A Guide to the Nelson Family Papers, 1783-1872, n.d. Nelson Family Papers Ms1989-021

Nelson Family Papers, 1783-1872, n.d.

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms1989-021


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Special Collections, Virginia Tech

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Newman Library, Virginia Tech
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Processed by: Betsy Reed, Graduate Assistant and Kira A. Dietz, Archivist, Special Collections

Repository
Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Ms1989-021
Title
Nelson Family Papers, 1783-1872, n.d.
Physical Characteristics
0.9 cu. ft. 3 boxes
Creator
Nelson family; Nelson, Adelaide; Nelson, George Washington; Nelson, Hugh Mortimer
Language
English
Abstract
This collection contains papers (primarily correspondence and Civil War documents) from the Nelson family of Clarke County, Virginia, 1783-1872, n.d.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Nelson Family Papers must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Nelson Family Papers, Ms1989-021, Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The collection was acquired by Special Collections in 1989.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the the Nelson Family Papers was completed in October 2013.


Biographical Note

The Nelson family has a long and rich history in the state of Virginia beginning with Thomas Nelson (1677–1745) who came to Yorktown in the early years of the 18th century and is often identified as Scotch Tom. Among his sons was William Nelson (1711–72), colonial governor of Virginia (1771–71), sometimes known as “President Nelson,” as he held the title, President and Commander in Chief of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia; and Thomas Nelson (1716–82), known as Secretary Nelson, who served as secretary of the Virginia Colony. One of William’s son’s, Thomas Nelson (1738–89) represented Virginia in the Continental Congress, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and was Governor of Virginia in 1781. Governor Thomas Nelson and his wife, Lucy Grymes had eleven children, all of whom were born at Yorktown. Among Governor Thomas Nelson and Lucy Grymes’s children were Thomas Nelson Jr. (b. 1764), Philip Nelson (b. 1766), and Francis Nelson (b. 1767).

Thomas Nelson Jr. married Frances Page in 1795 and had four children, including Rev. George Washington Nelson (b. 1805), who married Jane Crease in 1834. They had three children, including George Washington Nelson, Jr. (b. 1840), also known as “Wash.” He attended University of Virginia from 1858 to 1860, but, in May 1861, enlisted in the Confederate Army. Within a year, he was a Captain commanding the Hanover Light Artillery, soon to be promoted to Major. In October 1862, outside New Market in Millwood, Clarke County, Va., he was captured by Union forces and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner. Confined first at Atheneum Prison, West Virginia, he was transferred to Camp Chase, Ohio; Johnson’s Island, Ohio; Pt. Lookout then Hammond General Hospital, Maryland; and then to Ft. Delaware, Delaware in June 1864. On 20 August 1864, he was moved to Morris Island outside Charleston, South Carolina, where he become one of what is known as the Immortal 600, a group of confederate prisoners placed by the Union in the line of Confederate fire, in retaliation for a similar action by the Confederate Army. “Wash” was moved again to Ft. Pulaski, Georgia, where he was finally released in June 1865. His correspondence with cousin Mollie Scollay, written while he was a prisoner of war, is a prominent part of this collection. He and Mollie were married in October 1865. George Washington Nelson, Jr. was ordained as a Episcopal priest in 1875 and had been rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Warrenton, Va. for over twenty years at the time of his death on 30 May 1903. Mollie died on 12 June 1923.

Philip Nelson married Sarah Ann Burwell in 1789 and moved to Clarke Co. Va. together with Sarah’s brother, Robert Carter Burwell in 1790. Robert Carter Burwell was the builder of the home “Rosney” and, about twenty years later, the nearby mansion at Long Branch Plantation, both of Clarke County. Burwell died while serving in the military during the War of 1812, after which Philip and Sarah Nelson, who had lived at Rosney, inherited Long Branch.

Francis Nelson of Mont Air, Hanover Co. Va. married Lucy Page about 1792 and had fourteen children. Among them were Sally Page Nelson (b. 1801), Hugh Mortimer Nelson (b. 1811), and Fannie Burwell Nelson (b. 1810).

