A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Accession Number 45054
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Virginia. Governor (1882-1886 : Cameron), Executive papers of Governor William E. Cameron, 1882-1885. Accession 45054, State government records collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. 23219.
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William Evelyn Cameron was born 29 November 1842 in Petersburg, Virginia, to Walker Anderson Cameron and Elizabeth Page Walker Cameron. He attended local schools, then a military academy in Hillsboro, North Carolina. Cameron briefly attended Washington College in St. Louis, Missouri, and received an appointment to the United States Military Academy before the Civil War began. When the war started, he abandoned his preparatory studies for West Point and joined the Confederate army, serving throughout the war. After the war, Cameron returned to Petersburg, where he began practicing law. However, he decided to pursue a career in journalism and edited newspapers in Petersburg, Norfolk, and Richmond, Virginia. Cameron served as mayor of Petersburg from 1876 to 1882. He was elected governor of Virginia as a member of the Readjuster party and attempted to implement its program of debt reduction and providing some racial integration in certain areas. After his term as governor ended in 1886, Cameron briefly left Virginia, before returning and resuming a career in politics as more conservative politician. Cameron represented Petersburg in the constitutional convention of 1901-1902. He served as editor of the Norfolk VIRGINIAN-PILOT from 1906 to 1919. Cameron married Louisa Clarinda Egerton (1846-1908) 1 October 1868, and they had three children. Cameron died 25 January 1927 at the home of one of his sons in Louisa County, Virginia, and was buried at Blandford Cemetery in Petersburg.
Governor William E. Cameron Executive papers are organized chronologically. These papers consist of incoming correspondence during Cameron's four-year term as governor of Virginia between 1 January 1882 and 1 January 1886. The correspondence primarily relates to appointments and recommendations for state positions. Governor Cameron's Executive papers are extremely sparse compared to the executive papers of other Virginia governors.
This collection is arranged into the following series:Series I. Executive Papers of Governor William E. Cameron, 1882-1885
Noteworthy documents include the following: a letter from the London Bondholders' Committee protesting against the governor's message to the General Assembly regarding the payment of state debts (1882 Jan. 26), a contract of Jesse E. Adams, J. N. Lamkin, & J. M. Moore for the hire of convicts from the Penitentiary to work in stone quarries or other suitable labor (1884 July 2), and a letter from G. H. Bagwell, Commissioner, Onancock, regarding the work of Charles Junkin of the U. S. Coast Survey to establish & mark the points of the Virginia & Maryland boundary line in Pocomoke Sound (1884 Oct. 6).
Box 1Folder 11882
Box 1Folder 21884
Box 1Folder 31885