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Roy Bird Cook (1886-1961), Collector, Papers

 Collection
Collection Number: A&M.1561

Scope and Contents

Papers collected by Roy Bird Cook, a Lewis County native and Charleston pharmacist, who in his role as historian, researcher, and author, was a pioneering and effective advocate for the preservation of West Virginia history. This collection includes the papers he collected in connection with his research, including documentation of the Civil War in West Virginia, Stonewall Jackson and his family, and genealogy of North Central West Virginia, among other topics.

Materials include letters and papers of the Hays family, including Samuel L. and Peregrine Hays of Gilmer County (1836-1884, 1952-1962, undated [includes facsimiles]); records of the Confederate 31st Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and later correspondence, clippings, and papers about the regiment and its members (ca. 1856-1955, undated [includes facsimiles]); correspondence, photographs, and scrapbook-style notebooks of Roy Bird Cook (1896-1961, undated [includes facsimiles]); various collections of individual and family papers and Civil War correspondence (1793-1974, undated [includes facsimiles]); original and copies of Stonewall Jackson letters and papers, as well as papers pertaining to Jackson family members (1801-1963, undated [includes facsimiles]) (the original letter by T.J. Jackson has been separated to A&M 435); and materials related to the history of pharmacy and medicine, with a special focus on West Virginia (ca. 1832-1961, undated [includes facsimiles]).

There is also an extensive series of bound notebooks containing manuscripts, transcriptions, clippings, genealogies, pamphlets, and images regarding the following topics: Stonewall Jackson, Mary Anna Morrison Jackson, Colonel George Jackson, and Thomas Jackson Arnold; the Civil War, including historical sketches of battles as well as originals and copies of soldiers' diaries, journals, and letters; Lewis County; Charleston and the Kanawha Valley; Douglas S. Freeman; Granville Davisson Hall; Camden family; George Washington; and other topics.

Please note: Additional processing took place in spring and summer 2012. Box and folder numbers from previous citations may no longer be accurate.

Series 1. Hays Family Papers; 1836-1884, 1952-1962, undated (includes facsimiles); box 1.

Series 2. Records of the 31st Virginia Infantry; ca. 1856-1955, undated (includes facsimiles); boxes 2-3.

Series 3. Roy Bird Cook Personal Papers; 1896-1961, undated (includes facsimiles); boxes 4-5.

Series 4. Miscellaneous History; 1783-1961, undated (includes facsimiles); boxes 6-7b.

Series 5. Individual, Family, and Civil War History Papers; 1793-1974, undated (includes facsimiles); boxes 8-9.

Series 6. Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson Papers; 1801-1963, undated (includes facsimiles); boxes 10-14c.

Series 7. Historical Articles and Other Printed Papers; 1928-1962, undated (includes facsimiles); box 15.

Series 8. Bound Notebooks; 1679-1984, undated (includes facsimiles); boxes 16-40.

Series 9. Miscellaneous; ca. 1850-1866, 1909-1958, undated; box 41, folders 1-4.

Series 10. History of Pharmacy and the West Virginia Pharmaceutical Association; ca. 1832-1961, undated (includes facsimiles); box 41, folder 5 - box 42, folder 3 (includes unfoldered material).

Series 11. West Virginia Medical History and Biography; 1870-1911, 1936-1958, undated (includes facsimiles); box 42, folders 4-7.

Series 12. American Pharmaceutical Association; 1868, 1939-1961, undated; box 43.

Series 13. A.J. Volck Confederate Sketches; ca. 1880, 1915-1954, 2012, undated (includes facsimiles); box 44.

Series 14. Glass Plate Negatives; undated; box 45.

Series 15. Oversize Material; 1774-1964, undated (includes facsimiles); boxes 46-52 and map cabinet 1, drawer 19.

Dates

  • 1679-1984, undated
  • Majority of material found within 1840-1960

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

Special access restriction applies.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the West Virginia and Regional History Center.

Biographical / Historical

Roy Bird Cook (April 1, 1886 - November 21, 1961) was born in Lewis County, near Roanoke, WV. Cook was a pharmacist and prominent West Virginia historian. Cook wrote several books on the history of Lewis County and biographies of Stonewall Jackson and Alexander Scott Withers, and contributed historical articles to a wide variety of publications. He also collected Civil War and early West Virginia documents and memorabilia. More biographical information on Mr. Cook is available in the "Records of the 31st Virginia Infantry Regiment, C.S.A." (see link in Instances).

The 31st Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment was formed in the early weeks of the Civil War when Confederate General Robert E. Lee ordered the recruitment of troops to protect railroad lines running through western Virginia's northern counties. On May 4, Lee appointed Colonel George Porterfield to assume command of these forces, which were being raised primarily in Taylor, Marion, Harrison, Monongalia, and Barbour Counties. In the next few weeks, these new recruits found themselves in the war's first arena, a tactical struggle for control of the Confederacy's northwestern flank--the hills, rails, and rivers of what would soon become the nation's 35th state, West Virginia.

Composed of some of the war's earliest recruits, the 31st Virginia Infantry would see action under General Garnett, William L. "Mudwall" Jackson, Jones and Imboden, Stonewall Jackson, Jubal Early, and many more legendary Confederate commanders, at battles including Corrick's Ford, Cross Keys, Cold Harbor, Gettysburg, New Market, and others. Approximately 57 of the 850 men who joined the regiment in 1861 witnessed Lee's surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865.

A detailed history of the 31st Virginia by James Dell Cooke is available online (see link in Instances).

Researchers are also referred to John M. Ashcraft's '31st Virginia Infantry' (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1988).

