Pavilion X: A Brief History (1820-1895)
    by Catherine A. Creighton, Undergraduate Research Assistant (History Degree)

 
Introduction 
 
     From sunrise to sundown in June 1820, the air around the lush acreage formerly known as James Monroe’s farm hummed continuously. If one listened closely the hum could be discernibly dissected into several layers: the murmur of dozens of voices with varied accents, languages, and dialects punctuated by the sounds of chisel on brick, the swing of axes splitting fresh wood, and the slather of wet paint being applied to cool plaster. The men responsible for this hum, enslaved and free, skilled masons and those whose training had been ad-hoc and on-site, were workers at the largest organized construction site ever before seen in the Commonwealth of Virginia.[1]
 
      Three years before this hum might have struck a passerby as noteworthy. By 1820 it had become routine. The pastoral countryside had been dug, paved, and built into a nearly fully realized rendition of Thomas Jefferson’s vision of a village of spaciously arranged buildings entirely dedicated to the pursuit of academic and intellectual freedom. With seven pavilions and dozens of student rooms already completed, the task at hand was now to finish Jefferson’s Lawn by constructing pavilion IX to the west, and VIII and X to the east.[2]
 
Jefferson’s concept
 
     With each pavilion, Thomas Jefferson sought to create a physically and aesthetically unique structure whose façade and ornament echoed the monumental civic architecture of Greco-Roman antiquity. For many of these pavilions and Jefferson’s previous architectural endeavors—his home, Monticello, and the Virginia State Capitol at Richmond among them—Jefferson utilized Andrea Palladio’s iconic treatise, I Quattro Libri Dell’Architettura, as a pattern book. Palladio’s detailed renderings afforded Jefferson not only descriptions of the mechanics and engineering necessary to construct the buildings, but also provided a guide as to the proper proportions required to ensure that each pavilion’s columns, tympanum, and entablature achieved the most harmonious final appearance.[3]
 
     Unfortunately for Jefferson, the design he chose for Pavilion X, a pavilion built in the Doric order and modeled after engravings of the Theatre of Marcellus, was not included in Palladio’s Libri. Instead, Jefferson turned to a work by Roland Fréart de Chambray, Parallel de L’Architecture Antique avec la Moderne, whose second plate included “enough detail” of the Theatre to suit Jefferson’s purposes. Jefferson integrated the Doric order elements of the Theatre of Marcellus with a brick “three-bay Doric portico with colossal orders.” The resulting creation is  an imposing brick edifice which rises two stories from the colonnade to a parapet modeled after “the Temple of Nerva Trajan.”[4]
 
Construction
 
     Although architecturally and conceptually Pavilion X was Jefferson’s brainchild, brick mason, William B. Phillips, and master carpenter, John Neilson, primarily oversaw its construction. Phillips, a Virginian, had served as mason during the construction of Pavilion I, and would go on to build Pavilion IX and the Anatomical Theatre. A Philadelphian named Abiah B. Thorn was contracted to fashion the bricks Phillips was charged with laying. John Neilson, though from Northern Ireland, was similarly familiar with Virginian building practices having already served as master carpenter at Monticello, Montpelier, and Upper Bremo, the residence of University of Virginia Board of Visitors member, General John Hartwell Cocke.[5]
 
     The interior finish of Pavilion X was under the direction of different individuals altogether. Pavilion X contains two levels and a basement, sub-divided into four apartments used as bedrooms for the Professor and his family, and a lecture room in which the Professor taught his classes. Though much of the interior was executed in relatively simple style with little ornament beyond simple molding, chair rails, and painted plaster, a few rooms were meant to be used for entertainment and were thus executed in a more ornate style. One such room was the upper parlor. 21st century investigations of the parlor’s original building fabric have revealed quite a bit about its early appearance. For example, modern investigations of the plaster on the parlor’s walls revealed that they were singularly painted in “blue-pigmented wash” shortly after its construction. When a “pigment analysis” was conducted of original samples of plaster “using polarized light microscopy techniques,” the pigment was discovered to be “artificial ultramarine” a blue pigment “commercially available as early as 1830 in France and Germany.”[6]
 
     Although these modern investigations have yielded plenty of useful information, in other instances surviving primary documents contribute to contemporary understanding of the Pavilion’s original structure. Wiliam J. Coffee, an English-born New Yorker, was offered the commission of installing and designing the ornament of the upper parlor. Surviving receipts made payable to Coffee detail not only what Jefferson’s inspiration for this ornament was, but also what the finished product resembled, and how Coffee was compensated for his work.  At Pavilion X, Coffee’s task was to replicate an “elaborate Doric entablature…constructed from a combination of cast ornament and wood elements” which was “modeled after the ‘Doric order found at Albano near Rome’” and detailed extensively in Chambrary’s Parallele and Peter Nicholson’s The Principles of Architecture. The mixed media used in Coffee’s ornament, “a mixture of whiting, resins and hide glue mixed to form a putty” was “burnt composition,” a process similar to the process that produces terra cotta. For a portion of the frieze and panel containing ninety-six flowers, Coffee was paid twenty-six cents for each flower, or in total, almost $25.00.[7]
 
     Jefferson’s fastidious attention to aesthetic detail resulted in an internationally acclaimed Academic Village. As it neared completion he wrote, “no considerable system of buildings within the United States has been done on cheaper terms.” In reality, however, the financial burden of constructing the early University of Virginia was immense. If receipts from Pavilion X are treated as roughly one-tenth of the total cost of building the pavilions, the sheer cost of labor, manpower, and material necessary to construct the University becomes estimable. A glance over the early Enactments of the University corroborates this estimation by revealing the nearly constant issuance of loans from University creditors and the Literary Fund[8] in repeated attempts to finance the expense of the University’s construction.[9]
 
