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Watts, Lucian Louis (1888 – 1974)

Lucian Louis Watts (1888 – 1974):
Statesman, organizer, and advocate
for blind and visually impaired Virginians

Nadia Bukach

April 4, 2024

 

I never worry one bit about being blind. I am not like a great many people. I am not as pessimistic as a lot of them. But I am like many other blind people, I believe. I am proud I am blind, because I am worth far more now than I was when I could see, and I am able to do more now than I was when I could see. – L.L. Watts (Second Annual Convention of Workers for the Blind, 1923)

Early Life and Injury

Photograph of Lucian Louis Watts from the Outlook for the Blind magazine, 1923.
Lucian Louis Watts, 1923
Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Lucian Louis Watts was born in 1888 to parents Lucian Clark Watts and Jenny Barksdale (Burnley) Watts (Virginia Births…, n.d.). The Watts family lived on the Riverhill Estate in Albemarle County, Virginia (Clark, 1988) but had roots in Amherst where Watts’ grandparents had lived until the Civil War (Atkinson & Gibbens, 1890). The Watts family held several political offices in Virginia and West Virginia. Notably, L.L. Watts’ father Lucian Clark Watts served in the elected office of sheriff of Albemarle County from 1895 – 1911 (Highsmith, 2011; Sheriff’s Office History, 2020), and his uncle Cornelius Clarkson Watts was a prominent lawyer and politician in West Virginia (Atkinson & Gibbens, 1890).

Watts spent his childhood in Albemarle County, where he was educated in public schools and enjoyed playing sports and working with his father as a deputy sheriff (Virginia Commonwealth University, 2002). He spent one year at Fork Union Military Academy before beginning a career as a railroad construction superintendent (Virginia Commonwealth University, 2002). In May of 1913, Watts lost his sight in a devastating dynamite explosion (Cunningham, 1924). He suffered a harrowing journey from the rural construction site in Dickenson County to the University of Virginia Hospital, where he spent months in recovery before returning home to Albemarle County to finish healing (Clark, 1988).

In October of 1914 Watts was admitted to the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind (VSDB) in Staunton, Virginia  (Virginia Commonwealth University, 2002). The school served white school-age children, and Watts was 26 at the time. He was admitted despite his age and previous education (Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind, 1913). He faced significant challenges, including sleeping in a child-sized bed in the dormitories until the school purchased a larger bed (Clark, 1988). During his three years of education, he learned skills to help him navigate his life as a blind person, including reading braille and typing with raised-type typewriters, as well as instruction in manual trades such as mattress-making, broom-making, and piano tuning (Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind, 1913). In June 1916, Watts graduated and soon after he joined the faculty of the school as an industrial arts instructor (Cunningham, 1924; Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind, 1917).

Photograph of the front of the main building and a dormitory at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind at Staunton, VA, 1917.
Front of the main building and a dormitory at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind at Staunton, VA, 1917
Image: Public Domain

Political Career

It is only through education that we can banish blindness and establish in its place a more conservative word – sightlessness. There is a tremendous difference between being blind and not seeing, and it is only through education that we can get away from blindness. A blind man once said, when asked if he would like to see, ‘To improve the faculties I already have would be as good as to give me that which is wanting in me.’ And we can only by careful, systematic, well-organized and well planned education, supplant blindness with sightlessness. – L.L. Watts (Virginia Association of Workers for the Blind, 1921).

Watts’ experiences at the VSDB impassioned him, and he quickly began to devote his energies to improving the lot of blind Virginians. He saw a need for services for the blind people of Virginia, many of whom had become blind later in life and did not have access to training that would help them find new forms of employment. In 1919 he founded the Virginia Association of Workers for the Blind (VAWB) with the VSDB’s president H.M. McManaway and others. The organization’s mission was to “promote the interests of the blind along any and all lines” (Virginia Association of Workers for the Blind, 1920).

Watts’ political career began at the end of the Progressive Era. This period was characterized by social reform efforts that sought to address conditions caused by rapid industrialization. The reforms of this era reflected a comingling of conservative values, such as “lifting oneself by the bootstraps,” and a growing liberal belief that the government had a positive role to play in addressing social problems (Stern & Axinn, 2018). Watts’ political ideology was rooted in this liberal movement, and he was deeply committed to improving blind peoples’ lives through the expansion of government services. While he regularly acknowledged the importance of industriousness for blind people, a nod to the bootstraps mentality, he was also intentional in asserting that blindness was not a source of inferiority, but that any inferiority arose from a lack of access to education and training (Virginia Association of Workers for the Blind, 1921). 

