The Resource Executive letter books of Governor Frederick M. W. Holliday

Executive letter books of Governor Frederick M. W. Holliday

Executive letter books of Governor Frederick M. W. Holliday, 1878-1881
Executive letter books of Governor Frederick M. W. Holliday
Inclusive dates
  • The executive letter book contains incoming and outgoing correspondence of Governor Frederick M. W. Holliday between 1878 and 1881 organized chronologically, as well as some third-party correspondence that came to the governor's attention. The collection consists of two series documenting the activities of the governor during Holliday's four-year term between 1 January 1878 and 1 January 1882
  • The correspondence in Series I, 1878-1882, primarily relates to the state's war debt and ongoing debates with members of the new Readjuster party, including correspondence with financiers and bondholders in London. Topics include the Barbour Bill, the Bocock Compromise Bill, the Mahone-Barbour coalition (an early incarnation of the Readjuster party), a conference of creditors of the state, extracts of relevant circulars and newspaper articles, and the Council of Foreign Bondholders
  • Correspondents include Charles M. Fry, president of the Bank of New York; Gen. John Echols; A. Dudley Mann; R. H. Maury & Co.; London bankers John A. Hankey and Joseph Hankey Dobree; second auditor of Virginia Gen. Asa Rogers; William F. Wehelis of the Bank of Australia; British politician Edward Pleydell-Bouverie; Baring Brothers & Co; Hugh McCulloch, former Secretary of the Treasury; John Collinson, a representative for E. Pleydell-Bouverie; banker August Belmont; F. O. French, managing director of the Funding Association of the United States; Samuel Richter Maclean; George T. Rait, Chairman of the London Committee for Virginia Deferred Certificates; Jacob B. Jackson, mayor of West Virginia; and the American Bank Note Company
  • Series II, 1879-1881, primarily relates to the planning of the Yorktown Centennial Celebration in October 1881. It includes incoming and outgoing correspondence of the governor, meeting minutes, extracts from newspaper articles, copies of invitations, circulars, and program drafts. Other notable documents include resolutions from the College of William and Mary; a New Jersey Joint Resolution; a circular addressed to governors and commissioners with a loose copy interfiled; a copied letter on a Franco-American celebration; a letter from Gen. J. Madison Drake regarding the participation of the Veteran Zouaves; and an offer by John H. James of a picture of the surrender done by Charles Peale and an original copy of Francis Bailey's Freemans Journal announcing the surrender. There are remarkably few references to the assassination of President Garfield, apart from a letter to the governor from J. E. Peyton on July 13, 1881, noting that the president was expected to recover. Various issues raised in the context of the centennial include French participation in the battle, the involvement of Baron von Steuben, and the presence of descendents of Colonel Moses Hazen of the 2nd Canadian Regiment
  • Notable correspondents include the governors of other states; Michael Glennan, the main instigator for the centennial; J. E. Peyton; W. K. Rogers, private secretary to President Hayes; Charles Devins from the Department of Justice; R. W. Thompson, Secretary of the Navy; G. W. McCrary, Secretary of War; Reuben Foster of the Baltimore-Chesapeake-Richmond Steamboat Co.; Algernon S. Buford of the Richmond & Danville Railroad Co.; Secretary of the Interior Carl C. Schurz; William M. Evarts, Secretary of State; General Winfield Scott Hancock; General William Tecumseh Sherman; General Samuel Jones; Elie Charlier of the Charlier Institute in New York, and Senator John W. Johnston, chairman of the Joint Select Committee on the Yorktown Celebration
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  • Accessioned
  • Described
Additional physical form
Also available on microfilm. (Misc. reel 6192)
Biographical or historical data
  • Frederick William Mackey Holliday was born on 22 February 1828 in Winchester, Virginia, to Dr. R. J. Holliday and Mary Catherine Taylor. He attended Winchester Academy and graduated from Yale University in 1847. After less than a year, he acquired degrees in philosophy, political economy, and law from the University of Virginia in 1848. He began a law practice and was elected to three consecutive terms as Commonwealth's Attorney for Frederick County in 1851. An avid secessionist, Holliday lost his election to represent Frederick County in the Virginia Secession Convention. During the Civil War, Holliday served as captain of Company D, 33rd Virginia Regiment, Stonewall Brigade. Promoted to major and lieutenant colonel for his exemplary service, Holliday was wounded at the Battle of Cedar Mountain resulting in the amputation of his arm. Holliday was forced to resign his commission. Holliday defeated Alexander R. Boteler to represent Virginia's 10th District in the Second Confederate Congress from 1864 to 1865.
  • Following the Civil War, Holliday returned to his law practice and married Hannah Taylor McCormick of Clarke County in 1868. Upon the death of his first wife, Holliday married Caroline Calvert Stuart of King George County in 1871. Holliday's second wife died in childbirth, along with their infant child. In 1876, he served as a commissioner at the Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia. The following year, Holliday, a Conservative, was elected governor of Virginia unopposed as the Republican Party concentrated on legislative seats. Holliday took office on 1 January 1878. Like his predecessor, Holliday's term as governor was dedicated to Virginia's state debt from the war. He fought against the Readjusters who sought to repudiate the state debt. Holliday left politics at the end of his governorship and devoted the rest of his life to traveling the world. Holliday suffered a stroke and died on 20 May 1899 and is buried in Mount Hebron Cemetery in Winchester, Virginia.
Cataloging source
Executive letter books of Governor Frederick M. W. Holliday
These records are part of the Governor's Office record group (RG# 3)
Arranged chronologically.
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • Inventory
  • Inventory
Governing access note
For preservation purposes, please use microfilm (Misc. reel 6192)
Organization method
Organized into the following series: Series I. Executive letter book of Governor Frederick M. W. Holliday, 1878-1881; Series II. Yorktown Centennial Celebration letter book, 1879-1881.
Terms governing use
There are no use restrictions.
Type of unit
v. (808 p.)



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Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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