Granville Davisson Hall (September 17, 1837 - June 24, 1934) worked for the Wheeling 'Intelligencer' as a reporter and editor. He also recorded the proceedings of the Wheeling Conventions, which led to the creation of the state of West Virginia. His notes were later published as 'The Rending of Virginia.' Hall also served as secretary to Governor Francis H. Pierpont when the Reorganized Government of Virginia was set up by the Second Wheeling Convention in 1861. In the new state government, Hall was elected the first clerk of the House of Delegates on June 20, 1863. In 1865, he was elected Secretary of State and also served as private secretary to West Virginia's first governor, Arthur I. Boreman. After the Civil War, Hall held several positions in the railroad industry.

Congressman and Confederate General Albert Gallatin Jenkins (November 10, 1830 - May 21, 1864) was born at Green Bottom, Cabell County. He practiced law in (West) Virginia and served in the U.S. Congress from 1857 to 1861. At the beginning of the Civil War, he enlisted recruits for a Virginia unit called the Border Rangers and was elected their captain. In August of 1861, he formed the 8th Virginia Cavalry and became its colonel. In early 1862, Jenkins was elected to the First Confederate Congress. In August of 1862, he was appointed brigadier general. He went on to command a battalion of cavalry at the Battle of Gettysburg. Jenkins died of wounds he received at the Battle of Cloyd's Mountain. Jenkins' Green Bottom plantation house, maintained as an historic site by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Jonathan McCally Bennett (October 4, 1816 - October 28, 1887) was born in Lewis County, (West) Virginia. He married Margaret Elizabeth Jackson, daughter of Captain George W. Jackson, cousin of Stonewall Jackson. Bennett was law partner of Gideon D. Camden, and in 1846 became the first Mayor of Weston. He served as a member of the General Assembly in 1852-1853, was president of the Exchange Bank of Virginia at Weston in 1853, served as First Auditor of Virginia from 1857 to 1865, and served on the West Virginia Senate from 1872 to 1876. During the Civil War, he sided with the Confederacy. For additional collections related to J.M. Bennett and the Bennett family, see also A&M 32, 35, 572, and others.

Extent

20.6 Linear Feet (Summary: 20 ft. 7 in. (33 doc cases, 5 in. each); (12 doc cases, 2 1/2 in. each); (2 small flat storage boxes, 3 in. each); (1 medium flat storage box, 1 1/2 in.); (3 large flat storage boxes, 3 in. each); (3 large flat storage boxes, 1 1/2 in. each); (10 oversize folders, 1 in.); (2 record cartons, 15 in. each))

Overview

Papers collected by Roy Bird Cook, a Lewis County native and Charleston pharmacist, who in his role as historian, researcher, and author, was a pioneering and effective advocate for the preservation of West Virginia history. This collection includes the papers he collected in connection with his research, including documentation of the Civil War in West Virginia, Stonewall Jackson and his family, and genealogy of North Central West Virginia, among other topics. Materials include letters and papers of the Hays family, including Samuel L. and Peregrine Hays of Gilmer County (1836-1884, 1952-1962, undated [includes facsimiles]); records of the Confederate 31st Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and later correspondence, clippings, and papers about the regiment and its members (ca. 1856-1955, undated [includes facsimiles]); various collections of individual and family papers and Civil War correspondence (1793-1974, undated [includes facsimiles]); original and copies of Stonewall Jackson letters and papers, as well as papers pertaining to Jackson family members (1801-1963, undated [includes facsimiles]); and materials related to the history of pharmacy and medicine, with a special focus on West Virginia (ca. 1832-1961, undated [includes facsimiles]). There is also an extensive series of bound notebooks containing manuscripts, transcriptions, clippings, genealogies, pamphlets, and images regarding the following topics: Stonewall Jackson, Mary Anna Morrison Jackson, Colonel George Jackson, and Thomas Jackson Arnold; the Civil War, including historical sketches of battles as well as originals and copies of soldiers' diaries, journals, and letters; Lewis County; Charleston and the Kanawha Valley; Douglas S. Freeman; Granville Davisson Hall; Camden family; George Washington; and other topics.

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: https://wvrhc.lib.wvu.edu/

Related A&M Collections

81, 858, 895, 1309, 1379, 1528, 1561

Separated Materials

Many items were transferred to the Printed Ephemera Collection, including "Mark Twain's Family in Early History of West Virginia," by Robert Harrison Ferguson, A.M. Superintendent Mason County Schools, Point Pleasant, West Virginia (see P8616 in the Printed Ephemera Collection).

An original letter from T.J. Jackson to Laura Ann Jackson Arnold, 26 October 1847, from Mexico City, Mexico, has been separated to the rare signature collection, A&M 435.

Five original letters have been separated from Series 5. Individual, Family, and Civil War History Papers to A&M 435. These are original manuscript letters authored by William McKinley, Rutherford B. Hayes, George McClellan, John S. Mosby, and Louis Philippe, and an original typescript letter from Theodore Roosevelt.

"Front Elevation of Lunatic Asylum, West of the Alleghany Mountains", "R. Snowden Andrews, Architect, Baltimore, MD" (1859; 12 1/2 in. x 49 in.) separated to A&M 4071, Weston State Hospital.

Most photographs in this collection have been separated and digitized -- see scope and content note for link to photographs in West Virginia History OnView. Two of the photos were separated to A&M 4168, Panoramic Photos Collection: Sheltering Arms Hosptial and Kanawha Falls.

Lists of separated materials in the following categories can be found in the control folder: Broadsides & Programs, Newspapers/Periodicals, Circulars & West Virginia Pamphlets, and Maps.
Title
Roy Bird Cook (1886-1961), Collector, Papers, 1679-1984, undated
Author
Staff of the West Virginia & Regional History Center
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the West Virginia and Regional History Center Repository

Contact:
1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown WV 26506-6069 US
304-293-3536