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Biographical Sketches of S. Bassett French

Biographical sketches of 14,000 prominent Virginians

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Biographical Sketches of S. Bassett French


Samuel Bassett French (1820–1898), attorney, judge, Confederate officer, and editor, was a Norfolk native and later resident of Chesterfield County and Richmond. Between 1890 and 1897, in preparation for an intended biographical dictionary to be titled Annals of Prominent Virginians of the XIXth Century, French compiled biographical information for nearly 9,000 men, often obtaining information directly from the subject or from members of the immediate family. This collection consists of more than 14,000 digital images of French's handwritten notes.

Search Tips

  • Entries are searchable by name, occupation, birth/death place, and birth/death date. 
  • Using quotes around phrases may return fewer, more relevant results.
  • Boolean operators OR, NOT and AND written in ALL CAPS may be used. By default, all search terms will be combined with the AND operator. To exclude terms, use the NOT operator before a term.
  • Wildcards can be used to find variant spellings or words. The question mark (?) will match any one character. For instance, "Ols?n" will match "Olsen" or "Olson". The asterisk (*) will match any number of characters (including zero). "Ch*ter" will match "Charter", "Character", and "Chapter", and "Temp*" will match "Temptation", "Temple", and "Temporary".

Related Resources

  • Samuel Bassett French Papers, Acc. 21332, Personal Papers Collection, LVA. Available on microfilm: Miscellaneous Reels 4117–4120.

Revised February 2021