A Guide to the Faulkner Family Papers, 1737-1754 Faulkner Family, Papers, 1737-1754 Mss1 F2735 a FA2

A Guide to the Faulkner Family Papers, 1737-1954

A Collection in
the Virginia Historical Society
Collection Number Mss1 F2735 a FA2


Virginia Historical Society

Virginia Historical Society
P.O. Box 7311
Richmond, Virginia 23221-0311
Phone: (804) 342-9677
Fax: (804) 355-2399
Email: reference@vahistorical.org
URL: http://www.vahistorical.org

© 2002 By Virginia Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Virginia Historical Society Staff

Virginia Historical Society
Collection number
Mss1 F2735 a FA2
Faulkner Family Papers, 1737-1954
12,000 (ca.) items.
Chiefly papers, 1826-1884, of Charles James Faulkner (1806-1884), consisting of correspondence concerning his legal and political career; records of his law practice, including materials concerning the disagreement between Virginia and West Virginia over the counties of Berkeley and Jefferson, and materials concerning the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company; political files relating to his activities in the Whig and Democratic parties and including campaign materials for Virginia elections and for the presidential election of 1856, papers relating to his U.S. ambassadorship to France, 1859-1861, and materials concerning the West Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1872; and miscellaneous items relating to the Martinsburg & Potomac Railroad Company and the Berkeley County Agricultural & Mechanical Association. Also includes papers, 1866-1915, of Charles James Faulkner, Jr. (1847-1920), consisting of correspondence, financial records, and legal documents concerning his law practice and his service in the U.S. Senate, 1887-1899; papers, 1793-1816, of Martinsburg, Va. (now W. Va.), merchant James Faulkner (1776-1817), including records of his service in the Virginia militia during the War of 1812; papers of lawyer Elisha Boyd, including correspondence with Richmond, Va., lawyer John Wickham; and records of Boyd's father-in-law, merchant Andrew Waggener of Berkeley County, Va. (now W. Va.).

Administrative Information


Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Faulkner Family Papers, 1737-1954 (Mss1 F2735 a FA2), Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Va.

Acquisition Information

Gift/purchase of Dr. Thornton Tayloe Perry, Washington, D.C., and Mrs. Barclay K. Read, McLean, Va., in 1984. Formerly a part of the collections of Thornton Tayloe Perry II of Charles Town, W. Va.

Biographical/Historical Information

Of Berkeley County, W. Va. Represented in the collection are James Faulkner (1776-1817), of Martinsburg, Va. (now W. Va.), merchant; lawyer Elisha Boyd (1796-1841), a friend of James Faulkner; lawyer Charles James Faulkner (1806-1884), who served in both houses of the Virginia legislature and in the U.S. House of Representatives for both Virginia and West Virginia; and Charles James Faulkner, Jr. (1847-1929) of "Boydville," Berkeley County, lawyer and West Virginia circuit judge, and U.S. Senator, 1887-1899.

Scope and Content Information

The Faulkner family papers cover three generations of one of the most influential families in Berkeley County, West Virginia. Merchants and lawyers in Martinsburg, the Faulkners have traditionally taken an active part in the social, economic, political and judicial affairs of their county, the state of Virginia, and West Virginia, and the nation.

James Faulkner (1776-1817), an Irish immigrant, settled in Martinsburg and in 1796 formed a partnership with merchant Michael McKewan as James Faulkner & Co. The company dissolved after two years, but James Faulkner continued to trade under his own name. His personal and business correspondence and financial records are mixed, however separate folders cover both James Faulkner & Co. and James Faulkner's later mercantile activities. Among James Faulkner's correspondents are Mathew Carey, Dr. Richard McSherry of Martinsburg, Virginia congressman James Stephenson, and Mason Locke Weems; a letterbook, 1799-1800, kept by James Faulkner also contains mercantile accounts, 1806-1807. The mercantile folders include not only licences, legal notices and store orders, but also records, 1795-1796, of John Tabb & Co. of Martinsburg and materials concerning the same of lottery tickets (especially for the Vaccine Institution Lottery in Baltimore, Md.).

