Monday, April 12, 2010

A Mother Goose Birthday Party for James Branch Cabell, April 14, 1884

(A very young James Branch Cabell)

The site below is an online exhibit based on an article taken from the April 16, 1884 issue of the  Richmond State under the "Local Matters" section of the newspaper. It recounts the Mother Goose birthday party held for James Branch Cabell (1879-1958) who was to turn five years-old. 

The party took place on Cabell's birthday, April 14th, and had some 75 guests (all of them listed as well as who they came as from the Mother Goose galaxy). A number of these children grew up to be important participants in Richmond's business, civic, and art communities. The party was held at 101 E. Franklin Street, the home of Martha Louise Patteson Branch (1831-1908), Cabell's maternal grandmother. Cabell was born on the third floor of the house -- today the Richmond Public Library occupies almost the entire block. 

Learn more about the party from the link below - from an online exhibit created by Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, VCU Libraries:

Mother Goose Birthday Party for Master James Branch Cabell, age 5.

- Ray B.


HEK said...

Ray, thanks for sharing this! Yowza, and we think today's birthday parties among the Conspicuous Consumption Class have gotten elaborate -- they gotn noting on this crowd.

Interesting about that "library block" and its literary connections; apart from Cabell's birthplace and childhood residence, up the block on the same side was a property that the Ellis family rented to the Allans for a little while, and it was in the Ellis' linden-tree lined garden that Poe played as a kid, and when it became developed, it became known as Linden Row.

FDR said...

I did not know that about the Ellis family and Poe. Also, around the corner, Ellen Glasgow lived her entire life and Mary Johnston briefly lived in Linden Row.

Cabell was born on the third floor of his grandmother's house and in later years he like to say he was born in the rare book room of the Richmond public Library.

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