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In Their Own Words

March 09, 1871

Despair over Financial Troubles

Once again, the financial failures of her husband caused humiliation for Gertrude Thomas; not only her but other family members were involved, furthering her feelings of despair:

“… The scenes have shifted. Again I am advertised in the daily papers and – but oh the subject is so painful I dislike to talk about, or write of it. Today is a sale of the Cows, Mules, Horses, Ploughs, and & takes place at Cotton Town. ‘All sold by consent of parties as the property of JJ Thomas,… .’ I think of Mr. Thomas, and my heart bleeds for him – How proud he was of that plantation. I had no love for Burke but I am sorry for him – I may be a strange woman but I do not dislike the loss of property as much as I do the fact that it is my own family who are having my husband sold out… . This time one year ago (see March 6 entry) Cousin Polly had the house sold at the market at Sheriff’s sale. Has it only been one year ago? It seems as if it might have been ten years ago. I have no bitter feelings for her. She acted legally – and I have only to remember that through my husband, her daughter is threatened with bankruptcy… .”

Source: Virginia Ingraham Burr (ed.), The Secret Eye: The Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1848-1889 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990), pp. 362-363.