Back to top

Search Constraints

Start Over You searched for: Place Virginia -- Social life and customs Remove constraint Place: Virginia -- Social life and customs
Number of results to display per page
View results as:

Search Results


Alfred Landon Rives papers, 1829-1888 and undated 1.2 Linear Feet — 1,211 Items

Army engineer, Confederate officer, and architect, of Albemarle County, Virginia. Collection consists primarily of Rives' correspondence, relating to his attendance at the École nationale des ponts et chaussées, Paris; his military and civilian careers; family matters and social, political, and economic affairs in Virginia; and the Washington Peace Convention (1861). Includes a diary (1829-1831) of Rives' mother, Judith Page Walker Rives, concerning life in the diplomatic community in Paris, travels on the continent, French social life and customs, the Revolution of 1830, U.S. political developments, and other matters. Also contains three ledgers of Francis E. Rives, U.S. Representative. Correspondents include Francis E. Rives, Julia Page Rives, and Edouard Schwebelé.

The Alfred Landon Rives Papers consist primarily Rives's correspondence, relating to his attendance at the École nationale des ponts et chaussées, Paris; his military and civilian careers; family matters and social, political, and economic affairs in Virginia; and the Washington Peace Convention (1861). Includes a diary (1829-1831) of Rives' mother, Judith Page Walker Rives, concerning life in the diplomatic community in Paris, travels on the continent, French social life and customs, the Revolution of 1830, U.S. political developments, and other matters. Also contains three ledgers of Francis E. Rives, U.S. Representative. Correspondents include Francis E. Rives, Julia Page Rives, and Edouard Schwebelé.


Cornelius Baldwin Hite papers, 1711-1918 4.6 Linear Feet — 9 boxes, 2,344 items (includes 2 vols.)

Collection contains personal, business, and legal papers of Cornelius Baldwin Hite, Jr. and of his family. The material pertains largely to life in Virginia during Reconstruction, with information about social life and customs, and on prominent Virginia families, especially the Marshall family, who were related to Hite by marriage. Includes copies (1709-1711) of passages from the diary of Mrs. Alexander Spotswood, and early legal documents relating to Hardy Co., Va.

The Cornelius Baldwin Hite papers contains report sheets for Cornelius B. Hite, Jr., from several schools in Virginia, 1855-1860; letters from the period of the Civil War, for the most part dealing with the impact of the war on civilians in western Virginia; a large amount of material showing the effect of Reconstruction on Cornelius B. Hite, Jr., and his relatives, including descriptions of economic distress, politics, and the migration of many Virginians to the western United States. There are letters describing social life and community health in Winchester, Virginia, in the 1870s; conditions at Shenandoah Valley Academy, 1868; and a long trip to Texas, 1875-1876. Letters, 1890-1895, are to Elizabeth Augusta (Smith) Hite, mother of Cornelius Baldwin Hite, Jr., from her sisters and grandchildren.

The collection also contains legal papers of the Christman, Fravel, and Branson families from 1797; a 19th century copy of excerpts from a journal kept by Ann Butler (Brayne) Spotswood, 1709-1711; and legal papers and letters of the Gales family, 1824-1865. Miscellaneous items include six volumes of songs, poetry, and scrapbooks; bills and receipts; clippings; printed matter; and an account book, 1838-1841, and a ledger, 1839-1841, of Cornelius Baldwin Hite, Sr.


Emma Simpson Glover Family papers, 1834-1953 2 Linear Feet — circa 410 Items

The papers consist of correspondence, legal and financial papers, photographs, account books, a memoir book, and miscellaneous papers and span the time period from 1834 to 1953. The bulk of the papers consists of correspondence between 1862 and 1914. This correspondence falls roughly into three major periods, each one consisting of two or three dozen letters.

