March, 1970


By Rose Slemp Quillen


     So much has been written, so many references have been made to my grandmother's brother, Colonel Campbell Slemp. What more is there to be told?
     As a child, I was frequently taken to my grandmother's home and permitted to visit for days. One day in 1901, my aunts dressed a little six-year-old girl as they felt she should be dressed. The occasion - my grandmother's brother would be on the morning train which he had boarded at his home in Big Stone Gap,
Virginia. At Clinchport, Virginia he would see his sister, Susan Slemp Pridemore's family and Susan Slemp Pridemore's eldest grandchild would be exhibited.

     Excited, yes, but the story I was told was more exciting! In 1901, Uncle Campbell Slemp went to the White House with John Fox, Jr. to gain Theodore Roosevelt's promise to appoint Henry C. McDowell as a Federal Judge in the Western District of Virginia. McDowell was appointed. Colonel Slemp was designated the Congressional nominee by the district convention on September 3, 1902.
     Now, other than a proud child's kinsman, who was this Colonel Slemp? From the family record and from research made for generations to come, one finds the will of one Frederick Slemp.

                    Will of Frederick Slemp

     In the name of God, Amen, I Frederick Slemp of the county of Wythe and state of Virginia, being very sick and weak in body, but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be given unto God, calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed to all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, that is to say principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hands of almighty God that gave it, and I recommend my body to the earth to be buried in decent Christian burial at the discretion of my executors, nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God and as touching such worldly estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me with in this life I give and dispose of the same in the following manner and form: First, I give and bequeath to Mary, my dearly beloved wife, the third part of the plantation I now live on with all my household furniture, my garden and springhouse with my
dwelling house during her natural life and after her decease the said tract to be equally divided between my two youngest sons, Frederick and John, with all my plantation tools of all kinds forever. I give to my granddaughter, Caty Lou, one cow forever, the residue of my stock to be divided equally between my three sons, Michel, Frederick, and John forever. My part of the iron works on Roans Creek which is one third part is to be sold and equally divided between my wife and four sons and five daughters, Jacob, Michel, Frederick, John, my sons, Elizabeth, Ury, Caty, Barbra, Mary, my daughters, forever.

     I do constitute my wife Mary Slemp my executor with my son Frederick, executors of this my last will and testament as witness my hand and seal this day and year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and seven,
Signed sealed and published, pronounced and delivered by the said Frederick Slemp as his last will and testament in the presence of us, Michel Buster, Christian Reaser, Robert Scott and Margaret Scott.

                                   Frederick Slemp (Seal)

Book one, page 380 
     Wythe County Court house, June term, 1807, this last will and testament of Frederick Slemp, deceased, was presented in court and proved by the oaths of Michel Buster, Christian Reaser, Robert Scott and Margaret
Scott, the witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded. Teste, John P. Mathews, D. C.

