A Guide to the Leonidas Baugh Papers Baugh, Leonidas. 38-104

A Guide to the Leonidas Baugh Papers

A Collection in the
Special Collections Department
Accession number 38-104


University of Virginia Library

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University of Virginia. Library. Special Collections Dept. Alderman Library University of Virginia Charlottesville, Virginia 22903 USA
Collection number
Collection number 38-104
Leonidas Baugh Papers 1819-1930 Inclusive
544 items

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

See the University of Virginia Library’s use policy.

Preferred Citation

Leonidas Baugh Papers, Accession 38-104, Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library

Acquisition Information

The papers of Leonidas Baugh were given to the Library by Miss Ethel Baugh of Abingdon, Virginia, in 1936.


The papers of Leonidas Baugh, editor of the Abingdon Democrat,and a local businessman in Abingdon, Virginia, and of other Washington County families, consist of 544 items (1 Hollinger box; .33 linear shelf feet), 1819-1930, and contain correspondence, financial and legal papers, ledgers, genealogical material concerning the Crawford family, unidentified photographs, political papers, printed material, and school records.

Leonidas Baugh served as editor of the Abingdon Democratfrom 1849-1853, although the paper continued to be published until 1861. Leonidas Baugh became postmaster at Abingdon in 1853, and also eventually became the Deputy Clerk of Washington County Court. Perhaps because of his work in the Washington County Court, Leonidas Baugh's papers contain many financial and legal papers not directly related to himself. Leonidas Baugh also entered a tanning and harness-making partnership in 1847 which lasted for seven years.

Topics of interest in the correspondence include the following: Isaac B. Dunn and the controversy over the type of internal improvement most beneficial to Southwest Virginia, the James River and Kanawha Canal Company, a new road or the Southwest Virginia Railroad (1849 December 30); a friend writing from the gold fields of Sacramento, California (1849 August 25); a description of Governor Joseph Johnson and criticism for the Whigs' resolution to receive Virginia's quota of the land money to be deposited with the literary fund for the benefit of indigent children of the Commonwealth proposed by [J.D.] Imboden (1851 February 2); a request that Leonidas Baugh print a reader's response to Holmes, the editor of the Southwestern Advocate, and his attack upon the Jeffersonville Historical Society (1851 December 23); the difficulties of doing business during the Civil War (1862 May 16; and 1863 March 30); a description of a trip to Alaska and employment there in the Alaska Native School, Medical and Reindeer Service of the Bureau of Education, Department of the Interior (1925 February 6); and the purchase of iron (n.d.).

Beginning in 1878, much of Leonidas Baugh's correspondence was concerned with the politics of Virginia, Washington County, and Abingdon. These include: Leonidas Baugh's accusation that Isaac Chapman Fowler, editor of Bristol News, had a secret understanding with the Funders, and had consequently voted against Col. Abram Fulkerson (Readjuster) on the Bocock-Fowler Bill, an association which he denied by reputiating the Funder stance on free schools, asylum money, and the total payment of state debt (1878 September 30); Abram Fulkerson's discussion of the defeat of the Funders on the Virginia debt question, the wise course for bondholders to follow, the Virginia Legislature elections of 1880 and their significance, the "turncoat" Isaac Chapman Fowler of Bristol News, and the black vote, "The abuse the [Richmond] Dispatchand other Funder papers are heaping on the Negro, will make the Negro members stick the closer to us. Our policy should be to deal with kindly and fairly" (1879 November 11); the request of Fayette McMullin (who ran as a Conservative-Independent-Greenbacker and advocate of federal construction of the Cumberland Gap railroad) for Leonidas Baugh's help in beating General William Mahone in the election for United States Senator (1879 December 6); a discussion by A. Fulkerson of the future of the Readjuster Party of Virginia and the debt bill (the Riddleberger Act) which fixed the amount of Virginia state debt at about $21,000,000, for which new bonds were issued bearing three per cent interest (1880 February 12); and the reference of F[rank] Blair to the John E. Massy matter (1882 February 8).

