GUIDE TO THE
MARY MARTHA REID
1821 – 1892
MSS 92 – 16
.35 cubic feet
Mary Martha Reid
was born in St. Mary’s,
September 19, 1812. She was the daughter of Captain James and
Mary (Thorpe) Smith. While visiting
St. Augustine in 1836, she met Judge
Robert Raymond Reid, judge of the U.S. Superior Court for East
Florida, subsequently (1839) appointed territorial governor by
President Van Buren. They were married
on November 29, 1836. They had two sons, William Travers
(d. 1842) and Raymond Jenckes (d. 1864). Governor Reid died on July 1, 1841.
Mrs. Reid opened a school to support herself. Within a year, her eldest son, William, also
At the outbreak
of the Civil War, her surviving son, Raymond, joined the Confederate Army. Mrs. Reid traveled to
Virginia to be near him, where she served
with great distinction as a matron of the
Hospital. On May 6, 1864, Raymond died as a result of his wounds
received in the Battle of the
Wilderness. At the war’s end, Mrs. Reid
made her way back to Florida and
established a school in Palatka,
Her last 15 years were spent in the home of her nephew, Judge Samuel
Swann, of Fernandina,
Florida where she died on June 24, 1894.
The first Florida chapter
of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (organized 1897) was named for
her. In 1900, this chapter placed a
memorial window in St. Peter’s Church, Fernandina.
consists mostly of letters written to Mary Martha Reid during the Civil
War. Mrs. Reid was the Matron of the
Her friends and family lived in St.
Augustine, FL and the surrounding
area. They wrote her many letters about
life in that place and time. They talked
about the sadness of losing loved ones, of the hardships in daily living, and of
the scarcity of goods.
There are also
twenty letters of condolence t5o Mrs. Reid on the death of her son, Raymond, in
the Battle of the Wilderness. These letters reflect the grief and sorrow
felt by all the women, referring to the war as “cruel” and “horrid." Every letter reinforces their strong belief
Included in the
collection is a thirteen page account, “What I Know of the Travers Family,”
written by Mrs. Reid. Her sister,
Rebecca, was married to William Travers and, after his death, became the wife of
Joseph Finegan (who later served as a General in the Civil War). Mrs. Reid had much praise for Travers and
contempt for Finegan.
articles, which have been transcribed, cover the years from 1821 – 1860. These mention the Swann family business and
also contain items of genealogical interest.
1 – 2 Biographical information on M.M. Reid and
miscellaneous poems and papers
written by Judge Raymond Reid.
3 – 14 Letters to M.M. Reid
from family and friends 1860 – 1864.
Folders 15 – 20 Miscellaneous letters and papers. Also biographical information on
Travers. The papers in Folder 17 have
interest concerning James
Smith, William Travers, John Forbes,
Finegan & Samuel Swann.
The letters are
arranged in groups and then in chronological order.
The Swann Papers
are in bulk at the University of
North Carolina at Chapel
Hill. (Samuel A. Swann was
the nephew of M.M. Reid).
Florida – Civil
Civil War –
Florida – Women
Civil War – Confederate Army – Personal
(FL) – Social Life & Customs – 1862 – 1864
An account of the
death of Raymond Jenckes Reid. From
Confederate Military History.
Detail. A timeline for Raymond Jenckes
Papers, Poems Written By Gov. R.R. Reid
“The Sick May
English Version Formed from the ‘Bishop’s Bible’”
item – unsigned and undated with typed transcript.
Letters to Mary
Martha Reid from her son, Raymond Jenckes Reid, during the Civil
17 Dec 1862…......Camp near
Fredericksburg. Mentions another victory, enemy dead
prisoners, town being plundered, and a flag sent to his regiment
Gov. of FL and made by the ladies of
12 Mar 1864…….Raymond writes
concerning parcels of food sent, exchange of
and family death.
1864…….Headquarters, 2nd FL Regiment Infantry. Concerned about mothers
health. Mentions playing in
11 Apr 1864……..Headquarters,
2nd FL Regiment. Signature
torn off. Mentions
Mother’s improved health
and her move to Hernando Grove with a
17 Apr 1864……..Headquarters,
2nd FL Regiment Infantry.
Writes that Sgt. Cummings
will be coming to
Richmond and would she send some
contained the last letter Mrs. Reid received from her son, containing a
lock of his
Letters to M.M.
Reid 1860 – 1862
14 Jul 1860............from E.R. Ives,
chairman of the Soldier’s Relief Committee.
Re: travel to
Richmond under the protection of Dr.
