Thomas Spalding Wylly letters

Thomas Spalding Wylly letters

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Wylly, Thomas Spalding, 1831-1922
Title: Thomas Spalding Wylly letters
Dates: 1867-1973
Quantity: 0.08 Linear feet (1 folder; MS 809 to MS 813 housed together in 1 document box)
Abstract:The collection consists of a xerox copy of a letter reputedly from Maximilian of Mexico to his cousin in Versailles. He writes to say farewell before his execution and to entreat his cousin's prayers. Also included is a letter to Dr. E. Merton Coulter from Commander Wylly. The letter is in reference to the xerox copy which is in Wylly's possession. He wants Dr. Coulter to compare this letter with the handwriting of Pleasant Stovall to see if they are the same hand. If not, the letter may be Maximilian's and therefore very valuable. The last letter is from Dr. Coulter to Commander Wylly. The letter is in response to Commander Wylly's request for handwriting comparison. Dr. Coulter believes the xeroxed letter is not in Maximilian's hand, but Pleasant Stovall's instead.
Coll. Number: ms810
Location: 32108050814956

Biographical/Historical Note

Thomas Spalding Wylly (1831-1922) was born and raised in coastal Georgia. As an adolescent he read Fremont's accounts of his exploits in the West and resolved to go there himself. His grandfather, Thomas Spalding, was a rich and powerful man who knew Fremont's father-in-law, Thomas Hart Benton. Spalding arranged for Wylly to meet Fremont at Benton's home in Indepen-dence, Missouri. When, in the spring of 1849, Wylly arrived at Independence, he found a cholera epidemic raging and both Ben-ton and Fremont gone. Undaunted, he joined a wagon train and came to California by way of Utah and the Mojave Desert, arriving in April 1850. For two years he mined on Weber Creek near Placerville. Wylly's account of these years is at once vivid, detailed and open-minded. In 1853 he returned home by way of Nicaragua and resumed the life of a well-to-do cotton planter. Wylly lost his home and slaves during the Civil War and was, for a time, obliged to sell the timber on his lands to make ends meet. Slowly he recouped his fortunes and ultimately lived a long, productive life, fathering six children and celebrating his sixtieth wedding anniversary in 1914. Online Archive of California. (Viewed December 10, 2008)


Arranged in chronological order.

Index Terms

Coulter, E. Merton, (Ellis Merton), 1890- -- Correspondence
Letter writing.
Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, 1832-1867 -- Correspondence
Stovall, Pleasant A., 1857-1935 -- Correspondence
Wylly, Thomas Spalding, 1831-1922 -- Correspondence

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Thomas Spalding Wylly letters. MS 810. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.