Other political correspondence includes: the argument of Isaac Chapman Fowler that for the Funders to destroy the Readjuster Party they must attack William Mahone, the reference to John E. Massey as a traitor to the party who joined with the Funders to overthrow William Mahone and the "Boss" of the "Big Four" ( S.H. Newberry, Peyton G. Hale, B.F. Williams, and A.M. Lybrook ), and that the Readjusters would be "nincompoops" not to support the Chester A. Arthur Administration (1882 April 28); reports on John E. Massey's political chances in the Love Mill, Washington County area where he will attract only Funder votes, and a promise to take several good Readjusters to the Marion Convention (1882 August 7); reports from Scott County that no Readjuster will vote for John E. Massey in the elections (1882 August 11); the political news from Wise County and Scott County (1882 October 26); a disagreement with A. Fulkerson over his assessment of his chances to defeat Henry Bowen for election to Congress in Scott County (1882 November 3); the vote in Tazewell County and Scott County (1882 November 7); the vote in Buchanan County (1882 November 8) and the vote in Montgomery County (November 11); the office of postmaster in [ Abingdon ] and Isaac Chapman Fowler's obligation to support Rees B. Edmondson in return for a favor he did for him (1883 February 14); and details of local politics and the desire to beat the A. Fulkerson ring in the elections (1883 May 7).

Some of the political correspondents include Abram Fulkerson (1834-1902) September 19, 1878, November 11, 1879, and February 12, 1880; Fayette McMullin (? -1881) December 6, 1879; Frank Blair, February 8, 1882; and Isaac Chapman Fowler (1831-?) September 30, 1878; April 28, 1882; February 14, 1883; and May 7 1883.

The financial and legal papers contain accounts, articles of agreement, papers concerning the settlement of various estates, promissory notes, bills, and bonds. Much of the early material pertains to James C. Simpson or his partnership with William Simpson. Individual topics include: salt production at Saltville (1824); nail and iron production (1837 November; 1839 April, April 13, May 17, June 12, 19, 20); a bank note from the Farmers Bank of Virginia (1841 September 5); the hiring out of blacks (1841 March 20); the co-partnership of Lewellin C. Newland and Leonidas Baugh for the purpose of carrying on the tanning and harness-making business in Abingdon for seven years (1847 June 19); the Printing Office account with Leonidas Baugh re the Abingdon Democrat[1861 ?]; a horsetrading partnership (1880 June); the value of real estate in the town of Abingdon (1880); a black property owner in Washington County (1883 April 28); and a copy of the U.S. military record of a black man, Henderson Wells, who enlisted at Cleveland, Ohio, on November 23, 1882 in Company I, Tenth Regiment of Cavalry and was discharged on disability (1883 June 18).

Miscellaneous papers contains a newspaper subscriber list, perhaps of the Abingdon Democrat(n.d.)

Printed political papers include a broadside re the campaign of Daniel Trigg (1877); a Readjuster broadside re the Funders and black voters (ca. 1879); and a Readjuster broadside re schools (ca. 1882). Speeches include those by the Republican Executive Committee to the Voters of the 9th Congressional District (1880), the plan of organization adopted by the State Executive Committee of the Democratic Party (n.d.), Auburn L. Pridemore (1879 February 16), Frank G. Ruffin (1883 September 19), and Justin S. Morrill (1884 April 16).

Political tickets include: the National Greenback ticket [188O], the Readjuster and Democratic tickets for Washington County (1883 May 24), and the Democratic ticket of John E. Massey and Abram Fulkerson (1882). Also present is a list of voters in Washington County with insolvent capitation and property taxes (1881).

The election returns among the political papers include: election returns for Washington County and Abingdon (1879-1883); election returns for the 9th District (1880-1882); election returns for the state of Virginia (1879-1881); and election returns for Caroline and Hanover Counties (1879).

