Ralza Morse Manly

Male 1822 - 1897  (75 years)

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  • Name Ralza Morse Manly 
    Born 16 Jan 1822  Dorset, Bennington Co. Vermont Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Other sources put his place of birth as Danby, Rutland Co. VT.
    Gender Male 
    Died 16 Sep 1897  San Diego, San Diego Co. CA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Greenwood Memorial Park, San Diego, San Diego Co. CA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Source: Dorset [Vermont] Historical Society,Spring/Summer 2010


      Ralza Manly was the great grandson of Deacon John Manly, one of the early settlers of Dorset [Vermont]. He graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut in l849. He was the principal of schools in Randolph and Northfield, Vermont and later principal of his alma mater, Troy Conference Academy (now Green Mountain College). Although ordained a clergyman for the Methodist Episcopal Church, he chose teaching as his life work,believing strongly
      in the importance of the educator in a young person's life.

      The next chapter in his life is the most interesting. Ralza Manly was a white Vermonter who served as a chaplain for the First Colored Regiment during the Civil War. After the war he moved to Richmond, Virginia to become the first
      superintendent of black schools under the Freedman's Bureau. Later he established the first "colored normal school" where he was principal and helped open an elementary school, one of only four in the city for black children. By 1873, the schools were being praised for the exceptional quality of education received by the students. Maggie L. Walker, the first woman in the United States to open a bank and John Mitchell Jr., the editor of the Richmond Planet, a prominent black newspaper, went through Manly's schools.

      Later in his life, with his second wife, he taught at Wellesley College. He was the only male on the faculty at that time. Finally, for reasons of ill health, he and his wife moved to a warmer climate and he died in California in 1897.

      In the Modern Language Association, 1885 through 1888, he is listed on the faculty of Wellesley College, "Eng. Lang, and Rhetoric. Ralza M. Manly, M. A., Instr. in Logic and Rhetoric"

      Source: A History of the Town of Poultney, Vermont:
      From Its Settlement to the Year 1875, with Family and Biographical Sketches and Incidents, J. Joslin, B. Frisbie and F. Ruggles., 1875, p. 167.

      Ripley Female College or Troy Conference Academy [Green Mountain College today]

      "The tenth Principal was Rev. Ralza M. Manly. He graduated at Wesleyan University, and on leaving Poultney became Principal of an academy at Randolph, Vt. Soon after the the breaking out of the war he entered the army as a chaplain. Subsequently he entered upon the work of education under the direction of the Freedman's Bureau, was appointed superintendent of public instruction in Richmond, Va., established in that city an academy for the higher education of colored youth, is now the principal of it and is doing more probably to elevate that unfortunate race to the rights and dignity with which ' nature and nature's God endowed them' than any other man south of Mason and Dixon's line."

      U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles
      about Ralza M Manley
      Name: Ralza M Manley
      Residence: Northfield, New Hampshire
      Age at enlistment: 40
      Enlistment Date: 22 Nov 1862
      Rank at enlistment: Chaplain
      State Served: New Hampshire
      Survived the War?: Yes
      Service Record: Enlisted in Company S, New Hampshire 16th Infantry Regiment on 22 Nov 1862.
      Mustered out on 20 Aug 1863 at Concord, NH.
      Birth Date: abt 1822
      Sources: Register of Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire 1861-65


      16th NH Volunteers was organized at Concord and mustered in for nine months October 24, 1862. Sailed for New Orleans, La., December 6, arriving December 20. Attached to Sherman's Division, Dept. of the Gulf, to January, 1863.

      Duty at Carrollton and in the Defenses of New Orleans, La., until April, 1863. Operations on Bayou Plaquemine and the Black and Atchafalaya Rivers February 12-28. Operations against Port Hudson, La., March 7-27. Fort Burton, Butte a la Rose, April 19. At Fort Burton until May 30. Ordered to Port Hudson May 30, and assigned as guard at arsenal of Banks' Army at Springfield Landing June 3 to July 9. Surrender of Port Hudson July 9. Occupation of works until August 1. Moved to Concord, N.H., August 1-14. Mustered out August 20, 1863.

      Total Men: 914
      Casualties (Killed or Mortal Wound): 0
      The 16th was involved in 3 engagements.
      No casualties received.
      Deaths: 213
      The 16th never received recruits to replenish the units strength. Although the unit never lost a man to combat, disease took the lives of all but three men who drowned.

    • 1850 United States Federal Census
      Name: R M Manley
      Age: 26
      Birth Year: abt 1824
      Birthplace: Vermont
      Home in 1850: Randolph, Orange, Vermont
      Gender: Male in the household of Isaac and Catherine Redfield.
      Family Number: 214
      His wife Sarah lived with him.

      1880 United States Federal Census
      Name: R. M. Manly
      Age: 58
      Birth Year: abt 1822
      Birthplace: Vermont
      Home in 1880: Richmond, Henrico, Virginia
      Race: White
      Gender: Male
      Relation to Head of House: Self (Head)
      Marital Status: Married
      Spouse's Name: Sarah H. Manly
      Father's Birthplace: Vermont
      Mother's Birthplace: Vermont
      Neighbors: View others on page
      Occupation: Dpy. Col. Int. Rev.
      Household Members:
      R. M. Manly 58
      Sarah H. Manly 58
      Note: lived next door to his daughter Kate and son-in-law, Otis H. Russell, who was also involved in collecting for the internal revenue.


