Wright-May-Thom Family Papers, MS 2416

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Wright-May-Thom Family Papers (1727), 1802-1965 
Maryland Historical Society

Contact Information: 
Manuscripts Department 
Maryland Historical Society Library 
201 West Monument Street 
Baltimore MD 21201-4674 
410.685.3750 
specialcollections@mdhs.org 
www.mdhs.org


Descriptive Summary

Wright-May-Thom Family Papers (1727), 1802-1965

MS. 2416

Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore MD 21201-4674

by

KAREN A. STUART


Introduction

The Wright-May-Thom Family Papers were given to the Maryland Historical Society in May 1979 by Anne Gordon Baldwin, daughter of DeCourcy W. Thom, the probable collector of most of the items in the papers. The collection spans two centuries and seven generations, and includes business and personal correspondence, journals, bills and receipts, and genealogical notes. Members of the family were residents of Baltimore City and Queen Anne's County, Maryland. Several were lawyers, financiers, or political figures; many traveled extensively in Europe and South America.

Letters, whenever possible, have been filed with the papers of the recipient, and are arranged chronologically within, rather than alphabetically by writer. Incoming letters provide the best guide to probable recipients of outgoing letters; most family members wrote to most other contemporary family members.

Related collections at the Maryland Historical Society include: MS. 575, the William May Collection, and MS. 2339, the Thom Papers. Some have been published in My Dear Brother: A Confederate Chronicle, by Catherine Thom Bartlett (Richmond: The Dietz Press, 1952) [E 605.B27 in the MHS library.] Researchers should consult the card catalogues of other library divisions, particularly the Maryland Historical Magazine index, for other related material, such as an article on “Blakeford” published in Maryland Historical Magazine (Dec. 1955).


Scope and Content

S[OLOMON] WRIGHT Sermon, 1727

Solomon Wright (d. 1729) was a member of the first generation of the Wright family represented in this collection. He married Mary Coursey (dates unknown), and was the father of Judge Solomon Wright (1717-1792), grandfather of Robert Wright (1752-1826), and great-grandfather of William Henry DeCourcy Wright. The one item in the collection pertaining specifically to Solomon Wright I is a printed copy of a “Sermon Preach'd...On Occasion of the Death of the late King George” (London, 1727) by S. Wright. It is filed in Box 1.

ROBERT WRIGHT Letters and Papers, 1802-1809

Robert Wright (1752-1826) was three times Governor of Haryland, served as both U.S. Congressman and Senator, and was Judge of the District Court, Second Judicial District of Maryland. He married Sarah DeCourcy; their children included Robert Wright, Jr., William Henry Decourcy Wright, Gustavus W.T. Wright, and Thomas Wright (?).

Robert Wright's papers in this collection include four letters (1802-1808) written by Wright concerning politics and the sale of a horse, a Frederick County militia commission signed by Wright (1808), and a broadside of Wright's speech resigning the office of Governor (5 June 1809). All are filed in Box 1.

Other materials relating to Robert Wright are in Ms. 1954, the Council to the Governor Collection.

THOMAS WRIGHT Letters, 1813-1814

Thomas Wright (fl. 1813-1814) was the son of [Robert Wright and Sarah DeCourcy Wright?]. In this collection are six letters (10 April 1813-

15 May 1813) to a Major Blake, one letter (4 August 1813) to a Major Nicholson, and one letter (11 September 1814) to an Adjutant Tilghman, written from Reeds Creek, Centerville, and Queenstown, Maryland. All concern military matters, and are filed in Box 1.

GUSTAVUS W.T. WRIGHT Papers, 1814-1820; n.d. 

Gustavus W.T. Wright (fl. 1814-1820) was the son of Robert and Sarah DeCoursey Wright. He was perhaps a lawyer, for the items in this collection include documents relating to his administration of the estate of Susanna Watson. Gustavus, like many other family members, owned property in Queen Anne's County. He leased all or part of this property to a tenant; copies of the agreement are also in the folder. The final item in these papers is an undated sheet of poems, entitled “A Refined & Pensive effusion of Mrs. O'Neal” signed by G.W.T. Wright. All are in Box 1.

ROBERT CLINTON WRIGHT Papers, 1845, 1854-1856; n.d. 

Robert Clinton Wright (ca. 1812-1879) was a nephew of William Henry DeCourcy Wright, whom he joined in business in the firm Maxwell, Wright and Company in Rio de Janeiro. Robert Clinton Wright married Selina Anderson in 1835; their children included Judge Daniel Giraud Wright, Joseph M. Wright, and Clinton A. Wright.

The papers in this collection are: three letters (1854; n.d.) from W.H.D.C. Wright; a statement of account with Green Mount Cemetery (1845), and two receipts. All are in Box 1. 

DANTEL GIRAUD WRIGHT Papers, 1874-1875; n.d.

Daniel Giraud Wright (1840-1922) was the son of Robert Clinton Wright, and the grand-nephew of W.H.D.C. Wright. Daniel was a lawyer and later a judge. He handled legal affairs for Clintonia Wright May (Thomas).

This folder contains letters and two receipts pertaining to CWMT, and a handbill listing Daniel Giraud Wright's candidacy for Judge of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City on the Democratic Ticket. All are filed in Box 1. 

WILLIAM HENRY DeCOURCY WRIGHT Papers, 1811-1864; n.d.

William Henry DeCourcy Wright (1795-1864) was the son of Robert and Sarah DeCourcy Wright. He served as U.S. Consul in Rio de Janeiro in 1825-1834, and later (on two separate occasions) as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim. These activities are reflected in WHDC's incoming letters (Boxes 2-3) and in his consular papers (Box 4).

