A Guide to the Executive Papers of Governor Claude A. Swanson, 1902-1913 (bulk 1906-1909) Swanson, Claude A., Executive Papers of Governor 29593

A Guide to the Executive Papers of Governor Claude A. Swanson, 1902-1913 (bulk 1906-1909)

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Accession Number 29593


Library of Virginia

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© 2011 By The Library of Virginia. All Rights Reserved.

Processed by: Craig S. Moore

The Library of Virginia
Accession Number
Executive Papers of Governor Claude A. Swanson, 1902-1913 (bulk 1906-1909)
3.05 cubic feet (7 boxes)
Virginia. Governor (1906-1910 : Swanson)

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Virginia. Governor (1906-1910 : Swanson). Executive Papers of Governor Claude A. Swanson, 1902-1913 (bulk 1906-1909). Accession 29593, State government records collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the Governor's Office at unknown date.

Biographical Information

Claude Augustus Swanson was born 31 March 1862 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He attended public schools and Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. Swanson graduated from Randolph-Macon College in 1885 and from the University of Virginia law school in 1886. Admitted to the bar in 1886, he commenced practicing in Pittsylvania County. Swanson was elected to Congress and served from 1893 to 1906. He resigned to serve as Governor of Virginia, holding that office from 1906 to 1910. In August 1910, Swanson was appointed Senator of Virginia to fill out an expired term and was subsequently reappointed then relected, serving as senator until 1933. In 1933, Swanson was appointed Secretary of the Navy under Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) and held that position until his death 7 July 1939 in Madison County, Virginia. Swanson was buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. He married Elizabeth Deane Lyons (d. 1920) 11 December 1894 and her sister Lulie Lyons Hall October 1923, but had no children by either wife.

Scope and Content

Governor Claude A. Swanson's Executive papers are organized alphabetically by folder title. These papers mainly consist of papers during Claude A. Swansons' four-year term as governor between 1 February 1906 and 1 February 1910. Compared to the papers of previous & subsequent governors, Swanson's Executive Papers lack incoming correspondence. The correspondence, however, does include a significant amount of letters to/from William A. Anderson, Attorney General. In addition, Swanson's papers contain proclamations from other states, quarterly reports submitted by the several state mental hospitals, and rejected applications for pardons and political disabilities.


This collection is arranged into the following series:

Series I. Executive Papers of Governor Claude A. Swanson, 1902-1913 (bulk 1906-1909)

Separated Material

Oversized items have been removed to Boxes 6 & 7.

Adjunct Descriptive Data

Contents List

Executive Papers of Governor Claude A. Swanson, 1902-1913 (bulk 1906-1909).
Boxes: 1-7.
Extent: 7 boxes.

The Executive Papers of Governor Claude A. Swanson are housed in seven archival boxes and are arranged alphabetically. The Executive Papers include correspondence, reports, proclamations, pay rolls, petitions, indictments, prison records, and other sundry records. The largest amount of papers relate to rejected applications for pardons and the reinstatement of political disabilities. These records are arranged alphabetically by prisoner and include correspondence to/from Governor Swanson from individuals requesting pardons or reinstatement of political disabilities. These records often include copies of indictments, petitions, and prison records supporting the individual's claim.

Also significant are quarterly statements submitted by Central State Hospital, Eastern State Hospital, Southwestern State Hospital, & Western State Hospital. These statements provide information of the condition of the hospitals including maintenance, building repairs, contracts, insurance, accounts (receipts & disbursements), & internal conditions. The internal condition portion of the statement documents the number of patients present, admitted, discharged, died, rejected, applied, etc. Additionally, the statements provide information on pay patients, officers & employees, and changes in officers & employees (includes name of employee, removed, resigned, or died, cause of removal, & person succeeded by).

The correspondence within Governor Swanson's Executive Papers documents a small portion of incoming correspondence during Swanson's four-year term in office. This correspondence sometimes includes a copy of the Governor's response. Filed separately is correspondence from the governor related to the payment of bills. This correspondence is arranged alphabetically and often includes receipts. The expenses mostly relate to extraditions & requisitions, shipping, house wares, telegraphs, etc.

The most significant correspondence in Swanson's Executive Papers, however, relate to the opinions of William A. Anderson as attorney general or Robert Catlett as assistant attorney general. Noteworthy correspondence includes the following: the case of Capt. Hudgins of the Virginia police steamer "Rappahannock" who arrested oystermen in violation of the oyster laws (1906 Apr. 7 & 12); the power of the governor to fill a vacancy in the Office of the Clerk of the Senator when the Senate has adjourned sine die (1906 Apr. 18); the Churchman Act to fix & prescribe a schedule of rates for the transportation of passengers (1906 June 27); the laws establishing & regulation of the State Farm (1906 July 19); the Danville School Board & school building (1906 July 23); the payment of claims against the state to bring prisoners arrested in other states back to Virginia (1906 Aug. 27); the injunction against L.S. Foster, Superintendent of Eastern State Hospital, from interfering with the election of O.C. Bronk to the General Board (1907 Jan. 30); the deed of the U.S. conveying a tract of land in the "middle ground" between the two channels at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay (incl. letter of William H. Taft as Secretary of War) (1907 Feb. 16); the Virginia passenger rate case (1908 Dec. 4); the constitutionality of "an act to establish an epileptic colony on the land of Western State Hospital in Amherst County" (1909 Mar. 8); and the income of foreign consuls being exempt from state taxation (1909 Mar. 25).

Proclamations from other states are also prevalent within Governor Swanson's Executive Papers. Included are proclamations for Thanksgiving Days, Memorial Days, Arbor Days, Flag Days, & other observances. Noteworthy is Swanson's own proclamation proclaiming a cattle quarantine in Loudoun County (1906 Sept 29) and an Arbor Day proclamation (1907 Mar. 6).

Lastly, quarantine records from the Newport News Quarantine Station document the inspection of incoming vessels. The quarterly reports in this collection provide the name of the vessel, commander, date of arrival, where from, destination, cargo, condition of vessel, condition of cargo, number & sanitary condition of crew, number & sanitary condition of passengers, disease found on inspection, and number of deaths.

Arranged alphabetically.

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