Report of the Legislative Commission for the Blind, 1920-21.
Report of the Legislative Commission for the Blind, 1920-21, written by Watts and fellow commission members House Delegate Herbert J. Taylor and Senator S.L. Ferguson
Image: Social Welfare History Image Portal
VCU Libraries Special Collections and Archives

In 1919, backed by the VAWB, Watts began to lobby the Virginia state legislature on behalf of blind citizens. He found an ally in Herbert J. Taylor, whom he’d met at Sunday School in Staunton, but who was also a member of Virginia’s House of Delegates (Cunningham, 1940). Taylor had worked with the National Committee for the Prevention of Blindness the previous year to introduce a bill in the state legislature that improved medical care for newborn babies by reducing preventable infections that could lead to blindness (Williams, 1919). In 1920, Taylor sponsored a bill for the creation of a temporary commission tasked with studying the number of blind people in Virginia and assessing their needs (Act to provide…,1920). Watts and Taylor were both appointed to the Commission, and over the next two years the Commission performed a census of the blind in Virginia and made recommendations for their wellbeing (Taylor et al., 1922). The Virginia state legislature passed an act creating the permanent Commission for the Blind in 1922, and Watts was appointed as its executive secretary (Act to create…, 1922). 

In 1926, Watts decided to run for a seat in the House of Delegates. He was motivated by his belief that a position in the state legislature would offer him more opportunities to advocate for state support for blind Virginians (Watts, n.d.). After a successful campaign, Watts would hold a seat as representative for Albemarle County for four terms, from 1926 until 1933. His political success was bolstered by his strong ties in Albemarle County, where his father had been county sheriff, and by the connections he had made at the state legislature. 

While I have been elected to the General Assembly I do not have any aspirations for higher honors in the field of politics. I only offered as a candidate for this position believing that in this way I could accomplish more in a shorter length of time than in any other way. It remains to be seen if I was right in this conclusion. – L.L. Watts (Watts, n.d.)

Marriage and Daughter

1926 was also a significant year for Watts in his personal life. During that year Hazel Birkenmeyer moved from Minnesota to Richmond, Virginia to join the Commission as a teacher at Robert E. Lee High School. Birkenmeyer was Virginia’s first teacher for the Commission’s new sight-saving classes, which were geared toward students with vision impairment (Hayes, 1926). Birkenmeyer and Watts were married in 1929, and welcomed a daughter, Hazel Elizabeth Watts, in 1930 (Hazel E Watts, 1930; Lucian Louis Watts, 1929). Mr. and Mrs. Watts worked closely at the Commission for the Blind for many years. Mrs. Watts continued to teach, and as the sight-saving classes were expanded, she became the program’s supervisor.

Lasting Legacies

He did not invent sight saving classes, or workshops, or home teaching, or eye-clinics, or Aid to the Blind, or any other of the major benefactions of organized work for the blind. What he did do was pioneer for these things in Virginia, and he did this at a time when apparently nobody else in the various State departments had even remotely considered the possibility of such undertakings. – John B. Cunningham (Cunningham, 1940)

A pamphlet from the dedication ceremony for the Virginia Commission for the Blind building, 1941.
The Virginia Commission for the Blind building was completed at 3003 Parkwood Avenue, Richmond, VA in 1941
Image: Social Welfare History Image Portal
VCU Libraries Special Collections and Archives

While he worked on the Commission, Watts sought to advance his vision for improving the lives of the blind in Virginia. His passions were focused on four main areas: 1) dividing the VSDB in Staunton into two specialized educational facilities, with a new school for the blind to be established in Charlottesville; 2) decreasing rates of blindness with improved methods of prevention; 3) increasing access to public school education for blind children; and 4) providing education, support, and training for the adult blind. Watts’ combination of strong interpersonal skills and administrative abilities made him uniquely positioned to pursue these goals. He used his skills to bolster political support for his causes and form relationships with local and national organizations for the blind. 

Watts remained active in the VAWB and regularly used their external resources to supply funding and to pilot test his programs for the Commission. He was also president of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) from 1934 to 1937. The AFB was founded in 1921 with a mission of consolidating information about vision loss and advocating for the needs of blind people to the federal government. Watts continued to work with AFB as a member of the board of directors and chairman of the legislative committee (Cunningham, 1940). He also worked with the Lions Club, an international service organization that had committed to focusing community service projects on supporting people with vision loss in 1925 after a rousing speech by AFB advocate Hellen Keller (Keller, 1925). 

