A Guide to the Francis Walker Gilmer Letters, 1812-1825 Gilmer, Francis Walker, Letters, 1812-1825 18763

A Guide to the Francis Walker Gilmer Letters, 1812-1825

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Accession Number 18763


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© 2003 By the Library of Virginia.

Processed by: Trenton Hizer

Repository
Library of Virginia
Accession number
18763
Title
Francis Walker Gilmer Letters, 1812-1825
Physical Characteristics
103 pages
Creator
Francis Walker Gilmer
Physical Location
Personal Papers Collection, Acc. 18763
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Francis Walker Gilmer. Letters, 1812-1825. Accession 18763. Personal papers collection. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

Purchased from the Anderson Galleries, New York, New York, 11 December 1923.


Biographical Information

Francis Walker Gilmer was born 9 October 1790 at "Pen Park" in Albemarle County, Virginia, to George Gilmer (1742-1795) and Lucy Walker Gilmer (1751-1800). He received some of his education at Monticello from Martha Jefferson Randolph (1772-1836) and at a school run by James Ogilvie (1760-1820). Gilmer attended the College of William and Mary in 1809-1810, then studied law under William Wirt (1772-1834) in Richmond, Virginia. Upon the completion of his legal studies, he travelled extensively along the eastern seaboard with the Abbe Joseph Francisco Correa de Serra (1750-1823) before beginning the practice of law in Winchester, Virginia, in 1816. A year later, Gilmer returned to Richmond to continue practicing law. In 1824, he was chosen by Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) to travel to Europe to hire professors for the newly established University of Virginia. Gilmer himself was appointed professor of law, but he died before he could assume his position on 25 February 1826 at "Farmington" in Albemarle County.

Scope and Content Information

Letters, 1812-1825, of Francis Walker Gilmer (1790-1826) of Richmond and Winchester, Virginia, to William Wirt (1772-1834) of Richmond and Washington D.C. discussing Gilmer's and Wirt's legal careers; their health; family and acquaintances; Gilmer's travels; education and literature; Virginia and United States politics. Gilmer writes about his reading law under Wirt and the education of Wirt's children; Gilmer's law practice in Winchester and Richmond and the possibility of settling in Baltimore, Maryland; Wirt's legal career, including arguing before the Supreme Court, appointment as United States attorney for the Richmond District, and his service as United States Attorney General; and his and Wirt's health. Gilmer writes about authors and literature, including Wirt's biography of Patrick Henry (1736-1799). He comments on the British burning of Hampton, Virginia, during the War of 1812. Gilmer discusses the bar in Winchester, Richmond and Maryland, commenting on the legal abilities of William Pinkney (1764-1822), Littleton Waller Tazewell (1774-1860), John Wickham (1763-1839), and Wirt. Gilmer also mentions the adverse effects of his journey to Europe to hire professors for the University of Virginia upon his health. Gilmer discusses mutual friends and acquaintances like William H. Cabell (1772-1853), Dabney Carr (1773-1837), Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), John Randolph (1773-1833), the Abbe Correa de Serra (1750-1823), and Abel P. Upshur (1790-1844).

Arrangement

Chronological


Contents List

Letter, 21 November 1812, Francis Walker Gilmer, Richmond, [Virginia], to William Wirt, Montevideo, Buckingham County, [Virginia], reporting on legal business affairs, Robert Wirt's geography lessons, Gilmer's law readings, his plans for the future, and Wirt family news.
4 p., ALS.
Letter, 27 June 1813, Francis Walker Gilmer, Balls, [Powhatan County, Virginia?], to William Wirt, Richmond, reporting on the trip of the Wirt family and Gilmer as they travel to Montevideo in Buckingham County.
2 p., ALS.
Letter, 28 June 1813, Francis Walker Gilmer, Montevideo, [Buckingham County], to William Wirt, Richmond, concerning reception by the Cabell family, health of the Wirt family, study plans, and personal business. Contains a note, probably by William H. Cabell stating that Wirt's family had arrived at Montevideo.
4 p., ALS.
Letter, 8 July 1813, Francis Walker Gilmer, Montevideo, [Buckingham County], to William Wirt, Richmond, regarding the British raid on Hampton, Virginia, and Gilmer's frustration with the state's leaders. He adds he is about to travel to Albemarle County, Virginia.
4 p., ALS.
Letter, 20 September 1813, Francis Walker Gilmer, Montevideo, [Buckingham County], to William Wirt, Richmond, stating that the mail has been delayed by high water. He also states that he and Mrs. Wirt have been teaching Robert and Laura Wirt and discusses teaching Latin.
4 p., ALS.
Letter, 18 December 1815, Francis Walker Gilmer, Winchester, [Virginia] to William Wirt stating that he has returned from his travels with the Abbe Correa de Serra and has plantings and seeds for Mrs. Wirt and for William H. Cabell.
1 leaf, ALS.
Letter, January 1816, Francis Walker Gilmer, Winchester, to William Wirt, Washington, D.C., discussing his travels with the Abbe Correa de Serra, Wirt's advice on establishing a law practice, and Gilmer's renewed resolution and ambition. Gilmer discusses his correspondence with Thomas Jefferson, plant specimens, and his writings.
3 p., ALS.
Letter, 30 March 1816, Francis Walker Gilmer, Winchester, to William Wirt, Richmond, congratulating Wirt on being appointed United States Attorney for the Richmond District. Gilmer comments on the Winchester bar, the lawyers there, and his practice. He asks Wirt to conduct some financial transactions for him.
4 p., ALS.
Letter, 4 May 1816, Francis Walker Gilmer, Winchester, to William Wirt, Richmond, concerning Wirt's courtroom encounter with William Pinkney, and Gilmer's first case in Winchester. He discusses the care of flowers and his correspondence with William H. Cabell. He asks Wirt for advice on teh law of wills.
4 p., ALS.
Letter, 30 July 1816, Francis Walker Gilmer, Winchester, to William Wirt, Washington and forwarded to Richmond, again asking for references on laws on wills, and Gilmer's difficulties in courtroom speaking. Gilmer states that many people are urging him to move to Baltimore, Maryland, to practice, but Gilmer is uncertain. He sends news of Dabney Carr and family and the Abbe Correa de Serra. He asks about Wirt's biography of Patrick Henry. Gilmer adds that he may travel to Richmond for a visit.
3 p., ALS.
Letter, 29 August 1816, Francis Walker Gilmer, Albemarle County, to William Wirt describing a visit with the Abbe Correa de Serra and Dr. Caspar Wistar to Thomas Jefferson and asking about his appointment as a deputy attorney for Winchester.
2 p., ALS.
Letter, 10 October 1816, Francis Walker Gilmer, Winchester, to William Wirt, Richmond, regarding Wirt's health and his biography of Patrick Henry, Gilmer's correspondence with Thomas Jefferson on Wirt's behalf, and the problems of a legal practice in Winchester. Gilmer also discusses business and personal news.
4 p., ALS.
Letter, 20 December 1816, Francis Walker Gilmer, Winchester, to William Wirt, Richmond, discussing his Christmas plans, Wirt's biography of Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson's opinion of it. Gilmer comments on Littleton Waller Tazewell, John Randolph, and Abel P. Upshur. Gilmer discusses his plans for the future, including his retirement. He comments on scholarship in law and institutions. Gilmer discusses the education of Wirt's children and the health of the Dabney Carr family. Also comments on his financial arrangements.
6 p. ALS.
Letter, [1816], Francis Walker Gilmer to William Wirt concerning William H. Cabell's health, Gilmer's travel plans, Gilmer's correspondence with DuPont de Nemours, and his problems with the printers on his "Sketches of American orators."
2 p., fragment, AL.
Letter, 27 January 1817, Francis Walker Gilmer, Washington, to William Wirt, Richmond, concerning Gilmer's trip to Washington and Richmond; the estate of John Moylan of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a request for help from Abel P. Upshur in relation to it. Gilmer mentions John Randolph and Henry Tucker.
3 p., ALS.
Letter, 4 February 1817, Francis Walker Gilmer, Winchester, to William Wirt, Richmond, regarding the possible public reception of Wirt's biography of Patrick Henry. He comments on John Moylan's estate and financial dealings in Richmond connected with it.
3 p., ALS.
Letter, 28 March 1817, Francis Walker Gilmer, Winchester, to William Wirt, Richmond, discussing Wirt's successes as U.S. attorney and sending the Abbe Correa de Serra's opinion of Wirt. Gilmer comments on his career, regrets over past behavior, and his early life and education at Monticello. Gilmer discusses Littleton Waller Tazewell and John Randolph. He comments on the virtue of honesty in human conduct. Gilmer discusses his future writings, management of bank stock, and the Corbin will case. He sends greetings to Wirt's family and sends some news of Thomas Jefferson.
8 p., ALS.
Letter, 22 February 1820, Francis Walker Gilmer, Richmond, to William Wirt, Washington, asking for news. Gilmer comments on the Richmond bar and Littleton Waller Tazewell. Gilmer comments on essays appearing in the " Indiginist."
3 p., ALS.
Letter, 1 March 1822, Francis Walker Gilmer, Richmond, to William Wirt, Washington, concerning Wirt's poor health and recovery, the death of William Pinkney, opportunities in Baltimore, the decline of Virginia, travel, and personal news.
3 p., ALS.
Letter, 27 April 1822, Francis Walker Gilmer, Richmond to William Wirt stating he will not be coming to Washington. Gilmer comments on his northern travel plans, Baltimore, the decline of the Richmond bar, Dabney Carr as a possible Supreme Court justice, and Wirt's letter from Baltimore.
2 p., ALS.
Letter, 29 December 1822, Francis Walker Gilmer, Richmond, to William Wirt, Washington, concerning Robert Wirt, a packet and portrait of William Pinkney, and Gilmer's difficulties with printers.
3 p., ALS.
Letter, 30 December 1822, Francis Walker Gilmer, Richmond, to William Wirt regarding the packet and Wirt's suggestions. Gilmer again asks about Robert Wirt. Gilmer states that Robert Goodloe Harper has asked him to be part of counsel for the United Illinois and Oubache Land Companies.
1 leaf, ALS.
Letter, 30 January 1823, Francis Walker Gilmer, Richmond, to William Wirt, Washington, concerning Wirt's dock stock and the Mayo Bridge in Richmond, Warm Springs property, and the Bellona Foundry investment. Also comments on the Wabash lands case, a constitutional point of law, and the Kentucky compromise.
4 p., ALS.
Letter, 26 February 1823, Francis Walker Gilmer, Richmond, to William Wirt asking for Wirt's help in securing a position of indian agent for William F. Pendleton so that he might marry.
2 p., ALS.
Letter, 12 May 1823, Francis Walker Gilmer, Richmond, to William Wirt, Washington, stating that he has sent the communication to Thomas Ritchie, editor of the Richmond Enquirer. Gilmer does not think he will move to Frederick, Maryland. Adds that he saw Robert Gamble.
1 leaf, ALS.
Letter, 12 May 1823, Francis Walker Gilmer, Richmond, to William Wirt, Washington, asking Wirt for a letter of introduction for James Southgate to Richard Rush, Minister to Great Britain.
1 leaf, ALS.
Letter, 15 June 1823, Francis Walker Gilmer, Richmond, to William Wirt, Washington, regarding the case of Miss [Martha H.?] Syme whose nephew had taken some of her slaves. Gilmer discusses the case. He also comments on travelling to the Virginia Springs in the summer.
3 p., ALS.
Letter, 1 January 1824, Francis Walker Gilmer, Richmond, to William Wirt, Washington, regretting that Wirt's Christmas invitation came too late to accept. He comments on Miss Syme's case. Gilmer discusses Mrs. Cabell and her need for an escort home.
3 p., ALS.
Letter, 3 February 1824, Francis Walker Gilmer, Richmond, to William Wirt, Washington, concerning the cases of Blane v. Young and Commonwealth v. Boyce, and stating that location of Boyce's and Wirt's papers on the case are unknown.
3 p., ALS.
Letter, 25 February 1824, Francis Walker Gilmer, Richmond, to William Wirt, regarding Dabney Carr's election to the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and Wirt's speech in the "Steamboat Case" [Ogden vs. Gibbons in the U.S. Supreme Court].
2 p., fragment, AL.
Letter, 30 April 1824, Francis Walker Gilmer, Richmond, to William Wirt concerning a "secret mission" to Europe [Gilmer travelled to Europe to hire professors for the University of Virginia]. States he received Wirt's letter.
1 leaf, ALS.
Letter, 29 November 1824, Francis Walker Gilmer, New York, to William Wirt, Washington, concerning Gilmer's illness from travelling. Gilmer mentions a rumor that Wirt might replace Richard Rush as minister to Great Britain. Comments on his journey aboard the "Crisis" with Captain McManus. Mentions Robert Wirt.
4 p., ALS.
Letter, 22 December 1824, Francis Walker Gilmer, Norfolk, to William Wirt stating that he has been delayed in his travels due to missing the Richmond boat in Norfolk because the Baltimore boat was late. Comments on his health.
1 leaf, ALS.
Letter, 11 January 1825, Francis Walker Gilmer, Richmond, to William Wirt stating that he has not been to Albemarle County nor seen Thomas Jefferson yet. Gilmer says that he will continue to practice law. Mentions his poor health.
2 p., ALS.
Letter, 1 February 1825, Francis Walker Gilmer, Richmond, to William Wirt regarding Mrs. O'Donnell's legacy. States that his health is getting better. Mentions Catharine Gratten Gamble and his preference for her as president.
2 p., ALS.
Letter, 4 November 1825, Francis Walker Gilmer, Albemarle [County], to William Wirt introducing Professor George Long.
1 leaf, ALS.