Holiday Greetings!

For your viewing pleasure, here are a couple of fantastic finds from the Magruder Family Papers*, which are currently being arranged and described.

Christmas postcard (Image by Petrina Jackson)

Christmas postcard, 1925. (Image by Petrina Jackson)

New Years postcard (Image by Petrina Jackson)

New Years postcard, 1914. (Image by Petrina Jackson)

See you in the New Year!

*Edward May Magruder was a Charlottesville doctor who established a private sanitarium in 1899 at his house on W. Jefferson St. Along with 6 other local doctors, he was one of the founders of Martha Jefferson Hospital in 1902. Magruder’s daughter, Evalina, was the first woman to graduate from the University of Virginia School of Architecture. The Magruder family papers were donated to the University of Virginia by Eleanor Magruder Harris in 2001 when the Magruder house was purchased by Christ Church for use as offices.

Encountering John Powell: Virginian, Musician, Eugenicist

This week, we are pleased to feature a guest post by Caroline Newcomb, 4th year student in the College of Arts and Sciences and Special Collections instruction assistant. 


Most students at U.Va. never have the opportunity to enter the stacks at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. As such, most students have no idea what it’s like down there. Let me give you a description. The place is practically a bomb shelter. Accessible only with a security badge, the stacks are well underground, designed to preserve and protect the collection of over 13 million manuscripts, 325,000 rare books, 5,000 maps, 3.6 million University Archives items, 250,000 photos, 4,000 broadsides and countless other items from all matters of destruction. If things went wrong on Grounds, I would hide in the stacks. That being said, the stacks can also be a bit scary. Especially late at night, after most people have left, you are one of only two people “under grounds,” and you’re searching for a gun.

Yep. That’s right, a gun. Petrina Jackson, my boss, had sent me on a mission to find the German Luger the library holds for her USEM the next day. Naturally, it was in the far-off corner of the stacks furthest from any doors, where people rarely go. Just where I wanted to look for a gun that belonged to a German officer in World War I—please note my sarcasm. Nevertheless I steeled myself, and searched that isolated corner and found the box where I thought the gun was kept. Not wanting to have to embark on this gun-finding mission a second time, I wanted to ensure that the gun was actually in this particular box. So I pulled it down in that isolated corner, set it down, and lifted off the lid–only to find a preserved human hand inches from my face.

Needless to say, I screamed. And being in an isolated corner of stacks, no one came to my rescue. OK, “screamed” might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the fact that I found a hand in the process of looking for a German Luger was enough to shake me up.

Upon closer inspection, I ascertained that this particular hand was not petrified; but rather, was a cast of someone’s hand– albeit a very convincing cast. Regardless, I wasn’t about to search the box any further for the gun, which, as it turns out, wasn’t even in that box anyway.

(Photograph by Caroline Newcomb)

Cast of John Powell’s hand. (MSS 7345-a. Photograph by Caroline Newcomb)

But why on earth does the Special Collections library hold a cast of a hand? Whose hand was it?

As it so happens, this particular hand belonged to the well-known John Powell, whose extensive personal papers are housed in Special Collections.

Portrait of John Powell, undated. (Image by Caroline Newcomb)

Portrait of John Powell, undated. (MSS 7284. Image by Caroline Newcomb)

John Powell devoted much of his life to music. In addition to trying to establish a chair of music here at U.Va., he wrote and performed music around the country.
In fact, he was so talented and well-known that when his Symphony in A premiered on November 5, 1951, the governor declared it “John Powell Day.” “It is fitting,” Governor Battle said, “that Mr. Powell’s native State and fellow-citizens give recognition to his many contributions to the cultural life of America”

Newsclipping about John Powell Day, featured in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, 19 (Image by Caroline Newcomb.)

Newsclipping about “John Powell Day,” featured in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4 October 1951. (MSS 7284. Image by Caroline Newcomb)

Mr. Powell did more than write and perform music; he also collected it. As an ethno-musicologist, he gathered music written by Anglo-Saxons in an effort to prove not only that his contemporary Anglo-Saxons could write valuable music, but also that Anglo-Saxons had a history of musicianship.

Powell letter to , 1933 (Image by Caroline Newcomb)

Here is a letter written by John Powell’s wife, Louise, to Mrs. Middleton, detailing a potential purchase of Anglo-Saxon music, 4 January 1933.  (MSS 7284. Image by Caroline Newcomb)

If it seems a bit strange to you—as it did to me—that Powell advocated for and collected specifically Anglo-Saxon music, then your intuition would be right on track. John Powell’s life revolved around more than music. Perhaps even more than a musician, John Powell was a eugenicist. The reason he collected Anglo-Saxon folk music was more about establishing this music as the music of the American Nation, supreme over all other music, than it was about proving Anglo-Saxon musical ability.

Pages nine and ten of Powell's "Music and the Nation." (Image by Caroline Newcomb)

Pages nine and ten of Powell’s “Music and the Nation.” (MSS 7284. Image by Caroline Newcomb)

In “Music and the Nation” [above], Powell argued that the United States at the time was not a nation, because a nation could only exist when it comprised a population homogeneous in blood, language, culture, and values. America, he further argued, used to be a nation, but ceased to be so when non-Anglo-Saxon immigrants and slaves were permitted or forced to enter the country, respectively. Comparing America’s population unfavorably to thoroughbred horse breeding, he argued, “the immense influx of the lower elements of the European and other continents…debase the average level of intelligence and character of the population.” He pushes for the deportation of non-Anglo-Saxon individuals and groups, as well as for stricter immigration laws, to prevent the further “degradation of white civilization.”

This puts a whole new perspective on the “many contributions to the cultural life of America” that Governor Battle extolled in John Powell.

The Last Stand by John Powell (Image by Caroline Newcomb)

The Last Stand by John Powell (MSS 7284. Image by Caroline Newcomb)

Writings such as “Music and the Nation” and “The Last Stand” do not even begin to cover the massive efforts Powell made to render The United States an entirely Anglo-Saxon nation. Many of his letters, writings, and other works detail his opinions on the superiority of individuals of so-called “Anglo-Saxon stock” in terms of intelligence, language, and culture. What makes John Powell stand out even more is that his approach to eugenics used not only the usual arguments, but also intersected with music—the other love of his life. Not only did he believe that Anglo-Saxon individuals could compose music; he also believed that Anglo-Saxon music constituted the only true music—the best music.

I never found that German Luger I was looking for that day, but instead spent several days exploring Powell’s collection. Each time I found myself leaving feeling angry and sick to my stomach. Part of me wanted to burn the entire thing—all 47 boxes. However, the reality stands that eugenics constitutes an important part of our history in both Virginia and America—important in its danger, and the fact that notable individuals subscribed to this view. There are 47 boxes in Special Collections dealing with just one of the countless eugenicists in Virginia and America’s history. I may have started out looking for an example of racism, oppression, and genocide abroad, but the reality, as well all should know, is that these horrors exist(ed) here too, and constituted the ideals of touted individuals. That is not something we should ignore, but something we can learn from instead.

Mold of John Powell's hand and German Luger, 1917 (Image by Caroline Newcomb)

Cast of John Powell’s hand and German Luger from a collection of German World War I and II materials, 1917. (MSS 7345-a and MSS 9405-u. Image by Caroline Newcomb)


Caroline Newcomb, fall semester 2013. (Photograph by Petrina Jackson)

Caroline Newcomb, Class of 2014, fall semester 2013. (Photograph by Petrina Jackson)


ABCs of Special Collections: R is for

Are you ready for our last letter of the year?  We present you with the letter

"R" Day, Lewis F. Alphabets Old and New. 3rd Ed. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920.

