Mott Bentley Correspondence 1835-1900 and n.d. (bulk 1835-1865)

Browse the collection here.

Historical/Biographical Sketch

Mott Family – Armistead & Mary – guardianship Balls Bluff
Bentley Family – include St. Josephs Vale (Emmitsburg); Sisters of Charity, Vincennes, IN; Rokeby;
Legare Family – duel; Phenix; Blake

Other names appearing in the collection include, Anderson; Ball, Berkeley; Bolton; Boss; Bradshear; Brown; Chichester; Claggett; Copher; Dickinson; Eames; Edwards; Fairfax; Garner; Glascock; Grafton; Harding; Henderson; Hendrick; Hirtz; Holloway; Johnston; Kelly; Latham; Lawing; Long; Luckett; Marshall; Mason; Maury; McGuire; Metzger; Moseley; Phillips; Pleasants; Ramsey; Ransom; Rucker; Shafer; Sturdivant; Tayler; Throckmorton; Trundle; Weeks; West; Winston; Wildman; Williams

Events or places of note include Battle of Balls Bluff; St. James' Episcopal Church (Williams)

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains approximately 505 letters and related materials detailing Leesburg and Loudoun County Virginia life, customs, education, families, and experiences primarily before and during the American Civil War. The collection demonstrates the fluidity of society during formative years of the United States with correspondence ranging from South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York and westward to Kentucky and documenting duels, education, and the home front during war time. The collection provides greater insight into the lives of women in the nineteenth century than of Mott’s medical practice.

The letters are divided into two primary groups those written to Armistead Randolph Mott and those written to Virginia L. Bentley (Mrs. Armistead R. Mott). Letters to and from other correspondents are filed chronologically by author or recipient at the end of the collection. Many of the letters include envelopes, though through the years these envelopes have in some instances been separated from their original letters. As near as possible, and based on the organization of materials as received from the donor, envelopes have been filed with their corresponding letters. Envelope without identifiable letters have been filed separately. Prior to processing this collection, the materials had been used heavily by family and other researchers with a variety of notations made, primarily on envelopes. These annotations, largely, dates, have been left though may not necessarily be accurate. During processing letters without dates were researched and dates appended in brackets based on contents of letters; efforts were made to identify all correspondents.

Many of the letters and envelopes are in fragile condition having survived a fire in December 1908 at the Mott house in Leesburg, VA (Washington Post 12 December 1908). The letters have been cleaned, flattened, interleaved with archival papers and encased in mylar. Because numerous letters are written on very thin paper, cross written, and the ink is faint or has bleed a researcher may find using the digital images more convenient. Additionally there are transcriptions of select letters in Shannon-Combs thesis.

Related Holdings

Anna Snowden Wildman Dyer Collection, 1849-1973 (M078); Ethel Littlejohn Adams Collection, 1847-1941 (M 091); Lewis-Edwards Architectural Surveys of Loudoun County, 1971-1983 (M 022);Loudoun Agricultural Society Records, 1852-1876 (SC 0122); Loudoun Merchant Research Collection, 1800-1903 (M 0126); Nanon Carr Collection, 1940-1970 (M 055); Roger Powell Collection, 1790-1996 (M037); Russell Gregg Photograph Collection, ca. 1920-1944) (VC 0008); T. (Thomas) Bentley Mott & Georgette Saint Paul Wedding Invitation, 1923 (SC 0062); Cunningham, Horace Herndon, Doctors in Gray: The Confederate Medical Service (1993) [VREF 973.775 CUN]

Check the finding aid for more information.