Cornelius Rea Agnew letters
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Cornelius Rea Agnew letters

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Georgia Historical Society.
Title: Cornelius Rea Agnew letters
Dates: 1875-1886
Extent: 0.1 cubic feet (2 folders)
Identification: MS 0926

Biographical/Historical Note

Cornelius Rea Agnew, M.D., was an ophthalmologist in New York City, New York. He was born in New York City in 1830. He graduated from Columbia College in 1849. In 1866, Agnew established the eye clinic in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York, where he served as Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology and Otology from 1869 until his death in 1888. In 1872, he served as President of the Medical Society of the State of New York. He was the author of several brief monographs and a frequent contributor to medical journals. He wrote about practices in his field of ophthalmology, as well as medical ethics.

James Gray Thomas, M.D., was born in Kentucky in 1835. He moved to Savannah, Georgia in 1865, where he married Margaret Wallace Owens, daughter of the Honorable George W. Owens. Dr. Thomas served as an officer during the United States Civil War. He had five children, but had no grandchildren. In December 1884 on a trip to Washington, D.C., he contracted pneumonia and died.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 36 letters and is divided between two folders according to the senders of the letter. The first folder contains letters of James Gray Thomas, M.D., to Cornelius Rea Agnew, M.D., an ophthalmologist in New York City, New York. They tell of Dr. Thomas' involvement in the establishment of a State Board of Health, the yellow fever epidemic in Savannah, Georgia and the discussion of ethics in the Georgia Medical Society. Other letters are concerned with patients whom Gray referred to Agnew, as well as personal and family affairs. The second folder in this collection contains letters to Dr. Agnew from other Georgians, primarily from individuals in Savannah who were his patients, regarding both medical and personal matters.

Index Terms

Agnew, Cornelius Rea, 1830-1888.
Georgia Medical Society.
Georgia. State Board of Health.
Letters (correspondence)
Medical ethics.
Savannah (Ga.)
Thomas, James Gray, 1835-1884.
Yellow fever.

Administrative Information

Custodial History


Preferred Citation

[item identification], Cornelius Rea Agnew letters, MS 926, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Purchased, 1971-1973.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List




11Letters from James Gray Thomas to Cornelius Rea Agnew, 1875-1886
2Letters from other Georgians to Cornelius Rea Agnew, 1875-1886