Watts also supported the lobbying efforts of Robert B. Irwin, executive director of the AFB and advocate for the blind on the national stage. Watts’ support included attending hearings at the United States Senate to advocate for the inclusion of aid to the blind in what would eventually become the Social Security Act. The AFB’s advocacy led to the inclusion of Title X, which established aid to the blind as a separate assistance category (Koestler, 2004). Watts also participated in a committee that helped inform the Barden-LaFollette Act of 1943 for rehabilitation of disabled civilians (Koestler, 2004).

 

Drawing of the proposed Virginia School for the Blind at Charlottesville, 1938.
Drawing of the proposed Virginia School for the Blind at Charlottesville, 1938
Image: Social Welfare History Image Portal
VCU Libraries Special Collections and Archives

The Charlottesville School for the Blind

From his days on the Commission, Watts felt strongly that the schools for the deaf and the blind should be separated (Legislative Commission for the Blind, 1922). At first, it seemed as though this dream might become a reality. In 1924, Virginia state legislature passed an act that provided for the establishment of a separate school for the blind. However, despite this initial success, the Virginia School for the Blind at Charlottesville was never built. Watts continued to lobby for its creation for years, but after the financial hardships of the Great Depression and World War II, the funding dried up (Virginia Association of Workers for the Blind, 1938). In 1948, a final blow was landed when a legislative committee was tasked with reinvestigating the endeavor and came out against it (Long et al., 1948). Their main argument was that the cost was prohibitive. The report is particularly interesting because it highlights the deeply held belief by white legislators that it was more important to keep black and white children separated than it was to separate the deaf and blind children into their own schools. It also outlines some of the disparities in the facilities for black and white students, and the difference in proposed funding for improving those facilities (for further reading, see The Education of Deaf and Blind African Americans in Virginia, 1909-2008). The committee ultimately concluded that “this state cannot support four separate schools with the duplication of administration, and facilities, such as heating, kitchens and dining halls entailed. Virginia can construct and maintain two good schools and they are to be preferred to four mediocre ones,” (Long et al., 1948).

Prevention of Blindness

Knowledge of the eye and ocular health has advanced significantly since Watts’ time. During this period, medical hygiene practices were lacking, as evidenced by the bill that brought Herbert J. Taylor and Watts together, which established a requirement for doctors to wash babies’ eyes after birth. Similarly, after the dynamite explosion that cost him his eyesight, the doctor who attended Watts before he arrived at the hospital in Charlottesville did not even perform first aid or wash out his eyes (Clark, 1988). 

While at the Commission, Watts worked on several campaigns to prevent blindness. In 1928, the Commission hired its first field nurse, who worked with public schools to help prevent sight deterioration (Cunningham, 1940). In 1935, Watts and the VAWB worked with the John B. Tabb Memorial Association to fund the salary of an ophthalmologist who would open an eye clinic to provide preventative services. The clinic was successful enough in its first year that Watts was able to get funding from the state to continue the program through the Commission for the Blind (Cunningham, 1940).

Public Education for Blind Children

A sight-saving class in Virginia, 1940.
A sight-saving class in Virginia, 1940
Image: Public Domain

Sight-saving classes were an important part of Watts’ efforts to improve education for children with visual impairments in Virginia’s public schools. Sight-saving classes were designed to educate children who could not participate in mainstream public school due to vision loss (Rodin, 1935). These classes were also designed to mitigate further eyesight loss, and were specially equipped with conditions meant to be easy on the eyes, including walls in dull colors, indirect lighting, special non-glazed paper, large print textbooks, and a teacher who was trained to work with students with partial vision (Cunningham, 1940). In 1930, Watts helped to pass a bill that ensured sight-saving classes were established in any county where there were six or more students with impaired vision (Commission for the Blind, 1949). 

Urban areas were more likely to meet the minimum number of students for establishing a sight-saving class, so many of the first schools were in Richmond, Roanoke, and Norfolk. Services for Black students continued to lag behind those for white, and the first sight-saving class to serve Black students wasn’t established until 1951, at Armstrong High School in Richmond. Funding for the program was shared between the Commission for the Blind and the local schools. The Commission paid half of the teacher’s salary, and the schools paid for the other half, as well as for the special room and supplies. The Lions Club provided equipment when funding was an issue during setup for schools with new sight-saving programs (Virginia Commission for the Blind, 1952). 

