Menu

Preliminary Guide to the Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas papers, 1848-1906 and undated

Abstract

Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas was the wife of Jefferson Thomas, Confederate officer and Georgia planter. This collection contains diaries, partially unbound, for the years 1848-1849, 1851-1852, 1855-1859, 1861-1866, 1868-1871, and 1878-1889, with the first volume in a different hand from the rest. Typed copies of the diaries are also included. The entries describe in detail Mrs. Thomas' reading; studies at Macon Female College (now called Wesleyan College) in Macon, Ga.; conversion to methodism; clothing and dress styles; gossip and social life; shopping and prices; church services; courtship by and marriage to Jefferson Thomas; and plantation life in Burke and Columbia counties.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas papers
Creator
Thomas, Ella Gertrude Clanton
Extent
2.0 linear feet
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

This collection contains diaries, partially unbound, for the years 1848-1849, 1851-1852, 1855-1859, 1861-1866, 1868-1871, and 1878-1889, with the first volume in a different hand from the rest. Typed version of the diaries are also included. The entries describe in detail Mrs. Thomas' reading; studies at Macon Female College (now called Wesleyan College) in Macon, Ga.; conversion to methodism; clothing and dress styles; gossip and social life; shopping and prices; church services; courtship by and marriage to Jefferson Thomas; and plantation life in Burke and Columbia counties.

Other subjects discussed include black religion; the institution of slavery and the relations between white men and slave women; Civil War military activities, especially concerning Jefferson Thomas' career; destruction of property by Union troops; social conditions after the war; spiritualism; labor and servant problems, financial losses and poverty; school teaching; and the earthquake of 1886.

Other items include letters (two from Jefferson Thomas); photograph of a portrait of Mrs. Thomas; and a life membership certificate from the National Woman Suffrage Association of the United States (later the National American Woman Suffrage Association).

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48-hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Diary, 1848-1852
(2 folders)
Box 1
Diary, 1855-1856
Box 1
Diary, 1856-1859
Box 1
Diary, 1861-1864
Box 1
Diary, 1864-1866
Box 1
Diary, 1868-1870
Box 1
Diary, 1870-1871
Box 1
Diary, 1878-1880
Box 2
Diary, 1881-1889
Box 2
Diary (Typed Copy), 1865
Box 2
Correspondence, 1879-1882
Box 2
Photocopies of letters, National American Woman Suffrage Association, clippings and other documents, 1882-1902, 1978 and undated
Box 2
Diary (Typed Copy), 1848-1849
Box 2
Diary (Typed Copy), 1851
Box 2
Diary (Typed Copy), 1852
Box 2
Diary (Typed Copy), 1852
Box 2
Diary (Typed Copy), 1852
Box 2
Diary (Typed Copy), 1855-1856
(2 folders)
Box 2
Diary (Typed Copy), 1856-1859
Box 2
Diary (Typed Copy), 1861-1864
(2 folders)
Box 3
Diary (Typed Copy), 1864-1866
(2 folders)
Box 3
Diary (Typed Copy), 1868-1870
(2 folders)
Box 3
Diary (Typed Copy), 1870-1871
(2 folders)
Box 3
Diary (Typed Copy), 1878-1880
(2 folders)
Box 4
Diary (Typed Copy), 1881-1889
Box 4
Loose Photocopy and Photograph of a Portrait, 1978 and undated
Box 4

Historical Note

Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas was born on April 4 1834, the daughter of a prosperous property and plantation owner. She attended Macon Female College (now called Wesleyan College) in Macon, Georgia when she was 15, and was an avid reader throughout her life. She married her husband Jefferson Thomas, also a plantation owner in 1852 and they lived outside of Augusta, Georgia and had several children. Following the war, the Thomases moved to Augusta as a result of finacial hardship.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas papers were acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in 1956 and 1978.

Processing Information

Processed by: Rubenstein Library staff

Accessions described in this collection guide: 56-295, 56-327, 56-357