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Collection Number: 04872-z

Collection Title: Philip Aylett Fitzhugh Papers, 1842-1891

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size About 30 items
Abstract Correspondence by and relating to Philip Aylett Fitzhugh (1824-1908), physician of Northampton County, Va.; his wife, author Georgiana Tankard Fitzhugh (1827-1899); and his siblings. Included are six letters, 1844-1845, pertaining to his education and training as a doctor at the Virginia Military Institute and society in Lexington, Va.; and letters, 1850-1853, 1866, 1890-1891, from his brother, John H. Fitzhugh, who emigrated to Kentucky and Austin, Tex. Two letters, 1845 and 1866, discuss the emancipation of slaves. Also included are two letters on legal issues: one, 1876, from Judge John Critchen (1820-1901) and one, 1879, from University of Virginia law professor John B. Minor (1813-1895).
Creator Fitzhugh, Philip Aylett, 1824-1908.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Philip Aylett Fitzhugh Papers #4872-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Purchased from Terry Alford, Annandale, Va., March 1997 (Acc. 97048).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Philip Aylett Fitzhugh (1824-1908) was a member of an old Virginia family and attended the Virginia Military Institute (V.M.I.) at Lexington, Va., in the mid-1840s to study medicine. By the early 1850s Fitzhugh was practicing medicine in Johnsontown, Northampton County, Va. Dr. Fitzhugh married Georgiana Tankard (1827-1899) of Northampton County in 1849. A graduate of the Wesleyan Female Institute of Wilmington, Del., Mrs. Fitzhugh authored The Life of Doctor John Tankard (1907) and other works.

Correspondence pertaining to Fitzhugh's V.M.I. years includes:

Six letters, 1844-1845, by Fitzhugh on cadet life at V.M.I., including a description of Christmas Day celebrations, Whig politics, a speech by Fitzhugh to the Temperance Society of Lexington, the decline of Washington (later Washington and Lee) College, Lexington society, and other events;

A letter, 22 November 1845, which mentions the freedom of a slave named Betsy and a servant named Andy, "but owing to his peculiar dark complexion which characterizes the true African race, we gave him the appropriate appellation of Snowball";

Two printed forms, signed and completed in manuscript, showing the academic, moral, and financial standing of Fitzhugh, by F. H. Smith, Superintendent of V.M.I.

Family and related correspondence includes:

Letter, 29 May 1846, to Fitzhugh from William Spotswood Fontaine of Fontainbleau, King William County, Va., discussing their friend, Henry Aylett (1825-1870), great-grandson of Patrick Henry;

Letter, 18 May 1849, from Fitzhugh and his wife to his mother-in-law, Anna K. Tankard, while the couple were on their bridal tour;

Letter, 29 February 1851; from Fitzhugh to his brother informing him that their brother John had been shot and wounded by an unknown assailant in Louisville, Ky.;

Six letters, 1850-1853, from the Covington, Ky., area from Philip's brother, John H. Fitzhugh, who emigrated west, describing his loneliness, railroad and freighting work, wounding by an unknown assailant, and the collapse of a church floor while a bishop was giving a sermon;

Three letters, 1866, 1890, 1891, from John Fitzhugh in Austin, Tex. The 27 July 1866 letter describes the financial ruin which ensued from his enlistment in the Confederate Army, the loss of his horses, and how "bushwhackers" had driven them from their home. He mentioned that their sister-in-law Mary in Virginia had also suffered with Negroes stealing nearly all of her clothing. The 1891 letter states he was pleased with the new minister at the Austin Baptist Church, W. B. Garrett, at whose Virginia home John Wilkes Booth died.

The collection also includes three additional letters:

10 November 1867, from John A. Fitzhugh of New York, nephew of Philip Fitzhugh;

27 March 1876, from Judge John Critchen (1820-1901), sending legal opinions;

24 March 1879, from John B. Minor (1813-1895), sending legal opinions to Mr. Williams of Baltimore (connection to Fitzhughs unclear).

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Tim Pyatt, April 1997

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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