herstory: a history
Abrief "Herstory" of the Women of Albemarle County, VA...
In the history of Albemarle County, there has been a great deal written about three women: Martha Jefferson, wife of Thomas Jefferson (third President of the United States) and Martha “Patsy” and Maria “Polly” Jefferson, their daughters. Here, however, we would like to call your attention to some of the women who have not been so widely acclaimed, but who have also, in their own ways, played important roles in the rich scenario of our local, state and national history. These are not “women-behind-the men” figures, but women who must be recognized for their individual, worthwhile accomplishments.
Much of the information we present here cannot be documented, and some of it falls into the realm of folklore. A large reason for this is that only in the last fifty years have many local women publicly received credit where credit is due. Also, this kind of project has never been undertaken before, and naturally, well-documented and complete information was not easily obtainable.
We have limited the women mentioned here to those who are deceased, and have listed them in chronological order so that our story will flow. We regret that we have not been able, by any means, to include all those women who deserve mention. We can but only hope that in the near future, these women too will receive recognition worthy of their own endeavors and accomplishments.
We begin this list of women in our local history with a woman whose name alone is significant in the origins of our city. Charlottesville was named in 1762 for Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III of Great Britain, who was crowned that same year. Queen Charlotte was formerly Princess Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, one of the German principalities.
SARAH LYNCH TERRELL
Sarah Lynch Terrell was born in Albemarle County in 1738 – five years before the birth of Thomas Jefferson. She was the daughter of Charles Lynch of “Pen Park” and his wife, Sarah Clark, who was a daughter of Christopher and Penelope Clark. The county was then part of the Country’s western frontier. In 1748, Sarah Lynch’s family, who were Quakers, helped to start Sugar Loaf Friends Meeting near Keswick. Then in 1752, they and several other Quaker families moved about 70 miles south to a location on the James River where they founded the city of Lynchburg and started the South River Friends Meeting. Sarah married Micajah Terrell about 1754, and together they had eight children.
Sarah Terrell became a vigorous anti-slavery leader. Before 1770, she induced her husband and other South River Quakers to free their slaves. This led to a later movement within Virginia Quakers to disown any members who refused to set their slaves free, and, in 1782, Virginia Quakers persuaded the General Assembly to pass an act easing the restrictions on setting slaves free.
Sarah Terrell died some time between 1770 and 1773, probably at the birth of her daughter Mary. At the time she was no older than 35. After her death, her anti-slavery writings were widely read among Friends as “The Last Sayings of Sarah Terrell.”
SARAH COLES STEVENSON
“Today, in Albemarle County, Virginia, where ‘charming Callie’ was born, raised and buried, her name is virtually unknown. Although she is easily the first lady of this ancient county that boasts Thomas Jefferson, George Rogers Clark and Meriwether Lewis among its sons, Sallie Stevenson is buried and forgotten, her grave marked by a weather-beaten slab in a remote graveyard deep in the Virginia forest,” says Edward Boykin, author of Victoria, Albert, and Mrs. Stevenson, a book about Sarah Coles Stevenson, published in 1957.
Sallie Coles was born on May 5, 1789, just six days after George Washington took oath as the first president of the United States. She was the daughter of John and Rebecca Coles, and was born at “Enniscorthy,” the Coles family home in the Green Mountain section of Albemarle County, Virginia. In 1816, Sallie met and married Andrew Stevenson, who later served nine and a half sessions in the Virginia House of Delegates and thirteen years in Congress, seven years of which were spent as Speaker of the House of Representatives. In 1836, the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of Andrew Stevenson as “Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Great Britain” where he served until 1841. Sallie Stevenson arrived in England at the beginning of the reign of Queen Victoria, and both she and her husband attended the Queen’s gala coronation.
The favorite story told about Sallie Stevenson is her presentation of the Albemarle Pippin, an apple grown on the ridges of the Blue Ridge Mountains and named for Albemarle County, to the court of Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria was delighted with the taste of the apple and, in order to please the Queen, Parliament permitted the Virginia fruit to enter Britain duty-free. For almost fifty years after that time, the Albemarle Pippin was considered the “Court apple.”
Sallie Stevenson also became famous for her voluminous private correspondence, and for her friends and relatives she painted glowing descriptions with her pen of British society and court life.
In 1846, the Stevensons returned to Virginia where they purchased the ancient estate of “Blenheim” near Charlottesville. Sallie Coles Stevenson died near Richmond on January 2, 1948, and she is buried in the old Coles graveyard near “Enniscorthy.”