                                   A Copy - Teste:
                                   J. E. Crockett, Clerk
                                   By: Emily J. Williams, Deputy Clerk. (1)
     Note the original will is written in German Script.
     John, my great, great grandfather, born April 8, 1781 - died July 4, 1858; married Alpha Smith, born in 1801 and died April 1866. They had seven children: Sebastian Smith Slemp (my great grandfather) was born December 9, 1810 - died April 22, 1859; married August 18, 1831 to Margaret Reasor - born January 3, 1811 and died July 31, 1871. (2) Margaret Reasor was the daughter of Daniel Reasor and Susanna Jackson, sister of Andrew Jackson. Their children were: Henderson Clinton Slemp whose granddaughter, Eliza Flanary Stone (Mrs. Thomas Stokley Stone) is now living in Knoxville, Tennessee; Campbell Slemp (two grandsons, Campbell Slemp and Campbell Edmonds now living in or near Big Stone Gap, VA); Nervesta Overton Slemp Flanary (a great, great, great granddaughter, Mrs. Nancy Ward Davis, now living near Kingsport, Tennessee); Susan Slemp Pridemore (the writer's grandmother); Alpha Slemp Habern; Didamia Slemp died in infancy.
     After the death of my grandmother, Susan Slemp Pridemore, her personal belongings were drawn by lots by her children. My mother, Addie Pridemore Johnson drew the BIBLE containing the Slemp record. This Bible is at this writing in the possession of Addie Pridemore Johnson's youngest daughter, Lillian Gertrude Johnson Nidermaier, ________________, Kingsport, Tennessee.
     The following names and dates were taken from the above mentioned Bible. Campbell Slemp, son of Sebastian Slemp and Margaret, was born December 2, 1839. Mary B. Slemp, first wife of Campbell Slemp, and daughter of William B. and Ruth Thomas, was born March 20, 1843. Venus Slemp, daughter of Campbell and Mary B. Slemp, was born March 11, 1862 and married Joseph Tate. (3)
     My own personal note here: Mary B. Slemp died March 11, 1862, the day the daughter was born. A coincidence is that later in life Campbell Slemp, her husband and Theodore Roosevelt became close friends; and each of these men lost his first wife at his first child's birth. Alice Roosevelt Longworth was born on the night her mother died and Teddy Roosevelt's mother also died in the same house on the same night that Alice Roosevelt's mother died.
     Cambell Slemp was married the second time to Nannie B. Cawood (daughter of Moses and Emily Cawood) on June 8, 1864, at the home of Captain Jocelyn in Jonesville, Virginia. Their children were: Emma, Henry, Susan Jane, Campbell Bascom, William Moses, Laura Alpha Drucilla and Belle.
     From the names in these records (4) can be traced the political, religious, business and commercial leanings as well as the prestige of Colonel Slemp. For example, his grandfather and grandmother, John and Alpha Smyth Slemp, gave the land for the Seminary Methodist Church approximately one hundred ten years ago.
     His father was born, lived and died in Turkey Cove, Lee County. Sebastian Slemp was a leading citizen of this community. He served one term as a member of the House of Delegates and was making a campaign for State Senate when he died of pneumonia at the age of 48. (5)
     As a boy, Campbell Slemp attended school in Lee County and later he attended Emory and Henry College where, it is said, he was a most popular and diligent student. His father died just three months before his graduation and he was called home. His training here no doubt developed those traits that later led to his captaincy in the Confederate States of America. He entered the Confederate Service at Camp Lane, in Lee County, Virginia, as Captain, Company A, Pound Gap Battalion, Virginia Cavalry, Confederate States Army. Slemp served the Confederate cause as Captain, Lieutenant, Lt. Colonel and Colonel. Wore that gray!
     This fact was of great concern to a small child. How could he be a Republican? This question, the grown- ups in the family did not even attempt to answer. The situation became acute when I was on another visit with Grandmother now on invalid confined to her chair and room at Clinchport. I overheard, as I often did when I was not supposed to be listening, Grandmother asked her daughter, Hagan, please to call Carroll, her only son, at once. She explained that there was a matter she must discuss with him now.
     Aunt Hagan went for Uncle Carroll immediately. The naughty grandchild disappeared behind the head of Grandmother's bed - a disappearing act which she had learned, and by which knowledge not meant for one so young could be obtained. Grandmother's request was due to the fact that she felt that her son, who was twenty-one, and would cast his first vote in the upcoming election, must hear from her a fair appraisal of her brother, Campbell. The decision, she told her son, was to be made by him and without any pressure from the fact that "your Uncle Cam is my brother, but your Father was a Democrat - always a Democrat - and your Uncle Cam has not always been a Republican." Thus, the young man casting his first vote was admonished to weigh matters. The word "high tariff" was used and distinctly remembered but a small girl's expectations had certainly been dampened.
     Why was he a Republican? This question remained unanswered. The grown-ups in the family simply evaded it. When Grandfather's brother, Auburn L. Pridemore's record of surrender at Cumberland Gap was shown us - another question - where was Uncle Camp's record of surrender? - Another unanswered question. This was answered by Congressman Gaines of West Virginia in a much cherished, thin, little black, very black, book which was sent to my Mother, mailed directly from Washington in 1909 or 1910. I quote from his memorial address on Col. Campbell Slemp: "It is a part of his history that when the troops, of which his regiment was a part, were to be surrendered he secured permission of the general commanding to take his regiment and attempt escape. Dividing what was left of the regiment into groups of seven, they made their way along the mountainside to a place of safety and so were beyond the Union lines when the Confederate troops were surrendered." (6)
