Posts tagged ‘Joseph W. Ballard’

The Totally Elusive Joseph W. Ballard. And Lizards.

Today has been quite the day. I dove in head first into my research today, and unearthed even more info on the legal foundations of UVa. Today I was drawn into the bill passed on January 25, 1819 that transformed the “Central College” of Virginia into it’s flagship state university. It was very interesting to read that it’s passage went through nearly unscathed – as only one amendment was proposed by a Senator Johnson (who also was on the bill’s committee) but NOT passed. The final vote in the Virginia State Senate nearly went off without a hitch as well – but in the final result of 22 Yays and 1 Nay, I wanted to find out who the jerk was that had opposed the bill, and on what grounds. With such a smooth, amazingly written bill (which I think TJ may have penned and his good friend Senator Cabell introduced to the floor) on their hands, and  with it sailing through passage almost flawlessly, why would someone stand up and be the only person to object to it?

Turns out the name of the single-nay bandit was recorded just below the vote in the 1819 Journal of the Virginia Senate – and it was one Senator Joseph W. Ballard, of Isle of Wight county. Grrr.

Now, I had COMBED over Google  and Wikipedia  several times before I realized that not every Virginia State Senator had info readily available about them. Boo. So I headed to the databases, and flipped through nearly every single book on Virginia historical figures that I (and with the databases Eric helped me out as well) could find in the stacks, but to no avail. The only few things that I did find were a few pages which mentioned his heroic fighting in the War of 1812, a PDF of a letter to The American Farmer magazine that he had written so that a “Mr Skinner” could rid his pigs of “vermin”, a few various announcements of signing up your stock with him to help dig  a canal,  some pages from his family bible,  and also an announcement sometime in the 1830’s from a newspaper’s classifieds stating that he had a letter waiting for him at the Macon, Georgia post office. All of these things collectively seem very entertaining and eclectic, but at that point it was getting down right frustrating.  Until some cute little booger (the subject of our Pictures of the Day) caught the corner of my eye.

Pictures of the Day:

The little booger! A cute juvenile striped skink scurried across the floor of the Library to provide comic relief as I was getting frustrated with my work.

The little booger! A cute juvenile striped skink scurried across the floor of the Library to provide comic relief as I was getting frustrated with my work.

It took me about 20 minutes of gentle wrangling and braving the big, hairy, and dead spiders underneath a desk to capture "Lil' Booger" in this trashcan. I then took him outside, where I picked him up and he promptly bit me before scurrying off.

It took me about 20 minutes of gentle wrangling and braving the big, hairy, and dead spiders underneath a desk to capture "Lil' Booger" in this trashcan. I then took him outside, where I picked him up and he promptly bit me before scurrying off.

July 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm 1 comment


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