After attending the Law School, Nelson joined the Navy as a midshipman on November 30, 1814 and served "with distinction" as an officer under Commodore Decatur. He resigned from the Navy on June 30, 1817 and became a merchant in Petersburg, VA with his brother Hugh Nelson. He apparently left the Navy at his wife's insistence.
Nelson died in that same city only three years later in 1823 from Yellow Fever. He had been nursing his friend Viomenil Carter who apparently passed on the Yellow Fever. Nelson was buried in Petersburg, VA. His only child, William Nelson, later became a physician for the U.S. Navy.
Records for the schools were sporadic, especially in the formative years of both institutions. If instructors kept comprehensive records for the Litchfield Female Academy or the Litchfield Law School, they do not survive. Researchers and staff have identified students through letters, diaries, family histories and genealogies, and town histories as well as catalogues of students printed in various years. Art and needlework have provided further identification of Female Academy Students, and Litchfield County Bar records document a number of Law School students. The history of both schools and the identification of the students who attended them owe credit to the early 20th century research and documentation efforts of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel and Samuel Fisher, and the late 20th century research and documentation efforts of Lynne Templeton Brickley and the Litchfield Historical Society staff.
Catalogue of the Litchfield Law School (Hartford, CT: Press of Case, Tiffany and Company, 1849), 12.
Appleton, William. S. The Family of Armistead of Virginia. David Clapp and Son, 1899.
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