A Guide to the William Francis Rhea Papers, 1899-1902 Rhea, William Francis, Papers, 1899-1902 41312

A Guide to the William Francis Rhea Papers, 1899-1902

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Accession Number 41312


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© 2005 By the Library of Virginia. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Trenton Hizer

Repository
Library of Virginia
Accession number
41312
Title
William Francis Rhea Papers, 1899-1902
Physical Characteristics
2.475 cubic feet
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

William Francis Rhea Papers, 1899-1902. Accession 41312, Personal papers collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

Purchased 14 August 2002 from L. and T. Respess Books, Charlottesville, Virginia.


Biographical Information

William Francis Rhea was born 20 April 1858 in Washington County, Virginia. He attended rural and private schools, then graduated from King College in Bristol, Tennessee, in 1879. Rhea was admitted to the bar in 1879 and began practicing in Bristol, Virginia. Elected judge of the Washington County court in 1880, Rhea served until 1885 when he was elected to the Virginia State Senate. In 1888, he returned to Bristol and became judge of the city court. Resigning in 1895, Rhea returned to the practice of law. Rhea was elected to represent the 9th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives in 1898 and served from 1899 to 1903. Rhea's elections as a Democrat to the House in 1898 and 1900 were unsuccessfully challenged by his Republican opponent James A. Walker (1832-1901). Rhea lost his relection bid in 1902 to Republican candidate Campbell Slemp (1839-1907). Rhea was appointed a member of the State Corporation Commission in 1908 and he moved to Richmond, Virginia. He retired from the SCC in 1925. Rhea married first Mary Chester Keebler (1859-1913) in December 1878 and they had three children. He married second Rosa Smith Turpin (1869-1936). Rhea died 23 March 1931 in Richmond and was buried in Hollywood Cemetery.

Scope and Content

Papers, 1899-1902, of William Francis Rhea (1858-1931) of Washington County, Virginia, consisting of correspondence to and from Rhea while serving as United States Congressman for the 9th Congressional District located in Southwest Virginia. Papers cover a wide range of topics such as local, state, and national politics, including Rhea's contested elections in 1898 and 1900 against James A. Walker (1832-1901); the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1901-1902; and a range of requests from Rhea's constituents.

Arrangement

Collection is organized into the following series: Series I: General Correspondence, 1899-1902. Series II: Postal Service, 1899-1902. Series III: Agriculture, 1900-1902. Series IV: Employment Requests, 1901- 1902. Series V: Military, 1900-1902. Series VI: Pensions, 1899-1902. Series VII: Contested Election, 1900-1901. Series VIII: Miscellaneous.

Contents List

General Correspondence 1899-1902.
Box: 1

General Correspondence, 1899-1902, consists of letters and telegrams to and from Rhea concerning local, state, and national politics, including Rhea's contested elections to Congress in 1898 and 1900 and his opponent in those elections, James A. Walker (1832-1901); Rhea's selection as Democratic candidate for Congress in 1900 and 1902 by his district; requests for Rhea to support or oppose various legislation; requests for aid or employment; and other political issues. Papers also contain correspondence concerning the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1901-1902 and how it may affect elections; the Philippines Insurrection; the clean-up of the Clinch River, including requests for jobs on the project; a weather bureau station in Wytheville, Virginia; a request that a courthouse be built in Catlettsburg, Kentucky; and pension and relief claims, including a pension request from Rebecca Mayo, one of the four remaining lving Revolutionary war widows. Papers also include correspondence concerning property Rhea is interested in selling.

Arranged chronologically.

  • Box 1
    Folder 1
    General Correspondence, 1899.
  • Box 1
    Folder 2
    General Correspondence, January-March 1900.
  • Box 1
    Folder 3
    General Correspondence, April-May 1900.
  • Box 1
    Folder 4
    General Correspondence, June-December 1900.
  • Box 1
    Folder 5
    General Correspondence, 1901.
  • Box 1
    Folder 6
    General Correspondence, January-April 1902.
  • Box 1
    Folder 7
    General Correspondence, May 1902.
  • Box 1
    Folder 8
    General Correspondence, June-July 1902.
  • Box 1
    Folder 9
    General Correspondence, August-November 1902.
  • Box 1
    Folder 10
    General Correspondence, n.d.
  • Box 1
    Folder 11
    General Correspondence envelopes, n.d.
Postal Service 1899-1902.
Box: 1-2

Postal Service, 1899-1902, contains correspondence to and from Rhea, his constituents, and officials in the United States Postmaster General's office concerning post offices, postmasters, postal routes, and postal carriers located within Rhea's congressional district in Southwest Virginia, asking for new post offices or routes; moving existing offices; changing existing routes; asking for employment as postmaster or mail carrier; or complaining about problems with offices, routes, or carriers. Includes Rhea's correspondence with Postmaster General's office regarding these requests and complaints. Papers also include references to Rhea's contested elections of 1898 and 1900, the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1901-1902, and other political matters. Papers include envelopes that contain information concerning the resolution of questions and requests.

Arranged in subseries: Post offices; Postmasters; Mail Routes; Mail Carriers; Mail Miscellany.

  • Box 1-2
    Post Offices.

    Arranged alphabetically by county, then by locality within.

    • Box 1
      Folder 12
      Bristol City, July 1901.
    • Box 1
      Folder 13
      Buchanan County--Joe, February 1900-August 1901.
    • Box 1
      Folder 14
      Dickenson County--between Festoon and Rock House (Russell County), October-November 1901.
    • Box 1
      Folder 15
      Dickenson County--Kiser's Store (Corrie?), February-April 1901.
    • Box 1
      Folder 16
      Dickenson County--Sandlick, December 1901-March 1902.
    • Box 1
      Folder 17
      Giles County--Wingo (New River), February 1901.
    • Box 1
      Folder 18
      Lee County--Delclisur, January-July 1902.
    • Box 1
      Folder 19
      Lee County--Jonesville (declined), June 1900.
    • Box 1
      Folder 20
      Lee County--Minn (declined), May 1900-January 1901.
    • Box 1
      Folder 21
      Russell County--Blue Grass, November 1901-February 1902.
    • Box 1
      Folder 22
      Scott County--Autumn, April-June 1901.
    • Box 1
      Folder 23
      Scott County--Boozy, January 1902.
    • Box 1
      Folder 24
      Scott County--Dora, March-May 1902.
    • Box 1
      Folder 25
      Scott County--Flag Pond, March 1900.
    • Box 1
      Folder 26
      Scott County--Jess, June 1900.
    • Box 1
      Folder 27
      Scott County--Saratoga, May-September 1901.
    • Box 1
      Folder 28
      Scott County--Sinks (Bruno), April-May 1902.
    • Box 2
      Folder 1
      Tazewell County--Bandy, March-April 1902.
    • Box 2
      Folder 2
      Tazewell County--Cedar Bluff, August 1900-January 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 3
      Tazewell County--Ernest (Tiptop), November 1900-August 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 4
      Tazewell County--Pocahontas (declined), March-July 1900.
    • Box 2
      Folder 5
      Washington County--Clip (postmaster and removal), November-December 1900.
    • Box 2
      Folder 6
      Washington County--Fleet, January-February 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 7
      Washington County--Green Cove (declined), June 1900.
    • Box 2
      Folder 8
      Washington County--Hazel Spring, November 1899-February 1900.
    • Box 2
      Folder 9
      Washington County--Ketron, March-April 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 10
      Washington County--Medina, July 1902.
    • Box 2
      Folder 11
      Washington County--Stump, August 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 12
      Wise County--Big Stone Gap, November 1901-March 1902.
    • Box 2
      Folder 13
      Wise County--Bondtown, May-August 1902.
    • Box 2
      Folder 14
      Wise County--Joplin, January-June 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 15
      Wythe County--Buddle, June-July 1900.
    • Box 2
      Folder 16
      Wythe County--Wytheville, June 1901-February 1902.
    • Box 2
      Folder 17
      Miscellaneous, December 1900-February 1901.
  • Box 2
    Postmasters.

    Arranged chronologically by County, then by locality within.

    • Box 2
      Folder 18
      Giles County, March 1902.
    • Box 2
      Folder 19
      Giles County--Pembroke (stolen mail), April 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 20
      Lee County--Democrat, February 1902.
    • Box 2
      Folder 21
      Pulaski County--Pulaski, December 1901-February 1902.
    • Box 2
      Folder 22
      Pulaski County--Snowville, June 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 23
      Russell County--Lebanon, February-March 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 24
      Scott County--Boozy, July-November 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 25
      Washington County--Abingdon (complaints), January 1902.
    • Box 2
      Folder 26
      Wise County--Big Stone Gap, January 1901-January 1902.
    • Box 2
      Folder 27
      Wythe County--Max Meadows, October-December 1901.
  • Box 2
    Mail Routes.

