Autograph letter, Mrs. John Thornton

Autograph letter, Mrs. John Thornton, July 15, 1862.

Most Illegible

J.T. Thornton Letter

This letter, written by Martha Thornton (Mrs. John Thruston Thornton) to her husband, best exemplifies the need of the 1860s to conserve paper. The letter begins in the upper left hand corner and continues for the next four pages. Then the paper is turned to begin again on the vertical axis of the page for another two pages. In some cases the page was turned for a third time. This created the layered text that is now quite difficult to transcribe. Though difficult to read, this piece is one of the neater of the materials that used this technique. The letter is dated July 15, 1862. Her husband died September 17, 1862, at the battle of Sharpsburg. They had five sons, one of whom was Professor William M. Thornton, one-time chairman of the faculty of the University of Virginia.