Apart from sight-saving classrooms, the Commission also provided limited home teaching to those who could not attend a school setting. This program was very limited because there was only funding for one teacher, Margaret Hogan, who also acted as the director of women’s industrial skills. However, the Commission also had a library of talking books, large print books, and braille books that were available to be shipped to students in rural settings when sight-saving classes and home teaching were not available (Cunningham, 1940).

Training for Blind Adults 

Watts’ early efforts to provide training for blind adults centered on creating industrial training programs like those offered at Virginia’s residential schools for blind children. In 1924, Watts mobilized the VAWB to raise money to purchase a property in Charlottesville where they could build a workshop for this purpose. The workshop was operated by the Commission, and eventually purchased from the VAWB in 1934 at a reduced cost. The workshop was open to white men only. Workshop students were taught independent living skills and industrial skills including rush seating, rattan seating, mattress filling, mattress threading, broom winding, broom stitching, and chair caning. 

In Richmond, a similar, smaller scale workshop for white women was directed by Margaret Hogan. Women were taught rug weaving, sewing, knitting and crocheting, basketry, and chair caning. Hattie Willis was employed in the Tidewater area as a home teacher to teach similar skills to black women (Cunningham, 1940). In 1948, the Commission acquired a property in Jackson Ward, donated by Dr. William Henry Hughes (Edlund, 2021). The building was converted into the Training Center for the Blind, providing industrial skills to black adults such as sewing, laundry services, and chair reseating (Virginia Commission for the Blind, 1948).

For most of the blind men and women graduating from the workshops, industrial trades did not offer sufficient income for independent living. The Charlottesville Workshop kept on some of its graduates, who could make a small livelihood due to the larger contracts the workshop had secured with Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and local schools and colleges. In the early years of the Commission, Watts himself advocated on behalf of individuals seeking more remunerative employment. He also tested various ventures to employ blind men in sales, including advocating for candy vending machines that could be serviced by blind men, and distributing traveling salesman kits designed by the American Foundation of the Blind (Cunningham, 1940). In 1936 the federal government passed the Randolph-Sheppard Act, which expanded the Commission’s vending projects. The act gave priority to individuals who are legally blind to operate vending services within federally owned properties (Rehabilitation Services Administration, n.d.).

With the passage of the Social Security Act in 1935, the Commission also became involved in the process that provided financial aid to blind individuals. The Commission worked with the Virginia Welfare Offices to provide medical review to establish whether an applicant met the requirements for legal blindness. The Commission also reviewed appeals when the Welfare Office denied aid to an applicant, and administered aid to those who were approved (Cunningham, 1940).

Blind adults learning industrial skills including making mattresses and weaving rugs, 1940.
Industrial skills being taught to blind adults in Virginia, 1940. Making mattresses (left), and weaving rugs (right)
Image: Public Domain

Retirement and Awards

 Virginia has a leader among the blind whose work deserves recognition. Every blind man, woman and child owes a deep debt of gratitude to Mr. L.L. Watts. Through his untiring zeal and ardent labors, he has caused the creation of the Virginia Association, the Virginia Commission, and last of all the New School for the education of the blind children of this great State. – Anne Connelly, Supervising Home Teacher for the Virginia Commission for the Blind (Connelly, 1926)

Watts retired from his position as executive secretary of the Commission in 1956 at the age of 68 but continued to be active in the VAWB, the AFB, and other organizations for the blind. In 1953, he received the Ambrose M. Shotwell Award from the Association of Workers for the Blind in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the rehabilitation of adults who are blind or visually impaired (“1953 Shotwell Award to L.L. Watts,” 1953). In 1957, he was awarded the R.B. Irwin Award for championing the employment of people who are blind from the National Industries for the Blind (Surrago, 2013). In 1962, he was awarded the Migel Medal Award from the American Foundation for the Blind, which was established to honor those whose dedication and achievements have significantly improved the lives of people with vision loss (Previous Honorees, 2023). 

Lucian Louis Watts died at his home on April 30, 1974 and was buried at Riverview Cemetery in Charlottesville, Virginia (“Death Notices: Watts,” 1974). Watts’ legacies live on through the continued work of the Commission, which has now been providing service for over 100 years. The Commission was renamed several times and is now called the Virginia Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI).

 

Further Reading

American Foundation for the Blind (1907-). The Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness. https://journals.sagepub.com/home/JVB 

Bass, A.R. & Wait, D. (2014). History of the education of the deaf in Virginia in two parts, 1839-1948 and 1949-2014. RR Donnelley.