    Arranged alphabetically by county, then by locality within.

    • Box 2
      Folder 28
      Buchanan County--Prater to Grundy, March-June 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 29
      Lee County--Gibson Station (Sunday mail), January-February 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 30
      Lee County--to and from Rose Hill, January-March 1902.
    • Box 2
      Folder 31
      Pulaski County--Newbern to Essie, February 1902.
    • Box 2
      Folder 32
      Russell County--Cleveland to Hansonville, June-October 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 33
      Russell County--Honaker to Davenport (Buchanan County), August-October 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 34
      Russell County--Lebanon to Point Truth, January-March 1902.
    • Box 2
      Folder 35
      Scott County--Snowflake to Fugate Hill (Russell County), January-February 1902.
    • Box 2
      Folder 36
      Washington County--Greendale to Craig's Mill, August-September 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 37
      Washington County--Medina to Green Cove, May-June 1902.
    • Box 2
      Folder 38
      Wythe County--Wytheville to Bland (Bland County), January-March 1902.
  • Box 2
    Mail Carriers.

    Arranged alphabetically by individual.

    • Box 2
      Folder 39
      Robert B. Devault--Clintwood (Dickenson County) to Coeburn (Wise County), February-August 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 40
      J. W. Ervin--Festoon (Dickenson County), September-December 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 41
      J. S. Lawson--Newport to Eggleston (Giles County), February-March 1901.
    • Box 2
      Folder 42
      John Price--Elk Garden (Russell County) to Saltville(Washington County), August-September 1901.
  • Box 2
    Mail Miscellany, January-May 1901.

    Arranged chronologically.

    • Box 2
      Folder 43
      Correspondence, January-May 1901.
Agriculture 1900-1902.
Box: 3

Agriculture, 1900-1902, contains answers to an unidentified questionaire from various counties located in Rhea's congressional district. Series also includes Rhea's correspondence with the Department of Agriculture regarding his allotment of seeds which congressmen received annually, as well as requests from constituents for seeds, trees, and pamphlets concerning agriculture.

Arranged chronologically.

  • Box 3
    Folder 1
    Correspondence, 1900.
  • Box 3
    Folder 2
    Correspondence, 1901.
  • Box 3
    Folder 3
    Correspondence, January-February 1902.
  • Box 3
    Folder 4
    Correspondence, March-June 1902, n.d.
  • Box 3
    Folder 5
    Agricultural reports from Southwest Virginia counties, n.d.
Employment Requests 1901-1902.
Box: 3

Employment Requests, 1901-1902, consists of correspondence to Rhea containing requests from constituents regarding federal employment and Rhea's response that most positions required would-be applicants to take the Civil Service exam.

Arranged alphabetically by individual.

  • Box 3
    Folder 6
    William B. Leslie, October 1901-January 1902.
  • Box 3
    Folder 7
    Paul Sexton, February-December 1901.
  • Box 3
    Folder 8
    M. N. Shufflebarger, December 1901-January 1902.
  • Box 3
    Folder 9
    Mark L. Wallis, February 1901.
  • Box 3
    Folder 10
    A. S. J. Wheeler, November 1901-February 1902.
Military 1900-1902.
Box: 3

Military, 1900-1902, includes correspondence to and from constituents, many serving in the military, asking for Rhea's help in securing commissions, promotions, transfers, discharges, and payment for service while in the military. Papers also contain a request for Rhea to intervene in a desertion case of a son of a constituent, as well as a request from a constituent for Rhea's assistance in helping him locate his son serving in the army in the Philippines.

Arranged alphabetically by individual.

