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Internship - Genealogy

Genealogy project based around Civil War Letters donated to Stanley Library, completed by Jake Dilauro - Spring 2023.

Scan VV

Scan II

Scan UU

Dublin Depot Ticket

Scan VV - A New Teacher

I will call this document “Scan VV” In this document, you get to take a look into the head of a gentlemen named WW Adams. In this letter Adams is expressing is strong opinion of a Colored male who has became a teacher in their school board. Based on the context of the letter it can be assumed that Charles was working as either Super Intendent or a fellow teacher at the time. WW Adams seems to be in a way jealous of the colored gentleman by saying “He did not stand anything like an examination on grammar, arithmetic, geography and history”. He talks about giving the colored gentlemen encouragement by accident and about how Adams is confused into how he did so.

Overall it seems as if Adams was not prepared for their to be a colored man for him to be coworkers with. There is no date on this letter but compared to the rest of the ones I have evaluated it seems to be in the best shape along with WW Adams talking about a colored teachers being hired which could have only have happened after the Civil War. It seems we are missing Charles’s part of this conversation as it seemed as if it was a response to Charles. This letter would have also would have had to been after 1865 but before 1870; the reason why being that the Civil War ended in 1865, but Charles and Leona had gotten married in 1868, making it where sending letters to Charles would have been less required

  • WW Adams mentions a gentleman named John Pack in the letter. John Lively Pack is actually Charles Ellison's brother in law. John Pack married Elizabeth Jane Ellison.

Facts about colored teachers in America

  • The first known Official Colored teacher taught in 1862.
    • Her name was Susie King Taylor also known for her actions as a nurse during the civil war and helping further the acceptance of colored women with her memoir "Reminances Of My Life In Camp With The 33rd United States Colored Troops Late First S.C Volunteers".
  • The first state funded Colored school started in Marysville California in 1858.
    • The school was located in the basement of MT. Olivet Baptist Church.

Scan II - Leona love poem

“Scan II” shows a beautiful poem written to Charles from his wife Leona

In it Leona talks about how love and happiness are near and how Leona holds Charles in very high regard. Leona decided to do this poem as a quatrain and she kept it short and sweet. In the poem Leona mentions how she thinks of Charles every day. It is interesting to observe this considering everything that was going on during the time of their love. It is also good to pay attention to how formal Leona and Charles were with each other.

Interesting facts about love/marriage during this time period

  • African Americans were not able to get married until the Civil Rights Act of 1866
  • People had the ability to marry someone in their direct family and it was not uncommon for someone to marry their first cousin until the first laws started getting put in around the 1860's in states like; Kansas, Nevada, North and South Dakota, Washington, New Hampshire, and Ohio.

Dublin Depot

On March 29th 1864 Charles Ellison had made his way through the Dublin depot headed towards Lynchburg & Wythville. The Dublin Depot served as what was essentially the main means of communication and travel in the early states at the time. Located very close to the station was a base for confederate soldiers. This base had telegraphs that they used to essentially talk to the world. The Dublin Depot also served as one of three Depots in Virginia that held onto captured runaway slaves. On May 9th 1864 the Union and the Confederate armies met at Cloyd's farm. In this battle the Union army crushed the Confederates after winning the battle, with leftover confederates fleeing as union soldiers “Burn everything they couldn’t carry”. Leaving the Dublin Depot in a state of disarray. There are also accounts that the fire could be seen from Radford (6.26) miles from Dublin Depot.

Interesting facts about Railroads and Depots during the Civil War

  • Virginia had the most railroads and depots of any other state during the Civil War 
  • Railroads were essential during the war for things like equipment and food to be sent to troops and citizens
  •  Railroads were big targets for both sides to attempt to disrupt the other of their goods -Many of the battles in Virginia happened fairly close to railways and Depots 
  • The Virginia Central Railroad was the most targeted railroad by the Union army
  • Well over 100,000 troops went through these railroads from 1861-1863

Scan UU

In this document we see a letter of recommendation for Charles. He is described to have " Possessed of all the qualities of a gentleman, of truth, Perseverance and industry." It is interesting to see a letter of recommendation from this time period as they were not all to popular considering it was usually a previous employer who wrote the letter. Considering the time period a lot of people probably struggled to switch jobs at the risk they may not get another.