A Guide to the James Lawson Kemper Papers, 1804-1951 Kemper, James Lawson, Papers, 1804-1951 24692

A Guide to the James Lawson Kemper Papers, 1804-1951

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Accession Number 24692


[logo]

Library of Virginia

The Library of Virginia
800 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219-8000
USA
Phone: (804) 692-3888 (Archives Reference)
Fax: (804) 692-3556 (Archives Reference)
Email: archdesk@lva.virginia.gov(Archives)
URL: http://www.lva.virginia.gov/

© 2003 By the Library of Virginia.

Processed by: Trenton Hizer

Repository
Library of Virginia
Accession number
24692
Title
Papers, 1804-1951
Physical Characteristics
.45 cubic feet
Creator
James Lawson Kemper
Physical Location
Personal Papers, Acc. 24692
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

James Lawson Kemper. Papers, 1800-1951. Accession 24692. Personal papers collection. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

Purchased 22 November 1957.


Biographical Information

James Lawson Kemper was born 11 June 1823 at "Mountain Prospect" in Madison County, Virginia, to William Kemper (1776-1853) and Maria E. Allison Kemper (1787-1873). He attended the Locust Dale Academy, then Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Virginia, graduating in 1842. He read law under George W. Summers (1804-1868) of Kanawha County, (West) Virginia, and received a master's degree from Washington College. Admitted to the bar 2 October 1846, Kemper returned to Madison County to practice law. When the Mexican War began, Kemper was appointed captain in the First Virginia Regiment and served until the end of the war. In 1853, Kemper was elected to the House of Delegates and served until 1863. He was Speaker of the House from 1861 to 1863. When the Civil War began, Kemper was appointed colonel of the 7th Virginia Infantry. Due to his performance at the battle of Seven Pines, Kemper was promoted to brigadier general. He was wounded in Pickett's Charge on 3 July 1863, and was captured by Union troops a few days later. Exchanged in September 1863, he returned to his command. Kemper was put in command of the reserve forces of Virginia in 1864. After the war ended, Kemper returned to his law practice in Madison County and pursued business interests. He was elected governor of Virginia in 1873 and served from 1874 to 1878. Much of his term was spent in dealing with Virginia's debt. After he left the governor's office, Kemper returned to Madison County, then moved to Orange County in 1882. Kemper married Cremora Conway Cave (ca. 1837-1870) 4 July 1853 in Madison County, and they had seven children. Kemper died 7 April 1895 in Orange County and buried at the family cemetery at "Walnut Hills" in Madison County.

Scope and Content Information

Papers, 1804-1951 (bulk 1841-1888), of James Lawson Kemper of Madison and Orange Counties, Virginia, consisting of loose papers and letterpress copy books. Loose papers contain circular letters, clippings, deeds, land surveys, letters, obituaries, papers money, photographs, poems, and promissory notes. Papers cover Kemper's political career in the House of Delegates and as governor of Virginia, as well as personal and business matters. Of interest are letters from J. C. Rutherfoord while a student at the University of Virginia; poems apparently written about Cremora "Belle" Conway Cave (ca. 1837-1870) before her marriage to Kemper; letters concerning the sale of slaves; letters written by Confederate officers and soldiers to Kemper during his tenure as Speaker of the House of Delegates; draft of of a letter to John S. Mosby concerning Virginia politics; address by Kemper supporting Horace Greeley (1811-1872) for president in 1872; Governor Kemper's message to the General Assembly, 1 December 1875; and letters from Kemper's daughter Lucy (ca. 1860-1915) while travelling in Europe. There are two newspapers: THE MANASSAS JOURNAL (28 October 1943) and THE ORANGE REVIEW (25 October 1951).

Letterpress copybooks contain copies of letters written during Kemper's term (1874-1878) as governor of Virginia, and the majority of letters are written by him, or either Meade C. Kemper (d. 1886), S. Bassett French (1820-1898), or Charles Rutledge Whipple, all of whom served as secretary to Kemper. Correspondence consists of replies to requests for pardons, employment, or other matters. Also contains correspondence from Kemper concerning matters of the commonwealth and include letters written to the governors of Maryland and West Virginia, the Secretary of War William W. Belknap (1829-1890), and President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885). Several letters were written to General Stephen V. Benet of the ordnance department. Other correspondents include Jeremiah S. Black (1810-1883), Jefferson Davis (1808-1889), William D. Hix, A. J. B. Beresford Hope, J. M. Keeling, John Letcher (1813-1884), and Asa Rogers (1802-1888).

