The Resource Virginia Attorney General's correspondence files and letter books, 1898-1920
- Virginia Attorney General's correspondence files and letter books, 1898-1920
- Inclusive dates
- Contains mostly incoming letters to the Virginia Attorney General, as well as a limited number of outgoing letters. The correspondence files span the administrations of Attorneys General, Andrew J. Montague (1898-1902), William A. Anderson (1902-1910), Samuel W. Williams (1910-1914), John G. Pollard (1914-1918), and John R. Saunders (1918-1934). Very little of the correspondence dates from the Pollard and Saunders administrations. The correspondence is comprised of requests for official opinions on a variety of legal matters including voting rights, property disputes, and criminal prosecution. Some communication between the Attorney General, the Governor, Commonwealth's Attorneys, and other state agency officials can be found here. However, most of the correspondence is in the form of letters from private lawyers and citizens with specific questions about various aspects of Virginia law. Located at the end of this collection are folders of cancelled checks, miscellaneous documents and subject files. Several notable subject files relate to a state case against the Jamestown Jockey Club for illegal gambling on horse races
- Letter books contain only outgoing correspondence written by the Attorney General. The books span the administrations of Attorneys General Andrew J. Montague (1898-1902) and William A. Anderson (1902-1910). Most of the letters answer questions posed by citizens and government entities regarding topics such as the Code of Virginia, the validity of taxes and local ordinances, and constutional law. Some letters also pertain to specific court cases
- Agency history record describes the history and functions of the Virginia Office of the Attorney General. (Search author as Virginia Office of the Attorney General).
- Biographical or historical data
- The Office of the Attorney General originated in medieval England. While representing the king in his courts, the Attorney General gradually assumed the role of legal advisor to the government and all its agencies. In Virginia, the first Attorney General was commissioned in 1643. The Declaration of Independence in 1776 ended the Attorney General's connection with royal authority, but the state constitution adopted that year continued the office under the auspices of the General Assembly. The constitution adopted in 1851 provided for the popular election of the Attorney General, rendering him independent of all three branches of government. The Attorney General is elected to a four-year term in office and is eligible for reelection.
- Cataloging source
- Citation source
- Salmon, John S., comp. A GUIDE TO STATE RECORDS IN THE ARCHIVES BRANCH OF THE VIRGINIA BRANCH OF THE VIRGINIA STATE LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES. Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1985
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