William H. Cabell (1811-1850)

Further reading:

John G. Deal, “William H. Cabell (1772-1853),” Dictionary of Virginia Biography (1998).

Edwin Metcalfe Gaines, “The Political Career of Governor William H Cabell.” Master’s thesis, University of Virginia (1954).

F. Thornton Miller, Juries and Judges versus the Law: Virginia’s Provincial Legal Perspective, 1783-1828 (1994).

Henry C. Riely, William H. Cabell, Sixth President of the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia (1930).

Alan Taylor, The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 (2013).  Taylor draws on correspondence between William Cabell and his younger brother, Joseph C. Cabell, about managing slave resistance during the War of 1812.

Cabell Family Papers, a digital exhibit of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia, includes a biographical sketch of William H. Cabell and other resources on the history of the Cabell family.


Research collections:

College of William and Mary (Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library)
Williamsburg, Va.
Cabell Family Papers, 1693-1913.
Correspondence, 1796-1820, of William H. Cabell, 1796-1811, primarily with his uncle William Cabell (1730-1798) and his brother, Joseph C. Cabell, about the sale of tobacco; includes letters about the division of enslaved families and a letter from John Marshall pertaining to a legal case. Finding aid available.

Library of Congress (Manuscripts Division)
Washington, D.C.
William Wirt Papers, 1802-1858 (bulk 1802-1834); 4 microfilm reels.
Correspondent; letters pertain to legal work, politics, and social life in Richmond. Wirt (1782-1834) was a lawyer, member of the House of Delegates, U.S. District Attorney and U.S. Attorney General. Finding aid available.

Library of Virginia (State Records Collection, Office of the Governor)
Richmond, Va.
Governor William H. Cabell Executive Papers, 1805-1808 (bulk 1806-1888); 5.0 cu. ft.
Primarily incoming correspondence. Finding aid available.

Maryland Historical Society
Baltimore, MD
William Wirt Papers, 1784-1864, Microfilm, 4 reels.
Correspondent; letters pertain to “court and government life in the 1820s. Finding aid available.

University of Virginia (Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library)
Charlottesville, Va.
Papers of the Joseph Carrington Cabell Family, 1783-1887, circa.
Letters from William H. Cabell to his brother, Joseph C. Cabell, 1803-1821; concern renewed war between France and England, political news in Virginia (1803 Dec 10), the trial of Aaron Burr drawing to a close (1807 Oct 19); William’s eagerness to leave the position of governor (1807 Dec 1); managing enslaved workers (1808-1820); a discussion of the court and legal system in Virginia and the practice of runaway slaves who arm themselves and collect in groups to form camps underground or in caves (1810 Dec 31); the War of 1812, and family matters. Finding aid available.

Virginia Historical Society
Richmond, Va.
Cabell Family Papers, sections 2-6, papers of Governor William H. Cabell, 1782-1850, 32 items.
Letters, 1831-1838; commonplace books, 1840-1850, including one kept while a member of the Virginia Court of Appeals (1850); and autobiographical notes and decrees from a lawsuit involving the Cabell family, 1782-1842; Finding aid available.