War Between the States

U.S. Congressman from Virginia

Autograph Letter Signed

Loyal Virginia Unionist


(1802-69) Born in Dumfries, Va., he was a lawyer and politician who stayed true to the Union. The most conspicuous arrest made during the Civil War under the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus was that of this prominent Virginia citizen who had been a large part of the political life of Virginia for 30 years. He had served as a member of the Virginia State Legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives. He was a staunch opponent of secession declaring his state had no right to secede, and said that the leaders in the South were conspirators. He was arrested on March 2, 1862, in his home in Richmond, and confined in jail for several weeks. Through a personal interview with Confederate Secretary of War, George W. Randolph, he finally obtained permission to remain in his own home in Richmond, upon taking an oath to say nothing more that was prejudicial to the Confederacy. Tiring of confinement in his house, he purchased a farm in Culpeper County, Va., and moved there in January 1863. From there he started up again to denounce secession. His home was always full of Confederate officers and Union generals and he was arrested once again by orders of General J.E.B. Stuart, on October 12, 1863, but was soon released without further molestation.

Autograph Letter Signed: 8 x 10, in ink.

April 11th/42

Dear Sir,

If there is no preferring reason for the action of the Senate Committee in the nomination of the Collector of Norfolk, I would suggest that it might be postponed for a day or two, to give time for an examination of a report recently called for at the instance of a portion of the citizens of Norfolk & Portsmouth which has been [?] but not yet presented & which I cannot at this time lay my hands on.

Very Respectfully,
Yr. Obdt. Svt.,
Jno. M. Botts

Very fine.


Autograph John Minor Botts

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