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William Poindexter Moore, Jr. collection

Identifier: WLU-Coll-0026

Scope and Contents

This collection primarily includes correspondence written between 1791-1913 to different ancestors of William Poindexter Moore.

The letters written to Andrew Reid by his son-in-law, Andrew Moore, provide insight into what was happening in the United States during Moore's time in Congress. His November 26, 1791 letter mentions concern for Western troops at the hands of Indigenous populations, some of whom were receiving goods imported by the British West Indies. His letter dated February 22, 1792, Moore states that the House of Representatives passed an apportionment bill and proceeds to describe it. He also briefly mentions the Militia Bill and states that "almost every man appears to have an opinion of his own which he is unwilling to relinquish." Moore's letter dated March 3, 1792 mentions that the apportionment bill is before the Senate and that Congress passed a law for the defense of the Western frontier. In his January 20, 1796 letter, Moore states that there is a bill before the House "appropriating 150,000 Dollars to the carrying on a trade with the Indians," a bill for opening a land office, one for altering the militia system, and one for general bankruptcy. Moore's December 25, 1796 letter informs Reid that it is "ascertained that Adams will be President and Jefferson Vice President." He also wrote "Information is received from different quarters and generally believed, that Spain has ceded to France the Florida and Louisiana." Moore's February 19, 1804 letter briefly mentions there is debate in Congress over charging a duty "per head on negroes imported." There is a printed typescript letter dated March 19, 1804 that may have gone out to Moore's constituents. It covers the Louisiana Purchase and its importance to the United States and defends Moore from an accusation that he had given incorrect information.

Reid's other correspondents include Samuel McDowell, Brisco Baldwin, David Holmes, and J. Marshall. Of particular note is the letter from McDowell, dated June 8, 1808. McDowell mentions personal matters, such as his wife's health, and then shares his views on international matters regarding Great Brittain and Napolean Bonaparte. He suggests that if Napolean conquers Great Britain and Ireland, then he will attempt to conquer the United States.

The collection includes a letter written by attorney Edmund Pendleton (Cincinnati) to attorney David Moore (Lexington, Va.), dated September 22, 1845, about a fugitive slave named Patrick Howard. Pendleton previously lived in Virginia and was familiar with Howard. According to Pendleton, Howard was guilty of murder within Moore's jurisdiction. The purpose of the letter was to inform Moore of Howard's whereabouts as he'd recently been seen in Cincinnati.

There is also a letter from William (last name unknown) to his cousin (name unknown), dated November 26, 1864, which mentions returning to camp from a foraging expedition in Lexington, Va. and how he has never had "such an unpleasant trip in all my life." He describes being sick and his dislike for Col. Payne [William H. F.] because of his alcohol consumption. The rest of the letter remarks about people he knows and their marriage potential.

The letter written by Major John Bowyer Brockenbrough to his daughter Judy in 1901 is in regards to activities held at Washington and Lee University which honored his father, John Brockenbrough. The other correspondence is primarily related to land and/or personal matters.

The collection also includes a typescript of a personal reminisce about Washington and Lee University during Robert E. Lee's presidency, the June 26, 1779 issue of the Caledonian Mercury newspaper (Edinburgh, Scotland), which discusses the American Revolution, a family history, and the last will and testament of Botetourt County resident, Mathew Harvey.


  • Creation: 1779-1913

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The materials from Washington and Lee University Special Collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used should be fully credited with the source. Permission for publication of this material, in part or in full, must be secured with the Head of Special Collections.


1.25 Linear Feet (1 half-document case, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by William Poindexter Moore

Condition Description

Overall, good. Some older pieces need conservation are fragile and should be handled with additional care.

Processing Information

Processed by Kim Sims, March 2024

William Poindexter Moore, Jr. collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Washington and Lee University, University Library Special Collections and Archives Repository

204 W. Washington St.
Lexington VA 24450 USA