     The first receipts for Phillips’ compensation for Pavilion X are dated from December 1821. These receipts reveal that Phillips was paid a total of $1,796.16 for his work. The bulk of that amount, $1,536.89, covered brickwork for the building’s exterior, but Phillips was also paid for the 1,880 bricks required to build the Pavilion’s foundation, the bricks used to create four column shafts, the price of scaffolding, and the price to pave the cellar. Because Phillips built the adjoining student dormitories he also received additional money for their brickwork and columns. To determine the wages paid to masons at the University, Jefferson relied on Matthew Cary’s 1812 edition of the Philadelphia Builder’s Price Book and did his best to adjust its price scale to his market and location. It was ultimately estimated that the cost of constructing each pavilion was at least $8600.[10]
 
     Ultimately Jefferson and the Board of Visitors’ faith in the project of the University of Virginia prevailed over the daunting financial circumstances and the Lawn, its Pavilions, and its centerpiece, the Rotunda, were completed. These buildings remained unoccupied the University was ready to open for students in 1825. In the interim period, Jefferson and the Board of Visitors hired Thomas Walker Gilmer to scour the academy of Europe for finely educated men who could be persuaded to travel to Virginia and accept faculty positions at Mr. Jefferson’s University. [11]
 
 
The Dunglison Era: 1825-1833
 
     Twenty-seven-year-old English doctor, Robley Dunglison was one such man. When the untimely death of his uncle thwarted Dunglison’s childhood ambition of becoming a West Indies planter, he focused all his energies on becoming a physician. After education in London, Edinburgh, Paris, and Erlangen, Dunglison was approached by Gilmer and offered the position of Professor of Anatomy and Medicine at the University of Virginia. Dunglison signed a contract with Gilmer on September 28, 1824, which promised housing at the University, a salary of $1500, and tuition fees from each student who attended his classes. Virginius Dabney notes in Mr. Jefferson’s University that signing this contract made Dunglison “the first full time professor of medicine in an American university.” Less than a month later, Dunglison and his wife, Harriette, boarded The Competitor, a ship bound for Norfolk, Virginia, to begin their new lives at the University of Virginia.[12]
 
     While aboard The Competitor, the Dunglison’s made the acquaintance of another fellow Englishman traveling to the University of Virginia named Charles Bonnycastle. Bonnycastle would join the faculty as Professor of Mathematics. The Dunglison’s and Bonnycastle were well acquainted by the time the ship docked in Norfolk, as “foul weather and incompetent navigation” doubled the length of their time at sea, and they did not reach the shores of Virginia until February 10, 1825. Upon their arrival in Charlottesville, the Dunglison’s were assigned residence in Pavilion X. Just under a month later, the University’s first classes were held on March 7, 1825, and Dunglison began to teach the twenty-six students enrolled in his courses.[13]
 
     Once installed at the University, Professor Dunglison and his family assimilated easily into patterns of life in Charlottesville. George Tucker, Dunglison’s colleague, and the first Chairman of the Faculty at the University, described early faculty relations as having been quite pleasant. Tucker complimented his colleagues as “agreeable, well-informed men” who “had all traveled in foreign countries” and were “very sociable, often dining and passing the evening together.” Amidst this collegial atmosphere, it is unsurprising that Dunglison became close friends with his fellow faculty members. Dunglison and Tucker were especially close as Dunglison served as secretary to the faculty meetings convened by Tucker. The two men also jointly edited a literary journal at the University, The Virginia Literary Museum. By the start of the University’s second session, Dunglison’s aptitude for leadership had become so apparent that he was elected Faculty Chairman in December 1825, a position he held for the 1826 school year, and once more from 1828 to 1830.[14]
 
    In addition to fostering the camaraderie of the Academical Village, Robley Dunglison developed a personal relationship with its founder, Thomas Jefferson. Shortly after his arrival at the University, Dunglison was selected as Jefferson’s personal physician and began to visit the aged statesman at Monticello. As Jefferson’s health precipitously declined in the days prior to his death, Dunglison’s visits became increasingly frequent. In fact, Dunglison’s recollection of Jefferson’s final days substantiates much of the account of Jefferson’s passing and has helped to immortalize his final words.[15]
 
      According to Dunglison’s recollection, on June 24, 1826, he received a letter from Jefferson begging him to visit at Monticello at his earliest convenience. Dunglison immediately set out for Jefferson’s estate and spent the next several days at his side. Jefferson remained lucid and talkative until July 2, 1826, and spoke often of his “anxiety for the prosperity of the University,” but also of his “confidence in the exertion in its behalf of Mr. Madison and the other Visitors.” That night Jefferson became “affected with stupor” punctuated by “intervals of wakefulness and consciousness” which became less frequent as the day wore on. Later in the evening of July 3, 1826, Jefferson asked Dunglison “Is it the Fourth?” to which Dunglison replied, “It soon will be.” Jefferson died a few hours later on July 4, 1826.[16]
 
      Because Jefferson died in financial ruin, the executor of his estate, his grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, was forced to sell much of his estate, furnishings, and property in order to pay off his debts after his death. Much of Jefferson’s art, books, and furniture were sold at auction, while other assets, including his slaves were sold at dispersal sales. Dunglison and several other faculty members of the University attended these sales in 1827 and 1829. Previously Dunglison’s only experience with slavery was his renewable contract with John Hartwell Cocke to hire his slave, Nelson, for labor in Pavilion X’s garden and stables. At these sales, however, Dunglison became a slave-owner in his own right when he purchased a female slave, “Fanny Gilette Hern and her youngest child, and later her husband Davis Hern.”[17]
 