“R” from Otto Hupp’s “Alphabete und Ornamente” face in the third edition of Alphabets Old and New by Lewis F. Day, 1920. (Typ 1920 .D39. Stone Typography Collection. Image by Petrina Jackson)

R is for the Richmond Theatre Fire

William Dunlap in his A History Of The American Theatre (1832), described the Richmond theatre fire of December 26, 1811:

The house was fuller than on any night of the season. The play was over, and the first act of the pantomime had passed. The second and last had begun. All was yet gayety, all so far had been pleasure, curiosity was yet alive, and further gratification anticipated… when the audience perceived some confusion on the stage, and presently a shower of sparks falling from above… Some one cried out from the stage that there was no danger. Immediately after, Hopkins Robinson ran forward and cried out ‘the house is on fire!’ pointing to the ceiling, where the flames were progressing like wild-fire. In a moment, all was appalling horror and distress.

Noted as the worst American urban disaster at the time, the fire was caused by the hoisting of a lit chandelier over the stage which, in turn, set the scenery ablaze.  A full house of an estimated 600 spectators scrambled to escape, but 72 playgoers perished including the Governor of Virginia, George William Smith.  The Monumental Church was erected on the site of the fire in 1812 as a memorial to those who died.

Contributed by Margaret Hrabe, Reference Coordinator, who is retiring this month. We will miss her!

(Image by Petrina Jackson)

Lithograph of the Richmond Theatre Fire, undated. (MSS 9408. Merritt T. Cooke Memorial Virginia Print Collection. Image by Petrina Jackson)

(Image by Petrina Jackson)

Calamity at Richmond, being a Narrative of the affecting circumstances attending the Awful Conflagration of the Theatre in the City of Richmond, on the Night of Thursday, the 26th of December, 1811.  Philadelphia, published and sold by John F. Watson, 1812. (F234 .R5C2 1812. Image by Petrina Jackson)

(Image by Petrina Jackson)

Narrative & Report of the Causes and Circumstances of the Deplorable Conflagration at Richmond. [Virginia.] From Letters and Authentic Documents. Printed for the Public, January 12, 1812. (F234 .R5 N2. Library of Edward L. Stone. Image by Petrina Jackson)

(Image by Petrina Jackson)

Gilbert Hunt, the City Blacksmith by Philip Barrett. Richmond: James Woodhouse & Co., 1859.
Gilbert Hunt was a freedman who had a blacksmith shop in Richmond and assisted in the rescue and saving of many of the survivors of the fire. (E444 .H9 1859. Image by Petrina Jackson)

Chapter V, “The Burning of the Richmond Theatre” of Gilbert Hunt, The City Blacksmith. (E444 .H9 1859. Image by Petrina Jackson)

R is for Jerome Rothenberg

Jerome Rothenberg began his writing career translating German poets, notably Gunter Grass and Paul Celan. He published his first book of poetry, White Sun Black Sun, under his own imprint, The Hawk’s Well Press, in 1959. The press published a number of works by beat and avant-garde poets, including Diane Wakoski and Robert Kelly. Rothenberg also co-founded two poetry magazines, Poems from the Floating World and Some/thing. A search of our online catalog shows 27 hits for Jerome Rothenberg, 12 for Hawk’s Well Press, four volumes of Poems from the Floating World, and several issues of Some/thing.

Contributed by George Riser, Collections and Instruction Assistant

(image by Petrina Jackson)

White Sun Black Sun by Jerome Rothenberg. (PS3568 .O86W5 1960. Marvin Tatum Collection of Contemporary Literature. Image by Petrina Jackson)

Poems from the Floating World. (PS580 .P63 v.3. Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature. Image by Petrina Jackson)

Poems from the Floating World, a magazine co-founded by Jerome Rothenberg. (PS580 .P63 v.3. Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature. Image by Petrina Jackson)

R is for Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

One of the most famous translations in the English language is Edward Fitzgerald’s 1859 Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, a loose interpretation of the Persian astronomer’s eleventh-century verses. It became wildly popular in the United States in the early part of the twentieth century. Eminently collectible, the Rubáiyát was published in hundreds of editions in the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries—many lavishly illustrated—and was quoted and paraphrased throughout popular culture. Today, it has lost its broad appeal, but libraries like ours contain marvelous materials that document the history of this publishing phenomenon. Special Collections holds more than 400 Rubáiyát editions, of which the two most important are shown here.

Contributed by Molly Schwartzburg, Curator


The first edition of Edward Fitzgerald’s translation (London: Bernard Quaritch, 1859). A great rarity that is virtually unattainable today, the translation went almost unnoticed until two years after its publication, when it was “remaindered” and a copy purchased as a gift for Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who shared it with his friends Charles Algernon Swinburne and William Morris. It swiftly became a popular text among Pre-Raphaelite and Aesthetic intellectuals. (E 1859 .O53. Tracy W. McGregor Library of English Literature. Image by Molly Schwartzburg)


The first American edition of the Rubáiyát (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1884). This edition has arguably never been surpassed in beauty. Elihu Vedder’s majestic illustrations captured the attention of audiences, and were reprinted in smaller, affordable editions. This copy, of the limited first edition, was printed on Japanese paper and is number 100 of an edition of 100. (PK 6513 .A1 1884. Gift of Mrs. Thos. V. Dudley. Image by Molly Schwartzburg)

 R is for Runaway

In the antebellum South advertisements seeking to retrieve fugitive slaves were a common part of life. These advertisements were printed in newspapers and as broadsides that were posted in public locations such as courthouses and post offices. The advertisements provide some of the very few instances of personal descriptions of enslaved individuals. In addition to physical description, the advertisements often include description of clothing, tools, and equipment taken by the fugitive, special skills, and, possible destinations. Virginia was well-positioned geographically for escape attempts and some fugitives were able to reach free states.

Contributed by Edward Gaynor, Head of Description and Specialist for Virginiana and University Archives

Runaway advertisement, 1816. (Broadside 1816. Image by Petrina Jackson)

Runaway advertisement, 1816. (Broadside 1816. T75. Purchased from the Byrd Fund, 2001/2002. Image by Petrina Jackson)

Runaway advertisement, 1854. (Broadside 1854. Image by Petrina Jackson)

Runaway advertisement, 1854. (Broadside 1854 .T95.  Purchased from the Robert and Virginia Tunstall Trust Fund, 2011/2012. Image by Petrina Jackson)

Runaway advertisement from the the Virginia Gazette, November 29, 1776. (Virginia Gazette. Image by Petrina Jackson)

Runaway advertisement from the the Virginia Gazette, November 29, 1776. (Virginia Gazette. Image by Petrina Jackson)

R is for Running

Our online catalog findings are few when it comes to running as a hobby or sport, but they include wonderful images of running, such as at U.Va. track meets and a 1915 Sussex County Virginia School Fair with boys in billowing clothes. When performing a keyword search using the word “running,” approximately 2,000 hits appear. The top hit, appropriately, is “Running Shorts,” a newsletter by the local track club.

Contributed by Anne Causey, Public Services Assistant

Frontispiece and title page of British Manly Exercises by Donald Walker. (GV703.W3 1837. Image by Anne Causey )

Frontispiece and title page of British Manly Exercises by Donald Walker. (GV703.W3 1837. Image by Anne Causey )

Running illustration and description from British Manly Exercises ()

Running illustration and description from British Manly Exercises (GV703.W3 1837. Image by Anne Causey)

(MSS 3072, 3072-a. The Jackson Davis Collection of African American Photographs. Image by Digital Curation Services)

Track Meet, 1915. (MSS 3072, 3072-a. The Jackson Davis Collection of African American Photographs. Image by Digital Curation Services)

U.Va. Track Meet, 1917 (MSS 9862. Holsinger Studio Collection. Image by Digital Curation Services)

U.Va. Track Meet, 1917 (MSS 9862. Holsinger Studio Collection. Image by Digital Curation Services)

This concludes “R,” the last alphabetical installation of 2013.  See you again in the new year when we continue with the letter “S.”