     The above quote was confirmed by a direct personal contact made in April 1936-39. The writer, then teaching in the City School System of Kingsport, Tennessee, was on a mission for Campbell Slemp's son. Using some of the untiring energy inherited from the Slemps, and in a small way being grateful to the Colonel's son, Bascom, I complied with the Congressman's request that pictures be obtained of some of the old homes in Scott and Russell Counties.
     This mission resulted, not only in obtaining the pictures, but being presented with numerous items, such as a tailor's thimble, hoops worn in the olden days in my lady's skirt, and a very old and cherished grey silk parasol. Also the purchase was made of a dulcimer for the collection, which had not yet been moved to the stone building which was to be used as a museum. The above items are now pointed to with great pride to my own friends, children and grandchildren.
     On a bright fall Sunday, information was given to us that a Mrs. Gose of Russell County, then 90 years old, remembered that Colonel Slemp had visited in her home when he returned from Kentucky while still evading members of the Union Army. Directions to the home of Mrs. Gose were obtained. My husband and I were graciously received and, after a lapse of some minutes, we were invited into the private room of our hostess, a charming, aristocratic woman; a woman to whom the years had been most kind. She listened intently as to why we were there. A mission for Bascom Slemp - yes, she knew of him - but she had fond memories of his father, a group of his soldiers and a most attractive young lady who sat her saddle well. Did I remember her? She was a young lady from Kentucky, who, too, was evading either malicious stories or horrible memories. But, we were assured by the cultured voice of our narrator that, be that as it may, this young lady, if every word of the hearsay story were true, had proven herself as courageous as the soldiers who were now protecting her. No braver act was ever performed in battle than that performed by this young lady who sat her saddle well. She deserved, in the opinion of our hostess, a place in history with any hero of any battle, and Mrs. Gose, a Virginian, most happily accepted her, a Kentuckian, as an honored citizen of her state. Then Mrs. Gose coyly remarked, "That was your great aunt, for Colonel Slemp later married her."
     The young lady's family was of the Union faction. Her brother had been given leave to visit his home and while on leave became very ill. Mrs. Gose suggested - influenza. Time had expired and he had not returned to his regiment. Two well-armed, uniformed Union soldiers had gone to his home. One waited on the outside, while the other entered from the back and demanded his return. The family plead with him, explaining that the brother was seriously ill, but would return as soon as she was able. The pleas were unheeded and a stern command was given for him to arise and follow: whereupon, the sick young Union man raised his head slightly from the pillow and fell back dead. In a matter of minutes, the soldier who gave the command left the house, but before he reached the yard gate, a shot rang out from the window, and he fell dead. Feelings ran high - Union forces were threatening and hence, a Confederate Colonel came to the aid of a Kentucky belle, and be it true or not, the writer is so very, very proud of her great aunt Nan Slemp. Who knows that marriage may account for the fact that my kinsman, whether paroled on May 2, 1865 at Cumberland Gap or whether he never surrendered, spent no time repining nor whining, nor did he complain of ill luck. He went to work to build up the country that had been destroyed, to restore the grand old Commonwealth to her former prosperity. Proof sufficient to the writer that this man had the interest of Virginia, as well as the interest of the United States, at heart.
     Why was he a Republican? - Uncle Cam, a Republican! As a child in school this question was often raised. School children can be cruel, and as school children, we suffered, especially when those 9th Virginia District campaigns were in full swing. Found in my reading were statements such as "He was a Democrat in 1879." (7) Prior to 1880, the debt question split the party of the State. In 1879 Colonel Slemp was elected to the House of Delegates of Virginia, where he became an ardent advocate of the readjustment of the State indebtedness. Numbered among his friends were General Mahone, Senator H. H. Riddleberger, and Honorable John E. Massie. He was reelected to the House of Delegate by a greatly increased majority in 1880. Up to this time, Colonel Slemp was a Democrat. But, along with Malone and other prominent Readjusters, he became affiliated with the Republican party and ever afterwards to that party gave his allegiance. In 1883, he was defeated for State Senate. In 1889, he received the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor on a ticket headed by Mahone - an unsuccessful ticket.
     And in such a short while, he, like our present representatives, could not make amends for all that had happened over the years in the State of Virginia. A review of these happenings will explain the prevailing conditions and problems and also the length of time these conditions had existed. W. C. Pendleton, in his book, Politics in Southwest Virginia, say: "Virginia, when relieved from military rule, faced a serious problem. This problem was the result of the fact that eight years after Virginia proclaimed herself an Independent Commonwealth she began to contract a public debt." (8)
     Pearson takes us farther back and says that: "From the Revolution to the Civil War, one of the most
important economic and social activities of the State of Virginia was the furtherance of a system of Public Works. He further stated that there were four main steps in the legislation under which this system was developed. It was inaugurated in 1784, when the State became, through purchase, a majority stockholder I corporations created for the improvement of the James and Potomac Rivers. Among the sponsors of this beginning were a Newton, a Taylor, an Ambler and a Southall - names still honored in Virginia. A particular but characteristic mingling of business and sentiment appeared in the gift by the Commonwealth of shares to George Washington, Esq. in appreciation of his merits and his interest in enterprises which, the legislature thought, would be the durable monuments of his glory.

