Index to Whittle/Sims Family Information
Matoaka Whittle was a daughter of the "first families of Virginia." Willie Sims was equally well-positioned within the aristocracy of South Carolina, Louisiana, and Mississippi. However, their marriage immediately after the Civil War apparently presaged a clash rather than a melding of social cultures, and was the beginning of over two and a half decades of political and personal turmoil, which eventually had national and international implications.
Click on the above link to see the index to material posted about this remarkable couple and their family connections. Two unresolved questions are of particular current research interest:
Built in 1875, the Sims house was among the first of Chatham's large post-Civil-War Victorian homes, and the only one of them to be built in an antebellum style. For over a century it was the largest residence in town. It was probably the first of Chatham's homes to be built with the assistance of rail delivery of materials, and with fireplaces designed to utilize rail-delivered coal. It is the only Italian Villa within the town, and is possibly the only building remaining in Virginia constructed with flat siding of shortleaf pine lumber. (Camden, an Italian Villa on the Rappahannock River at Port Royal in Caroline County, has shiplap siding of cypress.)
Click on the link at the above photograph to see a summary of architectural information about the Sims house. Two unresolved questions are of particular current research interest:
Correspondence by e-mail is welcomed, or visit the Sims-Mitchell House B&B.
Copyright © 2002–2005 Patricia B. Mitchell.