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Florida Gulf Coast University Special Collections: 02/01/11

Minnie L. Gatewood Papers, 1892-1900

4.00 boxes
Minnie L. Gatewood (1875-1944), who married a minister when she was 16 years old, kept diaries chronicling her life in Southwest Florida.  The five volumes of her diary at Florida Gulf Coast University cover her life from 1892 to 1900, and are a valuable resource for scholars of Florida history.  Mrs. Gatewood also kept a "Want Book"—mostly reflections on religious matters such as "Christian stewardship"—with the latest dated entry being from 1936.  The 5 volumes of her diary and her Want Book have been transcribed and digital versions available on FGCU's Digital Library.  FGCU has also prepared lists of names mentioned in the diaries to assist researchers. Mrs. Gatewood wrote mainly of her travels and family life, and her role as a minister's wife.  Her husband, the Rev. George W. Gatewood (1862-1947), was an influential figure in Southwest Florida during his day.  The Gatewoods and their children either lived in or travelled to cities ranging as far south as Key West and as far north as Leesburg.  FGCU also owns a copy of Rev. Gatewood's book, On Florida's Coconut Coasts, which was published in 1944.  Their granddaughter, Hazel Hoffman Wall, donated a copy of her 2006 autobiography, Cracker Girl; A Love Story, in which she writes about her family, including the older Gatewoods.
FSU Special Collections & Archives: MSS 0-232

Smith Family papers, 1782-1864

45.00 items
This collection consists of ten Smith family letters, thirty-three receipted invoices, one bill for tuition, and one diary, all dating between 1782-1864. The letters were chiefly among members of the Smith family and confined to family subjects, but several have educational value in that they represent the thinking of that period, the closeness of family, their religious nature, and in one case a letter by a young lady who moved from Rhode Island to Savannah, Georgia, writes back to her family in Rhode Island and tells of her impressions of the South. One very religious letter by James W. Smith of Thomasville, Georgia, dated 1864, to his uncle, Mr. Remington Smith of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, acknowledges a letter to his father which arrived a week before "his demise." There is a warm and rather religious family letter to Sally A. Smith, dated 1832, to "Gentle Cousin" on one side and to "Dear Grand Parents" on the other. Another letter, with curious handwriting, is dated South Kingston, May 29, 1829, by John O. Darry to "Dear Grand Parents," Siemon Smith, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and discusses school subjects. Another letter signed "Angeline" from Pawtucket, April 2, 1833, to her uncle, Captain Siemon Smith of Thomasville, Georgia, informs him of the death of her "Grand Parent, and your beloved father," and has a very kind and religious tone. There is a letter signed "Henrietta" from Savannah, December 8, 1835, to Miss Sally Smith, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, sent by Captain Sheldon "who sails soon for Providence." It is interesting in that she wrote of her fondness for Savannah, which she describes in detail as having sand streets, unlike the noisy paved streets of the North. "For two or three days after I arrived, I looked about to see the poor half starved, half clothed Negro's of which I heard so much and read so much in the anti-slavery books, but nothing could I see but fat, healthy, well clean Negro's, to appearance as happy 'as the day is long'." She goes on to compare the poor state of both whites and slaves in the North compared to the apparent prospertity of both in the south, stating that abolitionists would find it stunning. Another letter is addressed to Captain Peek regarding the compounding of a ship against which they apparently had a claim in the amount of 1000 Pound Sterling. There is also a letter by A. E. Pillsbury, Counsellor at Law, of Boston, Massachusetts, concerning "sharp shooting with rifle..."