     While at the University of Virginia, Robley and Harriette Dunglison bore four children. It is likely that this expansion of their family necessitated an increase in the number of servants required to run their home. This in turn prompted Dunglison to request permission from the University Board of Visitors to make architectural changes to enlarge the size of his pavilion. In October 1826, the Board of Visitors voted to permit professors “to occupy the dormitories adjacent to their pavilions.” Evidence that Dunglison took advantage of this permission is apparent in both the written and architectural record. The Proctor’s Journal of 1827 shows charges made to Dr. Dunglison of “sixteen dollars rent for the use of two dormitories.” In addition, recent forensic architectural analysis suggests that the two dormitories mentioned in the Proctor’s Journal were present-day 50 and 52 East Lawn as evidenced by “scars in the north wall of the former classroom and the south wall of the dining room” which “indicate locations of past door openings.”[18]
 
     A year later, even with this additional space, Dunglison petitioned the Board of Visitors for yet another enlargement of Pavilion X. At the July 1828 meeting of the Board, then-Proctor, Arthur Spicer Brockenborough, reported Dunglison’s request for a “building for the accommodation of servants” to be constructed behind Pavilion X. The Board approved this request provided that the construction of this additional structure did “not exceed $150.”[19]
 
     It was not until 1832 that the Dunglison’s request for additional space truly impacted “the Jefferson design of Pavilion X.” Once again short on storage space, Dunglison and Professors Bonnycastle and Emmet wrote a letter to the Board of Visitors requesting “want of access to the attics of their houses.” The disgruntled Professors cited the lack of “storerooms to the Pavilions” as the basis for their request. Sometime after making this request Dunglison added a stair from “the second-floor to the garret” of his pavilion, thereby altering Jefferson’s design, which did not intend for the Pavilion attics to be functional.[20]
 
    Sometime between 1832 and 1833, Dunglison made additional changes to the Jeffersonian design of the Pavilion. The most notable of these changes was the construction of a small porch on the pavilion’s rear. Although records cannot confirm that the Board of Visitors approved these modifications, their knowledge that the modifications occurred is proven by a reimbursement issued to Dunglison in 1833 as he vacated Pavilion X and prepared to leave the University. This reimbursement, issued for the amount of $45.75, was intended to cover the cost of the garret staircase, “the installation of Venetian doors on the front of his pavilion,” and the construction costs of “a small porch” built behind the pavilion. At the close of the 1833 academic session, Dunglison left the University of Virginia bound for Maryland where he had accepted the position of Chair of Medical, Therapeutics, Hygiene, and Medical Jurisprudence at the University of Maryland.[21]
 
     Three years later, Dr. Dunglison relocated to the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he remained for the rest of his career and ultimately died on April 1, 1869. Though his time at the University of Virginia comprised a comparatively small portion of his larger career, his work at the University was integral to the foundation and early growth of its fledgling medical department. Virginius Dabney also credits Dunglison with the decision to issue University diplomas in English rather than Latin because of his desire that they “be intelligible to everyone.”[22]
 
 
The Davis Years: 1833-1840
 
    In contrast to Professor Dunglison’s fraught, trans-Atlantic relocation to Pavilion X, the Pavilion’s next, and most illustrious resident, relocated by crossing the Lawn and moving a few doors southward from Pavilion III to his new home. The second resident of Pavilion X, thirty-two year old John Andrew Gardner Davis, was an estimable, Virginia attorney, educated at The College of William & Mary and the University of Virginia. Davis had held the position of Professor of Law at the University since July 1830. Although Davis was born and bred at Prospect Hill in Middlesex County, his wife, Mary Jane Terrell, was Thomas Jefferson’s grand-niece, and thus had considerable family connection to Albemarle County. This familial connection and an unprofitable early career in Middlesex, led Davis to relocate to Albemarle County in 1825. Capitalizing on the building campaign spurred in the area by the construction of the University, Davis also hired William B. Phillips as his brick mason when he built his first home in the area. This estate was later known as “The Farm.” When appointed to the faculty of the University, Davis left this estate and relocated to Pavilion III.[23]
 
     Three years after moving into Pavilion X, Davis began to experience the same problems of space and storage, which had plagued Dunglison and his family. Like his predecessor, Davis petitioned the Board of Visitors for permission to enlarge his accommodations. First, in August 1836 Davis asked the Proctor have built “a suitable kitchen…in the rear of Pavilion X.” In 1837, Davis was granted permission “to occupy one of the dormitories near his Pavilion.” Two years later, records in the Proctor’s Journal reveal charges against Davis for rent on both adjacent dormitories.[24]
 
     Renovations aside, Davis’ decade-long tenure as a University professor coincided with a marked increase in student rebellion and disorder. Fueled by excessive alcohol intake and frustrated by strict University rules and regulations, students of this era frequently engaged in loud and chaotic uprisings, colloquially termed ‘calathumps’ on the Lawn and throughout the University precincts.[25] At times the Faculty managed to subdue the unruly students and impose mandatory suspensions known as ‘rustications’[26] for the ringleaders of notorious disturbances. By and large, however, the contest of wills between students and administrators remained a deeply seated conflict that erupted into open and armed hostilities in 1836 and 1840 with very little provocation.[27]
 
     The first of these eruptions was recorded in great detail by the recollections of Davis’ son, John Staige, who spent a decade of his childhood living on the Lawn and carefully observing the goings on of the University. What John Staige Davis, and others have termed “the great rebellion of 1836,” principally concerned the actions of a student military company. Shortly after the University opened in 1825, students began to request military instruction alongside their formal academic studies. In 1827, the University granted this request and hired a military instructor who drilled the students weekly. Uniforms and arms were provided to the students and secured by the instructor when not in use for official instruction. Despite the University’s best intentions, it was difficult to maintain a part-time military instructor at the University on a continual basis. As a result, some sessions had formal instruction while others did not. In fall 1836, when no instructor had been retained, the student members of the former military company decided to reorganize themselves without an instructor, but “neglected to obtain the permission of the faculty.”[28]
 