The first period lasts until the 1890s and focuses on G. F. Simpson's involvement with the construction of a silver ore-crushing mill in Helena, Montana Territory, a venture shared with his brother, Charles H. Simpson; land investments in Kansas; and, after the 1860s, iron ore mining operations in Virginia. The letters from Montana and Kansas also document the harsh life on the American frontier. Included with this mostly business correspondence are a few letters from Thomas B. Sykes describing his experiences at Camp Chase, a Union prisoner-of-war camp near Columbus, Ohio, and as a resident of Aberdeen, Miss. during Reconstruction.

The second period, from the 1890s to 1910, consists chiefly of letters to Emma or her sisters Mary and Mabel, which discuss news of family and friends.

The last period, 1910-1914, consists mostly of correspondence between Emma and her husband Dr. Samuel R. Glover during their courtship and early marriage. Dr. Glover's letters include a limited discussion of his medical practice.

The legal papers include a will, mortgages, and land deeds. The financial papers include receipts and notes, some belonging to the firm of Simpson, Bass and Co. of Richmond, Va., operated by Charles H. Simpson and L. L. Bass, who were commission merchants in flour, grain, hay, and other provisions. The miscellaneous papers include clippings and printed material. There are photographs of Emma Simpson Glover, J. W. Simpson, and Mrs. Margaret Simpson.

The bound volumes consist of two ledgers and accounts, 1914-1921, of Dr. Glover's medical practice; ledger and accounts, 1877-1882, of a general store in Nelson Co., Va., which includes entries for farm and farm labor; and a memoir or scrap book of Mary Simpson, consisting of printed material, clippings, ribbons, and other memorabilia. The memoir book originally served as the cash book of an unknown Virginia firm for 1834-1836.


George B. Harrison papers, 1821-1924 18 Linear Feet — 13,488 Items

Lawyer, of Clarke Co., Va. Correspondence, daybooks, and family, business, and other papers. The bulk of the collection consists of cancelled checks, bills and receipts, legal papers, newspaper clippings, and advertisements. The papers deal with Civil War destruction in Virginia, social life in Virginia after the war, American interest in Cuba (1869-1870), agriculture and land in Florida (1880s), social, political, and economic activities in Clarke Co., the genealogy of the Harrison family, and other matters. Correspondents include Thomas R. Dew and Harry F. Byrd.

Correspondence, daybooks, and family, business, and other papers. The bulk of the collection consists of cancelled checks, bills and receipts, legal papers, newspaper clippings, and advertisements. Topics include Civil War destruction in Virginia, social life in Virginia after the war, American interest in Cuba (1869-1870), agriculture and land in Florida (1880s), social, political, and economic activities in Clarke Co., the genealogy of the Harrison family, and other matters. Correspondents include Thomas R. Dew and Harry F. Byrd.


Henry James Seibert papers, 1779-1912 and undated 15 Linear Feet — 16,658 Items

Lawyer, election clerk, and Virginia legislator, of Martinsburg and Hedgesville, Virginia (now West Virginia). Correspondence, account books, ledgers, and other professional, business, and family correspondence (chiefly 1820-1885), of Seibert and of his family. The collection relates to family matters, Virginia and national politics before the Civil War, migration into the Old Northwest, social life and customs, and slavery in Virginia.

Spanning the years 1779-1912, the collection contains correspondence, legal and financial papers, and printed material of Henry James Seibert, Sr., Virginia state legislator, executor for numerous estates, and financial agent for emigrants to the Mid-West.

The correspondence discusses personal and family matters; internal improvements in Pennsylvania during the 1820s; salt mining in Pennsylvania; commodity and land prices in Ohio during the 1820s and 1830s; Ohio politics during the 1830s and the attitude of politicians towards the Second Bank of the United States; commodity prices in Illinois during 1838 and 1840; bank failures in Ohio, 1841; wages in Ohio, 1845; care of a ward of Henry James Seibert, Sr., in an insane asylum; the National Road in Ohio; presidential elections of 1840, 1844, 1848, 1852, and 1856; the National Democratic Convention of 1844; Henry Clay and the Whig Party; the slavery question in relation to the California Territory; improvement and construction of public buildings in Washington, D.C.; coal mining in Maryland; the Compromise of 1850; cholera in New Orleans, 1850s; internal improvements in Virginia, 1850s; control and sale of liquor and distillation of whiskey; slave trade in the United States; Civil War bounty; pension claims; and other matters.