LUCY MERIWETHER LEWIS
The mother of the explorer Meriwether Lewis, Lucy Meriwether Lewis was also a well-known character in her own right and many stories have been quoted about her frontier spirit in the early days of Albemarle County. She was the granddaughter of Nicholas Meriwether, who in 1727 patented the first tract of land in what is now Albemarle County. Her husband was William Lewis, a lieutenant in the Revolutionary Army, who was a son of Col. Robert Lewis of “Belvoir” and Jane Meriwether. After her husband’s death shortly after the Revolution, she married Col. John Mark. Mary Rawlings, in her book, The Albemarle of Other Days, perhaps best tells about this extraordinary woman: “Of this exceptional woman, Gov. Gilmer, in the Georgians, says: ‘She was sincere, truthful, industrious and kind without limit – Meriwether Lewis inherited the energy, courage, activity and good understanding of his admirable mother.’ Anecdotes of her still survive in the neighborhood. It is told that during the war, and while her husband was absent with his command, a party of British officers from the prison camp at “The Barracks” made a visit to “Locust Hill.” Becoming somewhat uproarious, they as a joke extinguished the lights, whereupon the young matron took her gun, called her servants, and in person expelled them from the premises.
“Upon another occasion her home was the gathering place for a party of hunters. All was in readiness; in the early morning the dogs started a fine deer, and the guests were off in great form. Later in the morning, Mrs. Lewis was interrupted in her household duties by the news that a deer was in sight of the house. With dogs, gun and servants she drove it into the yard against a corner of the chimney, and the servants being frightened, shot it herself. She also cut its throat with her own hands, and superintended its preparation for the meathouse. At evening the hunters returned despondent, having met with no success. Mrs. Lewis made no comment, but at the supper table the guests were greeted with a smoking venison haunch!”
Her son, Meriwether Lewis, lived only to the age of 35 and never returned home from any of his explorations. In 1809, on an official visit as territorial governor of Louisiana, he died by a gunshot wound in a country inn in Tennessee. Whether he was murdered or died by his own hand is still an open question. His mother never believed the story of his death and she watched for his return for years. She never allowed the presents he sent her to be opened (he requested that she wait until his return to open them), and she remained at “Locust Hill” tending her medicinal herb garden and the sick. Even when she was somewhere between the ages of 70 and 80, it was discovered one day that the elderly woman had ridden eight miles on horseback to minister to the sick.
JANE HOLLINS NICHOLAS RANDOLPH
Edge Hill School, one of the first boarding schools for girls, was founded by Jane Randolph in 1836. The wife of Col. Thomas Jefferson Randolph and the daughter of Wilson Cary Nicholas, Governor of Virginia, Jane Randolph found that she and her family faced economic adversity despite her famous lineage. Her husband was forced to use a large share of his wealth to settle the insolvent estate of Thomas Jefferson. Probably as a result of this economic hardship, Jane Randolph started the Edge Hill School for Young Ladies by taking in girls to live on their estate, “Edge Hill,” in Albemarle County. She was assisted in operating the school by two sisters of her husband, Mary and Cornelia Randolph. Jane Randolph died at “Edge Hill” on January 18, 1871.
MRS. JOSHUA WHEELER
In her book, The Albemarle of Other Days, Mary Rawlings mentions a Mrs. Joshua Wheeler (her maiden name goes unmentioned) who, in her own way, made a significant contribution to the education of the children of Albemarle County. “One of the earlier
workers, “ says Miss Rawlings, “among the mountain whites was Mrs. Joshua Wheeler (later Mrs. Kirby), whose substantial old brick home long stood on the site now occupied by the poor farm (on present Route 29 near Red Hill). Settling there about 1840, as a bride of fifteen, she soon opened a school in a log house in her yard. To this the mountain children came for many years, their tuition being partly provided by the Indigent Fund for Poor Whites. As the only woman of education within their radius, Mrs. Wheeler attained great influence among the mountain people – at times of marriage, birth and death, she was invariably sent for … .”
ORIANNA MOON ANDREWS
In the mid-1850’s the residents of the town of Scottsville were horrified to learn that a daughter of one of the town’s most prominent families, the Moons of “Viewmont,” had announced that she too, like her brother, wished to become a doctor. Nevertheless, Orianna Moon was not deterred, and, encouraged by her parents, left Virginia to begin her education, first at a preparatory school, Troy Female Seminary in Troy, New York. After graduation there, Orianna returned to Virginia speaking of the freedom she had seen among Northern women, of discussions of women’s rights, and even of abolition of slavery. She graduated from the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1857 as a doctor. For a while, after graduation, Orianna joined her uncle, James Barclay, a Campbellite missionary in Jerusalem healing the “heathen.”
