Rev Robert Nelson

Rev Robert Nelson

Hanover County, Virginia, USA
Death 15 Jul 1886 (aged 66)
Hanover County, Virginia, USA
Burial Doswell, Hanover County, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 6130812 · View Source
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The Doctor of Divinity was born and died at Oakland plantation. He was of the Protestant Episcopal Church and a missionary to China. In 1854 he witnessed violent unrest between his American and English foreigners and the Mandarins in Shanghai. The Imperial camp threating the foreign settlement was destroyed and the mission continued on in safety.

While on leave from his missionary work, he held services in Montpelier in a grove of trees and a schoolhouse. He was so encouraged by the outpouring of the Hanoverians, that when he returned to his Church of Our Saviour in Asia, he solicited funds from his congregation to establish a namesake church back home. It was from that and a generous gift that the Church of Our Saviour in Montpelier was established in 1882.

Per Thomas;

The Reverent Robert Nelson was an Episcopal missionary in Shanghair, China.
Correspondence of both Robert and his wife, "Rose", have been preserved by Virginia Heritage - Here are abstracts:

"Series 4 begins with the diary of Robert Nelson (1819-1886) kept initially while serving as an Episcopal missionary in Shanghai, China, in 1878, as an
account book for a children's school; then kept in Woodbury, Conn., during the last years of his life and that of his wife, Rose (Points) Nelson, whose picture
and obituary appear on p. 108 of the volume. Robert Nelson was a brother of Elizabeth Burwell (Nelson) Page."

"Diary entries from 1885 to 1886 note Robert's church-related activities, including the number of baptisms, illnesses of church members, attendance at Episcopal conferences, and descriptions of his sermons. On page 90, Robert talks about his participation as a minister in Ulysses Simpson Grant's funeral, and on page 59, Robert laments the low nature of his annual salary of $600.00 in 1885.
He gives much information about his family's daily life, travels, illnesses, and birthdays. His children's attendance at school and careers are also mentioned. A
trip to Virginia, including to "Oakland," and Charlottesville, are discussed on pages 109-111."

"Robert Nelson's correspondence, 1851-1886, was mostly written from or addressed to Shanghai, China, where Nelson served as a missionary. Included are interesting and detailed descriptions of Chinese customs, his family's
activities, the burning of his chapel and people stealing all the chapel furnishings, baptism of Chinese people, and the children's school Nelson ran.
One letter from Nelson to his sister, Virginia Lafayette (Nelson) Nelson of
Charlottesville, concerns a female student whose family threatens to break her
legs because she is a Christian."

"Robert Nelson's miscellaneous papers include a resolution, 1881, by the
Committee for the Shanghai Temperance Society. It honors Nelson for his service
on the eve of his departure from China to live the remainder of his life in

"Series 5 contains the papers of Rose (Points) Nelson (1827-1885), including
correspondence, undated-1870, containing a partial letter (n.d.) from Rose's
daughter, Mary C. Nelson, while Mary was traveling by ship towards Yokohama,
Japan; and a letter (1870) of Rose's to Mary C. Nelson giving general advice on
life as Mary left their home in Shanghai, China, to go to the United States."

"Rose Nelson's papers also include parts of a diary written probably in 1865
while she was at "Oakland," Hanover County, Va. In the diary she discusses her
children and family activities, the death of Mr. Lincoln, whom she compared to
Herod, her glowing opinion of the slaves, and how people are avoiding taking the
oath of allegiance; and a narrative, 1865, concerning the death of her son,
William Nelson."

Family Members




  • Created by: George Seitz
  • Added: 28 Jan 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6130812
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rev Robert Nelson (30 Nov 1819–15 Jul 1886), Find a Grave Memorial no. 6130812, citing Fork Episcopal Church Cemetery, Doswell, Hanover County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by George Seitz (contributor 40539541) .