May 21st, 2013 World Day for Cultural Diversity May 22nd, 2013 National Maritime Day May 22nd, 2013 World Biological Diversity Day May 25th, 2013 African Liberation Day May 26th, 2013 Trinity Sunday May 27th, 2013 Jefferson Davis Birthday May 27th, 2013 Memorial Day May 29th, 2013 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers May 30th, 2013 Corpus Christi May 31st, 2013 World No Tobacco Day June 1st, 2013 Statehood Day June 3rd, 2013 Jefferson Davis Birthday June 4th, 2013 World Day for Child Victims of Aggression June 5th, 2013 World Environment Day June 6th, 2013 Isra and Mi'raj June 8th, 2013 World Oceans Day June 11th, 2013 Kamehameha Day June 12th, 2013 World Day Against Child Labour June 14th, 2013 World Blood Donor Day June 14th, 2013 Flag Day June 16th, 2013 Father's Day June 17th, 2013 Bunker Hill Day June 17th, 2013 World Day to Combat Desertification June 19th, 2013 Juneteenth June 20th, 2013 World Refugee Day June 20th, 2013 West Virginia Day June 21st, 2013 June Solstice
3 Letters Woodstock Plantation Va 1851-52 Female Teacher Vs William C. Whittle For Sale
Traveling the Paper Trails of American History
"Such are some of the trials of teaching at the South – they think you can do every thing and at any time, and in the least conceivable time also."
(See below for scans)
This is a collection of three letters pertaining to strong-willed young woman Nancy "Nannie" Henderson Hubbard of Sunderland, Franklin County, MA, and her experiences and frustrations teaching in the South. All of the letters were written at Woodstock Plantation, Mecklenburg County, VA. In Letter #1, Nancy writes to her sister, most likely Elizabeth Peck Hubbard, giving details of her life as a private teacher to the children of Naval officer William Conway Whittle at his Virginia plantation Woodstock. Letter #2 was written by Whittle outlining his expectations for the next school year. Letter #3 is her draft of a response to him.
Letter #1 - written by Nancy "Nannie" Henderson Hubbard at Woodstock Plantation, Mecklenburg County, VA, on November 30, 1851, to her sister, most likely Elizabeth Peck Hubbard, at Sunderland, MA.
4 pages. Pages measure approx. 8" x 9 3/4". The letter is very detailed and includes cross-writing. The winning buyer will be given a transcription. Letter has age toning and a few ink smears.
"I can recollect nothing in particular during the few days preceding Thanksgiving only that I walked a mile or two or three every day when it was not raining, and I could get time to do so. Thursday Morn I rose and walked a mile by myself and of course had no interruption to my thoughts save their own wandering & waywardness. It was a bright beautiful morning and the air was as soft and balmy as a day of the Indian Summer....I walked about two miles yesterday and should have done more but was afraid to go outside of the gates alone....Ma need not worry so much about my being sick. I am free from a cold - and am much better than when I left home..."
"I thought it might be a little chilly in N. England – and that all its good people were preparing for a nice breakfast of stewed Chicken, knowing very well what mine would be; I returned to my room smoothed my hair, and presently sat down to cold corned beef and cold bread with tea or coffee (warm) no butter – cheese or any thing of the kind upon the table. I wonder what a Yankee would think of such a breakfast any day in the year. After school hours in the morning or rather about two o'clock we sit down to a dinner equally reched consisting of beef soup cold beef & warm beef & turnips. I wanted some of your good dinner at home but most of all I wanted to eat it with you."
Frustration with her position as a teacher
"Friday morning was rainy but it came off clear before noon. I told the little girls to have their work all ready before dinner, which would be late, so that they could attend to their sewing immediately after – but when I called them not a thimble or needle was to be found &c. &c. Mrs. Whittle called to me to come in her room & I found she had a lot of old remnants and wanted me to say which I thought the prettiest to cover Mary's music books. I told her & she thought both covers could be gotten out by considerable piecing to one – to cap the climax, she wanted me to do it as it would worry me less than her. I said nothing but bit my lips with vexation, went out and found the little girls no nearer ready than when I left them. I could not help saying loud enough for all to hear that I had rather teach school fair days than to attend to their sewing one afternoon they were always so delinquent - by the time I had cut out and basted their work and completed mine, it was too dark to set a stitch and if Mrs. Whittle could have had my aching shoulders until to day instead of myself, as the effects of it, she would have thought it worried me a little. It tires me more to cut out & fix, that it would to do something plain for twice the same length of time. The first Friday, she sent out a dress for me to cut for Mary. I do not know about Mrs. Whittle but Mr. had heard me say that I hired all my dresses made while at home, because it worried me so much to do them. I think they both know it – at any rate I intended they should meaning the fact as a hint to them not to trouble me again with any such, but it seems they did not, or would not 'take'! Such are some of the trials of teaching at the South – they think you can do every thing and at any time, and in the least conceivable time also."
