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Fanny Green "Fannie" Borland Moores
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Birth: Sep., 1848
Little Rock
Pulaski County
Arkansas, USA
Death: Aug. 23, 1879
Shelby County
Tennessee, USA

Fanny's oft-read poem ~ ~ At My Father's Feet, was dedicated to and descriptive of their father, who was statesman, soldier and diplomat, according to the written words of Fay HEMPSTEAD and was saved by Mrs Frances Marion (Harrow) HANGER (in whose Little Rock restored home lives Kay TATUM), so its now published, by Fred Allsopp in 1933, Google books Poets and Poetry of Arkansas, pages 26-30, as well as Fanny's poem encouraged by Gen Albert Pike in 1867, "David O Dodd", also found printed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Little Rock, Arkansas in their 1919 publication; HISTORICAL ARKANSAS.

FANNY GREEN BORLAND, was once highly celebrated as a poetess who "took no second place to any women poet" and was a 'belle-of-the-ball' during Reconstruction years.

Birth: second of three known children in "City of Roses", Little Rock, to Solon BORLAND (1811VA-1864TX) and Mary Isabel MELBOURNE (MILBOURN/E(?)) (1824LA- 1862AR), while father served as Arkansas' fourth United States Senator (1848-1853), orphaned in Princeton, Dallas county, Arkansas, New Years Day 1864 by father's pneumonia death near Houston, Harris county, Texas, married in 1869 by Reverend Thomas Rice WELCH at Little Rock home of Colonel & Mrs O C GRAY, one known son, lost husband in 1878, 5th & worst yellow fever epidemic with 5,000 Memphis lives lost, 20,000 in the valley, she also died from yellow fever during 6th epidemic with reported 600 others, morning of 23 August 1879 in sister "Mollie's" home, in "Bluff City", Memphis, burial same day in Elmwood cemetery's, Chapel Hill Public Lot 2 with some 2,000 others, one of the eighty percent without a grave marker, year following internment of "Mollie's" husband at same cemetery, buried day they died of Yellow Fever.

A newspaper, following her death, described her:

"...a slender, fair-haired, brown-eyed women...."

Named "Fanny Green" (spelling in father's will) honoring father's aunt Fanny (Green) GODWIN born 1785, who along with her husband George GODWIN (1878VA-1866VA) raised Solon, later her half-brother, father's first known son, Thomas,--- Godwin's in 1811, lived on Main Street of Suffolk, Virginia, west across from Solon's parents in Nansemond county, Virginia, which now is the 400 N Block.

"Fannie" is in Hot Springs for 1850 census, with half-brother "Little Solon" Harold and brother George Godwin, also, 24 y/o Dr William HAMMOND & wife Elizabeth in household, next to maternal grandparents. Half-brother Thomas was attending Alexandria Boarding School, in Virginia May 1849, and at Western Military Institute, Blue Lick Springs, Nicholas county, Kentucky for 1850 census. 1850 is also year her uncle Euclid lost his wife in January at their plantation in Parish of Plaquemines, Louisiana and so their kids, Phocion Augustus , Euclid, Jr and sister Fanny,(died 22 November 1850), were cared for by Solon and Mary till October 1851.

She's found at Princeton, Dallas county (county her father may have orchestrated creation of in 1845 while Adjutant General of Arkansas), in 1860 census as "Barland", with brother George Godwin, sister Mary Melbourne and mother Mary Isabel, Solon in Memphis city, Shelby county, Tennessee, Harold, Class of 1860, in Orange county, New York, at United States Military Academy since 1854 and Thomas died 9 January 1859 in Little Rock, buried at Mount Holly cemetery without maker, where now stands his father's 1992 Memorial with incorrect birth date.

"Fannie", with sister "Mollie", most likely attended Princeton Female Academy, Princeton, Dallas county, Arkansas, created January 1855, first under James L BARRY, then in 1860 under Virginia (Davis) GRAY (1824ME-1886AR) with husband Oliver (1832ME-1905AR), starting their Arkansas teaching careers in 1860, she for 21 years, he till 1905 death at Arkansas School for the Blind in Little Rock.

"Fannie's" first published poem, The Deserted Road, written when just 12 years old, likely in Princeton, found in newspapers.

