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David Lewis Thornton papers, 1864-1902, 1885-1900

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Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig


David Lewis Thornton papers, 1864-1902




University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506


Arranged chronologically and alphabetically thereunder; although a few of the major clients have separate folders.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], David Lewis Thornton papers, 1864-1902, 1885-1900, 1M61M256, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.


2.4 cubic feet.


Lawyer, soldier, legislator. David Lewis Thornton, a native of Woodford County, Kentucky, left school in 1862 to join the Confederate Army. While serving in the 5th Kentucky Cavalry in General John Hunt Morgan's (1825- 1864) division, Thornton was captured by Union forces and spent several months at Camp Douglas, Ohio. After escaping from prison, Thornton rejoined his command and remained with it until the end of the war. Thornton was admitted to the bar in 1870, and opened a law practice in Versailles, Kentucky. He served in the Kentucky General Assembly (1885-1886), was president of the Kentucky Bar Association (1905-1906) and served for many years as president of the Cleveland Orphans Home Board in Woodford County.

Scope and Content

Comprised of correspondence, a Civil War diary, a few official military records and miscellany, the material relates to the career of David Lewis Thornton. The correspondence is primarily that from Thornton's law office, and concerns clients, court cases, the judicial process and state politics. Among the correspondents are: Joseph Clay Stiles (J.C.S.) Blackburn, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives; James Hilary Mulligan, a Kentucky lawyer, politician, and judge; James Kennedy Patterson, who served as President of what is now the University of Kentucky; and Caleb Powers, a Kentucky public official and member of the U.S. House of Representatives(1911- 1919). Several letters from Thornton's nephew, Thomas L. Edwards, written while Edwards was stationed with the United States Army in the Philippines during the Spanish American War are also present.

Civil War materials include a diary (1864-1865) kept by Mulligan, which contains abbreviated entries concerning troop movements, a few official orders, a roster of the original members of Company A, 5th Kentucky Cavalry, and some Confederate money. Miscellaneous items, including several pamphlets, are also present.


  • Thornton, David Lewis, 1844-1923.
  • Morgan, John Hunt, 1825-1864.
  • Blackburn, Joseph Clay Stiles (J. C. S.), 1838-1918.
  • Breckinridge, W. C. P. (William Campbell Preston) 1837-1904.
  • Mulligan, James Hilary, 1844-1916.
  • Patterson, James Kennedy, 1833-1922.
  • Powers, Caleb, 1869-1932.
  • Edwards, Thomas L, fl. 1890.
  • Kentucky.--General Assembly.
  • Kentucky Bar Association.
  • United States.--Congress.--Senate.
  • United States.--Congress.--House.
  • United States.--Army.
  • Confederate States of America.--Army.--Kentucky Cavalry, 5th.
  • Cleveland Orphans Home, Woodford County (Ky.)
  • Law reports, digests, etc.--Kentucky.
  • Legislators--Kentucky.
  • Lawyers.
  • Legislators.
  • Soldiers.
  • Woodford County (Ky.).
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives, Confederate.
  • Camp Douglas (Ohio).
  • Versailles (Ky.).
  • Kentucky--Politics and government.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Prisons.
  • United States--Politics and government.
  • Spanish-American War, 1898--Philippines.
  • Correspondence.
  • Diaries.
  • Orders.
  • Pamphlets

User Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky.