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Albert Frederick Wilson papers

Identifier: MSS -16340

Content Description

The papers chiefly consist of letters Albert Frederick Wilson (1883-1940) sent to his mother in New Jersey while a student at the University of Virginia. There is also some correspondence from Wilson's father and grandfather; family photographs; and unpublished manuscripts by Wilson.

Most of the letters are handwritten. But starting in 1906, typewritten letters become more frequent. The roles of African Americans at the University of Virginia are mentioned several times in his letters.

The rest of the papers include three published books written by Albert Frederick Wilson including ‘Pok O’ Moonshine’, ‘The Township Line’, and ‘Higher than the Wind can Blow’, letters of correspondence between him and his wife, academic papers, testimonials about Albert Sherwood Wilson and his teaching positions, a copy of the April 1917 "University of Virginia Magazine," a scrapbook filled with reviews on Albert Frederick Wilson’s book ‘Pok O’ Moonshine’, photographs of the family, as well as various other documents which explore the lives of the Wilson family.


  • Creation: circa 1840-1934

Biographical / Historical

The Wilson family papers include various letters and information about family members from the years 1840 until approximately 1934. These family members include Albert Sherwood Wilson (1818-1894), his grandson Albert Frederick Wilson (1883-1940), Ruth Danenhower (1887-1974) the wife of Albert Frederick Wilson, Mary A. Wilson the mother of Albert Frederick Wilson, as well as various other correspondents including Albert Frederick Wilson’s sisters and children.

Albert Frederick studied at the University from 1902-1907. There he was very involved in extracurricular activities, including the Glee Club, a fraternity called Phi Sigma Kappa, as well as the "University of Virginia Magazine," becoming the editor in chief in 1907.

Albert Frederick Wilson taught at the School of Journalism at New York University. There he met Ruth Danenhower (1887-1974) when she was a student in his class, and they were married in 1916. They had three children, Sherwood, Geoffrey, and Sloan.


1.5 Cubic Feet (3 legal document boxes and 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was given to the University of Virginia Special Collections Library by Dr. Timothy D. Wilson on July 27, 2017.

Separated Materials

Copies of publishedd material transferred to Rare Books include three books by Wilson, “The Township Line” (1919), “Pok O’ Moonshine” (1927) and “Higher Than the Wind Can Blow” (1934).

Condition Description


Content Warning

This material contains racist language or imagery. The purpose of this note is to give users the opportunity to decide whether they need or want to view these materials, or at least, to mentally or emotionally prepare themselves to view the materials. For archival materials, more specific information about these materials may be available in the finding aid.

Processing Information

Occasionally there were empty envelopes present in the collection that we could not match with letters. Since they were not numerous, we have left them with the letters by the date stamped on the envelopes.

Albert Frederick Wilson papers
Sharon Defibaugh and Abbie M. Morgan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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