Missing Pictures: Rebecca Mayo, Revolutionary War Widow


Sometimes the hunt for a photograph is so frustrating! One of the more than 6,000 Revolutionary War widows collecting a pension was Rebecca Mayo of Newbern, Pulaski County, Virginia. She married Stephen Mayo in 1834 when she was just a young woman and Mayo was 77. The Boston Daily Globe ran a story about her on July 6, 1904 (page 6), “Mrs. Mayo of Virginia is a Revolutionary Widow.” There were only two widows left at that point, Rebecca Mayo and Esther Damon. Damon’s photo and story appear in my book, The Last Muster (Kent State University Press, June 2010).

In the Globe article were two pictures. On of Rebecca and the other of her house. Both of these pictures have proved elusive. I can’t find them. I’m hoping that someone will see this story and send me a lead.

Here’s the search so far:
The Boston Globe archive at the Boston Public Library doesn’t own the pictures. It’s likely that this story and the images were picked up from another news source.

The Pulaski County Public Library searched their collections, but didn’t own them either.

The Wilderness Road Regional Museum in Newbern, Virginia couldn’t help me.

I also tried the Virginia Room at the Roanake Public Library and the Library of Virginia in Richmond.

With more than 6,000 widows that could have posed for a photograph, I was trying major sources first before diving into a search for living family members.

If you know of another source for these images email me at mtaylor@taylorandstrong.com. It’s really annoying to be able to see her face in a newspaper article, but not be able to find the original photograph. Unfortunately, the newsprint isn’t good enough quality for book publication.


Bookmark and Share



Leave a Reply