A Collection in
Collection Number Ms2008-077
Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversitySpecial Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
© 2008 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.
Processed by: Emily Cook, Special Collections Staff
Collection is open to research.
Permission to publish material from the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad Letters must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.
Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Virginia and Tennessee Railroad Letters, Ms2008-077 - Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
The Virginia and Tennessee Railroad Letters were purchased by Special Collections.
The processing, arrangement and description of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad Letters occurred in September, 2008.
After years of proposals from Lynchburg citizens, the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad was chartered in 1849. Built in the 1850s, the V&T connected Southwestern Virginia, from Lynchburg to Bristol. With V&T rail lines came expanded economic markets and new industry. During the Civil War, the V&T served as a Confederate lifeline by moving supplies, weapons, and troops. The Confederate reliance on the V&T resulted in the partial destruction of lines by Union forces. In 1870, the V&T joined the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad and the City Point Railroad to create the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Ohio Railroad. The AM&O later became the Norfolk and Western.
William S. Archer was born in 1841 at "The Lodge" in Amelia County, Virginia. Archer studied law, passed the bar in 1810, and practiced law in Powhatan and Amelia counties. From 1812 to 1819, Archer served four terms in Virginia's House of Delegates. Archer represented the Whig Party in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1819 to 1834 and in the Senate from 1841-1846. After his political career, Archer resumed his law practice. William Segar Archer died on March 28, 1855.
The Virginia and Tennessee Railroad Letters are two manuscript missives informing former Senator William S. Archer of his election as delegate to the July, 1849, convention of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad Company held in Memphis, Tennessee. Other elected delegates included: William C. Riley, John Mason, and Lieutenant M. F. Maury. The letters predate the railroad's construction and thus discuss only the proposed improvement. Also mentioned is the plan to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans via railroads. The letter of May 4, 1849, was written by the chairman of the electoral meeting, Rich J. Morris, while the letter of May 17, 1849, was written by the committee of correspondence. Signatures of committee members also appear.
The collection is arranged chronologically.