  • Box 3
    Folder 11
    Marion S. Battle--seeks commission in Army, February-March 1901.
  • Box 3
    Folder 12
    William W. Bentley--seeks commission in Army, September 1901-January 1902.
  • Box 3
    Folder 13
    Charles M. Blackford--examination for appointment in Army, January 1902.
  • Box 3
    Folder 14
    E. Wirt Crockett--seeks commission in Army, March-April 1901.
  • Box 3
    Folder 15
    John W. Hyatt--seeks commission in Army, December 1901-January 1902.
  • Box 3
    Folder 16
    J. S. Kelly--attempting to locate his son in Army in Philippines, April-July 1902.
  • Box 3
    Folder 17
    Frank Lewis--seeks transfer in Navy, April 1902.
  • Box 3
    Folder 18
    J. C. McNew and Abner McNew--seek payment for military service, February 1902.
  • Box 3
    Folder 19
    M. M. Mills--seeks to attend artillery school, July 1901.
  • Box 3
    Folder 20
    Carson L. Perry--requests discharge from Army, December 1900-January 1901.
  • Box 3
    Folder 21
    R. K. Spiller--requests transfer/reinstatement in Army, February 1901-February 1902.
  • Box 3
    Folder 22
    L. Harry Strother--seeks appointment as major in adjutant-general's office, February-March 1901.
  • Box 3
    Folder 23
    Smith G. Talbot--examination for appointment in Army, July 1901.
  • Box 3
    Folder 24
    Robert Thompson--desertion from Army, February-April 1902.
  • Box 3
    Folder 25
    W. O. Trenor--seeks commission in Army, February-July 1901.
Pensions 1899-1902.
Box: 3

Pensions, 1899-1902, contains correspondence from constituents asking Rhea to assist them in securing pensions for Civil War and U.S. military veterans, or for relatives of soldiers killed during the Spanish- American War or the Philippines Insurrection.

Arranged alphabetically by individual.

  • Box 3
    Folder 26
    William H. Burgis, September 1901-March 1902.
  • Box 3
    Folder 27
    Lizzie B. Crockett, mother of Allen T. Crockett, January-April 1902.
  • Box 3
    Folder 28
    Jennie Dennis, mother of William E. Dennis, February 1902.
  • Box 3
    Folder 29
    Lewis Hood, December 1900-March 1901.
  • Box 3
    Folder 30
    Charles Hopper, November 1900-April 1902.
  • Box 3
    Folder 31
    Mary Hopper, widow of Alexander Hopper (alias William Harper), December 1900-June 1901.
  • Box 3
    Folder 32
    Matilda Mathews, mother of Andrew Johnson, August 1901.
  • Box 3
    Folder 33
    Lucy Milligan, mother of [?] Mitchell[?], August 1900-January 1902.
  • Box 3
    Folder 34
    Lawrence E. Payne, December 1899-May 1901.
  • Box 3
    Folder 35
    William Pennington, January-February 1901.
  • Box 3
    Folder 36
    Sarah J. Shell, widow of Henry B. Shell, November 1901-February 1902.
  • Box 3
    Folder 37
    [?] Snavely, February 1901.
  • Box 3
    Folder 38
    S. R. Timberlake, February 1901.
  • Box 3
    Folder 39
    Jacob Wilcox, February 1902.
Contested Election 1900-1902.
Box: 4-5

Contested Election papers, 1900-1901, contain letters, depositions, voter lists, instructions, and other documents concerning Rhea's contested 1900 election against Republican James A. Walker. Letters include Rhea's correspondence with his legal representatives concerning his strategy, county election officials, and other interested parties in the counties making up the 9th Congressional District; and correspondence from election officials concerning Republicans who voted for the Democrat Rhea as opposed to Walker. Depositions include those from election officials in Pulaski, Smyth, and Washington Counties. Voter lists include voter party affiliation by precincts in Pulaski and Russell Counties, and by race in Bristol. Papers also include a county-by-county vote tally for the 1896 9th District congressional election of 1896 between James A. Walker and Samuel Walker Williams; Democratic campaign committee instructions to election officials; Democratic party canvass books and lists; a Minnesota state ballot; and a copy of the Baltimore (Maryland) AMERICAN, 5 November 1900, containing a sample ballot.

Arranged alphabetically by county, followed by miscellaneous folders.

