A Guide to the Virginia Convention (1861: Richmond), Records, 1861-1961 (bulk 1861) Virginia Convention (1861: Richmond), Records, 1861-1961 (bulk 1861) 20228, 23877a, 23877d, 29711, 34887, 40585 and 40586

A Guide to the Virginia Convention (1861: Richmond), Records, 1861-1961 (bulk 1861)

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Accession Number 20228, 23877a, 23877d, 29711, 34887, 40585 and 40586


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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: Roger Christman

Repository
Library of Virginia
Accession number
20228, 23877a, 23877d, 29711, 34887, 40585 and 40586
Title
Records, 1861-1961
Physical Characteristics
2.11 cubic feet, four volumes and 1 reel of microfilm
Creator
Virginia Convention (1861: Richmond)
Physical Location
State Records Collection, Virginia Convention (1861: Richmond) (Record Group 93)
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Original Ordinance of Secession restricted. Serve Photostat.

Preferred Citation

Virginia Convention (1861: Richmond), [specific series], [dates]. [specific accession number], State Records Collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

These records came in several accessions. See catalogue record for details.


Historical Information

The Convention of 1861 met from 13 February 1861 to 1 May 1861 (when they voted for session); the convention adjourned to wait for the results of the referendum and returned 12 June to 1 July 1861. The second adjourned session met from 13 November to 6 December 1861. The firing on Fort Sumter, on 12 April, ignited the confederates to action. On 17 April 1861, the Virginia Convention voted eighty-eight to fifty-five to secede from the United States of America. The Ordinance of Secession, which repealed the ratification of the United States Constitution, was ratified on 23 May. On April 20 1861, the Convention created an advisory Council to assist the Governor in preparation of the state's defenses. Governor Letcher named Francis Henney Smith, John James Allen, Matthew Fontaine Maury, Thomas Sherwood Haymond and Robert Latane Montague to the Council. They recommended that Letcher appoint Robert E. Lee to command the state's forces. Lee accepted the appointment, taking over command on 23 April 1861. On 14 November 1861, the convention met again to draft a new state constitution and adjourned on 6 December 1861. The new constitution was submitted to the voters for approval, but it was defeated.

Scope and Content Information

The Virginia Constitutional Convention records are organized into three series. Series have been designated for Election records, Convention records and Ordinance of Secession records.

Series #1: Election Records, 1861 This series is divided into three sub-series:

Subseries A: Election of Delegates, 4 February 1861. This subseries consists of election certificates from the special election held to elect delegates to the convention of 1861. The election was held 4 February 1861. Also included are election abstracts from the special election held on the same day on the referendum question: shall the convention's action be ratified by popular vote? These records are filed together and are arranged alphabetically by locality. Records are not extant for all localities.

Subseries B: Special Election of Delegates, 24 October 1861 (to fill vacancies). This election was held in order to fill vacancies in the Secession Convention caused by the expulsion of certain delegates from the western counties. These delegates were expelled 28-29 June, but when the convention recessed 1 July, no provision had been made to fill their vacancies. On 11 October Governor John L. Letcher issued a proclamation providing for elections in those counties then in the possession of the enemy, but he did not take any cognizance of the vacant convention seats nor did he order any specific election to be held. On 24 October a special election was held to fill the vacant seats of those delegates who had been expelled from the convention. This date is ascertained from the manuscript election abstracts. Because the western counties were not under the control of the Richmond government, the election could only be held in those military encampments in eastern Virginia in which soldiers from the western counties were stationed. There is also one poll book of civilian refugees who had come to Richmond. On 19 November the convention, now re-convened, ratified the election of the new convention delegates. The Convention Journal states that the election had been provided for by the Governor's proclamation of 11 October. The manuscript election abstracts themselves cite this proclamation as the authority for the election. However, the text of the proclamation does not call for a specific election. [above subseries description written by T. Headlee, c. July 1964]

Subseries C: Referendum Election Returns, 23 May 1861. This subseries consists of abstracts and/or poll books from the referendum on the ordinance of secession and the taxation amendment to the Virginia constitution. The referendum was held 23 May 1861. The records are arranged by locality and by military encampment. Also included are election statements on the finally tally of votes for both referendum questions. Returns are not extant for all localities.

Series #2: Convention Records, 1861 This series is divided into two subseries:

Subseries A: Ordinances, 1861. This subseries consists of ordinances, arranged numerically, passed by the Convention in its three sessions. Ordinances 1-48 were passed during the May-June 1861 session; 50-88 were passed in June-July 1861; and 89-99 were passed in November-December 1861. Not all ordinances are extant, including numbers 89-99. Also included are ordinances, arranged chronologically, that were tabled or rejected by the convention. All of the ordinances were published in volume II of Journals and Papers of the Virginia State Convention of 1861. Also included is an oversize volume of convention ordinances, resolutions and schedules.

