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February 14, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute


Over the years, the Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute had many financial worries.  A letter from Samuel Shepard (Buckingham County, Virginia) to D.B. Malloy (Holly Springs, Mississippi) offers an example of the school’s disastrous spending habits.

I do know that they display little business in their management. – You will be interested in an example. Some year or so ago, Mr. Arnaud Préot suggested that, as one of the piano fortes obtained from Rosenkranz had a mechanical imperfection difficult to remedy, that they buy in its place a new one manufactured in Farmville by Mr. George P. Knauff. Mr Knauff sensibly offered to repair the old one at his factory, but they must have a new one. The old instrument is in the attic, and Mr. Knauff has so far received the sum of $15.00 on the purchase price of that of his own make. This is a small but common instance of the execution of the business of the Institute.

George P. Knauff was known as a composer far beyond Farmville. His composition “Forked Deer” is still performed today.  This version of the song was recorded at Colonial Williamsburg. Mark Campbell is the fiddler, his daughter, Mauren, is on guitar, and Gregg Kimball is playing the banjo.

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