      The Bureau of Freedmen, Refugees, and Abandoned Lands, commonly known as the Freedmen's Bureau, was created by an act of Congress on March 3, 1865, just a few weeks before Abraham Lincoln's assassination. The Bureau was initially chartered to operate for just one year, but continued until 1868 under the care of commissioner General Oliver O. Howard, who was aided by assistant commissioners in every Southern state and by hundreds of local agents.

      As its full name suggests, the Bureau's work combined care for millions of newly freed slaves and the administration of Southern lands seized by Union forces during the war. The Bureau was authorized to distribute much-needed food, fuel, clothing, and medical supplies to the freedmen; to regulate labor and contracts; to aid in the founding of schools and churches; to ensure justice in all legal cases involving freedmen; and, perhaps most promisingly for freedmen in 1865, to distribute abandoned and confiscated Confederate lands among former slaves for rental and eventual sale.

      At the local level, the Bureau was usually bitterly opposed by white Southerners and firmly supported by African-Americans. Its work was hindered by local opposition, inadequate funding from the federal government, and the politics of Reconstruction.

      Source: Annual report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Virginia. Dept. of Education, 1880


      "During the last year of the war, colored regiments which remained in camp for any length of time had regimental schools under the direction of the chaplain, with such assistants as he needed. The attendance was voluntary, but embraced most of the younger men; the assistant teachers were provided by charitable associations North. The soldiers clubbed their efforts and built a rude school-house, which served also for prayer-meetings, and for preaching services in bad weather. Such schools were numerous at Alexandria, Fort Monroe, Hampton, Norfolk, Portsmouth. In these places, and in the country immediately adjacent to them, the colored children were quite fully provided with teachers. Colored churches, disused barrack-buildings and abandoned dwelling houses supplied school-rooms. During the twelve months preceding the close of the war there must have been as many as three or four thousand children under daily instruction in these schools. I have only my recollection to guide me, and cannot pretend to accuracy.

      "There was a great development of this work in the spring and autumn of 1865, and for the five years following, during which the Freedman's Bureau assumed the general control of educational operations and contributed largely to their success, by the erection of buildings and the rental and repairs of others, school-furniture, etc, etc.

      "The teachers were commissioned and paid chiefly by the following associations:

      "The New York Branch American Freedman's Union Commission. "The New England Branch American Freedman's Union Commission. The American Missionary Association.

      "And Missionary Societies in the Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopal Churches, and the Philadelphia Friends.

      "In 1865 there were 200 teachers and near 13,000 pupils. A gradual increase from year to year until 1870 (when the whole system was discontinued), when there were 412 teachers and over 18,000 pupils. During the last two years Dr. Sears aided by supplementing the salaries of a large number of teachers, and in many schools a small tuition fee was collected.

      "Teachers.?Time enough has passed for a dispassionate judgment of the temper, spirit, and professional skill of these workers?the teachers from the North. There was some drift-wood and a few pieces of rotten-wood. This was to be expected where the executive officers of the associations were sending hundreds of teachers, received on recommendations, to all parts of the South. But poor material or indifferent material was in very small proportion to the whole. And there was much of the best work I ever saw done. The young ladies were, in many cases, from homes of affluence and refinement and the highest Christian principle. I doubt if there is better teaching or better discipline in any school in this land than my assistant teachers did for me in my Normal school during its first six years.

      I have always affirmed, and still believe, that during this period of five or six years not less than 20,000 learned to read, and some became good scholars and some excellent teachers.

      Respectfully, R. M. Manly.

      Richmond, Va., December 20, 1880."

      Source: http://vshadow.vcdh.virginia.edu/fbureau/bureau_jackson4.html

      Thomas P. Jackson to R. M. Manly, October 2, 1867

      Jackson informs Manly of the availability of a school room in the basement of the Methodist Episcopal Church and asks $100 for supplies. He also states the community's preference for a male teacher.

      R. M. Manly to Thomas P. Jackson, October 4, 1867

      Manly tells Jackson that the only teacher he has available at the moment is a woman, and because the charitable societies have a shortage of teachers, it is unlikely that Jackson will find a male teacher for Staunton.

      This website is a digital archive of the Freedman's Bureau in the Augusta Co. VA, Staunton and the surrounding counties. It contains a huge source of information.

    Person ID I13631  Master File
    Last Modified 18 Jul 2014 

    Family 1 Sarah Bemis Wright,   b. 11 Jun 1822, Vermont Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Aug 1881  (Age 59 years) 
    Married 16 Aug 1848  Randolph, Orange Co. VT Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Catherine Sarah MANLY,   b. 23 Oct 1850, Randolph, Orange Co. VT Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Sep 1905, Richmond, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 54 years)
    +2. Willilam Marcus Manly,   b. 02 Feb 1855, Northfield, Washington Co. VT Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 May 1934, Washington Co. KS Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
    +3. Ralza Wright Manly,   b. 09 Jun 1859, Poultney, Rutland Co. VT Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Aug 1952, VA Hospital, Dallas TX Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 93 years)
     4. Mary Elizabeth (Mabeth) Manly,   b. 07 Jan 1864, Norfolk, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Aug 1874, Richmond, Henrico Co. VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 10 years)
    Last Modified 3 Jun 2012 
    Family ID F7597  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Mary L. Patterson 
    Married 05 Jul 1884  Genesee Co. MI Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Genesee County Marriage Index to 1934
      Volume 05, page 001, record number 5756
    Last Modified 3 Jun 2012 
    Family ID F7599  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart