William Joseph Robertson (1859-1865)

Further reading:

William J. Robertson, “Address to the Virginia State Bar Association,”[president’s address], Virginia Law Journal, vol. 13, no. 40 (Oct. 1889), 4-6.

Lindsay R. Barnes,”William J. Robertson, 1817-1898: Modesty and Achievement in Times of Turmoil and Change,” Magazine of Albemarle County History, v. 43 (1985). Barnes discusses Robertson’s education and early career, the evolution of his political views, his prosecution of and subsequent friendship with John Mosby when Mosby was a student at the University of Virginia, his election as judge by popular vote in 1859, his practice as a corporate attorney after the Civil War representing several railroads, his work on the creation of the Norfolk and Western Railway in 1881, and his representation of Custis Lee in his effort to regain Arlington, the estate of Robert E. Lee, from the federal government.

Charles M. Blackford, “William J. Robertson,” The Virginia Law Register,  Vol. 7, No. 11 (Mar., 1902), 745-761. In 1902, Blackford celebrated Robertson for defending the right of state judges to prevent African Americans from serving on juries in Virginia v. Rives, known as the “judges case.” Brent Tarter discusses this case, which was decided against the Commonwealth of Virginia,  and two closely related cases in Ex parte Virginia (1880), Encyclopedia Virginia, 2015. With these three rulings, Tarter writes, “the U.S. Supreme Court “confirmed congressional authority to enforce African Americans’ rights to serve on juries in state courts.”

Lunsford L. Lewis, “Judge William J. Robertson,” The Virginia Law Register Vol.7, No. 11 (March 1902), 764-766.

William M. Robinson, Jr., Justice in Grey: A History of the Judicial System of the Confederate States of America, (1941).

S.V. Southall, “Judge William J. Robertson,” The Virginia Law Register,
Vol. 7, No. 11 (Mar., 1902), 762-764.

Editorial, “The Albemarle Bar, XI,” The Virginia Law Register, New Series, Vol. 7, No. 8 (Dec., 1921), 609-612.

Reference collections:

University of Virginia (Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library)
Charlottesville, Va.
Hunter-Garnett Families Papers, 1806-1889. Includes ten letters from Robertson to Muscoe Russell Hunter Garnett, 1842-1858; finding aid available.