SEDDON, James Alexander (1815-1880)

SEDDON, JAMES ALEXANDER, a Representative from Virginia; born in Falmouth, Va., July 13, 1815; studied under private tutors and was graduated from the law department of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville in 1835; was admitted to the bar about 1838 and commenced practice in Richmond, Va.; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-ninth Congress (March 4, 1845-March 3, 1847); declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1846; elected to the Thirty-first Congress (March 4, 1849-March 3, 1851); declined to be a candidate for renomination; member of the peace convention held in Washington, D.C., in 1861 in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war; delegate from Virginia to the Provisional Confederate Congress at Richmond, Va., in July 1861; appointed Secretary of War in the Cabinet of the Confederate States on November 20, 1862; retired in January 1865; died at ``Sabot Hill,'' Goochland County, Va., August 19, 1880; interment in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Va.

Duke University Library
Durham, NC
Papers: 1862-1865, 20 items.
The papers of James A. Seddon contain correspondence, including a letter, 1863, from Zebulon Baird Vance requesting the return of an enlisted man on trial in North Carolina on a murder charge; correspondence with Jefferson Davis and Bradley T. Johnson relating to Governor John Pettus of Mississippi, Governor Joseph E. Brown of Georgia, and the Confederate losses at Gettysburg; letter, 1864, to Seddon stating that Amelia County, Va., would send its crops to the Confederate Army, with a note by Seddon commenting upon the response of the farmers along the lines open to Richmond; and letters dealing with routine office matters, such as coastal defenses, promotions, and the exchange of prisoners.

Papers: In the Braxton Bragg Papers, 1847-1869, 43 items.
Persons represented include James A. Seddon.

Papers: In Confederate States of America papers, 1821-1912. 1,924 items and 4 volumes.
Card index in library.

Papers: In the John Bell Hood Papers, 1862-1865, 6 items.
The papers include a report to Secretary of War James A. Seddon concerning an engagement at Franklin, Tennessee.

Papers: In the C. T. (Charles Todd) Quintard Papers, 1857-1899, 346 items.
Persons represented include James A. Seddon.

Papers: In the William Manson Wallace Papers, ca. 1824-1852, 30 items.
Persons represented include James A. Seddon.

Alabama Department of Archives and History
Montgomery, AL
Papers: In the Henry C. Semple Papers, 1846-1919, 0.66 cubic foot.
Persons represented include James A. Seddon.

Arkansas History Commission
Little Rock, AR
Papers: 1863, 1 item.
A letter from James A. Seddon to Major General Samuel Jones, written on March 28, 1863, in Dublin, Virginia.

Boston Public Library
Boston, MA
Papers: 3 items.

Dartmouth College
Rauner Special Collections Library
Hanover, NH
Papers: ca. 1864, 2 pages.
A petition, addressed to J.A. Seddon, Sec. War, C.S.A., requesting that one R.R. Dunston, a blacksmith and private in the Confederate army, be stationed in King William County for the practice of his trade, as there are no other smiths to repair farm machinery.

Papers: 1864, 1 leaf.
A letter from James Alexander Seddon to Virginia Governor William Smith written on July 11, 1864. In the letter, Seddon inquires concerning an officer of Mosby's command, whom he is anxious to assign for duty on the Rappahannock.

Florida Historical Society
Cocoa, FL
Papers: In the Pleasant Woodson White Collection, 1848-1890, 6 document boxes.
Correspondents include James A. Seddon.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: In the James Power Smith Papers, 1861-1864, 20 items.
The papers include a letter (1863 January 5) from Samuel Preston Moore, Confederate surgeon-general, to James A. Seddon, secretary of defense, relating to pay for soldiers detained in the Confederate Army Medical Department.

Papers: In the Jean Waldman Collection of Civil War Papers, ca. 1817-1865, 0.2 linear foot.
Correspondents include James A. Seddon.

Library of Virginia
Archives Division
Richmond, VA
Papers: In the Isaac Hammond Collection, ca. 1839-1875, 0.9 cubic foot.
Persons represented include James A. SEddon.

Papers: In the Virginia Division of the Budget, State Capitol Portrait Files, 1936-1962, 1.4 cubic feet.
Correspondents include James A. Seddon.