For many years James Faulkner served as an officer in the Virginia Militia. By the opening of the War of 1812, he had risen to the rank of major and commanded the Virginia artillery at Fort Barbour in Norfolk and at the Battle of Craney Island. His military records include early commissions, materials concerning the Martinsburg Independent Blues, 3rd Artillery Regiment, and must rolls and returns, an orderly book, letters and other items concerning James Faulkner's service in the War of 1812 (Box 9).

Also found among James Faulkner's papers are land records concerning Martinsburg and Berkeley County; an account book, 1811-1820, kept in part by James Faulkner as president of the Berkeley County Overseers of the Poor; an account and will of James Faulkner's father-in-law William Mackey; and estate materials, including an inventory, loose accounts, and records concerning a monument to James Faulkner in Martinsburg.

Elisha Boyd (1769-1841), a contemporary and friend of James Faulkner, and eventually father-in-law to James Faulkner's son, Charles James Faulkner, was a prominent lawyer of Martinsburg, involved in politics and local economic development. His papers include correspondence, notably with Richmond lawyer John Wickham, and with Charles James Faulkner while both served in the Virginia legislature; land records in Berkeley County and Martinsburg; and legal materials from Elisha Boyd's law practice in the Berkeley County Court and the Virginia Superior Count of Chancery at Winchester. Also, Elisha Boyd's papers contain records of Andrew Waggener, father of Elisha Boyd's first wife, including records, 1795-1800, of the mercantile firm of Waggener & Warner in Berkeley County; records concerning Elisha Boyd's service as commander of the 4th Regiment and 10th Brigade of Virginia Militia; estate materials including a will, deed, notes, etc.; and miscellany. There are also a few items for Elisha Boyd's third wife, Elizabeth Hill (Byrd) Boyd, and his son, Rev. Andrew Hunter Holmes Boyd.

Charles James Faulkner (1806-1884) is certainly the key figure in this collection. There is some internal evidence that Charles James Faulkner was born "James F. Faulkner" (see James Faulkner's accounts, especially 1815, inventory of estate, and the will of William Mackey), but changed his name sometime before 1825. He attended Georgetown College and then read law at the prestigious school of Henry St. George Tucker at Winchester. He began to practice in Martinsburg about 1827. He entered politics shortly thereafter and remained active throughout the rest of his life, as the following paragraphs will indicate.

Charles James Faulkner (1806-1884) is certainly the key figure in this collection. There is some internal evidence that Charles James Faulkner was born "James F. Faulkner" (see James Faulkner's accounts, especially 1815, inventory of estate, and the will of William Mackey), but changed his name sometime before 1825. He attended Georgetown College and then read law at the prestigious school of Henry St. George Tucker at Winchester. He began to practice in Martinsburg about 1827. He entered politics shortly thereafter and remained active throughout the rest of his life, as the following paragraphs will indicate.

Among Charles James Faulkner's other papers (for a full list see guide) are records kept by John Weller, a fellow attorney who acted as Charles James Faulkner's agent during the latter's mission to France (see below). The records primarily concern the maintenance of the "Boydville" estate in Martinsburg, built by Elisha Boyd and inherited by Charles James Faulkner's wife. Boxes 45-46 contain additional records concerning "Boydville," particularly the acquisition of adjoining lands and contracts with laborers and tenants; and records of Charles James Faulkner's purchases and sales of land in Frederick County, Va. (the "Glengary" farm obtained from John Rogers Cooke in partnership with Philip Clayton Pendleton), Berkeley County, and Martinsburg.