Also included are bills and receipts; indentures; court summonses; account sheets; applications for pensions; prospectus, 1865, of The New Era, a newspaper to be published in Martinsburg, West Virginia; bulletin of Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, for 1879; pamphlets containing West Virginia laws in 1887 relating to public schools; advertisements for the Maryland Lottery Company, the Kentucky State Lottery, cooking and heating stoves, women's fashions for 1884-1885, and patent medicines; Reformed Missionary Herald, 1889; almanacs; price current sheets for Baltimore, Maryland, in 1867 and 1869; premium list of the annual fair of the Ogle County (Illinois) Agricultural Board in 1881; ballots for the Greenback Party, the Democratic Party in Berkeley County (West Virginia) in 1880 and 1888, and the National Prohibition Party in 1884; pamphlet of the National Prohibition Party; form letter, 1849, explaining the stand of the Society of Friends of Great Britain and Ireland on slavery; broadsides of a U.S. pension agency; and announcement and program of the 29th annual session of the Farmers' National Congress, Raleigh, 1909.

There are also many 19th century manuscript volumes - daybooks, ledgers, and account books - containing financial records of the general mercantile establishments of John W. Boyd and Benjamin R. Boyd; Hezekiah Hedges; Henry J. Seibert; and of William L. Seibert.


Hugh Mangum photographs, circa 1890-1922 10 Linear Feet — 38 boxes; 2 oversize folders — 1141 items

Hugh Mangum was a commercial portrait photographer from Durham, North Carolina. Collection comprises 937 glass plate negatives and printed black-and-white photographs taken by Hugh Mangum from about 1890 to 1922 as he traveled a rail circuit through North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia and in photography studios he and partners established in Durham, N.C., and Roanoke, Pulaski, and East Radford, Virginia. Localities known to have been visited by Mangum in N.C. include Winston-Salem, High Point, Raleigh, Reidsville, Lexington, Durham, and Greensboro; in Virginia, Christiansburg, Martinsville, East Radford, and Pulaski. The images are chiefly individual and group portraits of mostly unidentified women, children, and men, either in unidentified studio settings or outdoors. Most are white men and women, but there are also many African Americans and others who may be multi-racial. Hugh Mangum and his wife are present in several images. There are several street scenes identified as Radford, Virginia, as well as Warrenton (probably N.C.), and Christiansburg, Virginia. Some images feature houses, barns, mills, outdoor social gatherings, and animals. The last dated photograph in the collection is a mounted print of Mangum's body in an open casket, 1922. Of the photographic prints, there are 55 prints made from selected negatives, and 50 inkjet digital prints from a 2012 exhibit. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

The collection dates from approximately 1890 through 1922, and comprises 937 glass plate negatives and a selection of black-and-white prints, of portraits and scenes taken by Hugh Mangum, a portrait photographer based in Durham, North Carolina. There is also a set of 25 exhibit prints and 25 smaller viewing prints from a 2012 Center for Documentary Studies exhibit curated by a Duke University student.

The images were taken as Mangum traveled a rail circuit through North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. He also likely took some of these images in the photography studios he and partners established in Roanoke, Pulaski, and East Radford, Virginia. Communities marked on a few of the plates include Warrenton (probably North Carolina rather than Virginia), and Christiansburg, Virginia. Localities known to have been visited by Mangum in N.C. include Winston-Salem, High Point, Raleigh, Reidsville, Lexington, Durham, and Greensboro; in Virginia, Martinsville, East Radford, and Pulaski. From an annotated trunk lid found in the collection it seems he also visited Texas but it is unknown if any of the images in the collection were taken there.

The images are chiefly individual and group portraits of local residents, although there are several town scenes with landmark buildings. There are women, children, and men, either in a studio setting or outdoors; the majority are white but there are many African Americans and people who may be multi-racial. There are buildings such as barns, mills, schools, and houses often present in outdoor group portraits, and dogs, chickens, cats, and horses appear. Sometimes the individual poses with a possession such as a bicycle or musical instrument. One image is of a train accident with a large group of bystanders.

