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Cushing Family Papers

Identifier: SC 0263
  • Not requestable

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

The Cushing Family Papers, 1843-1894, are comprised chiefly of correspondence between members of Edwin and Bettie Cushing’s immediate and extended family. Several folders of financial and personal papers are included though they do not all demonstrate a clear connection to the Cushings.


  • Creation: 1843-1894


Access Restrictions

Collection open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Bio/Historical Note

Elizabeth E. “Bettie” McCoy Cushing (1829-1906), daughter of Jane Isabel Carson McCoy (1808-1884) and Judson McCoy, married Edwin M. Cushing (1830-1903), son of Merrill Cushing and Anne Barnes Cushing, in 1851. Both were Augusta County natives and continued to reside in Staunton, Virginia after their marriage. They were also devoted congregants of the local Methodist church. The Cushings had five children – William Amiss Cushing (1855-1907), Edwin Judson Cushing (1861-1930), Henrietta Cushing Harman (1864-1895), Gertrude Cushing Miller (1869-1904), and Katie Cushing Anderson (1858-1930).

During the Civil War, Edwin M. Cushing was a member of the Confederate commissary department and was an organizer and charter member of the Stonewall Brigade Band. He also served as the band’s first president. Before and after the war, Cushing worked as an auctioneer. Cushing was also an active member in community organizations including the local Masonic lodges and the Knights of Pythias.


0.2 cubic feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



The Cushing Family Papers, 1843-1894, are comprised chiefly of correspondence between members of Edwin M. and Bettie Cushing’s immediate and extended family. Additional papers related to Edwin M. Cushing’s appointments to local masonic lodges are included.


The collection is arranged into two series. Each series is further arranged chronologically.

  1. Correspondence, 1846-1894
  2. Papers, 1843-1889


Based on a label present on the binder that originally housed the collection, it is presumed that these papers were consigned to Green Valley Auctions by Charles Culbertson, Augusta County historian.

Acquisition Information

Acquired at Green Valley Auctions’ January 12, 2018 sale.

Related Material

Blackley Family Papers, 1830-2016, SC 0232, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.


  • Culbertson, Charles. “Forgotten folks: Staunton’s Edwin Cushing was a living encyclopedia of local history.” The News Leader, October 12, 2017. (accessed February 23, 2018).
  • Obituary for Edwin Merrill Cushing, Staunton Spectator, December 11, 1903.
  • Obituary for Elizabeth E. “Bettie” McCoy Cushing, Staunton Spectator, May 18, 1906.

Processing Information

The collection was acquired with individual documents housed in plastic protectors and further housed in a three-ring binder. The archivist arranged the correspondence chronologically and by recipient.


A Guide to the Cushing Family Papers, 1843-1894
Tiffany Cole
February 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the James Madison University Libraries Special Collections Repository

820 Madison Drive
MSC 1706
Harrisonburg Virginia 22807
(540) 568-3612