Charlottesville was a hospital center during the Civil War and Orianna Moon assisted in turning University of Virginia buildings into hospital units. Her efforts were recognized by her award of a surgeon’s commission as a captain in the Confederate Army – reputedly the only one given to a woman. Called in to assist a young doctor whose brother was dying after the battle at Manassas, Orianna Moon fell in love and later married this Dr. John S. Andrews. They practiced together, first in Tennessee and then returned to establish a hospital in Scottsville in 1882.
Born in 1840 into a remarkable and talented family – her mother was a descendant of Robert Barclay, the Quaker scholar and friend of William Penn – Lottie Moon was the liveliest of three sisters and was always into mischief at home and at school. An apt student, she excelled at the newly-established Hollins College and went on to the Albemarle Female Institute where she studied with the faculty from the University of Virginia. In 1861, on the eve of the Civil War, she graduated with distinction in a class of five girls – the first woman ever to receive the Master of Arts degree in the South.
During the war, Lottie remained with her mother at the family plantation in Scottsville, “Viewmont,” assisting her sister, Dr. Orianna Moon, with the wounded when she could. After the war, her ability as a teacher assured her a career in that field, but, an ardent Baptist like her mother, she was determined to be a missionary and in 1873 was appointed by the Southern Baptist Convention to serve in Tengehou, North China, one of the first single women to serve in the area. For 40 years, until her death in 1912, she distinguished herself as an evangelist, teacher, scholar, translator of the Bible into Chinese, and an able advocate for missionary support in southern churches. The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, named in her honor, continues to bring thousands of dollars to the cause of foreign missions each year.
Note: Other family members took a more active part in the Civil War – the men in various Confederate regiments, her older sister, Orianna Moon Andrews as the only woman captain and surgeon in the Confederate Army, and two girl cousins gave splendid service as Southern spies, using the disguise of Irish washwomen and often penetrating the Federal Lines. One of them had been the sweetheart of General Burnside in the days before the war. While on a dangerous mission in the camp of the enemy, she was suspected and taken before General Burnside, who was fighting for the North. He recognized her and using his authority as a general sent her back through the lines escorted by a guard, with a warning that the next time the general who captured her might not be so considerate.
SARAH NICHOLS RANDOLPH
Sarah Nichols Randolph, born in 1839, was descended from a distinguished lineage – both her grandfathers were governors of Virginia and one of her great-grandfathers was Thomas Jefferson. Her mother, Jane Nicholas Randolph, founded at “Edge Hill,” the family home of her brother, Col. Thomas Jefferson Randolph, the Edge Hill School for Young Ladies, and Sarah, along with another sister, Cornelia, taught there until 1879. During that time, she compiled and edited the letters of Thomas Jefferson which were in the possession of her family and published The Domestic Life of Thomas Jefferson, reputedly the most accurate account of that aspect of Thomas Jefferson’s life. Her other works included a biography of General Stonewall Jackson, an essay on Martha Jefferson Randolph, published in Mrs. Wister’s Famous Women of the Revolution in 1876, and a story called “The Land Will Provide.” In 1879 she left “Edge Hill” to become principal of the Patapsco Institute of Ellicott, Maryland, and in 1885 she left to establish her own school in Baltimore where she taught until her death in 1892. She is buried in the Monticello cemetery, along with other members of her family.
Julia Magruder’s fiction and non-fiction were often directed toward changing social status of women. Born in Charlottesville in 1854 (?), she published her first novel at eighteen and won a prize of three hundred dollars given by the Baltimore Sun. Chief among her twenty novels were Princess Sonia and Manifest Destiny. Princess Sonia, like some of her other novels, was illustrated by Charles Dana Gibson. Julia Magruder also directed her works toward child labor questions and, in addition, wrote some children’s books and short stories. She died in 1907.