Charles James Faulkner's law practice comprises the largest portion of his papers. Box 47 contains notes kept as a student at the Winchester Law School, 1825-1826, and general miscellany of his practice such as licences, accounts, notes on law, etc. The papers involving actual litigation or other services for clients are divided into several groups: by court, into case files (records of four or more items, including writs, summonses, proceedings, bills, notes, etc., relating to specific cases) and suit papers (three or less items per lawsuit basically arranged chronologically); by client (records of legal services provided over time not necessarily involving litigation); And by estate (including estate settlements in which Charles James Faulkner served as court-appointed administrator and settlements involving pension claims for service in the Revolutionary War). Box 65 contains records kept by Charles James Faulkner and Edmund Pendleton as trustees for the Martinsburg mercantile firm of Lauck & Stephen. Charles James Faulkner practiced chiefly in the Berkeley County Court, Circuit Superior Court, and Circuit Court; the Jefferson County Circuit Court; Morgan County Circuit Court; and West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. One interesting folder (Box 59) concerns Charles James Faulkner's appearance as counsel for W. Va. in the U.S. Supreme Court in an action by Virginia to recover the counties of Berkeley and Jefferson in 1870.

Among the more important clients for whom Charles James Faulkner maintained files were the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company (see also correspondence with J. W. Garrett, Louis McLane and Thomas Swann); Bank of the Valley in Virginia (see also correspondence with Henry M. Brent, Hamilton G. Fant and Charles Webb); and the Hagerstown Bank, Hagerstown, Md. A complete list of case files, client files, and estate settlements is filed in Box 47.

Charles James Faulkner entered politics early in his career. The folders covering his first service in the Virginia House of Delegates and State Senate include campaign materials, speeches, resolutions and printed documents. While serving in the House, Charles James Faulkner was appointed commissioner to settle Virginia's boundary with Maryland. His records of that mission include documents signed by William Byrd II and reports Charles James Faulkner issued as commissioner. His Whig party activities were wide ranging; his papers contain materials from the 1840 and 1844 Whig presidential campaigns in Virginia, an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 1843, and various political speeches (Box 69).

Charles James Faulkner entered Congress in 1851. His congressional files contain campaign materials, election certificates, records as chairman of the House Committee on Military Affairs (he took particular interest in the armories at Springfield, Mass., and Harpers Ferry, W. Va., and in bolstering the U.S. Army), printed items and news clippings, and a large file of miscellany (Box 70). While serving in Congress, Charles James Faulkner switched to the Democratic party. He accepted the post of chairman of the National Democratic Resident Committee in Washington, D.C., which was charged with organizing "grassroots" support in the summer of 1856 for the election of James Buchanan as president (Boxes 71-72). The materials, arranged chronologically, include circulars, committee correspondence and financial accounts.

A grateful President Buchanan appointed Charles James Faulkner Envoy Extraordinary to France in 1860 upon the death of fellow Virginian John Young Mason. The records kept as minister to France include correspondence (primarily letters of introduction and American claims against French citizens, but with some official dispatches), credentials, invitations, biographical sketches of Charles James Faulkner (in French) and news clippings (Box 73). Charles James Faulkner served a full year, returned to Washington, and was arrested for several months in 1861, in effect as a political prisoner held for the exchange of a prominent northern congressman.

After his release, Charles James Faulkner remained primarily in Virginia and served for a time on the staff of Confederate General Thomas J. ("Stonewall") Jackson. A lengthy broadside in the collection served to explain Charles James Faulkner's activities in those years, but brought forth howls of protest from former Confederates and pro-Union West Virginians alike (Box 73).

With the close of the war, Charles James Faulkner struggled to regain a position of standing in West Virginia politics. He served in the 1872 Constitutional Convention as chairman of the committees on the judiciary and on revision. Boxes 74-75 contain speeches, documents, resolutions, judiciary plans (printed) and news clippings.

Charles James Faulkner returned to Congress in 1875. His records contain election materials, materials concerning his service on a three-man Committee to Investigate the Affairs of the Red Cloud Indian Agency (July-November 1875), papers kept as chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Relations, petitions and applications, constituent requests, lists of voters, clippings and miscellany. After his retirement from Congress, Charles James Faulkner unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate and the office of governor of West Virginia (Boxes 76-77).

The few remaining boxes cover Charles James Faulkner's personal life and economic activities. He served as president and chief counsel of the Martinsburg & Potomac Railroad Co., president of the Berkeley County Agricultural & Mechanical Association, president of the West Virginia Historical Society, and regent of the West Virginia University at Morgantown (Box 78). Miscellany includes papers concerning a former servant at "Boydville," Mary McGuire; letters concerning Charles James Faulkner's visit to Great Britain in 1846; schools and education (including addresses); news clippings; freemason materials; and estate records.

