Benjamin Waller (1779-1886)

Further Reading:

“‘This Excellent Man’: Littleton Waller Tazewell’s Sketch of Benjamin Waller,” ed. by Lynda Rees Heaton, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography,
Vol. 89, No. 2 (Apr., 1981), pp. 143-152.

Research collections:

Founders Online, from the National Archives and Records Administration, provides access to a letter, November 25, 1785, from Waller to James Madison explaining his reasons for not attending the Court of Appeals in Richmond and describing the difficulties of serving during the Revolutionary war.

When by an Act, in 1779, the Courts were removed to Richmond, I should have resigned; had not the next Session of Assembly fixed the Admiralty Court here. When, after fleeing from Leslie & Arnold twice, I found I must fall under the Power of Lord Cornwallis, and expected to be paroled, or carried into Captivity, that this Disability might not be detrimental, I wrote a Letter of Resignation to the Governor, and sent it to Major Day for a Conveyance; but he, scarcely escaping himself, left the Letter behind him. After the Enemy had quitted the Town, and I had, by a lucky accident, escaped a Parole, hearing of the Letter, I sent for and destroyed it. For, having been severely pillaged by the Enemy; a little by others; and grievously by the Paper Money, and the advantages taken under the Laws relating to it, I was obliged to take this Step to pay taxes and subsist.

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library)
Waller Family Papers, 1771-1885; 1 v. and 35 items; finding aid available.
Includes appointments, 1737-1743, of Benjamin Waller as register of the Virginia Vice Admiralty Court, deputy clerk of James City County, king’s attorney in Gloucester and James City counties, clerk of James City County, clerk of the Court of Oyer and Terminer, assistant clerk of the House of Burgesses, Clerk of the Committee of Propositions and Grievances, and Clerk of the Committee of Privileges and Elections; and poems to Waller from Henry Wood and C[olley] Cibber, Jr.

Library of Virginia (Local Government Records Collection)
Richmond, Va.
Letter of George Mason to Benjamin Waller, 1789 August 12; finding aid available.
“Mason discusses his opinions on the various legal actions currently pending, gives instructions for what he wishes done regarding them, and asks for legal advice. He also mentions his good friend John Marshall of Richmond.”

Library of Virginia (Personal papers collection)
Richmond, Va.
Waller Family Papers, 1667-1816, accession 26035. “Includes correspondence, suit papers, deeds, surveys and plats for land in King William and New Kent Counties, Virginia. The suit papers, 1761-1763, concern a dispute between John and Benjamin Waller over the inheritance of their father’s land. Includes depositions, decrees, land patents, orders, surveys, letters and wills.”