DeCourcy Wright Thom Collection - PP121

Collection finding aids of Photograph Collections in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Maryland Historical Society Library

DECOURCY WRIGHT THOM COLLECTION
Not dated and 1892-1902
PP121

Prints and Photographs Division, Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Finding aid created by Katherine Cowan with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, January 2000


History

Ella Lea Wright (1837-1861) married Dr. Joseph Pembroke Thom (1828-1899) in 1857, and their son W.H. DeCourcy Wright Thom (1858-1932) was born the following year; a second son was born in 1861. As Ella Thom died when her sons were very young, the children were cared for by their mother's family, based in Queen Anne's County - her father, William Henry DeCourcy Wright and her sister, Clintonia Wright May (Thomas).

De Courcy Wright Thom was educated at private schools and graduated from the University of Virginia. In 1885, he married Mary Pleasants Gordon Thom (d. 1892), daughter of Douglas H. Gordon, and the family's home was at 1208 N. Charles St. in Baltimore City, where Thom worked as a banker and broker. Mary Thom died in 1892, leaving two children: Mary Gordon Thom and Anne Gordon Thom. After his wife's death, Decourcy Wright Thom retired from business and moved to Blakeford, the Wright family estate near Queenstown (Queen Anne's Co.). In retirement, Thom pursued varied interests - Maryland history and politics, historic preservation, philanthropy, and genealogy among them. He was an officer and active member of the Maryland Historical Society, and originated the society's magazine. Thom married Mary Washington Stewart in 1910, and they had two children together.

In the 1860s, a house at 14 E. Franklin St. in Baltimore City became the home of Mary Thom's parents, Douglas Hamilton Gordon (1817-1883) and Anne Eliza Pleasants Gordon (1836-1901), having been built by John McKim twenty years earlier. The Gordon family came from Virginia, Anne Gordon being the granddaughter of a governor of that state. Shortly after Anne Gordon's death, the Franklin St. house was purchased from her estate to become the Margaret J. Bennett Home which opened in 1903 as a residence for young working women who were supporting families elsewhere and could not otherwise afford to live in the city.


Collection Origin

Gift of Douglas H. Gordon, 1982 (76698); and Anne Gordon Baldwin and Ludlow H. Baldwin (Mr. and Mrs. Ludlow H. Baldwin), 1987 (001961).


Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 3 boxes with 2 albums and 19 folders, containing a total of 86 photoprints which are undated or dated 1892-1901, including albumen prints and matte collodian prints toned with platinum. Images are exterior and interior views of the Thom family home at 1208 N. Charles St., and of the Gordon family home at 14 E. Franklin St., both in Baltimore. The interior views are excellent examples of eclectic high style décor including furnishings, decorative objects, and wall and window treatments. One image depicts a children's bedroom with toys, and there is an overview of the 1200 block of N. Charles St.

There are also portraits of family members, including Douglas Hamilton Gordon and Anne Eliza Pleasants Gordon, with many unidentified individuals including children.

Note: Related materials are found at the Maryland Historical Society in the Prints and Photographs Division: PP116, the Warner-Wright-Thom Collection; and in the Manuscripts Department: MS. 404, the John M. Gordon Papers; MS. 1467, the Wright Papers; MS. 2339, the Thom Papers, 1858-1934; and MS. 2416, the Wright-May-Thom Family Papers.

Note: Accession 76698 included an additional album which documents a house at 1009 N. Charles St. in Baltimore ca. 1915, the home of Douglas Huntly Gordon (d. 1918). Although the album was found, it does not seem to have been added to PP121. Another related accession, not yet established as a Prints and Photographs (PP) collection, is Accession 74584/75835 (Graphics Box 63), the Wright-May-Thom Collection.


Arrangement

In Boxes 1-2, the photographs remain in 2 albums. In Box 3, disassembled album pages are housed in folders, but remain in the same order as when in the album. At the end of Box 3 are folders housing loose items.


Container List

3 Boxes

Box 1: 1 Album

Album 1
29 x 37 cm. Brown leather cover with gold lettering: "DeCourcy Wright Thom, 1208 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Md., May 1892". 49 photoprints, n.d. and 1892. Views of house by Cummins.

