Aubrey E. Strode papers
Scope and Contents
It also includes some speeches, bills, and correspondence with Edwin A. Alderman in the political and legislative papers in series four concerning the proposal to establish a coordinate Woman’s College at the University of Virginia and the budgetary needs of the University of Virginia in the legislature. There are also letters in the family correspondence from his cousin, Dr. Rosalie Slaughter Morton (1876-1968), an American physician and surgeon, concerning her trips abroad and her autobiographical books.
There are three files in this collection entirely concerned with Strode’s role in eugenics and sterilization in Virginia and they are: Carrie Buck v. Dr. J.H. Bell, 1925 June 1 (Box 9); State Colony for Epileptics and the Feeble-Minded, 1908, 1920-1922 (Box 42); and Sterilization and Eugenics, 1924-1947 (Box 159). Much of the other material is scattered among his legal practice alphabetical correspondence files, under the last name of correspondents such as William F. Drewry, superintendent of Central State Hospital; Dr. Albert Priddy, first superintendent of the Virginia Colony for Epileptics and the Feebleminded; his successor, Dr. John H. Bell; and Dr. J.S. DeJarnette, superintendent of Western State Hospital or chronologically in the political and legislative series.
Other topics with significant material in these papers include: the American Legion; The Amherst Progress (for additional information about the newspaper and the partnership with Tucker, see Strode’s incoming legal practice correspondence files under “T” containing letters from Stickly Tucker and Strode’s outgoing legal practice correspondence files under “S”); Judge Advocate General material; Kenmore High School, Amherst County, Virginia; the Lynchburg Jail; Marshal Lodge Memorial Hospital, where Strode served on the Board of Directors; and political and legislative material.
- Strode, Aubrey Ellis, 1873-1946 (Judge, Person)
Conditions Governing Use
Upon the death of his parents and being the eldest of the remaining family, Strode decided to study law, passed the bar examination and began practicing law in Amherst County and Lynchburg. His first law partner was Stickley Tucker (1879-1912), the oldest son of Cornelius S. Tucker and Sallie Stickley Tucker. Aubrey E. Strode and John William Stickley Tucker signed articles of agreement on December 31, 1902, becoming partners in the practice of law, pertaining to the counties of Amherst and Nelson, Virginia under the name of Strode and Tucker, beginning January 1, 1903, with the general office at Amherst Court House. This practice was distinct from the law practice of Aubrey Strode in Lynchburg, Virginia. Later a memorandum of partnership agreement between Aubrey E. Strode and J. Easley Edmunds, Jr. took effect on March 1, 1923 under the firm name of Strode and Edmunds, with Strode as the senior partner.
Strode represented Amherst County and Nelson County in the Virginia Senate, from 1906-1912, and 1916-1920 and was the elector at large in Virginia in 1928. He was an active member of the Democratic Party in Virginia and a popular public speaker supporting Democratic candidates during elections. During World War I, he joined the United States Army serving with the Judge Advocate General Department of the Officers’ Reserve Corps. Strode was commissioned April 23, 1918 as Major Judge Advocate and then promoted to Lieutenant Colonel Judge Advocate May 15, 1919. While in service, he was on active duty at Washington, D.C. from May 15, 1918 until January 1919, and from February through August 1919, served with the American Expeditionary Forces at Chaumont and Paris, France. Strode was discharged on August 12, 1919.
Perhaps best known as the lawyer who wrote the statute known as the Virginia Sterilization Act of 1924, Strode was also a long-time legal advisor to the Board of the State Colony for Epileptics and the Feeble-Minded. The Colony was located in Madison Heights near Lynchburg, Virginia, and authorized by a bill written in 1906 by Aubrey Strode in collaboration with Dr. Albert Priddy, who served as the first superintendent, and Joseph DeJarnette, superintendent at Western State Hospital in Staunton, Virginia.
He argued the case of Buck v. Bell before the Supreme Court of the United States in 1927. Carrie Buck was a young woman from Charlottesville who Dr. Priddy petitioned to have sterilized. Priddy died during the litigation and his successor as superintendent of the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and the Feeble Minded, Dr. John Bell, took up the cause. The Supreme Court upheld the statute instituting compulsory sterilization of the unfit “for the protection and health of the state” on May 2, 1927. The Supreme Court majority opinion was written by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Strode was also a judge in the Corporation Court of Lynchburg (1933-1944). Strode died May 17, 1946 following his retirement from the bench due to poor health.
Aubrey E. Strode was the eldest child in his family and had seven siblings, six sisters and one brother. These include: Leslie Strode (1875- ?); Grace Strode (1877-1933); Ida Strode Berry (1878-1963) married Taylor Berry in 1898; Lucille Garland Strode (1882-1954) married William Ralph Smith in 1911; Edith Strode (1882-? ) married Dr. Howard Lilienthal; Mildred Strode Vandegrift (1886-1952); and Dr. Basil E. Strode (1888-1952), who served as a 1st Lt. in the Medical Corp in World War I.
Aubrey Ellis Strode married first Rebekah Davies Brown Strode (1874-1922) of Arlington, Virginia, on June 4, 1903, and second, Louisa Hubbard Strode Smith (1896-1989) of Forest, Virginia, in 1923.
Children of Aubrey E. Strode and Rebekah Brown Strode include: William Lewis Strode (1904-1906), Mildred Ellis Strode (1906-?) who married William Tucker Battle, Rebekah Elizabeth Strode (1913-1998) who married St. George Tucker Lee in 1936, Aubrey Ellis Strode, Jr. (1908-1970), and John Thompson Brown Strode (1910-1971). Hildreth Hubbard Strode (1926-2016) was the son of Aubrey E. Strode and Louis Hubbard Strode.
88 Cubic Feet (174 document boxes, 2 large oversize folders, and 2 small oversize folders, and 8 folio ledgers)
Language of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Democratic party -- Virginia
- Eugenics -- Virginia
- Hubbard family
- Involuntary sterilization
- Kenmore High School--Amherst County (Va.)
- Practice of law -- Virginia
- Smith, Louise Dexter Hubbard Strode, 1896-1989
- State Colony for Epileptics and the Feeble-Minded -- Virginia
- Strode family
- Thornhill Wagon Company
- Tobacco Growers Co-operative Association
- United States. Army. Judge Advocate General
- Virginia -- Amherst County
- Virginia -- Lynchburg
- social problems
- women--education -- Virginia
- Strode, Aubrey Ellis, 1873-1946 (Judge, Person)
- Tucker, John William Stickley, 1879-1912 (Person)
- Aubrey E. Strode papers
- In Progress
- Sharon Defibaugh
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
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