Lindsey, Thomas N. and Sarah C. Letter, 1861

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Summary Information

Repository:
Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Creator:
Lindsey, Thomas N[ewton], 1818-
Creator:
Lindsey, Sarah Cook, 1832-
Title:
Thomas N. and Sarah C. Lindsey Letter
Collection No.:
SC 0067
Date:
Extent:
1 letter folder, .06 Cubic Feet
Language of the Material:
English
Abstract:
The Thomas N. and Sarah C. Lindsey Letter, 1861, is comprised of one letter written by the Lindseys of Churchville, Virginia to a Mr. Wynant. The letter is dated June 24, 1861, just two months after the start of the American Civil War. While Mr. and Mrs. Lindsey addressed Mr. Wynant separately, resulting in two distinct letters, both letters are contained on one leaf. The Lindseys comment on the changes taking place in Churchville and the Shenandoah Valley as a result of the Civil War. Additionally, they mention the price and scarcity of goods, harvest yields, the evils of liquor, and general community news.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], [box #, folder #], Thomas N. and Sarah C. Lindsey Letter, 1861, SC 0067, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

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Bio/Historical Note

Thomas Newton Lindsey (b. 1818) and his wife Sarah Cook Lindsey (b. 1832) were residents of Churchville, Virginia in Augusta County at least through 1870. The Lindseys two young children, Mollie and Charlie, died in early March 1858 for undisclosed and seemingly unexpected reasons. The couple went on to have more children.

Mr. Lindsey was employed as the postmaster for Churchville and as a merchant with Dinkle & Lindsey, a general dealer in dry goods, groceries, and hardware in Churchville.

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Scope and Content

The Thomas N. and Sarah C. Lindsey Letter, 1861, is comprised of one letter written by the Lindseys of Churchville, Virginia to a Mr. Wynant. The letter is dated June 24, 1861, just two months after the start of the American Civil War. While Mr. and Mrs. Lindsey addressed Mr. Wynant separately, resulting in two distinct letters, both letters are contained on one leaf. The Lindseys comment on the changes taking place in Churchville and the Shenandoah Valley as a result of the Civil War. Additionally, they mention the price and scarcity of goods, harvest yields, the evils of liquor, and general community news.

Mr. Lindsey begins his letter by mentioning that he had recently seen Mr. Wynant's father and that all was well. He goes on to write that "Churchville is quite lonesome these times. Except on Saturday when the militia muster. The governor has ordered them to muster once every week. They are drafting the militia in Rockingham. There is some allready gone to some point down the Valley." Mr. Lindsey discusses the price and scarcity of goods - "I bought a few goods about the last of May. They were very scarce & high, & I have sold nearly out of some goods allready. I sold out of Bro. Cotton a few minutes ago." Mr. Lindsay closes his portion of the letter by discussing the recent harvest and requests updates "about the expected movements of the armies both north & south, & how the people are divided generally, as near as you can ascertain out there."

Mrs. Lindsey begins her portion of the letter by mentioning that she and other young ladies in the community have been packing up clothes and "fixing pockets for the gentleman." She herself made several jackets. It seems likely that she is referring to community men going off to war. She continues with gossipy news and expresses a similar sentiment as her husband by writing that "Churchville is a changed place, it makes one feel sad." Mrs. Lindsey ends by mentioning George Hanger. She writes: "I understand [he] is taking two barrels of liquor with him. The ladies are all down on him; he had better not let it come this way. I consider it his worst enemy. I hope it shall not be used as a beverage; it will I am afraid destroy more of our men than the enemy."

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Arrangement

The letter is housed in one letter folder.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection 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 been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Acquisition Information

James Madison University Special Collections acquired this item at auction from Cohasco, Inc. in March 2016.

Location

Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

880 Madison DriveMSC 1704Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807library-special@jmu.eduURL: https://www.lib.jmu.edu/special/

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Index Terms

Genre and Form

  • Letters (correspondence)

Subject

  • Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Correspondence
  • Virginia -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Correspondence
  • Augusta County (Va.) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century
  • Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Correspondence
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives

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Bibliography

"Died," Staunton Spectator, March 17, 1858.

Post Office Directory; or, Business Man's Guide to the Post Offices in the United States. New York: J. H. Colton and Company, 1856.

Thomson's Mercantile and Professional Directory. Baltimore: William Thomson, 1851.

"United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MFLX-KXH : 17 October 2014), Thomas N Linsey, Virginia, United States; citing p. 76, family 528, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 553,133.

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Collection Inventory

Title/Description Instances
Thomas N. and Sarah C. Lindsey Letter, 1861 box 1 folder 1