This digital collection comprises selected materials from the following archival collection at David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library:
Lois Wright Richardson Davis family papers 1851-1912 and undated
Collection #RL.11567 | 0.75 Linear Feet
Working-class New England family that was involved with both the Union and the Confederacy during the American Civil War. The mother, Lois Wright was born in Northfield, Massachusetts and died in Lowell, Massachusetts. She had at least seven children with her first husband Luther Richardson. The bulk of the collection is made up of letters between Davis and her children during the Civil War. In the late 1850s two of Lois Davis' daughters moved to Mobile, Alabama and their husbands served in the Confederate Army. Two of Lois Davis' sons fought with Massachusetts regiments, Charles Henry at first with the 6th Massachusetts Infantry, and then both Charles Henry and Luther with the 26th Massachusetts Infantry. Includes letters written from Ship Island, MS (1861-1862) and New Orleans, LA (1862-1864); and material on the riots in Baltimore, MD, and battles at Manassas, Malvern Hill, Petersburg, Winchester, VA, and the Shenandoah Valley, Baton Rouge and Port Hudson, LA, Sabine Pass, TX, and along the Mississippi and Red Rivers. The letters include descriptions of living and working conditions; illnesses; deaths; and thoughts on politics, race, and religion. Also includes letters about life after the Civil War. Daughter Eunice, whose husband died while serving the Confederacy, remarried to William Smiley Connolly, an Afro-Caribbean and mixed-race ship captain. They married in Dracut, Massachusetts, and she moved with him to Grand Cayman Island. Her letters, 1870-1875, describe their life in Grand Cayman. There are additional papers relating to Charles Henry Richardson's life in Lowell, Massachusetts where he worked in a textile mill and served as an Alderman.