Alexander Rives (1866-1869)

Further reading:

Editorial, “The Albemarle Bar, XI,” The Virginia Law Register,  New Series, Vol. 7, No. 6 (Oct. 1921), p. 445-455. This remembrance of Rives, a Republican who opposed secession and the suppression of civil rights of African Americans during Reconstruction, is disapproving of his progressive views on race.  (The author mistakenly identifies Alexander Rives as the son of William C. Rives; he was his younger brother.)

Brent Tarter, Ex Parte Virginia (1880), Encyclopedia Virginia (2015). Tarter discusses Rives’ work as a U.S. District Court judge in western Virginia after the Civil War. Rives’ decision in this case was important in the development of federal law protecting the rights of African Americans to serve on juries as a consequence of passage of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments.

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 Rives’ older brother William Cabell Rives, a leader of the Constitutional Unionist party in Virginia; and resources on the history of the Cabell and Rives families.


Research collections:

Library of Virginia
Richmond, Va.
“Speech of Alex. Rives of Albemarle, on the finances and public works of the State of Virginia, delivered 30th April, 1852, in the House of Delegates, in Committee of the Whole, on the License bill,” Broadside (1852?).

University of Virginia (Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library)
Charlottesville, Va.
Rives Family Papers, 1820-1875
Two letters, Alexander Rives to Robert Rives, 1848 and 1854.

Papers of the Rives, Sears, and Rhinelander Families
Letter, Alexander Rives to William Cabell Rives and Judith Page Walker Rives, December 3, 1834, pertaining to William Cabell Rives’ senate race.

Papers of William Cabell Rives, 1824-1842
Letter, Alexander Rives to his father, Robert Rives, March 4, 1842. Description from finding aid: A. Rives writes about his “concerns for the influence of the supporters of Henry Clay in Albemarle County, and their support of a National Bank.”  Robert Rives writes to William Rives, March 8, 1842; “about the Whig Party, Henry Clay and whether Alexander Rives should run for office in Albemarle County.”

Virginia Historical Society
Richmond, Va.
George Kooglar Gilmer Papers, 1860-1896, Sections 1 and 4.
Two letters from Alexander Rives pertaining to Gilmer’s candidacy for postmaster of Richmond, 1873; and to Elizabeth Louisa Van Lew, a Richmonder who spied for the Union during the Civil War.

William Cabell Rives Papers, 1833-1861, 6 items.
Letters to Alexander Rives, April and May 1833, October 1843, and July 12, 1861; first letter concerns systems of nullification.