Charles James Faulkner's wife, Mary Wagner (Boyd) Faulkner (d. 1894) lived at "Boydville" most of her life. Her papers include correspondence; an account book and loose accounts; a commonplace book kept in France, 1860; records concerning a claim against the U.S. government for damages at "Boydville," 1863-1865; and personal miscellany (Box 81).

Elisha Boyd Faulkner (b. 1841) lawyer, W. Va. legislator and judge, was the Faulkner's eldest son. He practiced law in Hopkinsville, Ky., after the Civil War, but returned to Martinsville in the 1870s to practice in partnership with his younger brother. Box 82 contains his correspondence, a few case files, and personal miscellany.

Charles James Faulkner (1847-1929) inherited "Boydville" from his mother. He practiced law, served as a West Virginia circuit judge, and entered the U.S. Senate in 1887. His records as a senator (arranged chronologically) include letters from constituents, petitioners, fellow Democrats and senators concerning congressional activities and Democratic politics; speeches and printed items; and news clippings (Boxes 87-88).

Several small folders of papers concern Charles James Faulkner's first wife, Sallie Winn (d.1891) of Charlottesville, Va., her mother Mary Jane (Garrett) Winn (1818-1869), and her brother John Winn (b. 1838?). Mrs. Faulkner's sister, Elizabeth Garrett Winn (b. 1840?) lived in Martinsburg for many years. She was a popular belle in Charlottesville in the immediate postwar years, and later became a teacher in West Virginia. Her papers include correspondence, accounts, a commonplace book, ca.1867, records of her teaching career, 1873-1880, at the Martinsburg Grammar School, and personal miscellany (Boxes 90-93). Another sister, Ellen Watson Winn (1842?-1893) cared for the children at "Boydville" after Mrs. Faulkner's death. Papers of the second Mrs. Faulkner, Virginia Fairfax Whiting (1867-1938), are entirely financial in nature (Box 93).

Box 94 contains a few items each for Charles James Faulkner's sisters and their husbands, and his children. Miscellaneous Berkeley and Jefferson county records and some unclassified miscellany round out the collection.

Lastly, volumes transferred to this collection in April 1986, including account books for James Faulkner (1779-1817), Elisha Boyd (1769-1841), Andrew Waggener, Charles James Faulkner (1806-1884), Lauck & Stephen, Martinsburg, Va. (now W. Va.), Isaac S. Lauck & Co., Winchester, Va., Isaac S. Lauck & Co., Martinsburg, Va. (now W. Va.), and Charles James Faulkner (1847-1929) are filed on the open shelves at the end of the collection.


The Faulkner Family papers are arranged into six series by individual and subseries by subject or document type where necessary. A seventh series contains volumes added after the initial processing was completed.

Index Terms:

  • Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company.
  • Berkeley County (W. Va.) -- History.
  • Berkeley County Agricultural and Mechanics Association (Berkeley County, W. Va.)
  • Boyd, Elisha, 1769- 1841.
  • Democratic Party (U.S.)
  • Faulkner, Charles J. (Charles James), 1847- 1929.
  • Faulkner, Charles James, 1806-1884.
  • Faulkner, James, 1776-1817..
  • Jefferson County (W. Va.) -- History.
  • Lawyers -- Virginia -- History -- 19th century.
  • Lawyers -- West Virginia -- History -- 19th century.
  • Martinsburg and Potomac Railroad Company.
  • Merchants -- Virginia -- History -- 19th century.
  • Political campaigns -- Virginia -- History -- 19th century.
  • Political campaigns -- West Virginia -- History -- 19th century.
  • Practice of law -- Virginia -- History -- 19th century.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1865-1900.
  • Virginia -- Politics and government -- 19th century.
  • Waggener, Andrew, 1843-1813.
  • West Virginia -- Politics and government -- 1865-1900.
  • West Virginia. Constitutional Convention (1872)
  • Whig Party (U.S.)
  • Wickahm, John, 1763-1839.

