Born Thomas Joseph Macon in 1839, Tom Macon wrote his personal narrative titled “Life Gleanings.” The text is mostly about social life and customs in Virginia during that time. There are also parts of the text that refer to Richmond Virginia during Civil War times. In the preface, he mentioned that the book is not meant to serve as a technical, chronological history. Instead, he intended it to be a record of the events of his life, as recalled through memory.
The book has 35 chapters and a short section at the end entitled “A Gleaning of History.” It starts by Tom writing about his birth and family home in Hanover County, Virginia. He writes with fondness about his memories of the food and hospitality he enjoyed. Much of the text recalls different members of his family and the happenings of their lives. Later in the book, there is more mention of the war, and the different parties who served in it. Tom Macon passed away in 1917.