"This poem is of much more than ordinary merit, and whosoever reads it will be glad to know that we are promised others by the same author, whose first publication this is. We are not in the habit of indiscriminate commendation or extravagant eulogy: and in praising these lines mean quite as much as we say. The young lady (very dear to us) who sends us this poem, says of the writer,

"She is very young [12-y/o] and just from school. Her friends think that if she could be encouraged to become more interested in writing, she might improve, and learn to write very well." We should think so."

She learned responsibility early following death of 16 y/o brother, George Godwin, 24 June 1862, musically talented 38 y/o mother, 23 October 1862, when just 14, penning two poems while again living in Little Rock for a couple years, The Past and Future, published in the Arkansas State Gazette, 22 November 1862.

"Within the last four weeks a little girl, just fourteen years old, sat by the sick bed of her Father, as he slept, a few evenings after the death of her Mother, she composed the following lines. At the suggestion of those who think favorably, alike, of the filial piety, and poetical talent, they exhibit, they are published for pulsar of a circle of sympathizing friends:" and "Judge Not By The Outward Look", on the 29th, with two year younger sister, Mollie, while their father still lies sick in bed.

January 1863, Solon retained services of Ralph Leland GOODRICH (1836NY- 1897AR) to instruct his daughters in arithmetic, with intentions of sending them to the school in Tulip which he and law partner Elbert English had earlier helped get created, but in March, fearing the Fed's would attack Little Rock, moved them back to Princeton. Goodrich's diary has his vented feelings towards the two girls. Its unknown if the girls attended school in Tulip, but doubtful after father left for Texas in September 1863, for they are frequently mentioned in Mrs O C Gray's published diary at Princeton.

Little Rock was easily captured by the Fed's September 10, 1863, but they were safe in Princeton, he under care of diary keeper, Virginia LaFayette (Davis) GRAY (Mrs O C GRAY) March 1863 -- when her ill father heard Fed's were headed towards Princeton, he provided for their future care and education, then left from his sick bed for Texas evening of September 13, 1863 where on New Year's Day of 1864 died leaving orphaned, Fanny 15, younger sister Mary 13, and her 28 y/o half-brother, Major Harold BORLAND (1835NC-1921AR) held a Federal prisoner in Boston's Fort Warren.

Solon, as afore stated, provided for their care and education, entrusting funds of five thousand and forty-five dollars, two of his seven slaves, Pasty & Ann, plus household furniture with widow, Mrs Martha Augustina (Gee) HOLMES (1816VA-1901AR), whose husband, William T M HOLMES, a former state legislature, served as commander Company A of brigade Solon oraginized, killed 1862 in battle, owner of house Solon occupied for his daughters. Martha's daughters, Lou 23 y/o (6 September 1865, married Colonel Henry Gaston BUNN (1838NC-1908AR), later Arkansas' Supreme Court Chief Justice (1893-1904), but died July 1866) and Roberta ("Berta") 17, were close friends, as was 29 y/o Virginia GRAY.

Half-brother. Major Harold BORLAND, exchanged 1 October 1864 from Federal prison, is noted in Virginia Davis GRAY's, 1863-1865 diary, published by Dr. Carl H MONEYHON in Arkansas Historical Quarterly of 1983, to wit:

" of the persons not expected but most welcome, came. Mollie and Fannie are in a blissful state of mind."

this in Princeton, Dallas county, Arkansas, Friday morning, 30 December 1864.

Said diary's December 27, 1865 entry was:

"Our poem [most likely "The Dead Confederacy"] and paper were read tonight, with immense applause, Fannie said she sat in clover, I [Virginia Davis GRAY] did not feel much excited."

A copy signed by Fanny of files The Dead Confederacy is filed with Special Collections, University of Arkansas, with pen name "Violet LEA", -- PS2235.L3 D33 1865. Father Abram J RYAN (1838-1886) is said to have provided this and other of her poems to his friends in London and thus was published 21 December 1871, in their "Cosmopolitan" (published from 1865 to 1876), with following glowing words of its authoress' abilities, to wit:

" is from the pen of a daughter of Senator Borland. It is with a feeling of pride and sadness that we present this poem to the British public --- where, although the subject is among the things of the past, its beauty will find a ready appreciation. It is touching, tender, chaste, classic, beautiful. We are glad to take this young author by the hand and welcome her among the ranks of the poets. We regard this poem as one of the finest rhythmic tributes that has yet been paid to the "Lost Cause;" and its spirit of tender resignation, the heart brokenness of its entire utterance cannot but touch the very souls of those whose sympathies and associations induced them to look upon that cause almost as a crime."