WHDC married Eliza Lea Warner [Wright?]; their children were WHDC, Jr. (1827-1845); Victoria (Levering) (dates unknown); Clintonia Gustavia (May Thomas) (1825-1902); Gustavia (d.1827); and Ella Lea (Thom) (1837-1861). WHDC was stepfather to Anna Wright (Hemsley) and Valeria Wright (Forbes), children of his wife's first marriage to [Samuel Wright]. A number of letters to WHDC from his children, stepchildren, and sons-in-law William May and J.P. Thom are included in WHDC's incoming letters (Boxes 2-3). His replies are filed with the papers of the recipient. 

WHDC's incoming letters cover a wide range of topics, both business and family-related. When he was not serving as Consul, WHDC was a founder and partner (with Joseph Maxwell, an Englishman) of Maxwell, Wright & Company, a commercial house based in Rio de Janeiro. The firm was particularly active in the coffee trade. Some letters concern WHDC's business dealings; in addition, his friends and relatives frequently wrote to him for financial advice and/or assistance. WHDC was at one time the owner of “Blakeford” in Queen Anne's County, Md.; some letters pertain to the management of that and other property holdings. Other letters discuss WHDC's travels to Rio de Janeiro

in 1845 and to Europe in the 1850's and 1860's; the death of WHDC Wright, Jr. in 1845; and WHDC's confinement in McLean Asylum in 1854. WHDC suffered from depression, and letters in later years are increasingly concerned with his health. Other letters referring to WHDC's hospitalization may be found in the papers of Eliza Warner Wright.

Other items in the collection include a diary (1845) and a small number of household bills and receipts (1819-1864), filed in Box 3. Additional household bills and receipts may be found in the papers of WHDC's wife, Eliza Warner Wright. 

WHDC's outgoing latters may be found among the papers of his wife, Eliza Warner Wright, his daughters, and his sons-in-law, and in the papers of A[nne] P[arker] Thom.

ELIZA LEA WARNER WRIGHT Papers, 1811-1864; n.d. 

Eliza Lea Warner Wright (1800-1864) was the daughter of Captain John Warner (dates unknown) and Mary Lea (1773-1846), married in 1796. Eliza married twice: first Samuel Wright (relationship to the Wrights in this collection unknown), and sometime before 1827, WHDC Wright. Children of the first marriage were: Anna Wright (Hemsley) and Valeria Wright (Forbes). Children of her second marriage were WHDC Wright, Jr. (1827-1845), Victoria (Levering), Clintonia Gustavia (May Thomas) (1825-1902), Gustavia (d. 1827), and Ella Lea (Thom) (1837-1861). 

This collection includes a typescript of a journal/letterbook (1835-1854), household bills and receipts (1841-1864; n.d.), and incoming letters. The incoming letters, spanning the period 1811-1864, are primarily concerned with family news, with occasional references to other current events. Eliza spent some time in Rio de Janeiro with her husband WHDC Wright. 

Letters of early 1854 concern the confinement of WHDC Wright in McLean Asylum. Correspondents include Eliza's parents John and Mary Lea Warner, her sisters Vic[torine], Louisa, and Hetty W. Hand, her husband WHDC Wright, her daughters Anna, Valeria, and Clintonia, and her son-in-law Paul S. Forbes. Other miscellaneous items include two commonplace books and a book of recipes. All are in Box 5.

Two printed advertisements for ladies' clothing and accessories have been transferred to the Prints and Photographs Division of the Society. 

Eliza L.W. Wright's outgoing letters may be found among the papers of her husband (WHDC Wright), children, and son-in-law Paul S. Forbes. 

VALERIA [WRIGHT] FORBES Papers, 1836-1870; n.d. 

Valeria Wright Forbes was the daughter of Samuel and Eliza Lea Warner Wright. WHDC Wright was her stepfather. She married Paul S. Forbes in 1835. Their children included daughters Pauline and Nell and sons W[illiam?] H., “Charlie” and [“Granty”?] Forbes. 

This portion of the collection consists mainly of letters written to Valeria by her mother, Eliza Warner Wright, describing her travels and other family news. One letter (n.d.) contains a number of recipes. Two letters (25 January 1852 and 10 January 1870) are from Valeria's sons “W.H.” and “Charlie” All are in Box 5.

Valeria Wright's outgoing letters may be found in the papers of her mother, stepfather, and sisters. 

PAUL S. FORBES Papers, 1844-1845

Paul S. Forbes was the husband of Valeria Wright Forbes, whose papers are described above. This folder contains three letters written to Forbes by his mother-in-law Eliza Warner Wright. The letters are largely concerned with family news, particularly the visits of Forbes' wife and children, and offer condolences on the death of a son [“Granty”]. This folder is in Box 5. 

PAULINE FORBES Papers n.d. 

Pauline Forbes (fl. 1840's) was the daughter of Paul S. and Valeria Wright Forbes. This folder contains a letter describing and suggesting places to visit in Germany and Austria, and a visiting card presumed to have belonged to Pauline Forbes. Both are in Box 5.

[Ella W(right)] NELLIE FORBES Incoming Letter, 1845

Nellie Forbes was the daughter of Paul S. and Valeria Wright Forbes. The letter in the collection comes from “Papa G” in Canton, [William Buckler?] obviously written to Nellie when she was a young child. Filed in Box 5. 

ANNA M. WRIGHT HEMSLEY Papers, 1843-1854 

Anna M. Wright Hemsley was the daughter of Samuel and Eliza Lea Warner Wright, and step-daughter of WHDC Wright. She married William Hemsley sometime between 1843 and 1850. 

The papers in this folder are: two letters (1843) from Anna's mother, Eliza W. Wright, concerning family news; and six assorted receipted bills (1850-1854). All are in Box 5.

Anna Wright's outgoing letters are among the papers of WHDC Wright, her mother Eliza L. W. Wright, and her sisters. 

VICTORIA L. WRIGHT LEVERING Papers, 1839, 1855, n.d. 

