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Lou Smith

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At a Glance

Lou Smith was a good friend of Frances Armistead Burwell , with whom she corresponded while Fanny was in New York studying music [1].


Lou Smith was from Fayetteville, NC. Her father, Archibald Aaron Tyson Smith, had taken AB and MA degrees from the University of North Carolina.

The Burwell School has photocopies of fifteen letters written by Mrs. M. A. Burwell to Frances Armistead Burwell  while she was studying music in New York. Three of these letters mention Lou Smith.

On December 29, 1855, Mrs. M.A. Burwell wrote to Fanny in considerable dismay:

"today Lou Smith wanted to know if it was a fact that we would take no more boarders, as such was the report in Fayetteville. Now what do you think will come next...she says she is coming back to school next session-spoke of having had a letter from you."

On February 4, 1856, Mrs. M. A. Burwell wrote:

"Lou Smith & Bettie Carrington have just been in to say Goodnight. They stood & talked so long that now I must hurry to a close. I sent them to Nan (Anna Robertson Burwell ) to look up some Jelly & Cream & I expect they will bring me some. Will you have some?"

On March 4, Mrs. M. A. Burwell notes at the end of a long letter:

"Lou Smith has just come in and sends love to you & says you owe her a letter."

Evidently, Lou had known Fanny very well before here 1855 departure to New York and was highly regarded by the Burwell family [1].

Biographical Data

Simply referred to as  "Lou"  in Mrs. Burwell's correspondence, she could have equally been named Louella or Louisa Smith.

Places of Residence



  1. Mary Claire Engstrom. The Book of Burwell Students: Lives of Educated Women in the Antebellum South. (Hillsborough: Hillsborough Historic Commission, 2007).