The papers of the gubernatorial administration of William B. Bate (1826-1905) contain research material on the history of Tennessee government during the post- Reconstruction era. Bate’s terms of office dealt with the problems of the State Debt, which was a plague on Tennessee’s growth since the end of the War Between the States. Tennessee’s State Treasury contained a deficit of nearly three hundred thousand dollars when Bate was inaugurated as Governor. Most of the business of the State Legislature during the Bate years was dedicated to the elimination of this debt. Governor Bate also is noted for his attempts at the creation of a State Railroad Commission to regulate the rail companies operating within the State of Tennessee. Though intense lobbying efforts by the railroad companies, his attempts at this failed.