About History Exchange

What is a History Exchange?
Ellen Apperson Brown, a free-lance historian, hopes to share with others some of the interesting documents she has found among her family treasures and some of the scholarly and creative papers she has written. She has already had some of her work published in literary journals, but she is eager to find a way to share her research and findings with a larger audience. Other independent historians may find her research of interest and, if so, are invited to publish their scholarly articles and archival documents here.

The Virginia History Exchange is a digital archive designed as a resource for teachers, researchers, family historians, and the general public. The archives (Archives) include primary source documents (letters, journals, and photographs), starting with many of the items in Brown’s personal collection; samples of creative writing and historical narratives (Family Portraits), and essays and scholarly papers written during her graduate studies at UNC-Asheville and Virginia Tech (Teaching Materials). The website can only grow and take on significance, however, if other historians and researchers join in and participate. Members of the Virginia History Exchange are invited to submit their papers for publication here, and are also encouraged to offer to help with editing, marketing, recruiting student interns, and to otherwise become partners in this co-operative venture.

A little background information about the author…

Ellen Apperson Brown has always been conscious of the rich cultural inheritance passed down through her family tree. Her 6th-great grandmother (Mary Draper Ingles) walked 800+ miles through the wilderness in 1755. Her great grandfather (John S. Apperson) served as a steward and medic throughout the Civil War and left a remarkable 7 volume diary. His son (another John Apperson) became a pioneer preservationist in New York’s Adirondack Forest Preserve – all while working as an engineer at GE in Schenectady.

Born in Schenectady, NY, where her father worked for GE, Ellen moved with her family to Erie, PA and then Charlotte, NC. Ever since going off to college, at Sweet Briar, she has pursued many interests, studying music in Austria, getting an MAT in German from the University of Virginia, working as a teacher and administrator in schools, founding a free clinic, supporting a spouse through seminary, and then starting life over again, at fifty, with a new determination to become an historian. Currently armed with two additional MA degrees (from UNC-Asheville and Virginia Tech), she hopes to share her education and skills with others through this innovative new approach to teaching history.
Convinced that many others would like to try and become historians, but knowing that few can actually drop everything and enroll in graduate school, she hopes this history exchange will develop into an effective way to teach history to the masses… eventually creating volunteers trained as Community Historians.

Please enjoy the fruits of her labor, become a member, and offer your advice and encouragement!