August 15, 1972, 2 volumes; Diaries (1854-1864). Deposited by Mr. Charles W. Smith, Jr., New Bern, N.C.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
Clarrisa Phelps Hanks Papers (#207), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
- Gift of Mr. Charles W. Smith, Jr.
Clarrisa Phelps Hanks was born on March 18, 1822, and married Ellsworth Hanks on October 30, 1844. At the time she wrote in her diaries between 1854 and 1864 she was living in New Bern, N.C.
These diaries primarily reflect Mrs. Hanks' religious views and show how religion played a part in her everyday life.
The latter part of the second diary contains a few references to the Civil War in the New Bern area in 1862 and 1864. In late January, 1862, Mrs. Hanks fears a naval attack by the "Hessions" and gives thanks to God for protecting New Bern by sending a fierce storm to hurt the Yankee vessels. On March 12-16, 1862, she briefly mentions the fighting and the capture of New Bern by the Yankees and its effect on the New Bern population. Her October 4, 1864, entry mentions the yellow fever epidemic in New Bern.