Conner, J.G. (2022). Education of deaf and blind African Americans in Virginia, 1909-2008. Social Welfare History Project. https://socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/issues/disability/education-of-deaf-and-blind-african-americans-in-virginia-1909-2008/ 

Conner, G. J. (2023). Blind and deaf together: Cross-disability community at Virginia’s residential school for black disabled youth. Disability Studies Quarterly, 43(1), Article 1. https://doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v43i1.9647

Koestler, F. A. (2004). The unseen minority: A social history of blindness in the United States. AFB Press. (Original work published 1976)

Kudlick, C.J. (2001). The outlook of The Problem and the problem with the Outlook. In P. K. Longmore & L. Umansky (Eds.), The new disability history: American perspectives. University Press.

Lucian Louis Watts papers (M 12, Box 2, Folder 3). Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University. https://archives.library.vcu.edu/repositories/5/resources/62

Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) records. (M 564, Box 3, Folder 3). Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University.

References

1953 Shotwell Award to L.L. Watts. (1953). Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 47(3), 80. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145482X5304700306 

An act to create the Virginia commission for the blind, to define its duties, and to make appropriations for its maintenance, H B 117, General Assembly of Va. (1922). https://hdl.handle.net/2027/nyp.33433007052750 

An act to provide for a commission to study the condition of the blind in the State of Virginia, to ascertain their number, both infant and adult, so far as is practicable, and the provision made under existing law for their educational and vocational training and assistance, and to report its findings to the next general assembly, together with such recommendations for the revision of existing laws and the enactment of new laws as will best promote their interests, and to make appropriation for the costs of said commission, H B 177, General Assembly of Va. (1920). https://hdl.handle.net/2027/nyp.33433007052743 

Atkinson, G. W., & Gibbens, A. F. (1890). Prominent men of West Virginia: Biographical sketches, the growth and advancement of the state, a compendium of returns of every election, a record of every state officer. W.L. Callin.

Clark, S. (1988, November 26). His loss of sight proved to be a victory for blind Virginians. Richmond Times-Dispatch, 17.

Commission for the Blind. (1949). Excerpts from Acts of the General Assembly. Lucian Louis Watts papers (M 12, Box 2, Folder 3). Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University. https://archives.library.vcu.edu/repositories/5/resources/62 

Connelly, A. (1926, September). The Social Position of a Home Teacher in a Community. Outlook for the Blind, 20(2), 23–31.

Cunningham, J. B. (1940). Virginia’s program for the visually handicapped. Virginia Commission for the Blind. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/umn.31951001775265p 

Cunningham, J. B. (1924, June). The blind of Virginia: Their todays and tomorrows. Outlook for the Blind, 18(1), 39–47.

Death Notices: Watts. (1974, May 3). Richmond Times-Dispatch, 16.

Edlund, A. W. (2021, April 18). Hughes House embodies spirit, hope of historic Jackson Ward. Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3S.

Hayes, C. B. (Ed.). (1923). Current events. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 17(1), 39–39. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145482X2301700120 

Hayes, C. B. (1926, December). The Bulletin Board. Outlook for the Blind, 20(3), 49–53.

Hazel E Watts, Census, United States Census, 1930 (Entry for Lucian L Watts and Hazel B Watts, 1930). FamilySearch. Retrieved January 15, 2024, from https://www.familysearch.org/en/united-states/ 

Highsmith, A. (2011). The golden badge: A history of the Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office. Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office. https://web.archive.org/web/20110724232210/http://www.albemarleso.org/Ngoldenbadge.html 

Keller, Helen. (n.d.). Address to Lions Clubs International Foundation Convention (Cedar Point, Ohio, 1925). American Foundation for the Blind. https://www.afb.org/about-afb/history/helen-keller/books-essays-speeches/afb/address-lions-clubs-international 

Koestler, F. A. (2004). The unseen minority: A social history of blindness in the United States. AFB Press. (Original work published 1976) 

Legislative Commission for the Blind. (1922). The report of the Legislative Commission for the Blind. Lucian Louis Watts papers (M 12, Box 2, Folder 3). Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University. https://archives.library.vcu.edu/repositories/5/resources/62 