Frustration with her employer
"About remaining here another year – I don't know what to do – I presume they expect me to stay – from such remarks as "if you are here next summer" "we will go to the springs" or such & such a place. Now, the year is drawing to a close & if I go elsewhere – of course it is time to be looking for another situation, and they ought to know – that I would prefer deducting those two months from the scholastic year than to stay until the 1st of March, unless I could commence another year at that time. Mr. Whittle has not said a word to me upon the subject, whether he takes it for granted that I am to stay – to keep my term out – or what he thinks I don't know. If he were such a man as Mr. Pettus, I would not hesitate to ask him – but he is so formal about every thing...if they want me to do so, I think it his or their business to make some overtures upon the subject - don't you? I am in a painful quandary about it. I do not really like to write to Mr. Nash without saying anything to them - tho' I think it would be perfectly right. There are many things here which are not just as I would like - but if I were to go away I might find many more unpleasant - and upon the whole I think I would prefer remaining if they wish it and still I have this feeling - i.e. I would rather go away than to ask them if they wish me to stay - I think I must mention the subject to my friend Dr. Farrar."
Frustration with a gentleman friend from a section of the letter marked Private
"It seems Ansel had something to say to her about me after they left that night - she said she tried to make him tell her about "old times" but he told her she must get me to do that - so while I was at Mr. L she was determined I should do it but my cold made me feel too badly so I plead off - She said her conclusions were that he thought enough of me - I have written to the gentleman - mailed a letter the 16th of Nov. I believe - have had no answer yet. I presume he will have to weigh - measure - sift & compare - every line & word with something else and if he writes in the course of the winter I may be thankful & I shall not tell any one what I wrote until I hear from him & if it all ends in smoke some of it shall go up from the little chimney at 'Woodstock' - lest he should not receive the important document if you should chance to see him - you may tell him that a friend of his in Va. had written to him - so that I may be exculpated from all unjust suspicions on that score."
Letter #2 - written by William Conway Whittle at Woodstock on January 6, 1852, to Miss Nannie H. Hubbard of the same place.
2 pages. Letter measures approx. 7 3/4" x 9 3/4". The sheet that contained the address panel was removed and used by Nannie Hubbard to draft her reply. See Letter #3 below. Letter is age toned.
"Miss Hubbard -
"We are now at the opening of another year. Experience has suggested some changes in the regulation of the school, which I will here set forth and to which it is my desire that you will conform. Until the 1st of April the school hours will be from breakfast time until dinner, to which meal one hour may be devoted, when the school will re-open and continue until sun-down. Immediately after breakfast, while the other children are committing their lessons to memory, I desire that a music lesson of one hour's continuance be given to Sally and Jenny on alternate days, under your personal instruction. On the intermediate days they could each take a music lesson of an hour, without your presence. I also desire that a music lesson of one hours continuance be given to Mary three times a week, under your personal instruction also. Mary and William should resume their lessons in drawing and a proper portion of each day should be set apart for that purpose. It is my desire that the girls be employed on Friday evenings as they have been heretofore. Should any of your scholars require corporal punishment, which I trust they will not, it is my desire that they be reported either to their Mother or to myself. I am extremely solicitous that my children should profit by the opportunity which they enjoy for improvement & I confidently hope that, under your direction, they will not disappoint me. On the 1st of April some modification of these regulations will be necessary, when it can be made."
"Very respectfully yours,
"Wm. C. Whittle"
Letter #3 – a penciled draft written by Nannie H. Hubbard on January 6, 1852, as a response to William C. Whittle's letter.
1 page. Letter measures approx. 7 3/4" x 9 3/4". This sheet was removed from Whittle's letter to Nannie and has an address panel with her name on the back side. Letter has holes in folds, age toning, and is written in pencil.
