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abilitiy was not conspicuous, and, in point of extent and accuracy of learning, he had few equals among his contemporaries. Few men have ever grasped the spirit and philosophy of the law more firmly, or comprehended it with more accuracy, than did Major Elder; and no temptation, or exigency of his cases, could ever induce him to contend for a proposition which he, himself, did not believe in. Thoroughness and painstaking care were characteristic of his professional labors. No inaccurate, slovenly or careless work was ever turned out by him; but, without exception, all legal papers prepared by him, whether important or otherwise, were characterized by lucidity, accuracy and completeness.
Major Elder was a devotee of his profession; he loved it for itself as a high and noble calling, and none ever strove more than he to maintain the practice of the law on the most exalted plane. The example he set of a high-minded, conscientious and learned lawyer, was an ideal which all members of his profession might well strive to attain. The uniform courtesy, forbearance and consideration with which he treated all members of the bar, endeared him to his local professional brethren and particularly to his juniors, to freely assist whom with his rich stores of learning and experience, was ever with him a labor of love.
In the professional service of his clients, as in the military service of his country, Major Elder never allowed his frail strength or feeble health to impair the fullest performance of his duties. Besides responding to the exacting demands of a large and important practice, he spent as much time and labor in the gratuitous assistance of his younger and less learned brethren as many men devote to their entire business. He shirked no call of duty nor requirement of friendship. He died in harness; and, from his boyhood till the Master called him to his final rest, he wasted no time in idleness.
A man of decided convictions, which he never flinched from asserting where occasion demanded and to which he adhered with unyielding firmness, Major Elder was, withall, so gentle and so considerate, so just and so upright, that it is believed he left not one enemy behind him.
Thus did this good and able man, this ideal citizen, this sincere Christian, fill a long life with useful labors and unselfish service, till “God's finger touched him and he slept."
A. CAPERTON BRAXTON.
JAMES R. V. DANIEL.
James Robertson Vivian Daniel was born in the City of Richmond, January 1, 1850, of a family long prominent in the history of Virginia. His father, P. V. Daniel, Jr., was a distinguished member of the Richmond bar, and for many years president of the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad. His grandfather, P. V. Daniel, attained such distinction as a lawyer that he was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and died a member of that tribunal in 1860.
His mother was Miss Mary Robertson, of Philadelphia, a descendant of the family of the well known Scottish historian of that name. In 1883, the subject of this sketch married a daughter of the late Robert F. Williams, of Richmond, who, with three sons, survive him. Though his early life fell in the troubled times of our great Civil War, and, in some respects, the still more troubled years immediately following, Mr. Daniel enjoyed all the educational advantages then procurable in Virginia. He attended McGuire's School in Richmond and that of Judge Coleman in Fredericksburg, and later the University of Virginia, where he remained until 1870 in the Academic Department. In 1870 he pursued the profession of Civil Engineering for about a year. He then determined to study law and entered the law school of Richmond College, having at the same time the advantage of private study and instruction in his father's law office. In 1873 he travelled abroad, and upon his return began the practice of law in association with his father. After his father's death he formed a partnership with Judge E. C. Minor, which lasted until the election of Judge Minor, in 1894, to the bench of the Law and Equity Court of the City of Richmond. He then continued the practice alone and commanded the confidence and respect of the bench and bar as a high-minded, painstaking and accurate lawyer.