    When the faculty learned of this insubordination, the Chairman “sent for the Captain of the Company,” chastised him, and instructed him and his comrades to file an application for reorganization and access to the University muskets before the next regular meeting of the Faculty. The faculty met again on November 9, 1836, at which time the students had yet to provide any application to the Faculty and instead decided to deny the faculty’s right “to prescribe terms of organization to them.” The faculty considered this denial to be an act of open defiance and responded swiftly by passing resolutions “disbanding the company and requiring the immediate removal of the muskets from the students’ rooms.” In response, the students of the Company met, vowed to “stand by each other,” and declared, “that they would not disband and would drill in defiance of the faculty.” That night and for several nights afterward “great disturbances” occurred on the Lawn, accompanied by “a continuous roar of musketry” which lasted “for several hours.”[29]
 
     Amidst this uproar the Faculty convened and summarily “dismissed from the University” at least 66 students known to be participating in the disruption. With little left to lose, the newly dismissed students responded by taking possession of the Rotunda. Several men “clambered” up the Dome “stuck their flag in the skylight,” and “by repeated volleys shot it to shreds.” En masse the group then “marched through Charlottesville and the University rioting and destroying property.” The wake of their destruction was said to be so extensive that “scarcely a pane of glass in the professor’s houses or [in the] Rotunda was left unbroken.” Ultimately this riot only subsided after Professor Davis enlisted the assistance of civil authorities to enforce punishment against the offenders. In the aftermath of the rebellion, dismissed students left the University bound for home with news of their recent dismissal. Predictably their disgruntled parents came to the University for answers. To defend their actions, the faculty published “a pamphlet in its defense.” Although it was certainly an efficient method of relaying the University’s position, it remains unknown how effective this pamphlet was given that many records reveal, “in the end most members of the company were readmitted to the University.” As such, while the immediate hostilities of the rebellion of 1836 were quelled, little was done to mitigate the underlying tensions between students and faculty.[30]
 
     Although held tenuously at bay for a few years, these tensions gave way to armed violence shortly after the four-year anniversary of the “great rebellion” on November 12, 1840. Student witness, Charles Eversfield, recalled that the events of this fateful evening began with tremendous cacophony. Eversfield described this noise as “not simply beating the tin pans, blowing of horns, and making unearthly yells” but also “firing of guns and pistols.” Amidst this noise, the ring-leaders of this uproar, two masked and armed students,[31] likely wearing cloaks to ward off the chilly night air, stalked up and down the colonnades of the Lawn “firing their pistols at the professors’ doors.” These students were later identified as South Carolinian William A. Kincaid, and Georgian, Joseph Semmes. As Kincaid and Semmes proceeded down the East Lawn “several students” opened the doors of their rooms and “warned that Professor Davis, then Chairman of the Faculty, had come out of his pavilion intending to identify and punish perpetrators of the disturbance.” It is believed that these warnings deterred Kincaid who vanished down an East Lawn alley, but “Semmes continued on.” At some point in the next few minutes Davis exited his pavilion and “commanded” Semmes to “stop his noise and disperse.” Semmes replied to Davis’ command with “derisive laughter.” In the several yards between the door of Pavilion X and the lawn just beyond the colonnade, Davis attempted to accost Semmes and remove his disguise. In response, Semmes “deliberately shot the Professor in the “lower abdomen.”[32]
 
     Professor Davis died from this wound the following day. The University’s first librarian, William Wertenbaker, recalled the pall cast over the University in the wake of the Chairman’s death. A former student recalled that the “whole body” of students at the University “met and passed resolutions of sorrow and condemnation upon the one who had committed the crime,” while Wertenbaker described “groups of students” who searched Charlottesville and nearby environs for Simms and Kincaid. Some accounts suggest that Semmes and Kincaid were apprehended while others hold that they voluntarily surrendered themselves. Local authorities attempted to bring both Kincaid and Semmes to trial, though Semmes is alleged to have disappeared while released on $25,000 bail and committed suicide. Virginius Dabney’s history of the University describes, “shock waves” sent “throughout the state and beyond” at the news of the murder of the Chairman of the University of Virginia’s faculty. Dabney credits these shockwaves with “bringing the university’s students at least temporarily to their senses” and creating a “new and more serious mood” out of which the University’s iconic Honor System would emerge. Despite his tragic and untimely death, Davis’ legacy at the University remains considerable as a legal scholar and asset to the University community. Davis and colleagues George Tucker and John Patton Emmet are credited with founding the Society of Alumni at the University.  A monument to Professor Davis, and his son, John Staige Davis, who would also join the medical faculty at the University of Virginia a few decades later, stands today in the University cemetery where father, son, and their families are buried.[33]
 
 
Tucker’s Residency: 1841-1845
 
 
    In 1841, distinguished Virginia Judge, Henry St. George Tucker, then sixty-one years old, was appointed to succeed Davis as Professor of Law. In addition, Tucker was given Davis’ former residence at Pavilion X. Even before accepting this appointment, Judge Tucker was very familiar with the University of Virginia as his cousin, George Tucker, was a member of the University’s first faculty. Moreover, two of Tucker’s classmates at the College of William & Mary, Joseph Carrington Cabell and Chapman Johnson, served as members of the University of Virginia’s first Board of Visitors. After his education in Williamsburg, Tucker served in Congress and as President of the Virginia Court of Appeals before accepting the position at the University.[34]
 
