Letter, W. A. Plecker to A. T. Shields. 9 May 1925. Typescript.

Letter, W. A. Plecker to A. T. Shields. 9 May 1925. Typescript.

Commonwealth of Virginia, Bureau of Vital Statistics
Richmond, Virginia

Source: Rockbridge County (Va.) Clerk’s Correspondence [Walter A. Plecker to A.T. Shields], 1912-1943. Local Government Records Collection, Rockbridge County Court Records. The Library of Virginia. 10-0477-003.

In a letter to A.T. Shields, Walter Plecker asserted that Judge Holt’s decision to categorize Atha Sorrells as white despite her Indian heritage had “emboldened” the Rockbridge tribe. Nonetheless, he advised against appealing the Sorrells case to the Supreme Court because the court might rule in her favor.

Walter A. Plecker, Registrar

Hon. A. T. Shields,
Rockbridge County Clerk’s Office
Lexington, Virginia

Dear Sir:

In reply to your letter of May 4th, which came during my absence from the, office, I beg to advise that the matter in reference to an appeal in the Atha Sorrells case was left to the Attorney General and the lawyer, Mr. Shewmake, employed by the Anglo Saxon Clubs. After going over carefully the evidence, in view of the fact that nothing new could be introduced,  they decided that it was unwise to appeal the case as the only evidence upon which we absolutely relied,  that of our records was set aside by Judge Holt, and we would not care to take the risk of having the Supreme Court render a similar decision.   Our hope is to drift along until the next legislature, and have them pass a bill prevent ing the marriage of the Indians with the whites.   In my judgement there are no native Indians in Virginia unmixed with negro blood…

Read the entire letter here.

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