James D. Davidson ScrapbooksWLU.Coll.0154

James D. Davidson ScrapbooksWLU.Coll.0154


Washington and Lee University, James G. Leyburn Library Special Collections and Archives

204 W. Washington St.
Lexington, VA 24450
URL: http://library.wlu.edu/specialcollections

Washington and Lee University, James G. Leyburn Library Special Collections and Archives
James D. Davidson Scrapbooks 1832-1878
7 Volumes
Davidson, James D. (James Dorman)
The materials in this collection are in English.

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Use

The materials from Washington and Lee University Special Collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used should be fully credited with the source. Permission for publication of this material, in part or in full, must be secured with the Head of Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Access

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], James Dorman Davidson Scrapbooks, WLU Coll. 0154, Special Collections and Archives, James G. Leyburn Library, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA.

In some cases the citation format may vary. Please contact Special Collections staff to verify the appropriate format.

Biographical / Historical

James D. Davidson, son of Presbyterian minister Andrew B. Davidson, was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia in 1810. He graduated from Washington College (predecessor to Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Va. in 1828. After a stint as a teacher, Davidson began reading law and was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 1831. He became a highly reputed country lawyer practicing for roughly forty years in Rockbridge. Davidson's penchant for poetry and prose led to regular submissions of both local and regional newspapers. He explored may themes in his writings, and, being an influential citizen, his opinion pieces on such subjects as politics, family, and religion, flourished with satire, humor, and wit were popular. Davidson married Hannah McDowell Greenlee and together had seven children. Davidson was a Whig turned Democrat, owned slaves and opined against dissolution of the Union initially in 1861. His opinion shifted in favor of secession at the very end of Virginia's secession debate, at which point he devoted his time and attention to the war effort in which all five of his sons would serve - two of whom survived. After the Civil War, Davidson continued his law practice, wrote profusely, farmed, and influenced local and regional politics. Davidson was also a longtime trustee of Washington College. He died in 1882, survived by his two daughters Mary and Clara (Estill) and his wife Hannah.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains newspaper clippings of Dorman's poems, letters, and essays on various subjects published in the Lexington Gazette and other papers.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • Correspondence
  • Essays
  • Lexington Gazette. (Lexington, Va.)
  • Poetry
  • Scrapbooks
  • Virginia

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Conkling, Roscoe, 1829-1888
  • Davidson, Greenlee
  • Davidson, James D. (James Dorman)
  • Jackson, Thomas Jonathan (Stonewall)

Container List

Mixed Materials box: 1 folder: 1
Scrapbooks of Davidson's published materials
Scope and Contents

Folder one includes two small scrapbooks of clippings and bpoth are inscribed by Davidson. The first is a pocket sized scrapbook of clippings titled, "The poetical and prose compositions of James D. Davidson written for and published in the Lexington Intelligencer (newspaper)." The second is titled, "Essays of Tristram by James D. Davidson published in the Lexington Union (newspaper)edited by Charles P. Dorman in 1832." "Tristram" was one of Davidson's many pseudonyms.

Mixed Materials box: 1 folder: 2
Scrapbooks of misc. clippings and published writings
Scope and Contents

Three numbered scrapbooks of published writings and anecdotes of James D. Davidson as well as misc. additional clippings with Davidson's annotations and commentary. Volume one includes tipped in printed handbills of Davidson's poems. Subjects of the poems include one humorous piece on Roscoe Conkling's short lived presidential run in 1876 and a January 1, 1877 "New Years Address to the patrons of the 'Lexington Gazette'." Another article of not is a brief published article titled, "Stonewall Jackson and his Negro Sunday School."

Mixed Materials box: 1 folder: 3
Scrapbook and loose clippings
Scope and Contents

A small scrapbook of tipped in and loose newspapers clippings. the inner leafe of the scrapbook is inscribed in Davidson's hand, "Scrapbook of Secession - James D. Davidson, 1861." Included are numerous articles from an array of local , regional, and national newspapers with subjects of slavery, the sectional division, tariffs, secession, and reconstruction.

Mixed Materials box: 1 folder: 4
Imprint - Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol. II, No. 4
Scope and Contents

Includes a brief submission by James D. Davidson.

Books box: 1 object: Loose Scrapbook
Scrapbook and alphabetized glossary with subject related clippings
Scope and Contents

James D. Davidson's bound manuscript glossary of terms and subjects of interest. Subjects are wide ranging and include day to day life and the law related terminology. Accompanying the glossary are related clippings, both tipped in and loose, with hand-written commentary, musings, quotes, and reminiscences. Also included are clippings of his own publication and two copies of the Lexington Gazette's obituaries for his son Greenlee Davidson, who died in battle at Chancellorsville in May 1863.