Robert Stanard (1839-1846)

Further reading:

G. MacLaren Brydon, “The Antiecclesiastical Laws of Virginia,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 64, No. 3 (Jul., 1956), 259-285. Brydon discusses Stanard’s decision in the case, Selden v. Overseers of the Poor (1840) and its impact in strengthening suspicion of organized religion in the legislature in the 1840s and 1850s.

Christopher M. Curtis, “Reconsidering Suffrage Reform in the 1829-1830 Virginia Constitutional Convention,” The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 74, No. 1 (Feb. 2008), 89-124. Curtis identifies Stanard as a moderate in the debate over the property holding qualification for suffrage; he wanted to maintain it, but expand it to include leaseholders and housekeepers.

Hugh Blair Grigsby, “Sketches of Members of the Constitutional Convention of 1829-1830,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 61, No. 3 (Jul., 1953), pp. p. 332.

Robert D. Jacobs, “Poe among the Virginians,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 67, No. 1 (Jan. 1959), 30-48.  Stanard’s wife, Jane Stith Stanard, was immortalized by Edgar Allan Poe in the poem “To Helen,” published in 1831.

Robert P. Sutton, “Nostalgia, Pessimism, and Malaise: The Doomed Aristocrat in Late-Jeffersonian Virginia,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 76, No. 1 (Jan., 1968), p. 53-54. As a delegate to the constitutional convention of 1829-1830, Stanard spoke about increasing tensions between the Tidewater and western regions of Virginia; see Proceedings of the Convention of 1829-1830 (cited by Sutton).

Robert Stanard’s wife, Jane Stith Craig Stanard,  inspired the Edgar Allan Poe poem, “To Helen,” published in 1931. “It is true dear Eddie did love Mrs. Stannard [sic],” Poe’s aunt and mother-in-law Maria Clemm later wrote, “with all the affection devotion of a son. When he was unhappy at home (which was very often the case) he went to her for sympathy, and she always consoled and comforted him.”  When Jane Stanard died at age 31, Poe dedicated his poem “To Helen,” (1831) to her. (“Death of Poe’s First Love”)

Research collections:

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Library)
Williamsburg, Va.
William Fleming Collection, 1773-1802.
Stanard’s license to practice law, October 26, 1802.

Columbia University (Rare Book and Manuscript Library)
New York City, NY
Robert Stanard Papers, 1764-1845; 4 v.; finding aid.
“Papers, letters, accounts, and other miscellaneous material which relate to or were formerly in possession of Robert Stanard. The letters include some from his father, Larkin Stanard, and his brothers, John and Thomas, as well as from political and business associates. The papers include bills, accounts, and receipts.”

University of Virginia (Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library)
Charlottesville, Va.
Robert Stanard Papers, 1761-1865; 4 boxes; finding aid.
“The papers consist mostly of Stanard’s legal and business correspondence. There are also scattered legal documents, copies of Spotsylvania Co. court records, and some personal correspondence from his father Larkin Stanard, brothers Hugh and Thomas Stanard, and Beverly Stanard, and son, Robert C. Stanard, a University of Virginia student, General John Minor and Alexander Spotswood. Topics include tobacco shipments, slave hiring, agriculture, estate settlement, an 1815 suit against Henry Lee and Bushrod Washington, land sales, the James River and Kanawha Canal Company, and the Whig Party.”

Gessner Harrison Papers, 1827-1862; 218 items.
Stanard is represented in correspondence from Peachy Harrison, Gessner Harrison’s father, about politics and the 1829-1830 Virginia Constitutional Convention.

University of Virginia School of Law (Arthur J. Morris Law Library)
Charlottesville, Va.
19th Century Legal Manuscripts.
Collection includes a letter, April 3, 1821, from Robert Stanard regarding sums received from the estate of William Stanard.