Creator: Beale and Davis family.
Collection number: 2572
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Abstract: Family of Joseph Hoomes Davis (1809-1879), Methodist minister and educator of Virginia and North Carolina, and Anne Turberville Beale Davis (1809-1894). Principal family members included Robert Beale Davis (1835- 1864), son of Joseph Davis and his first wife, Martha Beale; Richard L.T. Beale (1819-1893), brother of Anne Davis; and the four children of Joseph and Anne, Wilbur Fisk (b. 1839), John W.C. (b. 1840), Olin (b. 1844), and Martha Anne (b. 1846). Correspondence, diaries, and other family and business papers of the Davises and their children, with scattered business items for other relatives. The letters document home and religious life; Methodist church affairs on several North Carolina and Virginia circuits; college life at Randolph-Macon College, the University of Virginia, Wesleyan Female College, and Petersburg Female College from the late 1840s through the 1850s; a rumored slave insurrection in Murfreesboro, N.C., 1856-1857; secession politics in North Carolina and Virginia; Civil War preparations and camp life, especially with the Potomac Rifles and the Topographical Engineers; teaching in the postwar period in private schools and at the University of Virginia and Virginia A & M College (now Virginia Polytechnic Institute) in Blacksburg; and farming in Westmoreland County, Va. The diaries (53 v.) provide extensive information on the daily family and religious life of Joseph and Anne Davis, 1838-1883, and the farming, social, religious, financial, school, and family affairs of their children, 1856-1860 and 1881-1920. Diaries appear for Joseph and Anne Davis; Robert Beale Davis, John W.C. Davis, and Martha (“Nannie”) Davis Beale. Locations documented in the collection include Murfreesboro, N.C., and Fredericksburg, Petersburg, Lynchburg, Boydton, Charlottesville, and Hague, Va. Scattered business items include letters, 1855-1860, from tobacco factors to James Thomas, Jr., relationship unknown, of Richmond, Va., and to John and William Murphy, cousins of Anne Davis, of Westmoreland County.
Repository: Southern Historical Collection
Collection Highlights: Included is a letter, dated 6 March 1855, from Joseph Davis to his son, Robert, telling him about missionary work among South Carolina enslaved people organized by Bishop Capers and judge C. C. Pinckney. There is another letter from dated 5 January 1857 written by Anne Davis, giving a detailed and graphic account of a rumored slave insurrection and the fear and unrest attending it around Murfreesboro (See Folders 8 and 16).
Folder 29 contains a letter letter of 16 January 1861 from S. C. Brickenstein, a law student in Baltimore, to Robert Davis, discussing various topics including Maryland’s position in the secession crisis, and slavery.