A Guide to the Bridgewater Voter Roll , 1902-1948
Compiled by: Julia Merkel, March 2005
Revised by: Alicia Henneberry, September 2013
Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Title: Bridgewater Voter Roll, 1902-1948
Collection No.: SC 0081
Creator: Rockingham County, VA
Extent: One folder
Abstract: Consists of one bound and handwritten ledger listing white male voters registered at Bridgewater Precinct in the Ashby Magisterial District Rockingham County, Virginia. This ledger dates from May 1910 to October 1948 with a few entries back-dated to 1902 and 1907, and other entries undated.
Access Restrictions: Collection is open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.
Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collection Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], [box #, folder #], Bridgewater Voter Roll, 1902-1948, SC 0081, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.
Acquisition Information: Purchased from Scott Suter (via eBay) in March 2005.
Bio/Historical Note: One interesting aspect of the voter registrar is that it is specifically designated for white men only. In Virginia, African-Americans gained the right to vote after the Confederate states were commanded by President Andrew Jackson to hold conventions to write new constitutions. The army’s commanding general in Virginia ordered for African-Americans to be elected into the convention and given the right to vote. The Underwood Convention that was henceforth commenced granted the right to vote to African Americans. However, despite these improvements, Republican leaders in Congress ceased to protect the rights of freedmen, leading to escalations in violence and segregation towards African-Americans. At the time this ledger was in use, segregation would still have been very prominent, exemplified by this stark example of a “white men” voter registrar.
Scope and Content: The Bridgewater Voter Roll, 1902-1948, consists of one ledger dating from May 1910 to October 1948, with some back entries undated or dated from 1902 and 1907. The headings for the roll include : date of registration; number; name; birthdate; age in years; occupation; residence; length of residence in state, county, and precinct; “is he exempt from payment of poll tax as a prerequisite to voting?”; if naturalized, date of papers and by what court issued; if transferred, when and to what precinct. The earliest registrants listed are S.C. Miller in 1902 and John A. Shickel in 1907. The earliest birth date listed is Rev. H.C. Early, who was born in 1855. Occupations mentioned vary from students, farmers, laborers, furniture makers, and dealers, as well as photographer, vet surgeon, dentist, and naval aviator. Most registrants are local, or were transferred from within the state and region. A few exceptions are teachers, F.D. Dove who emigrated from Amsterdam in 1928, J. Emmett Ikenberry from Amsterdam in 1931. Most entries are handwritten in blue or black ink. “Deceased” is at times indicated in red ink.
Arrangement: The ledger is contained in one folder
Library of Virginia,