- Thomas Maguire Papers, 1829-1949
- Farm diary, part one, 1859-1866
- Maguire, Thomas, 1881-1886
- Thomas Maguire papers, MSS 145, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.
- Date of Original:
Atlanta Campaign, 1864
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
- United States, Georgia, Gwinnett County, 33.96173, -84.02363
United States, Georgia, Gwinnett County, Rockbridge, 33.81233, -84.10742
- The diary follows the daily happenings on the plantation, including weather, farming schedule, family comings and goings, and the development of the Civil War. In his diary, Thomas Maguire describes daily farm life; the buying and selling of goods such as cotton, the spread of smallpox and efforts to provide vaccinations. Maguire often makes references to the anxiety and excitement leading up to the Civil War. Dozens of entries mention preparations of Georgia units, sightings of Union prisoners-of-war, and Sherman's march through Georgia. On July 21, 1864 Thomas Maguire wrote that the Yankees robbed his house and ravaged the town of Rockbridge. In an attempt to prevent further harm to his property, he attempted to hide food and supplies, but Union soldiers continued to steal them. On November 16th he hid in the woods while Union soldiers attacked the plantation and shot his livestock. During these years, Maguire writes that many local slaves attempted to escape and join the Yankee army, although farmers thwarted their efforts. Although Thomas lost property and many farm hands, the plantation continued to function in the post-war years, although with less prosperity. The 1866 will of Thomas Maguire is also inside in the Farm Diary.
Thomas Maguire (1801-1886) was born in Ireland and immigrated to America in 1818. By 1820 he owned land in Gwinnett County. A wealthy land owner, Thomas became a prominent member of the town of Lithonia. By 1860 he had 959 acres of land, and as many as 26 slaves. In April 1830 he married Jane Anderson (1812-1837) and had three children with her: Margaret Elizabeth (1831-1849), Mary Jane (1832-1913), and Thomas Jefferson (1834-1861). After his first wife died, he married her sister Elizabeth Anderson (1821-1881) and had eight children with her: John E. (1840-1898), Catherine Celia (died as infant), James Henry Clay (1844-1891), Sarah Edney (1847-1928), David Oscar (1850-1913), Amanda Emma (1854-1912), Cora Anne (1857-1886), and William Anderson (1860-1914). Thomas held several political positions including Captain of the Militia, Rockbridge district #571 in 1828; road commissioner for the Rockbridge District in 1836; state representative in 1838; second lieutenant in Hamilton's Company; Postmaster of the Rockbridge Post Office from 1839 to 1865; and member of the Gwinnett County Board of Education in 1871. He was a staunch supporter of the Universalist and Baptists churches of Lithonia and in 1874 helped start the Rockbridge Universalist Church. Thomas also fought for Temperance and was a very active member of the local Masonic Lodge, where he held various positions throughout his life. Although Thomas was too old to join the Confederate army, three of his sons volunteered. Thomas Jefferson died in Arkansas in 1861. John E. was wounded in 1862 but survived, as did James H.C. Thomas and his family who witnessed several Union raids on the plantation during the Atlanta Campaign of the Civil War.
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- Bibliographic Citation (Cite As):
- Cite as: Thomas Maguire papers, MSS 145, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.
- Holding Institution:
- Atlanta History Center