Victoria L. Wright Levering was the daughter of Eliza Lea Warner and WHDC Wright. She married Samuel S. Levering. Her papers in this collection consist of two incoming letters (1859; n.d.), an invitation (n.d.), three receipted bills (1855), a school notebook (n.d.) containing notes on French and English grammar, and two newspaper clippings (n.d.) on her marriage. All are in Box 5. 

Victoria's outgoing letters may be found among the papers of her parents and sisters.

WILLIAM HENRY DECOURCY WRIGHT, JR. School Notebooks, [1837] - 1845; n.d.

William Henry DeCourcy Wright, Jr. (1827-1845) was the son of WHDC and Eliza Warner Wright. WHDC, Jr.'s death at age 18 was the source of much grief to his family, and is discussed in their letters and journals of the period--particularly those of WHDC, Sr.

The items in this portion of the collection are WHDC, Jr.'s school notebooks, containing notes on geometry and Latin, an atlas, and a penmanship book presumably belonging to WHDC, Jr. All are in Box 6. 

A few letters written by WHDC, Jr. are among his father's papers. 

CLINTONIA WRIGHT MAY THOMAS Papers, 1841-1901; n.d. 

Clintonia Gustavia Wright May Thomas (1825-1902) was the daughter of WHDC and Eliza Warner Wright. She married naval officer William May (d.1861) in 1853, was widowed, and married former Maryland Governor Philip Francis Thomas (1810-1890) in 1876. Clintonia had no children of her own, but served as guardian of her nephews DeCourcy W. and Pembroke Lea Thom following the deaths of Ella W. Thom (the boys' mother, who died in 1861) and WHDC Wright (who had served as the boys' first guardian). Philip F. Thomas' 13 children (from his first marriage to Sarah Maria Kerr) are not represented in this collection.

CWMT's incoming letters, roughly 400 items spanning the period 1841-1901, offer a wealth of detail concerning her life and the activities of family members and friends. They may be found in Boxes 6-8. WHDC Wright writes to his daughter from Rio de Janeiro in 1845-1846; a letter (dated 20 May 1849) from Valeria W. Forbes describing the reaction in Macao and among family members to the discovery of gold in California. Clintonia married William May on February 1, 1853, but May's military obligations caused the couple to be separated much of the time. Clintonia traveled to Europe (1855-1857) to be closer to her husband's station, but was nevertheless apart from May as much as she was with him. Approximately 100 of CWM's incoming letters are from

William May. They describe ports of call in the Mediterranean (including Spezia, Athens, Naples, Gibraltar, Genoa, Cadiz and Trieste) and his life aboard the US Frigates Constellation and Congress. When failing health forced May's retirement from active duty, he and his wife returned to “Blakeford” in Queen Anne's County. Clintonia received occasional letters from May when she left “Blakeford” to visit friends and family in Baltimore.

DeCourcy W. Thom becomes a principal correspondent in later years, describing his studies at the Episcopal High School of Richmond, Virginia and the University of Virginia (1870s-1880s), with other references to Maryland politics and the presidential election of 1876. Clintonia's marriage to former Governor Philip F. Thomas in 1876 accounts to a great extent for the sudden intrusion of political discussion into what are almost exclusively family-oriented letters. Thomas was an infrequent correspondent, which suggests that he was separated from his wife far less than was her first husband, William May. Finally, some letters in the later years pertain to various family members' handling of CWMT's legal and business affairs. Other papers relating to the handling of CWMT's legal affairs are in the papers of Daniel Giraud Wright (Box 1). 

Other items in the collection seem to be concentrated in the period 1850-1870. At William May's urging, Clintonia kept journals of her travels in Europe (1855-1857). She also kept business and advertising cards for firms in Paris, London, Brighton, Rome, Frankfort, Genova and Rio de Janeiro, and visiting cards that included a number of US Naval officers apparently also stationed in Europe. There are approximately 130 receipted bills for personal and household items (nearly all from Baltimore merchants), and an account book for “Blakeford” which continued to be Clintonia's home until her marriage to P.F. Thomas. Finally, miscellaneous items in the collection include a book of recipes, two commonplace books, printed greeting cards, and photographs of [William May, DeCourcy W. Thom, and Pembroke Lea Thom?].

Some of these items have been transferred to the Prints and Photographs Division -- check the Container List and Appendix of this guide for details.

Clintonia's outgoing letters may be found among the papers of her parents, husbands, sisters, and nephew DeCourcy W. Thom. She is buried in St. Thomas' Church cemetery, Garrison Forest, in Baltimore County. 

WILLIAM MAY Papers 1820; 1830-1861; n.d. 

William May (c. 1815-1861) was the son of Dr. Frederick May of Washington, D. C. He entered the U.S. Navy in May, 1831 and saw service around the world, eventually rising to the rank of Commander. May served aboard vessels including the U.S. Frigates Constellation and Congress, Steamer Mississippi, Schooner Flying Fish, and Brig Porpoise. May married Clintonia G. Wright, daughter of WHDC Wright, in 1853. May's naval career caused the couple to be separated much of the time, resulting in extensive correspondence between the two. Those letters may be found in the incoming letters of the recipient. The bulk of the papers in this portion of the collection are from the years of May's marriage to Clintonia. They concern his naval career as well as his personal life.

May's outgoing letters (16 items, Box 9) were written mainly to his father (Dr. Frederick May), brother (Dr. J. Frederick May), and sister Julia. Several were written while at sea; they describe life aboard ship and action in the Mexican War. One letter (1 March 1838) to [Mr. Eaton] asks for Eaton's daughter's hand in marriage; this request was apparently refused. 