Identification numbers are often stamped or written on the plate. The library staff has assigned unique numbers to each image and plate. There are multiple images of Hugh Mangum and the Mangum and Carden families; see the glass plate negative notes for more details. The last dated print in the collection is a mounted print of Mangum's body in an open casket, 1922.

Mangum photographs are distinctive for the level of comfort exhibited by his subjects in front of the camera. This ease in front of the camera is readily noted due to the large quantity of "penny picture camera" negatives in the collection that contain multiple images of numerous subjects. Often the first picture of a subject appears rather stiff and formal as in traditional nineteenth century photographs. In the second and subsequent pictures, the subject often visibly relaxes, assumes different poses, uses props, removes or adds a hat, and may smile broadly at the camera. This progressive transition in poses from formal to very informal is a hallmark of the Mangum collection. The collection may be of particular interest to researchers studying late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century fashion trends.

The glass plate negatives are closed to use, but researchers may use online digitized images which represent the entirety of the collection of negatives. In addition, the collection also makes available for research use original contact prints, contact sheets, one panoramic print, and print reproductions created for exhibition and other purposes.

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.


John Rutherfoord papers, 1754-1931, bulk 1781-1865 4.5 Linear Feet — 6 Boxes (2,745 items)

Collection contains correspondence, travel journals, account books, memorandum books, farm records, legal records, commonplace books, class notes, and other papers (chiefly 1781-1865) of John Rutherfoord; of his son, John Coles Rutherfoord, lawyer, planter, and state legislator; and of other members of the family. The papers before 1818 are chiefly legal and business papers and include information on family investments in Kentucky lands and other ventures. The papers of John Rutherfoord relate to his career as governor, his agricultural and business affairs; Virginia and U.S. politics, the American Party; the return of fugitive slaves, secession and events preceeding the Civil War, Confederate foreign relations; and family matters; and they include letters from Edward Coles, William Cabell Rives, and others of Rutherfoord's relatives by marriage, concerning agriculture and anti-slavery sentiment in Virginia and relations between the United States and France. John Coles Rutherfoord's papers relate to his attendance at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) and the University of Virginia, his interests in politics and European travel, his legal activities, his work as a state legislator (1852-1865) and as manager of the family estates, westward expansion, and social life and customs in Virginia. Includes scattered correspondence of J.C. Rutherfoord's wife, Ann Seddon Roy Rutherfoord, referring to life in the South during and after the Civil War, and family matters.

This collection contains family, business, personal, and political correspondence of John Rutherfoord (1792-1866), lawyer, merchant, and governor of Virginia, 1841-1842; of his son, John Coles Rutherfoord (1825-1866), lawyer, planter, and member of the House of Delegates; of Ann Seddon (Roy) Rutherfoord (1832-1906?), wife of John Coles Rutherfoord; and of Thomas Rutherfoord (1766-1852), father of John Rutherfoord, and Richmond merchant.

Early papers are those of Isaac Holmes, assistant quartermaster at Petersburg, Virginia, chiefly from Richard Claiborne concerning provisions for Revolutionary soldiers; and of James Webb, apparently a lawyer of Smithfield, Virginia, having connections with John Marshall, Spencer Roane, and John Wickham, consisting of legal correspondence and papers. The papers of Thomas Rutherfoord include a letter, 1810, expressing objections to the embargo; letters concerning family matters and Rutherfoord's ailments; correspondence dealing with business affairs, chiefly his large landholdings in Kentucky and Ohio, and the title and sale of those lands; and an article, 1812, on the necessity of a navy to protect the maritime rights of the United States. Personal correspondence of John Rutherfoord is primarily with relatives, including his son, John Coles Rutherfoord; his brothers, Samuel Rutherfoord, William Rutherfoord, and Alexander Rutherfoord, and their families; relatives of Emily (Coles), Rutherfoord, his wife, including Tucker Coles, Isaac A. Coles, Edward Coles, Andrew Stevenson, and William Cabell Rives; his brother-in-law, Hodijah Meade; and Jane (Rutherfoord) Meade. Letters discuss family news; business matters; agriculture and the operation of their various plantations; the painting of family portraits; the marketing of wheat produced at “Rock Castle,” home of John Coles Rutherfoord, during the 1840s and 1850s; visits to various springs in western Virginia; the insurance society headed by John Rutherfoord; family illnesses, including full descriptions of remedies and medicines; purchase of land; detailed accounts of the construction of a boat for use at "Rock Castle"; purchase of a buggy, including description of various types of buggies; purchase and price of guano; detailed accounts of shipping by freight boats on the James River; purchase of slaves to prevent the separation of families; sympathy for slaves; purchase of shoes and making of clothes for slaver at “Rock Castle”; details of household management, such as the making of candles and the slaughtering of sheep; Richmond social life; and current events. Also included are letters from relatives in Ireland; letters of advice from John Rutherfoord to his son, John Coles Rutherfoord, while the latter was a student at Washington College, Lexington, Virginia, and at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia; letter, 1837, from Andrew Stevenson, U.S. minister to England, describing his and his wife's experiences in diplomatic circles in London, and papers relating to the settlement of the case of the U.S.S. Caroline, burned in 1837 by Canadian troops; a letter, 1832, from William Cabell Rives, while minister to France, concerning the instability of the French government, and Rives's conviction that slavery should be abolished; and letters discussing the activities of Thomas Ritchie (1778-1854), editor of the Richmond Enquirer, especially during 1849. Other papers relate to Rutherfoord's bank stocks, his legal practice, and mercantile affairs in Richmond, Virginia. The political correspondence includes correspondence between Rutherfoord and John Tyler concerning national politics, 1827-1831, Andrew Jackson and his policies, Henry Clay, political intrigue, "sectional cupidity," European affairs, and Tyler's concern for the welfare of the country; correspondence with Governor William H. Seward of New York while Rutherfoord was governor of Virginia pertaining to a controversy over fugitive slaves; letters from Rutherfoord to John Coles Rutherfoord commenting extensively on the American Party or Know-Nothings in Goochland County, Virginia; letters, 1860, from C. G. Memminger regarding national politics, secession, and the possibility of war; letter, 1860, from Rutherfoord to a cousin in London discussing the election of Abraham Lincoln, national politics, and his hatred of abolitionists, and protesting that the Prince of Wales had not been mistreated in Richmond; correspondence concerning the coming of the Civil War, the scarcity of food during the war, and refugees; letter, 1861, from John Brockenbrough describing the Washington Peace Convention and commenting on the compromise plan proposed by John Jordan Crittenden; letter, written under an assumed name, to Rutherfoord from Sir William Henry Gregory, member of the British Parliament with sympathies for the Confederate States of America, regarding the possibilities of recognition of the Confederate government by England and the means of communicating with Rutherfoord's nephew, who was attending a German university [published: Nannie M. Tilley (ed.), England and the Confederacy, American Historical Review 44 (October, 1938), 56-60]; and papers relating to Rutherfoord's service on a committee to assess damages made by the Confederate government in erecting defenses in Richmond.

The papers of John Coles Rutherfoord consist of his letters concerning literature, the activities of the Virginia House of Delegates, work on a banking bill in 1854, the Know-Nothing Party in Goochland County and their opposition to Rutherfoord's candidacy for a seat in the House of Delegates, visits to various springs in Virginia, trips to South Carolina to visit relatives, his courtship of Ann Seddon Roy, and his legal practice; correspondence regarding preparations for a European tour made by John Coles Rutherfoord and Charles Morris in 1851; letters to Rutherfoord discussing Virginia politics in the 1850s; letters from a former college mate, William M. Cooke, describing his legal practice in Saint Louis and Hannibal, Missouri, the slavery question, the growth of Saint Louis, emigrants to California and the sale of supplies to them, hunting grouse on the prairies, and the Know-Nothing Party in Missouri in 1855; letters from John D. Osborne and William Cabell Rives, Jr., containing descriptions of their travels in the North and in Europe and conditions in Paris, France; scattered letters referring to the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, and to the Southern Literary Messenger and John R. Thompson; and letters from William P. Munford concerning the translation of Homer's Iliad by his father, William Munford, and his own plans to have it published.

