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Francis T. Stribling correspondence

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[Box 1 Folder 1]


West Columbia, Marion County, Va. March 18 [1851]

Dear Sir

I have been anxiously expecting a letter from you for three or four months. I have heard nothing from my sister with the acception of your pamphlet which according to the dates that suited to the time that we arrived there with her we [XXXX] that there is no chang in her for the better. You cannot doubt the anxiety of mind that we have sufered on account of not hearing directly from you. That anxiety has not been so great as it would have ben had I not ben so much pleased with what I saw and heard of your kind treatment to the unfortunate sufferers who are placed under your care. You will confer the greatest favour imaginable if you will write me a few lines. Say if you think there is any hope of her recovery. Write me if she is pleased with the place, if she is contented to stay, there say if her health is the same.

Yours respectfully

Mrs. Matilda Fowler


[Box 1 Folder 2]


Richmond 12th August 1836

Messrs. Lazell Perkins & Co


Your favor of the 23 alt. came duly to hand. I have delayed answering you from day to day with the hope of obtaining a vessel to take a cargo of [XXXX] to you – as yet I have not succeeded as nearly all the vessels bring orders for cargoes. Should one offer at the price you name I will dispatch her immediately.

Respectfully Yours

Thomas A. Rust

By Neduqust

Mr. Rust is now in Boston


[Box 1 Folder 3]


Martinsburg January 11th 1854

Dear Sir

Mr. Henry Helfesstay has been confined in the jail of Berkeley County as a Lunatic, please let me know whether you have room for him at this time.

Yours Respectfully

 J. Van Doren Jr., S.BC.


[Box 1 Folder 4]


Staunton Court House July 22nd 1841

Sir. I have this day committed to the jail of my county, by virtue of a warrant directed to me, a woman named Susan Hill, who has been examined in the manner prescribed by law and adjudged to be a Lunatic – I am therefore enacted to convey her to your hospital. The object of this letter is to ascertain if there be a vacancy in the institution for this class of unfortunates – a speedy answer will be required.

Very Respectfully Your friend

J. Y. Quarriro for John Stucko Sheriff of Kanuwahu County Va.


[Box 1 Folder 5]


Washington Sep. [6, 1841]

Dear Cousin

I doubt not but you will be somewhat surprised when you glance at the signature of this brief epistle although the writer claims a near relationship with yourself. That feeling however will subside as soon as you are acquainted with its contents. Mrs. Mason, a lady who resides in the vicinity of this place, sent for me yesterday afternoon and most urgently requested me (her husband being absent) to write by today's mail and remind you of a promise made him not long since, concerning her deranged brother—Mr. Porter. Their circumstances are such it is out of her power to keep a servant to attend to him, so of course he is the cause of much trouble to the family. His insanity is by no means of a desperate nature – he is generally melancholy, sometimes merry, but never disposed to do the least injury to any person or thing. Mrs M. is much attached to her brother, and distresses herself greatly that he cannot receive the attention which his situation requires. If therefore, Cousin Frank, you can admit him. I wish very much for her peace of mind and my gratification you would as soon as convenient. I deem it entirely unnecessary to say more on this subject feeling confident you will, if possible, make some arrangement for the comfort of this unfortunate young man. I hope you will excuse this letter as I have but seldom in my life written to a gentleman on any subject. My love to Cousin Henrietta and the rest of the family. Remember


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me to Uncle Eras., Cousin Matilda and Harriet – to Father if you see him. If you can spare the time, please answer this immediately so that the family may know what to do-------Mr. Menefee is in Winchester at this time.

Your Affectionate Cousin     

Mary Menefee


[Box 1 Folder 6]


Sept 20th 1841

Dear Sir

I receive your letter the 16th of the prasant month stating that my wife had very much improve - witch I am very much pleased to hear - also you wish to know in what way I wish her to return home when she gets intirley well - I will come for her - if you will gave me notis - tell her to be contented until I come and if she is not restored in the cours of two months please let me hear from her agane - I wish you to be satisfied that she is well before you discharge her - tell her that myself and children remains well. Yours respectfully

Patrick H. Duffin

Charlotte City, Va


[Box 1 Folder 7]


Spottsylvania City, Va. Oct. 1, 1841.

Respected & dear Sir

Your kind letter of the 11th of August did not come to hand till last Saturday, in which you communicate the melancholy tidings that my dear afflicted Brother is no better. This is truly distressing news to myself & all his family, & especially to our aged Mother. But let me assure you, my dear Sir, that we feel towards all who have been, and still are concerned in taking care of him, and especially towards yourself, a degree of gratitude, that can never be effaced from our hearts. The latter part of your kind letter was particularly consolitary to my dear Mother. We feel assured that all has been done for him, & that all will continue to be done for him, which skill & kindness can suggest. I hope my dear Sir, that we shall never forget to offer up, our poor prayers, not only for the divine blessings on the benevolent efforts you are making for the relief & comfort of the afflicted children of our country, but also for a special blessing on your own souls, & on your own dear families. May God bless you all & prosper your efforts. I still hope that the


[Page 2]


means which are now being used for his recovery, may so far meet with the divine blessing, as to render his situation comfortable, if not to remove his malady. I have determined, if the Lord will, to visit him in the course of the present month. I expect to reach Staunton about the 29th of this month, when I will bring a sufficiency of winter clothing &c for him. With sincere regard & esteem I am dear sir your friend & obt servant

Chas A. Lewis


[Box 1 Folder 8]


Parkinburg December 23rd 1841

Dear Sir

I received your communication respecting a lunatic confined in our jail on the 3rd [XXX] and regret that circumstances have placed it out of my power to resolve it satisfactorily before now. A few days before I received your letter our county Govt had appointed a new committee to meet on the 3rd Monday of this month and further examine said lunatic and report whether he could now be taken care of in the county, by some person so as to probably return him to his proper state of mind. I conferred with the Commonwealth Attorney who advised me to to defer writing until said Committee made their report in accordance with which advice I have waited until this time and am now enabled to inform you that the lunatic will be started as soon as his situation will admit, it being necessary to provide him with some more clothing &c and concerning the state of the road and weather will probably not reach Staunton until the 25th of January.

I remain respectfully

James Cook for B. Webb


[Box 1 Folder 9]


Galleyo Hills March 16th 1844

Rolluta Knight Esq Baltimore

Dear Sir

We received a draft of yours of the 13th, Capt [XXXX] reached here last night and [XXXXXXX] us this morning thus conveying your invoice [XXXX] [XXXXX] which we will attend to with great pleasure. The report you want arranged for the voyage you had in contemplation with our acct and [XXXXXX] Respectfully yours

Warwickly Bahollale


[Box 1 Folder 10]


Richmond 23rd July 1846

Messrs Robt. Wright & Balke

We received yours of the 20th. Last night we wrote that the 'Brazil' has sailed, & that we may expect her at Port Walthall in a day, or two. We hope to commence quickly her cargo on Monday next, & we will write you in time for your [XXXXX] to be here a day or two, before she clears. You have our good wishes for the success of your new [XXXXXX]. The Louisiana arrived at Port Walthall yesterday to take our second cargo.

We remain very sincerely

Warmelty Robouchle


[Box 1 Folder 11]


Hicks Ford January 1st 1848

Dear Sir:

I have today put in the hands of Mr. Henry Mader, our Delegate to the Legislature - one hundred and fifty one dollars and thirty cents; with a request that he would deposit it in the Exchange Bank Richmond to my credit, which he said he would do on Monday next, and which I have no doubt he will do, unless prevented by some unforeseen accident. I have therefore enclosed a check for that amount, that you may be able to draw the money sooner than you could do, if I were to wait to hear that it was deposited. When the check is paid please obtain a receipt for it, and forward it to me by mail.


My Sister has been quite unwell with a cold almost ever since 1 wrote you last. She has kept to her bed the greater part of the last three days. She got up tolerably soon today but she is not nigh as cheerful as she was before she became unwell. I know I ought not to expect her to be so, but it makes me feel quite uneasy, lest she might fall back into the dreadful state of mind she was in so long. She brought home with her a phial of medicine but she very seldom takes any of it.

I am most sincerely your friend & obt. svt.

Wm A Hardlow

[To] Doctr. Fra. T Stribling

Staunton Va.


[Box 1 Folder 12]


Weston the 25th March, [18]48

Dr. Stribling: Dear sir Yours of Feb and March the 8 I have just received. I have been so much engaged with my cattle that I have been but little from home for some time owing to a failure in selling. I have a heavy stock of cattle on hand which consequently has run me scarce of feed and of necessity my whole attention is required at home as I am cutting house and with a small proportion of feed expect to bring all my cattle through near two hundred head and again the failure in selling has caused me to be entirely out of funds but at all times I have been well aware of the debt and duty I owe your Institution as well as the duty to Sarah Catherine. I am sorry to hear that she is no better but rather worse - owing to the circumstances above alluded to I have sent a note on to Bank in Parkersburg to have discounted that I may be able to pay the debt for SC's Board &c at the asylum. I have no doubt but the note will be discounted yet I am not able to


[Page 2]


set a time accurately when I will be on say some time between now and the 1st of May when I come I expect to come prepared to bring her home. The reason why I am indefinite as to the time when I will be in Staunton is my eldest daughter at home Jane is to be married on the 18th of April and should I not be able to start in time to return by that time I cannot be in Staunton sooner about the 1st of May. I know of no opportunity to get and send on a check as the exchange is against us but should my note be discounted as I have no doubt but it will; and a safe opportunity should occur, I'll send the money.

I am yours very respectfully,

Wm Gibson


[Box 1 Folder 13]


Petersburg, March 27, 1848

Dear Sir

I propose to leave here on Thursday morning by way of Gordonsville for your place for the purpose of bringing home the remains of my sister - circumstances beyond my control or that of my brother have prevented our attending to this unpleasant duty sooner. I shall be accompanied by my nephew (my brother's health not allowing him to go) and shall reach your place on Friday. We will return by Scottsville or Gordonsville as we may find it most convenient. If you can make any arrangement by which we can get the body to Scottsville or Gordonsville we shall be much obliged. I understand there is no stage running to the former place, nor do I know at what hour the boat passes it. I can learn this as I pass through Richmond. I would prefer this route if we can arrange to get to Scottsville. It will be necessary to have the coffin made in a stone box.

My very great respect Yours truly

James Ligni


[Box 1 Folder 14]


Morgans Town April 28th 1848

Dear Sir

Sometime since Mr. Fitch the sheriff of my County took to your institution my sister Rachel Ann Hennon & placed her under your charge. My parents being quite aged & missing her become very impatient to hear from their child & I myself am very desirous of hearing how [she] is doing & what the prospect is of her recovery. You may think that I may or might of waited longer to hear from you but Mr. Fitch informing me that you would write to me at the proper time. I don't wish to be troublesome by any means & hope that you will pardon me for asking you if you please to inform me how my sister is doing & whether you think she can be restored and you will confer a great favour on my parents as well as myself by so doing.

Yours Very Respectfully

Robert T. Hennon


[Box 1 Folder 15]


Dropmore, 10th May 1848

Dear Sir,

Your letter written on the same sheet with Nat's and sent by Mr. Mickie was received some 8 or 10 days after it was written.