Sally Page Nelson married Dr. Samuel Scollay of Smithfield, Jefferson County, Va. (later West Virginia) in 1841. Among their children was Mary Scollay (b. 1844), also known as Mollie. It is Mollie’s correspondence with George Washington (“Wash”) Nelson, Jr., her future husband, while he was a prisoner of war that forms a large part of this collection. “Wash” and Mollie were cousins, as their fathers, Thomas Nelson, Jr. and Francis Nelson, were brothers. They were both grandchildren of Governor Thomas Nelson.

Hugh Mortimer Nelson (Sr.) married Adelaide Holker (b. 1816) of Boston in 1836. They settled in Baltimore for a short time, where Hugh began his career as a lawyer. In 1842, Hugh moved back to Virginia with his wife and three-year old daughter Nannie and purchased a struggling Long Branch from his uncle Philip Nelson. The correspondence between Adelaide and daughter Nannie while the latter was attending a New York school in 1857 comprises another significant portion of this collection. Son Hugh Nelson, Jr. was born in 1847. Another daughter, Lucy, was born in 1842, but died as an infant. Hugh Mortimer Nelson, Sr. represented Clarke County at the Virginia (Secession) Convention of 1861, where he initially maintained his support for the Union. Following the events at Ft. Sumter and Virginia’s decision to secede, he raised a cavalry company from Clarke County and served under J.E.B. Stuart’s command for a time before attaining the rank of Major under General Richard S. Ewell. Wounded at the Battle of Gaines Mill/Seven Days Battles on 26 June 1862, he died in Albemarle County on 6 August 1862. Adelaide was left in charge of Long Branch. She died in 1875 of pneumonia after a long struggle to keep the property in the family.

Fanny Burwell Nelson, one of Hugh Mortimer Nelson, Sr’s sisters, never married and moved from Mont Air, Hanover County to Smithfield, Jefferson County, Va. (later West Virginia) around 1846. She moved from Smithfield to Long Branch in 1878 when it belonged to Hugh Mortimer Nelson, Jr. and his wife, Sally Page Nelson (b. 1866), daughter of George Washington (“Wash”) Nelson, Jr. and Mary (Mollie) Scollay Nelson. Fanny Burwell Nelson died at Long Branch in 1896.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of papers from the Nelson family of Clarke County, Virginia. The papers consist of correspondence among the family members, particularly between Hugh and Adelaide Nelson of Long Branch Plantation in Millwood and their daughter Nannie, as well as the Civil War letters between prisoner of war G. Washington "Wash" Nelson and Mollie Scollay of Shepardstown, Virginia.

G. Washington Nelson was captured in 1863 and held at Johnson's Island, Ohio, Point Lookout, Maryland, and Fort Delaware, Delaware. Civil War papers also include muster rolls, one of them signed by J.E.B. Stuart, of Captain Hugh Nelson's company, the Clarke County, Company D., Sixth Cavalry Volunteers. 

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in chronological order. Undated materials are arranged chronologically by month and day information, whenever possible.

Box 1 Folders 20, 21, 24, and 25 were removed in June 2014 and refoldered as Oversize Folder 1.

Index Terms

    Subjects:

  • Civil War
  • Local/Regional History and Appalachian South
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Geographical Names:

  • Clarke County (Va.)

Container List

Box-folder 1-1
June 17, 1828 Prescription for Nelson Esq. from a Pharmacy in Parish
Box-folder 1-2
July 1, 1836, From P. Graften, Jr. in New York City to Hugh M. Nelson, Esq. Re. a horse
Box-folder 1-3
February 16, 1838, Letter from J.H. Mason in Washington, D.C. to Hugh M. Nelson, Esq. in Baltimore, Maryland, Re. The whereabouts of a clerk
Box-folder 1-4
1857, Letter from Adelaide in Long Branch to Nannie
Box-folder 1-5
March 31, 1857, Letter from Adelaide to Nannie
Box-folder 1-6
April 6, 1837, Letter from Adelaide to Nannie
Box-folder 1-7
April 13, 1857, Letter from Adelaide Nelson to Nannie
Box-folder 1-8
April 25, 1857, Letter from Adelaide, in Long Branch, to Nannie
Box-folder 1-9
April 28, 1857, Letter from Mother Adelaide, in Long Branch, Nannie
Box-folder 1-10
May 4, 1857, Letter from Harriet L. Scollay, in Middleway, to Cousin Nannie
Box-folder 1-11
May 9, 1857, Letter from Adelaide, to Nannie
Box-folder 1-12
May 11, 1857, Letter from Hugh Nelson to Nannie
Box-folder 1-13
May 16, 1857, Letter from Adelaide, to Nannie
Box-folder 1-14
May 20, 1857, Letter from Mother, in Long Branch, to Nannie
Box-folder 1-15
June 5, 1857, Letter from Cousin Mevllie Scollay, in Middleway, to Cousin Nannie
Box-folder 1-16
June 14, 1857, Letter from Adelaide, to Nannie
Box-folder 1-17
November 5, 1957, Letter to Nelson from Shier Wilie in Boston, (Re: 'The Bight' (a house), taxes $175, business transactions, discuss rent and repairs, mentions hard economic conditions)
Box-folder 1-18
July 1, 1858, University of Virginia announcement (Re: Final exercises, best debater, Charles Stringfellow, sent by Bennett Taylor)
Box-folder 1-19
April 9, 1860, Letter to Nelson from . Aar, discuss 1860 elections
Oversize 1
Capt. Joseph Hardesty, 1st Regiment Cavalry Muster Roll, Signed: JEB Stuart (Harper's Ferry, Shephardstown enrollments, Berryville, people mustered by Stuart)
Oversize 1
Muster Roll, Pay Roll, Capt. Hugh M. Nelson, Co. D, First Virginia Cavalry, JEB Stuart Command, 1861
Box-folder 1-22
Muster Roll, Capt. Hugh M. Nelson, Co. D Sixth Cavalry, Col. Charles W. Field, 1861
Box-folder 1-23
September 21, 1861, Letter to Mrs. Hugh Nelson from Insurance agent (re: burning of the green house)
Oversize 1
November 1, 1861, Muster Roll Company D, 6th Regiment
Oversize 1
November 1, 1861, Muster Roll, Company D, Sixth Regiment
Box-folder 1-26
November 5, 1861, Letter from Hugh Nelson, at Carter Hall, to sister
Box-folder 1-27
Wrapper, envelope- war letters, no letters contained, envelope addressed to Col. A.R. Boteler, 1861-1862
Box-folder 1-28
February 11, 1862, Orders Concerning Recruitment
Box-folder 1-29
February 12, 1862, Letter to Capt. Hugh M. Nelson, Co. D, 6th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry, from Camp GW Smith, Special Order No. 40, Recruiting
Box-folder 1-30
March 4, 1862, Statement of enlistment order, Capt. Hugh M. Nelson, Clarke Cavalry Co. D, 6th regiment (?), Virginia Cavalry
Box-folder 1-31
April 6, 1862, Letter to Hugh M. Nelson, letter Re: Sabres- JEB Stuart
Box-folder 2-1
July 6, 1863, "Home," letter to Wash from Cousin Molly S. Award of Gettysburg and loss of 10,000 Men
Box-folder 2-2
October 25, 1863, To Mollie from Wash in Westwood and March 31, 1865, To Mollie from Wash in Fort Delaware (Two Letters to One Envelope)
Box-folder 2-3
October 28, 1863, Letter to Mollie from Wash in Winchester, Telling Mollie of his Capture
Box-folder 2-4
December 20, 1863, Letter to Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W. at Johnson's Island, Ohio), from M.N.S.
Box-folder 2-5
December 30, 1863, Letter to Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W. at Johnson's Island, Ohio), from Mollie
Box-folder 2-6
January 16, 1864, Letter to Cap. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W. Johnson's Island, Ohio)