Both Fanny and sister "Mollie" were most active during war years 1863 to 1865 according to the many entries in Virgnia (Davis) Gray's 1983 published diary.

Fanny's talent as a poet came naturally from her father with a little tutelage by artist, writer, friend, Virginia LaFayette (Davis) GRAY (Mrs O C GRAY). I surmise her pen name, "Violet LEA" (found used for four of ten poems, thus far found), may (?) have come from association with Mrs. George Gallatin LEA, Sr of Princeton, aka Eliz Ann "Sarah" WRIGHT (1817VA-1888AR), an exceptional artist and friend, possibly related to Solon's 1st wife Huldah G WRIGHT(?). "Sarah's" art is thought to be better than Grandmother Moses', --- and is as of summer 2005 at Special Collection, University of Arkansas, M C-1618, in Virginia Davis GRAY's "Scriptural Album", numbers 109 & 121 (Virginia Gray used as model November 1863).

Fanny's four page letter from 521 "Borland papers" in The College of William & Mary's (WM) archives, to cousin Euclid Jr, 26 April 1866, written in Princeton, (WM says mailed from Little Rock), is barely legible. Younger sister "Mollie's" letters show far better penmanship!!

Confederate veterans, cousins Euclid, Jr, whom her parents raised for a while in 1850/1, and Thomas Roscius, raised by Fanny Green and George Godwin since parents death late 1845, --- both attended University of Virginia. (same time as did Fay HEMPSTEAD), and together journeyed to Europe.

In 1867, year Memphis regained being state capital, 3rd yellow fever epidemic occured, and year Fanny BORLAND was visiting General Albert PIKE's daughters, Isadora (1842-1869), who 7 July 1869 opened a vial of chloroform in Memphis and died by her own hand, and year younger blue-eyed Lillian (later 2nd Mrs ROOME) and family in Memphis, he suggested she write a poem in tribute to David O Dodd. Probably published in the "Memphis Appeal" which Pike then edited before moving to Washington city, --- a newspaper her father started January 1839, being the 1923 Pultzer awarded, Memphis Commerical-Appeal, still published 172 years later (2011). Fanny's poem "David O Dodd", also found printed in 1919 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Little Rock, Arkansas in their publication; "HISTORICAL ARKANSAS".

Tuesday morning, 21 April 1869 in Little Rock home of Virginia (Davis) and Colonel Oliver C. GRAY, with whom she most often stayed when in Little Rock, --- Fanny wed James C. MOORES (1834OH-1877TN) of Memphis, with two daughters from earlier marriage, by Presbyterian Church's Rev. Thomas Rice WELCH (1825KY-1886CANADA). The newspaper printed:

"The Bluff City has snatched a lovely prize from our 'City of Roses'. "

Virginia GRAY's letter of 28 September 1871 notes "Fannie's" moving to Cincinnati (apparently his home town), taking with them, "Mollie". Virginia's concern was over their moving so far from Little Rock. This move (if such occurred), after living in Memphis and giving birth to son George Borland MOORES, November 1869. 1870 census has her; 22 y/o, married to James MOORES, a "saddler", 36 y/o, born Ohio, with 20 y/o "Molly" living with them and two of his daughters, both born Ohio at 60 Monroe avenue, Memphis.

Strange however, "Mollie's" marriage license dated 22 February 1872 is in Memphis, with James C MOORES and John BEATTIE of Scotland, making bond in amount of Twelve Hundred and Fifty Dollars for the marriage, of "John BEATTIE and Mary M. BORLAND". John M. BEATTIE is possibly, but not likely, the same John BEATTIE found in Virginia's diary noted in 1864, #61, p. 75, being from Kansas City, Missouri, where I was born, 63 years later.

Virginia (Davis) GRAY's (Mrs O C GRAY) forty transcribe (unpublished) letters (1857-1886) plus a diary, 1867-1872, of son Carl have numerous entries about "Fannie", some of her son, of Harold and of "Mollie", visiting Little Rock from Memphis.

Memphis' 1877 City Directory lists "Fannie" living at same address as brother-in-law John BEATTIE, 482 Main street, indicating John may (?) have been alive, but she without James, supporting Sedalia, Missouri's September 21, 1879 newspaper article that he had left her. This is first time her name was listed in Memphis City Directory in the 1870's.