Subseries B: Miscellaneous Records, 1861. This subseries consists of reports, arranged chronologically, submitted to the Convention. Many of these reports were published in volume III of Journals and Papers of the Virginia State Convention of 1861. Also included are resolutions, petitions and memorials, correspondence and documents, the convention's pay list volume and the proceedings of the Committee on Federal Regulations (16 February 1861 to 30 March 1861). The Committee proceedings are available only on microfilm (Miscellaneous Reel 571). The original is part of the Brock Collection, Huntington Library, California.

Series #3: Ordinance of Secession, 1861-1961 This series contains the original Ordinance of Secession along with correspondence and affidavits documenting ownership after its removal from Richmond during the Civil War until its return to the Library in 1930. The correspondence and affidavits, dated 1887 and 1929, certify that the Ordinance of Secession was among various papers found in the "State House" in Richmond by Charles W. Bullis, a member of the 20th New York Stat Militia, known also as the 80th Regiment of New York Volunteers. Mr. Bullis sold the document, 10 October 1887, to Major George Hooker Treadwell who, in turn, gave it to his son, George Curtis Treadwell. Also included are several photo static copies of various facsimiles of the Ordinance owned by the National Archives and the Virginia Historical Society as well as correspondence and research notes by Library of Virginia staff concerning the history and ownership of these various editions of the Ordinance.

Arrangement

Organized into the following three (3) series: I. Election Records, 1861; II. Convention Records, 1861; and III. Ordinance of Secession Records, 1861-1961.