   
Although an excellent instructor and noted legal expert, Tucker’s legacy at the University principally concerns two reforms he is credited with instituting while Chairman of the Faculty in 1842. Taking inventory of the unrest that had plagued the University for the last decade, Tucker sought to address two persistent issues that continually rankled both students and professors. The first of these concerned student sentiment about the mandatory University uniform. The uniform consisted of “ a suit of what was called ‘invisible grey’ cloth” which students were required to wear “when visiting a Professor’s house or attending Divine services” as well as when visiting Charlottesville. When participating in military drills, this uniform also included “a white belt and shoulder strap with a cap bearing a white feather tipped in red.” Students not only considered the uniform “obnoxious” but also were frequently punished for violating its requirements or refusing to wear it altogether. Sensing an opportunity to boost student morale and eliminate a drain on faculty productivity, Tucker abolished the uniform in 1842.[35]
 
     An additional factor contributing to poor student-faculty relations was “the atmosphere of suspicion surrounding examinations” in which professors remained in their lecture rooms during examinations and closely monitored their students. The University faculty justified this surveillance as necessary to deter academic fraud but students perceived it as a slight to their honor. Tucker proposed a compromise in the form of a new initiative that acknowledged the desire of the students to have their honor respected, but also sought to safeguard academic integrity and prevent cheating. This initiative took the form of a student pledge, signed by each student at his examination, which required that he “promise in writing that he neither gave nor received assistance during the examination process.” This pledge is still in use at the University today.[36]
 
    Perhaps because Davis’ adjustments to Pavilion X were sufficient or perhaps because Tucker’s tenure at the University of Virginia was relatively brief, no records remain of significant architectural modifications to the Pavilion carried out while Tucker was in residence. In 1845, “an acute illness” led Tucker to resign his seat at the University and return to his home in Winchester, Virginia, where he died three years later.[37]
 
 
The Minor Half-Century: 1845-1895
 
 
    Tucker’s successor as Professor of Law, John Barbee Minor, also succeeded him as resident of Pavilion X. A native of Louisa County, Minor received his undergraduate education at Kenyon College in Ohio and reputedly made the trek to college and back on foot. Additionally, thirty-two-year-old Minor was an alumnus of the University of Virginia, having graduated from the School of Law in 1834. Interestingly enough, Minor’s instructor while a law student at the University, was previous Pavilion X resident, John A.G. Davis. After graduation from law school, Minor practiced law for six years in Botetourt County before returning to Charlottesville to open a joint practice with his older brother, Lucian Minor in 1840. Five years later, Minor relocated to Pavilion X and began instruction at his alma mater.[38]
 
    For the first decade of his professorship, Minor made little to no changes to his pavilion. Beginning in 1856, however, the size of the pavilion began to constrain Minor and his family and he petitioned the Board of Visitors to erect “a back porch to Pavilion X.” This request was approved with a $150 construction budget. In 1857 the Visitors also approved the “enlargement and repair of the kitchen attached to the pavilion” and “the renewal of the porch in the rear.” Minor was allotted $600 to cover the expenses of these projects. Academic speculation holds that a porch visible in Casimir Bohn’s lithographs of the University published in 1856 is Minor’s “renewed” porch.[39]
 
     Minor’s fifty-year tenure as Professor of Law at the University was “a period of time that saw great change at the University and the country as a whole.” In his first year at the University, Minor taught an entering class which numbered only 28 students. In contrast, by  “the years near the end of his career the average class size numbered one hundred and forty.” The University responded to this significant increase in enrollment by dividing the “law department” into two smaller departments, “the department of common and statute law and the department of equity, mercantile, international, and constitutional law.” Additionally, from 1851 to 1861 several adjunct and full professors were added to the law faculty to support the enlargement and specification of these departments.[40]
 
     A devout Episcopalian, Minor used the time he did not spend in lecture working to strengthen the presence of Christianity amongst the students and institution of the University of Virginia. Although the University was founded to be deliberately non-denominational, in 1829 the first Chaplain of the University was appointed. After 1833 the clergyman chosen to fill this position was alternately chosen “from the four denominations- Methodist, Episcopal, Baptist, and Presbyterian,” and in 1845 the Chaplain’s term was extended to last two years. Minor, along with his colleagues, Noah K. Davis and Francis H. Smith, assisted these Chaplains with leading chapel services for the students and producing “vigorous Bible work.” In addition, Minor played a formative role in the establishment of the Y.M.C.A. at the University in 1858.[41]
 
     Minor’s religious conviction offers an interesting lens through which to consider him as a slave-owner. Until the Confederate surrender at Appomattox, the Minor family relied on enslaved labor to run the household of Pavilion X and tend its gardens. Although he was raised in a prominent southern, slaveholding family, surviving Minor family correspondence reveals that John B. Minor was a complicated master. On the one hand, Minor was devoted to his faith, served as a vestryman at Christ Church in Charlottesville, and voluntarily organized a Sunday school for the enslaved. When Minor sold his slave, Lucy, to his brother in Louisa County he expressly requested that she be sold “to someone convenient to her husband, Mike, rather” than merely to someone who would pay “a high price for her.” When another Minor family slave, Matilda, fell gravely ill, “Professor Minor worried whether she was prepared to die or if he may have failed in his duty of religious instruction.” On the other hand, Minor still primarily considered his slaves to be financial investments and showed little tolerance for misbehavior or incidents that precluded slaves from carrying out his orders. When the proclivity of one Minor family slave, Jim Friday, to run away eventually exhausted Professor Minor’s patience, Minor sold him to a slave trader. Although his young son, John Davis Minor, wrote a letter pleading for his father to sell Friday locally, Minor remained unmoved. He replied to his son that Friday would be “better off under the strict government of a Southern master, than in Virginia where I really fear he would come to the Gallows.” [42]
 
     After 1861 and the outbreak of the Civil War, enrollment at the University dwindled. Many student rooms on the Lawn and both ranges, as well as “the halls in the Rotunda and public room” were used as hospital wards. Though primarily a Confederate hospital, one recollection of the wartime University recalled seeing a wounded soldier “in blue clothes” lying beside two Confederate soldiers inside a room on “Bachelor’s Row.” While the University continued to operate during the War, it became a very small institution and Professor Minor became the only Professor of Law. Although prior to Virginia’s secession, Minor, had been “outspoken in his desire to save the Union,” once hostilities began, Minor “served with guards[43] on Monticello Mountain,” volunteered “as an attendant at the Hospital in Louisa Court House,” and “paid his taxes to the Confederacy.” Most students and many members of the faculty joined one of three local companies raised at the University or returned home to enlist.[44]
 
