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Walker and Caldwell Papers,

Identifier: Ms-1973-012

Scope and Contents

This collection contains papers of Manley M. Caldwell, an attorney in Wytheville and Roanoke, Virginia, and his law partner and father-in-law, James A. Walker. The collection contains such legal and financial records as deeds, survey metes and calls, ledgers, promissory notes, checks, and correspondence. Approximately half of the collection relates to Caldwell's activities as executor of Walker's will and concerns property and mineral rights owned in Wythe County, Virginia. Much of the remainder of the collection is devoted to Caldwell's business interests in Roanoke. The collection contains little that relates to the Walker and Caldwell law partnership and only a few items that do not relate to business or legal activities.


  • 1882 - 1952


Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

James Alexander Walker was born in Augusta County, Virginia on August 27, 1832. Walker attended Virginia Military Institute but was expelled just before graduation in 1852 (though he would later be granted an honorary degree). After studying law at the University of Virginia, Walker was admitted to the state bar in 1856, and established a law practice in Newbern (Pulaski County), Virginia. He married Sarah Poage, and the couple would have six children.

At the commencement of the Civil War, Walker entered Confederate service as captain of the Pulaski Guards, later incorporated into the 4th Virginia Infantry as Company C. Walker was soon promoted to lieutenant colonel and assigned to the 13th Virginia Infantry and in February 1862 assumed command of the regiment as colonel. Promoted to brigadier general, he commanded the Stonewall Brigade during the Gettysburg Campaign and at the battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania. After recovering from a serious wound in the latter battle, Walker returned to duty, commanding a division at Petersburg and Appomattox.

Following the war, Walker returned to his Pulaski County law practice and was elected as a Democrat to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1871 and 1872. In 1877, he was elected Virginia's lieutenant governor. Walker joined the Republican Party in 1895 and served two years in Congress, from 1895 to 1899. He lost reelection to William F. Rhea in 1898, and was again defeated by Rhea in 1900. James A. Walker died in Wytheville, Virginia on October 21, 1901.

Manley Morrison Caldwell was born in Wytheville, Virginia on January 4, 1861. He graduated from Hampden-Sydney College and the University of Virginia School of Law, then briefly practiced law in Dallas, Texas before returning to Wytheville and entering into a law partnership with James A. Walker. Caldwell married Walker's daughter, Willie Brown Walker (1860-1946), in 1888; the couple had three children and lived with General Walker until his death in 1901. In 1906, the Caldwells moved to Roanoke, Virginia, where Caldwell continued his legal career and engaged in several business enterprises. Manley M. Caldwell died on May 25, 1940.


1.7 Cubic Feet (3 boxes; 1 oversize folder)


The collection contains the papers of Manley Morrison Caldwell, an attorney in Wytheville and Roanoke, Virginia, and his law partner and father-in-law, James A. Walker, consisting largely of Caldwell's professional legal and business papers and documents gathered and created by him in the course of acting as the executor of Walker's will.


The collection is arranged in three series:

Series I. Manley M. Caldwell Papers, 1886-1934. This series contains legal and financial documents created in the course of Caldwell's professional and business career. Included is an account book that seems to track not only the income of Walker's legal practice but also the income and expenditures of an apple orchard. Also included are papers relating to Caldwell's involvement in various elevated tramways in Roanoke and Botetourt counties, the Edgewood Land Company, and the Salem Improvement Company. The series also contains various legal, business, and personal financial documents such as deeds and contracts, tax forms, and bank records. Included are stock certificates for a number of area businesses. Among these is a certificate for the Old Dominion Match Company, attached to which is the formula for the company's product. The series is arranged alphabetically by document type and file topic.

Series II. Walker and Caldwell Papers, 1893-1912. The work of the Walker and Caldwell law partnership is represented in just one item: a ledger detailing the work done by the firm in collecting monies from legal judgments and delinquent business accounts.

Series III. James A. Walker Estate Papers, 1882-1952. Contained in this series are documents relating to Walker's estate, with Manley Caldwell serving as executor. The series includes such routine documents as a copy of the will, receipts and account statements, personal checks, and correspondence. Much of the material, however, relates to mineral rights held by Walker in several tracts of land in Wythe County and elsewhere in Southwest Virginia. Included is a notebook containing business meeting minutes of the Norma Iron and Mining Company, the Wythe County Iron and Zinc Corporation, and the Iron Mountain Company. The series is arranged alphabetically by document type and file topic.

Source of Acquisition

The Walker and Caldwell Papers were donated to Special Collections in 1973.

Separated Materials

The following items were removed from the collection to be added to the Rare Book Collection:

Holden, Edward S. A Brief Account of the Lick Observatory of the University of California. 2nd ed. Sacramento, CA: State Printing Office, 1895.

Walker, Jame A. Address Delivered in Richmond, Virginia, on the 30th of June, 1892, at the Unveiling of the Monument to Lieutenant General A. P. Hill. [Wytheville, VA: Enterprise Job Office, 1892?]

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Walker and Caldwell Papers by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Walker and Caldwell Papers commenced and was completed in December, 2011.

A Guide to the Walker and Caldwell Papers, 1882-1952
John M. Jackson
2011 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2020-07-30: Finding aid notes updated to new department standards. juliags

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US