One can practically hear the steam coming out of her ears:
"Mr. Whittle -
"I assure you no one can desire the improvement of your children more than my self and my conscience does not reproach me with any remissness of duty whatever the opinion of others may be & if the [word missing] have failed to meet your expectations thus far I am sure I was not the sole cause. There are many things concerning which no one has a right to dictate a teacher. As you have so kindly stated your wishes or expectations I beg permission to state a few of my own. There has not been for the past year any definite breakfast or dinner hour. I desire that there should be that I may make a change in my classes if necessary. Also that no scholar shall be detained in the house after the school hour commences to perform any little services or be called out of the school room during those hours for the same purpose. I do not fully understand your wish with regard to Mary. Do you expect her to take three new pieces each week – if so it is one more than I have ever given to my pupils however far advanced and more than is practiced by any teacher of my acquaintance North or South, but more or less I shall require her to practice two hours each day upon her last lesson or that lesson only until she takes another. she can practice as much over or alone that upon her other pieces as she chooses. To facilitate their progress there are a few class books which I consider essential, & which ought to have been furnished the past year. You will oblige me by procuring them as early as possible For Mary &c."
Nancy Henderson Hubbard (1823-1863) was born at the Hubbard Tavern in the Plumtrees section of Sunderland. She was the daughter of Ashley Hubbard (1792-1861) and Elizabeth "Betsey" Dole (1794-1862). Her siblings included Parker Dole Hubbard (1825-1895), Stephen Ashley Hubbard (1827-1890), and Elizabeth Peck Hubbard (1830-1918), all mentioned in the first letter. Nancy was educated in North Amherst, MA, and at New Salem Academy. She began to write poetry while young, publishing her works under the pseudonym "Viola". Like many young women from the Northeast, she went South to teach. She is listed in the 1850 Census in Mecklenburg County, VA, in the household of Musgrove L. Pettus where she seems to be a teacher. Others in the household include seven young women ages 12-16 with different surnames. By November 1851 she was serving as a private teacher to the Whittles at Woodstock. She obviously got a reply to her letter of November 16, 1851, sent to her gentleman friend Ansel. In 1856 she married Ansel Wales Kellogg (1821-1870) in Sunderland. They moved to Oshkosh, WI, where he became a successful banker. Nannie died in Oshkosh in 1863. She and Ansel are buried at North Amherst. Portraits of Nannie and other members of the Hubbard family painted by Erastus Salisbury Field 1836-1837 are held in the museum collection of Historic Deerfield. See Historic Homes of Amherst (1905) and The Kelloggs in the Old World and the New, Vol. 1 (1903).
William Conway Whittle (1805-1878) of Norfolk, VA, married Elizabeth Beverley Sinclair (1812-1855), daughter of Commodore Arthur Sinclair of the U. S. Navy. Their children mentioned in the letters include Mary Davies Whittle (1838-1855), William Conway Whittle Jr. (1840-1920), Sarah "Sally" Kennon Whittle (1841-1924), and Jane "Jenny" Eliza Whittle (1844-1912). By 1855 the family had moved from Woodstock to Norfolk. Elizabeth Whittle and her daughter Mary died that year in an outbreak of yellow fever. At the time of their deaths, William was in command of the USS Dale off the coast of Africa suppressing the slave trade. At that time, he owned about 8 slaves. William moved his family to Botetourt County, VA. He was listed in the 1860 Census there as a Captain in the Navy. His son William was a Naval officer. At the outbreak of the Civil War, both men offered their services to the Confederacy. William C. Whittle was commissioned a Commodore in the Confederate Navy. His son William Jr. entered the war as a Lieutenant in the Confederate Navy and worked his way up to Executive Officer of the CSS Shenandoah, a ship noteworthy for sailing around the world on its mission to destroy the U. S. Whaling Fleet and firing the last shot of the Civil War. For more information on the Whittle family, see the Whittle's Mill website. Correspondence of the Whittle family is contained in the Conway Whittle Papers, 1773-1911 at the Earl Gregg Swem Library at the College of William & Mary.
Please contact us with any questions.
Please wait for an invoice after sale close. We are happy to combine multiple purchases made the same day to save shipping costs.
All items are in archival quality, acid-free sleeves or sheet protectors and are mailed in rigid mailers.
We will provide insurance at our cost on orders totalling $90.00 or more.
This item has been shown 90 times.
3 Letters Woodstock Plantation Va 1851-52 Female Teacher Vs William C. Whittle: $225