Inclusive dates
  • Papers, 1790-1875, including correspondence, journals, receipts, financial records, and a Confederate bond
  • Series I includes a) Letter, 4 May 1864, from James Dick Cunningham to his brother, Lt. John M. Cunningham. Concerns life on the homefront during the Civil War. b) Letter, 25 May 1864, to Lt. John M. Cunningham from his mother, C. J. Cunningham. She tells him news about his other brothers fighting in the war, of the capture of James, a younger brother, by the Yankees while serving with county troops raised to guard a bridge at Mattoax, Amelia County, and the deaths in the war suffered by neighbors. The letter is filled with scripture and prayers in which she prays for the continued safety of her sons. c-d) Letters, 6 June and 13 June 1864, to Lt. John M. Cunningham from his mother. She discusses what is happening to Richard, who is serving in another theater, and indicates her intention to send some fresh vegetables. e) Farm Diary, 1835-1869, records the activities on the Elkwood Farm. Includes accounts, handwritten plats, lists of livestock killed and crops planted, lists of field hands hired, including African-Americans, recipes for paint, and memorandums on managing sheep, making "Negro" clothings, and preparing corn seed. Of note is a day by day account of the weather for the year 1835, including the temperatures three times a day and daily conditions. f) Envelopes, n.d., addressed to Lt. John M. Cunningham
  • Series II includes g) Letter, 27 April 1862, from R. W. Downman to his wife, detailing a soldier's life on the march and the attempts by some of the men to catch a squirrel for some food. Also, he wishes for peace so he can be with his loved ones and writes that McClellan will not attack. h) Account Book, 1790-1791 and 1852-1853, belonging to Joseph Ball Downman and R. W. Downman, respectively. i) Receipts, 1863-1864, for the purchase of Confederate Treasury Bonds
  • Series III includes j) Letter, n.d. to Lt. John M. Cunningham from his father, who writes his son that the potatoes have been left at his uncle's office in Richmond and wonders if his company had been sent to Lynchburg with General Jubal Early. k) Farm Diaries, 1 January 1838-28 February 1862, 1 January 1864-23 February 1864, and 1 January 1869-28 June 1875, detailing the work and weather for Grange Farm in Culpeper County. l) Cash Book, 1852-1862, recording items bought and cash paid. m) $100 Confederate Bond, 1862
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
  • In 1844, Lavinia Yates Downman of Fauquier County married George Hamilton (ca. b. 1815) of Culpeper County. Their daughter, Roberta Wilmet Hamilton married John Miller Cunningham (1843-1938) in 1874. Cunningham was born in Powhatan County in 1843. From 1861 to 1862, he was a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute. On 28 September 1861, he enlisted in the Confederate Army and served with the Powhatan Artilley.
  • Rawley W. Downman enlisted in the Confederate army on 25 April 1861 and served with the 4th Virginia Cavalry. He was captured at Fayetteville in April 1863 and paroled in May of the same year. After the war, Downman worked as a real estate agent in Washington, D.C.
Cataloging source
Form designation
  • The Library of Virginia
Immediate source of acquisition
Hamilton, Jack, Rev.
Organization method
Organized into the following series: I. Cunningham Family; II. Downman Family; III. Miscellaneous.
Type of unit
cu. ft.

Library Locations

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