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My Research Adventures

Meeting Rebecca

Rebecca Powell.  Image is courtesy of the Powell Family Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary

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 that images of Nina Powell were included) the day I saw Mr. Powell, but I delayed seeing either of them as I try to focus on one Powell at a time. And I suspected that seeing so many of them for the first time on the same day unexpectedly might make my head spin.

The first image I saw of Rebecca is as a younger woman (shown above). She has a sweet face and in several ways reminds me of Hattie. Rebecca's image seems to fit the personality sketch that I've made of her from her letters and her diary. Although, at this stage, I have not yet transcribed or studied her letters as much as her sister Hattie's. From what I have studied so far, her letters are dutiful, purpose-driven, and focused on communicating necessary news on family. Hattie's letters by contrast often include funny stories, adventures, and news on friends. While I have a lot more work to do on Rebecca, I do feel like I know her from the letters I've studied so far, and it is charming to put a face to the legacy of her letters and diary.

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