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Beckley family papers, 1790-1873

 Unprocessed Material — Multiple Containers
Identifier: ViU-2021-0070

Content Description

This addition contains roughly 700 letters written between 1790 and 1873 by members of the Beckley family. Primary correspondents are General Alfred Beckley, Maria Prince Beckley, his mother, and his wife, Amelia, known as Emily, Neville Craig. Other family members include Jane, Matildia, Neville B., and Isabel Craig among other authors. The bulk of the correspondence is from Alfred Beckley to his family and friends. He wrote daily to his mother Maria Price Beckley about his life as a cadet at West Point. He served in the army for thirteen years and married in 1832. Another significant set of letters are to his wife, who did not accompany to him to his postings. The archive contains information on a lengthy legal dispute for land Beckley inherited from his father in West Virginia. The letters provide information on domestic and family life as well. A letter of import is from William Gregory to Beckley regarding the purchasing of enslaved people, one of the few direct mentions of enslavement in the letters. An extensive inventory of the letters has been created and included in the beginning of each set of binders. The materials are arranged chronologically and remain in the order maintained by the donor. Materials were originally kept in 10 binders organized chronologically by date and then Miscellaneous. An addition of 1 folder was kept at the end. Folder titles note the titles of binders which were unbound. Box 1 contains correspondence from 1790-1844; box 2 contains correspondence from 1839 to 1873 and miscellaneous, Box 3 contains miscellaneous correspondence and letters from 1820 to 1828.

Acquisition Type



Gift of Borden Run, LLC, 11 January 2021.

Restrictions Apply


Access Restrictions

This collection is minimally processed and open for research.


  • Creation: 1790 - 1873
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1821 - 1845



1.6 Cubic Feet (1 cubic box, 1 letter-sized document box, and 1 half sized letter document box.)


1 folder, 10 binders