The Resource (microform)


Inclusive dates
  • Papers, 1817-1887, of R. M. T. Hunter, held at the Special Collections of Alderman Library at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Includes speeches, personal correspondence, political papers, files from Hunter's service in the U. S. Congress, family papers, and business papers. This collection represents a Virginia family in the period surrounding the Civil War, and also demonstrates Hunter's political impact before, during and after the Civil War
  • SERIES I: SPEECHES, 1828-1876. Includes political speeches in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, campaign speeches on behalf of the Democratic Party, and lectures to a literary society at the University of Virginia. Of note are the post-Civil War speeches intended to encourage the re-establishment of the Democratic Party in the South
  • SERIES II: PERSONAL, PUBLIC, AND PROFESSIONAL PAPERS, 1817-1887. The papers from 1817-1839 (reel 2) relate to Hunter's education, early legal practice, and the beginning of his political career. The papers from 1840-1851 (reel 3) concern Hunter's emergence as national political figure and includes correspondence from Albert Gallatin, John C. Calhoun, R. B. Rhett, Thomas Ritchie, James A. Seddon, and other Democratic leaders. Letters of note concern Hunter's involvement as campaign manager of John C. Calhoun's bid to become presidential candidate in 1844, and Winfield Scott's effort to become a Brevet Lieutenant-General. The papers from 1852-1856 (reel 4) concern land transactions as a member of the Washington Clique, Southern politics on the eve of the Civil War, and Hunter's work as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and Military Affairs Committee. Correspondents include Franklin Pierce, Herschel V. Johnson, Richard Rush, Jefferson C. Davis, W. W. Corcoran, John L. Dawson, and Muscoe R. H. Garnett. The papers from 1857-1858 (reel 5) consist of family letters and business papers. Many of the letters concern Hunter's interest in the education of his son, R. M. T. Hunter, Jr. The papers from 1859-1860 (reel 6) contain personal correspondence, and political correspondence concerning efforts to secure the 1860 Democratic presidential nomination for Hnter and his campaign efforts on behalf of the Breckinridge-Lane ticket. The papers from 1861-1865 (reel 7) reveal the private life of Hunter's family during the Civil War. Includes documents relating to Hunter's Confederate career, such as his account of the Hampton Roads Peace Conference in February 1865 and letters written to Hunter at Fort Pulaski, Georgia after his arrest and imprisonment there
  • The papers from 1865-1867 (reel 8) include a "History of Confederate Finance" and a "Nature of Man," both of which Hunter wrote while imprisoned. Also includes papers relating to Hunter's official parole and efforts to re-establish his business interests. The papers from 1867-1869 (reel 9) relate to Hunter's business dealings and include a petition Hunter delivered to the U. S. Congress for the "Relief of Virginia." The papers from 1870-1872 (reel 10, relate to Hunter's business problems and his efforts to attain financial stability. Of note are the records of the New York Industrial Exhibition, of which Hunter was one of the regents for the Commonwealth of Virginia. The papers from 1872-1873 (reel 11) concern Demcoratic party politics, Hunter's efforts to return to the U. S. Senate, and the estalishment of the Southern Historical Society. The papers from 1874-1878 (reel 12) concern Hunter's election as Treasurer of Virginia and letters to Hunter during his stay in Richmond as treasurer. The papers from 1879-1887 (reel 13) relate to Hunter's defeat as treasurer in 1880, his daughter Evelyn's death in 1881, and his appointment as Collector of the Port of Tappahannock in 1885. Of note are letters from Thomas Clemson about writing a biography of John C. Calhoun, and the organization of the Mutual Endowment Association
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter was born in Essex County, Virginia on 21 April 1809, the son of James and Maria (Garnett) Hunter. He was a lawyer and statesman, serving in the Virginia House of Delegates (1834-1837), the U.S. House of Representatives (1837-1843, 1845-1847), and the U.S. Senate (1847-1861). As a Senator, he was a member of the "Southern Triumverate" of the Democratic Party (1847-1861), along with Jefferson Davis and Robert Augustus Toombs. He was Confederate Secretary of State from 1861 to 1862 and, from 1862 to 1865, represented Virginia in the Confederate Senate. In February 1865, Hunter was one of the peace commissioners to meet with Abraham Lincoln at the Hampton Roads Peace Conference. In 1867, he helped organized the Conservative Party, which won control of the Virginia state government from the Radical Republicans in 1869. He served as Treasurer of Virginia from 1874 until his defeat in 1880. In 1885, he was appointed collector for the port of Tappahannock, Virginia. He died on 18 July 1887 and was buried at Elmwood, the family burial ground.
Cataloging source
Form designation
Location of originals duplicates
Special Collections, Alderman Library, University of Virginia;
Arranged chronologically.
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
Reel inventory
Immediate source of acquisition
University of Virginia Library
Organization method
Organized into two series: I. Speeches (reel 1); II. Personal, Public, and Business Papers (reels 2-13);
Reproduction note
Terms governing use
Type of unit

Library Locations

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