PP121.1 - Overview, 1200 block N. Charles St. Dup/copy neg Z24.1269.

PP121.2 - 1208 N. Charles St. and surrounding houses, front elevations.

PP121.3 - 1208 N. Charles St., hallway.

PP121.4 - 1208 N. Charles St., hallway with curtain detail.

PP121.5-15 - 1208 N. Charles St., sitting rooms.

PP121.16-19 - 1208 N. Charles St., dining room.

PP121.20 - 1208 N. Charles St., upper floor hallway.

PP121.21-25 - 1208 N. Charles St., master bedroom.

PP121.26-29 - 1208 N. Charles St., library.

PP121.30 - 1208 N. Charles St., children's room showing child and adult. Dup/copy neg Z24.1880.

PP121.31a-c - Portraits of Mary Pleasants Gordon (Thom), n.d. (ca. 1870). 3 items.

PP121.31d-e - Portraits of Mary Pleasants Gordon (Thom), n.d. (ca. 1872). 2 items.

PP121.31f - Portrait of Mary Pleasants Gordon (Thom), n.d. (ca. 1875).

PP121.32a, c - Portraits of Mary Pleasants Gordon (Thom), n.d. (ca. 1880). 2 items.

PP121.32b - Portrait of unidentified woman, n.d.

PP121.33a-b - Portrait of Mary Pleasants Gordon Thom, n.d. (ca. 1885). 2 items.

PP121.34a-b - Portraits of Mary Pleasants Gordon Thom, n.d. (ca. 1885). 2 items.

PP121.35a-c - Portraits of Mary Pleasants Gordon Thom, n.d. (ca. 1885). 3 items.

PP121.36a-c - Portraits of Mary Pleasants Gordon Thom, n.d. (ca. 1885). 3 items.

Box 2: 1 Album

Album 2
29 x 37 cm. Brown leather cover with gold lettering: "The Old Home, 14 E. Franklin St., Baltimore, Md., November 1901, Douglas H. Gordon". 17 photoprints, n.d. and 1901.

PP121.37a-b - Portraits of Douglas Hamilton Gordon, n.c. (ca. 1870) and Anne Eliza Pleasants Gordon, n.d. (ca. 1850), copies of paintings. 2 items.

PP121.38 - 14 E. Franklin St., front elevation.

PP121.39 - 14 E. Franklin St., hallway.

PP121.40-43 - 14 E. Franklin St., sitting rooms.

PP121.44-45 - 14 E. Franklin St., dining room.

PP121.46 - 14 E. Franklin St., office.

PP121.47 - 14 E. Franklin St., upper floor hallway.

PP121.48-52 - 14 E. Franklin St., bedrooms.

Box 3: 19 Folders

PP121.53a-b - Portraits of Douglas Hamilton Gordon, n.d. (ca. 1870) and Anne Eliza Pleasants Gordon, n.d. (ca. 1850), copies of paintings. 2 items (duplicate of PP121.37).

PP121.54 - 14 E. Franklin St., front elevation (duplicate of PP121.38).

PP121.55 - 14 E. Franklin St., hallway (duplicate of PP121.39).

PP121.56-59 - 14 E. Franklin St., sitting rooms (duplicate of PP121.40-43).

PP121.60-61 - 14 E. Franklin St., dining room (duplicate of PP121.44-45).

PP121.62 - 14 E. Franklin St., office (duplicate of PP121.46).

PP121.63 - 14 E. Franklin St., upper floor hallway (duplicate of 121.47).

PP121.64-68 - 14 E. Franklin St., bedrooms (duplicate of 121.48-52).

PP121.69 - Clipping re: establishment of Margaret J. Bennett Home at 14 E. Franklin St., n.d.

PP121.70 - Unidentified people at lake, n.d.

PP121.71 - 1208 N. Charles St., sitting room with piano, n.d. (same room as depicted in PP121.9-11). © 2001 Maryland Historical Society - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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