THOMPSON, MAURICE, 1844-1901.
Maurice Thompson papers, 1865-1940

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8zzcm


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Thompson, Maurice, 1844-1901.
Title: Maurice Thompson papers, 1865-1940
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 339
Extent: 5 linear feet (11 boxes), 3 bound volumes (BV), and 1 oversized papers box and 1 oversized papers folder (OP)
Abstract:Papers of Georgia author, geologist, and lawyer Maurice Thompson, including manuscripts, correspondence and family papers, clippings, sketches, photographs and negatives, memorabilia, and scrapbooks.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Source

Gift, 1979, with subsequent additions.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], Maurice Thompson papers, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Collection Description

Biographical Note

James Maurice Thompson was born September 9, 1844, in Fairfield, Indiana, the son of Matthew Grigg and Diana Jaegger Thompson. Both his father and his grandfather, Wilson Thompson, were ministers in the Primitive Baptist Church. His mother, who was born in New York State of Dutch ancestry, was the daughter of a soldier in the War of 1812. Of the early boyhood of Maurice little is known except that the family lived for a time in Missouri, later moved to Kentucky, and then, about 1854, removed to a farm in the Coosawatee River valley of north Georgia. Here the education of Maurice and his younger brother, Will, was entrusted to occasional private tutors, with some time spent at Calhoun Academy and Georgia Military Institute. Maurice served in the Confederate Army as a scout and spent the immediate post-war years hunting, exploring, and engaging in scientific studies in Florida and south Georgia. Early in 1868 he and Will went to Crawfordsville, Indiana, where Maurice worked as a civil engineer with a railroad. On June 16, 1868, he married Alice R. Lee, daughter of his employer, and in 1871, began the practice of law. In 1889, having published a number of stories and poems, Maurice gave up his law practice and became a full-time writer. The following year he was made Geologist of Indiana. In the early 1890's his wife inherited a house in Crawfordsville, which Maurice named Sherwood Place. Here Thompson enjoyed the friendship of Lew Wallace and other midwestern literary notables. He spent his winters on the Gulf Coast and many of his works have a Southern setting. In 1889 he became a non-resident editor of the New York Independent. An editorial in the Independent shortly after his death states that: "Besides innumerable book reviews and numbers of unsigned editorials, we find 253 articles and poems from his pen since 1883." Many of his stories appeared only in newspapers. His greatest fame came with Alice of Old Vincennes, best seller of 1900. He died of pneumonia at Sherwood Place on February 15, 1901.

James Maurice Thompson was born September 9, 1844, in Fairfield, Indiana, the son of Matthew Grigg and Diana Jaegger Thompson. Both his father and his grandfather, Wilson Thompson, were ministers in the Primitive Baptist Church. His mother, who was born in New York State of Dutch ancestry, was the daughter of a soldier in the War of 1812. Of the early boyhood of Maurice little is known except that the family lived for a time in Missouri, later moved to Kentucky, and then, about 1854, removed to a farm in the Coosawatee River valley of north Georgia. Here the education of Maurice and his younger brother, Will, was entrusted to occasional private tutors, with some time spent at Calhoun Academy and Georgia Military Institute. Maurice served in the Confederate Army as a scout and spent the immediate post-war years hunting, exploring, and engaging in scientific studies in Florida and south Georgia. Early in 1868 he and Will went to Crawfordsville, Indiana, where Maurice worked as a civil engineer with a railroad. On June 16, 1868, he married Alice R. Lee, daughter of his employer, and in 1871, began the practice of law. In 1889, having published a number of stories and poems, Maurice gave up his law practice and became a full-time writer. The following year he was made Geologist of Indiana. In the early 1890's his wife inherited a house in Crawfordsville, which Maurice named Sherwood Place. Here Thompson enjoyed the friendship of Lew Wallace and other midwestern literary notables. He spent his winters on the Gulf Coast and many of his works have a Southern setting. In 1889 he became a non-resident editor of the New York Independent. An editorial in the Independent shortly after his death states that: "Besides innumerable book reviews and numbers of unsigned editorials, we find 253 articles and poems from his pen since 1883." Many of his stories appeared only in newspapers. His greatest fame came with Alice of Old Vincennes, best seller of 1900. He died of pneumonia at Sherwood Place on February 15, 1901.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of Maurice Thompson, his wife, Alice Lee Thompson, their daughter Jessie T. Ballard, and Maurice's brother Will Thompson from 1865-1940. The collection includes manuscripts, correspondence and family papers, clippings, sketches, photographs and negatives, memorabilia, printer proofs, printed extracts, and scrapbooks. The manuscripts include short stories, book-length stories, nature sketches and wild-life stories, essays, articles, lectures, and poetry. Photographs depict family and literary figures. The correspondence pertains to Thompson's writing and publishing and includes many letters from other authors. The collection also includes extracts from magazines, clippings from newspapers, and printers' proofs of some of Thompson's works; family correspondence and papers; and a number of pencil, ink, and crayon sketches made by Maurice and by his wife Alice; scrapbooks and of papers of other members of the Thompson family. One broadside of a Civil War poem is by Will Thompson; a few other poems by Will Thompson are included in the collection. Two family Bibles containing family records are also part of these papers. There is also a positive microfilm of Maurice Thompson: a biographical and critical study by Otis B. Wheeler, University of Minnesota Press, 1951. The papers of Jesse Ballard, a journalist with the Atlanta Journal Magazine, includes correspondence, clippings of her published articles, accounts books, a journal (1889), manuscripts of her stories, and a scrapbook and biographical notes about her father, Maurice Thompson.

Arrangement Note

Organized into twelve series: (1) Short stories, (2) Longer stories, (3) Nature sketches, (4) Essays, (5) Lectures, (6) Poetry, (7) General correspondence and family papers, (8) Clippings, sketches, photos, and memorabilia, (9) Printers' proofs, (10) Printed extracts, (11) Scrapbooks and miscellaneous papers, and (12) Jessie Lee Thompson Ballard papers.


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