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Medical Bill Signed by Dr. Harvey Black,1865-1867, 1879 (Ms2009-084)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms2009-084


  • 1865-1867, 1879


Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Medical Bill Signed by Dr. Harvey Black must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Biographical Information

Dr. Harvey Black (1827-1888) was the great grandson of Samuel Black and grandson of John Black who were among the original settlers of Blacksburg, Virginia. He was born to Alexander and Elizabeth McDowell Black in 1827. He served as a private in the Mexican War. Following his discharge in 1848, he attended medical school at the University of Virginia, then set up a private practice in Blacksburg in 1850. In 1852, he married Mary Irby Kent (b. 1836), who he called "Mollie." They had four children: Kent (b.1853), Elizabeth (b.1855), Alexander (b.1957), and Charles (b.1859).

During the Civil War, Black was a surgeon with the 4th Regiment, Virginia Infantry, and ran the field hospital of the 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. Black assisted in the operation on General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson after Jackson had been wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville.

After the Civil War, Harvey Black resumed his medical practice in Blacksburg. He was elected president of the Medical Society of Virginia in 1872. He played an instrumental role in the founding of the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College in Blacksburg in 1872. He was the first rector of the Board of Visitors.

From 1876 to 1882, Harvey Black was Superintendent of the Eastern Lunatic Asylum in Williamsburg. In 1884, he was appointed to the board of a proposed state mental hospital for southwestern Virginia. In 1885, he was elected to represent Montgomery County in the House of Delegates and served two sessions. In the House, he influenced the decision to locate the new hospital in Marion. In 1887, Black became the first superintendent of the new Southwestern State Lunatic Asylum in Marion. He appointed John S. Apperson (who later married Black's daughter Elizabeth in 1889) assistant physician there. Harvey Black died in Richmond in October 1888 and was buried in Westview Cemetery in Blacksburg.

William A. Wade was born in Virginia about 1827. He was a Methodist Episcopal minister. Some time around 1850, he married Charlotte (Charlette) Louisa (b. abt. 1830). They had three children: Elizabeth (b. abt.1851), Willie (b. abt.1862), and Allice (b. abt. 1864). In 1860, the family lived in Blacksburg, possibly with Charlotte's extended family. In 1880, they were in Opequon, Frederick County, Virginia.

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

The Medical Bill Signed by Dr. Harvey Black was purchased by Special Collections in May 2009.

Related Material

Black, Harvey, Mary Kent Black, and Glenn L. McMullen. The Civil War Letters of Dr. Harvey Black: A Surgeon with Stonewall Jackson. Army of Northern Virginia series, 3rd v. Baltimore, Md: Butternut and Blue, 1995. Spec Civil War E 605 .B53 1995

Papers of the Black, Kent, and Apperson Families, 1779-1984 (Bulk 1821-1948). Ms73-004. Finding aid available on Virginia Heritage.

A digital image of Dr. Harvey Black is available from the University Archives History of Virginia Tech pages.

Harry Downing Temple, Jr., Papers and Photographs, 1927-1998. Ms88-039. Contains additional images related to Dr. Harvey Black also available on Imagebase.

General Physical Description note

0.1 cu. ft.


The collection contains a bill detailing medical service provided to the family of Rev. William A. Wade by Dr. Harvey Black. The bill includes the cost of services, as well as a note from Black forgiving payment.


This medical bill is an itemized list of the services provided by Dr. Harvey Black to the family of Rev. William A. Wade between 1865 and 1867. Many of Black's visits were for Wade's wife and children, but the list also notes service to "negro woman Rachel." Black provided such services as cupping while also administering prescribed medicines, such as olive oil, rhubarb, chalk, and brandy.

While the price of each service and/or prescribed medicine is listed and totaled, Black wrote the following at the end, dated 1879: "The Rev W.A. Wade being engaged in the active work of the ministry the above balance is hereby canceled. The bond of $36.39 named in his statement cannot be found. While it is probably among my papers at Blacksburg, its payment is hereby acknowledged."

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Medical Bill Signed by Dr. Harvey Black commenced and was completed in June 2009.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US