Patron’s choice: Eliza Keating’s letters to her publisher T. H. Lacy, Fall 1855

This week we are pleased to feature a guest post from U.Va. English Department doctoral candidate Ann Mazur. Ann contacted us earlier this year with a purchase request and we happily obliged. Here, she tells us how this purchase has contributed to her dissertation. Thanks, Ann!

As a Ph.D. student in English literature, I am currently completing my dissertation, The Nineteenth-Century Home Theatre: Women and Material Space. My project aims to recover the nineteenth-century parlour play, an important dramatic outlet to Victorian middle-class women. The parlour play, or home theatrical, was a dramatic performance staged most often within the home, though sometimes plays were also performed at schools or at other venues to raise funds for charities. As the nineteenth century progressed, home theatricals largely replaced earlier forms of home entertainment such as tableaux vivants (“moving pictures”) and charades. Most theatricals lasted around fifteen to thirty minutes, though occasionally they are lengthier.

I argue that in the years from 1860 to1900, the parlour play became more popular among the middle-classes and was especially significant for women. Other literary scholars have shown that women who wrote for the public stage faced immense obstacles and prejudice. Likewise, Victorian public stage actresses had to battle an association with prostitutes. In contrast, the parlour play permitted women to both write and act freely.

One of the difficulties of my project—though this has simultaneously made it more exciting—is tracking down the ephemeral parlour play. Home theatricals were often printed in book collections of plays and in fragile pamphlets. Many libraries have not thought to save this popular entertainment, and I’ve often had to turn to the tireless services of Interlibrary Loan to find plays on microfilm, microcards, and less often, in the form of the real physical pamphlet or book. I have found some items only in the listings of rare booksellers, and as a result have built my own personal collection of parlour plays. In searching, I made an exciting find: a set of three letters written by mid-century parlour playwright Eliza Keating to her publisher T. H. Lacy, concerning the publication of her Acting Charades. All evidence in my research pointed to women having an easier time writing for home theatre, but here was a woman’s actual voice offering real details about this process.

Eliza Keating's signature on one of the 1855 letters (MSS ****)

Eliza Keating’s signature on one of the 1855 letters (MSS 15628. Image by Elizabeth Ott)

The letters date from the early stage of Keating’s home theatre writing career, as most of her plays date from the 1860s. They are not long, but they reveal her often thoughtful, shrewd, and persuasive business sense in dealing with her publisher. In the first and third letters, she offers suggestions to Lacy about the printing process and pricing. In the first, she writes, “I was thinking that three shillings might repay – particularly if it were stitched in a pretty cover of fancy paper – binding we might dispense with.” In the third letter she states, “I think you do quite right to make the volume of Charades as cheap as you can – for people now like to have a great deal for their money[.] My copies I can sell at the price you mention.” In this letter she includes a postscript noting her further hopes for the timing and color of publication, evidently persuaded by Lacy that binding rather than stitching would suit her work: “Would it be possible to get the volume published by Christmas – I hope they will be bound in bright-colours – as they sell better – Can you give me an idea of the price – perhaps half a crown would pay.” While Keating from the start appears eager to engage in discussions of design and pricing, the continued correspondence suggests that Lacy was an encouraging correspondent.


This passage from the letter dated October 10, 1855 includes the only underlinings that appear in Keating’s letters to Lacy (Image by Elizabeth Ott).


