Sylvester Albert (12 Mar. 1829-29 Aug. 1877)

Sylvester Albert was the son of James Albert (d. 1839), of Scott County, Virginia, and his wife, Nancy Agnes Glenn (d. 1836). James Albert was a cattle broker and eventually became a Justice of the Peace and the High Sheriff of the county. In 1850, Sylvester, at age 21, was living with the family of Dr. Christopher Alderson in Russell County who was training him as a doctor. (1850 U.S. Census)

[Note that in all of the censuses in which Sylvester Albert is listed by name (1850, 1860, and 1870), he is listed as being born circa 1829, i.e., his age is given as 21, 31, and 40 respectively. Also, in the University of Virginia Matriculation books, in which the entries were written by the students themselves, Sylvester Albert writes his birth date as March 12, 1829, contrary to the 1827 date of birth given in the family history by Ethel Evans Albert. It is because of this preponderance of evidence that I use the birth date from the Matriculation books.—JLC]

Albert attended the University of Virginia in sessions 28-29 (1851-1853), where he was a “State Student.” The State Students were young men who, although academically outstanding, did not have the funds to attend the University. The Commonwealth of Virginia paid the tuition of these students, selecting one for each State Senatorial District. Albert was the representative of Senatorial District 7—Russell, Smyth, and Washington Counties—for the two years he studied at U.Va. (U.Va. Faculty Minutes, 1 Jul. 1851.) He studied Chemistry and Materia Medica; Medicine; and Anatomy, Physiology and Surgery.  (U.Va. Faculty Minutes, 28 Jun. 1852) He was at the University when the famous shooting of George Turpin by John S. Mosby occurred.

“He was one of the few professionally trained physicians in the Clinch Valley when he returned from Charlottesville.” (Virginia Dept. of Historic Resources, p.4) In 1856, Dr. Albert established his home at Albert Farm in Russell County, which then held only a log cabin. Albert built the first additional segment, a two-story log pen, at that time. He built the second log pen after he returned from the Civil War. When the Civil War began, Dr. Albert accompanied the local county militia as their surgeon, and they joined Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s forces. After the war, Dr. Albert returned to his practice. He died in 1877 from typhoid fever. (Virginia Dept. of Historic Resources, p.4; Albert, p. 109)

He married Mary Elizabeth Wyatt (1839-1928). The couple had the following children: Charles Allen, Josephine, James, Edgar Newton, Sylvester II, Mary Elizabeth, John Glenn, Jay, and Rosamond (or Rosalind—there are conflicting reports) Gertrude Albert. (1880 U.S. Census; Albert, p. 109)

Dr. Albert is buried in the Albert Family Cemetery on the Albert Farm in Russell County, Virginia.

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