Stewart Bell Jr. Archives
Handley Regional Library
Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society
P.O. Box 58, Winchester, VA 22604
(540) 662-9041 ext. 17
Inventory created by Archives Staff 12/1984. Last revised 04/2018.
ACCESS RESTRICTIONS: Collection is open to all researchers.
USE RESTRICTIONS: Restrictions may apply concerning the use, photoduplication, or publication of items in this collection. Consult a member of the archives staff for information concerning these restrictions. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright.
EXTENT: 1 volume (140 pages) ; 32 cm, plus 1 folder.
CREATOR: Bragg, William George
ALTERNATIVE FORM AVAILABLE: The Genealogical Society of Utah digitized materials from this collection in 2007. These copies are available on DVD [007-13] in the Archives Reading Room. Bragg's account book is available for viewing through the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives Digital Collections.
SCOPE AND CONTENT: This collection contains an account book from George William Bragg’s Organ and Piano Shop of Middletown, VA, from 1882 to 1884. Pages 1 to 26 of the notebook contain notes on legal matters which appear to have been written during a class. The middle section of the book contains account entries for Bragg’s shop. There are five pages at the end of the book with notes about local people working in the Middledtown area precincts during the gubernatorial election of 1881.
The gubernatorial campaign of 1881 was unusual in that it featured candidates from a newly formed faction of the Republican Party called the Readjusters. The Readjusters were a mixture of Republicans, populists, freedmen, and farmers who sought to “readjust” or reduce the state debt accrued before the American Civil War because they believed it threatened various state programs. William E. Cameron (1842-1897), the candidate for governor, won in an upset and served from 1881 to 1886. Other Readjuster candidates for statewide office won too. The Party’s winning streak was short-lived, however. The new state Democratic Party made gains among the populace and the Readjuster Party was defunct by 1886.
According to an article in The Winchester News of November 11, 1881, the Middletown precinct in which Bragg worked voted 153 to 16 against the Readjuster Cameron.
BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL: Not a great deal is known about George William Bragg except for what can be gleaned from his account book. He was the only son of Arthur N. Bragg (b. 1823) and Mary H. Wight of Middletown, Frederick Co., Va. He was a musician by profession and married Carrie A. Sydnor of Strasburg, Va. Bragg ran the Piano and Organ store in Middletown. During the 1881 gubernatorial campaign he was a precinct worker though his party affiliation is not clear.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Emily J. Salmon, A Hornbook of Virginia History (Richmond, VA: Virginia State Library, 1983); Edward Younger, ed. The Governors of Virgina, 1860-1978 (Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1982); J. E. Norris, “Arthur N. Bragg”, History of the Lower Shenandoah Valley counties of Frederick, Berkeley, Jefferson and Clarke (Chicago, IL: Warner & Co., Publishers, 1890), p. 770.
CITE AS : George William Bragg Records, 380 WFCHS, Stewart Bell Jr. Archives, Handley Regional Library, Winchester, VA, USA.
ACQUISITION INFORMATION: Acquired as a gift.
Account book: G.W. Bragg, Organ and Piano Shop, Middletown, VA, 1882-1884, 1 item, bound volume, manuscript (and includes the following)
pages 1-26: notes from class on legal matters
pages 34-122: accounts for organ and piano shop
pages 135-139: notes from 1881 gubernatorial campaign
Envelope containing loose manuscript notes from the account books, includes 2 postcards and 10 bills and receipts.
Newspaper articles, 2 pages, photocopies of 1881 election results in Frederick County