     The University’s location in Central Virginia made its safety from occupation and pillage during the War dependent on events in the Shenandoah Valley. By summer 1864, Jubal Early’s Confederate forces increasingly faltered against the advances of Philip Sheridan’s Army of the Shenandoah. As Sheridan’s men’s victories opened the Valley, they burned and pillaged most obstacles in their way. Cognizant of the precariousness of their location, the University watched these events fearfully. At this time enrollment at the University had dropped to around 60 students, thereby causing the Professors whose incomes were partially determined by student enrollment fees to work on severely diminished salaries. One student at the time, George L. Christian, recalls that as news of Sheridan’s approach spread “every student with one exception left.” Refusing to flee, Minor and his family instead began to safeguard valuables, livestock, and emergency supplies of hay and corn should fears of Yankee invasion become imminent reality.[45]
 
     Sheridan’s troops approached Charlottesville during the first few days of March 1865. The University faculty and city officials from Charlottesville hurriedly assembled a delegation to meet with a dispatch of Sheridan’s men and beg them not to burn the University. The University sent three representatives to this delegation: John B. Minor, Socrates Maupin, and then-Rector, Thomas L. Preston. On “the grounds opposite Carr’s Hill,” Minor and his assembled compatriots met members of the staff of General George A. Custer and pleaded that the University of Virginia be spared destruction. To many this request seemed far-fetched; it was “contrary to the expectations of everyone” and “contrary to [Sheridan’s] practices in the Valley.” Fortunately, Custer’s men were moved by these overtures, and promised not only to preserve the architectural heritage of Jefferson’s Academical Village, but also deployed “a detachment of Union soldiers” to be “stationed at the University to ensure its protection.”[46]
 
     After the War’s conclusion, the University, like the rest of the defeated Confederacy, set about rebuilding itself. Minor “donated extensively” to help the University resume classes in 1865. Former Minor family slaves joined other former slaves at the University in living near Monticello, while some slaves stayed on as paid workers employed by the Minor for cleaning, cooking, and washing. As a Professor during political Reconstruction and the rebuilding and modernization of the University, Minor also oversaw yet another period of expansion of the law school and the size of the University’s student body. In 1870, Minor also devised “what became known as his ‘Summer Course of Law Lectures’” which offered legal instruction between sessions at the University.[47]
 
     Four years later the Minor’s petitioned the Board of Visitors for the first major architectural renovations to occur in Pavilion X since the War. Their petition “for draining and flooring” their basement was granted and they were allotted $125 for these renovations. By 1876 Minor and his family decided that they needed a more substantial addition to Pavilion X. Minor claimed that as his six children grew older the reality that Pavilion X had only two “bed chambers” constrained his family to the point of discomfort. The Board of Visitors replied that it was currently unable to safely remove funds “from the income of the institution.” Instead it was suggested that Minor lower the floors between his home and the adjoining dormitories to fully utilize those spaces in the interim. Contemporary evidence of the “crawl space under the two student rooms north of the pavilion” suggest that Minor made these architectural changes while awaiting further funding. It was not until 1878 that Minor’s request for a more substantial addition was granted with a budget of $2,000.[48]
 
     Contemporaneous to these renovations in Minor’s pavilion, the University also funded “widespread modernization of the campus’ water and sanitation systems.” In 1869 the University joined the main waterline that provided water to Charlottesville, and in 1892 completed a “dedicated waterline running from a reservoir at Observatory Mountain to the University.” As a result of this new engineering, the pavilions received access to running water and began to be retrofitted to include indoor water closets. Minor constructed one such water closet in 1894 for $300.[49]
 
     The following year, on July 29, 1895 Minor died at home in Pavilion X. Out of recognition for Minor’s age and service to the University in 1890 the Visitors had permitted him to retain two teaching assistants so that he could remain in the classroom as long as possible. Minor chose his sons to serve in these capacities, and John B. Minor Jr., served as his assistant from 1890 to 1892 when Minor’s younger son, Raleigh Colston, succeeded him. Raleigh Minor joined the faculty of the Law school permanently in 1895 and remained Professor of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Real Property until his death in 1923. Virginius Dabney noted in 1981 that “credit for the high position occupied by the University of Virginia Law School today” is due to “John B. Minor more than any other man.” Dabney also recounted that the first permanent building to house the University of Virginia School of Law, was dedicated as Minor Hall in 1911 in honor of John Barbee Minor.[50]
 
 
Legacy
 
 
     This is only a brief survey of Pavilion X’s architectural history and the history of its occupants, an entire century has been omitted to save space and conform as best as possible to the time period of the University’s early life up to the end of the Civil War. Moreover, because Pavilion X is still occupied today its history continues to be written with each passing year. However, it is hoped that this history offers some insight into the early life of Jefferson’s University and one of its most storied pavilions from an architectural, historical, and individual perspective.
 
     The value of analyzing this building’s occupants and architectural modifications is to see how, when, and why changes were made to Jefferson’s original design and what those changes can tell posterity about 19th century life, the daily operations of the University of Virginia, as well as about the men whose names live long on buildings, but whose colorful personalities have faded over time. It is equally valuable to acknowledge and learn about the enslaved whose names were only rarely recorded but whose legacy at the University and is significant and worth preserving.
 