Miscellaneous political papers contain a memorandum and various drafts of a petition to the General Assembly of Virginia from the citizens of Abingdon and Washington Counties concerning the controversy over the charter for the Russell Old Court House and Abingdon Turnpike Company for the construction of a graded road across Washington County from near "Mocks Mill" to the line of Russell County near Little Moccasin Gap (n.d.); a notice for Leonidas Baugh's paper of a Union meeting to be held by the students of Emory and Henry College in protest of action taken by University of Virginia students to promote a "Disunion Feast" (n.d.) and an editorial on whether William Mahone struck a deal with the Republican caucus to promote his own interests (n.d.).

Lists include: "Colored Senators" (n.d.); the number of registered voters in Washington County precincts (n.d.); the number of delinquents in White's Mill precinct (n.d.); voters registered at Bethel Precinct, white voters at Duff's Precinct, and Oak Hill Precinct (all undated).

Drafts of undated editorials include those concerning the "Funder Ticket", "Funder Consistency", "Renegades", "Democracy", "Bourbon Funder Ticketing", "What Should the Readjusters Do This Year ?," and an editorial to the Abingdon Democratprotesting the editorials in The Abingdon Virginianwhich seem to pit the merchants of Abingdon against the mechanics of Abingdon.


These papers are arranged chronologically within each folder and the folders are arranged alphabetically by folder heading.

Container List

1837, 1849-1930, n.d.
(2 folders)
Financial and Legal Papers
1819-1906, n.d.
(5 folders)
Financial and Legal Papers of the Whitehead Family
Genealogical Material re the Crawford Family
1910 and n.d.
Miscellaneous Papers
1868 and n.d.
Photographs - Unidentified
Political Papers - Election Returns
Political Papers - Miscellaneous
1881 and n.d.
Printed Material - Miscellaneous
1884-1900, 1933
Printed Material - Political
1877-1884, n.d.
School Records of Anna Whitehead and Minnie E. Baugh
1861, 1872-1875
Oversize box M-6
The Account of the Estate of James White deceased with William Y.C., Newton K., and Thomas W. White, his administrators
Oversize box M-6
Corporation Taxes paid by Leonidas Baugh
Oversize box M-6
Account of Thomas Wright, James J. Widener, Administrator
Oversize box M-6
The Account of Leonidas Baugh with Joseph Woods
Oversize box M-6
Field Notes for [Joseph ?] Keller Deeds and Memoranda
  • Mail Book of the Abingdon Democrat, edited by Leonidas Baugh, ca. 1849-1852
  • Day Book for a Shoe Shop, George W. Mantz, proprietor, Cedarville (1854-1857)and Abingdon (1857-1864)
  • Combined Day Book and Ledger, with index, of Lipford, Mantz, and Company of Washington County, and a Tanyard and Shoe Shop, including mention of hides, tanning bark, skins, leather goods, horses, harnesses, and bridles, 1863-1864,

    Leonidas Baugh appears to be one of the investors

  • Ledger of newspaper subscription accounts, not indexed, for [ The Banner?], 1840-1846
  • Ledger of Leonidas Baugh's Fee Book for the Washington County Court of Parties Owing Fees, with index, 1869-1879
  • Ledger, Records of a General Store in [Abingdon ?] belonging to [H. Ernest ?], 1860-1867
  • Day Book of a General Store at Petersburg, Virginia, that moved to Wythe Court House and then Abingdon, Virginia, 1820-1832
  • Ledger of Advertising Accounts for The Banner, Abingdon, Virginia, a Democratic paper edited by Robert Latham, 1840-1846
  • Ledger of the Printing Office of [Leonidas Baugh], 1848-1853
  • Ledger for Sharpening and Repair Work, Shoes and Leather Products and Hardware, indexed, 1861-1863
  • Ledger, 1864
  • Wool Carding Book, 1834-1842