Family papers and correspondence, 1854-1897.

Four linear feet.

Folder List

Donated to Villanova College by Eleanor Sherman Thackara in 1897 (unverified).

Eleanor Sherman-Thackara (1859-1915) was one of six children of General William Tecumseh Sherman and his wife Ellen Ewing. While living in Washington from 1879 until her marriage on May 5, 1880, Eleanor met her future husband, Lieutenant Alexander Montgomery Thackara (Mont), who had graduated in the class of 1869 from Annapolis and who had seen duty at sea in European and Far Eastern areas.  The wedding took place in the Sherman’s Washington home and among the guests were President Hayes and members of the Cabinet and Congress. Following their marriage, the young couple lived for a year in Boston, where Lieutenant Thackara was stationed. In the fall of 1881, he left the service to enter his father’s business in Philadelphia, where he and his wife made their home in Rosemont. During their years there, Mrs. Thackara and her four children attended the Chapel of St. Thomas of Villanova. Mr. A. M. Thackara was appointed by President McKinley to serve as a United States Consul at Le Havre, France in 1897. Later, Mr. Thackara was Consul General in Berlin from 1905 to 1913, and President Wilson appointed him to be Consul General in Paris in 1913. Alexander M. Thackara died in the American Hospital at Neuilly in 1934. Eleanor Sherman Thackara died in Paris in 1915.

This correspondence contains many letters from Eleanor to her father, General Sherman, and makes frequent references to public events and personalities. Another feature of the correspondence that calls for special attention is the local color and references to many individuals, events and institutions of Philadelphia and the Main Line in the 1880’s and 1890’s. A unique part of the collection is A. M. Thackara’s correspondence, photographs and memorabilia relating to his years at Annapolis up until his marriage. Here can be found an unusual first-hand picture of Navy life in the post-Civil War period.