A Guide to the Executive Papers of Governor Wyndham Robertson, 1836-1837 Robertson, Wyndham, Executive Papers of Governor, 1836-1837 43097

A Guide to the Executive Papers of Governor Wyndham Robertson, 1836-1837

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Accession Number 43097


[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/

© 2007 By The Library of Virginia. All Rights Reserved.

Processed by: Craig S. Moore

Repository
The Library of Virginia
Accession Number
43097
Title
Executive Papers of Governor Wyndham Robertson, 1836-1837
Extent
1.13 cubic feet (5 boxes)
Creator
Virginia Governor (1836-1837 : Robertson)
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Virginia. Governor's Office. Executive Papers of Governor Wyndham Robertson, 1836-1837 (bulk 1836). Accession 43097. State Records Collection, The Library of Virginia.

Acquisition Information

Acquired prior to 1905


Biographical Information

Wyndham Robertson was born in Richmond, Virginia, on 26 January 1803 to William Robertson and Elizabeth Bolling, a descendant of Pocahontas. Wyndham was graduated at William and Mary College in 1821 and was admitted to the bar in 1824. Robertson was elected to the Council of State on 29 May 1830, and later re-elected in 1833 and 1836. As senior member of the Council and lieutenant governor, Robertson succeeded Littleton W. Tazewell as governor upon his resignation on 30 March 1836. Robertson served as governor until Tazewell's three-year term expired on 31 March 1837. In 1838, Robertson was elected to represent Richmond City in the House of Delegates serving four consecutive sessions until 1841. Robertson relocated to southwest Virginia, but later returned to serve in the House of Delegates on the eve of the Civil War. An opponent of secession, Robertson introduced the Anti-Coercion Resolution pledging Virginia's support against Federal coercion. Robertson remained in the House of Delegates throughout the war. Following the war, Robertson was instrumental in Virginia's readmission to the Union as a member of the Committee of Nine.

Wyndham Robertson married Mary Trigg Smith, daughter of Capt. Francis Smith, on 16 August 1831. He died on 11 February 1888 and is buried in the Bolling Family Cemetery at Cobbs in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

Scope and Content

Wyndham Robertson's Executive Papers primarily consist of incoming correspondence during his one year as acting governor between 30 March 1836 and 31 March 1837. The correspondence in this collection relates to a variety of topics including appointments & recommendations for state positions; the Virginia Penitentiary; arms and ammunition; the militia; Revolutionary War bounty land claims; public improvements; resignations; extraditions; state expenses & revenue; elections; and others. In addition to correspondence, there are resolutions from the Virginia Senate & House of Delegates; accounts; oaths; contracts; pardons; proposals; receipts; election returns & certificates; qualifications; lists; proclamations; petitions; reports; appointments; resignations; bonds; commissions; orders; proceedings; opinions; and other sundry items.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into the following series:

I. Executive Papers of Governor Wyndham Robertson, 1836-1837

Related Material

Separated Material

Oversized materials have been separated to boxes 4-5.


Adjunct Descriptive Data

Bibliography

Flournoy, H. W., CALENDAR OF VIRGINIA STATE PAPERS, January 1, 1836-April 15, 1869, VOL. XI, Richmond: James E. Goode, Printer, 1893.

Bibliography

Flournoy, H. W., CALENDAR OF VIRGINIA STATE PAPERS, January 1, 1836-April 15, 1869, VOL. XI, Richmond: James E. Goode, Printer, 1893.

Contents List

Boxes 1-5
Executive Papers of Governor Wyndham Robertson, 1836-1837.
Extent: 5 boxes.

The Acting Governor received correspondence from three main sources: the Federal government, Virginia State government, and Governors from other states. Federal government correspondents include John Forsyth, Secretary of State, & Levi Woodbury, Secretary of the Treasury. John Forsyth transmits documents of the 2nd Session of the 23rd Congress (1836 May 16). Forsyth also writes requesting copies of the laws of Virginia passed during the sessions of 1819-1820, 1834-1835, & 1835-1836 (1836 May 27). Lastly, Forsyth writes regarding the distribution of Acts of Congress (1836 Aug. 31). Additionally, Asbury Dickins writes as Acting Secretary of State regarding the case of a fugitive slave belonging to a citizen of Virginia who absconded to Canada with stolen property (1836 Aug. 31). Levi Woodbury, Secretary of the Treasury, writes regarding the act of Congress in relation to the public money (1836 June 27).