     To the policy thus begun, a decided impetus was imparted in 1816, when all of the State's holdings in such companies were converted into one fund, pledged for 50 years to the sole purpose of improving traffic and communication and managed by a special Board of Public Works. As the demands on this fund were greater than could be met, the legislature in 1838 directed the Board to obtain money for all authorized improvements by selling State bonds. This was an important step for it meant that the State was entering on credit, a policy that was necessarily speculative. Twelve years alter the fully developed policy was embodied in an act, still in force when the Civil War began, under which the Board might borrow from time to time on the credit of the State of Virginia, such sums of money as may be needed to redeem the engagements of the State; which, of course, included not only new investments but also unearned interest." (9) This Board of Public Works continued to borrow and thereby enlarge the public debt so that by 1861, Virginia owed 33 million dollars. Bonds were sold and the proceeds used in building railroads and other improvements. Perhaps all funds were used and all business transactions were the best that could have been made at that time, but unfortunately, all money spent by the Board prior to 1861 and all improvements were lost as a result of the Civil War and by legislative enactments after Virginia was restored to the Union. Interest from 1861 to 1871 on the debt, plus the original debt, raised the amount owed to more than 40 million dollars.
     Therefore, in the General Assembly elected were excellent Confederate men determined to do two things: (1) Preserve for their State a full representation in Congress; (2) Protect the financial honor of Virginia.
     To do this some unwise legislation was passed. Then, as is often the case now, speculators, who had bought bonds at sacrifice figures, used their influence to get unwise legislation and thus boost the value of their bonds. Gov. Pierpont not only approved these acts of the General Assembly in 1865-66, but also an act by the same General Assembly in 1866-67. This act provided that the accounting officers of the Treasury pay on the first day of July 1867, and the first day of January, 1868, 2 percent interest upon the public debt of the State - that being the interest the State felt obliged to pay until the settlement of accounts between Virginia and West Virginia. It was near the adjournment of this session that the General Assembly faced the fact that they had undertaken to pay semi-annual interest on the public debt without provision that the State would have adequate revenue to meet its obligations.
     Thereupon, another act was passed giving the second auditor power to issue coupons, showing the amount of interest that would be payable under the provisions of the Act of March 21, 1867. Thus did Virginia's problem continue and grow. Southwest Virginia was confronted with the Whig inheritance of opposition to Democracy and even the most conservative of the Clay Whigs had to be graduated into the Democratic ranks through the name of "Conservative Democrats." A great number refused to take the degree. So in 1878, a third party, the Readjuster Party, swept the State, producing bitterness of feeling and dividing the Democratic Party.
     In 1875, the men elected to the House of Delegates from the counties west of the New River, with the exception of two, Ira T. Robinette of Scott County and James L. McElroy of Lee County, were Readjusters.
     The Senatorial District composed of Lee, Buchanan and Wise Countie, elected Henry C. Slemp; Scott and Russell Counties elected H. C. Wood; both were Readjusters. But in 1876-77, the sessions of the Legislature were dominated by debt-payers who were afterwards called "Funders" and no legislation was enacted in either session.
     The State's indebtedness was as follows: Old funded debts - 32,779,262.94; New funded debts and to be funded - 7,884,973.56; Interest due and unpaid on old funded debts - 3,384,776.33; New funded debts - 1,611,335.17; to this should be added the amount of the James River and Kanawha Companies assumed by the State and authorized to be converted to bonds not yet funded - 212,430.00. Total State debt - January 1, 1787 - 45,872,778.00.
     Hence, after long debates and speeches, the Funding Bill came - one of the most notable made by General Wise, to which the people listened and concurred.
     General Walker, due to his holdings, was personally interested in the passage of the Funding Bill, and many, then and now, think he was influenced by improper motives. However, as is always the case, the legislators could easily have found that the revenue for the State for the preceeding year was only 1,500,000.00 and that the Governor was urging them to enact legislation that would create a liability of 2,000,000.00. In spite of the fact that members from the Southwest were solidly against it, the act passed and it was the Funding Bill that Governor Walker had so cunningly advocated. One writer stated, "Truly a monster of graft and dishonesty."
