A Guide to the Samuel McDowell Tate Papers, 1852-1876 Tate, Samuel McDowell, Papers, 1852-1876 37473

A Guide to the Samuel McDowell Tate Papers, 1852-1876

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Accession Number 37473


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© 2006 By The Library of Virginia. All Rights Reserved.

Processed by: Alex Lorch

Repository
The Library of Virginia
Accession Number
37473
Title
Samuel McDowell Tate Papers, 1852-1876
Physical Description
12 leaves
Creator
Samuel McDowell Tate
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Samuel McDowell Tate Papers, 1852-1876. Accession 37473. Personal Papers Collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

Purchased, 19 July 2000, from Nancy Howell, Sacramento, California.


Biographical Information

Samuel McDowell Tate (1830-1897), soldier and railroad president, was born in Morganton, North Carolina, the son of David and Susan Maria Tate. Denied a classical education due to the untimely death of his father, Tate principally attended grammar school in Bedford, Pennsylvania, his mother's home town. In early adulthood Tate was engaged in several commercial pursuits in nearby Philadelphia, but by his early 20's Tate had returned to Morganton where he worked as a merchant. In the latter half of the 1850's, Tate served as Morganton's postmaster and was associated with the construction of the Salisbury-Morganton section of the Western North Carolina Railroad (later owned by the Southern Railway Company). On the outbreak of the Civil War, Tate was commissioned captain of the North Carolina 6th Infantry Regiment, Company D, the first North Carolina unit to fight in Virginia. He participated in numerous battles including the 1st and 2nd Battle of Manassas, Gaines' Mill, Sharpsburg, and Fredericksburg. After the 2nd Battle of Manassas, Tate was promoted to major and at Gettysburg, where he was in command of the regiment, he led it in a charge which drove the Federal forces from Culp's Hill. For his actions he was promoted again to the position of lieutenant colonel. At the Battle of Rappahannock Bridge in 1863, Tate was wounded and seriously wounded at both the Battle of Cedar Creek and the Battle of Petersburg.

Soon after Lee's surrender, Tate was elected president of the Western North Carolina Railroad. While successful in that capacity, Tate lost his post in 1868 when North Carolina governor William W. Holden removed him from office. Despite his termination Tate remained an integral participant in the construction of the railroad. North Carolina residents elected him to the lower house of the state legilature in 1874. He became chairman of the finance committee and as such drafted and had passed laws which benefitted the Western North Carolina Railroad. He initiated the convict lease system and labored to to provide ways to enlarge and improve the state's eleemosynary institutions. Tate's legislative efforts also helped to establish the Hospital for the Insane in Morganton and pushed for the removal of the North Carolina School for the Deaf from Raleigh to Morganton. Voters reelected Tate in 1880, 1882, and 1884 and upon his resignation from the post in 1886, he was appointed bank examiner for the district extending from West Virginia to Florida. He served in that capacity until 1892. In 1892 the governor appointed him to the state's treasurers post where he served until 1894. Tate was married to Jane Pearson in 1866 and they subsequently had ten children. He died in Morganton on June 25, 1897.

Scope and Content

Papers, 1852-1876, of Samuel McDowell Tate (1830-1897 of North Carolina and Pennsylvania, consisting of letters, 1852-1876, to Tate concerning a lawsuit and purchase of land; restitution for a piano burned during shipment; a request for free passage on the Western North Carolina Railroad for children being taught by missionaries from the American Tract Society; a question about "pleasant society" along the Western North Carolina Railroad near or in the mountains; brick buildings for rent in Richmond, Virginia; request for fare reduction on the Western North Carolina Railroad for Southern Republican Association members during an upcoming election; and an application sent to Tate by Fred Fisher of Lexington, Virginia. Papers also include invoices, 1869-1874, for a Smith's No. 2 well fixture and for ten bags of ground plaster and a money order, both purchases made by Tate.

Contents List

Letter, 27 May 1852, from D. H. Wood, Washington D.C., to Tate concerning a lawsuit and the purchase of land.
Letter, 27 June 1856, from Garland Lester, Petersburg, Virginia, to Tate concerning restitution for damages to a piano burned while being shipped on a rail car. Lester asks for a receipt for the purchase of the piano in order to reimburse Tate.
Letter, 29 October 1867, from Reverend G. L. Shearer of the American Tract Society in Richmond, Virginia, to Tate requesting free passage on the Western North Carolina Railroad for children being taught by missionaries of the American Tract Society.
Letter, 6 February 1869, from K. J. Stewart, Norfolk, Virginia, to Tate concerning his ill wife who would like to know if there is "pleasant society" along the Western North Carolina Railroad lines in or near the North Carolina mountains.
Letter, 4 March 1869, from N. T. Pate[?] to Tate regarding two brick buildings for rent on Cary Street near 15th Street in Richmond, Virginia, including descriptions of the buildings, prices, and dimensions.
Invoice, 8 June 1869, for a Smith's No. 2 Well Fixture purchased by Tate from John B. Wilson and Richard T. Foster of Wilson and Foster, wholesale grocers and commission merchants, Richmond.
Letter, 26 July 1870, from E. A. Paul, Washington D.C., to Tate asking for a possible reduction of travel fares on the Western North Carolina Railroad for Southern Republican Association members during the upcoming elections.
Invoice, 24 June 1874, for ten bags of ground plaster and a money order, both purchased by Tate from James A. Seddon, William C. Seddon, and Thomas S. Bruce, owners of Seddon and Bruce, wholesale grocers and merchants, Richmond.
Letter, 26 December 1876, from Fred Fisher, Lexington, Virginia, to Tate in reference to an application previously sent to Tate by Fisher.