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Armistead Nelson

February 11, 1795
Home Town:
Hanover County, VA
Later Residences:
Petersburg, VA
Fredericksburg, VA
Mary Henderson Nelson (1817)
Biographical Notes:
Armistead Nelson was the son of Colonel William and Lucy (Chiswell) Nelson. Nelson was born at "The Dorrill" in Hanover, County, VA. He was the seventeenth child of his father.

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.

Years at LLS:
Other Education:
Attended Dickinson College in 1814 , but did not graduate.

Profession / Service
Military; Business

help The Citation of Attendance provides primary source documentation of the student’s attendance at the Litchfield Female Academy and/or the Litchfield Law School. If a citation is absent, the student is thought to have attended but currently lacks primary source confirmation.

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.
Litchfield County Bar Association Records, 1813, Litchfield Historical Society, Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library.

Catalogue of the Litchfield Law School (Hartford, CT: Press of Case, Tiffany and Company, 1849), 12.
Secondary Sources:
Hammersly, T.H.S., Complete General Navy Register of the United States of America from 1776 to 1887 Arranged Alphabetically. Washington, 1888.

Appleton, William. S. The Family of Armistead of Virginia. David Clapp and Son, 1899.

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