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Joseph LaVille Young collection, 1858-1947 (majority within 1898-1946)

1 linear foot

This collection is made up of correspondence, documents, photographs, printed items, and genealogical papers related to Joseph LaVille Young, who served in the Virginia Militia, United States Army, and United States Navy from the 1890s to the end of World War I. Most of the materials pertain to Young's military career, particularly during the Spanish-American War and World War I.

This collection (1 linear foot) is made up of approximately 200 letters and documents, 15 photographs, 30 printed items, and genealogical papers related to Joseph LaVille Young, who served in the Virginia Militia, United States Army, and United States Navy from the 1890s to the end of World War I. The bulk of the collection is comprised of a partially disassembled scrapbook; the loose items from the scrapbook have been arranged into series of correspondence and documents, photographs, printed items, and genealogical materials.

The majority of the Correspondence and Documents relate to Young's service in the Spanish-American War and World War I. They include commissions, orders, memorandums, and financial records. One small group of items pertains to Theodore Roosevelt's efforts to raise volunteer troops during World War I, including a signed letter from Roosevelt to Young, who had wanted to raise a Virginia regiment (May 25, 1917). Joseph LaVille kept a small memorandum book while stationed in France from January to February 1918. Most of the notes concern his expenses and other financial affairs, and he also copied information about converting English measures to metric units.

Additional manuscripts include some personal letters that Young wrote to his sister Linda while in France during World War I and a small number of documents related to the military service of Joseph LaVille Young, Sr. The later letters and documents concern Young's desire to return to the military during World War II, his real estate career, and the genealogy of the Pritchard family.

The Photographs include group portraits of the "Richmond Light Infantry Blues" during their Spanish-American War service in Cuba, and studio and informal portraits of Joseph LaVille Young as a young man, a Spanish-American War soldier, a member of the United States Navy, and an older man. One image shows Young posing in front of the family home in Portsmouth, Virginia, and another shows an unidentified man flexing his biceps and upper back muscles.

The Printed Items series is made up of 9 picture postcards, featuring scenes from multiple French towns; newspaper clippings, including obituaries for the elder Joseph LaVille Young and other family members; advertisements for real estate in Richmond, Virginia; and a pamphlet titled La Langue Anglaise sans Màître (1915).

The Genealogical Papers series includes histories, tables, and notes related to the Hollowell, Bacon, Hunter, Pettit, Godfrey, Swift, James, and Pritchard families. Included is a family tree showing Joseph LaVille Young's ancestors and a binder containing information on heraldic crests.


Leckie family papers, 1794-1808

50 items

The Leckie family papers document the business activities and relationships of Alexander Leckie and his sons, who traded dry goods between England, the United States, and the Caribbean around 1800.

The Leckie family papers contain 44 letters, 3 ledgers, 2 inventories, and a receipt, spanning 1794-1808. The materials primarily document the business activities of the Leckies, who traded dry goods between the United States, England, Jamaica, and Haiti. The correspondence contains many details on the nature of an ambitious mercantile business and matters affecting it during this period. These include political disruptions that threatened trading, especially in Santo Domingo (August 31, 1797), insurance of cargoes, the suitability of certain kinds of goods for specific markets (August 5, 1797), and the types of materials bought and sold, such as cloth, groceries, soap, and candles. The inventories provide further specifics on types of items and prices.

The letters also reveal family relations and their repercussions on the business. In their correspondence, the Leckie brothers frequently quarreled with and chastised one another. They found particular fault with Alexander, who, according to his brothers, made a number of bad contracts (April 7, 1795), as well as an "unfortunate and premature attachment" to a young woman in Virginia (December 28, 1795). In a letter of February 4, 1802, George discussed Alexander's enormous debts ("Alexander could not be indebted at New providence in any less sum than 100.000 Dollars"). Despite this, all three remained in the business at least until 1808.

William Leckie's letters, in particular, show him to be a keen observer of society. In a letter of August 15, 1802, he described the rapid growth of cotton as a crop, the construction of Washington, D.C., and his views on the American social and political scene. His comments on the growing tensions over slavery in the south would prove prophetic: "I have thought that two circumstances are likely to operate at possibly no very distant day to the disadvantage of this happy Country, the first is the great laxity of morals & religion…The other is the increasing quantity of blacks…who are all natives & many of whom can read & write, these will perhaps prove the bane of all the Southern States & by their struggles for freedom involve nearly one half of the Union in Civil Wars."


Stanley D. Carpenter correspondence, 1917-1918

0.25 linear feet

The Stanley D. Carpenter correspondence consists of letters that Carpenter wrote to his mother and grandmother while serving with the United States Marine Corps during the First World War. He described his experiences while training at the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia and discussed conditions in the trenches in France. The collection also has 4 lists of items sent to Carpenter during his military service.

This collection consists of 60 letters and 2 postcards that Stanley D. Carpenter wrote to his mother and grandmother while serving with the United States Marine Corps during the First World War. The collection also has 4 lists of items sent to Carpenter during his military service.

Carpenter first wrote home from Port Royal, South Carolina, on February 21, 1917, to report his 4-year enlistment, and he regularly corresponded with his mother throughout his time in the military. His early letters reveal his enthusiasm for military life and describe several aspects of his training, including his daily routine and his uniform and equipment allotments, at marine corps bases at Parris Island, South Carolina; Portsmouth, Virginia; and Quantico, Virginia. Several of his letters have enclosures, such as two pieces of palm for Palm Sunday (March 11, 1917); a color print of a soldier, labeled to illustrate Carpenter's equipment (March 15, 1917); a printed copy of the Marines' Hymn (May 8, 1917); and a program from the Academy of Music in Norfolk, Virginia (May 13, 1917). By May 1917, he anticipated being sent to France, and on June 7, 1917, mentioned seeing Woodrow Wilson while visiting Washington, D. C. Several of these letters are sealed with American flag stickers.

Carpenter wrote his first letter from France on July 19, 1917, assuring his mother that he had arrived safely and in good health, and wrote frequently about the war and his experiences. He initially visited the local Y.M.C.A., though he later severely criticized the organization. He mentioned his religious habits and those of other soldiers, and his unit regularly participated in drill exercises. By January 1918, Carpenter began to serve on the front lines, and he later provided a detailed account of life in the trenches (May 2, 1918). While in France, he also described his quarters, local French houses, and inspections by General John J. Pershing. He wrote his last letter on May 30, 1918, and enclosed 3 receipts for money transfers.

Other correspondence includes a telegram that Caroline Carpenter sent to Stanley D. Carpenter on February 19, 1917, urging him to reconsider his enlistment and offering to pay for his return to Pennsylvania; a letter she wrote to the commanding officer of the Marine Barracks at Port Royal, South Carolina, asking him to look after Stanley (February 20, 1917); and a letter that Major W. Garland Fay wrote to Caroline Carpenter, apologizing for his inability to have Stanley assigned to a post closer to home [June 1917]. The collection also contains 4 lists of items sent to Stanley D. Carpenter during his military service.