     Deplorable results followed the enactment of the Funding Act. Taxes from every possible source were raised. Governor Walker very bravely made demands, but since only 26 or the 132 members had been returned, the legislators repudiated the Governor's suggestions and passed a bill, 119 to 33, suspending operation of the Funding Bill. This the Governor promptly vetoed. Again the House of Delegates did not accept his reasons, but the Senate did and the veto was overridden. The case went to the Supreme Court and remained unsettled for many years.
     Finally, now within the House of Delegates, Russell County was represented by Jack Carter; Scott County by William B. Queen; and in the Senate was A. L. Pridemore from Lee, Wise and Buchanan Counties; John H. A. Smith from Scott and Russell Counties; James S. Greever from Washington and Smyth Counties. All supported the measure to obstruct the Funding Bill and after the legislative adjournment in 1873, the Funding Bill became more and more unpopular and the debt question continued a menace. Governor Kemper was inaugurated January 1, 1874, and our counties were represented by Morgan T. Lipps from Wise County; Jack Carter from Russell County; James B. Richmond from Scott County; William P. Cecil from Tazewell County; Abram Fulkerson from Washington County.
     These and their co-workers all stood for an honest readjustment of the debt. This adjustment became a fact by the enactment of the Riddleburger Bill.
     The Confederate cult was in full swing in 1877, when a Governor had to be elected. Candidates from several sections were announced when General William Mahone decided to further his ambitions by declaring himself a candidate for Governor. This further incited the supporters of the chosen candidates and the contest became a struggle of "Mahone Against the Field." His declaration of opposition to the debt - paying policy of the Conservative Party was bitterly criticized by the Funders and the press. When 1400 delegates met in August in the Richmond Theater, Mahone and his floor leaders, John S. Wise, Abram Fulkerson, Harry Riddleburger and others made an effort to have a platform adopted before nominations were made. "Forceable Readjusters" doctrines were written in this platform so that it would be impossible for either of the Funder candidates to accept a nomination. This master scheme was defeated by Daniel Holliday and Lee. It now became unmistakably clear that Mahone would not win. John Wise withdrew Mahone's name and called for support of the "Sleveless Hero of the Valley," and so F. W. M. Holliday was the nominee of the Conservative Party for Governor of the State of Virginia. (10)
     The preceeding facts are given, not to vindicate my kinsman for being a Republican, but to substantiate the statement made earlier that what had happened over the years in Virginia could not be ammended in a short period of time; and to give a background for the grand entrance of Colonel Campbell Slemp and Major C. Bascom Slemp, father and son, into active politics in the Ninth Congressional District of the State of Virginia. Pendleton tells us that this entrance was "One of the most interesting events in the political history of the Commonwealth."
     This was in 1902, just one year after the introduction of the six-year-old grand niece to Campbell Slemp, and just one year after his visit with John Fox to the White House. Incidentally, John Fox, in his book Trail of the Lonesome Pine, honored Colonel Slemp by calling him Black Hawk of the Cumberland.
     Campbell Slemp wanted to make this race well-known throughout the Ninth District. He had represented Lee County for two terms in the House of Delegates; was a presidential elector on the Harrison ticket in 1888; and again on the McKinley slate in 1896. But he was perhaps best known to the voters of the District as the Republican Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor in 1889, on the same ticket which offered General Mahone for Governor. Judge Rhea was again chosen by the Democrats to make the race. Campbell Slemp's sons, Bascom and Will, campaigned ardently for their father.
     The writer met Judge Rhea at the age of three in Fairview, Virginia, where, I have been told on good authority, my father was the only active Democrat for a period of time. This was in 1902, but then as now, behind the scenes and condemned by fairminded Democrats and Republicans, fraudulent methods were too often used. That Colonel Slemp was courageous is found in an editorial from the Tazewell Republican with the lead -

