31st May, 1948


Mrs. Fillmore Norfleet[1]

Woodberry Forest School

Woodberry Forest, Virginia


Dear Elizabeth:

            My congratulations to you on your article yesterday on “Mr. Walker.” It was admirably done in every way and it convinces me more than ever that you ought not to let your writing diminish. On the contrary, you ought to write more—just as much as time and children permit.

Faithfully yours,


D. S. Freeman

DSF: mwa



4th June, 1948


Dear Elizabeth:

            Thank you, my dear child, for your gracious and most welcome letter. I have heard much praise of your fine article and I can assure you that it promoted me to suggest the action of which you doubtless have heard, namely, that the University of Richmond confer on Mrs. Walker the degree of Doctor of Laws. I wish you were going to be here Monday to witness the ceremony.

That God may bless you, your brilliant husband, and your children, is the fervent wish of

                                               Yours affectionately,

                                                           D. S. Freeman


Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 5. M2009.511, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2015 December 2





[1] Elizabeth Copeland Norfleet (1908-1997) was the daughter of Walter Scott Copeland and author of several books. Robert Fillmore Norfleet (1903-1987) was born in Suffolk, Virginia, and was educated at Washington and Lee University, the University of Virginia, the University of Poitiers, and the University of Dijon. He married Elizabeth Randolph Copeland in 1938.

Robert Fillmore Norfleet taught at Episcopal High School, Suffolk High School, Furman University, and Woodberry Forest from 1934 to 1935 and from 1941 until his retirement in 1968. An enthusiastic historian and genealogist, Norfleet collected a large quantity of material on Nansemond County and Suffolk families and places. He published several articles and books dealing with Nansemond County, including: Nansemond County, Virginia, Census of 1850 (1949); Elisha Norfleet (1800-1869), His Family and Documents (1959); Suffolk in 1843, Letters of Archibald Allen to William G. Driver (1956, reprinted 1975); Bible Records of Suffolk and Nansemond County, Virginia, together with other Statistical Data (1963); and Suffolk in Virginia c. 1795-1840, A Record of Lots, Lives, and Likenesses (1974). He also published Saint-Memin in Virginia Portraits and Biographies (1942). His papers are held by the Library of Virginia.