AMELIE RIVES TROUBETZKOY
Amelie Rives Troubetzkoy is surely one of the more romantic figures in the history of Albemarle County. The first child born to Alfred Landon Rives and Sarah McMurdo, Amelie was raised at the Rives home of “Castle Hill” in Albemarle County, and was the great-great-granddaughter of Doctor Thomas Walker. Amelie was educated by governesses and at an early age became interested in drama. She also learned to speak and read French fluently. Although her grandmother, Mrs. William Cabell Rives frowned upon Amelie’s writing, her mother encouraged her and even persuaded her to show one of her stories to the editor of Atlantic Monthly, who was visiting “Castle Hill.” Her article was accepted for publication and appeared in the March 1886 issue, without her name. In the succeeding years, a number of her stories and poetry appeared in American magazines. In 1888, Amelie decided to try a novel and produced The Quick or the Dead?, which, to her surprise, became one of the most controversial books of its day, selling a record 300,000 copies. During her lifetime she wrote six more novels, and three plays, the most successful of which was The Prince and the Pauper, a dramatization of her novel of the same name. In June 1888, Amelie married John Armstrong Chanler, a young lawyer whom she met during her entrance into American society at Newport, Rhode Island. It was an unhappy marriage and in the summer of 1894 Amelie met Prince Pierre Troubetzkoy, a prominent portrait painter and the son of a Russian nobleman, at a party given in London by playwright Oscar Wilde. In 1895, Amelie was divorced in South Dakota from Chanler and married Pierre in February, 1896, at “Castle Hill.” She was presented to the Russian Court in 1908. This marriage lasted for forty years and other than winters spent in New York or Washington, D.C., Amelie and Pierre spent a great deal of their time at “Castle Hill.” Amelie’s writing became sparse during her second marriage partly because of her renewed interest in painting and partly because of bouts of rheumatic gout. On August 24, 1936, Pierre died suddenly of a heart attack, and Amelie died on June 16, 1945, after years of declining health in a Charlottesville nursing home.
ROBINETTE CLELAND THOMPKINS
Nurse Thompkins was the first trained nurse in Albemarle County and among the first licensed nurses in Virginia. She was born in 1863, the daughter of Augustine Poore and Charles Gilmer Thompkins. Robinette entered the Homeopathic Hospital Nursing School (now Genesee School of Nursing), in Rochester, New York, in 1893. She graduated in 1895 and returned to Charlottesville, where she was a private nurse except when she headed Dr. Hugh T. Nelson’s Sanatorium at 201 East High Street. As one Charlottesville doctor recalls, “In about ’98 Miss Robinette Thompkins came to Charlottesville to do private nursing. The general prediction was that she would starve, but she didn’t, …” (Dr. Halstead S. Hedges, “A Doctor’s Reminiscences of Albemarle County,” in Papers of the Albemarle County Historical Society, 1942-43).
NANNIE COX JACKSON
Because of Nannie Cox Jackson, many black children in Charlottesville were provided with school lunches, an athletic program, and for boys, the first (and last) all-boys domestic science class. Born in 1865 and the daughter of a black slave owned by Thomas Jefferson, Nannie Cox was a native of Charlottesville and was educated in public schools in Charlottesville and Washington, D.C. She began teaching at the secondary level at Jefferson High School as a domestic science teacher. While at Jefferson, she started the school lunch program. Approved but not financially supported by the school board, Nannie Cox Jackson prepared lunches which were sold to students for a few pennies, and those who could not afford to pay the small fee were allowed to work for their lunches. The school board later saw the value of this program and instituted such a program throughout the City of Charlottesville. Also, recognizing the need for an athletic program at Jefferson High School, Nannie Cox Jackson solicited money and supplies from local residents and equipped the high school’s first football team. She even located the coach on her own (a science teacher who coached the first team with the assistance of a local doctor), and she fed the team regularly after each football game from cafeteria funds. Later, the school board agreed to hire a part-time coach, but, unfortunately no instructor for an all-boys domestic science class. Nannie Cox Jackson retired in 1939 after having taught in the Albemarle and Charlottesville school systems for more than fifty years. In 1969, a new school in the Charlottesville school system, Jackson-Via Elementary School, was named in her honor.
CARRIE CORNELIA BURNLEY and SEREPTA MORAN
The Civil War raged for one more year after the birth of Carrie Cornelia Burnley in Albemarle County in 1864. In 1868, at the age of four, Carrie and her family moved to Rio Mills, a small settlement on the Rivanna River. Her first opportunity for a formal education came when her uncle enabled her to attend Miss Howard’s school in Charlottesville. After teaching for three years in Harrisonburg schools, Carrie Burnley began a teaching career in Charlottesville schools which spanned fifty years. She taught first in the elementary schools, then the high school and later served as principal of McGuffey Elementary School, a position from which she retired at age 80. Carrie Cornelia Burnley died on September 17, 1954, at the age of 90.
The Burnley-Moran Elementary School in Charlottesville is named in honor of Miss Carrie Burnley and Miss Serepta Moran, another dedicated teacher who was for many years the principal of Venable Elementary School, also in Charlottesville.
BETTY BURWELL BOOKER
Charlottesville claimed residence of a world-traveling opera star in the early 1900s: Betty Burwell Booker. Born in 1875, she moved in Charlottesville from Richmond in 1900, and then studied opera in New York, Paris and London in 1901. She soon joined the Melba Company, a popular European troupe led by Dame Nellie Melba, and made her debut with the Royal Opera at London’s Covenant Gardens at the 1911 coronation command performance for King George V and Queen Mary. Later she gave recitals for Queen Mary at Buckingham Palace and performed in Europe in “Madame Butterfly,” “Aida,” and “Rosenkavalies,” among others. With the J. Francis Hartford Quartet, she sang throughout England and gave monthly performances at Oxford University. Following her return to Charlottesville before World War I, Betty Booker toured the South and gave many performances in Virginia – performances made to benefit the building of St. Paul’s Memorial Church, of which she was a founding member. Betty Booker’s home across from the Rotunda, 1609 University Avenue, was home for nearly 500 University of Virginia students during the first half of the twentieth century. It was also a meeting place for musicians, writers, and professors during the years between World Wars I and II. Betty Booker died in 1967.
LADY NANCY LANGHORNE ASTOR
Lady Astor was most definitely one of Charlottesville’s and Albemarle County’s most distinguished residents. Born in 1879, Nancy Langhorne spent much of her childhood in Albemarle County at “Mirador,” the home of her father, Col. Chiswell Dabney Langhorne. Her first marriage to Robert Gould Shaw in 1897 ended in divorce in 1903, and she then married the Hon. Waldorf Astor in 1906 and became a British subject. When her husband succeeded to the viscounty in 1919 and entered the House of Lords, Nancy Langhorne Astor was elected to his seat in the House of Commons as member for the Sutton division of Plymouth. She thus became the first woman MP to sit in the Imperial Parliament, and she retained her seat until her retirement in 1945. Lady Astor was widely known as a crusading temperance advocate, and for her opposition to socialism both before and after her well-publicized visit to Russia with George Bernard Shaw in 1931. Among the causes Lady Astor called her own were women’s rights, prohibition, birth control, nursery schools, and friendly British-American relations. It was said of Lady Astor that she “was an unreconstructed Virginia rebel who became a peeress of the United Kingdom, and first, wittiest, more famous lady member of the British Parliament.”
It is only because of this author that we know so much about the history of Albemarle County today. Mary Rawlings was the daughter of James Minor Rawlings, D.D., a Presbyterian minister, and Helen Carter Watson, and was born in Charlottesville on December 15, 1873. She grew up in Lynchburg where her father was pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church, but later she attended Edge Hill School for Young Ladies while her father was chaplain at the University of Virginia from 1886 to 1888. After living in South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia, Mary Rawlings made her home in Charlottesville about 1900. Her first book, Albemarle of Other Days, was published in 1925 and Ante-Bellum Albemarle followed in 1935. She edited the collections of James Alexander, editor and publisher of the “Jeffersonian Republican” in the 19th century, into a book, Early Charlottesville, in 1942. Her Historical Guide to Charlottesville was published in 1958. In addition to all these works, Mary Rawlings also did a great deal of research for the historical society and assisted individual researchers on Albemarle history. She also had some short stories and poems published under the pen name of Minor Watson. Her last poem, “Winter Evening,” was published by the Christian Science Monitor on July 6, 1951.
Mary Rawlings was one of the founders of the Albemarle County Historical Society and of the Civic League. She was also honorary president of the historical society until her death in 1961.
VIRGINIA CARVER BECK and BESSIE DUNN MILLER
Both of these women were well known in the early 1900s for their work with rural residents of the County through home demonstration units. Virginia Carver Beck and Bessie Dunn Miller were also instrumental in the development of clinics for the treatment of cancer and other serious diseases. Virginia Beck was awarded a certificate of merit by the Virginia Polytechnic Institute for her contribution to Virginia farm life, and she was the first woman member of the Agricultural Conference of Virginia. The first home demonstration club in Albemarle County was formed at her home at Milton in 1966. Bessie Dunn Miller was the Albemarle County home demonstration agent for twenty years.
Author Lena Barksdale was commissioned by the Virginia State Board of Education to write a textbook on Virginia history. The only child of Col. Francis Nelson Barksdale and Selena Ridgeway, she was born in Pennsylvania in 1887 but spent her childhood in Albemarle County with her grandparents. At one point in her career, Lena Barksdale headed Doubleday Doran’s book department for children in New York. She is also the author of The First Thanksgiving and That Country Called Virginia.
