, Owen Brown, and Charles P. Tidd. Military expenses incurred by militia, yet unpaid, are also documented here. Lastly, material concerning railroads include correspondence with regard to railroad connections and the ordinance of the convention relieving railroad workers from military duty and arming them for the defense of the railroads. A roll of the Richmond & Danville Railroad Guard is included. Accession 19736 has been included in Governor Letcher's Executive Papers. This accession consists of a letter from Susan E. Wash to Governor Letcher asking that her husband be relieved from military service. Endorsement of Gov. Letcher, dated May 7, 1861, grants the request. Accession 19923 has been included in Governor Letcher's Executive Papers. This accession consists of a letter from Major Gen. T.J. Jackson, Winchester, to Governor Letcher. In this letter, Jackson comments on the military situation and requests reinforcements and arms to be sent to Winchester, Nov. 30, 1861. Accession 33651 has been included in Governor Letcher's Executive Papers. This accession consists of a letter from John H. Winder to Governor Letcher regarding the sentence of J.C. Northwood, April 6, 1863.

14.35 cu. ft.

Related Entities

There are 41 Entities related to this resource.

Houston, Sam, 1793-1863

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6jn30w4 (person)

Texas politician, soldier, and frontier hero. He was the first president of the Republic of Texas and served as a United States Senator for that state. From the description of Letter, ca. 1855. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122699442 From the description of Letter, 1859. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 145435304 Sam Houston's colorful public life began with his heroic action during the war of 1812. He served as congressman and governor of Tennessee, spent years amon...

Lee, Robert Edward, 1807-1870

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6sk28nd (person)

Robert Edward Lee (1807-1870) served as General of the Confederate Army in the U.S. Civil War and was president of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia from 1865 to 1870. Lee spent the first twenty-three years of his military career in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. From 1837 to 1841 he was superintending engineer for the harbor of St. Louis and the upper Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Robert E. Lee was a United States Army officer, 1829-1861; commander of Virginia forces in the ...

Dimmock, Charles, 1800-1863.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6nk5d7k (person)

Richmond and Danville Railroad Company

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6j42kqc (corporateBody)

Incorporated in Virginia in 1847; main line opened in 1856 from Richmond to Danville, Va. (140 miles); grew through purchase, lease, and other means to 3300 miles of railroad by 1890; controlled by Richmond and West Point Terminal Railway and Warehouse Company (1886-1894); reorganized as Southern Railway Company in 1894. From the description of Records, 1847-1894. (Virginia Tech). WorldCat record id: 28410076 Stem (Granville Co.), N.C. railroad company. From the ...

Virginia. Governor's Office

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6m385cg (corporateBody)

An act was passed by the General Assembly on 18 February 1817 entitled an act arranging the counties into districts for the election of senators and for equalizing the land tax. A similar act was passed on 24 March 1838 providing for the reassessment of lands in the Commonwealth. These acts established a board of principal assessors of four members for the newly created four districts. These acts also called for the appointment of assistant assessors in every county appointed by the Executive an...

Mallory, James Baugh.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6vd8zbt (person)

James B. Mallory was the Brunswick County delegate to the Virginia Convention of 1861 which met initally February 13, 1861. From the description of Letter, 1861 March 12. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122553571 ...

Winder, John H. (John Henry), 1800-1865

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6571b3n (person)

Confederate general. From the description of Autograph letter signed : Richmond, to Gen. H. A. Wise, 1864 Feb. 5. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270588263 U.S. Receiver of public lands at Detroit, Michigan, 1826-1828; bookkeeper, American Fur Company, Mackinac Island, Michigan, 1828-1829; and clerk of the Michigan Territorial Supreme Court, 1829. From the description of John Winder papers, 1825-1834. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34423131 ...

Brown, Owen

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w63n2gmx (person)

Tanner; father of abolitionist John Brown (1800-1859). From the description of Owen Brown diary extract, circa 1820. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79451970 Owen Brown was the great grandson of Tabitha Moffat Brown. From the description of Owen Brown letters [manuscript], 1896-1927. (Oregon Historical Society Research Library). WorldCat record id: 696965842 From the guide to the Owen Brown letters, 1896-1927, (Oregon Historical Society Research Library) ...

