A Guide to the
Henry Smals Papers, 1871-1891
Compiled by: Chris Bolgiano, October 1990;
Revised February 2010 by Tiffany W. Cole
Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Title: Henry Smals Papers, 1871-1891
Collection No.: SC# 2059
Creator: Henry Smals
Extent: 1 and 1/2 Hollinger boxes and 1 separate container; .68 linear feet
The Henry Smals Papers, 1871-1891, consist of one and one-half Hollinger boxes and one separate container of diaries written by Henry Smals of Bridgewater, Va. 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."
Henry Smals Papers, 1871-1891, SC# 2059, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.
The collection is on deposit from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society.
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.
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.
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 Papers, 1871-1891, consist of one and one-half Hollinger boxes and one separate container of eighteen volumes of diaries written by Henry Smals of Bridgewater, Va. 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."
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.
United States Census Office, 7th census. 1850 U.S. Census, Rockingham County, Virginia. Wichita, Ks.: S-K Publications, 1987.
|Series I: Henry Smals Diaries, 1871-1891||
|Vol.1: May 1871-June 1872||
|Vol.2: July 1872-Dec. 1872||
|Vol.3: Jan. 1873-Aug. 1873||
|Vol.4: Aug. 1873-Jan. 1875||
|Vol.5: Jan. 1875-Nov. 1875||
|Vol.6: Jan. 1876-April 1877||
|Vol.7: April 1877-Sept. 1877; incl. Dec. 1873, 1875; Jan. and Nov. 1875||
|Vol.8: Oct. 1877-April 1878||
|Vol.9: May 1878-Jan. 1879||
|Vol.10: Feb. 1879-Oct. 1879||
|Vol.11: Oct. 1879-May 1880||
|Vol.12: May 1880-Jan. 1881||
|Vol.13: Jan. 1881-Nov. 1881||
|Vol.14: Nov. 1881-May 1883||
|Vol.15: May 1883-July 1885||
|Vol.16: July 1885- April 1887||
|Vol.17: April 1887-April 1890||
|Vol.18: April 1890-Oct. 1891||
|Index and Highlights||