A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Accession Number 45055
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Virginia. Governor (1886-1890 : Lee). Executive Papers of Governor Fitzhugh Lee, 1886-1890. Accession 45055, State government records collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.
Acquisition information unknown.
Accession 22649 - Letter of Paul Pujol, 1888 July 3 (in French), Gift of Mrs. John C. Goode, Richmond, Va., 17 Oct. 1946.
Accession 30936 - Letter of Paul Pujol, 1888 July 3 (translation), Gift of James S. Rawlings, 1100 N. Thompson St., Richmond, Va., 16 Oct. 1980.
Accession 38600 - Circular Letter of Benson J. Lossing, 1888, Acquisition information unknown, 7 Nov. 2001.
Fitzhugh Lee was born 19 November 1835 at "Clermont" in Fairfax County, Virginia, to Sydney Smith Lee (1802-1869) and Ann Maria Mason Lee (1811-1898). He attended private schools in Alexandria, Virginia, and in Maryland. Lee was appointed to the United States Military Academy in 1852, graduating in 1856. Appointed a lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Cavalry, Lee fought in skirmishes against Indians in Texas. In 1860, he was appointed to teach cavalry tactics at West Point, but resigned from the position and the army 16 May 1861 to enter the service of the Confederate States of America. Lee served throughout the Civil War, rising to the rank of major-general. After the war ended, he moved to his plantation in Stafford County, Virginia, to become a farmer for the next 20 years. Lee served as governor of Virginia from 1886 to 1890, but lost a bid for a United States Senate seat in 1893. President Grover Cleveland appointed Lee revenue collector for the western district of Virginia in 1895 and consul-general to Cuba in 1896. When the Spanish-American War began in 1898, Lee was appointed a major-general of volunteers. He married Ellen Bernard Fowle 19 April 1871, and they had seven children. Fitzhugh Lee died 28 April 1905 in Washington D.C. and was buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.
Governor Fitzhugh Lee Executive papers are organized chronologically with undated items arranged at the rear of the collection. These papers consist of incoming correspondence during Lee's four-year term as governor of Virginia between 1 January 1886 and 1 January 1890. The correspondence primarily relates to Virginia's state debt, appointments and recommendations for state positions, convicts labor requests, the Robert E. Lee Equestrian Monument, and the boundary between Virginia & North Carolina. In addition to correspondence, there are applications, recommendations, reports, petitions, orders, proclamations, news clippings, architectural drawings, and other sundry items.
This collection is arranged into the following series:Series I. Executive Papers of governor Fitzhugh Lee
Noteworthy documents include the following: "Communication of the Governor to the General Assembly in Reference to the Debt Referendum" (1886 Feb. 18); Petition of B.D. Tiller, President of the Atlantic & Danville Railroad Company, re. requisition for convicts to works on the railroad (1886 Feb. 26); Sarah N. Randolph re. photographs of models for the Lee Monument (1886 Mar. 11); orders of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors applying for convicts to work on public roads (1886 Mar. 16 & 20); J. D. Blair, President of the Virginia & Kentucky Railroad Company, applying for convicts to work on constructing the railroad (1886 Mar. 18); Jubal A. Early, Lynchburg, re. the Lee Monument Association and complaining of the actions of some ladies who claim to represent the Association (1886 Mar. 27); proclamation of Governor Lee re. the joint resolutions of the General Assembly to reiterate & reaffirm the resolutions adopted 1883-1884 declaring the acceptance by the people of Virginia of the settlement of the state debt (1886 Apr. 9); Jubal A. Early re. the Lee Monument Association (1886 Apr. 9); Sarah N. Randolph, Baltimore, re. the consolidation of the Lee Monument Associations (1886 Apr. 16); William F. Rhea, Bristol, Tennessee, applying for convicts to work on the construction of the South Atlantic & Ohio Railroad (1886 Apr. 27); Jubal A. Early re. the settlement of matters with Sarah Randolph and the laying of the cornerstone of the monument to General Robert E. Lee and suggesting Valentine to furnish a model (1886 May 27); Harvey Exall re. an elevator to be erected in the Capitol (1886 June 8); Sarah N. Randolph re. Lanz's design of the Lee statue (1886 July 27); Sarah N. Randolph re. Otto, a German sculptor who agreed to make a design for the equestrian statue of General Lee (1886 Aug. 6); Governor Henry Lloyd, Maryland, re. a a complaint of Noah C. Stirling, a citizen of Maryland, for the seizure of his vessel "Martha E. Freemen" by one of the Oyster Police Steamers of Virginia (incl. opinion of R. A. Ayers, Attorney General) (1886 Aug. 21); Francis H. Smith, Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute, encl. his letter to Gen. T. T. Munford, President of the Board of Visitors, defending his position & duties as superintendent, complaining of the changes made by the board, and resigning his position (1886 Sept. 23); E.W. Le Compte, Secretary of State of Maryland, re. the appointment of a committee to replace the buoys in the line recently established in Pocomoke Sound between Virginia & Maryland (1886 Oct. 14); "Governor's Message to the Extra Session of the General Assembly re. the Condition of the Debt" (1887 Mar. 16); news clipping on "Monument to General Lee" and commission to make the statue given to Charles A. Niehaus (1887 Mar. 24); the "Final Report of the Joint Committee to Confer with the Commission of Council of Foreign Bondholders" (1887 May); J. Lo Stern, Assistant Inspector General, re. the status of the State Guard as an independent & detached military organization (1887 June 16); James McDonald, Adjutant General, re. an incident in which a citizen named E. A. Anderson tried to cross through the lines of the 2nd Battalion of Colored Infantry who were marching through Portsmouth (1887 Sept. 23); report of the Second Auditor on the condition of the Public Debt of Virginia (1887 Oct. 27); "Law for the Government of the Virginia Volunteers" (1887 Oct. 27); copies of letters from Mayor B. J. Hodge, Pocahontas, to Capt. Robert D. Yancey re. violence against Hungarian miners (1887 Nov. 12, 12, 14, & 17); Message of the Governor to the General Assembly (1887 [n.d.]); "Reply to Gen. Mahone's Assault on the Democratic Party & the Roanoke Platform" (1887 [n.d.]); Paul Pujol. Architect, containing drawings of the pedestal for the Lee Monument (1888 July 3) (written in French with translation); circular of Benson J. Lossing to the governors of each state re. the Articles of Confederation (1888); Edward H. Murrell encl. his contract with the state of Virginia as special agent to collect claims due the state (1889 Feb. 2); and Conway R. Howard, Easton, Maryland, submitting a report of the re-running & re-making of that portion of the Virginia & North Carolina boundary between the Atlantic & Nottoway River (incl. field books, photostat, & results of field computation of the latitude observations) (1889 Dec. 3).
Box 1Folder 11885-1886 July
Box 1Folder 21886 August-November
Box 1Folder 31887 January-September
Box 1Folder 41887 October-December
Box 1Folder 51888
Box 1Folder 61889 January-November
Box 1Folder 71889 December 3
Box 1Folder 8Undated
Box 2Folder 1Oversized, 1888-1889