The Resource Daisy Lester Avery papers

Daisy Lester Avery papers

Daisy Lester Avery papers, 1906-1982
Daisy Lester Avery papers
Inclusive dates
  • Papers, 1906-1982, of Daisy Lester Avery (1889-1983) of Richmond, Virginia, including correspondence and subject files, mainly relating to her involvement with the United Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The collection also contains letters of her son, James Thomas Avery, Jr. (1915-1981), while he was attending the Virginia Military Institute
  • The earliest corrrespondence are primarily letters written by her husband James Thomas Avery, Sr. (1886-1918) while he was in New York on business. There are also congratulatory letters written to them following the birth of their son, James Thomas Avery, Jr. in 1915. Beginning in the 1930's, the letters deal with her activities with the United Confederate Veterans as adjutant general of the Virginia Division. Later correspondence is focused on her involvement with the United Daughters of the Confederacy, as well as other social and civic activities, and family news. There is a good deal of correspondence concerning Avery's efforts on legislation affecting the R. E. Lee Camp Confederate Soldiers' Home in Richmond, as well as letters relating to the "Massing of the Flags" celebration, that was held annually in Richmond on June 3rd to commemorate the birth of Jefferson Davis. Principal correspondents include her son and his wife, Hester Vail Avery (1915-1983), her daughter Virginia Avery Burnett (1911-1955), and her sister Lucille C. Mills (ca. 1883-1967), as well as numerous officers of the United Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy
  • The subject files include address books and calendars, artwork, clippings, greeting cards, insurance papers, invitations, notes and notebooks, photographs, poetry and song lyrics, programs, publications, sketchbooks, and sympathy cards and letters. There is also information relating to Avery's involvement in various Confederate organizations contained in the subject files. There are records of the Children of the Confederacy, and the Stonewall Jackson Chapter and Centennial Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, including handbooks, membership applications, minutes, programs, reports, and yearbooks. There are files relating to Jefferson Davis, including biographical information, efforts to have him elected to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, memorial addresses, publications, and planning materials concerning the annual June 3rd "Massing of the Flags" celebration in Richmond. The subject files also include Avery's work on legislation related to the R. E. Lee Camp Confederate Soldiers' Home, and a notebook containing a list of her work with Confederate groups from 1922 to 1965
  • Of particular note in the subject files are lists of "inmates," or residents, of the R. E. Lee Camp Confederate Soldiers' Home. These appear to be transcriptions of the registers included in LVA Accession 24736. There are two typescript lists, or "rolls," of former residents. The first covers surnames beginning with A-G, and includes the person's admission date, name, and regimental history. The second list is more detailed, and is 440 pages in length. It covers surnames A-Z, and includes admission date, name, age, where born, regimental history, cause of admission, by whom sent, cause of discharge (death date is often noted), and remarks. The two lists are arranged by first letter of the surname, and thereunder chronologically by date of admission. Some information contained in the lists has been lost due to water and mold damage to the originals. For preservation reasons, the entire two lists have been photocopied
  • The series of letters of her son, James Thomas Avery, Jr., include correspondence written while he was attending Camp Dudley, a boys' camp in Westport-on-Lake Champlain, New York in 1930. Topics include his participation in camp activities, including swimming, baseball, basketball, tennis, rifle practice, attending movies, as well as his health, family news and weather. Most of this series, however, are letters written to him while he was attending the Virginia Military Institute from 1931 to 1934. Most of the letters are from his mother, sister, and aunt, but there are also many from friends. Topics include inquiries and comments about his classes, grades, fellow cadets, and extracurricular activities. The letters also contain family news, especially concerning automobile trips around the country, his mother's social and civic activities, school activities, and news of mutual acquaintances in Richmond. The later letters in this series were written to him while he was attending ROTC training at Camp Hoyle, Maryland
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
Daisy Mae Lester was born on 13 September 1889. She was the daughter of Luther Calvin Lester and Nancy Elizabeth Davis. She married James Thomas Avery, Sr. (1886-1918) on 20 July 1910. They lived in New York City for a short time where he was employed by Norfolk Southern Railroad. He was transferred to Norfolk in 1918, and died there on 2 October 1918. Daisy Lester Avery moved to Richmond after her husband's death. She became involved in various social, civic, and religous groups, namely the United Confederate Veterans, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She joined the latter's Stonewall Jackson Chapter in 1922, and later served as its president from 1950 to 1954. Avery organized the annual "Massing of the Flags," held on June 3 at the Jefferson Davis Monument in Richmond to commemorate the birthday of the former Confederate president. She also organized the Centennial Chapter of the UDC in 1961, and two chapters of the Children of the Confederacy. She was also involved with the Council on Adult Education, the Richmond Public Forum, and Richmond League of Women Voters. Avery also studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. She was a member of Hanover Avenue Christian Church. She had three children: Virginia Lucille Avery (1911-1955), James Thomas Avery, Jr. (1915-1981), and Marsden Perry Avery (1918-1920). Daisy Lester Avery died in Richmond on 9 March 1983, and is buried in Hollywood Cemetery.
Cataloging source
Daisy Lester Avery papers
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
Governing access note
There are no access restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
Abbott, Tim
Organization method
Organized into the following series: I. Correspondence. II. Subject Files. III. James Thomas Avery, Jr. Letters.
Reproduction note
Type of unit
cu. ft. (26 boxes)

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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