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C. W. Murdaugh Papers

Identifier: Mss. Acc. 2009.387

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Scope and Contents

Papers, ca. 1853-1878 of Portsmouth, Virginia attorney, judge and politician C.W. Murdaugh, consisting of 3 volumes of law notes, notes on politics and history, transcribed stories, poemd and anecdotes, etc. and clippings from papers and magazines, some of which are annotated.

The volumes had at some point been numbered 8, 19 and 83 which indicates that they were once part of a larger collection.


  • Creation: 1853-1878


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

C.W. Murdaugh was a lawyer, judge and politician and fought on the side of the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He was the son of James Murdaugh (1799-1871), also a Portsmouth lawyer.

Excerpts from the Virginia State Bar Association Proceedings:

"Claudius W. Murdaugh ... was educated at William and Mary College and the University of Virginia; began the practice of his profession ... in the year 1850, in Portsmouth, where he continued in the practice of the law, except during the intervals of the Confederate war and his judicial term, to the day of his death, October 12, 1898. He was a member of the House of Delegates in 1855-'56, and he was also elected to the House of Delegates by the soldiers during the Confederate war period....

After the war Captain Murdaugh returned to his legal profession and practiced in connection with his father until the latter's death.

He was elected Commonwealth's Attorney for the city of Portsmouth on May 23, 1878, and served one term of two years from July 1, 1878. At the session 1881-'82 of the Legislature of Virginia he was elected Judge of the Court of Hustings, qualified February 14, 1882, and entered upon the duties of the office January 1, 1883. He served through the term of six years with great credit and marked ability. After his retirement from the Bench he entered into the copartnership firm of Murdaugh & Marshall, which is dissolved by death....

R. 0. Marshall" Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: .


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Custodial History:

In the 1940s, the volumes were in the possessions of a member of the Murdaugh family, James Arthur Murdaugh, who signed his name on or in the book covers.

Physical Description

3 volumes.

Processing Information:

Accessioned and minimally processed in September 2009 by Ute Schechter.

Guide to the C. W. Murdaugh Papers
Finding Aid Authors: Ute Schechter.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository