Scope and Content of Collection
The journals of Leonidas Dodson cover the years 1842 to 1889, with the greatest number of entries during the period of 1849 to 1872. Dodson did not have a consistent subject focus for his journal. During the Civil War he reported almost exclusively on war news, while at other times entries were devoted to the health of his family or to church activities. Death, both losses in his family and in the community, often spurred him to write, reflecting on mortality and religion. Generally speaking, the topics covered in the journal include church and religion, disease and death, education, crime and justice, family life, politics, temperance, the Civil War, and slavery. Dodson laid in newspaper clippings on subjects of national importance such as the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, or personal meaning such as an announcement of his daughter's wedding. He also transcribed poetry that he admired and in some cases had memorized. After his death, his widow laid in obituaries, a printed copy of a eulogy, and some small flowers from his casket before writing briefly on her own feelings at his death.