26 Mar 1861……
from S.R. Mallery U.S. Senator from FL and later, Confederate
the Navy. Re: military appt. for Raymond Reid.
07 Jan 1862……...from H.B. Jenckes. St.
transcript. Speaks of
items and financial hard times. Talks of
social life in
St. Augustine and mentions
friends and acquaintances of Mrs. Reid.
10 Mar 1862….....from H. B. Jenckes. St.
transcript. Says that “the
nearby and that St. Augustine may
raise a white flag. Very
letter about their friends’ hardships and their feelings about the
war. Adds, 2 days later, that the town has
1862….....from H.B. Jenches.
St. Augustine. Typed transcript. Again, talks of
acquaintances in the town.
Letters to M.M.
Reid 1863 – 1864
26 Feb 1863…...from C.M.
Hallowes. Almost illegible, but speaks
of the writers’
her son’s missing in action.
22 Mar 1863…..from C.M. Hallowes. Response to Mrs. Reid’s letter of
04 May 1863…..from C.M. Hallowes. Asks Mrs. Reid’s help in trying to locate her
29 June 1863…..from C.M. Hallowes. Hopes her son is a prisoner of war.
13 July 1863…...from Emmie Wescott. Mentions some names of battles and son
action. Gives news of friends.
30 Oct 1863…..from Anna Dummett. Talks about family and friends.
07 Nov 1863….from Mary A. Gould. News about the war and friends.
22 Nov 1863….from Flora in
K.P. Calhoun in Orange Springs. Mrs.
Reid’s house has
by the enemy but Mr. Jenckes removed all her
03 Dec 1863……from Anna Dummett in
Monticello. News about friends.
1864…...from Medical Director’s Office,
1864…...from Cary Jones in
Richmond. News of sick sister.
1864…...from Mary Jenckes. Asks Mrs.
Reid if she could live with her after the
28 Sept 1864…...from R.P. Daniel near
Thanks Mrs. Reid for sending a
present and his
To M.M. Reid After the Death of Her Son, Raymond Jenckes
1864…..from W.L. Perry.
1864…..from Mary A. Gould.
1864…..from Fanny Williams. Sandy
1864…..from S.W.W. Gibbs.
1864…..from Sarah Whitner.
16 Jun 1864…..from C.M. Hallowes. Bolingbroke
18 Jun 1864…..from A. Dummett.
19 Jun 1864…..from F. Dancy. Ellisville
20 Jun 1864…..from Emma Westcott.
24 Jun 1864…..from Fanny
Williams. Sandy Ford. P.O. Madison
04 Jul 1864…..from S.W.W. Gibbs.
11 Jul 1864…..from Maria M.
18 Jul 1864…..from Lizzie H.
30 Aug 1864…from Anna Dummett.
09 Sep 1864…from Fanny Williams. Sandy Ford,
Mary C. Reid.
Mary C. Reid
Robert Reid, Stepson of M.M. Reid
|| Written to his sister.
|08 May 1863
||With an added note from Robert’s wife, Mary.
From Mary Reid with an added note from
|16 Mar 1864
Milton, Army of
||Tells about the death of his cousin, Frank, at the
Battle of Ocean Pond
|26 May 1864
Letters from F.P. Fleming
to M. M. Reid
Thanks Mrs. Reid for sending some mementoes of Jenckes, his
“best and dearest friend”. Handwritten
| 24 Dec 1887
||Will provide certain affidavits for Mrs. Reid. Handwritten
| 22 Oct 1890
Now Governor of the State of
Florida. Asks Mrs. Reid for a full sized portrait of
Gov. Reid to hang in the Executive Office.
Letter to F.C. Barrett fro R.F. Floyd. re:
estate of Mrs. Carrie F.
|15 Mar 1864
Letter to F.C. Barrett from C.G. Memminger, Secretary of
Letter to F.C. Barrett from E.C. Elmore, Treasury of the
Letter to M.M. Reid from Thos. Maxey asking for info on
Jenckes’life for book that he is writing.
Letter to Samuel Swann from Thos. Maxey. Requests a picture of General Finegan for his
“What I Know of the Travers Family:” written by M.M. Reid. Typewritten copy.
These papers have items of interest about James Smith,
William Travers, John Forbes, and Joseph Finegan. Typewritten copies.
Transcribed notices from newspapers: St. Augustine
Herald 1821, 1823, 1832, 1833
The News 1840
The Florida News 1855-1856
The East Floridian 1859-1860
Newspaper tributes to Mary Martha