Box-folder 2-7
January 30, 1864, To Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W. at Johnson's Island, Ohio) from Mollie
Box-folder 2-8
February 9, 1864, Letter to Mollie, from Wash in Johnson's Island, Ohio
Box-folder 2-9
February 25, 1864, Letter to Mollie, from Wash in Johnson's Island, Ohio
Box-folder 2-10
February 26, 1864, To Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W. at Johnson's Island, Ohio), from Mollie
Box-folder 2-11
March 2, 1864, Letter to Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W. at Johnson's Island, Ohio) from M
Box-folder 2-12
March 8, 1864, March 27, 1864,Two letters in one envelope; Both to Mollie, from Wash in Johnson's Island
Box-folder 2-13
March 13, 1864, Letter to Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W. at Point Lookout, MD) from sister
Box-folder 2-14
March 14, 1864, Letter to Mollie from Wash in Johnson's Island
Box-folder 2-15
1864, Letter to mollie, from Capt. Wash Nelson (P.O.W. at Johnson's Island) the envelope has "Div:38 Fort Delaware, Delaware"
Box-folder 2-16
April 5, 1864, Letter to Capt. G.W. Nelson, Hd.Qtrs, Gen. Pendleton's Corps from Mollie
Box-folder 2-17
May 23, 1864 and June 14, 1864, Two letters in one envelope, to Mollie, from Wash, Point Lookout; and letter to Mollie from Wash, Hammund General Hospital, Point Lookout
Box-folder 2-18
May 30, 1864, Letter to Mollie, from Wash in Harrimand General Hospital, Point Lookout
Box-folder 2-19
June 3, 1864, Letter to Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W.) Point Lookout, MD
Box-folder 2-20
June 6, 1864, Letter to Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W.) Point Lookout, MD, from M
Box-folder 2-21
June 7, 1864, Letter to Mollie, from Wash, Point Lookout
Box-folder 2-22
June 12, 1864, Letter to Mollie, from Wash, Point Lookout
Box-folder 2-23
June 17, 1864, Letter Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W.) Point Lookout, MD
Box-folder 2-24
June 22, 1864, Letter to Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W.) Point Lookout, MD
Box-folder 2-25
June 22, 1864, Letter to Mollie, from Wash, Point Lookout
Box-folder 2-26
June 26, 1864, Letter to Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W.), Point Lookout, MD, From M
Box-folder 2-27
June 28, 1864, Letter to Mollie, from Wash in Fort Delaware, (Envelope Contains a small note- [To Mollie from Dune-requests a book] and Another letter to "My Dear Friend," from Haley Curtis-no date)
Box-folder 2-28
1864, Letter to Miss Mollie N. Scollay, Shepherdstown, VA, from Wash
Box-folder 2-29
October 31, 1864, Letter to Mollie, from Wash Nelson, Ft. Pulaski
Box-folder 2-30
October 1865 - March 1866, Letters from C.A. Welch to Cousin (Mrs. Hugh Nelson)
Box-folder 2-31
1865, Letter to Mollie, from Wash Nelson, Fort Delaware
Box-folder 2-32
March 21, 1865, Letter to Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W.) Ft. Delaware, DE, from Mollie
Box-folder 2-33
March 24, 1865, Letter to Capt. G. W. Nelson (P.O.W.), Ft. Delaware, DE, from Mollie
Box-folder 2-34
April 4, 1865, Letter to Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W.), Ft. Delaware, DE, from Mollie
Box-folder 2-35
April 2, 1865, Letter to Mollie, from Wash in Ft. Delaware
Box-folder 2-36
April 6, 1865, Letter to Mollie, from Wash in Ft. Delaware
Box-folder 2-37
April 9, 1865, Letter to Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W.) Ft. Delaware, DE, (Pressed Flowers inside Envelope)
Box-folder 2-38
April 12, 1865, Letter to Mollie, from Wash Nelson in Ft. Delaware
Box-folder 2-39
April 15, 1865, Letter to Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W.) Div. 34- Ft. Delaware, DE
Box-folder 2-40
April 15, 1865, Letter to Mollie from Wash in Ft. Delaware
