A Guide to the Alfred Dickinson Barksdale Papers Barksdale, Alfred Dickinson. 10230

A Guide to the Alfred Dickinson Barksdale Papers

A Collection in the
Special Collections Department
Accession number 10230


University of Virginia Library

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904-4110
Phone: (434) 243-1776
Fax: (434) 924-4968
Reference Request Form: https://small.lib.virginia.edu/reference-request/
URL: http://small.library.virginia.edu/

© 1997 By the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. All rights reserved.

Funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Special Collections Department Staff

University of Virginia. Library. Special Collections Dept. Alderman Library University of Virginia Charlottesville, Virginia 22903 USA
Collection Number
Alfred Dickinson Barksdale Papers 1905-1973
Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Garbee

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

See the University of Virginia Library’s use policy.

Preferred Citation

Alfred Dickinson Barksdale Papers, Accession 10230, Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library

Acquisition Information

The Alfred Dickinson Barksdale papers were presented to the library by Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Garbee , 1601 Clayton Avenue, Lynchburg, Virginia , on 8 July 1977 .

Funding Note

Funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities


Alfred Dickinson Barksdale was born in Halifax (then Houston ), Virginia , on 17 July 1892. He was educated in local schools, with the exception of one year (1907-1908) which he spent at Cluster Springs Academy in Cluster Springs, Virginia . He attended the Virginia Military Institute from 1908 to 1911, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree after only three years. Following a year of teaching in a Halifax school, he entered the University of Virginia Law School , and received his LL.B. in 1915. He entered the practice of law in Lynchburg, Virginia , but soon left to serve as a first lieutenant in the First Virginia Infantry --known as the "Musketeers"--on the Mexican border from June 1916 to February 1917. Promoted to captain in July 1917, he served in the 116th Infantry, 29th Division, American Expeditionary Forces , and saw active service in France from June 1918 to July 1919. Following the Armistice, he attended classes at the Sorbonne , in addition to acting as a judge-advocate for his battalion. He was released from service in August 1919, and received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Croix de Guerre, and the Chevalier Legion of Honor as a result of his military performance.

Upon his return to the United States , Alfred Dickinson Barksdale resumed his legal practice in Lynchburg . He served as a Virginia state senator from 1924 to 1928, and although this was the extent of his active political career, he formed many valuable political connections, including one with Harry F. Byrd, Sr. , whom he assisted in his campaign for governor. In 1938, Barksdale was named judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Virginia , this being the same position which his father, William Randolph Barksdale , had filled for many years in the early 1900's. In 1940 he was appointed judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia , and served in this capacity until he retired in 1957. Following his retirement from the bench he continued to do legal work, including service on the Trial Bench and the Court of Appeals, until his death on 16 August 1972.

Judge Alfred Dickinson Barksdale married Estill Winfree Phillips in 1934, and they made their home in Lynchburg until the judge's death. Their family included Mrs. Barksdale's son from her previous marriage, William Causey Phillips, Jr. , and the Barksdale 's two daughters, Louisa Estill Winfree Barksdale Loyd , and Mary B. Garbee .

In addition to his legal career, Alfred Dickinson Barksdale served on the Board of Trustees of Hollins College for over thirty years, was a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia for ten years, and was a member of both the Virginia Bar Association and American Bar Association .

For further biographical information, see the typescript biography in control folder no. 10230.

Scope and Content

These papers, consisting of cat 7770 items, (12 boxes, 1 oversize folder; 5 linear shelf feet), are the personal papers of Judge Alfred Dickinson Barksdale of Lynchburg, Virginia . Most of the papers fall between the years 1938 and 1972, with some covering the earlier period of 1918-1919. These periods correspond to the years of Alfred Dickinson Barksdale 's career as judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Virginia and as judge of the U. S. District Court of the Western District of Virginia , and also of his military service during World War I.

The major series in the collection is that of chronologically-arranged personal correspondence, covering the years 1918-1919 and 1940-1972. This correspondence consists chiefly of personal and routine social correspondence with family members, acquaintances, and friends, many of whom were Virginia lawyers, judges, businessmen, and political figures. Prominent correspondents include Virginia senators Harry F. Byrd, Sr. , and Carter Glass ; Virginia governor and University of Virginia president Colgate Darden ; prominent businessman, government official, and Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. ; and speaker of the House of Representatives Sam Rayburn . A minor problem in using the correspondence is that Barksdale's nickname was "Dick," and occasionally people address him as "Richard" Barksdale.

The chronological correspondence also includes Alfred Dickinson Barksdale 's World War I correspondence with his father, William Randolph Barksdale , his brother; John Barksdale , and other family members and American friends. There are also a substantial number of letters and postcards from acquaintances he made in France , including several young French women. One folder contains official correspondence concerning Barksdale's war honors.

Following the chronological correspondence is a section of topical correspondence and related materials, which include memoranda, newspaper clippings, notes, miscellaneous printed material, etc.. The topics include important court cases, organizations to which Alfred Dickinson Barksdale belonged, and major turning points in his career, such as his appointment to the district judgeship, and his retirement. The letters relating to Barksdale's appointment to the district judgeship are of particular interest as they shed some light on the processes of political appointments. Other folders contain material concerning Barksdale's World War I unit, Company M, and the "Musketeers," and material regarding Barksdale's associations with Hollins College and the University of Virginia . Some genealogical material is also contained in this section.

A major portion of the collection consists of speeches given by Alfred Dickinson Barksdale , with background material, correspondence, and miscellaneous items. Barksdale delivered speeches at naturalization ceremonies at Roanoke and other Virginia locations many times over a period of about twenty years. He often spoke to various University of Virginia alumni groups, women's groups, bar associations, and at various Virginia Military Institute , court, and law school functions. Some speeches are related to special functions Barksdale performed such as introducing Greer Garson and John F. Kennedy on the occasions when they spoke in Lynchburg . It should be noted that material in the chronological correspondence overlaps with both topical correspondence and speeches. This material was not transferred as Barksdale had filed it chronologically.

Alfred Dickinson Barksdale 's miscellaneous papers and memorabilia consist of family, personal, and professional items. His memorabilia from World War I includes contemporary postcards from places he visited in Europe . Contained in this section, as well as in the section of oversized material, are Barksdale's certificates for awards he won and positions he held. Two folders contain listings of addresses of people with whom he was acquainted.

The printed material section contains printed items used in Alfred Dickinson Barksdale 's military and professional careers, and printed memorabilia from the Virginia Military Institute and the University of Virginia . Three folders of newspaper clippings relate to important events in his life and career, including the trial of several German-American Bund leaders, convicted of violating the Selective Service Act in 1942 in New York City , at which Alfred Dickinson Barksdale served as judge.


The papers were arranged to some extent by Judge Barksdale, and this order was preserved wherever possible, unless further organization was necessary to facilitate research. The World War I correspondence is arranged in folders according to correspondents, and chronologically within the folders. The major correspondence series is arranged chronologically. The topical correspondence and speech sections generally follow the divisions set up by Barksdale. In the speech section, the manuscript speeches precede other related materials. Within the two miscellaneous speech folders, each speech and its related material is in chronological order by the date of the speech. The miscellaneous papers and memorabilia have been divided into general categories, and are arranged in chronological order within the folders. Printed material follows the same organization. Oversize material is arranged chronologically and is listed at the end of this guide. Undated material is located at the end of its particular section or folder.

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

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Significant Places Associated With the Collection

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Container List/Series Description

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