Arrangement

Items are arranged in chronological order.

Contents List

James Lawson Kemper: Papers, 1804-1859
folder: 1
  • a
    Photograph, n.d., of William H. Richardson
    1 item
  • b
    Letter, n.d., to Editor of the Richmond Dispatch regarding statements made about James L. Kemper by Mrs. George E. Pickett
    2 leaves
  • c
    Surveyor's report, 7 January 1804, for land surveyed in Madison County, Virginia, for Manson Sceamond. Surveyed by John Grinnan.
    1 leaf
  • d
    Promissory note, 1 September 1813, from Abner Porter to William Kemper.
    2 pages
  • e
    Surveyor's report, 21 February 1815, for land surveyed in Madison County for Zachariah Ford and William Kemper. Surveyed by James Clark.
    1 leaf
  • f
    Deed, 23 March 1815, for 841 acres in Madison County from Zachariah and Kiziah Ford to William Kemper, all of Madison County. No recordation date.
    1 leaf
  • g
    Deed, 11 December 1819, for 69 1/2 acres in Madison County from Nancy Bickers, her sons James Bickers, Andrew Bickers, and Edmond Bickers, and her daughter Sarah Bickers to William Kemper, all of Madison County. No recordation date.
    1 leaf
  • h
    Letter, 6 February 1839 [1859] from M. W. Strother, Rochelle, Virginia, to James L. Kemper, Madison Court House.
    1 leaf
  • i
    Letter, 11 October 1839, from William Kemper, n.p., to James [Kemper], n.p.
    1 leaf
  • j
    Letter, 19 December 1841, from J. C. Rutherfoord, University of Virginia, to James L. Kemper, Washington College, Rockbridge County, [Virginia].
    3 pages
  • k
    Letter, 16 April 1843, from J. C. Rutherfoord, University of Virginia, to James L. Kemper, Leon Post Office, Madison County.
    3 pages
  • l
    Letter, 18 January 1844, from J. P. Thompson, Orange Hotel, to Mr. Stringfellow, n.p.
    1 leaf
  • m
    Letter, 8 February 1848, from John V. Hill, Madison, Virginia, to Captain James L. Kemper, 1st Virginia Regiment Volunteers, Buena Vista, Mexico.
    4 pages
  • n
    Poem, [1852],"But then xxxxxx's very coldness still was kind...."
    1 leaf
  • o
    Poem, [1852],"First Affection" by "B. C."
    2 pages
  • p
    Poem, 13 April 1852,"The laughing Belle's so bright, Sir...." Supposed to have been written by Mr. T. N. W., Dr. A. G. G., and Mr. W. A. H.
    1 leaf
  • q
    Letter, 2 November 1853, from J. R. Bryant, Pleasant Hill, Mercer County, Kentucky, to W. L. Early, n.p.
    2 pages
  • r
    Letter, 5 April 1854, from Thomas Wood, Charlottesville, to an unknown correspondent.
    1 leaf
  • s
    Letter, 21 October 1856, from Sangston and Company, Baltimore, [Maryland], to William L. Early, n.p.
    1 leaf
  • t
    Letter, 26 January 1858 from William Munford, Aide-de-camp, 4th Division, Virginia Militia, Richmond, to James L. Kemper, House of Delegates.
    1 leaf
  • u
    Letter, 5 February 1858, from H. M. Garland, Jr., Culpeper Court House, [Virginia], to Col. J[ames] L. Kemper, Richmond.
    1 leaf
  • v
    Letter, 10 February 1858, from W. L. Early, Charlottesville, [Virginia], to Cousin William, n.p.
    1 leaf
  • w
    Letter, 23 February 1858, from Powell and Company, Alexandria, [Virginia], to unknown correspondent.
    1 leaf
  • x
    Letter, 28 January 1859, from E. G. Wayland, Rochelle, to James L. Kemper, Madison Court House. Enclosure: advertisement for sale of slaves.
    2 leaves
  • y
    Letter, 6 February 1859, from Gibbon S. Conway, n.p., to an unknown correspondent.
