This scrapbook was created by Clara Agnes Boulter, circa 1843-1869. Several items suggest the creator was a young woman who had ties to Texas and Virginia, and very likely lived in Texas, perhaps in Goliad, a city in Goliad County on the San Antonio River, southeast of San Antonio.
Biographical information derived from collection.
This antebellum and mid-nineteenth century scrapbook from the American South bears the name Clara Agnes Boulter on the inside front endpaper. The contents of this book are largely centered on ladies' manners, etiquette, advice, short stories, and fashion for women, though a very significant component includes references to Confederate generals and Southern sympathies. Several items suggest the creator had ties to Goliad, Texas, and Virginia, and news clippings from Southern papers in Knoxville, Nashville, Louisville, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Arkansas are found throughout the volume. The book features both fine and newsprint engravings, numerous news clippings of verse and articles, some original verse and art, and a variety of color prints. The volume includes two oval-cut albumen print photographs affixed to the pages, circa 1860s. One is of a house near a river with a water wheel and the second is of the Alamo in San Antonio.
Clara Agnes Boulter's scrapbook is filled with sentimental images and verse depicting romance, betrothal, and the status of woman, with perspectives ranging from the ironic "Who Wears the Breeches" or "Female Ingenuity" to "The Merry Thought" (contemplating a beau). There are numerous illustrations drawn from various sources, including excerpts from Godey's Lady's Book, Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Southern College Magazine, and McGuffey's Rhetorical Guide. Scattered throughout are numerous clippings of marriage announcements and deaths, though locations are unknown. There are several images of beautiful women, included one with an added caption of advice from a news column, "A beautiful smile is to the female countenance what the sunbeam is to the landscape."
The volume contains an interesting array of historical miscellany, from an image titled "dress of a Chinese lady of rank" to a clipping of the birth dates of England's Queen Victoria and her relatives. There are a few images depicting General Tom Thumb (Charles S. Straton) and a two-page spread with clippings and images about Billy Bowlegs, the Seminole chief who resisted relocation from Florida until 1858, and Ben Bruno, his "Negro slave and favorite." There are several page guards through the gutters of the scrapbook to which items have been added, such as a program from a "Handel and Haydn Society" production of "Moses in Egypt" performed by the Orchestral Union (at a place unknown) on February 25, 1855.
The theme of Southern sympathy is prominent throughout the scrapbook. One hand written missive is entitled "To the memory of Charles Campbell Boulter," probably a relative, and there are poems or tributes to dying soldiers throughout. Another hand written essay is entitled "A Southern Woman's Song" and another is "Sunny South." One news clipping is titled "The Ladies of Nashville," in which a northern correspondent described "the she-secessionists … our most rancorous and cantankerous opponents …" exhibiting "ascerbity, vengeance and venom." The correspondent closed with the belief "It will take a long time to win these people back, but I firmly believe that fraternal feelings will one day be restored." Clara Agnes Boulter annotated this sentence by underlining "long time" and adding "never!! never!!" There are several other instances in the scrapbook where she made her anti-Northern sentiments known.