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Alexandria, VA, Lawyers Papers

An inventory of papers from three American attorneys

Overview of the Collection

Title: Alexandria, VA, Lawyers Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1786-1865
Bulk Dates: 1786-1834
Quantity: 2 linear feet (2 document boxes, 1 oversized box)
Abstract: Formerly the George Deneale Papers. Correspondence and legal papers of three American attorneys from Alexandria, Virginia in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Papers include warrants, property seizures, and property inventories.
Language: Collection materials are in English.
Repository: Special Collections Research Center

Biographical History

George Deneale was an attorney in Virginia. He was appointed the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the United States for Alexandria County, a position he held from 1801 until his death in 1818. George Deneale is known to have been acquainted with George Washington and James Madison. He was also a militia officer and a Freemason, and was Grand Master of Alexandria-Washington Lodge, No. 22.

George Gilpin was the first judge of the Orphan's Court of Alexandria in 1800 and became the Postmaster of Alexandria in 1809. George Gilpin was also a member of the same Masonic Lodge as George Washington, and was a pallbearer at Washington's funeral.

Edmund J. Lee was a prominent political and legal figure in Alexandria. He was the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the United States for Alexandria County from 1818 to 1840.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Alexandria, VA, Lawyers Papers contains the papers of attorneys from Alexandria, VA during the late 18th and early 19th century. Three lawyers whose papers are prominently featured in the collection are George Deneale, Edmund Lee, and George Gilpin. The collection is comprised of professional papers, personal papers, and miscellaneous contemporaneous printed items. A few items pertain to Freemasonry in Virginia.

Professional documents contains a variety of legal papers, including a certificate of naturalization, estate documents and inventories, fines from the Mutual Assurance Society against Fire on Buildings of the State of Virginia, property seizures, affidavits, and warrants to the US Marshal service.

Personal papers contain correspondence and other personal documents exclusively of George Deneale.

Printed materials from the mid-19th century include pamphlets and other items.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Material within each series is divided into folders by document type (ex: warrants, inventories, etc) and, within each folder, arranged chronologically.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Lee, Edmund, 1772-1843.
Deneale, George, 1766-1818.
Gilpin, George, 1740-1813.

Corporate Bodies

Freemasons. -- Alexandria Lodge, No. 22 (Alexandria, Va.)
Freemasons. -- Alexandria-Washington Lodge, No. 22 (Alexandria, Va.)
Mutual Assurance Society Against Fire on Buildings of the State of Virginia.
United States. -- Circuit Court (District of Virginia)


Lawyers -- Virginia.


Alexandria (Va.) -- History.

Genres and Forms

Estate inventories.
Estate records.
Legal documents.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Alexandria, VA, Lawyers Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Transfer from Kohen collection, 1963.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 7 Apr 2010
Revision history: 14 Apr 2019 - processed (SU)

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Professional documents
Box 1 Contracts signed at Alexandria Court 1786-1834
Oversize 1 Contracts signed at Alexandria Court 1804
Box 1 Estate documents and inventories 1794-1824
Oversize 1 Estate documents and inventories 1796-1811, undated
Box 1 George Deneale, Clerk indentures 1797-1800
Box 1 Legal complaints 1796-1832, undated
Box 1 Legal papers 1797-1814
Oversize 1 Legal papers 1801-1827
Box 1 Legal papers 1820-1855
Box 1 Mutual Assurance Society Against Fire on Buildings 1808 - court motions
Orders to the Marshal of the District of Columbia
Box 1 Arrest warrants 1790-1812
Oversize 1 Arrest warrants 1812, 1840
Box 1 Arrest warrants 1815-1840
Box 1 Court summonses 1796-1820
Box 2 Debt collection 1802-1844
Oversize 1 Debt collection 1804
Personal papers
Box 2 George Deneale correspondence 1794-1816
Printed materials
Box 2 Miscellaneous 1882-1884

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