Date Original



The Hail-McAdams family papers contain sermons, short stories (fiction and non-fiction), poetry, postcards, correspondence, business items, fraternal material, scrapbooks, newspapers and clippings, and printed ephemera from various members of the Hail-McAdams family of Virginia and Arkansas.

Biographical/Historical Note

Information from Marjorie H. McAdams relating to the family: "Most of these old letters were saved by my grandparents and cover periods both before and after their marriage in 1874. Some were to my grandmother's mother before they left Virginia to come to Arkansas…My grandmother, Lucy (Lulu) Stuart Fitzhugh, was the eldest of ten children born to Hettie Baytop Fitzhugh and Rufus King Fitzhugh. She was born in Virginia and was 13 when her parents moved overland to Woodruff County, Arkansas, soon after the Civil War. I've been told that Rufus King Fitzhugh traveled to Arkansas when a young man to buy some land, having sensed the winds of war approaching and believing that things would be less difficult in the 'far western' State of Arkansas if things went badly for the South. The family had long been associated with the Episcopal Church (or Church of England, of course, before the American Revolution) and continued in this faith for the most part in their new setting. My grandfather, Stevadson Allen Hail, was one of five children born to William P.A. Hail and Sarah Underwood Hail. He was born in Tennessee and was still a boy when the family moved to Powhatan and Smithville, Arkansas. His father, a surgeon, served in the Mexican War and died soon thereafter. The Hail family was staunchly Scotch Presbyterian by faith. Stevadson served in the Confederate army from before his 14th birthday until the end of the war, being paroled at Jacksonport when still in his 17th year. Following the war, he made his way to Batesville to find much needed employment. It was as a young man in Batesville that he met many of the people who would shape his future life: Theodore Maxfield, a well-known merchant, for whom he first worked; Elisha Baxter, who although a Unionist in that he refused to secede from the United States, was still a native of the South of recognized family; and others. In fact he was a great admirer of the older Baxter, and supported him in his troubles during the Brooks-Baxter War, and was with him when he died in his home across the street from his own. It was in Batesville, also, that he met his future wife when she was visiting there. Although they were married in Augusta, they made their home in Batesville where they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. The Hail Dry Goods Company established by him in 1879 remained a thriving business for a century, closing in 1979. Their granddaughter, Virginia McAdams, was extremely interested in Arkansas history and contributed to its preservation through research and writing. A number of her articles were printed in the magazine sections of both state newspapers of the 40's, 50's, and 60's as well as in early periodicals of the Independence Historical Quarterly, of which she was a charter member. Inasmuch as these early letters, books, and other memorabilia were preserved through her efforts, I believe it fitting that they be presented to the History Commission in her memory, with the hope they may be of interest to other Arkansas history buffs. Also included is a roughly typed copy of his memoirs written, in longhand, by Stevadson A. Hail in 1911 as well as a journal of poetry written by him soon after the Civil War."

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Geographical Area






Resource Type



Hail-McAdams family papers, MS.000080


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Hail-McAdams family papers, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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United States History