I would have written to you immediately had I not concluded it would be better to put it off until I should see how some matters of my own should turn out. My son Charles Williams has been in Floyd some weeks, and we had some cattle on hand that we had been feeding all winter, and it was high time that some thing should be done with them. Charles Wms or myself had to go with them if we could not make a sale at home. I had a cold and sore throat which had stuck to me longer than any thing of the sort had ever done. Thus situated I had to impose on Charles Wms by sending him to Richmond - I was very sorry you were out of Staunton when I made my visit - I wished to see you and I knew we could talk over Nat's matter


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in a more satisfactory way than we possibly could do by writing. You certainly know, much better than I do, what is good for Nat. I am willing to do anything I can that would be of service to him.


If you think he will be benefited by coming home why he must fix up his matters and be ready to come with Charles Wms, as he passes thro’ Staunton, on his way home. When Chs Wms arrives at Staunton I wish you and him to talk over the matter. If Nat is not to be benefited by coming home why I wish him to stay where he is. On the contrary, if coming home is to be of service to him why I wish him to come at once.


I shall be satisfied whatever you & Charles Wms shall determine on. I can not say when Charles Wms will get to Staunton; tho I suppose in all probability he will arrive there some time next week. In haste - Your friend

N. Burwill


[Box 1 Folder 16]


June 11 1848

Sir I rit to yo to know the condishen of my wife. I am worken in Woodstock & wil bee up a bot the mil of July if nothen happens to col me sooner and I wod lik to tak her home with me. I got a leter from her and ol was wel ples rit mee afue lins to Woodstock [XXXXX]

James Rodgers


[Box 1 Folder 17]


Wheeling Va. 15th of 6th Mo. 1848

To Dr. Stribling

Thy letter of the 5th Inst. came duly to me on the 9th. Dr. Hildrith was disappointed and almost grieved to learn that there was no room in the male department for his father. I advised him to make the same inquiry at Williamsburg and offered to write for him but he concluded he would himself write. I thought then I would not write the present letter until I would hear the results. But yesterday he called on me and requested me to write for him, which I did & which would go by this morning's mail.


I concluded not to wait any longer but to write to Elizabeth which I have done & which you will find inclosed. I wish her to examine it carefully & if there should be any thing in it that may be improper draw a black line over it, reseal it & hand it to her. Of that part which assigns a reason for wishing her to stay at least four months after she becomes well on reading it I had some doubts. But I have always been in the practice of giving her a reason for all I recommend her to do.


I could say to her a good deal about our town & its inhabitants & the changes which have taken place since she left but I do not know whether such news would be of advantage to her. If it would I would be glad to know it because it would be easier to find matter with which to fill a letter than with grand recommendations or narratives.


[Page 2]


When I wrote last inquiring whether I could go to Staunton without Elizabeth's knowing it, I had no idea she was sufficiently improved to render it proper that I should visit the asylum and see her. By thy reply I found it would be nearly impossible to visit Staunton without her finding out. 1 will therefore certainly not do it until thou shall recommend me to do so. Although I know but little about the management of insanity, I know well that a separation from friends is a [XXXXXXXX]. I know that removal from old and familiar associations is necessary for the favorable presentations of now seeing new companions, new associations, and new everything with a view of assisting such unfortunates to forget their delusions.


With regard to my daughter I am satisfied that she is greatly improved. I do not know whether she has arrived to that stage of improvement that can be considered convalescent but I think not. Her last letter is not well-written, the sentences not so well put together as the previous one.

Thy bitter remark that "there is less activity & sprightliness than I like to see in one of her youth." She never was as sprightly and [XXXXXX] as others of her own age but her deportment was always more grave and serious of others of her age even from infancy up. And according to the Phrenologists language in her is very strongly developed yet she was always rather taciturn than talkative.


One of the strongest reasons for my desire to visit


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Staunton and see her thus was for the purpose of inquiring of whether thou hadst satisfactory ascertained the cause of her derangement of the digestive organs? Or from brooding over the harsh usage she received from the hands of her Aunt? or can it be possible that it was from unrequited love? or what?


If they are able to satisfy thyself as to the cause I would be greatly obliged to thee to know what it is.

Very Respectfully, Thy Friend

Thomas Townsend


[Box 1 Folder 18]


Cedar Creek July 14th 1848

Dear Sir

I received your letter in due time you wish to know the age of [XXX] She is seventy-two years old - She was born in Maryland and she has been deranged al times for the past twenty or thirty years - but she would at times would be quite rational but for the last three years she has been entirely deranged. The cause of her derangement is thought proceed from religious reflections. Answer my letter as soon as possible and let me know if there is room or not as she is very troublesome to the neighborhood and destroys everything she can get her hands on.

Yours Respectfully, Henry Miller


[Box 1 Folder 19]


Port Republic July 25th 1848

I have been acquainted with Whitfield Burton from his childhood, and believe him to be a sober, industrious and trustworthy young man.

Geo. W. Kemper

Stephen Harnsburger


July 26th 1848 Dear Sir as of [XXXXX] not got to see Genl Lewis as he has been absent. I enclose you the above. Yours with respect George W. Burton, Jr.


Dear Sir if there should be a vacancy in any of the Departments as contractor or Steward or any place that would suite a men of family, you will be so good as to make it known and drop me line of the situation and I will procure the necessary recommendations.

Yours with respect

George W. Burton, Sr

Port Republic Rockingham et al Va July 26th 1848


[Box 1 Folder 20]


The Meadows of Goose Creek

July 29 [1848]

Dear Sir

I write you again to hear from my unfortunate daughter. Before she lost her mind she had a sniffing like she had a bad cold. I want to know if she has it yet. She used to suffer with cold a great deal. Hope you will have her kept warm. I hope you will pardon me for troubling you with this letter. Please let me know all about her condition. Is she swollen as bad as she used to be and is she as troublesome as ever. I do not expect to live long but I want to hear from my child as long as I live.

I remain as ever. Your friend, James Woodford


[Box 1 Folder 21]


Leesburg August 4th/48

Dear Sir

Not having heard from Elizabeth Sutterland for some time, I feel an anxiety to know how she is coming on. You will be kind enough when you answer this to let me know exactly her case, whether there is any prospect or not of her recovery. If you think there is no such prospect, I must make some other arrangements by the time the year is up. By that time I shall have done all in my power, as my means are limited. I cannot discharge the obligations of my land longer from one year from its date which I think ends in September. If you write me that there is no prospect in her case of recovery, then I shall make other arrangements for her to remain in the asylum.

Please let me know soon what course under the circumstances would you advise me to pursue.

Yours respectfully, James S. Harris


[Box 1 Folder 22]


Christiansburg, Aug 4 [1848]

Dear Sir

I have again to bother you in regard to my wife. She has now relapsed and is worse than she has ever been. She has complained ever since we left the asylum and is now hopelessly insane and is quite wild and hard to manage, so much so that I am now compelled to keep at home to watch her.


My object is to see whether I can again get her admitted in your institution. You will please write me immediately on receipt of this.

Your compliance will be much obliged.

Yours respectfully, Abram Ingles


[Box 1 Folder 23]


Woodlawn, Decem 30th 1848

Dr. Stribling

Dear Sir

When I wrote you last I requested you to purchase a suit of clothes for my afflicted husband as it was not convenient for me to get them here but I would show your letter to Brother Author, and get him to write you, which I thought he had done, but I saw him today and he informed me that he had been so engaged, since, that he had not had time to write, and begged the favor of me to write you tonight, stating the cause of the delay, and request you to purchase such clothing for him as you think necessary and draw on him for the money. I have sent on a small box of cake which I will thank you to inquire for, and attend to, for him, in haste, I am very respectfully your friend

Mrs. E.M. Goodwin


[Box 1 Folder 24]


Richmond 20th Feby 1849.

Messrs. R. C. Wright


Your favor of yesterday is to hand.


By Boat Pocahontas we sent today the box containing 2 dozen bottles of Spanish (manderia). We are glad to learn that you will be ready to take (7500 lbs.) on or about the 15th of next month. We would prefer not fixing the price until the time of delivery.

Very respectfully yours. Haxull Brothers


[Box 1 Folder 25]


Wheeling March 30, 1849

A.A. Blifs Esq

Dear Sir

Enclosed is a check for one hundred and nineteen 58/100 dollars which is the amt of my taxes in Wood County, Ohio, if I am correctly informed you will please to send me the bill and receipt by return of mail and

Your friend E. Pollack

P.S. I have been East and have just got home is the reason that Mother was not attended to before. EP


[Box 1 Folder 26]


Richmond 18th May 1849


I thank you for your letter of the 15th inst. and I am pleased to find my case has your attention - Should you find it proper, and should you proceed with it, I will engage to have you a wharf fee irrelevant of your [XXX] of that which Mr. Cox may claim for your removal.


I know nothing of the testimony of [XXXXX] nor what he has to do with it. But after the involvement of [XXXXXX] I was prepared to be [XXXXXX] which emanates from the P.O. deposit.

Yours respectfully,

Charles F. Pine

Mr. Carlile, Esq. Atttorney at Law



[Box 1 Folder 27]


Dear Sir:

I would have written to you by my friend W. L. Brown a detailed statement of the case of Elis Ann Brown, but supposed as the attack had ceased and the treatment simple, he could more satisfactorily answer your interrogations than I could by letter. Elis Ann Brown, daughter of William H. Brown of Frederick County Va aged 23, of nervous temperament, as attacked with mania on the 20th ult. The day had undergone unusual fatigue making purchases, etc. and on the Friday (17th) before had been much affected attending the funeral of a near relative. Her mind had seemed not to be exercised on any particular subject. For several months her health had been delicate, frequently complained of pain in the side, breast, head, and back. Her appetite for food had been irregular. Immediately on the occurrence of the paranoia visited by Dr. R. T. Baldwin. He found her without fever or any other indications of inflammation. I met Dr. B in consultation on the 24th and all the symptoms are regarded the disease


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as confined to the nervous system and treated it with opiates. On the night of the 23 she slept about three hours and on that of the 24th slept most of the night. Sleep did not alleviate the disease. There has been no mania in the family. Mr. B states that you thought her tongue black. We observed nothing of the kind. It was probably slightly furred but always covered with frothy saliva as to be scarcely observable. I think that you would have found that the blackness was from something eaten. Let me hear from you soon. I would be satisfied by any kindness you can show soon as you can, any favorable change to comfort them in their affliction.

Yours sincerely, I.G. Gray

Doctor R. Gambill 1st Sept 1849


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Sensible company would be of great advantage. She has many friends that are much troubled on account of her affliction. W.H. Brown


[Box 1 Folder 28]


Farmville Prince Edward Cty 6th Feby 1850

Dear Sir

We have a female patient destined to be consigned to the Western Lunatic Asylum as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made, and the state of the road, weather will permit - Judging from your notice in the papers there is no probability all the room will be immediately filled up but in case it might become so, you will please reserve enough for her.

Yr obt svt

W. Womack Ds.

J. Vaughn, Shff, PE Cty


[Box 1 Folder 29]


Am Ct House Feby 7 1850

Dear Sir

Enclosed I send you a check on the Bank of Virginia for fifty four dollars 45 cents No 185 payable to your order - Please have it entered to the credit of my Sister [XXXXXX] at your Institution and procure and send by mail to me a proper red transfer and much obliged.

