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John Walter Wayland collection on Henry Martin

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSS 16677

Content Description

John Walter Wayland collection of correspondence,notes,photographs, and newspaper clippings about Henry Martin who was the bell ringer for the University of Virginia from 1868-1909. “Henry Martin rang the bell at dawn to awaken the students, and rang it during the day to mark the hours and the beginning and ending of class periods. He was beloved by generations of faculty, students, and alumni, and he remembered them all when they returned for visits.” Dr. Wayland, a former University of Virginia Ph.D. student (1907), history professor, and author from Harrisonburg, Virginia was planning to write a paper about Martin who was born enslaved by Monticello, and the Carr family estate. During the American Civil War, he tended the wounded at the military hospital in Charlottesville. In 1866 he was hired by the University to haul coal. He worked at UVA for more than four decades, becoming a well-known figure there but one who was treated in the context of the Lost Cause archetype of the faithful servant. He died in 1915.

Source: Bromley, Anne E."Plaque Honors Henry Martin Who Rang the University's Bell for 50 Years" UVA Today. October 5, 2012

"Henry Martin" Summary. Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities. Accessed 3/31/22


  • Creation: 1909-1965

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.


0.4 Cubic Feet (half width letter size box) : letter, photographs, notes, newspaper clippings, magazine

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was a gift from Elizabeth Wayland Seaver to the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia Library on May 31, 2019.

Related Materials

There are related collections to John Walter Wayland but not to Henry Martin. They are MSS 2386-a, MSS 1529, and MSS 4299.

Condition Description


John Walter Wayland collection on Henry Martin
Ellen Welch
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