William H. Holcombe diary and autobiography, 1855 and 1892.

Creator: Holcombe, William H. (William Henry), 1825-1893.
Collection number: 1113
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Abstract: Homeopathic physician in Natchez, Miss. Autobiography and diary of William Henry Holcombe. The autobiography, written in 1892, covers Holcombe’s ancestry and his childhood in Lynchburg, Va., to 1836. Besides family incidents, topics include slavery, abolition, and religion, particularly Methodism. The diary, 1855, covers daily family life in Natchez, Miss., including thoughts about homeopathic medicine and its practice, incidents concerning slaves and freedmen, and Swedenborgianism. The diary volume also contains essays on various subjects, including slavery, women, cotton, and sectional antagonism. Also available, on microfilm, are notes on the Holcombe family by Mrs. Ada H. Aiken, William H. Holcombe’s daughter, and three professional pamphlets by Holcombe, one about the New Orleans yellow fever epidemic of 1867.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: The autobiography includes information on slavery,  the abolitionist’s attitudes of Holcomb’s father, the Nat Turner Insurrection (1832) and religion (See Folder 1)

The diary discusses “sectional antagonism” and incidents concerning slaves and freedmen (1855). After the diary entries end on 29 June, there are a series of notations or essays on various subjects, including slavery and its abolition, women, cotton, the Dred Scott decision, the territorial question, fugitive slave laws, types of governments, and comparisons between people of the North and South and comments on their antagonism towards each other (See Folder 2)

The transcript of the diary has been digitized and is available online. Click here to link to the finding aid for this collection and to access the finding aid.