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Cronly Family papers, 1806-1944 28 Linear Feet — 1,962 items

The Cronly family included Michael Cronly, Sr., auctioneer and real estate broker of Wilmington, N.C. and his wife, Margaret McLaurin Cronly and their nine children. Collection includes correspondence, legal papers, financial papers, writings, account books, volumes, clippings and printed material. It ranges in date from 1806-1944.

Correspondence, financial records, legal and other papers of the Cronly family. Subjects include auctions and auctioneering, Wilmington social life, Civil War experiences, the Wilmington, Charlotte and Rutherford Railway Company, railroad bonds issued in North Carolina during Reconstruction, an earthquake that struck the Carolinas in 1886, the Democratic Party and politics in North Carolina, and blacks during Reconstruction. Includes information on the Beatty, McLaurin and Murphy families of North Carolina, and descriptions of Charleston, Atlantic City (N.J.), Denver, Genoa (Italy), and the Hudson Fulton Celebration in New York City (1909). Correspondents include Thomas Walter Bickett, Jr., Harley Lyman Clarke, Stephen William Cole, Newton Martin Curtis, William Darius Jamieson, Herbert Putnam, Don Carlos Seitz, William Nathan Harrell Smith, Waddy Thompson, and Platt Dickinson Walker. The collection ranges in date from 1806-1944.

Collection also contains numerous bound volumes, ledgers, and account books that have not been inventoried or described.

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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.

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).