Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton Papers: Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Brooke M. Black, February 1, 2005.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 2005
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Overview of the Collection

Title: Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1856-1869
Collection Number: mssHM 68280-68322
Creator: Thornton, Lucy Smith Crittenden.
Extent: 43 items in 1 box
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: This collection contains 43 letters of Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton (1802-1885), wife of United States Government Land Commissioner in California Harry Innes Thornton (1797-1861), chiefly to her son attorney Harry Innes Thornton, Jr., as well as other Thornton family members. Even though the letters chiefly deal with family matters and the Thorntons' social lives in San Francisco and Oakland, California, many of the letters also discuss the social conditions in the post-Civil War South and family friends who left the South because of failing plantations.
Language: English.

Access

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Administrative Information

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

Purchased from Carmen Valentino, November 26, 2004.

Biographical Note

Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton (1802-1885), sister of Kentucky Senator John J. Crittenden, was married to Harry Innes Thornton (1797-1861), Judge of the Supreme Court of Alabama. The couple had four children: Harry Innes Thornton, Jr., Bessie Thornton, Margaret Thornton Fall, and Sarah (Sallie) Thornton. In 1849 the Thorntons moved to San Francisco, California after President Fillmore appointed Harry Innes Thornton Government Land Commissioner. Harry Innes Thornton, Jr., became an attorney and politician. Although the Thorntons lived in California, the family remained loyal to Alabama and the South and when the Civil War began Harry Innes Thornton, Jr., resigned his position as California State Senator, traveled to Alabama and joined the 58th Alabama Infantry. After the war, Harry Innes Thornton, Jr., lived in Texas, Montana, Utah, Nevada, and California while he continued to practice law, specializing in mining litigation and criminal defense. The younger Thornton married his cousin Katherine Marshall Thornton in 1868.

Bibliography

Thornton, Harry Innes, Jr. “Recollections of the War by a Confederate Officer from California.” Southern California Quarterly 1963 45(3): 195-218.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of 43 letters. Thirty of the 43 letters are from Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton to her son Harry Innes Thornton, Jr. The remaining letters are written by other Thornton family members including (piece counts in parenthesis): Bessie Thornton (3), Sarah Thornton (2), Margaret Thornton Fall (1), Katherine Marshall Thornton (2), Harry I. Thornton, Jr. (3), and Ann Mary [last name unknown] (2). Even though the letters chiefly deal with family matters and the Thorntons' social lives in San Francisco and Oakland, California, many of the letters also discuss the social conditions in the post- war South and family friends who left the South because of failing plantations. The Thorntons also comment upon the numerous “Yankees” with whom they have to socialize after the war. The family also mentions the freedmen in the South, Jefferson Davis, the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, and politics in California. The 3 letters by Harry I. Thornton, Jr., discuss his travels in the American Southwest, his legal career, and specific court cases with which he was involved. Harry I. Thornton, Sr., is mentioned briefly in one letter.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Indexing: Subjects

Davis, Jefferson, 1808-1889. Subject in Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter (1866, Aug. 6) to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM 68295.
Johnson, Andrew, 1808-1875, Impeachment. Subject in Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895 letter (1868, Mar. 21) to Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton.
Thornton, Harry I. (Harry Innes), 1797-1861. Subject in Bessie Thornton letter (1856, Sep. 18) to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM 68280.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

Subjects

Crittenden, John J. (John Jordan), 1787-1863 -- Family -- Correspondence.
Davis, Jefferson, 1808-1889.
Johnson, Andrew, 1808-1875 -- Impeachment.
Thornton, Harry I. (Harry Innes), 1797-1861.
Thornton, Lucy Smith Crittenden.
Freedmen -- Southern States -- History -- Sources.
Lawyers -- West (U.S.)
Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877) -- Public opinion -- Sources.
Veterans -- Confederate States of America.
Women -- California -- Correspondence.
California -- Politics and government -- 19th century.
California -- Social life and customs.
Oakland (Calif.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
San Francisco (Calif.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Southern States -- Social conditions -- 19th century -- Sources.
United States -- Politics and government -- 19th century.

Forms/Genres

Letters (correspondence) -- California -- 19th century.

Additional Contributors

Thornton, Harry I. (Harry Innes), 1834-1895.


Collection Contents

Box 1

Correspondence

 

1856, Sep. 18. Bessie Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68280

 

1861, Apr. 1. Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895, letter to Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton. HM  68281

 

1864, Feb. 3. Sarah Thornton letter to Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton. HM  68282

 

1865, Nov. 17. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68283

 

1865, Dec. 27. Margaret Thornton Fall letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834- 1895. HM  68284

 

[1866], Jan. 21. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68285

 

1866, Jan. 26. Ann Mary S---- letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68286

 

[1866], Jan. 31. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68287

 

1866, Feb. 22. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68288

 

1866, Mar. 1. Bessie Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68289

 

1866, May 12. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68290

 

[1866], June 13. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68291

 

[1866, after June 13]. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68292

 

1866, June 21. Bessie Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68293

 

1866, July 22. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68294

 

1866, Aug. 6. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68295

 

1866, Aug. 29. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68296

 

1866, Sep. 23. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68297

 

1866, Oct. 5. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68298

 

1866, Oct. 30. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68299

 

1866, Nov. 4. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68300

 

1866, Nov. 10. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68301

 

1866, Nov. 21. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68302

 

[1866], Dec. 22. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68303

 

[1866]. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68304

 

[1866]. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68305

 

[Approximately 1866]. Ann Mary S---- letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68306

 

1867, Jan. 28. Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895, letter to Katherine Marshall Thornton. HM  68307

 

1867, Feb. 22. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68308

 

1867, Mar. 5. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68309

 

1867, Mar. 14. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68310

 

[1867], Apr. 14. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68311

 

1867, Apr. 26. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68312

 

1867, May 5. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68313

 

1867, May 10. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68314

 

1867, May 25. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68315

 

1867, May 27. Katherine Marshall Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68316

 

1867, May 30. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68317

 

1867, June 20. Sarah Thornton to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68318

 

1867, Sep. 16. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68319

 

1868, Mar. 21. Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895, letter to Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton. HM  68320

 

1868, Oct. 31. Katherine Marshall Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68321

 

1869, Feb. 1. Lucy Smith Crittenden Thornton letter to Harry I. (Harry Innes) Thornton, 1834-1895. HM  68322