A Guide to the

Mt. Clinton Voter Registers, 1867-1901

SC 0010

Compiled by: Dillon Thomas and Kati Kissane, December 2016

 

Descriptive Summary

 

Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: Mt. Clinton Voter Registers, 1867-1901

Collection No.: SC 0010
Creator: Rockingham County Voter Registrar

Extent: 1 half-Hollinger box; .2 cubic feet

Language: English

Abstract: The Mt. Clinton Voter Registers, 1867-1901, are comprised of three voter registers for Mt. Clinton in Rockingham County, Virginia. Two voter registers document white male voters and one register documents “colored” male voters. The collection also includes two notes and one printed document from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

 

Administrative Information

 

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 Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], [box #, folder #], Mt. Clinton Voter Registers, 1867-1901, SC 0010, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Acquisition Information: Purchased from Ronald L. Fulk, care of Dusty’s Antique Market in Mt. Sidney, Virginia in December 2008.
Processing Information: Three loose documents were removed from the Colored Register and foldered separately in Box 1, Folder 4.

Bio/Historical Note:
Mt. Clinton is an unincorporated community in Rockingham County, Virginia, located approximately six miles northwest of the county seat of Harrisonburg. Mt. Clinton was classified as a precinct within the “Central” magisterial district of Rockingham County at the time the voter registers were created. The practice of voter registration in the United States began in the early nineteenth century as a method for localities to confirm the voting rights of their permanent (white, male, property-owning) residents and, in effect, exclude any foreign-born or transient residents from voting. Voter registration became common in the United States after the Civil War, and registration practices were tightened in the Progressive Era to combat voter fraud present in urban centers. The ratification of the 15th Amendment assured all African-American men the right to vote. An act to “Provide for a General Registration of Voters,” approved by the Virginia General Assembly on April 12, 1870, required that voter lists be kept and arranged in separate books according to race.

Scope and Content:
The Mt. Clinton Voter Registers, 1867-1901, are comprised of three ledgers documenting voter registration information of Mt. Clinton’s registered white and black male voters. The registers document each voter’s race, home precinct, magisterial district, and county. The registers also provide information on the voter’s date of registration, number, name, whether they had been “sworn,” age, occupation, place of residence, length of residence in the county, length of residence in the state, and, if naturalized, the date of naturalization and the court which issued the naturalization. Often included in the naturalization column is a note about whether a particular voter’s registration was transferred to or from another precinct. The ledgers are divided alphabetically into sections by registrant surname. The names are listed chronologically by registration date.

Three loose documents were removed from the Colored Register and foldered separately in Box 1, Folder 4. They include a handwritten request, dated April 26, 1895, from John Washington to have his voter registration transferred from Mt. Clinton to Harrisonburg and a similar request from R.J. Butler, dated May 6, 1900, to have his registration transferred from Mt. Clinton to Harrisonburg. Both requests are addressed to Mt. Clinton registrar S.A. Firebaugh. A printed copy of the 1900 act to amend the Virginia constitution is also included.

Arrangement:
Each voter register is individually foldered. The loose documents removed from the Colored Register are housed in Box 1, Folder 4.

Bibliography:
Acts of the General Assembly of the State of Virginia, Passed at the Session of 1869-’70
. Richmond: James E. Goode, 1870.

Contents:

Folder Title Box : Folder
Colored Register, 1867-1901 1:1
White Register 1, 1867-1901 1:2
White Register 2, 1867-1901 1:3
Notes, 1895-1901 1:4