Abbot Family papers, 1733-1999 and undated, bulk 1860-1910
Using These Materials
- Collection is open for research.
- Abbot family
- The papers of the Abbot family consist mainly of correspondence, but also include financial and legal papers, diaries, a letter-book, clippings, printed material, speeches and photographs (including cartes-de-visite, and some cyanotypes and tintypes). The materials date from 1733 to 1999, the bulk ranging from 1860-1910. A significant portion of the correspondence comprises of personal letters exchanged during the Civil War between William Richardson Abbot, headmaster of Bellevue High School, and his wife, Lucy Minor Abbot. Abbot's letters mention battles and political events of the Civil War, including his experience as an officer in the First Regiment of the Engineers Troops (Army of Virginia). Other correspondence includes exchanges between W.R. Abbot and his immediate family, both during and after the Civil War, as well as numerous letters to Abbot from parents of boys attending Bellevue High School. The collection also includes materials from the lives of the children and grandchildren of William and Lucy Abbot. Letters from the Abbot children consist of personal exchanges, accounts of travel in turn-of-the-century Europe, as well as experiences in the German university system. Also included is a brief memoir by Ann Minor, Lucy's sister, documenting childhood experiences in Virginia during the Civil War. There are also papers belonging to the Minors of Charlottesville (Va.), such as correspondence of Charles and John Minor.
19 Linear Feet
- Collection ID:
- Scope and Content:
The papers of the Abbot family consist mainly of correspondence, but also include financial and legal papers, diaries, a letter-book, clippings, printed material, speeches and photographs (including cartes-de-visite, and some cyanotypes and tintypes). The materials date from 1733 to 1999, the bulk ranging from 1860-1910. A significant portion of the correspondence comprises of personal letters exchanged during the Civil War between William Richardson Abbot, headmaster of Bellevue High School, and his wife, Lucy Minor Abbot. Abbot's letters mention battles and political events of the Civil War, including his experience as an officer in the First Regiment of the Engineers Troops (Army of Virginia). Other correspondence includes exchanges between W.R. Abbot and his immediate family, both during and after the Civil War, as well as numerous letters to Abbot from parents of boys attending Bellevue High School. The collection also includes materials from the lives of the children and grandchildren of William and Lucy Abbot. Letters from the Abbot children consist of personal exchanges, accounts of travel in turn-of-the-century Europe, as well as experiences in the German university system. Also included is a brief memoir by Ann Minor, Lucy's sister, documenting childhood experiences in Virginia during the Civil War. There are also papers belonging to the Minors of Charlottesville (Va.), such as correspondence of Charles and John Minor.
While the bulk of the collection is made up of correspondence, the papers also include Abbot's addresses to schools and the Virginia Educational Society; printed bulletins detailing courses of study and formal statements of the teaching philosophy at Bellevue; and an official letter-book, receipts, financial and legal documents relating to the purchase, expansion and daily administration of the school. Other materials relating to the children of the William and Lucy Abbot include educational addresses by their son, Charles Minor Abbot, who administered Bellevue until it closed (1901-1909), as well as biographical material on Virginia Henderson's authoritative influence on professional nursing.
The Abbot Family papers provide the researcher with numerous vantage points onto public, professional and private life in nineteenth-century Virginia, most particularly through personalized accounts of men and women of the time. While the papers follow the families' colonial past from the early eighteenth century into the mid-twentieth century, the collection is noteworthy for its emphasis on military and private life in the Confederacy and in the Reconstruction South. The collection illuminates the experience of the Civil War through numerous windows onto the private lives of individuals; the professionalization of secondary education during the Reconstruction; the social and epistolary conventions of nineteenth century courtship; and the construction of an inter-generational identity, based on extended familial affections and ties to the institutions of Bellevue and the University of Virginia.
- Biographical / Historical:
William Richardson Abbot Date Event 1839 January 1 Born in Hagerstown, Md. 1855-1857 University of Virginia, distinction in the Study of Law 1857 Teacher at Mr. Halliwell's School, Alexandria, Va. 1858-1860 Teacher at Dr. Charles Minor's Brookhill School, outside Charlottesville, Va. 1860-1861 Tutor to family of Dr.Arthur Taylor, Opelouses, St. Landry Parish, La., until outbreak of Civil War 1861 Clerk at General Post Office Department, Auditor's Office to the Treasury of the Southern Confederacy, Richmond, Va. 1862 Clerk at First Auditor's Office to the War Department, Richmond Va. 1863-1865 Enlistment in the First Regiment of Engineers Troops, Army of Virginia; served in the field as Second Lieutenant; was present with Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. 1863 Marriage to Lucy Ridgway Minor, daughter of Dr. Charles Minor of Brookhill School, Charlottesville, Va. 1866-1870 Opened school for boys in Charlottesville 1870-1873 Teacher of Classics and English; Associate Headmaster with founder James P. Holcombe at Bellevue High School, Va. 1873-1901 Headmaster of Bellevue on the death of J.P. Holcombe 1882 Purchased Bellevue 1902-1909 Bellevue administered chiefly by W.R. Abbot's son, Associate Principal Charles Minor Abbot 1909 Closed and converted Bellevue to personal residence; continued to reside at Bellevue with his family 1916, October 5 Died at Bellevue, Va. Ellen Harris Abbot Date Event 1815 December 9 Born; given name Ellen Jane 1831 Married William R. Abbot, founder of Georgetown Classical and Mathematical Academy, Georgetown. 1852 Widowed with five children 1861 Closed her boarding house in Georgetown with the outbreak of the Civil War 1902, December 3 Died Jane (Jeannie) Oliver Abbot Date Event 1834, August 14 Born to William and Ellen Abbot 1898, October 28 Died Francis (Frank) Harris Abbot Date Event 1841 Born to William and Ellen Abbot 1861-1862 Served as Lieutenant in 17th Regiment of the Alexandria Riflemen, Army of the Southern Confederacy 1862 Died in combat Ellen Harris Abbot Date Event 1847, June 1 Born to William and Ellen Abbot; given name Ellen Harris 1901, November 17 Died in Washington D.C. Lucy Ridgway Minor Abbot Date Event 1838 Born to Dr. Charles and Lucy Minor of "Brookhill," Charlottesville, Va.; given name Lucy Ridgway 1861 Moved to "Lands End" (Va.) on death of Dr. Charles Minor and the subsequent sale of Brookhill School Tutored and taught music with outbreak of the Civil War 1863 Married William R. Abbot 1870 Moved to Bellevue with W.R. Abbot 1921 Died Charles M. Abbot Date Event 1875, September 10 Born in Charlottesville to William and Lucy Abbot; given name Charles Minor Educated at Bellevue, Bedford County (Va.) 1896 Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts, University of Virginia 1897-1901 Taught at Bellevue High School 1901-1902 Moved to Norfolk, Va. 1902-1909 Returned to Bellevue to teach; administered Bellevue in the capacity of Associate Headmaster until its closure 1909-1925 Taught in Campbell and Bedford counties, (Va.) 1925-1946 Taught History and Government at Glass High School,(Va.) 1940 [1941?] Played central role in re-establishment of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Forest, Va.; continued to serve as vestryman 1946 Retired from faculty at Glass High 1949 Died Francis (Frank) H. Abbot Date Event 1877, November 3 Early education at Bellevue and other private schools in Va. Born to William and Lucy Abbot 1895-1899 Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees, University of Virginia 1899 Doctoral student of Modern Languages at universities of Goettingen and Leipzig, Germany 1902 Returned to United States; taught English at Marion Military Institute, Alabama Ph.D from University of Leipzig 1904-1919 Associate Professor of Rhetoric at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg (Va.) Instructor of French, University of Chicago Instructor of French, Johns Hopkins University 1919 Adjunct Professor of French, University of Virginia 1926 Full Professor of French, University of Virginia 1933 Died at the University of Virginia Virginia Henderson Date Event 1897, November 30 Born in Kansas City Mo. to Daniel Brosius Henderson and Lucy Minor Abbot 1900 Moved to Bellevue High School (Va.), where the Hendersons established their residence, "Trivium" 1921 Certified as Registered Nurse in N.Y. and Va. Completed schooling in nursing with highest mark on examination, U.S. Army School of Nursing, Walter Reed Hospital, Washington D.C. 1921-1929 Public health visiting nurse in New York City and Washington D.C. Nurse educator at the Protestant Hospital School of Nursing, Norfolk, Va. 1929 Enrolled in Teacher's College, Columbia University 1932 Bachelor of Sciences, Teacher's College, Columbia University 1934 Master of Arts, Teacher's College, Columbia University 1934-1948 Associate Professor of Nursing Education, Teacher's College, Columbia University 1948-1953 Engaged in extensive revisions of 5th ed. of Textbook of Principles and Practice of Nursing by Bertha Harmer 1959-1971 Research Associate at Yale University 1971 Retired from faculty of Yale University 1964 Publication of Nursing Research: Survey and Assessment, coauthored with Leo Simmons 1966 Publication of Basic Principles of Nursing 1972 Completed Nursing Studies Index 1982 Received honorary degree from Yale University 1985 Received highest nursing honor, the Christiane Reimann prize, from the International Council 1996 Died in Branford, Ct. Dr. Charles Minor Date Event 1810, Nov. 4 Born in Louisa county (Va.) 1827 Moved to Virginia, teaching at the Forks of the Rivanna, after graduating in medicine at the University of Virginia and attending Philadelphia Medical Clinics 1835 Traveled to New Orleans to decide whether to settle there; returned to Virginia to reside in Ridgway 1836 Married Lucy Walker Ridgway Early-1850's Established Brookhill School, six miles north of Charlottesville (Va.) 1861 Died John Barbee Minor Date Event 1813, June 2 Born in Louisa county (Va.) 1828-1829 Attended Kenyon College, Ohio 1831-1834 Attended University of Virginia 1834 Awarded Bachelor of Law; practiced Law in Botetourt county, (Va.) 1840 Moved to Charlottesville 1840-1843 Partnership with his brother Lucian Minor in Charlottesville 1845 Appointed Professor of Law at the University of Virginia 1856 Appointed Professor of Common and Statute Law, University of Virginia 1875-1878 Published four volumes of Common and Statute Law 1895, July 29 Died at his home at the University of Virginia
- Acquisition Information:
- The Abbot Family papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2000.
- Processing information:
Processed by Tania Roy
Completed December 13, 2000
Encoded by Ruth E. Bryan
- Rules or Conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
Bellevue High School
Confederate States of America. Army. Corps of Engineers. Regiment, 1st
Courtship -- Virginia -- History -- 19th century,
Education -- Southern States -- History -- 19th century
Schools -- Virginia -- Bedford
Soldiers -- Confederate States of America
Women -- Confederate States of America -- Social conditions
Alfred and Elizabeth Brand Collection of Rare Books and Manuscripts
University of Virginia -- History
Holcombe, James Philemon, 1820-1873
Abbot, Lucy Minor
Abbot, W. R.
Minor, John B.
Virginia -- Education -- History
Virginia -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives
Virginia -- Social life and customs -- History -- 19th century
Virginia -- Social life and customs -- 20th century
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Children
Using These Materials
Collection is open for research.
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- PREFERRED CITATION:
[Identification of item], Abbot Family Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University