May's incoming letters (1832-1861; n.d.) come from his wife Clintonia, father-in-law WHDC Wright, and various members of the May family. Topics of discussion generally include news of friends and family, business, politics, and May's naval career. Clintonia May's letters of the period 1855-57 describe her travels in England, Switzerland, France and Italy while May was stationed in the Mediterranean. Letters from other family members discuss disciplinary action taken against May following charges of misconduct in 1851, 1852, and

1856, and also the management of “Blakeford” in May's absence. Letters from May's brother Frederick occasionally discuss child-rearing practices. The incoming letters are in Boxes 9 and 10. 

Toward the end of his life, William May suffered failing health. His brother Frederick sent prescriptions for various medicines; they are filed in Box 10. Due in part to his health, May spent more and more time at “Blakeford.” This is reflected in his journals, memorandum books, stock book, sales accounts, and book of accounts with Irish laborers, in Boxes 10 and 11. The receipted bills filed in Box 10 are for household and personal items as well as supplies for “Blakeford.”

Box 11 also contains papers related to May's naval career. Many of these papers are from the period 1851-1856, when May was involved in several disciplinary actions. Also included are logbooks, a copybook, copies of May's naval orders, memoranda and “notes professional” and May's 1861 commission as a Commander. Other papers related to May's naval career are in MS.575, the William May Collection.

William May's outgoing letters are among the papers of his wife Clintonia W. May (Thomas) and his father-in-law WHDC Wright.

PHILIP FRANCIS THOMAS Papers 1875-1887; n.d.

Philip Francis Thomas (1810-1890) was Governor of Maryland (1848-1851), and also a member of the Maryland House of Delegates (1838; 1843; 1845) and the U.S. House of Representatives (1839-1841). He married Sarah Maria Kerr (d.1870) in 1835, by whom he had 13 children. His second wife, whom he married in 1876, was Clintonia Wright May. The papers in this collection are from the period of Thomas' marriage to Clintonia.

Thomas' correspondence (5 items) is composed of 3 incoming letters and a draft of a response to a fourth letter. One letter concerns the sale of some hams; the others refer to political and personal subjects. Thomas' letters to his wife Clintonia are filed with her incoming letters (Boxes 7

and 8).

The bills and receipts in Thomas' name (1879-1884; 26 items) are for groceries and household items. Other receipted bills were in the name of his wife, Clintonia, and have been arranged in her papers (Box 9). A handbill announcing a speech to be given by Thomas has been transferred to the Prints and Photographs Division.

A few of Thomas' outgoing letters are among the papers of his wife, Clintonia W.M. Thomas.

ELLA LEA WRIGHT THOM Papers 1849-1859; n.d. 

Ella Lea Wright Thom (1837-1861) was the daughter of WHDC and Eliza Warner Wright. She married Joseph Pembroke Thom in 1857 and had two sons: DeCourcy W. Thom (1858-1932) and Pembroke Lea Thom (c. 1861-1901). At Ella's death, her sons were placed under the guardianship of WHDC Wright and, later, Clintonia W. May (Thomas).

Ella's incoming letters are from family members, including her father, sister Clintonia, and several cousins. A number of those letters discuss family members' travels in Europe. Ella's trips to Europe and Rio de Janeiro in 1855-1856 are discussed in her journal of the same period. Other items in the collection include a catechism book, a memorandum book of sewing instructions, a sketchbook, and a number of social invitations. All are in Box 12. Some valentines and printed visiting cards have been transferred to the Prints and Photographs Division. 

JOSEPH PEMBROKE THOM Papers 1858-1881; n.d.

Dr. Joseph Pembroke Thom (1828-1899) was the son of Col. John Watson Triplett Thom (1769-1855) and Abby deHart Mayo Thom (d. 1830), who were married in 1815. Thom was a medical doctor, and served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army infantry during the Mexican War, and as an assistant surgeon in the U.S. Navy at Harper's Ferry. He was a major in the Irish Battalion of Virginia before joining the Southern Confederacy. He later served as Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates.

Dr. Thom's first wife, whom he married in 1857, was Ella Lea Wright, daughter of WHDC Wright. The children of that marriage were DeCourcy W. and Pembroke Lea Thom. Following Ella's death in 1861, the children were placed under the guardianship of WHDC Wright and Clintonia W. May. Joseph Pembroke Thom did not seem to maintain a great deal of contact with his sons. Thom's second wife, whom he married in 1863, was Catherine G. Reynolds. Their children were H.R. Mayo Thom and Joseph Pembroke Thom, Jr.

Joseph Pembroke Thom's papers consist primarily of incoming letters, along with one outgoing letter (3 October 1862) to his brother, Dr. W.A. Thom, and a statement of account with the estate of WHDC Wright. Other outgoing letters are among the papers of WHDC Wright, DeCourcy W. Thom, Pembroke Lea Thom, and A. [nne] P. [arker] Thom. 

Thom spent a portion of the Civil War years in Europe. Letters from WHDC Wright, Robert Clinton Wright, and Clintonia May in 1863-64 discuss the war and the advisability of Thom's remaining in Europe, as well as more general family matters. In later years, Thom received letters from his sons DeCourcy and Pembroke. DeCourcy's letters discuss his travels in Europe and his life and education at the University of Virginia. All are in Box 12. 

CATHERINE G. REYNOLDS THOM Incoming Letters, 1881 

Catherine G. Reynolds Thom (c. 1840-1912) was the second wife of Joseph Pembroke Thom. The two items in this folder are letters (2 April 1881 and 16 May 1881) from her stepson DeCourcy W. Thom, describing his travels in France and England. Box 13.

A. [NNE] P. [ARKER] THOM Incoming letters 1862; n.d.

Anne Parker Thom was the wife of William Alexander Thom, brother of Joseph Pembroke Thom. The twelve letters in this folder are from WHDC Wright and Joseph Pembroke Thom. They refer to Mrs. Thom's financial affairs and to various family members. Box 13. 

PEMBROKE LEA THOM Papers 1874-1877; n.d. 

