Special Collections & University Archives
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Monday - Friday:
9 am - 4:30 pm
Other times by appointment
The Special Collections is located on the east side of the Library
at the front of the 3rd floor.
Patricia W. & J. Douglas Perry Library
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0256
telephone (757) 683-5350
fax (757) 683-5954
The Papers of Elizabeth Calvert Page Dabney
Scope and Contents - Access - Inventory and Item Description
Elizabeth Calvert Page Dabney is a former Professor of English at Old Dominion
University and a descendant of an old Norfolk family.
The history of Elizabeth Calvert Page Dabney's family includes the histories
of the Dabneys, the Pages, the Gordon's, the Whittles, and the Loyalls.
The Pages are an old and well-known Virginia family historically distinguished
for their devotion to the Episcopal Church. They are related by marriage to
the famous Revolutionary War General "Light Horse Harry" Lee and General
Robert E. Lee. Another General, Richard Lucien Page, served the United States
Navy in the War of 1812 and in the Mexican War. When Virginia seceded from the
Union in 1861, he resigned his commission to the Union and was commissioned
in the Navy of the Confederacy. He was later captured as a prisoner of war,
and released after the Civil War.
The Gordon family came to Virginia from Scotland in the 1700's. Samuel and
Basil Gordon, and Samuel's nephew, were the first of their family in Virginia.
The three men married three sisters who were the daughters of William Knox of
Culpepper County, Virginia. They settled near Fredericksburg. In 1812, after
the death of their father, the Gordon's returned home to Scotland. Samuel and
Agnes Knox Gordon remained in Scotland and England for the next twenty years
before returning to Virginia.
The Loyall's lived in Norfolk during the Civil War. Camilla Frances Loyall
kept a diary of her experiences during this time. Her accounts include the capture
of Norfolk by the Union in 1862.
Scope and Contents
The papers contained in this collection date from 1812 to 1943. They include
family diaries, speeches and essays about the Confederacy during the Civil War,
old newspapers and booklets, and various legal documents and certificates. Of
particular note are Camilla Frances Loyall's first hand accounts of Norfolk
during the Civil War, and it's capture by General Wool and the Union in 1862.
Gift of Ms. Dabney, July 1978
Open to researchers without restrictions. Questions on literary property rights
should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian
1 Hollinger box and 1 document case
Inventory and Item Description
Folder 1: The Gordon Family - Genealogical Data
Folder 2: Diary of Agnes Knox Gordon (Dabney's great-great grandmother) - This
diary, dating from 1812 to 1839, recounts life in Scotland and England, then
follows the journey to the United States and then life in Virginia. (Typed
Folder 3: Diary of Camilla Frances Loyall (Admiral David Farragut's sister-in-law)
- This diary, written in Norfolk, Virginia during the Civil War, dates from
May 1 - June 14, 1862 and describes the Union's occupation of Norfolk and the
city's reaction to one of its own, Admiral David Farragut, leading U.S. Naval
forces in the capture of New Orleans.
Folder 4: Description by William C. Whittle (Dabney's grandfather) of Naval
Action, March 1860 - Relates to story of Whittle's first action in the United
States Navy when he was serving as a midshipman on the USS Preble. The action
occurred off Anton Lizardo near Vera Cruz, Mexico and involved US naval vessels
and two steamships flying no flag whose objective was to assist General Miramon
in his rebellion against President Juarez of Mexico. The two vessels had sailed
from Havana, Cuba.
Folder 5: "Cruises of the Confederate States Steamers 'Shenandoah' and
'Nashville'" - Written by Captain William C. Whittle, an officer on board.
Published in 1910.
Folder 6: Speech by William Conway Whittle - Handwritten text of a speech delivered
to the United Daughters of the Confederacy Shaw-Niemyer (?) Camp, Berkley, Virginia
Folder 7: Jefferson Davis Home Association Life Membership - William C. Whittle
Folder 8: Certificate of Merit - Edmonia L. Whittle - Jan. 1, 1943 - First Fighter
Command Auxiliary Aircraft Warning Service
Folder 9: Confederate Bond - $500
Folder 10: Proceedings of the Twenty-Ninth Annual Meeting of the Grand Camp,
Confederate Veterans, Proceedings, Department of Virginia - October 24-26, 1916
Folder 11: Address by Miss Mildred Lewis Rutherford, Historian General, U. D.C.
(United Daughters of the Confederacy) - "Historical Sins of Omission and
Commission" - delivered Oct. 22, 1915 at San Francisco, CA
Folder 12: Receipt and Legal Agreement re. 161 Duke Street - between Samuel
Hirsch and Sarah Alexina Page, November 10, 1898 in regard to the sale of a
lot and dwelling at 161 Duke Street, Norfolk
Folder 13: Receipt for payment of real estate commission by Richard L. Page
to Pannill Bros. (Nov. 10, 1898)
Folder 14: Receipt for Purchase of Slaves (1854) - receipt of the purchase of
a slave, Catherine, with her two children, Dec. 27, 1854, by Mr. R. L. Page
Folder 15: Memorial Sermon to General Richard Lucien Page (2 copies) - by the
Reverend Carl E. Grammer in Christ Church, Norfolk, August 18, 1901
Folder 16: Report of the Ivanhoe Land and Improvement Company of Ivanhoe, Wythe
County, VA (1890-1892)
Folder 17: Concerning Old Norfolk (2 copies) - 1904 booklet on Norfolk history
Folder 18: The Gray Jacket, Nov. 1893
Folder 19: The Gray Jacket, Dec. 1893
Folder 20: The Gray Jacket, March 1894
Folder 21: The Gray Jacket, Nov. 1897
Folder 22: The Jamestown Bulletin, July 1906 - Jamestown Exposition
Folder 23: Charleston News and Courier, May 10, 1899 - "Reunion - United
Folder 24: Raleigh News and Observer, May 11, 1902
Folder 25: Norfolk Landmark, June 11, 1905
Folder 26: Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 10, 1918
Folder 27: The History and Adventure of Little James and Mary by Lucy Watkins
Folder 28: Envelope postmarked July 11, 1885 and addressed to Captain William
Folders 1-3: Graduation Certificates