     For Pavilion X especially, architectural modifications were at times motivated by some concerns which remain relatable two centuries later: space and storage, but also motivated by a desire to promote and expand the institution of slavery at the University, an unfortunate but very real element to the early history of the University of Virginia These modifications give a sense of how Pavilion X has changed over time, but to some extent, the real value of the Pavilion from a modern standpoint is what aspects of Pavilion X have not changed with time. It is these lasting elements of the architectural fabric and careful preservation efforts that give modern students, faculty, and visitors a sense of all the amazing moments, incidents, and individuals Pavilion X witnessed, sheltered, and impacted. From the beginnings of the Medical School, to the sensational, and tragic murder of John A.G. Davis, to the inception of the Honor System, to the narrow avoidance of the University’s fiery destruction during the Civil War, Pavilion X has played an integral role in the development and preservation of Mr. Jefferson’s University, and will likely continue to do so for years to come.
 
 

[1] Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects and the University of Virginia, Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, accessed January 30, 2015, <http://www.officearchitect.virginia.edu/pdfs/PavilionXHSR.pdf>, 8; Brendan Wolfe, “Slavery at the University of Virginia,” Encyclopedia Virginia, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, last modified 30 Oct. 2013, accessed 15 Feb. 2015, <http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Slavery_at_the_University_of_Virginia>.

[2] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 8; Wolfe, “Slavery at the University of Virginia.”

[3] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 1; Leland M. Roth, “Character of and in American Architecture,” Phi Kappa Phi Forum 83.3 (2003), 11; I.T. Fray, Thomas Jefferson: Architect and Builder (Richmond: Garrett and Massie, 1950), 44; Ralph G. Giordano, The Architectural Ideology of Thomas Jefferson (Jefferson: McFarland and Company, 2012), 95; Giordano, Architectural Ideology, 58; Fray, Thomas Jefferson, 45.

[4] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 65.

[5] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 8; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 11; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 12; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 13; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report; 14;

[6] J.A. Harrison, “The Pavilions and their Earlier Occupants,” University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin 3, no. 1 (1896), 1; Harrison, “The Pavilions and their Earlier Occupants,” 2; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 126; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 128.

[7] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 16; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 126; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 16

[8] The Literary Fund is a perpetual fund of the Commonwealth of Virginia to support education in the Commonwealth still in existence. That the nascent University of Virginia borrowed heavily from this fund is substantiated in letters from Thomas Jefferson to Joseph C. Cabell on January 28, 1819 and March 12, 1823, and the Minutes of the Board of Visitors of Central College of February 26, 1819. These letters and Minutes were published in Cabell, Nathaniel Francis, ed., Early History of the University of Virginia: as contained in the letters of Thomas Jefferson and Joseph C. Cabell, hitherto unpublished; with an appendix consisting of Mr. Jefferson’s bill for a complete system of education, and other illustrative documents; and an introduction comprising a brief historical sketch of the university, and a biographical notice of Joseph C. Cabell (Richmond: J.W. Randolph, 1856) on pages 154, 278-279, and 451-452 respectively. 

[9] Eugene C. Massie, “A Statutory History of the University of Virginia,” University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin 6, No. 1 (1899), 13; Massie’s “History” provides a quantifiable analysis of the debt of constructing the University. The “History” notes an entry from November 29, 1821 in which “six pavilions, 2 hotels, and 82 dormitories are built, 4 pavilions, 4 hotels and 27 dormitories are almost completed” and already the cost of the construction exceeded $200,000.

[10] Massie, “A Statutory History of the University of Virginia,” 13; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 11; J.A. Harrison, “The Pavilions and their Earlier Occupants,” 2.

[11] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 37.

[12] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 37; Virginius Dabney, Mr. Jefferson’s University: A History (Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia, 1981), 7; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 40.

[13] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Architecture Report, 40.

[14] “George Tucker,” University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin 7, No.1 (1900), 11; John S. Patton, “History of Faculty Chairmen of the University of Virginia,” University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin, Second Series 4, No. 4 (1904), 266; Patton, “History of Faculty Chairmen of the University of Virginia,” 267.  

[15] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 40.

[16]Unknown, “The Last Words of Mr. Jefferson,” University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin 6, No. 3 (1899), 80; Mesick Cohen et al., note on page 40 of the Pavilion X Historic Structure Report that after Jefferson’s death Dunglison continued to provide medical advice for leading men in the region including James Madison, James Monroe, and later President Andrew Jackson.

[17]Gayle M. Schulman, “Slaves at the University of Virginia” (essay, African American Genealogy Group of Charlottesville/Albemarle, 2003) 4, <www.locohistory.com/Albemarle/Slaves_at_the_University_of_Virginia.pdf>; Schulman, “Slaves at the University of Virginia,” 5.

[18] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 40; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 142. 

[19] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 17.

[20] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 17.

[21] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 19; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 40.

[22] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 40; Dr. John Staige Davis, “History of the Medical Department at the University of Virginia,” University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin, Third Series, 7, No. 3 (1914), 299; J.S. Davis, “History of the Medical Department at the University of Virginia,” 300; Davis, “History of the Medical Department at the University of Virginia,” 302; V. Dabney, Mr. Jefferson’s University, 7.

[23] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 42; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 41; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 42; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 41.

[24] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 19.

[25] As described by Rev. Dabney C.T. Davis on page 116 of an article entitled “Old Times at the University” found in the University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin 4, No. 4 (1897), this behavior directly violated the Enactments of the University, and was typically punished by “an interview with the Chairman of the Faculty.”

[26] D.C.T. Davis, “Old Times at the University,” 116. D.C.T. Davis describes this term of “college parlance” in context. If the Faculty interview went poorly for the accused student and it was decided that he needed to be suspended from the University for a period of time, the student was barred from the University precincts and sent to ‘rusticate’ at “some designated place in the country; usually a tavern in a quiet neighborhood.” At first, this punishment seemed effective. However, many clever students chose carefully where to spend their rustication, exhibiting an obvious preference for “a place where social privileges were most abundant.” As a result, the Faculty curbed this loophole by mandating rustication locations, a stopgap measure which seemed to temporarily restore a sense of discipline at the University.
 