The majority of correspondence in Wyndham Robertson's Executive Papers originates from Virginia State government. Significant correspondents from Virginia State government include Charles S. Morgan, Superintendent of the Penitentiary; Bernard Peyton, Adjutant General; Blair Bolling, Commandant of the Public Guard; Sydney Smith Baxter, Attorney General; George W. Munford, Clerk of the House of Delegates; James E. Heath, Auditor of Public Accounts; and John H. Smith, Agent for Virginia to examine Revolutionary Claims.

Charles S. Morgan, Superintendent of the Penitentiary, corresponded with Acting Governor Robertson regarding various issues respecting prisoners and the Virginia Penitentiary. Morgan writes regarding the value of slaves in the Penitentiary for sale & transportation (1836 Apr. 5); the resignation of William Anderson as President of the Board of Directors (1836 Aug. 26); clothing for the guard at the Penitentiary (1836 Nov. 19); complaints by Capt. Blair Bolling on his authority over the guard stationed at the Penitentiary (1836 Nov. 20); and the request of Capt. H. C. Boyers of Monongalia for arms (1836 Nov. 22).

Bernard Peyton, Adjutant General, mainly writes regarding arms, ammunition, and the militia. Peyton writes regarding the value of rations at the Lexington Arsenal (includes half-monthly return) (1837 Jan. 28); the delivery of arms to the Armory from Rappahannock County (1837 Feb. 25); the letter of Col. Davenport, 55th Regiment, regarding a requisition from Capt. Hamtramck for camp equipage (1836 Oct. 17); and the letter of Thomas Sanders, Commandant of the 35th Regiment, regarding arms issued to Capt. Thomas J. Boyd (1836 Nov. 14).

Blair Bolling, as Commandant of the Public Guard & Superintendent of Public Edifices, writes regarding numerous issues concerning the Public Guard, the Armory, and the Virginia State Capitol. Bolling writes regarding the condition of the Public Warehouse (1836 May 3); the confinement of a deserter from the Public Guard named James Nowlan (1837 Jan. 2); and a letter from Joseph Tate, Chairman of the Watering Committee, regarding the expediency of obtaining from the Executive so much of the ground adjoining the Junior Fire Engine House for an office for the Superintendent of the City Water Works (1837 Mar. 17). In addition, Blair Bolling writes along with Samuel P. Parsons as commissioners regarding the procurement of a portion of the square wanted by the Commonwealth for watering the Penitentiary (1836 July 20), and the purchase of a portion of the ground held by Mr. Wingfield held by him around the fountain that waters the Penitentiary (1836 Aug. 25).

Sidney Smith Baxter, Attorney General, provides an opinion on the case of a slave named Abraham condemned to death by the County Court of Prince William. Baxter remarks on the right of a slave to have the benefit of clergy and the authority of the Executive to reprieve slaves for sale & transportation (1837 Jan. 11). In another letter, Baxter provides an opinion regarding the case of Martin, a slave accused of the manslaughter of a fellow slave named Lewis in Henrico County (1837 Mar. 10). Lastly, Baxter provides his opinion in relation to the Fairfax County recommendations for justices (1837 Jan. 30).

