Robert M. Rose Papers, 1809-1947
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Brief Description:

The Papers of Robert M. Rose is a collection of family papers including the business records and personal correspondence of four Norfolk families in the Rose-Tunstall lineage. The papers are arranged according to family into four series; however, the focal point of the collection is the papers of Commander Robert M. Rose.

The papers in the collection are original holographs with the exceptions of folders in Series I: Sub series C. Folders 24 and 25 are photocopies from the National Archives of materials relating to Commander Rose and his wife in the U.S. Naval Records of Officers. Folder 26 contains a carbon typescript of documents held at the U.S. Naval Academy Museum.

Held at:
Special Collections and University Archives
Email: pbruce [at]
Record Series Number: 00/MG 23
Created by: Rose, Robert M. (-1830)
Volume: 0.4 Linear Feet
Acquired: 11/18/1977.

Although Series I does not contain correspondence written by Robert Rose, there are multiple letters from his wife Mary and from several naval and business acquaintances. Those letters authored by Mary provide an insight into the Rose family, containing personal reminiscences as well as daily accounts of household and local affairs. There are, in addition, frequent references to the families and ship assignments of other naval officers. For example, Mary in her letter dated April 12, 1823 (Folder 1), recounts a rather grisly newspaper story concerning the pirating of a ship and the death of its captain at Campeachy. These and similar examples from Norfolk and naval life ca. 1820-1830 may prove of interest to the social historian.

Series II contains the correspondence and business papers of Commander Rose's son, Dr. Robert W. Rose. Although there are letters from family members and friends,, here as in the first series, there is no correspondence actually written by Dr. Rose. What could be considered as an exception to this is a copy of a legal document written on behalf of Dr. Rose and addressed to the 1893 Provisional Congress of the Confederate States (Folder 32). The document concerns the loss of six runaway slaves for whom Dr. Rose seeks financial redress from the Provisional Congress. From the remaining correspondence and papers, especially those in Folders 33 and 34, numerous genealogical references to the Rose family can be found.

Series III and IV include the papers of Dr. Robert B. Tunstall and his son Mr. Charles M. Tunstall respectively. Both of these series may be of little interest to the researcher because of their limited scope. Dr. Tunstall's papers concern the financial settlement of his estate while those of Charles Tunstall and his wife contain memorabilia such as World War II ration tickets. The importance of these two series to the collection lies in the information they provide relative to the connection between the Rose and Tunstall families and in establishing the provenance of the papers.

Access Restrictions: Open to researchers without restrictions.
Subject Index
Families--Virginia--History--19th century
Families--Virginia--History--20th century
Rose, Robert M., d. 1830
Rose family
Tunstall family
United States. Navy--Officers
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.
Acquisition Notes: Mrs. Caroline Heath Tunstall  Gift. Accession #A77-86
Related Materials: Other papers related to Robert M. Rose were given to the U.S. Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis, Maryland in 1950.
PreferredCitation: [Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], Robert M. Rose Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529.