Correspondence of Ann Seddon (Roy) Rutherfoord includes letters to her husband, John Coles Rutherfoord, concerning preparations and plans for her visits to her father, William H. Roy, household matters, and their children; letters from William H. Roy to Ann Seddon (Roy) Rutherfoord; papers pertaining to the settlement of William H. Roy's estate; letters from her sister, Sue (Roy) Carter, and from her aunt, Sarah (Seddon) Bruce, describing their children, accouchements, servants, household affairs, crops, care for slaves, and, during the Civil War, refugees, the scarcity of food, family members in the Confederate Army, and crowded conditions in Richmond, Virginia; letters of James A. Seddon regarding the business affairs of Ann Seddon (Roy) Rutherfoord after the death of her husband; letters from other friends and relatives chiefly concerning personal matters; and papers relating to the operation of "Rock Castle," including scattered accounts, contracts for labor, and inventories.

Volumes consist of a notebook on rhetoric by Emily (Coles) Rutherfoord; legal notebook of John Rutherfoord containing notes on Blackstone; personal account book, 1840-1841, of John Coles Rutherfoord; autographs and clippings collected by John Coles Rutherfoord, 1836-1850; commonplace book, 1839-1842, of John Coles Rutherfoord also containing copies of several letters; Index Rerum, 1842, kept by John Coles Rutherfoord while at the University of Virginia; notebooks of John Coles Rutherfoord while a student at Washington College, on various subjects including chemistry, mathematics, Greek history, natural and moral philosophy, political economy, Latin history, law, and the Constitution; case books, 1844-1852, and memorandum book, 1856-1862, containing records of the cases handled by John Coles Rutherfoord; memorandum book, 1846-1864, with notes on farming operations; letter book, 1857-1866, letterpress copybook, 1856-1866, and letter book and commonplace book, 1852-1858, of John Coles Rutherfoord; index, 1856-1865, of the letters received by John Coles Rutherfoord; indices to articles on politics and major events in the New York Herald, 1856-1859, and in the Richmond Examiner, 1862-1865; notebook on Rutherfoord family history; a scrapbook, 1843-1856, relating to the career of John Coles Rutherfoord in the Virginia House of Delegates; and a legal notebook, 1895-1916, of John Rutherfoord, son of John Coles Rutherfoord.


William Patterson Smith papers, 1791-1943 26.4 Linear Feet — 22,305 Items

Personal and business correspondence of William Patterson Smith (1796-1878), merchant and planter of Gloucester County, Virginia; and of his son-in-law Isaac Howell Carrington (1827-1887), provost marshal at Richmond (1862-1865) and attorney in Pittsylvania County and Richmond, Va.

Approximately one-half of the collection consists of the business papers and correspondence of Thomas and William P. Smith in conducting their mercantile firm in Gloucester and a grain trade throughout the Chesapeake area, with connections in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, London, and the West Indies. The nature of these records is: bills, notes, receipts, bills of lading, orders, sales accounts, chancery court records, writs, estate papers, account books, indentures, wills, stock certificates, inventories, bank books, bonds, etc. The papers prior to 1800 are those of Warner Lewis, John Lewis, John Powell, William Armistead, and William Taliaferro, and deal largely with the administration of estates. Around 1810, Thomas Smith and John Tabb formed a mercantile firm which lasted until 1826, when Tabb withdrew. The Smiths continued this firm until the Civil War. The store was general in nature, handling groceries, clothing, machinery, furniture, etc; while the firm also carried on an extensive trade in grain. William P. Smith was also a partner with Thomas T. Wiatt in a mercantile firm located in Weldon, N.C., 1818-circa 1860. The Smiths were men of broad commercial interests and were quite interested in land speculation in Texas, Arkansas, and West Virginia, internal improvements in Virginia and North Carolina, stocks and bonds, banks and banking, property and fire insurance, improvements in agricultural machinery, fertilizers, and farming methods. Abundant price data on slaves, horses, clothing, dry goods, all grains, drugs, farm implements, groceries, whiskeys, cotton, tobacco, and lands is found between 1815 and 1860.