  • Box 4
    Folder 1
    Bland County correspondence, January-February 1901.
  • Box 4
    Folder 2
    Bland County--Republicans voting for Rhea in 1900 election.
  • Box 4
    Folder 3
    Bristol City correspondence, January-February 1901.
  • Box 4
    Folder 4
    Bristol City--voter lists by race.
  • Box 4
    Folder 5
    Bristol City--voter lists by race (marked).
  • Box 4
    Folder 6
    Bristol City--voter list by race (white) (marked).
  • Box 4
    Folder 7
    Buchanan County correspondence, January-March 1901.
  • Box 4
    Folder 8
    Buchanan County--Republicans voting for Rhea in 1900 election.
  • Box 4
    Folder 9
    Craig County correspondence, January-February 1901.
  • Box 4
    Folder 10
    Dickenson County correspondence, January-November 1901.
  • Box 4
    Folder 11
    Giles County correspondence, January-July 1901.
  • Box 4
    Folder 12
    Lee County correspondence, January 1901.
  • Box 4
    Folder 13
    Lee County--Republicans voting for Rhea in 1900 election.
  • Box 4
    Folder 14
    Pulaski County correspondence, January 1901.
  • Box 4
    Folder 15
    Pulaski County depositions, January 1901.
  • Box 4
    Folder 16
    Pulaski County--Republicans voting for Rhea in 1900 election.
  • Box 4
    Folder 17
    Pulaski County--voter lists by precinct.
  • Box 4
    Folder 18
    Pulaski County--voter lists by precinct.
  • Box 4
    Folder 19
    Russell County correspondence, December 1900-March 1901.
  • Box 4
    Folder 20
    Russell County--Republicans voting for Rhea in 1900 election.
  • Box 4
    Folder 21
    Russell County--voter lists by precinct.
  • Box 4
    Folder 22
    Scott County correspondence, December 1900-March 1901.
  • Box 4
    Folder 23
    Scott County--Republicans voting for Rhea in 1900 election.
  • Box 4
    Folder 24
    Smyth County correspondence, January-March 1901.
  • Box 4
    Folder 25
    Smyth County deposition (incomplete), 1901.
  • Box 4
    Folder 26
    Smyth County--Republicans voting for Rhea in 1900 election.
  • Box 5
    Folder 1
    Tazewell County correspondence, December 1900-January 1901.
  • Box 5
    Folder 2
    Tazewell County--Republicans voting for Rhea in 1900 election.
  • Box 5
    Folder 3
    Washington County correspondence and depositions, December 1900-February 1901.
  • Box 5
    Folder 4
    Washington County--Republicans voting for Rhea in 1900 election.
  • Box 5
    Folder 5
    Wise County correspondence, December 1900-July 1901.
  • Box 5
    Folder 6
    Wise County--Republicans voting for Rhea in 1900 election.
  • Box 5
    Folder 7
    Wythe County correspondence, January-July 1901 (October 1902).
  • Box 5
    Folder 8
    Wythe County--Republicans voting for Rhea in 1900 election.
  • Box 5
    Folder 9
    1896 congresional election results for Southwest Virginia.
  • Box 5
    Folder 10
    Baltimore (Md.) American, 5 November 1900, newspaper containing sample ballot.
  • Box 5
    Folder 11
    Minnesota ballot, 1900.
  • Box 5
    Folder 12
    Instructions to election officials from the Democratic Campaign Committee.
  • Box 5
    Folder 13
    Democratic Party canvass books and lists, 1900.
Miscellaneous
Box: 5-6

Miscellaneous items include a handwritten and typewritten copy of a speech delivered by Rhea in the United States House of Representatives on 14 May 1902 on the United States occupation of the Philippines; two of three volumes containing materials relating to Rhea's contested 1898 election against James A. Walker for the 9th Congressional seat, published by the Government Printing Office, middle volume is missing; Democratic Campaign Book for the congressional election of 1902; and mailing addresses for Rhea as a member of Congress.

  • Box 5
    Folder 14
    Speech, delivered 14 May 1902, by Rhea on the United States and the Philippines (typed).
  • Box 5
    Folder 15
    Speech, delivered 14 May 1902, by Rhea on the United States and the Philippines (handwritten).
  • Box 6
    Contested Election Case of James A. Walker vs. William F. Rhea, volume 1, Government Printing Office, 1899.
  • Box 6
    Contested Election Case of James A. Walker vs. William F. Rhea, volume 3, Government Printing Office, 1899.
  • Box 6
    Democratic Campaign Book Congressional Election 1902 issued by the Democratic Congressional Committee.
  • Box 6
    Congressional mailing labels for William F. Rhea.