James G. Paxton Letter
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.
- Paxton, James G. (Person)
Language of Materials
The materials in the collection are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open to 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.
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James Gardner Paxton, son of Elisha and Margaret McNutt Paxton, was born November 4, 1821. The 1860 census 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.
0.1 Cubic Feet (1 folder)
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.
Source of Acquisition
The James G. Paxton Letter was purchased by Special Collections and University Archives in 1988.
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/).
The processing and description of the James G. Paxton Letter commenced and was completed in April, 2021.
- James G. Paxton Letter, 1863
- John M. Jackson
- 2021 (CC0 1.0)
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 2020-08-25: Finding aid notes updated to new department standards. juliags
- 2021-03-29: LM Rozema added missing notes for an unprocessed collection, added FA title, added FA date from EAD, and added component with instances previously attached to collection level.
- 2022-10: Updated description to person-first language when discussing enslaved people. adw
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