Papers: In the Virginia Governor (1860-1864: Letcher) Executive Papers, 1859-1863, 14.35 cubic feet.
Correspondents include James A. Seddon.

Louisiana State University Libraries
Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library
Baton Rouge, LA
Papers: In the Bruce, Seddon, and Wilkins Plantation Records, ca. 1741-1865, 607 items and 6 volumes.
The papers chiefly consist of legal documents, bills and receipts, and correspondence related to the operation of jointly owned sugar and cotton plantations. Letters and statements of New Orleans cotton factors Kelly and Conyngham document the partners' sales of cotton. Letters (1845-1865) describe flood conditions on the Mississippi River and measures taken to protect crops. Included are photocopies of a circular and a broadside concerning the slaughter of horses for the subsistence of Union troops and a broadside concerning the employment of slaves in Louisiana under Federal occupation, both issued by the Union Army. Manuscript volumes consist of cashbooks, daybooks, and plantation diaries for a saw mill, a cooper's shop, Ashton Plantation in Carroll Parish, and Wilton Plantation of Saint James Parish. Entries (1845-1865) include slave lists, lists of provisions furnished to slaves, and wages paid to slaves for cutting wood at the saw mill.

Papers: In the William Webb Wilkins Papers, 1848-1852. 6 items.
Persons represented include James A. Seddon.

The Morgan Library
Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts
New York, NY
Papers: N.d., 1 item.
A letter from James Alexander Seddon to R.J. Walker. In the letter, Seddon asks for an interview, for some miners of his district and himself, about the tax to be levied on coal.

New-York Historical Society
New York, NY
Papers: 1863-1864. 24 items.
Most relate to Civil War.

University of California, Berkeley
The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, CA
Papers: In the LeConte Family Papers: Additions, 1862-1928, 1 box and 1 oversize folder.
The papers include a letter written by James A. Seddon on August 22, 1864, to John LeConte regarding LeConte's appointment in the Nitre and Mining Corps.

University of California, Santa Barbara
Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library
Santa Barbara, CA
Papers: 1863, 1 item.
A letter from Robert E. Lee to James A. Seddon written on November 10, 1863. In the letter, General Lee Head writes from Quarters to ask the James Seddon, the Secretary of War, for winter supplies.

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
The Southern Historical Collection
Chapel Hill, NC
Papers: In the Henry L. Benning Papers, 1818-1897, approximately 65 items.
Correspondents include James A. Seddon.

Papers: In the William A. Graham Papers, 1750-1940, 12 linear feet.
Correspondents include James A. Seddon.

Papers: In the James A. Seddon Sketches, 1916, 2 items.
The collection contains accounts by James Seddon's son, William C. Seddon, describing J. A. Seddon's imprisonment after the war, and incidents relating to Colonel Ulric Dahlgren's raid on Richmond, Va., 1864.

Papers: In the White, Wellford, Taliaferro, and Marshall Family Papers, 1743-1927, 318 items.
Correspondents include James A. Seddon.

University of Virginia
Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
Charlottesville, VA
Papers: In the Socrates Maupin Papers, ca. 1790-1921, 169 items.
The papers include an 1864 letter to James A. Seddon concerning rations for disabled soldiers enrolled at the University.

Virginia Historical Society
Richmond, VA
Papers: In Seddon family papers, 1831-1882. 308 items.
Photocopies of originals privately owned. Includes his correspondence, accounts, notes, and land and legal papers. Collection has been analyzed by repository.

Wisconsin Historical Society
Madison, WI
Papers: In the Jonathan Evans Collected Papers, 1789-1908, 0.1 cubic foot.
A warrant for $44,000 drawn on the treasury of the Confederate States of America, November 28, 1864, signed by Confederate Secretary of War James Seddon.

Papers: In the Ellis Jensen Collected Civil War Documents, 1759-1899, 0.2 cubic foot.
Correspondents include James Seddon.

Yeshiva University
New York, NY
Papers: In the Henry S. (Henry Samuel) Morais Papers, 1877-1924, 1.2 linear feet.
Correspondents include James A. Seddon.

  • Curry, Roy W. "James A. Seddon, A Southern Prototype." Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 63 (1955): 123-50.
  • O'Brien, Gerald F.J. "James A. Seddon, Statesman of the Old South." Ph.D. diss., University of Maryland, 1963.