Warner-Wright-Thom Collection - PP116

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

ca. 1845-1858

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



The Warner, Wright, and Thom families of Maryland were residents of Baltimore City and Queen Anne’s County. Among them were lawyers, doctors, financiers, and political figures including senators and governors; many traveled extensively in Europe and South America.

Ella Lea Wright Thom (1837-1861) was the granddaughter Mary Lea Warner (1773-1846) and the daughter of Eliza Lea Warner Wright (1800-1864) and William Henry DeCourcy Wright (1795-1864), a U.S. Consul in Rio de Janeiro in the 1820s and 1830s. Ella 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 father and by her sister, Clintonia Gustavia Wright May (1825-1902), who would marry Maryland governor Philip Francis Thomas in 1876.

DeCourcy 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 they lived in the Mt. Vernon section of Baltimore while 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.), of which he was the last family owner. In retirement, Thom pursued varied interests, Maryland history and politics, philanthropy, historic preservation, 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: W.H. DeCourcy Thom, Jr. and Elizabeth K. Thom (Graham).

Collection Origin

Gift of Anne Gordon Baldwin and Ludlow H. Baldwin (Mr. and Mrs. Ludlow H. Baldwin), 1987 (001736).

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 10 cased photographs from ca. 1845-1858, including daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes. The images are portraits of Warner, Wright, and Thom families, including Mary Lea Warner, Clintonia Wright (May Thomas), Eliza Lea Warner Wright, William Henry DeCourcy Wright, Ella Lea Wright Thom, and DeCourcy Wright Thom. There are also several portraits of unidentified men.

Note: Related materials are found at the Maryland Historical Society in the Prints and Photographs Division: PP121, the DeCourcy Wright Thom Collection; and in the Manuscripts Department: MS. 1467, the Wright Papers; MS. 2339, the Thom Papers, 1858-1934; and MS. 2416, the Wright-May-Thom Family Papers.

Note: There are related materials which are not yet established as Prints and Photographs (PP) collections: Accession 76698 included an 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. Related materials are also held in the Wright-May-Thom Collection, Accession 74584/75835 (Graphics Box 63).


The photographs are housed within one box in the Cased Photographs Collection, arranged by catalog number.

Container List

Cased Photograph Collection

319 – Eliza Lea Warner Wright and Ella Lea Wright (Thom), ca. 1855. Daguerreotype, 1/4 plate.

320 – Mary Lea Warner, ca. 1845. Daguerreotype, 1/6 plate.

321 – William Henry DeCourcy Wright, ca. 1850. Daguerreotype, 1/6 plate.

322 – Clintonia Wright (May Thomas), ca. 1853. Daguerreotype, 1/6 plate.

323 – Ella Lea Wright (Thom), ca. 1850. Ambrotype, 1/9 plate.

324 – Unidentified man with bow tie, ca. 1850. Daguerreotype, 1/6 plate.

325 – Unidentified man with beard, ca. 1850. Daguerreotype, 1/6 plate.

326 – Unidentified man in military costume, ca. 1850. Ambrotype, 1/9 plate.

327 – Ella Lea Wright Thom and DeCourcy Wright Thom, ca. 1858. Ambrotype, 1/6 plate.

328 – Ella Lea Wright Thom and DeCourcy Wright Thom, ca. 1858 (copy image of #327). Ambrotype, 1/6 plate. © 2001 Maryland Historical Society - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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