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Frances Packette Todd Papers

Collection Number: A&M 2354


Correspondence, photographs, post cards, newspapers, pamphlets (regarding typical antebellum and postbellum topics such as slavery, states rights, etc.), official records including the 1793 marriage license for Lund Washington (George Washington's cousin) and Susanna Grayson, a 1732 shipping order for items, including gold and silver, to be transported from Delaware to London, a 1837 document authorizing payment of a navy pension to the children of Lt. John Packette, and memorabilia of a prominent Jefferson County family, the Davenport-Gibson-Packette-Todds. The bulk of the correspondence is that of Mrs. Frances Packette Todd, Braxton Davenport (Port) Gibson, Susan G. (Zan) Gibson and Mrs. Anne Gibson Packette. Mrs. Todd was an heiress who travelled much in her youth and she was married to a distant cousin, Augustine J. Todd, who, like her, also claimed descent from George Washington's family. Her aunt, Zan Gibson, was an active local historian and genealogist. Her uncle B. D. (Port) Gibson was a lawyer who was a state legislator at the turn of the century. There are letters and artifacts of his days as a student at the University of Virginia where he was quite popular and an esteemed member of the rowing team. There are also several letters of his sisters, Anne and Zan, from a private French school in Canada. There is a shell jacket of a Confederate uniform belonging to Mrs. Todd's grandfather, John Thomas Gibson. He was a non-commissioned officer serving in an engineering unit of the CSA Army which was stationed around Richmond near the end of the Civil War. Gibson also commanded militia units during John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. There are letters of his concerning the hiring out of slaves before and during the war. After the war he once again became successful in business and built a mansion in Charles Town upon the site where John Brown was executed. One other prominent family member was Capt. James Gibson who served in a Virginia infantry regiment stationed at Norfolk during the War of 1812. Subjects covered include family matters, politics, land, slavery, education and warfare.


  • Creation: 1800-1985


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No special access restriction applies.

Researchers may access digitized materials by visiting the link attached to each item or by requesting to view the materials in person by appointment or remotely by contacting the West Virginia & Regional History Center reference department at

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Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. For more information, please see the Permissions and Copyright page on the West Virginia and Regional History Center website.


20 Linear Feet (Summary: 20 ft. (43 document cases, 5 in. each); (4 document cases, 2 1/2 in. each); (1 small flat storage box, 3 in.); (3 large flat storage boxes, 3 in. each); (1 large box, 6 in.))

Physical Location

West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL:

Frances Packette Todd Papers, 1800-1985
Staff of the West Virginia & Regional History Center
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Repository Details

Part of the West Virginia and Regional History Center Repository

1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown WV 26506-6069 US