The Resource Two items located in oversize, box 104

Two items located in oversize, box 104

Inclusive dates
  • Papers, 1899-1902, of William Francis Rhea (1858-1931) of Washington County, Virginia, consisting of correspondence to and from Rhea while serving as United States Congressman for the 9th Congressional District located in Southwest Virginia. Papers cover a wide range of topics such as local, state, and national politics, including Rhea's contested elections in 1898 and 1900 against James A. Walker (1832-1901); the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1901-1902; and a range of requests from Rhea's constituents. Papers are organized into the following series: Series I: General Correspondence, 1899-1902. Series II: Postal Service, 1899-1902. Series III: Agriculture, 1900-1902. Series IV: Employment Requests, 1901-1902. Series V: Military, 1900-1902. Series VI: Pensions, 1899-1902. Series VII: Contested Election, 1900-1901. Series VIII: Miscellaneous
  • Series I: General Correspondence, 1899-1902, consists of letters and telegrams to and from Rhea concerning local, state, and national politics, including Rhea's contested elections to Congress in 1898 and 1900 and his opponent in those elections, James A. Walker (1832-1901); Rhea's selection as Democratic candidate for Congress in 1900 and 1902 by his district; requests for Rhea to support or oppose various legislation; requests for aid or employment; and other political issues. Papers also contain correspondence concerning the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1901-1902 and how it may affect elections; the Philippines Insurrection; the clean-up of the Clinch River, including requests for jobs on the project; a weather bureau station in Wytheville, Virginia; a request that a courthouse be built in Catlettsburg, Kentucky; and pension and relief claims, including a pension request from Rebecca Mayo, one of the four remaining lving Revolutionary war widows. Papers also include correspondence concerning property Rhea is interested in selling
  • Series II: Postal Service, 1899-1902, contains correspondence to and from Rhea, his constituents, and officials in the United States Postmaster General's office concerning post offices, postmasters, postal routes, and postal carriers located within Rhea's congressional district in Southwest Virginia, asking for new post offices or routes; moving existing offices; changing existing routes; asking for employment as postmaster or mail carrier; or complaining about problems with offices, routes, or carriers. Includes Rhea's correspondence with Postmaster General's office regarding these requests and complaints. Papers also include references to Rhea's contested elections of 1898 and 1900, the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1901-1902, and other political matters. Papers include envelopes that contain information concerning the resolution of questions and requests
  • Series III: Agriculture, 1900-1902, contains answers to an unidentified questionnaire from various counties located in Rhea's congressional district. Series also includes Rhea's correspondence with the Department of Agriculture regarding his allotment of seeds which congressmen received annually, as well as requests from constituents for seeds, trees, and pamphlets concerning agriculture. Series IV: Employment Requests, 1901-1902, consists of correspondence to Rhea containing requests from constituents regarding federal employment and Rhea's response that most positions required would-be applicants to take the Civil Service exam
  • Series V: Military, 1900-1902, includes correspondence to and from constituents, many serving in the military, asking for Rhea's help in securing commissions, promotions, transfers, discharges, and payment for service while in the military. Papers also contain a request for Rhea to intervene in a desertion case of a son of a constituent, as well as a request from a constituent for Rhea's assistance in helping him locate his son serving in the army in the Philippines. Series VI: Pensions, 1899-1902, contains correspondence from constituents asking Rhea to assist them in securing pensions for Civil War and U.S. military veterans, or for relatives of soldiers killed during the Spanish-American War or the Philippines Insurrection
  • Series VII: Contested Election papers, 1900-1901, contain letters, depositions, voter lists, instructions, and other documents concerning Rhea's contested 1900 election against Republican James A. Walker. Letters include Rhea's correspondence with his legal representatives concerning his strategy, county election officials, and other interested parties in the counties making up the 9th Congressional District; and correspondence from election officials concerning Republicans who voted for the Democrat Rhea as opposed to Walker. Depositions include those from election officials in Pulaski, Smyth, and Washington Counties. Voter lists include voter party affiliation by precincts in Pulaski and Russell Counties, and by race in Bristol. Papers also include a county-by-county vote tally for the 1896 9th District congressional election of 1896 between James A. Walker and Samuel Walker Williams; Democratic campaign committee instructions to election officials; Democratic party canvass books and lists; a Minnesota state ballot; and a copy of the Baltimore (Maryland) AMERICAN, 5 November 1900, containing a sample ballot
  • Series VIII: Miscellaneous items include a handwritten and typewritten copy of a speech delivered by Rhea in the United States House of Representatives on 14 May 1902 on the United States occupation of the Philippines; two of three volumes containing materials relating to Rhea's contested 1898 election against James A. Walker for the 9th Congressional seat, published by the Government Printing Office, middle volume is missing; Democratic Campaign Book for the congressional election of 1902; and mailing addresses for Rhea as a member of Congress. Rhea's speech can also be found in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, volume 35, 57th Congress, 1st session, parts 6-8, pp. 5458-5461
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Biographical or historical data
William Francis Rhea was born 20 April 1858 in Washington County, Virginia. He attended rural and private schools, then graduated from King College in Bristol, Tennessee, in 1879. Rhea was admitted to the bar in 1879 and began practicing in Bristol, Virginia. Elected judge of the Washington County court in 1880, Rhea served until 1885 when he was elected to the Virginia State Senate. In 1888, he returned to Bristol and became judge of the city court. Resigning in 1895, Rhea returned to the practice of law. Rhea was elected to represent the 9th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives in 1898 and served from 1899 to 1903. Rhea's elections as a Democrat to the House in 1898 and 1900 were unsuccessfully challenged by his Republican opponent James A. Walker (1832-1901). Rhea lost his relection bid in 1902 to Republican candidate Campbell Slemp (1839-1907). Rhea was appointed a member of the State Corporation Commission in 1908 and he moved to Richmond, Virginia. He retired from the SCC in 1925. Rhea married first Mary Chester Keebler (1859-1913) in December 1878 and they had three children. He married second Rosa Smith Turpin (1869-1936). Rhea died 23 March 1931 in Richmond and was buried in Hollywood Cemetery.
Cataloging source
Form designation
Two items located in oversize, box 104
Two items located in oversize, box 104
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • Inventory
  • Inventory
Immediate source of acquisition
L. & T. Respess Books
Organization method
  • Organized into the following series: Series I: General Correspondence, 1899-1902. Series II: Postal Service, 1899-1902. Series III: Agriculture, 1900-1902. Series IV: Employment Requests, 1901-1902. Series V: Military, 1900-1902. Series VI: Pensions, 1899-1902. Series VII: Contested Election, 1900-1901. Series VIII: Miscellaneous.
  • Series I: General Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Series II: Postal Service is divided into subseries Post Offices; Postmasters; Mail Routes; Mail Carriers; and Mail Miscellany. Post Offices, Postmasters, and Mail Routes are arranged alphabetically by county, then location within the county and Mail Carriers are arranged alphabetically by individual. Mail Miscellany is arranged chronologically. Series III: Agriculture is arranged chronologically. Series IV: Employment Requests, Series V: Military, and Series VI: Pensions are arranged alphabetically by individual. Series VII: Contested Election is arranged alphabetically by location, followed by miscellaneous folders relating to the contest.
Type of unit
cu. ft.



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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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