Contents List

Series 1: James Faulkner (1776-1817), Martinsburg, Va. (now W. Va.). 1793-1816
  • Box 1
    Subseries 1.1: Letterbook 1799-1800
  • Box 1 (cont.)-3
    Subseries 1.2: General correspondence.


  • Box 4-7
    Subseries 1.3: Financial Papers, 1793-1816

    Personal and mercantile account books, 1797, 1806-1816; loose accounts, 1793-1816; notes and bonds.

  • Box 8
    Subseries 1.4: James Faulkner and Co. Records
  • Box 9
    Subseries 1.5: Miscellaneous.

    Virginia militia and War of 1812; Martinsburg and Berkeley County records; William Mackey materials; estate materials.

Series 2: Elisha Boyd (1769-1841)
Box: 10
  • Box 10

    Correspondence, 1798-1841; loose accounts, 1798-1840; bonds and notes; flour milling, 1839-1840; land records.

  • Box 11

    Law practice.

  • Box 12

    Andrew Waggener; personal miscellany; estate; Elizabeth Hill (Byrd) Boyd; Andrew H. H. Boyd.

Series 3: Charles James Faulkner (1806-1884) "Boydville," Martinsburg, Va. (now W. Va.)
  • Box 13-38
    Subseries 3.1: Correspondence with Individuals 1826-1884

    Arranged alphabetically.

  • Subseries 3.2: Correspondence with Companies, Etc. 1826-1884

    Arranged alphabetically.

  • Box 41-43
    Subseries 3.3: Financial Materials

    Account books; loose accounts, 1826-1884; bonds and notes.

  • Box 44
    Subseries 3.4: Commonplace Book et al

    Commonplace book, 1884; agent's records (John Weller); slaves; herds.

  • Box 45-46

    "Boydville" estate records; land records

  • Subseries 3.6: Law Practice
    • Box 47
      Winchester Law School; miscellany of practice
    • Box 48
      Berkeley County Court
    • Box 49
      Berkeley County Superior Court
    • Box 50-53
      Berkeley County Circuit Court
    • Box 54-55
      Jefferson County Circuit Court
    • Box 56
      Morgan County Circuit Court
    • Box 57
      West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
    • Box 58-60
      Miscellaneous Courts
    • Box 61-64
      Client files
    • Box 65
      Lauck and Stephen trusteeship
    • Box 66-67
      Pension files
    • Box 68
      Estate settlements
    • Box 69

      Virginia legislative service; boundary commissioner; Whig Party papers.

  • Box 70

    Scrapbook of pamphlets; 1850-1851 Va. Convention; U.S. Congress, 1851-1859.

  • Box 71-72

    Democratic National Resident Committee, 1856.

  • Box 73-75

    West Virginia Constitutional Convention, 1872.

  • Box 76-77

    U.S. Congress, 1875-1877; miscellaneous West Virginia political activities.

  • Box 78

    Martinsburg and Potomac Railroad; Berkeley County Agricultural and Mechanical Assoc.; Berkeley County centennial; West Virginia Historical Society; West Virginia University.

  • Box 79

    Invitations; Mary McGuire; letters, 1846; Berkeley Co. and Martinsburg miscellany; education and church activities.

  • Box 80

    Speeches; freemasonry; newspaper clippings; personal miscellany; estate.

Series 4: Mary Wagner (Boyd) Faulkner (d. 1894)
Box: 81

Correspondence, 1831-1876; account books and loose accounts; 1847-1893; commonplace book, 1860; claims against the U.S. government, 1863-1865; personal miscellany.

Series 5: Elisha Boyd Faulkner
Box: 82

Correspondence, 1866-1890; case files; personal miscellany.

Series 6: Charles James Faulkner (1847-1929) "Boydville," Martinsburg, W. Va.
  • Box 83-84

    Correspondence, 1866-1902 (arranged alphabetically).

  • Box 84 (cont.)

    Account book; loose accounts, 1868-1897, 1905-1915.

  • Box 85-86

    Law practice

  • Box 87-88

    U.S. Senate materials, 1887-1899 (arranged chronologically).

