Photocopy of a typescript titled "A Recounting of the Autobiographical Sketch and Memoirs of Rev. Flavius Josephus Cather of West Virginia and Los Angeles, California, Written in 1907". This typsescript includes content regarding both the author's life and the history and genealogy of the Cather family, covering a period of time from ca. 1754 to 1908.
Cather begins the narrative of the Cather family with Jasper Cather, who settled in the “Valley of Virginia” (near present day Winchester, Virginia) close to the time of the French and Indian War. Several of Jasper’s numerous descendants would later settle in northwestern Virginia, in the vicinity of present day Harrison and Taylor Counties. The author provides genealogies for the various branches of the families, as well as accounts of their profession, personalities, and other biographical details, as well as descriptions of the areas in which they lived.
Flavius Cather was born near Flemington, (West) Virginia in 1833. He recounts a number of incidents from his boyhood; of particular note is his account of seeing cattle, turkeys, wagons, and, once, a group of slaves travelling along the then-new Old Winchester Turnpike. Cather would convert in his late teens and study to be a minister in the Baptist Church. He taught for several years, then returned home to (West) Virginia to preach. During the last year of the Civil War, Cather went to work for the relief of Union refugees, representing West Virginia to various religious organizations located in the New England region. Cather would return to the ministry after the war. The autobiographical narrative continues with an account of his later years, as well as a genealogy and narrative of his children and those of his siblings.
Appended to the main part of the typescript is a typed copy of a letter written by Cather regarding the history and genealogy of the Cather family. It should also be noted that the typescript contains a few pages from what appear to be different versions of the document; these inserted pages can be identified by page numbers with letter subscripts, for example "38b".
Flavius Josephus Cather was the brother of Fabricius Augustus Cather, who served in the Union Army during the Civil War. For additional information regarding Fabricius, see A&M 3633, Fabricius A. Cather, Soldier, Civil War Diaries.
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