September 21, 2018

Ariana was a 19th Century African American woman in Loudoun County, Virginia. She was born in about 1816 and was enslaved by Charles Powell by 1830. She was a mother, a wife, and an instrumental member of the Powell household. Although, her bondage meant that she was d...

October 13, 2017

Nina Powell was 6 years old in 1848 when she wanted her kisses included in family letters, and she wanted them clearly labeled so that the recipients could find them and know which was which. This became a sweet and tangible way for little Nina to participate in the le...

October 6, 2017

The artistic scribble of a little girl is as timeless as it is charming. I found such scribble on a 180 year old letter from Mrs. Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee (wife of Robert E. Lee) to her friend Mrs. Selina Lloyd Powell. The letter is not dated, but I can date the l...

September 22, 2017

Does that word say what I think it says? Surely not - but it's certainly suspicious. The letter is from Lloyd Powell in Henry, IL to his sister Hattie in Winchester, VA  (dated December 1, 1857). Lloyd's handwriting is very easy to read, but in this case the obvious re...

September 8, 2017

I found a sweet treasure hidden away in a miniature envelope with one of Hattie's letters last week. I've been making my way through the Powell letters in the 1850s that were written to and from Henry, IL (where the family moved in about 1851). Within 2 years of their...

July 28, 2017

On Friday March 24th of 2017 I finally met Rebecca Powell.  Her image was included in a bound summary of the Powell family history - in the same booklet where I found Mr. Powell (see the earlier post titled, "Greetings from Mr. Powell")  I knew she was included (and th...

July 21, 2017

I received a surprise greeting from Mr. Powell!  It's as if he knew I found the pencil sketch the week before (see my earlier post at this link) and was eager for me to know that his image was within my reach.

I had returned to the Special Collections at Swem Libra...

July 14, 2017

Is that a sketch of Charles L. Powell on a Robert E. Lee letter? Probably. I came across this pencil sketch on the back of one of Lee's letters while performing research at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

The letter was from Robert E. Lee to his daughter...

July 7, 2017

What in the world is that sketch? I assumed it would be some mechanical contraption - perhaps an invention by the letter's author. I came across this letter from John Janney Lloyd to his sister Selina Lloyd in the  Powell Family Papers. In July of 1830, John is writing...

June 23, 2017

When first beginning my research I often used a website called "findagrave.com" when determining what became of those I studied. It was on this website that I found the image of Hattie's brother, Lloyd Powell. I was shocked to see him. The website indicated that this p...

June 9, 2017

When out of town for work in 2014, I explored the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) website one night from my hotel room. While working full time, I tended to do research like this in the hotel since there wasn't a lot else to do, and I needed a break from my audits. W...

June 2, 2017

In June of 2010 I moved from Richmond, VA to Dallas, TX to take on a new role with my company. Within about a year, tragedy hit my family when we lost several close family members across a few months. The compounding loss was severe, and the grief was all the more diff...

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©2019 by Alison Herring