    2 pages
  • z
    Letter, 1 March 1859, from Eliza Seal, Rochelle, Madison County, to [James L.] Kemper, n.p.
    1 leaf
  • aa
    Letter, 3 May 1859, from F. W. Connor, Louisa Court House, to Gen. J[ames] L. Kemper, n.p.
    1 leaf
  • ab
    Letter, 8 December 1859, from R[obert] A. Banks, Madison Court House, to Gen. J[ames] L. Kemper, House of Delegates, Richmond.
    2 pages
  • ac
    Letter, 14 December 1859, from H. S. Wallace, n.p., to General [James L. Kemper], n.p.
    1 leaf
James Lawson Kemper: Papers, 1860-1862
folder: 2
  • a
    Clipping, [7 January 1860], concerning the presentation of a jewelled chronometer to Colonel J. Lucius Davis by the ladies of Charlestown, Jefferson County, [(West) Virginia].
    1 leaf original, 2 leaves photocopies
  • b
    Letter, 7 February 1860, from Thomas J. Humphreys, Madison Court House, to [James L.] Kemper, n.p.
    2 pages
  • c
    Letter, 19 March 1860, from R[obert] A. Banks, Madison Court House, to James L. Kemper, House of Delegates, Richmond.
    2 pages
  • d
    Letter, 26 March 1860, from R[obert] A. Banks, Madison Court House, to [James L. Kemper], n.p.
    1 leaf
  • e
    Letter, 27 March 1860, from William Thomas, Madison Court House, to Gen. James L. Kemper, n.p.
    1 leaf
  • f
    Letter, 31 March 1860, from G. W. Richardson, n.p. to J[ames] L. Kemper, n.p.
    2 pages
  • g
    Bank note, 14 January 1861, from Enders, Sutton, and Company, Bankers, to Burke and Herbert, Alexandria, concerning George Moore.
    2 pages
  • h
    Letter, 26 April 1861, from Maria E. Kemper, Mountain Prospect, [Madison County], to James [L. Kemper].
    1 leaf
  • i
    Letter, 30 April 1861, from J. B. Davis, n.p., to General James L. Kemper, n.p.
    2 pages
  • j
    Letter, 4 September 1861, from B. F. Templeton, n.p., to sister, n.p.
    4 pages
  • k
    Letter, 13 December 1861, from W. T. Patton, Culpeper County, to Colonel James L. Kemper, n.p.
    3 pages
  • l
    Letter, 10 January 1862, from Thomas Jordan, near Centreville, [Virginia], to Colonel James L. Kemper, n.p.
    4 pages
  • m
    Letter, 10 January 1862, from W. E. Jones, Camp Stonewall Jackson, Virginia, to Colonel J[ames] L. Kemper, House of Delegates, Richmond.
    2 pages
  • n
    Letter, 16 January 1862, from W. E. Jones, Camp Stonewall Jackson, Virginia, to Colonel J[ames] L. Kemper, Richmond.
    2 pages
  • o
    Letter, 28 January 1862, from A. P. Hill, Head Quarters, 4th Brigade, to Colonel [James L. Kemper], Madison Court House.
    2 pages
  • p
    Letter, 29 January 1862, from W. E. Jones, Camp Stonewall Jackson, Virginia to Colonel J[ames] L. Kemper, Speaker, House of Delegates, richmond.
    2 pages
  • q
    Letter, 29 January 1862, from George H. Geiger, Cavalry Camp near Leesburg, [Virginia], to Colonel James L. Kemper, n.p.
    3 pages
  • r
    List, 15 February 1862, of Commissioned Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and Privates Surrendered at Fort Henry, [Tennessee], 6 February 1862, and the answers to charges concerning report of the battle at Fort Donalson [Tennessee].
    3 pages, printed, incomplete
  • s
    Letter, 9 February 1862, from J[ubal] A. Early, camp near Union Mills, to Colonel James L. Kemper, n.p.
    4 pages
  • t
    Letter, 20 February 1862, from H. Sidney Wallace, Centreville, to Colonel James L. Kemper, n.p.
    1 leaf
  • u