A passage from the letter dated November 29, 1855 (Image by Elizabeth Ott)

The letters also disclose the role of actual parlour performance in Keating’s own life. Often, her friends are cited as performing her own work. In the first letter she writes: “I shall be enabled to have many copies subscribed for among my own friends – as the Charades were all got up by them – and people are fond of seeing in print – the nonsense they perpetrated in private.” In the third letter, discussing the appropriate order for her plays in the table of contents, she explains that her own personal copy of her plays “is briefly among my private friends.” Having no copy before her, she writes: “I presume the names of the Charade [sic] are very evident – Blue-Beard – Phaeton – Cataline / Guy Fawkes – I forget the order in which they come.” While copies of Blue-Beard exist, I have yet to find any of the other three plays tantalizingly listed here.

Keating’s second letter makes one curious about other details of her life. She acknowledges having received the “100 copies” forwarded by Lacy, and writes she “should have acknowledged the receipt of them ere this had I not met with an accident which for some time incapacitated me from writing.” To this letter, she adds: “P.S. I directed my friend Mr. Thirlwall to call in Wellingborough for a copy of my Charades – which you will add if you please to my account –.” I suspect she is referring to Connop Thirlwall (1797-1875), who, according to the Dictionary of National Biography was “historian and bishop of St. David’s,” just thirteen miles from Wellingborough. While Keating so kindly offers to add Thirlwall’s book to her own account, I also wonder whether a sort of name-dropping might have come into play here.


Keating alludes, somewhat mysteriously, to an “accident” in this undated letter [1855] (Image by Elizabeth Ott).

If you are interested in learning more about Eliza Keating, stay tuned for the full dissertation-turned-book. Keating is featured in Chapter Two, “A Parlour Education: Reworking Gender and Domestic Space in Ladies’ and Children’s Theatricals,” where I compare her fairy-tale theatricals written for adult performers with Florence Bell’s later 1890s fairy-tale plays written for children. My introductory chapter, the last of my dissertation to be written, discusses Keating’s letters to T. H. Lacy. Thanks to the Small Special Collections Library for making this possible!

This Just In: Rotunda Redivivus

Right now U.Va.’s iconic Rotunda—the centerpiece of Thomas Jefferson’s “Academical Village” and the U.Va. Library’s original home—is undergoing a multi-year, $50 million restoration. These have been interesting times for sidewalk supervisors and armchair architects as the restoration work reveals hitherto unknown details about the Rotunda’s design and construction.  It has also been an interesting time Under Grounds, for we have fortuitously acquired two early images of the Rotunda previously lacking from our collection.  Although these images do not advance our understanding of the Rotunda’s architecture, they do enhance our knowledge of its early iconography.

The Lawn, as it appeared in Roux de Rochelle, Stati Uniti d'America (Venice, 1839)   (E178 .R8216 1839).

The Academical Village, as it appeared in Roux de Rochelle, Stati Uniti d’America (Venice, 1839) (E178 .R8216 1839).

The two newly acquired images are engraved plates in the Italian (Venice, 1839) and Spanish (Barcelona, 1841) translations of Jean Baptiste Gaspard Roux de Rochelle’s États-Unis d’Amérique. This history and description of the United States, first issued in 1837 as part of the series, L’univers, histoire et description de tous les peuples, proved popular and was reprinted several times. Perhaps its major selling point was the 96 engraved plates depicting historical personages and events, as well as numerous contemporary American views. Plate 87 is of special interest, as it depicts U.Va.’s Academical Village as it looked in the mid-1820s, after the Rotunda, faculty pavilions, and student rooms had been completed.

U.Va. has long held copies of the Paris, 1837 and 1838 editions, and the Stuttgart, 1838 German translation.  That we lacked the Italian and Spanish translations was brought to our attention this fall, when a collector offered to donate copies: “I should tell you that I’ve removed the U.Va. plates, but perhaps you could use the books anyway?”  We politely declined the gift, choosing instead to purchase complete copies on the antiquarian market.  To our knowledge, only the Mexico [City], 1841 Spanish edition still eludes our dragnet.

The Academical Village as it appeared in Roux de Rochelle, États-Unis de’Amérique (Paris, 1837) (E178 .R82 1837)

The Academical Village as it appeared in Roux de Rochelle, États-Unis de’Amérique (Paris, 1837) (E178 .R82 1837)

Although the text mentions U.Va. only in passing, it was through the engraving in Roux de Rochelle’s work that many Europeans first learned of U.Va. and its distinctive architecture. What few readers probably realized is that Roux de Rochelle’s knowledge of U.Va. was by no means first-hand. Born in 1762, Roux de Rochelle had served as French consul in New York during the early 1820s, returning as French Minister to the U.S. from 1830 to 1833. Perhaps it was then that he saw a copy of John Howard Hinton’s two-volume History and topography of the United States, published in London, New York, and Philadelphia from 1830-1832. Roux de Rochelle evidently decided to write a similar work for a French audience, and though the text is quite different, its many engraved plates are largely copies of those prepared for Hinton’s work. Indeed, Hinton’s plate 81 is an identical view of U.Va.’s Academical Village.

Plate 81 from John Howard Hinton, The history and topography of the United States (London & New York, 1830-1832) (E178 .H691 1830)

Plate 81 from John Howard Hinton, The history and topography of the United States (London & New York, 1830-1832) (E178 .H691 1830)

But even Hinton’s plate is derivative, for its immediate source was the highly detailed view of U.Va., engraved by Benjamin Tanner, that appears on the top left sheet of Herman Böÿe’s famous 1826 wall map of Virginia. For Hinton’s work, Tanner’s engraving was copied in New York by landscape artist William Goodacre, whose drawing was sent to London to be engraved on steel by artists in the employ of Fenner Sears & Co. The Hinton engraving is smaller in size and less detailed than Tanner’s view, though some effort was made to render the architectural elements relatively faithfully.

Benjamin Tanner's 1826 engraved view of the newly opened University of Virginia.

Benjamin Tanner’s 1826 engraved view of the newly opened University of Virginia.

In preparing Roux de Rochelle’s work for the press, the Paris publisher commissioned 96 full-page engraved reproductions of existing artworks. Some of the sources are credited in the text, though the liberal copying of plates from Hinton’s work goes unmentioned. In the Roux de Rochelle plate—signed by “Arnoult” as designer [sic] and “Traversier” as engraver—the Hinton view is reduced still further in size and the architectural details muddied somewhat. One wonders whether the book’s European readers could derive from this view an informed appreciation of Jefferson’s architectural vision.

The Academical Village reinterpreted for the German translation of Roux de Rochelle: Vereinigte Staaten von Nord-Amerika (Stuttgart, 1838)  (G115 .W4 1838)

The Academical Village reinterpreted for the German translation of Roux de Rochelle: Vereinigte Staaten von Nord-Amerika (Stuttgart, 1838) (G115 .W4 1838)

A year after Roux de Rochelle’s work first appeared in Paris, a German translation was published in Stuttgart. The Stuttgart publisher did not have access to the engraved plates used for the Paris edition—indeed, per the custom of these pre-copyright days, he likely did not bother to obtain permission to translate and republish the work—so it was necessary to commission German artists to re-engrave the 96 plates. The U.Va. view is a very close copy, albeit a less careful rendering; and while the engraver dutifully reproduced the buildings, he took a bit of artistic license with the human figures on the Lawn.

The following year, the Venice publisher of the Italian translation faced an identical problem and solved it in the same way, by commissioning copies of the 96 plates. And once again, various architectural details have been lost or distorted when re-engraved, and minor liberties taken with the human figures.

The French plate reused, with added captions in Spanish, in Roux de Rochelle, Historia de los Estados-Unidos de América (Barcelona, 1841)  (E178 .R8218 1841)

The French plate reused, with added captions in Spanish, in Roux de Rochelle, Historia de los Estados-Unidos de América (Barcelona, 1841) (E178 .R8218 1841)

Not so with the Spanish translation published in Barcelona in 1841, however. Here the publisher evidently sought and obtained permission to illustrate the edition with the Paris engravings, to which an additional caption in Spanish has been added. (Presumably the Mexico City edition is a reissue of the Barcelona printing and also contains the Paris engravings, but perhaps not.)