The Daily Arkansas Gazette news item concerning "Fannie's" death, dated, Thursday, 28 Aug 1879, p. 4,c. 1, stating; Obituary (AR)

"Her husband died in the epidemic of last year[1878]."

Mrs. "Fannie" B MOORES, in front page obituary Sunday, 24 August 1879, of The Daily Memphis Avalanche. Fanny was among 177 yellow fever deaths of 677 cases in Memphis thus far in 1879 till her death.


Copy courtesy of Joan F VITALE, my Memphis cohort, who fell in love with Fanny's poems.


The Daily Memphis Avalanche
Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee
Sunday, August 24, 1879, front page



EDITOR AVALANCHE --- Will you allow a brief notice to Mrs Fannie B Moores, daughter of the late Senator Solon Borland, of Arkansas, who died this morning, after a short violent attack of yellow fever. Ten years ago she was a reigning belle of Little Rock, and enjoyed, as many will remember, considerable celebrity as a poet. General Albert Pike had a high opinion of her talents in that line, The Dead Confederacy, "Dilsey at the North," portraying the lament of an aged Negress for her Southern home of slavery, as contrasted with that of her new found freedom among strangers, was also very much praised. "Born Dead," "The Baby of Lilie"* and many more of her published pieces, were highly acceptable to the public, and among the last of her poetical contributions was a tribute of Walter Harvey¹ [Colonel Harvey Washington WALTER] who [with three sons] died of yellow fever a year ago, and was a member of Bluff City Gray's. She leaves behind one child, a son.
A. A. L. ---- Memphis, August 23,1879

??? WHO WAS A. A. L., please advise me ???

NOTE: Buried day of death in Elmwood cemetery without a marker, next to Henry Bertram, with marker, who had died the following day.


¹ It was in Col Harvey W WALTER's estate which Gen U S GRANT choose as home for his wife Julia Dent their son and her slave girl, while in Holly Springs until Gen Earl VAN DORN (including regiment her father, Solon Borland, organized) forced him back to Memphis, 20 DEC 1862, one of Grant's worst defeats!

A POET WITH A HISTORY; was title of newspaper article one month later, September 21, 1879, in Sedalia [Missouri] Daily Democrat about Fanny. describing her:

"Miss Borland was a slender, fair-haired, brown-eyed women who appeared to have the fixed and overcast look of one who was destined to die young."

and of her poetry:

"America never produced a poetess of real genius, but among the brilliant female writers of this century Miss Borland took no second place."

Fay HEMPSTEAD (1847AR-1934AR), named in 1908 as Poet Laureate of Free Masonry, a post before held only by Robert BURNS, Scottish poet and Robert MORRIS, Kentucky, wrote on page 479 in "Historical Review of Arkansas, Vol. 1", published 1911 (page copy courtesy of Arkansas History Commission) to wit:

"Mrs Fannie Borland Moores, of Little Rock, who was a daughter of Senator Solon Borland, was the writer of many beautiful poems, that were appreciated and enjoyed in the most cultured circles. Her verses were fragmentary.

"Many an old scrap book has as its most cherished clipping verses that were written by this most attractive and talented women, which, from time to time, are reprinted in the Arkansas newspapers. Father Abram Ryan, during one of is European journeys, gave some of Fannie Borland Moores' verses to English literary folks. They were published in the "London Cosmopolitan", with accompanying tribute from the poet priest. An oft-read poem of Mrs Moores' is,"At My Father's Feet". It was dedicated to and descriptive of her father, who was statesman, soldier and diplomat."

Fanny "Fannie" Green BORLAND was considered the 'Belle-of-the-Ball' in Little Rock & Memphis, during Reconstruction years, so wrote General John M HARRELL, in 1894 Confederate Veterans publication, page 2, to wit:

"I congratulate you on republishing the "Dead Confederacy" of Fannie Borland. How appropriate it is now[1894], and was when written [1865], by a girl of not then twenty [17]. It reads to me like a fragment from Keato. It glows with passion, but is crystalline in its pride, mournful and graceful as winter and night, which it invokes. Miss Borland was a great genius who perished too son (sic). I knew her, and saw her in 1870, when she completed a rare quartet of gifted, beautiful girls, that formed the family of Gen. [Albert] Pike, in Memphis, the others being the Misses [Isadora & Lillian] Pike and Miss Sallie Johnson, now Mrs. Cabell Breckinridge, each a type of surpassing beauty. Miss Johnson was sole daughter of ex Senator R. W. Johnson, and Miss Borland, eldest daughter of ex Minister Solon Borland."