    Letter, 5 March 1862, from R. Cleary, camp near Centreville, to Colonel James L. Kemper, Richmond.
    2 leaves
  • v
    Letter, [October 1862], Jane McVeigh, n.p., to the President [Jefferson Davis].
    1 leaf
  • w
    Letter, [ca. 1862], H. S. Wallace, n.p., to Colonel [James L. Kemper?].
    2 pages
James Lawson Kemper: Papers, 1863-1872
folder: 3
  • a
    Clipping, [ca. 1863], concnering Brigadier General James L. Kemper as a potential candidate for office of governor of Virginia.
    1 leaf, 2 photocopies
  • b
    Letter, 24 April 1863, from John Dooley, Richmond, to General James M. [sic] Kemper, n.p.
    2 leaves
  • c
    Letter, 27 April 1864, from John Scott of Fauquier [County, Virginia], at Petersburg, [Virginia], to General James L. Kemper, n.p.
    9 pages
  • d
    Letter, 23 December 1867, circular from the State Executive Committee [of the Conservative Party], Richmond, to General J[ames] L. Kemper, Consulting Member, State Executive Committee, District No. 6, n.p.
    1 leaf, printed
  • e
    Letter, 1 January 1868, circular from the Executive Committee, New York, to unknown recipient, concerning nomination of General U. S. Grant for President of the United States.
    3 pages, printed
  • f
    Letter, 22 February 1868, from R. T. Daniel, Conservative State Committee, Richmond, to J[ames] L. Kemper, n.p.
    1 leaf
  • g
    Letter, 1 March 1868, from A. W. Graves, n.p., to General J[ames] L. Kemper, Madison.
    1 leaf
  • h
    Letter, 11 March 1868, from C. Douglas Gray, Harrisonburg, to General J[ames] L. Kemper, n.p.
    1 leaf
  • i
    Letter, 18 March 1868, circular from R. T. Daniel, Chief Director, Conservative State Committee, Richmond, to [James L. Kemper], n.p.
    1 leaf
  • j
    Letter, [April 1868], from B. W. Gillis, Deputy Marshall as Messenger, District Court of the U.S. for District of Virginia in Bankruptcy, to James L. Kemper, Madison Court House, creditor of George Wise, bankrupt.
    1 leaf, form letter
  • k
    Letter, 15 April 1868, from J. Garrett, Virginia Central Railroad Company, Richmond, to General J[ames] L. Kemper, Madison Court House.
    1 leaf
  • l
    Letter, 18 April 1868, circular from R. T. Daniel, Chief Director, Conservative State Committee, Richmond to [James L. Kemper].
    1 leaf, printed
  • m
    Letter, 1 May 1868, from R. W. Hughes, Alexandria, [Virginia], to [James L.] Kemper, n.p.
    2 leaves
  • n
    Letter, 2 November 1868, from M[ary] A. F[reeman], Maywood, to General James L. Kemper, Madison Court House.
    2 pages
  • o
    Letter, 15 June 1870, from John B. Mallory, n.p., to [James L.] Kemper, Stanardsville, [Virginia].
    1 leaf
  • p
    Letter, 19 October 1870, from S. M. Bocock, Buchanan, [Virginia], to Meade [C. Kemper], n.p.
    2 pages
  • q
    Letter, 29 April 1872, from W. F. Southard, Rockhill, [Virginia], to General J[ames L.] Kemper, Madison Court House.
    1 leaf
  • r
    Letter, 21 September 1872, from Mann Spitler, Luray, [Virginia], to General James L. Kemper, Madison Court House.
    2 pages
  • s
    Address, [1872], James L. Kemper to unknown audience. Speech outlining excesses of Reconstruction and supporting the presidential candidacy of Horace Greeley.
    12 pages
James Lawson Kemper: Papers, 1874
folder: 4
  • a
    Letter, 20 January 1874, from James Barbour, Culpeper, to [James L.] Kemper, n.p.
    3 pages
  • b
    Letter, 22 January 1874, from P. C. L. Burwell, Winchester, [Virginia], to Governor [James L.] Kemper, n.p.