  • Box 89

    Personal miscellany; estate; Sallie (Winn) Faulkner; Mary Jane (Garrett) Winn; John Winn.

  • Box 90-92

    Elizabeth Garrett Winn correspondence, 1865-1881.

  • Box 92 (cont.)-93

    Elizabeth Garrett Winn accounts, 1869-1881; commonplace book, ca.1867; teaching materials.

  • Box 93 (cont.)

    Ellen Watson Winn; Virginia Fairfax (Whiting) Faulkner.

  • Box 94
    Subseries 6.9

    Sisters and children of Charles James Faulkner, Jr.; miscellaneous county records; general miscellany.

Series 7: Volumes added in 1986. 1792-1893
  • Subseries 7.1: James Faulkner (1776-1817), Martinsburg, W. Va. 1804-1814
    • Daybook (imperfect), 1804-1809, Martinsburg, Va.
    • Cash book, 1812-1814, Martinsburg, Va.
  • Subseries 7.2: Elisha Boyd (1769-1841), "Boydville," Martinsburg, Va. (now W. Va.) 1792-1852
    • Memoranda book, 1794

      Kept as an officer in the Berkeley Co., militia during the Whiskey Rebellion (some entries made by James Faulkner).

    • Fee book, 1792-1821

      Kept while practicing law in Berkeley and surrounding counties (with separate index).

    • Execution book, 1817-1823

      Kept while practicing law in Berkeley and surrounding counties (with separate index); also served as cash book of Charles James Faulkner, 1843-1848.

    • Ledger, 1832-1852

      Personal accounts, wool and flour milling, "Boydville" harvesting, and estate (some entries made by Charles James Faulkner).

  • Subseries 7.3.: Andrew Waggener
    • Journal (incomplete), 1795.

      Concerns Waggener and Warner, Mill Creek, Berkeley Co., Va. (now W. Va.).

    • Journal, 1797-1800.

      Concerns Waggener and Warner, Mill Creek, Berkeley Co., Va. [now. W. Va.].

  • Subseries 7.4: Charles James Faulkner (1806-1884), "Boydville," Martinsburg, Va. (now W. Va.).
    • Commonplace book (incomplete), 1776-1829

      Kept by Peter Moore (of Bourbon, Co., Ky.), in part as orderly book, 1780-1781, of the Western Battalion of Virginia State Forces at Albemarle Barracks, Va., Shepherdstown, Va. (now W. Va.), and Fredericktown (i.e. Frederick, Md., under command of Joseph Crockett (see also pension claim file of Peter Moore, Box 67).

    • Account book, 1860-1861

      Kept as American minster to France (also, includes diary, 1861 August 12-16, during imprisonment at Washington, D. C., and cash book, 1865-1877)

  • Subseries 7.5: Lauck and Stephen, Martinsburg, Va. (now W. Va.)
    • Day books, 1830-1832 and 1834-1835.
    • Petty cash ledgers, 1829-1831 and 1829-1835.
  • Subseries 7.6.: Isaac S. Lauck and Co., Winchester, Va.

    Daybook, 1813-1815 (also Martinsburg, 1817-1818)

  • Subseries 7.7: Isaac S. Lauck and Co., Martinsburg, Va. (now W. Va.)
    • Daybooks, 1817-1818-1819, 1819, 1821
    • Journals, 1818-1822, 1822-1823 (also bears ledger, 1824-1827)
    • Account books 1817-1832

      Ledgers, 1817-1819, 1820-1823, 1822-1823 (also bears daybook, 1824-1826), 1823-1825 (cooper's accounts), 1825-1826 (also bears daybook, 1826-1827; with separate index), 1825-1832.

  • Subseries 7.8: Charles James Faulkner (1847-1929), "Boydville," Martinsburg, W. Va.
    • Claim book, 1872-1892

      Concerns Faulkner and Faulkner, Martinsburg, W. Va., covering the law practice of Charles James Faulkner and Elisha Boyd Faulkner.

    • Scrapbook, 1876-1893

      Contains newspaper clippings concerning Charles James Faulkner's career in the U.S. Senate.