A Guide to the Elizabeth City County (Va.) Schools Correspondence, 1918-1952 Elizabeth City County (Va.) Schools Correspondence, 1918-1952 Barcode numbers: 1048911-1048913, 1048915-1048916

A Guide to the Elizabeth City County (Va.) Schools Correspondence, 1918-1952

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Barcode numbers: 1048911-1048913, 1048915-1048916


Library of Virginia

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

Processed by: Library of Virginia staff

The Library of Virginia
Barcode numbers
1048911-1048913, 1048915-1048916
Elizabeth City County (Va.) Schools Correspondence, 1918-1952
Physical Characteristics
4.45 cu. ft. (5 boxes)
Hampton (Va.) City Schools.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Elizabeth City County (Va.) Schools Correspondence, 1918-1952. Local government records collection, Hampton (City)/Elizabeth City County School Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. 23219.

Acquisition Information

These records came to the Library of Virginia in a transfer of court records from Hampton Schools under accession number 27581.

This collection is located at the State Records Center. Contact Archives Research Services for access information, directions, and hours.

Historical Information

Elizabeth City County (extinct) was named for Elizabeth, daughter of James I, and was one of the eight shires established in 1634. Elizabeth City County became extinct in 1952, when the county and the town of Phoebus were incorporated into the city of Hampton, which was the county seat. Hampton adjoins the Chesapeake Bay on the south and east, Newport News on the west, York County and Poquoson on the north.

Prior to the 1952 merger of Hampton, Phoebus, and Elizabeth City County, the Division Superintendent was the administrator for three separate school systems, each with its own school board. Robert M. Newton was Elizabeth City County Schools Division Superintendent from 1924-1948 (Herbert M. Spain served as Acting Division Superintendent for a period in 1931), and C. Aton Lindsay was Division Superintendent from 1948 to 1952.

On June 18, 1940, the U.S. Court of Appeals (4th Circuit) overturned a lower court's ruling in a pay equalization suit brought by Melvin Alston, a commerce teacher with the Norfolk schools, and the Norfolk Teachers Association. Richmond lawyer Oliver Hill was among the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) attorneys representing the plaintiffs. The City of Norfolk appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, but their appeal was denied and Norfolk entered into negotiations to equalize teacher salaries in Norfolk.

Records were burned or destroyed during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Additional records were burned in Richmond on 3 April 1865, where they had been moved for safekeeping during the Civil War. A few pre-Civil War volumes such as deed books, will books, and order books exist.

Scope and Content

Elizabeth City County (Va.) Schools Correspondence, 1918-1952, contains the general correspondence of Division Superintendents Robert M. Newton, Herbert M. Spain, and C. Aton Lindsay. It documents the administration of the Elizabeth City County, Hampton (City), and Phoebus (Town) school systems. The records also contain minutes of the Elizabeth City County Board of School Trustees, 1918-1921. The correspondence files include a petition from the Elizabeth City County Teachers' Association for equalization of teacher pay, 1940 Dec. 6; a letter, 1941 May 14, from attorney Oliver Hill regarding the petition, and a copy, with a few notes, of the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals (4th Circuit), banning discriminatory pay scales for teachers.

Elizabeth City County (Va.) Schools Division Superintendent Correspondence, 1924-1952, contains general correspondence with teachers, principals, parents, students, teacher organizations, parent-teacher organizations, school board members, state education officials, attorneys, and vendors. The letters pertain to renovation and construction of schools and strategies for increasing taxes to pay for school construction; recruitment of teachers and student-teachers, parents and teachers lobbying to increase pay for teachers and coaches, inquiries about charging tuition for the children of military personnel at Fort Eustis and Fort Langley, and legal requirements for educating the children of immigrants. The correspondence files also contain annual reports, budgets, teacher contracts, lists of teachers and their salaries, and scattered ephemera, such as programs from high school commencements, plays, and concerts.

Elizabeth City County (Va.) Board of School Trustees minutes, 1918-1921, document efforts to expand school construction in the district to accommodate a rapidly growing population. The minutes include correspondence with architects, proposed budgets, annual reports, memos and reports on the estimated costs of construction of four new schools, and information on teacher salaries in Newport News and Elizabeth City County.


The correspondence files are divided into folders by school system (Elizabeth City County, Hampton, and Phoebus), and arranged chronologically.

Related Material

See the Chancery Records Index found on the Library of Virginia web site for the chancery records of other Virginia localities.

See the Lost Records Localities Digital Collection available at Virginia Memory.

For more information and a listing of lost records localities see Lost Records research note .

Index Terms

Adjunct Descriptive Data

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

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