The Hinton plate reappeared in the 4th edition (London & New york, 1850?) with an added decorative border (E178 .H691 1850)

The Hinton plate reappeared in the 4th edition of The history and topography of the United States of America (London & New York, 1850?) with an added decorative border (E178 .H691 1850)

And what, finally, of the Hinton plate? Although absent from the second edition of Hinton’s work (Boston, 1846), it reappears in the third and fourth editions (London and New York, 1849 and [1850?]), but with a new caption and an added decorative border.

ABCs of Special Collections: Q is for…

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!  We welcome you back to our alphabetical series with selections from the letter

"Q" from the "Cut Roman" font.  From Design of the Roman Letters by L'Harl Copeland, 1966. (Z114 .C75 1966. Gift of Mrs. Oscar Ogg. Image by Petrina Jackson)

“Q” from the “Cut Roman” face in Design of the Roman Letters by L’Harl Copeland, 1966. (Z114 .C75 1966. Gift of Mrs. Oscar Ogg. Image by Petrina Jackson)

Q is for Quadroon

Special Collections has a fascinating array of the many works published on the plight of the quadroon. The term “quadroon” was used historically throughout the Americas to refer to the large number of woman who were one-quarter black. Linked to taboo sex across color lines, the term and subject matter flourished not only in literature, but in American society, long after slavery in America ended.

Contributed by Petrina Jackson, Head of Instruction and Outreach

(Image by Caroline Newcomb)

Frontispiece and title page of Zoe, or The Quadroon’s Triumph by Mrs. Elizabeth D. Livermore, 1855. (PS2248 .L45 Z6 1855. Purchased from the Robert & Virginia Tunstall Trust Fund, 2002/2003. Image by Caroline Newcomb)

(Image by Caroline Newcomb)

First page of the poem, “The Quadroon Girl” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow from the Leeds Anti-slavery Series, No. 50, ca. 1852. (PS2271. Q82 1852. Image by Caroline Newcomb)

Q is for George Quasha

The American poet and artist, George Quasha is perhaps best known for his “axial stone” sculptures and his  Asian-influenced books of poetry, often published in collaboration with other artists and poets. His performance pieces have been known to incorporate sound, drawing, music, video, poetry and sculpture. A look at our online catalog lists three records related to George Quasha: collaborations with Dan Gerber (1969), Allen Ginsberg (1974), and Jerome Rothenberg (1996).

A link to view some of George Quasha’s axial stone sculptures can be found at:

Contributed by George Riser, Collections and Instruction Assistant

(PS615 .E523 1974. Image by Petrina Jackson)

Shown is a portion of Quasha’s poem, “Shifting Side or Sands of Thought” from Allen Ginsberg’s 8 from Naropa. (PS615 .E523 1974. Purchased from the William & Elizabeth Morris Fund, 2003/2004. Image by Petrina Jackson)

Q is for Queen Charlotte

Her Serene Highness, Princess Sophia Charlotte was born May 19, 1744, the youngest daughter of Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, a north German duchy in the Holy Roman Empire. She became Queen Consort of the United Kingdom on marrying King George III in 1761. Though she never visited the New World, more than a dozen cities, counties, and geographical features were named in Charlotte’s honor including both the city of Charlottesville and Mecklenburg County in Virginia.

Contributed by Edward Gaynor, Head of Description and Specialist for Virginiana and University Archives

(Image by Digital Curation Services)

Engraving of Queen Charlotte by Sir William Beechey, 1809. (MSS 10213. Image by Digital Curation Services)


(Image by Digital Curation Services)

A Plan of the Town of Charlottesville, 1818. (G3884.C4 1818 .P5. Image by Digital Curation Services)

See you in a couple of weeks when we have our last letter of 2013, the letter “R.”