Contents List

Series I. Election Records, 1861
0.68 cubic feet and 3 volumes
  • Subseries A: Election of Delegates, 4 February 1861 (accession 40586)
    • Box 1
      Folder 1
      Accomack County - Frederick County
    • Box 1
      Folder 2
      Giles County - Northampton County
    • Box 1
      Folder 3
      Ohio County - York County/Williamsburg
  • Subseries B: Special Election of Delegates, 24 October 1861 (to fill vacancies, etc.) (accession 40586)
    • Box 1
      Folder 4
      Augusta, Brooke, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Ohio (see oversize), Preston, Prince William and Taylor counties
  • Subseries C: Referendum Election Returns, 23 May 1861 (accession 40586)
    • Box 1
      Folder 5
      Statement of Vote on Referendum: Ordinance of Secession, 23 May 1861 (Virginia State Library tabulation arranged by locality; prepared by Mrs. Bertie C. Smith, Reference Librarian, General Library Division, VSL)
    • Box 1
      Folder 6
      Governor's Proclamation - Ratification of Taxation Amendment to State Constitution (total votes for and against), 14 June 1861 (2 copies - original and draft)
    • Box 1
      Folder 7
      Governor's Proclamation - Ratification of Ordinance of Secession (total votes for and against), 14 June 1861 (rough draft) Note official proclamation is printed in RICHMOND ENQUIER, 20 June 1861, page 3
    • Box 1
      Folder 8
      "Estimate of Supposed Vote" - Ratification of Ordinance of Secession, no date
    • Box 1
      Folder 9
      Albemarle County - Frederick County (see also oversize)
    • Box 1
      Folder 10
      Giles County - Montgomery County
    • Box 1
      Folder 11
      Nansemond County - Wythe County
    • Statement of Vote, Military Encampments, on Referendum: Ordinance of Secession, 23 May 1861 (see oversize)
    • Box 1
      Folder 12
      Poll Books, Various Military Encampments (see also oversize)
    • Box 2
      Folder 1
      Poll Books, Various Military Encampments
    • Volume - Poll Books, Various Military Encampments (Volume 1, Culpeper County-Henrico County) (accession 40585)
    • Volume - Poll Books, Various Military Encampments (Volume 2, James City County - King William County) (accession 40585)
    • Volume - Poll Books, Various Military Encampments (Volume 3, Nansemond County-Richond City) (accession 40585)
Series II. Convention Records, 1861
0.825 cubic feet and one reel of microfilm
  • Subseries A: Ordinances, 1861 (accession 40586) (see also oversize)
    • Box 3
      Folder 1
      Numbers 2, 4, 7 and 10
    • Box 3
      Folder 2
      Numbers 11-19
    • Box 3
      Folder 3
      Numbers 20-27 and 29
    • Box 3
      Folder 4
      Numbers 31, 33-34 and 36-39
    • Box 3
      Folder 5
      Numbers 40-42 and 44-48 [note: Number 49 appears to have been omitted; however, the handwritten numbers (begining with 50) do not corresponde with the published ordinances in the JOURNAL. They are off by one number.]
    • Box 3
      Folder 6
      Numbers 50-59
    • Box 3
      Folder 7
      Numbers 60-69
    • Box 3
      Folder 8
      Numbers 70-79
    • Box 3
      Folder 9
      Numbers 80-88
    • Box 3
      Folder 10
      Tabled or Rejected - 1861 June
    • Box 3
      Folder 11
      Tabled or Rejected - 1861 November and No Date
  • Subseries B: Miscellaneous Records (accession 40586)
    • Box 3
      Folder 12
      Reports: February-December 1861
    • Box 3
      Folder 13
      Resolutions: April-June 1861 and No Date
    • Box 3
      Folder 14
      Petitions and Memorials, April, June 1861 and No Date
    • Box 3
      Folder 15
      Miscellaneous Correspondence and Documents, 1861
    • Box 4
      Volume - Pay List of the Members of the Convention of 1861
    • Microfilm - Miscellaneous Reel 571 - Journal of the Committee on Federal Relations, 16 February 1861 - 30 March 1861 (accession 29711; part of Brock Collection)
Series III. Ordinance of Secession, 1861-1961 (see also oversize)
  • Box 5
    Folder 1
    Research Notes and Correspondence - Signatures on the copies of the Ordinances (National Archives and Flegenheimer), No Date (accession 40586)
  • Box 5
    Folder 2
    Research Notes and Correspondence - Sources of Data on William Flegenheimer, No Date (accession 40586)
  • Box 5
    Folder 3
    Research Notes and Correspondence - Enrolled Copy of Ordinance in the National Archives, 1900 and 1945 (accession 40586)
  • Box 5
    Folder 4
    Research Notes and Correspondence - Enrolled Copy of Ordinance in the National Archives, 1956 and 1961 (includes facsimile of National Archives copy) (accession 40586)
  • Box 5
    Folder 5
    Research Notes and Correspondence - Letters and affidavits concerning return/ownership of engrossed copy of Ordinance penned by William Flegenheimer, 1887 and 1929 (accession 20228)
  • Box 5
    Folder 6
    Research Notes and Correspondence - Lithograph copies of ordinance, 1954-1959 (accession 40586)
  • Box 5
    Folder 7
    Research Notes and Correspondence - William James VAn Schreeven's Notes on the Ordinance of Secession (accession 40586)
Oversize - Series I. Election Records, 1861
  • Subseries B: Special Election of Delegates, 24 October 1861 (to fill vacancies, etc). (accession 40586)
    • Box 1
      Folder 1
      Ohio County
  • Subseries C: Referendum Election Returns, 23 May 1861 (accession 40586)
    • Box 1
      Folder 2
      Alexandria County and Boone County
    • Box 1
      Folder 3
      Statement of Vote, Military Encampments, on Referendum: Ordinance of Secession, 23 May 1861
    • Box 1
      Folder 4
      Poll Books, Military Encampments (Staunton)
Oversize - Series II. Convention Records, 1861
  • Subseries A: Ordinances, 1861 (accession 40586)
    • Volume - Ordinances, Resolutions and Schedules, 1861
    • Box Map Case 24
      Folder Drawer 2
      Convention Schedule for 6 December 1861
    • Box Map Case 24
      Folder Drawer 2
      Copy of Bill of Rights for 1861 Virginia Constitution (accession 23877a)
Oversize - Series III. Ordinance of Secession, 1861-1961
  • Box Vault
    Ordinance of Secession (William Flegenheimer parchment) (accession 20228) DO NOT SERVE
  • Box Map Case 24
    Folder Drawer 2
    Ordinance of Secession (facsimile) (accession 23877d)
  • Box Map Case 24
    Folder Drawer 2
    Ordinance of Secession (facsimile) (accession 34887)
  • Box Map Case 24
    Folder Drawer 2
    Ordinance of Secession (facsimile on linen) (accession 34877)
  • Box Map Case 24
    Folder Drawer 2
    Ordinance of Secession (two positive and one negative photo static copies of Flegenheimer's Ordinance) (accession 40586)
  • Box Map Case 24
    Folder Drawer 2
    Ordinance of Secession (three positive photo static copies of National Archives copy of Ordinance) (accession 40586)
  • Box Map Case 24
    Folder Drawer 2
    Ordinance of Secession (negative photostat) (Simons and Keiningham) (accession 40586)
  • Box Map Case 24
    Folder Drawer 2
    Ordinance of Secession (positive and negative photostat) (Hoyer and Ludwige-VHS) (accession 40586)
  • Box Map Case 24'
    Folder Drawer 2
    Ordinance of Secession (positive and negative photostat) (Charles L. Ludwig-VHS) (accession 40586)
  • Box Map Case 24
    Folder Drawer 2
    Photostat of newspaper articles, 1861 (accession 40586)
  • Box Map Case 24
    Folder Drawer 2
    Photo static copies of engrossed ordinances of the convention, 1861 (accession 40586)