George W. Munford, as Clerk of the House of Delegates, transmits the following certificates of election: Douglas B. Layne, John Gibson, Houlder Hudgins, William A. Harrison, John Moncure, & Charles Turnball as electors (1836 Dec. 6); Thomas Ritchie as public printer (1836 Dec. 10); Richard E. Parker as senator in Congress to supply the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Benjamin W. Leigh (1836 Dec. 12); James E. Heath as Auditor, James Brown, Jr., as 2nd Auditor, Lawson Burfoot as Treasurer, William Selden as Register of the Land Office, & William H. Richardson as Secretary of the Commonwealth & Librarian (1837 Jan. 18); John J. Allen as judge of the General Court for the 9th District, 17th Circuit (1837 Jan. 21); Isaac R. Douglas as judge of the General Court to supply he vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Richard E. Parker (1837 Jan. 23); Richard E. Parker as judge of the Court of Appeals to supply the vacancy occasioned by the death of Dabney Carr (1837 Feb. 8); Philip N. Nicholas as judge of the General Court, 21st Circuit (1837 Mar. 8); Charles S. Morgan as Superintendent of the Penitentiary & Douglas B. Layne as General Agent or Store Keeper of the Penitentiary (1837 Mar. 9); and William H. Roane as senator in Congress to supply the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Richard E. Parker & John Robert Wallace as brigadier general of the 5th Brigade to supply the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Gen. George M. Cooke (1837 Mar. 14).

James E. Heath, Auditor of Public Accounts, corresponds with Acting Governor Robertson regarding the bond of John Wright appointed General Agent & Store Keeper of the Penitentiary in place of Thomas W. Moncure, deceased (1836 Apr. 2); the contract of A. Sweeney to furnish rations to the prisoners in the Penitentiary (1836 Apr. 11); payments to the Lexington Arsenal for the Public Guard (1836 June 27); his absence from office (1836 Aug. 6); the claim of Laurence G. Alexander for military supplies (1836 Jan. 11); an estimate of the sum expended in the purchase of rations by Capt. David E. Moore (1837 Jan. 31); and a request to obtain a copy of the new addition of Tucker's Commentaries on the Laws of the Commonwealth (1937 Mar. 25).

John H. Smith as Commissioner of Revolutionary Claims writes Acting Governor Robertson regarding claims of the Commonwealth against the United States. Smith writes regarding a suit for five years full pay or half pay for life due to the heir of Capt. John Catesby Cocke for services in the Revolutionary War (1836 Dec. 1). Smith also writes regarding an allowance for additional bounty land for his father's services (1836 Dec. 7).

Governors and secretaries from other states comprise a significant amount of correspondence received by the Acting Governor. This correspondence relates to extraditions. Included are letters from the following governors or secretaries: William L. Marcy, New York; Joseph Ritner, Pennsylvania; and Edward B. Dudley, North Carolina. Governor William L. Marcy, New York, writes regarding the demand for the arrest of Joseph S. Bailey indicted for obtaining property under false pretences (1836 May 31). Governor Joseph Ritner, Pennsylvania, writes regarding the demand for William Roberts who stands indicted for the crimes of fornication & bastardy (includes opinion of Sidney S. Baxter) (1836 Dec. 7). Lastly, Governor Edward B. Dudley writes regarding the demand for a slave named Joe, a fugitive from justice (1837 Feb. 14).

Additional significant correspondence includes the following: Samuel P. Parsons recommending John L. Gallaher as General Agent of the Penitentiary (1836 Mar. 29); "The Wandering Piper" requesting permission to play in the Capitol (1836 Apr. 1); P. V. Daniel resigning as Privy Councilor to accept a commission as judge of the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Virginia (1836 Apr. 25); Samuel P. Parsons re. the purchase of a lot to supply the Penitentiary with water (1836 July 1); Capt. John B. Richardson & Lt. Charles H. Hyde, Committee of the Richmond Fayette Artillery, encl. a plan & estimate of a gun house (1836 July 14); Samuel P. Parsons recommending John L. Gallaher to replace William Anderson as Director of the Board of Directors of the Penitentiary (1836 Aug. 20); William S. Scott resigning as vaccine agent (1836 Nov. 3); B. W. Leigh resigning as senator in Congress (1836 Nov. 5); William Selden, Register of the Land Office, re. obstructions from the flues in the Capitol chimneys (1836 Nov. 15); W. H. Woodley, Proctor, requesting arms for students for military instruction at the University of Virginia (1836 Nov. 18); Charles Ellis, President of the Board of Directors of the Penitentiary, encl. annual statements including agent's account, superintendent's communication, & joint report of the superintendent & physician (1836 Dec. 3); Joseph F. May resigning as judge of the General Court upon his election to the House of Delegates (1836 Dec. 8); Richard E. Parker resigning as judge of the General Court of the 14th Judicial Circuit (1836 Dec. 13); J. Y. Mason re. receipt of his commission as judge of the General Court & Circuit Superior Courts of Law & Chancery (1837 Jan. 11); J. Y. Mason resigning his seat in the House of Delegates (1837 Jan. 11); Isaac R. Douglas accepting his appointment as judge of the General Court, 13th Circuit (1837 Feb. 6); Richard E. Parker acknowledging receipt of his commission as judge of the Court of Appeals (1837 Feb. 11); and Richard E. Parker accepting his commission as judge of the Court of Appeals (1837 Mar. 8).

Other noteworthy items include: proclamations by the acting governor offering rewards for the apprehension of escaped convicts (1836 Sept. 8, 10, & 26; Dec. 14 & 20); the demand of Lieutenant Governor Robertson to the Governor of North Carolina for the arrest of Lewis F. Dupree, a fugitive from justice (1836 Apr. 6); proclamation of Acting Governor Wyndham Robertson for an election to supply the vacancy in the State Senate occasioned by the resignation of John Keller (1836 Sept. 13); a list of aliens who have given proof by oath of their intention to reside in the state (1836 Sept. 29); proclamation of Acting Governor Wyndham Robertson for an election to supply the vacancy in the House of Delegates occasioned by the resignation of Wilson K. Shinn (1836 Oct. 31); bond & contract of Francis H. Deane as vaccine agent (1836 Nov. 5); proclamation of Acting Governor Wyndham Robertson naming the electors on behalf of the State of Virginia for President & Vice President (1836 Nov. 26); proclamation of Acting Governor Robertson directing the mayor of Petersburg to hold an election for the House of Delegates to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of John Thompson Brown (1836 Dec. 2); proclamation of Acting Governor Robertson directing the sheriff of Prince Edward County to hold an election for the House of Delegates to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of James Madison (1836 Dec. 2); proclamation of Acting Governor Wyndham Robertson offering a reward for the apprehension of the perpetrator or perpetrators of the murder of Reverend Isaiah Harris of Surry County (1837 Feb. 8); and a certificate of qualification of David Campbell as governor by John G. Mosby (1837 Mar. 31).

Arranged in chronological order.

  • 1836
    • April
      • Box 1
        Folder 1
        1-10
      • Box 1
        Folder 2
        11-28
    • May
      • Box 1
        Folder 3
        2-15
      • Box 1
        Folder 4
        16-30
    • June
      • Box 1
        Folder 5
        1-15
      • Box 1
        Folder 6
        16-30
    • July
      • Box 1
        Folder 7
        1-15
      • Box 1
        Folder 8
        16-30
    • August
      • Box 1
        Folder 9
        1-15
      • Box 1
        Folder 10
        16-31
    • September
      • Box 2
        Folder 1
        2-10
      • Box 2
        Folder 2
        12-20
      • Box 2
        Folder 3
        22-28
    • Box 2
      Folder 4
      October
    • November
      • Box 2
        Folder 5
        1-15
      • Box 2
        Folder 6
        16-24
      • Box 2
        Folder 7
        25-30
    • December
      • Box 2
        Folder 8
        1-10
      • Box 2
        Folder 9
        12-30
  • 1837
    • January
      • Box 2
        Folder 10
        2-10
      • Box 2
        Folder 11
        11-25
      • Box 2
        Folder 12
        26-31
    • February
      • Box 3
        Folder 1
        1-15
      • Box 3
        Folder 2
        16-28
    • March
      • Box 3
        Folder 3
        2-10
      • Box 3
        Folder 4
        11-20
      • Box 3
        Folder 5
        21-31
Oversized (Clamshell Box)
  • 1836
    • Box 3
      Folder 1
      June 6
    • Box 3
      Folder 2
      Sept. 5
    • Box 3
      Folder 3
      Sept. [N.D.]
Oversized (Newspaper Box)
  • 1836
    • Box 4
      Folder 1
      May 23
    • Box 4
      Folder 2
      June 29
    • Box 4
      Folder 3
      Oct. 12
    • Box 4
      Folder 4
      Dec. 3
    • Box 4
      Folder 5
      Dec. 7