Skip to main content

Flora Adams Darling papers

Identifier: Mss. 39.1 D25

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The collection includes correspondence primarily between 1890-1908, of Flora (Adams) Darling, concerning the founding of the Daughters of the American Revolution, General Society of Daughters of the Revolution, National Society, and the United States Daughters of 1812. Correspondents include Edward William Bok, Jessie Benton Fremont, William Archer Rutherfoord Goodwin, George Frisbie, John Tyler Morgan, William Mahone, Alexander Hamilton Stephens, and Lyon Gardiner Tyler.

Also contained in the collection is family correspondence, letters from Spanish Ambassador E. Dupuy deLome, Mrs. Darling's writings, and correspondence about her gifts to Bruton Parish Church, William & Mary, as well as newspaper clippings.

Acc. 2008.225 addition is a research paper by Robert P. Sutton, a graduate student in the Department of History, entitled "Darling Papers"; which describes this collection and includes transcriptions of many letters. 


  • Creation: 1862-1908
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1890-1908


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

Flora Adams Darling (1840–1910) was born on July 25, 1840. A descendant of Henry Adams, Darling's family settled in Braintree, Massachusetts, in 1636. She married Colonel Edward Irving Darling on March 12, 1860, and went with him to live in Louisiana. He died of wounds received in battle on December 2, 1863. Her only son was Edward Erving Darling, a musician-composer, who died July 13, 1894. Mrs. Darling suffered from repeated attacks of malarial fever and, after 1876, from deafness. Her years of widowhood were spent writing letters, or memoirs of the Civil War, A Social Diplomat and other books.

From 1889 to 1896, her major interests and efforts were devoted to the founding of women's patriotic societies. Mrs. Darling's interest in organizing patriotic societies is illustrated by the rapid succession with which the societies followed each other: Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) founded October 11, 1890; Daughters of the Revolution (D.R.) founded June 18, 1891; Daughters of the United States of the War of 1812, founded January 8, 1892; founded because of disagreement over policies of the D. A. R., policies adopted over the protest of Mrs. Darling. Flora Adams Darling died on January 6, 1910. This collection is composed primarily of letters written to her during these years of controversy.


28.34 Linear Feet (20 boxes)



Arrangement of Materials:

The collection is organized by subject in 7 series. Series 1 contains letters and information pertaining to the Daughters of the American Revolution; series 2 contains letters and information pertaining to the Daughters of the Revolution; series 3 contains letters and information pertaining to the Daughters of 1812; series 4 contains official correspondence, bills, and reports; series 5 contains personal letters, series 6 containsother papers and series 7 contains genealogical material, photographs, scrapbook and printed materials.

Acquisition Information:

Gift: 4,536 items, 1908. Accession Number 1993.59; Gift: 50 items, 1993.

Related Materials:

Artifacts added to the Manuscripts Artifact Collection (Mss. 1.03) include: Miniature American Flag (Mss 39.1D25.A01) and Daughters of the Revolution Ribbon (Mss. 39.1D25.A02).

See also letters to Lyon G. Tyler, 1905-1909, concerning the College of William and Mary, historical matters, gifts to the College Library, fund raising writings, portraits of Flora Adams Darling and Jefferson Davis in the President's Office Files, c. 1888-1935, under "Fund raising-Flora Adams Darling." Archives Acc. 1984.19. (27 items)

Grover Cleveland Collection (SC, SCRC)

Separated Materials:

Artifacts added to the Manuscripts Artifact Collection (Mss. 1.03) include: Miniature American Flag (Mss 39.1D25.A01) and Daughters of the Revolution Ribbon (Mss 39.1D25.A02).

Alternate Extent Statement

4700 items

Guide to the Flora Adams Darling papers
William & Mary Special Collections Research Center Staff.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2018 May 24: Updated by Anne Johnson in 2010.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository