A Guide to the

Henry Smals Diaries, 1871-1891

SC 0096

Compiled by: Chris Bolgiano, October 1990;
Revised February 2010 by Tiffany W. Cole

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: Henry Smals Diaries, 1871-1891

Collection No.: SC 0096

Creator: Henry Smals

Extent: 3 boxes; .7 cubic feet

Language: English

Abstract: The Henry Smals Diaries, 1871-1891, consist of three boxes containing eighteen volumes of diaries written by Henry Smals of Bridgewater, Virginia. The topics of diary entries are brief outlining day-to-day activities. A folder, located in Box 3, contains a partial index and a list of highlights for most volumes as well as an ad for "Henry Smals, Fashionable Barber!  Main Street, Bridgewater, Va."

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: Collection is open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.
Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).
Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], [box #, folder #], Henry Smals Diaries, 1871-1891, SC 0096, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.
Acquisition Information: The collection is on deposit from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society.
Provenance: The collection of diaries was first presented to George M. Hanger by Smals' grandson, Gal Miller, in 1910. The diaries were then given to George P. Furry in 1920, Edwina Furry in 1970, and Dorothy Merriefield in 1983.
Processing Information: The diaries appear to have been rebound, perhaps several times, and some volumes have sections in them that are not in chronological order. In some places the ink has faded to illegibility. In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in the spring of 2017. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 2059.

Biographical Note

Henry Smals (1810-1892) is listed in the 1850 Rockingham County Census as a shoemaker with real estate value of $1,000 with a wife, Mary, and six children. There is an entry for Henry Smalts in the 1860 census and for Henry Smalls in the 1870 census that gives additional household details. He may also have been a barber sometime during the 1880s (See Box 3, Folder 4).  His surname appears as a variaton of Smalz and Smaltz as well.

Scope and Content

The Henry Smals Diaries, 1871-1891, consist of three boxes containing eighteen volumes of diaries written by Henry Smals of Bridgewater, Virginia. The topics of diary entries are brief outlining day-to-day activities. There are mentions of acquaintances that are ill, various business transactions conducted in town, the movement of livestock and hay through town, ongoing town projects, church activities, marriages, births, deaths, and other details of town life. The activities of "colored people" are occasionally noted. Throughout the diaries, Smals made small drawings of people and animals and added illustrations clipped from newspapers. A folder, located in Box 3, contains printed copies of a partial index and a list of highlights for most volumes as well as an ad for "Henry Smals, Fashionable Barber!  Main Street, Bridgewater, Va."

Arrangement: The diaries are arranged chronologically where possible, but due to variations in size are physically housed as follows in the Contents List.  Volume 14 is filed in a separate container.

Bibliography:

United States Census Office, 7th census.  1850 U.S. Census, Rockingham County, Virginia.  Wichita, Ks.:  S-K Publications, 1987.

Contents

Folder List
Box:Folder
     Vol.1:  May 1871-June 1872
1:1
     Vol.2:  July 1872-Dec. 1872
1:1
     Vol.3:  Jan. 1873-Aug. 1873
1:1
     Vol.4:  Aug. 1873-Jan. 1875
1:2
     Vol.5:  Jan. 1875-Nov. 1875
1:2
     Vol.6:  Jan. 1876-April 1877
1:3
     Vol.7:  April 1877-Sept. 1877; incl. Dec. 1873, 1875; Jan. and Nov. 1875
1:3
     Vol.8:  Oct. 1877-April 1878
1:3
     Vol.9:  May 1878-Jan. 1879
1:4
     Vol.10:  Feb. 1879-Oct. 1879
1:4
     Vol.11:  Oct. 1879-May 1880
1:6
     Vol.12:  May 1880-Jan. 1881
1:5
     Vol.13:  Jan. 1881-Nov. 1881
1:6
     Vol.14:  Nov. 1881-May 1883
2:1
     Vol.15:  May 1883-July 1885
1:7
     Vol.16:  July 1885- April 1887
3:1
     Vol.17:  April 1887-April 1890
3:2
     Vol.18:  April 1890-Oct. 1891
3:3
    Partial Index and Highlights, 2002-2003
3:4