James D. Davidson Scrapbooks
Scope and Contents
This collection contains newspaper clippings of Dorman's poems, letters, and essays on various subjects published in the Lexington Gazette and other papers.
- Creation: 1832 - 1878
- Davidson, James D. (James Dorman) (Person)
Language of Materials
The materials in this collection are in English.
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.
Biographical / Historical
James D. Davidson, son of Presbyterian minister Andrew B. Davidson, was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia in 1810. He graduated from Washington College (predecessor to Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Va. in 1828. After a stint as a teacher, Davidson began reading law and was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 1831. He became a highly reputed country lawyer practicing for roughly forty years in Rockbridge. Davidson's penchant for poetry and prose led to regular submissions of both local and regional newspapers. He explored may themes in his writings, and, being an influential citizen, his opinion pieces on such subjects as politics, family, and religion, flourished with satire, humor, and wit were popular. Davidson married Hannah McDowell Greenlee and together had seven children. Davidson was a Whig turned Democrat, owned slaves and opined against dissolution of the Union initially in 1861. His opinion shifted in favor of secession at the very end of Virginia's secession debate, at which point he devoted his time and attention to the war effort in which all five of his sons would serve - two of whom survived. After the Civil War, Davidson continued his law practice, wrote profusely, farmed, and influenced local and regional politics. Davidson was also a longtime trustee of Washington College. He died in 1882, survived by his two daughters Mary and Clara (Estill) and his wife Hannah.
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