Poem, The Dead Confederacy, is reportedly found in Confederate Veteran, Volume I, No III, page 380.


Fanny was once the subject of a research project at Arkansas History Commission, #76-0003, resulting in Russell P. BAKER, Archivist at Arkansas History Commission [has added our new finds to his file, October 2007], publishing an article in "The Pulaski County Historical Review", Volume XXIX, No. 3, Fall 1981 titled FANNIE GREEN BORLAND MOORES, in which is stated;

"After the war, Fannie was evidently sent to Memphis, Tennessee to continue her education. While there, she began [before the war, ie 1860] her career as a poet, writing under the name of Violet Lea. Her name, wrote Arkansas Gazette in 1869, 'can be no stranger wherever true [poetry] is read and admired -- particularly in [Memphis], where the most beautiful and touching of her lyrical compositions first saw the light -------."

Russell P. BAKER, of Arkansas History Commission, has been most helpful to us and advised to wit;

"...pages 26-30 from a [1933] book entitled; Poets and Poetry of Arkansas by [Fred W.] Allsopp for two published poems and a short biography of Mrs. Moores. This is all I know that have been "compiled". She is completely unknown and forgotten at this time."

We found this most endearing poem written about her father, Solon BORLAND, At My Father's Feet, Google Books (search "Solon Borland") which had been saved by a Mrs Francis Marion (Harrow) HANGER (1856- 1945), sister-in-law to Fannie Ashley HANGER, on page 218 in transcribed, unpublished "baby diary" (1867-1872) of Carl Raymond GRAY, summer of 2005, at Special Collections, University of Arkansas, M C-1618, Virginia Davis GRAY's diary, first five years of Carl Raymond GRAY's life (Union Pacific Railroad Corporation's vice-chairman at his 1939 death). The following two years, 1872-'74, are NOT transcribed, being 842 fragile pages, briefly viewed by Dr Carl H MONEYHON, UALR, bound in three books, reportedly including some of Virginia's letters to brother Raymond C DAVIS, in files of Arkansas History Commission donated by Farrar Claudius NEWBERRY (1887-1968) in 1964, likely obtained from grandson, Russell Davis GRAY of Virginia (Davis) GRAY while in Omaha, Nebraska, which are begging to be transcribed, revealing life during end of Reconstruction, and The Brooks-Baxter War of 1874 and possibly the 1874 fire which reported by the Gazette, destroyed St Johns' College building.

Fanny's known poems: (ALL others sought)

      The Deserted Road

      The Past and The Future

      Judge Not By The Outward Look

      The Baby at Lilie

   The Dead Confederacy

      Master Charlie Anti ___ Convention Davis, Harold, George, Ferdinand and Rebel Gray's Address

      A Women's Protest

   At My Father's Feet

   David O Dodd

   To My Son's Scrap-Book

Last revised 10/11/2013
Family links: 
  Solon Borland (1811 - 1864)
  Mary Isabel Melbourne Borland (1824 - 1862)
  James C Moores (1834 - 1878)*
  Thomas Borland (1833 - 1859)**
  Harold Borland (1835 - 1921)**
  George Godwin Borland (1846 - 1862)*
  Fanny Green Borland Moores (1848 - 1879)
  Mary Melbourne Borland Gray (1850 - 1938)*
*Calculated relationship
Elmwood Cemetery
Shelby County
Tennessee, USA
Plot: Chapel Hill Public Lot 2 space 552
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bill
Record added: Dec 21, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 45662564
Fanny Green Fannie <i>Borland</i> Moores
Added by: Patrick Whitney
Fanny Green Fannie <i>Borland</i> Moores
Added by: Patrick Whitney
Fanny Green Fannie <i>Borland</i> Moores
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Anonymous
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- quebecoise
 Added: Nov. 12, 2011
~ the poetess was finally found buried June 30, 2011, following an eight years search, but without marker as seven of eight direct family members. She in Elmwood cemetery, year following her brother-in-law , both yellow fever epidemic victims. ~
- Bill
 Added: Jul. 19, 2011
"The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman i...(Read more)
- NJBrewer
 Added: Jun. 17, 2011

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