Agnes Rothery has the distinction of having been awarded King Christian X’s Medal of Liberation in recognition of her writing on behalf of Denmark. The wife of a University of Virginia professor in the department of music and drama, Harry Rogers Pratt, Agnes Rothery began her writing career at Ladies Home Journal after graduating from Wellesley College in 1909. She later became editor of the women’s page of the Boston Herald and then literary editor. She was also contributing editor of Youth’s Companion and House Beautiful. Agnes Rothery wrote a great number of novels, books of travel, and even one play. Her last book was Houses Virginians Have Loved. Her will provided the legacy responsible for the founding of the Albemarle County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which is named in her honor.
OTELIA LOVE JACKSON
In 1959, many black voters were registered in Virginia largely due to the efforts of Otelia Love Jackson, and this was one of many civic efforts in which she was involved. Born in Waynesville, North Carolina, in 1889, Otelia Love married Dr. John A. Jackson, a dentist, in December, 1914, and bore seven children. Regardless of the large size of her family, however, she still had time to belong to numerous organizations, among which were the Gray Ladies during World War II, the City Welfare Board (served 18 years), the Daughter Elks, the League of Women Voters, the National Council of Negro Women, and Community Aid Incorporated. She helped to organize the City and County Nutrition Summer Camps for Underprivileged Children. Otelia Jackson also worked actively in the area of civil rights for blacks through her work on the State Board of the Council of Human Relations and as president of the “Crusade for Voters,” which was organized in 1959 in order to launch a statewide effort to register blacks to vote. She was a life member and recording secretary of the National Council of Women. Otelia Jackson died in 1966.
Born on November 5, 1893, in Lawrenceville, Virginia, Florence Buford began her education in a one-room schoolhouse in Brunswick County, Virginia. This beginning in the field of education was culminated in her 33-year principalship of Clark Elementary School in Charlottesville and naming of Buford Junior High in her honor on September 2, 1966. Florence Buford’s concern about the quality of life in Charlottesville was reflected in her wide participation in various civic organizations and her particularly notable achievement of requesting and receiving funds from the Virginia State Legislature to establish a school for the mentally retarded in Charlottesville. Florence Buford was also instrumental in forming the Council for Retarded Children and in obtaining public school facilities for special classes of these children. In a tribute to Florence Buford, which appeared in the Charlottesville Daily Progress on March 31, 1974, it was said that, “Women’s liberation as we know it is not a new force. Miss Buford faced many staunch male educators over many different issues – she won their respect.”
MARY FRAZIER CASH
Mary Frazier Cash came to Charlottesville in 1943 and until her sudden death was an active and dedicated participant in local government. Born in 1903, she was a graduate of Smith College. As a resident of Albemarle County, she served as president of the League of Women Voters, and as chairman of the local and state Voters’ Services Committee and vice-chairmen of the local Democratic Committee. She also had an outstanding record of achievement as president of the Civic League of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. She once said “Whatever I have done is the result of a life-long love affair with Albemarle County,” and she lent her leadership in all of these organizations toward promoting good government in the County and the City. She also began a tradition of active citizen participation in local government which resulted in increased responsiveness from public officials to public opinion. She was tragically killed in an automobile accident in Albemarle County on October 9, 1971. The beautification of Jackson Park in Charlottesville was done in her honor and in honor of Paul Goodloe Industries, its donor.
Our sincere thanks to the Albemarle County Historical
Society for its helpfulness and the use of its documents in
the researching of this material; local historian Bernard
Chamberlain for lending his expertise on local history and
to the Albemarle-Charlottesville Bicentennial Commission for
its enthusiastic support of this project. Also, our
appreciation goes to all those people who reached back in
their memories to help us bring to your attention these
women, who represent our own celebration of our country’s
This information was adapted from a pamphlet which was prepared and sponsored in 1976 by the National Organization for Women, Charlottesville Chapter, with the assistance of the Albemarle-Charlottesville Bicentennial Commission.
Editor: Sabra Bissette
Illustrator: McCrea Snyder Kudravetz
As part of the largest
organization of feminist grassroots activists in the
United States, Charlottesville NOW is dedicated to an
intersectional multi-issue and multi-strategy approach
to women’s rights. We take action to promote feminist
ideas, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination,
and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women
and girls in all aspects of social, political and