Merriam, Francis.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6rr3xqz (person)

Virginia. Governor (1860-1864 : Letcher)

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6vt7bxr (corporateBody)

Governor John Letcher was born on March 29, 1813, in Lexington, Va. Letcher graduated from Randolph Macon in 1833, where he studied law. He participated in the State Constitutional Convention of 1850 and was elected to Congress as a Democrat in 1852. Letcher served in Congress until 1859 when he was elected governor of Virginia. Shortly after the Virginia Convention of 1861 passed the ordinance of secession on April 17, 1861, he ordered state troops to seize the Harper's Ferry arsenal and the Go...

Brown, John, 1800-1859

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6kf2n06 (person)

Abolitionist, tanner, surveyor. Involved in Ohio underground railroad and Kansas slavery and antislavery conflicts, led raid on Harper's Ferry. From the description of John Brown Papers [microform], 1849-1919. (Ohio Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 38974680 John Brown, Jr. (1821-1895) was the oldest of twenty children of the noted abolitionist John Brown of Kansas. He was a farner, soldier, and Free Soil advocate. From the guide to the John Brown, Jr. Col...

Hazlett, Albert.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6b58k2m (person)

Tyler, John, 1790-1862

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6sv8cp4 (person)

John Tyler (b. March 29, 1790, Charles City County, Virginia–d. January 18, 1862, Richmond, Virginia), was the tenth President of the United States (1841–1845) and the first to succeed to the office following the death of President William Henry Harrison....

Virginia. Convention (1861 : Richmond)

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w616031w (corporateBody)

Davis, Jefferson, 1808-1889

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6xk8d2z (person)

Mary Ann Lamar Cobb (1818-1889), wife of Gen. Howell Cobb (1815-1868). From the description of Letter to Mary Ann Lamar Cobb, 1888 Oct. 2. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 38476494 Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) was born in Kentucky. He attended Transylvania University for a short time before enrolling at West Point in 1824, at the age of 16. He graduated in 1828 and immediately joined the First Infantry. His regiment was engaged in the Blackhawk War of 1831. In 1833, he became a...

Stevens, Aaron F. (Aaron Fletcher), 1819-1887

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6670dj7 (person)

Haymond, Thomas Sherwood.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6030rm1 (person)

Yorktown (Navy steamship: Va.)

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6993sf6 (corporateBody)

Virginia. Manufactory of Arms

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6dg1m1n (corporateBody)

Section 17, chapter 27, of the 1850 Code of Virginia authorized the governor to have houses constructed for the storage of cannon. This series concerns a gun house built in the town of Smithfield. From the description of Artillery gunhouse construction expenses, 1860. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122624253 The Virginia Manufactory of Arms was established by an act passed by the General Assembly on 23 January 1798. The manufactory, which served as an armory as ...

Maury, Matthew Fontaine, 1806-1873

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6cr5x8g (person)

American naval officer and oceanographer. From the description of Letter to Capt. Charles Wilkes [manuscript], 1848 March 15. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647808228 From the description of Letter to Andrew Hull Foote [manuscript], 1856 April 4. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647817495 Epithet: Astronomer British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000135.0x000219 ...

Tidd, Charles Plummer, 1832-1862

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6bk3c2c (person)

Soldier. From the description of Biographical sketch of Charles Plummer Tidd, undated. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70980342 ...

Tredegar Iron Works (Richmond, Va.)

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6qc4fx4 (corporateBody)

Virginia. Advisory Council.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w65x7vn6 (corporateBody)

Letcher, John, 1813-1884

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6zw1pdh (person)

Governor of Virginia. From the description of Autograph letter signed : Richmond, Va., to President Buchanan, 1860 June 13. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270591184 From the description of Autograph letter signed : Lexington, Va., to Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State, 1813-1884. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270590807 Native of Virginia; graduate of Washington College; lawyer, newspaper editor, presidential elector in 1848, and member of Virginia's constitutional c...

Provisional Army of Virginia.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6jb1rxt (corporateBody)

French, Samuel, 1821-1898

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6w09p85 (person)

Major in the Confederate Army and chief commissary. From the description of Letterbook and telegrams, 1862-1865. (New York University, Group Batchload). WorldCat record id: 58664322 Samuel Bassett French was a judge who lived in Manchester, Va. From the description of Papers, 1858-1892. (College of William & Mary). WorldCat record id: 22742888 ...

Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6ht71mw (corporateBody)

Richmond, Va. railroad company. From the description of Papers, 1863-1864. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 36437730 ...

Walker, Leroy Pope, 1817-1884

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w62z1dnz (person)

Lawyer, politician, and Confederate secretary of war (1861). From the description of Papers, 1861-1868. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 41150151 Leroy Pope Walker was the first Confederate Secretary of War and later Brigadier General. John Beauchamp Jones was the author of "A Rebel War Clerk's Diary" (Philadelphia, 1866), which presented a vivid picture of wartime Richmond. Therein he described seeing Walker in Montgomery on 19 May 1861, and, telling him of hi...

Virginia. Board of Commissioners.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w64f7955 (corporateBody)

On January 23, 1860, the General Assembly passed an act appointing commissioners to audit and pay the expenses incurred by the Executive for the purchase of arms and munitions, and for the defence of the commonwealth. This board was to consist of the secretary of the commonwealth, the auditor of public accounts, and the adjutant general. The board's function was to settle all accounts incurred in assembling, arming, equipping, transporting, and maintaining troops during John Brown's Raid on Harp...

Stuart, Jeb, 1833-1864

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6f1918m (person)

James Ewell Brown (Jeb) Stuart, soldier, was born 6 February 1833, on "Laurel Hill" plantation, Patrick County, Virginia. He died 12 May 1864 and is buried in Richmond, Virginia. Stuart graduated from the U.S. Military Academy (1850); received his commission (1854); and transferred to the Cavalry (1855). He married Flora Cooke, a colonel's daughter, in 1855, and the couple had three children. Stuart became Robert E. Lee's aide (1859) and resigned from the U.S. Army to be commissioned a lieutenan...

Seddon, James A. (James Alexander), 1815-1880

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w64m99gp (person)

Representative from Virginia; Confederate Secretary of War. From the description of Autograph letter in pencil signed : [n.p.], to R.J. Walker, [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270633277 Confederate Secretary of War. From the description of Letter to Dr. [Lewis] [manuscript], 1853 November 9. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647986794 From the description of Papers, 1862-1865. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 20313944 ...

Allen, Mr. 1797-1871.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6c26wkk (person)

Montague, Robert Latane, 1819-1880.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6md0zbm (person)

Munford, George Wythe, 1803-1882

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6qr5dhh (person)

George Wythe Munford was born 8 January 1803 in Richmond, Virginia to William Munford (1775-1825) and Sally Radford Munford. Educated at the College of William & Mary, Munford was employed by his father who served as clerk of the Virginia House of Delegates. Munford succeeded to the post of clerk upon his father's death in 1825 and held that position in 1852, when he became Secretary of the Commonwealth, serving in that position for 12 years. He also served as clerk of the Virginia Constitut...

Adams, Notley P.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6mp72wf (person)

Smith, Francis H. (Francis Henney), 1812-1890

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6862g2t (person)

Professor and later superintendent, Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Va. From the description of Correspondence, 1834-1869. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 20314731 Owner of a boot and shoe store in Erie, Michigan. From the description of Francis G.C. Smith account books, 1881-1883. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34421926 Francis Henney Smith was born 18 October 1812, the son of Francis Smith and Ann Marsden Smith, of...

Eastern State Hospital (Va.)

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6pz91fb (corporateBody)

Coppoc, Barclay.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6hb14m1 (person)

Jackson, Stonewall, 1824-1863

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6cc0xwv (person)

Stonewall Jackson (1824-1863) was a Confederate Army officer from Lexington (Rockbridge Co.), Va. From the guide to the Stonewall Jackson papers, 1855-1906, (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University) Confederate general. From the description of Stonewall Jackson papers, 1842-1898 (bulk 1861-1862) [manuscript]. WorldCat record id: 23186323 Confederate Army officer, from Lexington (Rockbridge Co.), Va. From the de...

Anderson, Jeremiah.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6ks8rjb (person)

Jamestown (Navy steamship: Va.)

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6dn9qvd (corporateBody)