This may help someone. I came across a letter by George W. Effingham written March 24th, 1858. He is a school teacher in Russell County, Virginia, and he is appealing to John Smith, the apparent owner of the school, to provide him with meat and grain to last until the end of the school term. Evidently part of the teacher's pay was to be given in food. The Smiths were large land owners near Cleveland, VA, and did operate schools for their children and neighbors' children.
The 1860 census for Wise Co. VA lists a young child Geo. W. as the son of a woman who is listed as a pauper. It is likely that this is George's son, and that he has died or run off.