Archive for the ‘Monthly Meetings’ Category

CVHR Meeting (March 2, 2017): Discovering the Albemarle County Origins of the U.S.C.T.

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

The John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia is building a digital database of over 200 African American men from Albemarle County who served in the Union military during the Civil War.  Digital historian William Kurtz will talk about the research methods he has used to find these men and about some of the project’s long term goals. He will also discuss the project’s findings so far, with a special look at men who served in USCT regiments raised in Missouri and what their lives were like after the war.

Will Kurtz is the digital historian at the Nau Center, where he directs the Center’s research projects and maintains its website and social media pages.  See http://naucenter.as.virginia.edu/digital-projects.

 

Time and Location: 4 PM at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center (JSAAHC), 233 Fourth St. NW, Charlottesville, VA.  There is plenty of parking.  The JSAAHC is on the second floor at the south end of the building.

 

 

CVHR Meeting (Feb. 2, 2017): From Mary Booth to Virginia Christian: Child Incarceration and the Making of the New South 

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

Catherine Jones, professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a 2016-2017 fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, is exploring the development of Virginia’s juvenile justice system in the four decades after the Civil War, when two thousand children under 18 were incarcerated in the Penitentiary.  While focusing on the 1882 case of Mary Booth, a fourteen-year-old African American sentenced to death for poisoning her employer, she illuminated conditions in the Penitentiary, the perils of convict leasing, attitudes to childhood and race, the fitful rise of penal reform, and the shifting relationship between punishment and protection.

Catherine is the author of Intimate Reconstructions: Children in Postemancipation Virginia (2015).

 

CVHR Meeting (Jan. 5, 2017): Two presentations on 18th century freedom suits and 20th century photography

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

The Fragility of Freedom: Kinney Family Freedom Suits in Virginia and Missouri

Bob Vernon told the story of the Kinney family and their struggles for freedom over two centuries and two continents.  In an experiment on behalf of finding the best methods to put CVHR-type talks online, he devised a way to let us listen to rather than read relevant legal documents (the voice was a Siri female).  One especially colorful example of the persistent re-enslavement of free people of color was Thornton Kinney, whose travels took him to Missouri, Liberia, and a rowdy San Francisco.

Hopes and Dreams in the Albert Durant Photography Collection of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Amy Speckart previewed a presentation she will give at the Virginia Forum in March on a collection of thousands of images by an African American photographer, acquired by Colonial Williamsburg in the 1990s.  Albert Durant (1920-1991) photographed everyday events in a segregated Williamsburg from the 1930s to the 1950s.  Amy explored his life, his photographs, and the implications of their acquisition by an institution with a history of exclusion.

 

CHVR Meeting (Dec. 1): Murder, Moonshine, and Misconceptions: The People of the Ragged Mountains

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

Cinder Stanton shared some preliminary findings about the lives of the poor residents of the Ragged Mountains in the 19th and 20th centuries, in particular the eastern section along Route 29 South and the Charlottesville to Lynchburg railroad.  What were the people described by everyone from Edgar Allan Poe to a UVA committee a century later as “savage,” “primitive,” “degraded,” and “degenerate” really like?  Topics covered included historical (and stereotypical) descriptions of the population, the legend of their possible Hessian origin, the importance of the railroad, the missionary role of UVA and the Episcopal church, the eugenics movement, the scarcity of educational opportunites, sassafras mills, and stories of some individual residents.

 

 

CVHR Meeting (Nov. 3): Using GIS and Mapping to Explore Albemarle County History

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Erik Irtenkauf, professional GIS analyst and history enthusiast, showed us the exciting results of using a Geographical Data System (GIS) and web mapping to enhance our understanding of local history.  He displayed his interactive maps of historic sites in Albemarle County and of migration routes taken by families leaving the county (using, for starters, the lists of emigrants in Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, 1901).  Erik’s “story map” of the history of Hollymead and Forest Lakes combines a trove of documentary information with a rich assortment of maps and images.

If you missed the program, you can go to: http://www.albemarlehistorymapping.com

 

CVHR Meeting (Oct. 6): Charlottesville’s Rose Hill: A Discussion of Recent Research

Friday, September 30th, 2016

With maps and historic photographs, Steve Thompson helped us to understand the transformation of Rose Hill from an antebellum plantation to one of Charlottesville’s first subdivisions in 1890.  Rose Hill’s story includes the rise and fall of schools and industrial enterprises, Charlottesville’s changing racial demographics, and a number of interesting personalities. private

See Steve’s essay on Rose Hill, as well as colorful paintings of buildings of Rose Hill and other parts of town, in the new publication of Chroma Projects, Repository of Missing Places: Richard Crozier’s Paintings of Lost and Found Charlottesville.

CVHR Meeting (June 2): Discoveries in the Chancery Cases Preservation Project

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Sam Towler revealed just a portion of what he is finding in his volunteer Chancery Cases Preservation Project at the Albemarle County clerk’s office.   He has been putting unfolded case papers into acid-free folders, photographing some of the contents, and doing further research on some of the African American families involved.  Even though the cases date after 1900 (the older chancery cases were transferred to the Library of Virginia in the 1970s), many contain documents relating to earlier times: slave lists, personal letters, land sale broadsides and so forth.  You can see some of the fascinating material Sam has assembled on his Facebook page for the project (search “Albemarle County Chancery”).

 

CVHR Meeting (May 5): Looking at the Trees, to Understand the Forest

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Robin Patton and Elaine Taylor of the Louisa County Historical Society demonstrated an exciting new project for putting historical information into a spatial context.  With a focus on the Green Springs area of Louisa County, they are using ArcGIS as a container for both individual and scholarly research about slavery to better understand antebellum communities. This project has great potential to be of benefit to other historical societies and non-profit organizations.  See what they are doing and explore the results at http://lch.maps.arcgis.com/home/.

 

 

CVHR Meeting (April 7): Updates

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

This was a quadruple header.  Alice Cannon reported on new discoveries about the Terrell connections of the Woodfolk family that reached as far as the mining communities of Iowa.  Gayle Jessup White told us of making new family connections in the Robinson family through DNA testing, which shed light on her ancestor Eva Robinson Taylor.  Anne Chesnut displayed her design for the web version of the Starr Hill-Union Ridge brochure-map; the completion of the website is now in the hands of UVA’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH).  And Andi Cumbo-Floyd showed her brand-new website Our Folks’ Tales, dedicated to telling the stories of enslaved people, free people of color, and their descendants: www.ourfolkstales.com.

 

 

CVHR Meeting (March 3): The Rushes of Chestnut Grove: One Family’s Journey from Slavery to Freedom

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

Starting with fragments of information she heard from family members, Regina Rush set off on a quest to trace her ancestors and found a rich source of information at the Small Special Collections Library at UVA, where she is Reference Specialist. She told us about what she has learned about Nicey and Isham Rush, enslaved at the Rives plantation Oak Ridge in Nelson County (including Nicey’s runaway attempt), and the path of their descendants to landownership in southern Albemarle County. Since some mysteries remain, CVHR members were eager to suggest further avenues to follow. For more information, see Regina’s blog post from 2014 (http://smallnotes.library.virginia.edu/2014/03/26/albemarle-county-rushes/). Also, her story was featured in last month’s UVA Today (https://news.virginia.edu/content/librarian-finds-clues-her-familys-past-hidden-special-collections).