                         To Your Tents

     "Under existing conditions it seems to us a useless expenditure of time and energy for the Republicans of the Ninth Congressional District, or even of Virginia, to make any contest in National or State elections." (11)
     The newspaper cited the Walton Act and stated that it would be worse than folly for the Republicans to undertake and expect to win in any Congressional District in Virginia. We have it from W. C. Pendleton when he says: "A courageous spirit was found to confront and conquer the obnoxious political conditions in the Ninth District, and on September 3, just two months before the election in November, Slemp as nominated and elected by a majority which was not considered as great as it really was. Yet, it was said of the election that it was the fairest election that had been held in the State for 20 years." (12)
     After this victory, Slemp's political foes made numerous and vicious attacks upon him. His opponents and vicious attacks upon him. His opponents sneered at his intellectual qualifications. He was too often condemned in his home territory - this, primarily because he had, at the worst possible time, turned Republican.
     The New York World, May 14, 1913, commented, "The North can scarcely comprehend how bitter was the abuse visited upon Wise, Longstreet and other Southern leaders when they became Republicans." And for some of those men this new political faith closed their public careers. From the article quoted above one finds said of Mr. Wise, "No braver act was ever performed in battle than Wise performed in the Virginia of the new era when he turned from all of his friends and took his post in politics by the side of his freed slaves to seek the right as he saw the right." In the opinion of the writer, this quotation could as well be applied to Colonel Campbell Slemp.
Therefore, the following record is included:

