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In Their Own Words

September 06, 1882

Election Loss Marked in Journal

One of Gertrude Thomas’s sons - Turner - ran for the state legislature in Richmond County, but was defeated. The loss seemed to have bothered his parents more than it did Turner:

“Turner did not return early this morning. I told Cora Lou I argued unfavourably from this. At length I heard him coming, riding rapidly to the house. ‘What news from the election?’ cried Mary Belle. ‘Badly beaten’ was his reply in as bright, joyous tones as if he had been announcing a victory. The papers which he brought us confirmed the news he gave me when he kissed me. Turner bears it bravely, tells good storys [sic] of the election, and if he feels the defeat does not show it. He was badly beaten and Mr. Thomas appears to feel it. I alluded to the brave front with which Turner faced it. ‘That does not alter it,’ Mr. Thomas replies, ‘he was badly beaten.’ ‘Well what of it,’ I reply, you would not have him cry, would you?’ It is after twelve. Turner has gone to his room. I retire to my room, close the door and kneeling acknowledge I am disappointed, not so much at Turner’s defeat as - how shall I express it - disappointment that my spiritual aid failed me… .”

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. 424-425.