[27] D.C.T. Davis, “Old Times at the University,” 117; Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, III, “The Student Riot of 1836,” University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin, Second Series, 3, No. 4 (1903), 191.

[28] D.C.T. Davis, “Old Times at the University,” 117; Wertenbaker III, “The Student Riot of 1836,” 192; Wertenbaker, III, “The Student Riot of 1836,” 193. 

[29] Wertenbaker, III,“The Student Riot of 1836,”195.

[30] Wertenbaker, III, “The Student Riot of 1836,” 195.

[31] Both the wearing of masks, and the possession of arms within University precincts were offenses against the University Enactments, already punishable by expulsion. See pages 36 and 39 of the Enactments Relating to the Constitution and Government of the University of Virginia, For the Use of the University (Charlottesville: Cary, Watson & Co., 1831).

[32] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 43; V. Dabney, Mr. Jefferson’s University, 9; Eugene C. Massie, “Wild Students of the Past,” University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin 6, No. 4 (1900) 113; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 43. 

[33] Massie, “Wild Students of the Past,” 113; Charles Christian Wertenbaker, “Early Days of the University,” University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin 4, No. 1 (1897), 22; Massie, “Wild Students of the Past,” 113; V. Dabney, Mr. Jefferson’s University, 9; Frederick W. Page, “The Beginning of the Society of Alumni,” University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin 6, No.3, (1899), 89; J.A. Harrison, “The University Cemetery,” University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin 4, No. 4 (1897), 113; T.J. Downing, “Memorials of Professors John Anthony Gardner Davis and John Staige Davis,” University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin, Second Series, 3 No. 4 (1903), 210; Downing, “Memorials of Professors,” 211; Downing, “Memorials of Professors,” 213. 

[34] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 19; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 44; Patton, “History of Faculty Chairmen of the University of Virginia,” 272.

[35] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 44; Dabney, Mr. Jefferson’s University, 10; D.C.T. Davis, “Old Times at the University,” 116; Wertenbaker III, “The Student Riots of 1836,” 191; Dabney, Mr. Jefferson’s University, 10.

[36] Dabney, Mr. Jefferson’s University, 10; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic structure Report, 44; Dabney, Mr. Jefferson’s University, 10.

[37] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 44.

[38] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 45; James C. Lamb, “John B. Minor,” University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin 2, No. 4 (1896), 121; Lamb, “John B. Minor,” 122; Lamb, “John B. Minor,” 123; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 46.

[39] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 23.

[40] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 46.

[41] Lamb, “John B. Minor,” 125; “Christian Work in the University,” University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin 6, No. 3 (1899), 75.

[42] Lamb, “John B. Minor,” 125; Schulman, “Slaves at the University of Virginia,” 17; Schulman, “Slaves at the University of Virginia,” 13; Schulman, “Slaves at the University of Virginia,” 18; Schulman, “Slaves at the University of Virginia,” 21; Schulman, “Slaves at the University of Virginia,” 17.

[43] Richard Heath Dabney, “Forty Years Ago,” University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin, Second Series, 4, No. 2, (1904), 286; R.H. Dabney, “Forty Years Ago,” 288; Minor’s record of service as a “guard” at Monticello suggests that he was a member in the “Home Guard” raised in Charlottesville. Commanded by Colonel Alexander Taliaferro, the “Home Guard” largely consisted of “the Professors and the old men and boys of the region.” Each day on the Lawn, Professor Schele de Vere “drilled” this band in exercises so that they might remain ready to be “called out to check the enemy” at any time.

[44] Judge George L. Christian, “Reminiscences and Contrast,” University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin, Third Series, 2 No. 2 (1909) 196; Christian, “Reminiscences and Contrast,” 197; R.H. Dabney,“Forty Years Ago,” 288; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 46; William W. Old, “Student Soldiers in the Civil War,” University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin 6, No. 4 (1900), 119; Schulman, “Slaves at the University of Virginia,” 22; R.H. Dabney, “Forty Years Ago,” 288.

[45]Brendan Wolfe, “Union Occupation of Charlottesville (1865)” Encyclopedia Virginia, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, last modified 15 Jan. 2015, accessed 20 February 2015, <http://encyclopediavirginia.org/Union_Occupation_of_Charlottesville_1865... Anne Freudenberg and John Casteen, eds., “John B. Minor’s Civil War Diary,” The Magazine of Albemarle County History 22 (1963-1964), 45; Freudenberg and Casteen, “John B. Minor’s Civil War Diary,” 46;  Christian, “Reminiscences and Contrast,” 200; Schulman, “Slaves at the University,” 22.

[46] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 46; Christian, “Reminiscences and Contrast,” 200; Freudenberg and Casteen, “John B. Minor’s Civil War Diary,” 46; Freudenberg and Casteen, “John B. Minor’s Civil War Diary,” 47; Lamb, “John B. Minor,” 127.

[47] Lamb, “John B. Minor,” 127; Schulman, “Slaves at the University of Virginia,” 24; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 27; Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 46; Christian, “Reminiscences and Contrast.”

[48] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report, 23.

[49] Mesick Cohen et al., Pavilion X Historic Structure Report,27.

[50] V. Dabney, Mr. Jefferson’s University, 30; “Raleigh Colston Minor,” accessed 20 February 2015, <http://lib.law.virginia.edu/specialcollections/person/raleigh-colston-mi...
 
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Cite This Entry
 Creighton, Catherine A. "Pavilion X: A Brief History (1820-1895)." JUEL, June 18, 2015. http://juel.iath.virginia.edu/node/222.
 
 First published: June 18, 2015 | Last modified: