Monday, January 14, 2013

Wha'cha Know About This?

Perusing the online object catalog of the Kentucky Historical Society I found the above certificate.  As one can see, it is from the Southern Orphan Association in Richmond, Virginia, and is dated 1867.  It says it is a $1.00 denomination "in the Award of premiums for the benefit of the Widows and Orphans of the Southern States," and bears the image of Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson. It is singed by a "Managing Director," which looks to be Thomas L. Rosser, and is numbered 11765.

Doing a quick internet search I wasn't able to find much anything on the Southern Orphan Association or Thomas Rosset. I would like to learn more about this organization; how long they lasted, how successful they were in helping the orphans of Confederate soldiers, and if there were branches in other cities or states.

One thing that I did find in searching was that former Virginia Governor Henry A. Wise was president of the Southern Widows and Orphans Aid Association in Richmond. Was Wise's organization the same as that that issued the above certificate?

In addition, recently I read an essay in the book Children and Youth during the Civil War Era titled "Reconstructing Social Obligation: White Orphan Asylums Post-Emancipation Richmond."  It covered the Richmond Female Humane Association and the Richmond Male Orphan Asylum, and even Norfolk's Jackson Orphan Asylum, but I don't remember it mentioning the Southern Orphan Association.

If you happen to know anything related to this certificate or organization, I would appreciate any insights.


  1. Tim-
    I won one of the above notes on eBay and I was so impressed, I, too, wanted to find out more about the "Southern Orphan Association." And, like you, I wasn't able to find out much. I did contact the University of Virginia Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library and they had letters from Thomas L. Rosser, ex-Confederate General, who was the Managing Director for the Association, at least between 10 Jan 1867 and 18 Feb 1867. They had no information on the daily goings-on of the Association in their files. Another lead I got was from the Richmond Historical Society that showed they had several letters written by Robert E. Lee thanking people for their donations to the Association.
    You might want to try these resources...
    G. Parisi

  2. Thank for the information. Your comments got me to thinking that the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond might have something on this too.

  3. Thank you for that insight. If you find out anything about the note from the Museum, would you let me know through this medium?
    G. Parisi

  4. Tim-
    While perusing eBay again, there's another note just like this one up for bid again (ending at 1351 PST). The details about it say it's called a "certificate" but it's really a lottery ticket and apparently that was kind of frowned upon in those days. Anyway, if you want to see it, go to eBay.
    G. Parisi