Thomas Macon is an American author who was born in Virginia in 1839, where he lived until his death in 1917. His autobiographical work “Life Gleanings” details his upbringing and education in rural Virginia of the mid-19th century through his final days in Richmond. A sweeping history of southern culture and impressions, “Life Gleanings” documents Macon and his contemporaries’ attitudes on both local and national concerns including the repercussions of the Civil War and Reconstruction, suffrage for women and general politics.

As a historical document, Macon’s work highlights the rapid growth and change of the city of Richmond, Virginia over time and provides insight into the changing culture and customs of an increasingly urbanized South. A particular focus is placed upon the war’s impact on Richmond’s emerging cultural and political landscape, tracing from the final antebellum years to Post-Reconstruction.

The entirety of “Life Gleanings” is available online at UNC’s Documenting the South’s website (Tom Macon