Margaret Ann Meta Morris Grimball diary, 1860-1866.

Creator: Grimball, Margaret Ann Meta Morris, 1810-1881.
Collection number: 975-z
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Abstract: Wife of John Berkley Grimball (1800-1892), rice planter of St. Paul’s Parish in the Colleton District of South Carolina, with connections to the Manigault and Lowndes families of South Carolina and to the Morris family of Morrisania, N.Y. Manuscript diary, 1860-1866, of Margaret Ann (“Meta”) Morris Grimball, with the greater part of the entries concentrated in 1861 and 1862. Mrs. Grimball wrote from the Grove Plantation (Colleton District, S.C.), primary Grimball residence until after the Civil War; from Charleston, where the family spent the summer months; and from Spartanburg, S.C., where they took refuge in May 1862 from anticipated Union attacks on the South Carolina coast. Topics include plantation life; slave management; the progress of the Civil War and its effects on the lives of those close to Mrs. Grimball, including the activities of her sons in the Confederate army and navy, and civilian relief efforts; sickness among the civilian and military population; the family’s removal to the relative safety of Spartanburg, where they rented quarters at St. John’s College; her husband’s conversion from Presbyterianism to Episcopalianism; her daughters’ teaching careers; and other family and community matters.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Entries were written from Grove Plantation (the Grimball’s primary residence after the Civil War), and from Charleston and Spartanburg, South Carolina, and discuss plantation life; the use of slave labor to build a fort (1861); difficulties with slaves and anxiety about their safety (1862); and general wartime hardships encountered by the family and servants (1862). Microfilm available.

The full text of this diary is available through UNC’s Documenting The American South website. Click here to access the digitized version.