The combined personal and business papers give a broad view of life in Tidewater Virginia from 1800-1875, and throw light on Richmond, Va., 1850-1865; Goochland Co., Va., 1850-1870; and Charlotte, Halifax, and Pittsylvania counties, Va., 1845-1880. Besides the subjects already mentioned, information can be found on social life and customs, recreations and amusements; religious life; slavery in all its aspects; free African Americans; the county militia system; Virginia and U.S. politics, 1820-1880; the Hussey and McCormick reapers; agricultural societies; the panics of 1819 and 1837; cotton, corn, wheat, barley, oats, and sugar cane cultivation; secondary (various academies) and higher (Yale University, University of Virginia, University of N.C., College of William and Mary, Virginia Military Institute, Washington College, U.S. Military Academy); the Seminole War; Mexican War and annexation of Texas; Thomas S. Dabney in Mississippi; California gold rush; trips to Philadelphia, New York, the Virginia Springs; Virginia Constitutional Conventions of 1829 and 1850; abolition and secession sentiments; iron, cotton, and wool manufacture; military and civilian life during the Civil War, especially Richmond 1861-1865, and Gloucester County under Union occupation; "contrabands"; Confederate military hospitals; taxation by Confederate government; freedmen raids; confiscation of property; Union blockade of Chesapeake Bay; the U.S. military prison at Newport News; freedmen; Reconstruction; coal lands in the Kanawha Valley; and phosphate mining in Tennessee.

Correspondents include: Joseph R. Anderson, Thomas August, John Strode Barbour, George William Booker, Alexander Brown, Charles Bruce, Philip Alexander Bruce, William Jennings Bryan, Allen Taylor Caperton, Jacob D. Cox, William W. Crump, Edward Cross, Thomas S. Dabney, John Reeves Jones Daniel, John Warwick Daniel, Beverley Browne Douglass, Tazewell Ellett, Benjamin Stoddard Ewell, William Stephen Field, Henry D. Flood, Thomas Frank Gailor, William B. Giles, William Wirt Henry, Johns Hopkins, Maria Mason (Tabb) Hubbard, William J. Hubbard, Obed Hussey, Edward Southey Joynes, John Pendleton Kennedy, John Lamb, John Lewis, Warner Lewis, John B. Lightfoot, Harriet (Field) Lightfoot, William Gordon McCabe, Alfred Thayer Mahan, C. Harrison Mann, Matthew Fontaine Maury, Joseph Mays, William G. Minor, Richard Channing Moore, Samuel Mordecai, Richard Morton, Philip N. Nicholas, John Patterson, Samuel Finley Patterson, Thomas Lewis Preston, William Cabell Rives, Theodore Roosevelt, John Roy, Winfield Scott, John Seddon, Francis Henney Smith, Gustavus Woodson Smith, William Alexander Smith, William Nathan Harrell Smith, George E. Tabb, Henrietta A. Tabb, Henry W. Tabb, John Henry Tabb, John Prosser Tabb, Philip M. Tabb, Philip A. Taliaferro, William Booth Taliaferro, Christopher Tompkins, Christopher Quarles Tompkins, Harriet P. Tompkins, Maria B. Tompkins, Theodore Gaillard Thomas, John Randolph Tucker, James Hoge Tyler, John Tyler, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Abel Parker Upshur, Henry P. Van Bibber, Charles Scott Venable, James A. Walker, Benjamin R. Wellford, Henry Horatio Wells, Thomas Woodrow Wilson, William L. Wilson, William L. Wilson, and Levi Woodbury.