     Slaves: From Bill of Sale of Estate of Sebastian S. Slemp (November 24, 1859): 1 Black man Hubbard - 1200.00; 1 Black woman and child - 900.00; 1 Black woman Louisa - 500.00; 1 Black girl Jane - 850.00; 1 Yellow girl Winnie - 950.00; 1 Black boy Jacob - 750.00; 1 Yellow girl Jane - 700.00; 1 Black boy Bill - 750.00; 1 Black girl Alsa - 550.00; 1 Black boy Franklin - 550.00; 1 Yellow girl Caroline - 450.00 (13)
     Further evidence that Colonel Slemp, too, sought the right and took his post in politics by the side of his family's freed slaves.
     Other editorials could see no possible good in a Confederate veteran who turned Republican. Wise, Longstreet, Mosby and Mahone had all suffered from this imputation of dishonesty.
     Let it be clearly understood that no one need plead a brief for Colonel Campbell Slemp!
     It is a significant historical fact that at a convention held in Norfolk on the 3rd day of March, 1905 Colonel Slemp was backed by the Ninth District delegation; also by the Fifth District and other Counties. Slemp was nominated and elected. After he had taken his seat, the then "Big Three" (Allen, Agnew and Bowden), began to thwart any chances of Slemp's gaining any control of federal patronage accredited to Virginia. This struggle was not effective. The President, Teddy Roosevelt, proved a staunch and dependable friend, a friendship which exited during the lifetime of both Campbell Slemp and his son, Bascom. This is attested, and note of same is made in the autobiography of Calvin Coolidge. It is attested further by the fact that the complete set of Disraeli's plates, which were presented to the Queen, are not in the Southwest Virginia Museum; some were presented to Alice Roosevelt Longworth by Congressman C. Bascom Slemp. But getting back to the bitterness of the "Big Three":
     The "Big Three" failed to convince Teddy Roosevelt that they were the real force in the Republican Party in Virginia; hence, their first scheme was to make Colonel Slemp an insignificant figure in the State Convention that would elect delegates to the National Convention of 1904 in Chicago. Agnew's chairmanship failed. The "Big Three" weakened and named Campbell Slemp as one of the delegates-at-large. Slemp refused to accept, and may I give you what he had to say in an interview in Washington, D. C. Quote: "The Republican Party can never become strong and deserving of support from the best men of the State until it is purged of people whose only purpose in being in the party is to secure offices. This office-grabbing, selfish class of Republicans has been the disgrace of the Republican Party of the South for years and it must get out. We made a fight against that element in the convention. We put up Judge L. L. Lewis, a high-minded, able man, for chairman of the convention and the office holders defeated him. Then they tried to smooth things over by electing me a delegate-at-large to Chicago - I don't care a rap about a petty little place as delegate to Chicago - President Roosevelt's nomination is assured anyhow - We are going to continue the fight for the organization of the Party in Virginia and we will win."
     This man whom I have just quoted served his State for almost four score years. It has been said that Colonel Campbell Slemp was one of the ablest, most patriotic and most successful members of the United States Congress and State of Virginia ever had.
     If the quotation is true that "Man lives again in those to whom he has given being," Campbell Slemp truly lived again when he, from the spirit land, beheld his son, C. Bascom Slemp, taking his seat in Congress, as well as carving for himself a place in the political activities of his district ad in the hearts of her people. With such a son, Colonel Slemp needed no office to round out the fullness of his life. Of C. Bascom Slemp and what his leadershp has meant, not just to our State, I could write most volubly. The writer is convinced, that given time enough, it could be proved that the Slemp and Roosevelt friendship did not stop at Teddy's death, but carried over to the term of Franklin D. Roosevelt. This is evident by correspondence on exhibit in the now Southwest Virginia Museum of Big Stone Gap, Virginia. Speculation is that it is highly possible that, if not the author of the Lend Lease Bill, C. Bascom Slemp was a contributor. And regardless of the fact that there were those who did say and will say that Campbell Slemp was wrong when he cast his fortune with the Confederacy, and there were surely those who did say that he was wrong when he cast his political fortunes with the party to which he had been a long time opposed, the writer feels that, from the brief discussion of the Readjusters and Funder Era, it is plain, very plain that he did right. And as to the Confederacy, I feel that God vindicated him.
     May I give you a ghost story or perhaps you will call it a Mortal Phenomena of the sick room. This story was told to me by C. Bascom Slemp in his home in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, on the day of the funeral of his sister, Janie Slemp Newman. While final arrangements were being made in the downstairs drawing room for the last rite, Cousin Bascom called me aside and said, "Come, I have a story to tell you." Whereupon, we went up to his room and, tired and grieved as he was, he painstakingly reviewed the long siege of illness, the various travels and efforts to combat the long and fatal illness of Mrs. Newman, who had been constantly attended by a faithful nurse. This nurse had known that both Janie's father and brother, in fact, the entire family were ardent Republicans. Therefore, she was astonished by seeing, standing at the foot of Janie's bed, a man in full Confederate uniform. The nurse, knowing Janie was asleep, hesitated to move and admitted that she was stunned and speechless. Janie, arousing from the stupor or sleep, asked, "Did you see my father? He came for me."
     On the brother's early visit the following morning the nurse asked, "Mr. Slemp, who in your family ever wore a Confederate uniform?" To which he answered, "My father."
     Thus have questions, which arose and puzzled me as a child, been most convincingly answered. Research and the admonition, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free," and the stories, unique and heretofore unpublished have been a stimulant. These, together with the Firing Line of Memory, are cherished, as is the memory, of my maternal grandmother, Susan Slemp Pridemore, who in the first place, is solely responsible for my pride in the Slemp kinship.
     With such a record, such a fullness of life, Colonel Campbell Slemp was further privileged to die at home while asleep. His death was a distinct shock to his relatives and a host of friends. His death occurred on Sunday, October 13, 1907.
     Colonel Slemp and his entire family are buried in the old Slemp cemetery, located on a hill just beyond the old homestead in Turkey Cove, Lee County, Virginia.

(1) Book One, page 380, Wythe County, Virginia Court House, Wytheville, Virginia. (A copy of which is now in the writer's possession.); 

(2) Book I, Lee County Marriage Records, Lee County Court House, Jonesville, Virginia; 

(3) Slemp record from the family Bible of Susan Slemp Pridemore; 

(4) Chart compiled by Janie Slemp Newman, now in the Southwest Virginia Museum in Big Stone Gap, Virginia; 

(5) From paper on Slemp family written by Janie Slemp Newman about 1930 and distributed to some of her kinsmen. 

(6) Address of Mr. Gaines of West Virginia, page 15, Campbell Slemp, Memorial Addresses, printed in Washington, DC, 1909; 

(7) History of Southwest Virginia, L. P. Summers; 

(8)W. C. Pendleton - Political History of Appalachian Virginia; 

(9) The Readjuster Movement in Virginia by Charles Chilton Pearson; 

(10) Political History of Appalachian Virginia, page 318 - W. C. Pendleton; 

(11) From a newspaper editorial in Tazewell Republican. 

(12) Political History of Appalachian Virginia, by W. C. Pendleton; 

(13) Will Book No. 2, page 233, Jonesville, Virginia, Courthouse.

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