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Charles Macalester and Robert Gilliam letters

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSS 16623

Content Description

This collection includes letters between Robert Gilliam and Charles Macalester between the years of 1818 and 1872. Gilliam was either a lawyer or clerk at the Prince George County Courthouse in Virginia, and Macalester was a businessman in Philapelphia and the namesake of Macalester College in Minnesota. The letters include a variety of topics--both personal and professional, ranging from the price of beer to the Civil War and Cholera--which seem to indicate the two are related, perhaps as cousins. The papers also include a clipping from an 1836 newspaper from Philadelphia, a sketch of Napoleon drawn by a former French officer in 1817, and a photocopy of an undated newspaper article about Catherine Copeland Robertson.


  • Creation: 1817-1872

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection, which were created in 1817-1872, are in the public domain. Permission to publish or reproduce is not required.

Biographical Note

Robert Gilliam (1796-1884), resident of Petersburg, Virginia, was involved in legal work--either as a lawyer or as a clerk--at the Prince George County Courthouse. Records indicate he married Charlotte Isabella Sanxay on October 29, 1839. They had multiple children together including Richard Davenport Gilliam, the grandfather of retired UVA historian and donor of this collection, Sandy Gilliam.

Biographical / Historical

Charles Macalester (1798-1873), was a Philadelphia business man, who spent a portion of the 1820's working in Cincinnati, Ohio. Due to his philanthropy later in life, specifically to Presbyterian causes, Macalester College in Minnesota was named in his honor. His daughter, Eliza Lytle "Lily" Macalester (1832-1891), married Alfred D. Berghmans (1832-1872), a secretary of legation for Belgium in the US during the Civil War in 1860.


.2 Cubic Feet (1 half legaldocument box)

Language of Materials



The letters are arranged chronologically.

Condition Description


Charles Macalester and Robert Gilliam letters
Stephanie Ricker
17 November 2021
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Letters are written in English

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