Pembroke Lea Thom (ca. 1861-1901) was the son of Joseph P. and Ella Wright Thom. He was a graduate of the University of Virginia, and as an adult became a lawyer and member of the Maryland House of Delegates. He married Mary Isabel Rieman (1864-1936). The incoming letters in this folder (Box 13) are from the years of Lea's childhood; some of his outgoing letters are among the papers of his father, brother DeCourcy, and Aunt Clintonia (May Thomas).

Two photographs, probably of Pembroke Lea Thom as a young man, a valentine, and an 1885 Democratic Conservative party ticket listing Thom as a candidate for the House of Delegates have been transferred to the Prints and Photographs Division.

DeCOURCY W. THOM Papers 1861-1931; n.d. 

William Henry DeCourcy Wright Thom (1858-1932) was the son of Ella Lea Wright and Joseph Pembroke Thom. He received his early education at various private schools, including the Episcopal High School of Richmond, Virginia, and was a graduate of the University of Virginia. Thom married two times: first, in 1885, to Mary Pleasants Gordon (c. 1862-1892); and second, in 1910, to Mary Washington Keyser Stewart. Mary Gordon Thom and Ann Gordon Thom were the children of Thom's first marriage; W. H. DeCourcy W. Thom, Jr. (1915-1960) and Elizabeth K. Thom [Graham] were children of the second marriage.

DeCourcy Thom was a banker, broker, and sometime farmer--the last family owner of “Blakeford.” Thom's interests (as represented in his papers) included Maryland history and politics, historic preservation, and genealogy. He was an officer and an active member of the Maryland Historical Society.

The papers in this collection include incoming and a smaller number of outgoing letters, poetry, manuscript and printed copies of speeches and articles written by DeCourcy Thom, and genealogical notes made by or for Thom. Other outgoing letters may be found in the papers of DeCourcy Thom's aunt, Clintonia W. May Thomas. Thom's incoming letters frequently concern matters of genealogy; he seems to have been the family member most interested and knowledgeable in his family's history, and in fact may have been the original collector of the entire assemblage of papers making up MS.2416. Both family members and acquaintances wrote to Thom to provide or request information on genealogical matters. One letter (11 July 1901) is from Lyon G. Tyler, founding editor of Tyler's Quarterly and the William and Mary College Quarterly, and noted Virginia genealogist. Other letters refer to more recent family matters and business dealings. These letters are in Box 13. Also in Box 13 are papers relating to “Blakeford” and “Camp Wright” property at one time owned by DeCourcy Thom, and newspaper clippings of his activities. Box 14 contains notebooks and single sheets of poems written by DeCourcy Thom. Manuscript and printed versions of speeches and articles written by DeCourcy W. Thom are divided between Boxes 14 and 15. Subjects include banking and finance, the Just Representation League of Maryland, and historic preservation in Maryland.

Boxes 15 and 16 contain genealogical notes taken by or for De Courcy W. Thom on the following families: 

Barclay

Bennet

Bland

Brett

Brooke

Clayton

Courcy

DeCourcy

Fitzhugh

Hard

Jett

Keyser

Lea

Lewis

Massie

May

Mayo

Poythress

Rose

Smith

Tabb

Thom

Triplett

Warner

Wright

MARY PLEASANTS GORDON THOM Papers 1886-1891

Mary Pleasants Gordon Thom (c. 1862-1892) was the first wife of DeCourcy W. Thom, whom she married in 1885. She died in 1892, leaving two children: Mary Gordon Thom and Anne Gordon Thom. Her papers consist of a sketchbook and miscellaneous sketches; an 1885 deed of marriage settlement; household and recipe and visiting books containing lists of callers, luncheon guests, household expenses, and recipes; and an estate inventory, dated 1892. All are in Box 17.

[ANNE ELIZA GORDON] Papers 1892; n.d.

Anne Eliza Gordon (fl. 1844-1892) was the mother of Mary Pleasants Gordon Thom, first wife of DeCourcy W. Thom. This folder contains one letter (n.d.) from [her daughter?] “Mary” concerning the death of a Fannie Reid; and a carbon copy of a letter from Gordon concerning the death of Mary Pleasants Gordon Thom. Both are in Box 17. 

MARY W.K.S. THOM Incoming letters 1891, 1921 

Mary Washington Keyser Stewart Thom (1874-1963) was the daughter of Mary Ann Washington Keyser and Henry Irvine Keyser, and was the second wife of DeCourcy W. Thom, whom she married in 1910. She had been married previously to John Stewart, and had two children: Mary Washington Stewart [Speer], and John Stewart, Jr. By her marriage to DeCourcy Thom, she had a son, W.H. DeCourcy W. Thom, Jr. (1915-1960), and a daughter, Elizabeth K. Thom [Graham]. 

This folder contains two letters, giving news of family and friends. Box 17. 

MARY GORDON THOM Papers 1905-1911; 1951-1965 

Mary Gordon Thom (c. 1892-1975) was the daughter of DeCourcy W. Thom and Mary Pleasants Gordon Thom. Her papers in this collection include

an autograph book (1905-1911); a scrapbook of arms, crests, and monograms (transferred to the Prints and Photographs Division); notes on the “Bell of Portugal”; a post card from Rio de Janeiro; gift acknowledgements from the Maryland Historical Society, and papers relating to the gift of “Camp Wright” to the Episcopal Diocese of Easton. All, with the exception of the heraldry scrapbook, are in Box 17.

ANNE GORDON THOM [JOHNSTON BALDWIN] Papers 1902-1906; n.d. 

Anne Gordon Thom [Baldwin] (c. 1900-) was the daughter of DeCourcy W. Thom and Mary Pleasants Gordon Thom. She later married Ludlow H. Baldwin. The folders filed in Box 17 contain a scrapbook inscribed to her by “Aunt Tonie” [Clintonia Wright May Thomas], an autograph book (1902-1906), landscaping plans (n.d.), a child's prescribed diet, and a small amount of correspondence(1933). 

DECOURCY W. THOM, JR. Baptismal Certificate 1915 

William Henry DeCourcy Wright Thom, Jr. (1915-1960) was the son of DeCourcy and Mary W.K.S. Thom. This folder contains one item: DeCourcy, Jr.'s baptismal certificate, dated 1915. The folder is in Box 17.

UNIDENTIFIED MATERIAL n.d. 

The folders in Box 18 contain material unidentified as to the owner, writer, and/or subject. Separate folders contain letters, poems and literary extracts, household papers and accounts, and sheet music. Unidentified photographs and printed ephemera have been transferred to the Prints and Photographs Division.

 


Container List

 

BOX 1  

S[olomon] Wright Sermon

Robert Wright Letters and Papers

Thomas Wright Letters

Gustavus W. T. Wright Papers

Robert Clinton Wright Papers

Daniel Giraud Wright Papers

William Henry DeCourcy Wright Papers

Letterbooks (1829-1835)

 

BOX 2  

Letterbooks (1835-1838)

Outgoing letters (1856; 1863; n.d.)

Outgoing letters [newspaper clippings] (1827-1828; 1845; n.d.)

Incoming letters (1817-1845)

 

BOX 3 

Incoming letters (1846-1864; n.d.)

Diary (1845)

Bills and receipts (1819-1864)

Pocket account book (n.d.)

“Blakeford” account books (1849-1854; 1855)

Surveyor's report--”Blakeford” (1843)

Documents (1811-1864)

 

BOX 4 

Maxwell, Wright & Co. circular letters (1844-1845; 1855)

Maxwell, Wright & Co., Commercial Formalities of Rio de Janeiro (1834

R. B. Forbes, Remarks on China and the China Trade (1844)

Commercial newspapers, Rio de Janeiro (1826-1831)

Consular letterbook (1826-1831)

Consular bills book (1826-1830)

Consular account book (1826-1831)

Consular documents (1825-1834; n.d.)

Passports (1826; 1846; 1854; 1855; 1855)

Certificates--Bearer of Despatches (1854; 1856)

Wrappers, fragments (n.d.)

 

BOX 5

Eliza Lea Warner Wright Papers

Outgoing letter (1860)

Journal [typescript] 1835-1854)

Incoming letters (1811-1864; n.d.)

Wrappers, fragments (1827; n.d.)

Bills and receipts (1841-1864; n.d.)

Commonplace books (1821-1826; 1835-1852)

Poem (n.d.)

Recipes (n.d.)

Valeria [Wright] Forbes Papers

Paul Forbes Papers

Pauline Forbes Papers

Nellie Forbes Incoming letter

Anna M. Wright Hemsley Papers

Victoria L. Wright Levering Papers

 

BOX 6 

William Henry DeCourcy Wright, Jr. School notebooks

Clintonia Wright May Thomas Papers

Outgoing letters (1857-1879)

Incoming letters (1841-1868)

 

BOX 7 

Incoming letters (1869-1901)

 

BOX 8 

Incoming letters (n.d.)

Journals--travels in Europe (1855-1857)

Passport (1855)

Commonplace books and single sheets (1846-1850; n.d.)

Autograph book (1835-1847; n.d.)

 

BOX 9

Invitations (1879; n.d.)

Household memoranda; copybook of recipes (n.d.)

Legal papers (1865; 1875; n.d.)

Fire insurance papers (1869)

Bills and receipts (1853-1885; n.d.)

“Blakeford” stock book (1866)

“Blakeford” account book (1870-1872)

William May Papers

Outgoing letters (1830-1838; 1847-1861)

Incoming letters (1832-June 1856)

 

BOX 10 

Incoming letters (July 1856-1861; n.d.)

Medical prescriptions (1861)

Passport (1857)

Miscellaneous notes (1856; [1857]; n.d.)

Memorandum books (1856-1861; n.d.)

Bills and receipts (1842; 1847-1861; n.d.)

Pocket account book (1855-1857)

Journal and garden memoranda (1860-1861)

Accounts--sales of corn and wheat (1854-1855)

 

BOX 11 

“Blakeford” stock book (1853-1861)

“Blakeford” ration book (1853-1859)

Accounts with Irish laborers (1860-1861)

Deed—“Blakeford” (1860)

Accounts with George Hollins (1853-1854)

Passbook--in account with Geo. DeRochbrune (1853-1855)

Commission U.S. Navy (1861)

Letter acknowledging receipt of Commission (1861)

Naval Orders (1846-1852; 1861)

Letterbook -- Official correspondence (1851-1852)

Memorandum book (1855-1857)

Memoranda and “Notes Professional” (n.d.)

Papers relating to disciplinary actions (1849; 1851-1852; 1856)

Report of the Secretary of the Navy to the Senate (1856)

Extract from the logbook of the barque Hortensia (1835)

Logbook--meridian positions of vessels (1838-1852)

Copybook—“Interesting and curious correspondence on military allowances from the San Diego Herald” (n.d.)

Miscellaneous sketches (n.d.)

Newspaper clippings (n.d.)

Wrappers and fragments (n.d.)

 

BOX 12

Philip Francis Thomas Papers

Correspondence (1875-1887)

Bills and receipts (1879-1884)

Ella Lea Wright Thom Papers

Outgoing letter (n.d.)

Incoming letters (1845-1859; n.d.)

Wrappers, envelopes (1882; n.d.)

Social invitations (n.d.)

Journal--trips to Europe, Rio de Janeiro (1855-1856)

Commonplace book (1852)

Enclosures from commonplace book (n.d.)

Sketchbook (1853)

Fragments, needlepoint patterns (n.d.)

