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James Kirke Paulding papers

Identifier: MSS 7223

Content Description

This collection of James Kirke Paulding MSS 7223, -a,-b,-c,-d contains manuscripts of the poems, "The Backwoodsman," and "Where are Women Angels?" There are also typed manuscripts of two poems by John Quincy Adams and one of an untitled poem to Adams by James Kirke Paulding. Also included is a fragment of "The Rights of War and Peace."

Most of the correspondence in the collection discusses the Department of Navy business. There is a document appointing Paulding as Navy Agent in 1824 signed by James Monroe and four engravings of Paulding.

There are letters that lobby support for the commissioning of American artists to execute paintings for the Capitol, particularly for John G. Chapman. Other topics include the publishing of poetry, plays, and stories by Pauling, as well as David Porter's pamphlet justifying his conduct at Fajardo. Included is Pauling's letter of acceptance as an honorary member for election to the Washington Literary Soicety at the University of Virginia.

The addition to MSS 7223 contains a four-page letter from James Kirke Paulding to Thomas W. White, a printer and publisher in Richmond, Virginia. Paulding writes to White to thank him for sending selections of speeches of distinguished orators along with a discussion on current events, including Paulding's thoughts and observations on Virginia as the state with the strongest understanding and protection of constitutional principles.


  • Creation: 1804-1874


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

James Kirke Paulding was an American writer, Secretary to the Board of Navy Commissioners 1815-1823, Navel Agent in New York 1824-1838, and United States Secretary of the Navy from 1838-1841. As a member of the "Knickerbocker Group," he co-wrote the satirical periodical 'Salmagundi' with Washington Irving: the issue of November 11, 1807, first attached the name 'Gotham' to New York City.

Thomas Willis White was a printer and publisher. He began his career apprenticing for the printers of the 'Virginia Federalist' and went on to work in Richmond, Norfolk, Philadelphia, and Boston. He returned to Richmond in 1817, established his own printing house, and published books, pamphlets, and legislative journals. In 1834 he founded the Southern Literary Messenger; Edgar Allan Poe joined him the following year.


33 items (legal size folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into Literary manuscripts by James Kirke Paulding, United States Navy papers, and an addition of one literary letter from James Kirke Paulding totaling 33 legal size folders housed in the Barrett collection of authors with the last names starting with P.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The existing collection of James Kirke Paulding was a gift from Clifton Waller Barrett to the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia Library on 10 January, 1947. The addition was a purchase from David M. Lesser to the Small Collections Library on 20 October 2022.

Guide to the James Kirke Paulding papers
Rose Oliveira, Accessioning Archivist
31 January 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States