Paxton, James G., Letter James G. Paxton Letter, 1863 Ms.1988.071

James G. Paxton Letter, 1863 Ms.1988.071


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Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
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Business Number: 540-231-6308
specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu

John M. Jackson

Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech
Identification
Ms.1988.071
Title
James G. Paxton Letter 1863
Quantity
0.1 Cubic Feet, 1 folder
Creator
Paxton, James G.
Language
The materials in the collection are in English.
Abstract
Letter from James G. Paxton to Major William McLaughlin. Writing from Salem, Virginia, informs McLaughlin that his name is being put forward as a possible candidate for the Virginia Senate.

Administrative Information

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Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to research.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: [identification of item], [box], [folder], James G. Paxton Letter, Ms1988-071, Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Source of Acquisition

The James G. Paxton Letter was purchased by Special Collections and University Archives in 1988.

Processing Information

The processing and description of the James G. Paxton Letter commenced and was completed in April, 2021.


Biographical Note

James Gardner Paxton, son of Elisha and Margaret McNutt Paxton, was born November 4, 1821. The 1860 lists him as an attorney, living in Rockbridge County, Virginia, with Ann Paxton, 33, and four Paxton children. The 1860 slave schedule also lists an enslaved woman and two enslaved children in the Rockbride County home of a J. G. Paxton. James G. Paxton died in a railroad accident on August 7, 1870, and was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Lexington, Virginia.

William McLaughlin, son of Edward I. and Elizabeth Nesbitt McLaughlin, was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, on January 6, 1828. After graduating from Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), McLaughlin studied law and entered a law partnership in Lexington, Virginia, with John D. Sterritt in 1853. At the outbreak of the American Civil War, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the Rockbridge Artillery.

Soon after receiving James G. Paxton's letter, McLaughlin announced himself a candidate for the senate, his acceptance letter, written from Narrows, Virginia, being published in the Staunton Spectator on April 28. McLaughlin would lose the race to incumbent William Frazier one month later.

Following the war, McLaughlin returned to Lexington and his law practice. In 1869, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates, representing Rockbridge County for a single term. In 1870, he was elected judge of the 13th Judicial Circuit Court and continued to serve in that capacity until his death. McLaughlin also served as rector of Washington College. He was twice married, first to Sallie Mays, and following her death, to Fannie Bear Coffman. William McLaughlin died August 18, 1898, and was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Lexington.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of a single letter written by James G. Paxton in Salem, Virginia, to Major William McLaughlin. Writing on April 6, 1863, Paxton informs McLaughlin that McLaughlin's name has been put forward as a possible candidate for senate (Virginia Senate, representing Bath, Highland, and Rockbridge counties) and that during Paxton's recent trip to Lexington, J. W. Barclay was collecting signatures for support of McLaughlin's candidacy. Paxton shares other news relating to McLaughlin's prospects as a candidate and encourages him to run.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Civil War
  • Confederate States of America
  • Local/Regional History and Appalachian South
  • Rockbridge County (Va.)
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the James G. Paxton Letter by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 ( https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/ ).

Container List

folder 1
Letter
1863