Memorandum book--sewing instructions (n.d.)

Catechism book (n.d.)

Joseph Pembroke Thom Papers

Outgoing letter (1862)

Incoming letters (1858-1865)

Incoming letters (1876-1881; n.d.)

Account with the estate of WHDC Wright

 

BOX 13

Catherine G. Reynolds Thom incoming letters

A[nne] P[arker] Thom incoming letters

Pembroke Lea Thom Papers

DeCourcy W. Thom Papers

Outgoing letters (1874-1929)

Incoming letters (1861-1931; n.d.)

Wrappers, fragments (n.d.)

Household inventories (1892)

Papers relating to “Blakeford” (1905-1907; n.d.)

Correspondence relating to “Camp Wright” (1912-1928)

Miscellaneous notes (n.d.)

Passport (1902)

Newspaper clippings

 

BOX 14

Poetry

Manuscript speeches and articles (1894-1931)

 

BOX 15 

Published speeches and articles ([1921]-1931; n.d.)

Genealogical notes, A – M

 

BOX 16 

Genealogical notes, P – Z

 

BOX 17

Mary Pleasants Gordon Thom Papers

Sketchbook and miscellaneous sketches (1876; n.d.)

Deed of marriage settlement (1885)

Household and recipe book (1886-1891)

Visiting books (1886; n.d.)

Estate inventory (1892)

[Anne Eliza Gordon] Papers

Mary W.K.S. Thom incoming letters

Mary Gordon Thom Papers

Autograph book (1905-1911)

Papers (1951-1965)

Anne Gordon Thom [Johnston Baldwin] Papers

Correspondence (1933)

Autograph book (1902-1906)

Scrapbook (n.d.)

Landscaping plans (n.d.)

Child's prescribed diet (n.d.)

W H DeCourcy W. Thom, Jr. Baptismal certificate

 

BOX 18 

Miscellaneous unidentified:

letters

poems and literary extracts

household papers and accounts

sheet music

MATERIALS HELD IN PRINTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS DIVISION

ELIZA LEA WARNER WRIGHT Papers

printed advertisements (n.d.)

CLINTONIA WRIGHT MAY THOMAS Papers

Admission tickets, election of the President, U.S. House of Representatives (1877)

Printed cards (n.d.)

Photographs [1855?; n.d.]

Visiting cards (n.d.)

Business and advertising cards (n.d.)

Programs, handbills (1856-1903; n.d.)

WILLIAM MAY Papers

Dinner programs (n.d.)

Tickets - Washington Canal lottery (1820)

PHILIP FRANCIS THOMAS Papers

Handbill announcing speech (n.d.)

ELLA LEA WRIGHT THOM Papers

Valentines (1849; n.d.)

Visiting cards (n.d.)

PEMBROKE LEA THOM Papers

Photographs

Valentine

Md. Democratic Conservative Party ticket (1885)

DECOURCY W. THOM Papers

Photographs, postcard (n.d.)

Map, Queenstown Land Improvement Company (1896)

MARY PLEASANTS GORDON THOM Papers

lithographs - drawing instruction (n.d.)

MARY GORDON THOM Papers

Heraldry scrapbook n.d.

Unidentified photographs

Unidentified printed ephemera

 

INDEX

advertising trade cards, 19th c.

12,

25

Asia--travel description, 19th c.

11

Athens, Greece--travel description, 19th c.

12

autograph books

20

Baldwin, Anne Gordon Thom Johnston (c.1900-)

1,

17,

19,

20

Baltimore, Md.--businesses, 19th c.

--families, 19th c.

Barclay family

18

Bennet family

18

“Blakeford” Queen Anne's Co., Md.

1,

7,

12,

14,

17,

18

Bland family

18

Brazil--Rio de Janeiro

6,

7-8,

11,

12,

10

Brett family

18

Brighton, England

12

Brooke family

18

Cadiz, Spain--travel description, 19th c.

12

“Camp Wright” Queen Anne's Co., Md.

18,

20

cartes-de-visite

25

catechism books

15

child rearing, 19th c.

14,

20

church--sermon (1727)

5

China trade, 19th c.

11

Civil War

15-16

Clayton family

18

coffee trade, 19th c.

7

Congress, U. S. Frigate

12,

13

Constellation, U. S. Frigate

12,

13

Consular service, U.S., 19th c.

7

cookbooks, 19th c.

9,

12,

19

Courcy family

18

DeCourcy family

18

Democratic Conservative party (Md.), 1885

17

diaries, 19th c.

8

election of 1876

12

England--travel description, 19th c.

12,

13,

16

Episcopal High School, Richmond, VA.

12,

17

estate administration, 19th c.

6

estate inventories, 19th c.

6,

19

Europe, 19th c.

8,

10,

12

-- travel description, 19th c.

8,

10,

12,

15

farm accounts--Queen Anne's Co., Md., 19th c.

12

Fitzhugh family

18

Flying Fish, U.S. Schooner

13

Forbes, “Charlie” (fl. 1870)

9

Forbes, “Granty” (fl. 1844-45)

9

Forbes, Nell (fl. 1845)

9,

10

Forbes, Paul S. (fl. 1820s-1840s)

9,

10

Forbes, Pauline (fl. 1840s)

9,

10

Forbes, Valeria Wright (fl. 1820s-1870s)

7,

8-9,

10,

11

Forbes, W[illiam] H. (fl. 1852)

9

France--travel description, 19th c.

12,

13,

16

Frankfort, Germany--travel description, 19th c.

12

genealogy

17-18

Genoa, Italy--travel description

12

Geneva, Switzerland--travel description

12

Gibraltar, Spain--travel description

12

gold, discovery of--California

11

[Gordon, Anne Eliza] (fl. 1844-1892)

19

Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore, MD.--19th c.