Yr Mend     Dr. M. Brown


[Box 1 Folder 30]


Greenville Furnace March the 3 1850

Dr. Francis T. Stribling

Dear Sir

I received your leter and I was glad to here that Margarets getting well and I would like to now how Margaret is getting along tell hure that the booys and yur all sends ther'e beste respects to hur and wod like to see hure I want to now whether she is geting well or not and when you think she is able to come home you will send her home I wod like you to send mee a leter as quick as possible and let mee know how she is gitting along now as I am anesh to know bowe she is now gitting along I am old woman agoing on seventy and if I dont see here soon i never will I don expect to belong in this world any more  please rite as soon as this to hunt someone at present but remain

Francus ** Cumere


[Box 1 Folder 31]


Dropmore Near Salem, Roanoke, Va. April 7, 1850

Dear Doctor,

I received a letter from Cousin Dominic Berkeley last week in which she mentioned that your tittle Frank had me with an accident, having never having never received a line from Staunton since 1 left there on the 8th or March, I know not what has happened, but I hope and trust it is not of a serious nature.


It is not often that I write letters on the Sabbath but I concluded to write you soon since I came from Church. My father went to the Big Lick to hear Mr. George Whitman, but it was so late when he started, that I thought I would go to Salem and hear my priest and brother, Silas Powers. Tell Mrs. Cuthbert that last Sunday a week we had the Revr. Mr. White from Lexington who preached in Salem nearly two weeks and I trust lasting good has been done for many; about seven were added to the Church on the 26th of March. Mr. Benjamin Smith was in Christiansburg and Blacksburg but did not preach in Salem. Tell Mr. Castleman I wish he would come up this summer and visit Brother Gilmer in our little Church at the Lick and also at Fincastle.


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I hardly think I will ever have such a preacher as Mr. Castleman again. May God's blessing attend his labours among the People of Staunton and our Institution.


My brother returns from Richmond this day two weeks. He is somewhat complaining but I trust will soon rally. He will not have to take any more cattle down this spring as he and father sold 30 on Friday to William Winter for $5 per hundred which Brother Charles says is as equal to $8.00 in Richmond. There are a great many Irish at work on the railroad which makes the market so near. Mr. Johnston, my brother-in-law had to go to Charleston Ka. last Monday and got me to take charge of his family and to write in the Clerk's Office but not far as good as I made some today, collecting for my friend, Dr. Fisher. But thus you see I did not have to dun Mr. Mickie and Mr. Points which is unpleasant to do to men we like. I will write you soon giving my prospects and asking your views. I will not trouble you at present. Let me know if you hear anything of the trouble I unfortunately, left on the stage at Lexington. My kindness regards to your family, Doctor Berkley and family, Mr. Castleman and family, all at Mrs. Sheffey's, to Mr. Philips and


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Mrs. Philips, to Doctors Gambill and family and Fisher & Family. Mr. Woodward and all at the Asylum County. Broderick Goodwin, Berekley and all.

May heaven bless and protect you all - Your friend ever N. Burman, Jr.

Do not write next mail, if better time to let me know how Frank is. NB


[Box 1 Folder 32]


Philippe, May 25th 1850

Dear Sir

Miss Thompson has been employed as housemaid most her life, her age is 52. She was born in Pendleton County, Virginia. She had an attack eight or nine years ago which lasted three years it was that form of the disease determined Melancholy, the present attack occurred about three weeks before she was brought to Staunton. The cause is unknown only that she has been all of her life afflicted with Asthma which she has had not symptoms of since the present attack. Her father at an advanced age became insane and remained so during his life. Her sister at the age of thirty-one had a fracture of the neck of the femur in a few days became insane and remained so one year one of her brothers died between fifty and sixty years of age partially insane. I learned from the family that the disease has been hereditary for some generations back. She has manifested some disposition to hurt persons since the present attack. Her disposition differs entirely in this attack from the former attack.

Yours with respect

James H. Prince


[Box 1 Folder 33]


Richmond 8th July 1850.

Messrs. Ro Wright, jbo



Your esteemed favor of 2nd with enclosing letter for Rio de Janeiro, came to land in due course. The Bark a Wright had sailed from Hampton Roads evening if 3rd and there was no way of getting them to her in time.-We will hold them for Brig Helen which we hope to clear the latter end of this week for Rio via Permambuco unless otherwise directed. -We beg leave to call your attention to the change in our late firm, and remain very respectfy. Yr. friends and obdt Servts Haxakk and Brother


[Page 2]


Richmond, Is1 July 1850

The Co-partnership of HAXALL, BROTHERS & CO., having expired by limitation,

MILLING BUSINESS WILL hereafter be conducted at the same Mills, under the style and firm of HAKALL & BROTHER.

Your attention is called to this change, and the new firm will be pleased to have


W. W. HAXALL. [written signatures of both]


[Box 1 Folder 34]


Western Lunatic Asylum

Tuesday Evening, 20th August 1850

Dear Doctor

I have thought a line or two from me might not be amiss as you always like to hear from the institution. We are all getting along as well as could be expected, in the absence of die principle or head of an establishment, of the size of ours. All seem to be trying to do their duty, although I am sorry to say Dr. Fisher is not well. He has a bad cold and looks rather badly for the last day or two, but still is at his post, attending to his charge. Dr. Gamble is well and as usual diligently to attending to his charge.


The patients are in general are about as you left them, except Miss Brown. She is from all I can learn in a bad way. Unless a change, cannot stand it a great while, she eats nothing nor has she done so as I learned from Dr. Gamble for at least a week.


As to myself, I think I am improving indeed. I ought to be well considering my good appetite, but can't get over that nervous feeling, it sticks to me yet although not so bad as when you left. Your father was here this evening, looking like a boy. I had but little conversation with him as some company came in just after he got seated, which had to be attended to. Before I got through with them, he left.


[Page 2]


The candidates for convention are going from place to place harassing the people, Mickie and Steward pretty sanguine, Fultz and Sheffey more so though the friends if reform have fallen considerably in their majority for their candidates. Imboden and John Harmon made a bet yesterday for $25 worth of clothes - that Mickie would be 500 votes behind the foremost candidate in the reform party in this, Augusta County -However, Thursday will sucede. I hope it may suit your convenience to be at Deerfield on Thursday next.


Your potatoes have fallen far, very far short of our calculations. It is true we have stopped digging, so that portion left, which is about the fourth of the whole, is a different kind of potato and are growing. We concluded it was improper to continue with them, what we have dug are pretty good, but not more than 67 or 70 bushels. We have all come to the conclusion they will not keep. Lester Craig has solicited me to eat as many as I can and he will sell all he can, and thereby try to save them. I have promised him I would do so and keep an account of the quantity. I have no doubt it is the best that can be done with them as the weather is very warm & it is too soon to save as many as you have, small as the quantity are - In conclusion, please present me kindly to Mrs. Stribling, whom I am pleased to hear is improving & believe me your friend

LM Woodward


[Page 3]


PS. I forgot to state that James is still living


[Box 1 Folder 35]


Winchester, August 26,1850

Dear Doctor

I have this moment committed to the jail of our County a young lad of some 18 years of age whom I consider deranged and a fit subject for the hospital - he has been considered of unsound mind by many of our citizens for some time past. Can you receive him? He is poor and has no income. His parents are in the same condition. Please let me hear from you at your earliest convenience.

With continuity of respect. I am heartily P Riely


[Box 1 Folder 36]


Fairmont [XXXXXXX] Sept 27th 1850

Dr. Stribling of Westem State Asylum, Staunton, Va.

Dear Sir

I saw a line from you yesterday, not having it before me now I don't recollect the date, to Mrs. Ann Kelley stating that her husband had made his escape from the asylum and that you had sent out in this direction and others making diligent search for him but have not heard of him.

Sir, my object in writing to you is to inform you that he, Kelly, arrived at his home on

myself but just had a conversation with his wife, with others that have saw him, all stating that he appeared to be in his proper mind. Mrs. Kelley thinks that he is perfectly at himself and has the strongest hopes that he will remain in his proper mind for at least one year or more. So therefore it may be most likely that he will go back to his friends in Pennsylvania before long.

Benjamin Fleming


[Box 1 Folder 37]


Oct 29/50

Dear Sir

My wife has been, unfortunately, very much disordered in mind for some 5 or 6 months. I had hoped, as it appeared to be rather a religious melancholy, that by proper attention and cure, she would get better. But I find she is growing rather worse and I am advised to place her under your care. And I if you can receive her I shall be compelled to do so. It seems hard to be under the necessity of doing so, but I am persuaded it will be better for her, for me and my children. She is not a maniac, she is not troublesome nor hard to control. Indeed, she seems rational upon all subjects, but the subject of her future I hope that if she becomes under your care, your skill and experiences will enable you to restore her. - Please let me hear from you as early as possible. 1 would have to her up and provide for her myself, but I am not able, having to depend on my own labor entirely for support for her and my children - please inform me what is necessary to be done to get her admitted into your institution - I shall accompany her myself.


Absalom Stonebiesain

If you wish any references, I would give Cal. R. McCoun or Dr. S. A. Coffman and Charles Moore, Esq.


[Box 1 Folder 38]


Charlottesville Dec 17th 1850

Dear Sir

Below please find our check on First Bank of Va at Ch.ville for $60.66 amt due on the Ala Maupin Board. Please send me a rcpt by mail to Charlottesville.

Yours respl      WM and AA Kiblinger


[Box 1 Folder 39]


Pulski Co. Newbem June lst – 48

Dr F.T. Stribling

Dear Sir

Mr. John Wygal of this county requests me to write to you, being the superintendent of the Lunatic Asylum, in relation to Richard Clarke, in this County at this time. He was a citizen of Alabama for some time past, was born and raised in Prince Edward County in this state. He has the means of defraying his expenses at the Asylum if admitted. His friends wish him to be admitted into the institution. Clarke's general health is said to be good by Mr. Haggei and thinks that he probably can be cured in a course of time. You will reply to this note as soon as convenient, address Mr. Haggei or myself at Newbem, Va, noting whether he can be received.

Yours Respectfully, Thomas Poage

P.S. The property of Clarke will be moved from Alabama to this state - which Mrs. Haggei tells me is very valuable.


[Box 1 Folder 40]


Lexington March 4th 1852

Dr. Stribling

Having great anxiety with regard to the health and improvement of my daughter 1 concluded to address you a few lines once more and wrote to Knowles sometime ago that my letter has never been responded to, it may have been misplaced or among the many duties forgotten. I therefore hope you will excuse me for troubling you now. The affection of a find, another for an afflicted child, is my only excuse. Has enjoyed good health this winter and has she improved in disposition. Scarlet fever has been very prevalent in Lexington this winter and I have been fearful it could prevail among your patients. Did my visit have any effect upon her in any respect whatever. Do write me a few lines soon if not more than two or three to relieve my great anxiety. If you cannot write, perhaps Mrs. Charles can. My best love to her nurse. I feel as I could never repay her or yourself for your kindness and attention to this.

With gratitude and respect

E. Hoffman


[Box 1 Folder 41]


Fincastle, March 12th 1852

Dr. F. T. Stribling

Dear Sir: Your letter of the 8th inst informing me of the escape of Dooly and Woodward was duly received and promptly attended to on my part and also by Dept Sheriff Mr. James Thompson who went forthwith in pursuit of Dooly and delivered him over to the jailer within 4 hours after I handed him your [XXXX] and I cannot inform you which the sheriff will do, bring him down or require you to send for him. Mr. Hyde is now absent but I presume he will inform you what he will do. Your letter of yesterday before me, informing me of the recovery of Woodward which we mean keeping a strict lookout for. I am at all times ready and willing to render you any gentlemen any order in my humble power. I am, dear sir, your most respectful find.

Thomas C. Lancaster


[Box 1 Folder 42]


Culpepper Ct House Oct. 28th, 1852

Dear Sir

Since I have your favor of 28 Sept my wife has been much better, but last Friday she became a little excited from some cause or other and has not been so well since. She has taken up the idea that she never will be what she had been and it seems to disturb her very much. Until Friday she has been sleeping reasonably well, since then she had not slept as well as before but sleeps tolerably well now. She is still inclined to be melancholy but talks more than she did when I wrote you last and takes more interest in her child which I hope is a favorable symptom - We have never been able to persuade her to use the shower or test bath & I am very sorry for it for 1 have no doubt but that it would be of great benefit to her - Her bodily health is good & and she has increased very much in flesh, this she seems to dislike very much because she thinks it disfigures her. I shall always be very grateful to you Doctor, for your kindness and earnest endeavor for the restoration of my poor afflicted wife both while at the Asylum and since she came home.


I saw William Green, Esq last week in relation to the matter you wrote me about, & he suggested to me to say to you that he would attend to it at the next term of our Superior Court and that if Jameson


[Page 2]


would give him his bond for the balance of the claim, he (Green) would advance the money- I would have written to you in relative to this matter before now, but 1 was unable to see Mr. Green until last week, on account of his absence from home - it will always afford me pleasure to serve you, Doct, whenever (you) think proper to call on me.

In haste, your friend and obid.

J. T. Tuner


[Box 1 Folder 43]


Lynchburg Novm 24th 1852

Doctr Stribling

Having an afflicted friend in the Asylum and being informed that you are the superintendent, 1 write to you for information. I wish to hear how Robert Gregory is, and what you think of his case. He is a brother of my wife's and she is very anxious to hear all about his affliction. You will confer a favor by giving your candid opinion in relation to him. We wish to know whether you think he is better, and how long before you think he will be restored to his right mind. You will very much oblige me by answering this immediately and giving all particulars.

Yours respectfully, Chas. Y. Jones


[Box 1 Folder 44]


Lexington, Va February 1853

Dear Sir

There was committed to the jail of this County a Lunatic by the name of William Burley that appears to have made his escape from your institution. Taken up by Jacob Roar who new him - If you wish him to sent down. I will see to his being sent but I will await your answer.

Yours Respectfully        IL Perry


[Box 1 Folder 45]


Amelia. Febr. 25,1853

Dear Sir,

Yours came to hand duly on the 24 inst. informing me that you omitted sending me my brother's clothing account on the 30th of Sept. last. I can only say that eighty dollars if more than he ought to spend in twelve months for clothes in his present condition. That is more than my Lady and myself and two children spend for clothes & shoes and boots during the year for his income will not justify any more. If it did I would not have the least objection to it. All that he requires in his present condition is plain neat clothing and would take it as a favor to direct the manager of the Asylum not to give over the above amount mention as his expenses for board in the asylum every year is more than his income. This claim has come quite unexpected to me and have caught me unprepared, in consequence of not having


[Page 2]


sold my inferior tobacco as yet. I shall have it in Richmond the 8 of next month at which time I shall sell it and send the check to you for eighty dollars. 16 cts. 1 have no other means of raising money than by my crops and therefore I must beg to be indulged a few weeks which I am in hopes will not make no great deal of difference. I have always been punctual in my money matters and everything else - We present our best respects to Dr. Stevens and my Brother and tell them I will come and see them next summer if I am spared - and am pleased to here they are doing as well as could be expected.

I am sir yours respectively

Tho T. Townes

PS as it regards Mrs. Stevens I have nothing to do with the business. Mr. Speck has been appointed executor to the estate- You will please to arrange it so he can pay us. Mrs. Stevens expenses every twelve months as I do - which will be less trouble.


[Box 1 Folder 46]



In consequence of the death of MR. N.N. WILLIAMS, the Subscribers have this day entered into A Co. Partnrship for the purpose of conducting a strictly Commision Business, under the name of WILLIAM & REYNOLDS.

Mr. W. C. Reynolds is the son of the late Mr. H. N. Reynolds and Mr. Reynolds has been his confidential clerk for twenty-six years and during the last nine months the business has been entirely under our charge. The means of the form will be fully ample for all its purposes.

Soliciting a continuance of your Friendly favors.

We are Yours, very Respectfully.


[signed by both men] Norfolk, June 29, 1853


[Box 1 Folder 47]


Aug 12th 1853

Your letter of the 29th of July did not reach me until today owing to its being directed to Farmville instead of Rice's Depot. I seldom go to Farmville and a letter would lay in the office   some time, several weeks. Enclosed you will find a draft on Richmond for the $75.00 his income this year is about $100. His means were left in my hands by my father's will, and he had nothing of his own when he was sent to Staunton. Thou from the papers that were sent you would infer differently. I was not present when he was committed. If I had of been then there would have been no statement send of this amount. The Court did not know the facts or they would have acted differently. His property I have the power to use as I please for his benefit. 1 want him clothed pleasantly and the remainder of his income placed to his


[Page 2]


My brother has not complained of your treatment  toward him but seemed to be pleased from his letters. I feel under many obligations to you for the kindness you take in his [XXXXXXX]. Say to my brother that I have left his watch with T. S. Morton of Richmond who expects to be in Staunton in short time and promised to take it to him. He has nothing that is worth anything and [XXXXX] to Staunton that I know anything of except an old coat that cost $10 when new about half more; I will send that if I can do it without it costing more than it is worth to get it there.

Very respectfully yours,

G. Maugham


[Box 1 Folder 48]


Petersburg January 18th 1854

Enclosed I send you a certificate of deposit of the Exchange Bank in Petersburg for two hundred and thirty five dollars on account of expenses for my brother for the past year. I feel regret in such long delay - sickness in my family has been the only cause. 1 write to you while in Petersburg, but my office is continued at Richmond.

Very respectfully yours

Geo. W. Rose


[Box 1 Folder 49]


Dear Sir

My wife has been afflicted about four years with extreme convulsions, and her mind has become very much deranged. I have had her under the care of several physicians. I took her to Cincinnati to Dr. Curtis about twelve months ago and he thought she might be restored if proper [XXXXX] were used and advised me to take her to the Lunatic asylum, since then, Dr. Parker of [XXXXXX] who has been attending upon her has advised the same thing. I have been induced by their advice and as a last hope, endeavor to get her under your charge and I write this for the purpose of ascertaining whether she could be received there are not. You will confer a favor by writing to me as soon as you receive this and let me know if there is a vacancy or not and 1 will then take the proper steps to have her admitted into the asylum. Direct to Mouth of Paca Putnam County.

Respectfully yours,   Wm. E. Paige


[Box 1 Folder 50]


Harpers Ferry

Dear Sir

I wrote to be informed by you if you can take into the Asylum at Staunton of which you have the control a lunatic extremely deranged so much so as to be dangerous by the name of Joshua Hartman, He lives near this place in Loudon County. His brothers have been forced to confine him at their house, is still confined has been deranged for some time. You will do me the favor to write to me on this subject as soon as praticable.

Yrs resesectfuly Chs B. Harding

April 4th 1854


[Box 1 Folder 51]


Morgantown Sept 28 1854

Dear Sir

I send enclosed the Resolutions of the Eastern State Lunatic Asylum in which they require that the superintendent of the western asylum makes it apparent that there is no vacancy in the western Asylum and no Non Resident. You will please send to me a certificate or otherwise to fill the requirement as soon as possible. There is a vacancy in the Eastern Asylum.

Yours to our pleasure will be much obliged.

John F. Fleming, Sheriff of Morgantown


[Box 1 Folder 52]


April 18th 1857  

Dr. Francis T. Stribling

Dear Sir,

I stopped into bank this morning to deposit to your credit the amount I will try I should but cashier objected to doing so not having any receipt with you and not have your signature – I therefore forward you a check for the amount - all once - that no confusion may arise.

Very respectfully yr

Henry T. Holliday


[Box 1 Folder 53]


Oct 15 1857

Dear Sir,

A while back I drop you a line or two, hoping you may excuse my manner of address as you must know that neither words nor language would be studied by me on the subject of our correspondence. Believing that 1 do that you appreciate my feelings and hoping that you feel an urgency for a suffering mortal you will at every convenience inform me of the status of my afflicted wife. 1 need not write any more you understand me please gratify Your Humble servant John H Thomas

Note: My little boy just asked me why you do not let us know how Mother is. You must answer him.


[Box 1 Folder 54]


Farmville, May 15th 1861

Dr. F. T. Stribling

Dr Sir

Your valued favor of the 12th Inst with a statement of Mr. B. Morton's expenses at the asylum (which was sent through mistake to Cumberland Court House) is this I have often thought why it was, that some call has not been made upon save for his cooperation and it is more a matter of some subject with me - that it has been outraged until the amount grows so large - But this is my fault, not yours as I ought to have suggested to do. I have yet to collect a considerable amount of credit and for the bills of Mr. Morton's contracts but will go about it immediately and within a few weeks If you have occasion to concur please discuss at 60 or 90 days, your oversight do so through the back at this place and the account shall be paid or, if it is proper I can [XXXX] the month of July remit you or Mr. Baumgardener a check on Farmers Bank at Richmond for this


[Page 2]


amount and I will later at first opportunity to consult with Mr. Morton's near relatives about the prospect of furnishing him with a suit of men's clothing- I would myself let him have it.

I am Dr Sir,

Yours very respectfully, Ivan W. Morton

Committee for G.C. Morton


[Box 1 Folder 55]


Harrisonburg, Va. February 22nd 1868

Doctor Stibling

Dear Sir-

At the request of Martin Buckholder I write to you to know what chance there is thought he could be received if they would send him up immediately. His brother has determined to take him up as soon as it is known that you will receive him.

Please inform me by return mail what arrangements can be made And

Oblige Your's David Hartman


[Box 1 Folder 56]


The American Institute or Scientific Research

Section B

American Society for Psychical Research

518 West 148 Street

New York: Nov. 16th, 1907

Dr. Charles W. Pilgram,

My dear Sir:

Many thanks for the reply to my inquiry. Elizabeth McCarthy is the name of the woman about whom I wrote. I should be pleased to have what information you can give me about her case.

1 do not expect to find anything supernormal init, but the report of a correspondent to me makes it necessary to ascertain whether his statements are true or not. I have also an interest psychologically in alt cases of the insane that purport to take a spiritistic form. I want to see if there is any natural connection between supernormal phenomena and abnormal cases. I have hitherto been unable to find scientific evidence that the ordinary psychic type tends to insanity. 1 have had cases reported to me in a loose and unsatisfactory way, but all the evidence 1 have of the supernormal seems to occur in ordinarily healthy people. They may at some time in their lives betray evidence of some neurosis or psychosis, but I have not been able to prove it scientifically. If we found any supernormal in connection with some insane cases, whether before or after confinement, we might get a clue to some interesting cases occasionally coming to me. But 1 very much doubt if we shall find enough of the supernormal associated with the abnormal to form any theory about it. But in my inquiries, I cannot stop with expectations. I must investigate regardless of all this. I shall be glad to have any information regarding Elizabeth McCarthy's history both before and after her coming to the asylum.

Very sincerely,

(Signed) James H. Hyslop




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