Box-folder 2-41
April 28, 1865 and April 23, 1865, Letter to Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W.), from Mollie, Letter to (same); Two letters in one Envelope
Box-folder 2-42
May 3, 1865, Letter to Mollie, from Wash, Ft. Delaware
Box-folder 2-43
May 4, 1865, Letter to Mollie, From Wash, Ft. Delaware
Box-folder 3-1
May 10, 1865, Letter to Mollie, from Wash in Ft. Delaware
Box-folder 3-2
May 14, 1865, Letter to Mollie, from Wash, in Ft. Delaware
Box-folder 3-3
May 21, 1865, Letter to Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W) Ft. Delaware, DE. from Mollie
Box-folder 3-4
May 27, 1865, Letter to Wash from Mollie
Box-folder 3-5
May 27, 1865, Letter to Mollie, from Wash, Ft. Delaware
Box-folder 3-6
June 3, 1865, Letter to Capt. G.W. Nelson (P.O.W.) Division 38, Ft. Delaware, DE
Box-folder 3-7
July 11, 1865 and April 9, 1866, Letters to Cousin, from Charles (C.A.W.) (C.A. Welch), Boston
Box-folder 3-8
July 12, 1865, Letter to G.W. Nelson in Beaver Dam Depot, Hanover County, VA, from Mollie
Box-folder 3-9
September 25, 1865, Letter to Capt. G.W. Nelson in Gettysburg, PA, from Mollie
Box-folder 3-10
September 4, 1865, Letter to Mollie in Middleway, Jefferson County, VA, from Wash in Mont Air
Box-folder 3-11
December 8, 1871 and February 19, 1872, Letters to Mrs. G.W. Nelson (Mollie) from her mother, S.P. Scollay
Box-folder 3-12
January 29, 1872, Letter to Mollie from Mother, S.P. Scollay, in Middleway W. VA at Smithfield, Mollie has Daughter Page and siste Lizzie.
Box-folder 3-13
February 18, 1783, Letter from Walker Daniel, at Col. Floyd's, to a French Merchant concerning commercial conditions on the wester Kentucky Frontier Both are friends of Col. Floyd, mentions Lincon, Fayette, Fall's of Ohio River, KY River' number of inhabitants; Indians; type of settlers; crops grown. (Merchant- Monsieur Major B. Tardiveau); No. 33 Louisville
Box-folder 3-14
March 23 (year unknown), Letter from Delaide in Long Branch to "My Precious Little Child"
Box-folder 3-15
March 30 (no year), Letter from Smithfield to Nannie
Box-folder 3-16
March 30 and April 8, Two Envelopes to Nannie
Box-folder 3-17
April 6 (no year), Envelope to Nannie
Box-folder 3-18
April 10 (no year), Letter to Nannie from Adelaide in Long Beach
Box-folder 3-19
April 30 (no year), Letter to Nannie from Adelaide
Box-folder 3-20
No Date, Letter from Adelaid in Long Beach, to Nannie, Envelope included, 2 small pieces of paper, one is a note
Box-folder 3-21
May 8 (no year), Letter from L.B. Nelson, Weehaul to Miss Nannie Nelson, Pelham Priory, Westchester, New York
Box-folder 3-22
May 8 (no year), Envelope to Nannie
Box-folder 3-23
May 22 (no year), Envelope to Nannie
Box-folder 3-24
May 22 (no year), Envelope to Nannie
Box-folder 3-25
May 25 (no year), Letter from Hugh and Mother to Nannie
Box-folder 3-26
May 25 (no year), Letter from Hugh M. Nelson, New York, to Nannie
Box-folder 3-27
June 5 (no year), Letter from Adelaide to Nannie
Box-folder 3-28
June 6 (no year), Letter from Mother to Nannie, letter included a pressed flower and a note from Little Hugh
Box-folder 3-29
August (no date), Letter to Mollie from Wash (married), Aunt Adelaide
Box-folder 3-30
(No Date), Envelope (empty), "Copy of Commission Gen. Thomas Nelson by General Washington"
Box-folder 3-31
(No Date), Envelope Cover, Hugh M. Nelson, Near Millwood
Box-folder 3-32
(No Date), Hugh M. Nelson Accounts
Box-folder 3-33
(No Date), Remnants of European Tour
Box-folder 3-34
(No Date), Letter "Thursday Morning" from Adelaide, to Nannie (includes note from Hugh Nelson)
Box-folder 3-35
(No Date), "Saturday, March" from mother to daughter, (March)

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Nelson, Adelaide
  • Nelson, George Washington
  • Nelson, Hugh Mortimer