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Davidson Family Papers

Identifier: WLU-Coll-0540

Scope and Contents

This collection contains personal and business correspondence, an assortment of holiday and greeting cards (1930s-1940s), account books, family photographs, a range of printed matter, including travel guides and ephemera from the family of R. E. (Robert Edmund) and his wife Gunhild A. Davidson of the Bell’s Valley and Goshen communities of Rockbridge County, Virginia.

Correspondence, primarily 1917-1949, includes letters from R. E. Davidson to Gunhild Vang (Davidson) during their courtship; letters to Helen M. Davidson (daughter) and her letters to home while at Madison College; letters from Sam M. Davidson (son) to his family while in service in the United States Army’s 57th Coastal Artillery Regiment during the Second World War and posted from Camp Pendleton, Virginia, California, and Hawaii. During his war service in Hawaii, Sam M. Davidson was engaged and married to his first wife Lorraine (Mendonca) Davidson and they had two children. A number of Lorraine Davidson’s letters to her in-laws are also included.

The collection includes school related ephemera from Madison College and Goshen High School (Va.), two student papers about the town of Goshen, Virginia, printed advertisements, records of Sam M. Davidson’s post-Second World War training and graduation from the Honolulu Police Academy, and various papers and account books (1877-1922) of S. M. (Samuel Miller) Davidson and Lula K. (Wallace) Davidson (parents of R. E. Davidson). Also of note is a family photograph album (1867-1910) consisting of cartes de visite and cabinet cards, some identified, many by Staunton, Virginia and vicinity photographers. Within the album are ten photographs of Staunton Military Academy cadets (circa 1880-1890). Loose photographs include a candid shot of people and the Natural Bridge, a cabinet photograph of a staged studio scene of girls of the Weslyan Female Institute (circa 1885-95) formerly of Staunton, Virginia.


  • Creation: 1870 - 1975

Conditions Governing Access

This collections is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The materials from Washington and Lee University Special Collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used should be fully credited with the source. Permission for publication of this material, in part or in full, must be secured with the Head of Special Collections.


4 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Washington and Lee University, University Library Special Collections and Archives Repository

204 W. Washington St.
Lexington VA 24450 USA