Long, M. M., Broaddus, W. R., Crockett, P., DeJarnette, E. T., Gunter, B. T., Jr., Hagood, J. D., McCue, E. O., Jr., Moore, E. B., & Perrow, M. G., Jr. (1948). Separation of School for Deaf and Blind at Staunton: A report for the Virginia Legislative Council. Lucian Louis Watts papers (M 12, Box 1, Folder 6). Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University.

https://archives.library.vcu.edu/repositories/5/resources/62 

Lucian Louis Watts, Marriage, Virginia, Bureau of Vital Statistics, County Marriage Registers, 1853-1935 (Entry for Lucian Louis Watts and Lucian C. Watts, 30 Mar 1929). FamilySearch. Retrieved January 15, 2024, from https://www.familysearch.org/en/united-states/ 

Previous Migel Medal Honorees. (2023). American Foundation for the Blind. Retrieved December 12, 2023, from https://www.afb.org/about-afb/awards/migel-medal-awards/previous-honorees 

Rehabilitation Services Administration. (n.d.). Randolph Sheppard Vending Facility Program. Retrieved February 5, 2024, from https://rsa.ed.gov/program/rand-shep 

Rodin, F. H. (1935). Sight-saving classes. California and Western Medicine, 42(6), 426–429.

Second Annual Convention of Workers for the Blind. (1923). [Convention Proceedings]. Lucian Louis Watts papers (M 12, Box 2, Folder 4). Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University. https://archives.library.vcu.edu/repositories/5/resources/62 

Sheriff’s office history. (2020). Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office. https://www.albemarleso.org/history-page 

Stern, M., & Axinn, J. (2018). Social welfare: A history of the American response to need (9th edition). Pearson Education.

Surrago, M. J. (2013). Empowering people: The story of National Industries for the Blind and its associated agencies. National Industries for the Blind. https://www.nib.org/sites/default/files/FINAL_Empowering%20People_sliced%20cover_508v2.pdf 

Taylor, H. J., Ferguson, S. L., & Watts, L. L. (1922). Report of the Legislative Commission for the Blind, 1920-21. Lucian Louis Watts papers (M 12, Box 2, Folder 3). Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University. https://archives.library.vcu.edu/repositories/5/resources/62 

Virginia Association of Workers for the Blind. (1920). Virginia Association of Workers for the Blind [Pamphlet containing history, constitution, and bylaws of the organization]. Lucian Louis Watts papers (M 12, Box 2, Folder 2).Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University. https://archives.library.vcu.edu/repositories/5/resources/62 

Virginia Association of Workers for the Blind. (1921). Proceedings of the second annual convention of the Virginia Association of Workers for the Blind. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uva.x030832985?urlappend=%3Bseq=3 

Virginia Association of Workers for the Blind. (1938). The Virginia School for the Blind Charlottesville, VA [Pamphlet petitioning support for building the Virginia School for the Blind at Charlottesville]. Lucian Louis Watts papers (M 12, Box 2, Folder 2). Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University. https://archives.library.vcu.edu/repositories/5/resources/62 

Virginia births and christenings, 1584-1917 [Database]. FamilySearch. Retrieved December 12, 2023, from https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:HN76-2QPZ 

Virginia Commission for the Blind. (1948). Annual report of the Virginia Commission for the Blind for the year ending in June 30, 1948. Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) records. (M 564, Box 3, Folder 3). Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University. 

Virginia Commission for the Blind. (1952). Bulletin for sight-saving teachers: A brief history of sight saving in Virginia. Lucian Louis Watts papers (M 12, Box 1, Folder 7). Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University. https://archives.library.vcu.edu/repositories/5/resources/62 

Virginia Commonwealth University. (2002). A Guide to the Lucian Louis Watts papers, 1921-1961. Lucian Louis Watts papers (M 12). Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University.

https://archives.library.vcu.edu/repositories/5/resources/62 

Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind. (1913). Biennial report [the 73rd and 74th annual reports] of the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.b3025277&seq=363 

Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind. (1917). Biennial report [the 77th and 78th annual reports] of the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind. 

https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.b3025278 

Watts, L. L. (n.d.). [Letter to Mr. Holmes]. Lucian Louis Watts papers (M 12, Box 1, Folder 1). Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University. https://archives.library.vcu.edu/repositories/5/resources/62 

Williams, E. G. (1919). Annual report of the State Board of Health and the State Health Commissioner to the Governor of Virginia for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1918. Davis Bottom.

https://www.google.com/books/edition/Annual_Reports_of_Officers_Boards_and_In/lHRDAQAAMAAJ 

 

Nadia Bukach’s research is funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Foundation.

 

 

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