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Samuel K. Thompson Diary

Identifier: SC 00945

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Scope and Contents

Diary, 1870, of Samuel K. Thompson, 2nd Lieutenant of the 25th Regiment of the U.S. Infantry, which was one of the all African-American regiments founded in 1866 that are also referred to as "Buffalo Soldiers." Thompson was a white commanding officer of the regiment.

The diary starts out in early 1870 in New Orleans, Louisiana, where the regiment had its headquarters. Thompson then describes marching to Ft. Davis, Texas. His entries are regular and often detailed and give a good impression of day-to-day occurrences. An entry inside the front cover gives directions on where to send the diary in case of his death, with special instructions in case it should be found by a Mason like himself.

The back of the diary has a few personal accounts and several pages of detailed listings of letters written and received.

Included in the back pocket of the diary are several loose items: an undated photograph of Thompson in uniform (dedicated to his sister Lizzie, who died in 1866), several notes and receipts, an obituary for a colonel of his regiment, a General Service Code Card, and a short letter written to Thompson by his wife Alice in 1876. Also contains a threatening note from the Ku Klux Klan: "Beware! the Ku Klux Klan. Warning 1st." with a drawing of a skull and crossbones, knife, and coffin.


  • Creation: 1870, 1876

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

Samuel K. Thompson was a 2nd Lieutenant of the 25th Regiment of the U.S. Infantry.


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Acquisition Information:


Processing Information:

Accessioned and minimally described in March 2010. Further described by Jeffrey Flanagan, SCRC Staff, in April 2010.

Guide to the Samuel K. Thompson Diary
Special Collections Staff.
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository