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Estelle F. Tayloe commonplace books

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSS 16335

Scope and Contents

Estelle F. Tayloe three commonplace books, 1850-1854, 0.09 cubic feet.

The first section appears to be lessons, perhaps in writing. Each essay begins with topic themes in which the author articulates her thoughts, usually a page or two. In one essay title "Intimate Friends," she talks of her admiration for a girl to whom she had written a letter in a previous lesson. The next essay is about Christmas holiday in 1850, her homesickness. Brief notations by 'M.O.' (Mary Okills) as to writing praise or criticism. Essays include: Nature favorable to contemplation -- The love of glory -- Ingratitude -- Flowers -- Sympathy -- Reminiscences of the holidays 1850-1851 -- Women's mission -- Adams and Jefferson. The rest of the book is made up of poems in the usual manner of a commonplace book.There are also dried flowers and plants in between the pages.

The second leather-bound commonplace book belonging to Estelle Frances Tayloe dated c.1842-1859, features a black embossed cover and a golden gilt "Scraps" text along its spine. It features embossed frames in which illustrations have been pasted in with manuscript captions, as well as a few hand-written and signed sentiments from friends, some with the noted location of Troy, New York. The frontispiece is inscribed by her Aunt Virginia as a gift to Estelle. The album also contains mounted poetry, one selection being a poem in French titled "The Original Jim Crow". Towards the back of the album, a child's death notice (21 month old Julia, daughter of George and Eugenia Warren) and a lock of her hair are pasted into the pages. There are also newspaper clippings from Richmond, Virginia. A hand-illustration of a gravestone featuring the posthumous information of John F. Dickinson and a loose pamphlet on poetry edited by Horatio A. Wilson from Troy, New York is tucked in the front cover. The majority of the album's pages beyond the quarter-way mark are left blank.

The third commonplace book, dated 1851, features a red embossed cover with the text "The Victoria Album" in golden gilt. It has portraits of eight English Queens between the years 1100 and 1649: Isabella of Valois,Isabella of France, Phillippa of Hainaut, Matilda of Scotland, Henrietta Maria, Caroline of Ansbach, and Anne of Denmark. It also has autographed notes to Estelle from her classmates and a lock of hair in the front page.

Estelle F. Tayloe (1833-1867) of Washington, D.C. Estelle was the daughter of Benjamin Ogle Tayloe, an American businessman and diplomat.


  • Creation: 1842-1859

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

Estelle Tayloe (1832-1867) attended Mrs. Okills Boarding School in New York, considered one of the best private schools at the time. She was the daughter of Benjamin Ogle Tayloe, of Washington D. C. She was the wife of Captain Roger Perry of the United States Navy and together they had four children. Estelle died giving birth to her last child.

Benjamin Ogle Tayloe (May 21, 1796 — February 25, 1868) was an American businessman and influential political activist in Washington, D.C. He was a prominent Whig and was influential in presidential electoral politics in the 1840s and 1850s. His home, the Tayloe House which was across the street from the White House in Lafayette Square, became a salon for politically powerful people in the federal government and abroad. Tayloe was also a party in the important 1869 contract law case, Willard v. Tayloe. The Tayloe family was thought to be one of the wealthiest families in the United States.


0.09 Cubic Feet (Removed existing book from document box BW 15. Added two volumes addition of commonplace books- two folders- to have all three books in letter size box. elw. 5/26/23) : 3 commonplace books

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased from Bartleby's Books by the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia on May 22, 2017.

Estelle F.Tayloe commonplace books
Ellen Welch
8/1/17 and 5/15/23
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States