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"What a terrible thing for people to be slaves. God created all people equal. But slavery treats some people like animals."
—Virginia Dickens[4]

Virginia B. Dickens (born 1854) was the only daughter of Elizabeth and Mr. Dickens. She was the younger sister of Jedediah "Jed" Dickens. Her mother passed away shortly after her birth. In 1863, Virginia witnessed the Battle of Gettysburg. Her family moved to Washington, D.C. for Jed's career in 1864 before settling permanently in New York City.

Biography[]

Early life[]

Virginia was born in 1854.[2][3] Her mother, Elizabeth died shortly after her birth.[5] Before dying, she asked Mr. Dickens to name her Virginia after the state where Elizabeth had been born and raised. Virginia had an older brother, Jedediah, who helped their father raise her.

Battle of Gettysburg[]

End of the war[]

Life in New York[]

Physical appearance[]

Virginia never thought of her appearance until overhearing someone calling her "plain." She was very upset and divulged it to Jane Ellen, whom informed her that she had a beauty that was "simple and natural."[6]

Personality and traits[]

Virginia enjoyed reading and writing, but had no patience for learning to play the violin. Jed encouraged her talent in writing on several occasions, which to Virginia was the highest praise she could have received. She started to read the works of William Shakespeare at Jed's prompting. Virginia had a hard time understanding at first, but Jane Ellen helped her and she grew to love his works after seeing King Lear being performed. She had an ambition to be an actress after performing in a play. However, she decided she should instead write plays so she could "hire [her]self," much in the same way Mrs. Woods cast herself in the lead roles at her theater.

While in Washington D.C., Virginia found herself becoming increasingly envious of children from wealthier families than hers. She lamented the things she did not have, instead of focusing on the love she received from her family. Virginia eventually realized the errors she had committed and apologized to her family.

Family tree[]

The Dickens Family Tree
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Two brothers
 
(1) Elizabeth Dickens
(d. 1854)
 
Mr. Dickens
 
(2) Mrs. Edmonds
 
Charles Edmonds
(d. 1860s)
 
Jack Dickens
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mrs. McCully
 
Reverend McCully
 
Jane Ellen McCully
(b. 1845)
 
Jedediah Dickens
(b. 1845)
 
Virginia Dickens
(b. 1854)
 
 
 
Charles Edmonds Jr.
(b. 1857)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Three children
 
 
 
 
 
Abraham Lincoln Dickens
(b. 1865)

Notes:
  • Mr. Dickens and Mrs. Edmonds were engaged in March 1866 and presumably went on to marry.

Behind the scenes[]

Appearances[]

References[]

See also[]


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