6

Hard family

18

Hemsley, Anna M. Wright (fl. 1843-1854)

7,

8-9,

10

heraldry

20,

25

historic preservation

17,

18

home and family care, 19th c.

14,

20

Hortensia, U.S. barque

13-14

household accounts, 19th c.

8,

12,

19,

20

household inventories, 19th c.

19

Irish laborers, 19th c.

14

Italy--travel description, 19th c.

12,

13

Jett family

18

Johnston, Anne Gordon Thom [Baldwin] (c. 1900-)

1,

17,

19,

20

journals, 19th c.

8,

14,

15

Just Representation League of Maryland

18

Keyser family

18

LaSpezia--travel description, 19th c.

12

lawyers

6

Lea family

18

Levering, Victoria L. Wright (fl. 1839-1855)

7,

8,

10

Lewis Family

18

London, England--travel description, 19th c.

12

McLean Asylum, McLean, Va.--19th c.

8,

9

Maryland--Governors

12,

14

--House of Delegates (members)

14,

15-16,

17

--Judges

6-7

--Politics, 1850-1900

12,

14,

17

Maryland Historical Society

17,

20

Massie family

18

Maxwell, Wright & Co.--Baltimore and Rio de Janeiro

6,

7

May, Clintonia Wright [Thomas] (1825-1902)

6-7,

8-9,

11-13,

14-15,

16,

17,

18,

20

May, Frederick

13

May, Dr. J. Frederick (fl. 1850s)

13,

14

May, Julia

13

May, William (c. 1815-1861)

1,

7,

11-12,

13-14

May family

18

Mayo family

18

mental illness

8

Mexican War

13

Mississippi, U. S. Steamer

13

Naples, Italy--travel description, 19th c.

12

Paris, France--travel description, 19th c.

12

penmanship books, 19th c.

11

photographs

12-13,

17,

25

poetry--19th c.

6,

17,

18

Porpoise, U. S. Brig

13

Poythress family

18

Queen Anne's Co., Md.--families

18

--farms and farming, 19th c.

6,

7,

12,

14

receipted bills--19th c.

6,

8,

10,

12,

15,

19,

20

Reid, Fannie

19

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil--businesses, 19th c.

7-8,

11,

12,

20

--U. S. Consulate, 19th c.

7

Rome, Italy--travel description

12

Rose family

18

school work, 19th c.

10,

11

sewing instruction, 19th c.

15

ships' logs, 19th c.

14,

23

sketchbooks, 19th c.

15,

19

Smith family

18

South America--travel description, 19th c.

11

Spain--travel description, 19th c.

12

speeches

17

Switzerland--travel description, 19th c.

13

Tabb family

18

Thom, Anne Gordon [Baldwin] (c. 1900-)

1,

17,

19,

20

Thom, A[nne] P[arker] (fl. 1862)

8,

16-17

Thom, Catherine G. Reynolds (c. 1840-1912)

16

Thom, DeCourcy W. (1858-1932)

1,

11,

15,

16,

17-18,

19,

20

Thom, Ella Lea Wright (1837-1861)

7,

8,

11,

15-16,

17

Thom, Joseph Pembroke (1828-1899)

7,

15-16,

17

Thom, Mary Gordon (c. 1892-1975)

17,

19-20

Thom, Mary Pleasants Gordon (c. 1862-1892)

17,

19,

20

Thom, Mary Washington Keyser Stewart (c. 1875-1963)

17,

19,

20

Thom, Pembroke Lea (c. 1861-1901)

11,

15,

16,

17

Thom, William Henry DeCourcy Wright (1858-1932)

1,

11,

15,

16,

17-18,

19,

20

Thom, William Henry DeCourcy Wright, Jr. (1915-1960)

17,

19,

20

Thom family

18

Thomas, Clintonia Wright May (1825-1902)

6-7,

8-9,

11-13,

14-15,

16,

17,

18,

20

Thomas, Philip Francis (1810-1890)

11,

12,

14-15

travel description--Asia, 19th c.

11

--Europe, 19th c.

10,

12,

13,

15,

16

--South America, 19th c.

11

Trieste, Italy--travel description, 19th c.

12

Triplett family

18

Tyler, Lyon Gardiner

18

U. S. Congress--House of Representatives, members

5,

14

U. S. Navy--19th c.

12,

13-14

University of Virginia, 19th c.

12,

16,

17

valentines, 19th c.

15,

17,

25

Virginia--families

18

--Irish Battalion

15

--schools, 19th c.

12,

17

--University of Virginia, 19th c.

12,

16,

17

visiting cards, 19th c.

10,

12,

15,

25

War of 1812

5-6

Warner family

8,

9,

18

Wright, Anna M. [Hemsley] (fl. 1843-1854)

7,

8-9,

10

Wright, Clintonia Gustavia [May Thomas] (1825-1902)

6-7,

8-9,

11-13,

14-15,

16,

17,

18,

20

Wright, Daniel Giraud (1840-1922)

6-7,

12

Wright, Eliza Lea Warner (1800-1864)

7,

8-9,

10,

11,

15

Wright, Ella Lea [Thom] (1837-1861)

7,

8,

11,

15-16,

17

Wright, Gustavus W. T. (fl. 1814-1820)

5,

6

Wright, Robert (1752-1826)

5,

6,

7

Wright, Robert Clinton (c. 1812-1879)

6,

16

Wright, S[olomon] (d. 1729)

5

Wright, Thomas (fl. 1813-1870)

5-6

Wright, Valeria [Forbes] (fl. 1835-1870)

7,

8-9,

10,

11

Wright, Victoria L. [Levering] (fl. 1855)

7,

8,

10

Wright, William Henry DeCourcy (1795-1864)

5,

6,

7-8,

9,

10,

11-13,

14,

15,

16

Wright, William Henry DeCourcy, Jr. (1827-1845)

7-8,

11

Wright family

18

 

Games