    3 pages
  • c
    Notice, [February 1874], District Court of the United States for the Western District of Virginia to unknown recipient [probably James L. Kemper], concerning Arthur W. Bowler, Bankrupt, of Madison County.
    1 leaf
  • d
    Letter, 3 May 1874, from James S. Greever, Senate Chamber, Richmond, to Governor James L. Kemper, n.p.
    3 pages
  • e
    Letter, 25 May 1874, from James B. Grooem [Governor of Maryland], Elkton, Maryland, to James L. Kemper, n.p.
    1 leaf
  • f
    Letter, 28 May 1874, from J[ames] B. Groome, State of Maryland, Executive Department, Annapolis, to James L. Kemper, n.p.
    1 leaf
  • g
    Letter, 23 June 1874, from [James L. Kemper], Madison, to Colonel John S. Mosby, n.p.
    14 leaves, draft
James Lawson Kemper: Papers, 1875
folder: 5
  • a
    Letter, 9 January 1875, from John Hunton, Fort Fetterman, Wyoming Territory, to General [James L. Kemper], n.p. Interesting comments on life in the territory and on the popularity of [Ulysses S.] Grant, [Philip] Sheridan, and [William T.] Sherman.
    4 pages
  • b
    Letter, 13 February 1875, from Matilda Barnett, Washington D.C., to Governor [James L.] Kemper, n.p.
    1 leaf
  • c
    Letter, 24 June 1875, from [James L. Kemper], Executive Mansion, Richmond, to Messrs. Thomas Branch and Company, Bankers, [Richmond]. Commenting on Virginia's current fiscal condition.
    21 leaves
  • d
    Letter, 28 July 1875, from William D. Hix, Walker's Church, Virginia, to Aunt Maggie [Bocock], n.p.
    3 pages
  • e
    Governor's message, 1 December 1875, from James L. Kemper, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, to the General Assembly.
    53 leaves
  • f
    Letter, 8 December 1875, from James L. Kemper, Executive Mansion, Richmond, to Mr. McCulloch, n.p.
    4 pages
  • g
    Letter, 27 December 1875, from John H. Allison, New Orleans, [Louisiana], to General [James L.] Kemper, Richmond.
    1 leaf
James Lawson Kemper: Papers, 1876-1880
folder: 6
  • a
    Letter, 28 May 1876, from Robert A. Banks, n.p., to Governor [James L. Kemper], n.p.
    2 pages
  • b
    Letter, 23 January 1877, from Robert A. Banks, n.p., to Governor J[ames] L. Kemper, n.p.
    2 pages
  • c
    Letter, 5 February 1877, from John M. Kemper, Pine View, Fauquier County, to Governor [James L. Kemper], n.p.
    2 pages
  • d
    Letter, 8 February 1877, from James S. Garnett, Gravel Hill, Buckingham County, [Virginia], to J[ames] L. Kemper, Richmond. Includes a reply.
    2 pages
  • e
    Letter, 21 May 1877, from J[ames] L. Kemper, Richmond, to Miss Mora [Cremora Cave], n.p.
    1 leaf
  • f
    Letter, 28 May 1877, from G. J. Browning, Orange Court House, Virginia, to J[ames] L. Kemper, n.p.
    2 pages
  • g
    Letter, 26 September 1877, from P. F. August, Gordonsville, [Virginia], to Governor James L. Kemper, n.p.
    1 leaf
  • h
    Letter, 15 October 1877, from Henry Ardern, Winchester, to Governor [James L.] Kemper, Richmond.
    2 leaves
  • i
    Letter, 15 September 1878, from Meade C. Kemper, Physician's Office, City Almshouse, Richmond, to John S. Kemper, Leon, Madison County.
    11 pages
  • j
    Letter, 13 February 1880, from John T. Weaver, n.p., to James L. Kemper, Madison Court House.
    2 pages
  • k
    Letter, 25 March 1880, from A. H. Walters, n.p., to General [James L.] Kemper, Madison Court House.
    1 leaf
  • l
    Letter, 22 October 1880, from James L. Kemper, Jr., Episcopal High School of Virginia, Alexandria, to J[ames] L. Kemper, Madison Court House.
    3 pages
  • m
    Letter, 21 November 1880, from Peg [Florence Kemper], Richmond, to [James L. Kemper], Madison Court House.
    6 pages
  • n
    Statement, 31 December 1880, of J[ames] L. Kemper regarding possession of four bonds from James J. Beasley, Anderson Beasley, and John K. Long to Michael Jenkins of Baltimore, dated Madison Court House.
    1 leaf
James Lawson Kemper: Papers, 1882-1888, 1894
folder: 7
  • a
    Letter, 11 April 1882, from J. H. McRae, Richmond, to Mrs. Cremora Cave, Madison Court House.
    2 pages
  • b
    Letter, 14 December 1882, from M. F. Hill, [Oak Park], to James L. Kemper, Madison Court House.
    2 pages
  • c
    Letter, 3 February 1884, John M. Forbes, near Warrenton, Virginia, to James L. Kemper, n.p.
    4 pages
  • d
    Letter, 6 January 1885, from William F. Gordon, Louisa, to General [James L. Kemper], n.p.
    3 pages
  • e
    Letter, 6 January 1886, from David Johnston, Princeton, Mercer County, West Virginia, to General James L. Kemper, Madison Court House. Forwarded to Orange Court House.
    1 leaf
  • f
    Letter, 5 February 1886,M[eade] C. Kemper, Norfolk, to J[ames] L. Kemper, n.p.
    4 pages
  • g
    Letter, 13 February 1886, from Meade C. Kemper, Norfolk, to J[ames] L. Kemper, Orange Court House.
    4 pages
  • h
    Obituaries, 23-24 February 1886, for Dr. Meade C. Kemper, from Norfolk Ledger, Norfolk Virginian, Evening News of Norfolk, and Norfolk Land Mark.
    9 leaves, originals, 1 leaf, photocopy
  • i
    Letter, 28 April 1887, from P. R. Herndon, Ruckersville, [Virginia], to General J[ames] L. Kemper, Orange Court House.
    1 leaf
  • j
    Letter, 16 May 1887, McRae Cave, National Stockyards, Illinois, to Mother [Cremora Cave], Madison Court House.
    1 leaf
  • k
    Letter, 28 June 1887, from [Lucy Kemper], City of Richmond, [England], to Homefolks [James L. Kemper, et. al.].
    16 pages
  • l
    Letter, 29 June 1887, Lucy Kemper, London, [England], to Father [James L. Kemper], Orange Court House.
    18 pages
  • m
    Letter, 5 July 1887, from Lucy [Kemper], Rotterdam [Netherlands], to Sister and Jessie [Florence Kemper and Jessie Kemper], n.p.
    20 pages
  • n
    Letter, 18 July 1888, from J[ames] L. Kemper, Orange, Virginia, to Cremora Cave, Madison Court House.
    2 pages
  • o
    Letter, 12 May 1894, from D. N. Kinney, Delaware, Ohio, to Charlie, [Orange County].
    2 pages
James Lawson Kemper: Newspapers, 1943-1951
folder: 8
  • a
    Newspaper, 28 October 1943,Manassas Journal
    4 pages, incomplete
  • b
    Newspaper, 25 October 1951,Orange Review
    8 pages, second section of issue
James Lawson Kemper: Letterbook, 1874-1875, containing letters from James L. Kemper while governor of Virginia. Letters written by Kemper and Meade C. Kemper, acting as his private secretary.
1 volume
James Lawson Kemper: Letterbook, 1877, containing letters from James L. Kemper while governor of Virginia. Letters written by Kemper, Meade C. Kemper, Charles Rutledge Whipple, and S. Bassett French, acting as his secretaries.
1 volume

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • J[ames L.] Kemper
  • J[ames] B. Groome
  • J[ames] L. Kemper
  • J[ubal] A. Early
  • James M. [sic] Kemper
  • M[ary] A. F[reeman]
  • M[eade] C. Kemper
  • R[obert] A. Banks
  • U. S. Grant