Albert Danner Thomson family papers, 1883-1960

Emory University

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

Atlanta, GA 30322


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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Thomson, Albert Danner, 1877-1953.
Title: Albert Danner Thomson family papers, 1883-1960
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 716
Extent: 1.5 linear feet (3 boxes), 1 oversized papers box (OP), 1 extra oversized paper (XOP), 2 bound volumes (BV), and 3 oversized bound volumes (OBV)
Abstract:Family papers of Atlanta businessman Albert Danner Thomson, including correspondence, travel diaries, a photograph album, photographs, memorabilia, and collected material.
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.

Related Materials in This Repository

Warren Akin Candler papers, William Danner Thomson papers, and William Sydnor Thomson papers. Photographs of Thomson from his Emory College days are also found in the Emory University photograph collection.


Gift, 1992, with subsequent additions.


[after identification of item(s)], Albert Danner Thomson family papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by Barbara J. Mann, February 1992.

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Collection Description

Biographical Note

Albert Danner Thomson, Atlanta businessman, was born October 15, 1877 in Atlanta, Georgia, and died there October 1, 1953. He was the son of William Sydnor and Neva Danner Thomson. His older brother, William Danner Thomson (1876-1952) was an Atlanta attorney and civic leader. Albert Danner Thomson attended Boy's High School (1892-1893) and graduated from Emory College in 1898. While at Emory, he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. Thomson was involved in real estate and building through his association with the firm Renfroe and Thomson. He also served as an Atlanta City Councilman (pre-World War I) and as the Executive Secretary to Mayor Asa Griggs Candler (1917-1918). Thomson married Anna Belle West of Atlanta, on September 23, 1919. The couple had two children, Albert Danner Thomson, Jr. (1925-2004) and Isabel D. Thomson (1930-).

Biographical Source:This biographical note was compiled from Alumni History and Directory of Emory University, 1926, Emory Alumnus, December 1953, and from his obituary in the Atlanta Journal, October 2, 1953.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the family papers of Albert Danner Thomson from 1883-1953. The papers consist of correspondence, travel diaries, a photograph album, photographs, memorabilia, and collected material. Most of the materials are centered around Thomson's travels to Japan and Korea, accompanying Bishop Warren A. Candler and Asa G. Candler, Jr. in 1906, and his days at Emory College (1895-1898). The materials relating to his trip with Candler also include Thomson's visit to China, living with a cousin, Roy Anderson, while there, and his subsequent stopovers in Naples, Rome, Paris, and London, before returning to the United States in January 1907.

Box 1 contains the correspondence, of which the bulk is in the form of holograph letters written by Thomson to his parents and other family members describing the sights and events of his travels (1906 August-December; folders 1-5). Typescript transcriptions (folder 6) have been made of these letters, but the identity of the transcriber is unknown. Also included are transcriptions of letters dating from 22 July to 24 August 1906 for which the location of the original letters is unknown. Correspondence to Thomson (folder 7) includes letters (August-December 1906) from his family, as well as two letters from Warren A. Candler. A carbon copy typescript, unsigned letter (folder 8) from P. Y. Suezl, Acting Secretary of the Chekiang Society, to Board of Trustees, Methodist Mission South (9 July 1906) discusses a land dispute between the Huchow (of Chekiang Province) literati and Rev. T. A. Hearn, a Methodist Missionary to China. Also included in the correspondence is a letter from Thomson's Emory College classmate Wilmoth A. Farmer, written from Sacred Heart Church in Shanghai (22 May 1925), in regards to receiving an Emory University diploma at Alumni Day, 8 June 1925 (folder 9).

Also located in Box 1 are the two travel diaries (1906 July 18-August 7 and 1906 August 8-1907 January 17; folders 10 and 12) kept by Thomson which describe the sights and events he witnessed. The miscellany that was interspersed among the pages of the first travel diary, which includes clippings, a receipt from a tailor, Japanese hotel memorabilia, and Asian writing samples, have been placed in a separate folder (folder 11).

A photograph album (OBV 1) gives additional information about the things Thomson witnessed. Loose photographs have been removed from the album and placed in a folder (folder 13) as well as a portrait of Lucien Thomson and a family photograph. The last item in Box 1 is a safe passage certificate issued by the United States Department of State (17 July 1906; folder 14).

Box 2 contains collected material including clippings, both of writings about the trip by Warren A. Candler and about the Orient itself (folders 1-2); two copies of "T. H. Yun, of Korea and the School at Songdo" by Warren A. Candler (1904; folder 3); a cabinet card photograph, possibly of T. H. Yun and wife (folder 4); a passenger list and printed material from the steamship line and one ship Thomson sailed on (folders 5-6); and an invitation to visit the Shanghai Club (1906; folder 7). Additional collected material in this box is in the form of printed material about the countries he visited (folders 8-12), collected theater programs (folder 13), a receipt from the Westminster Palace Hotel Company (folder 14). Other collected miscellany includes a printed item in an Asian language, photocopied biographical information on missionary David Lawrence Anderson and Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Services Hugh Smith Cumming (no date), a candle, and a ticket (folders 14-17). Miscellaneous identified and unidentified photographs, some of which are cabinet cards, of individuals are the last items in this box (folder 18).

Box 3 contains the materials related to Thomson's days at Emory College, mainly in the form of correspondence. The bulk of the correspondence (folders 2-9) is from Thomson's parents and from his older brother, William Danner Thomson, written to him while he was at Emory College. The rest of the correspondence (folders 1, 10-11) is from family members and there are also two letters from Warren Candler (21 February 1907 and 22 January 1910) as well as an introduction letter from Asa Candler. Other items include Thomson's grade reports from Emory (folder 12), a Sigma Alpha Epsilon ribbon (folder 13), Arbor Day invitation (folder 14), two issues of Emory Phoenix (folder 15), and a booklet used at the Tuesday Afternoon Club (folder 16).

The collection also includes two scrapbooks created by Albert Danner Thomson, Jr., documenting his years at Emory in the mid-1940s and his involvement in the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, in addition to the Druid Hills community and the fire department during the 1940s and 1950s.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by record type.

Selected Search Terms

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Container List

Albert Danner Thomson
Box Folder Content
1 1 Correspondence, 1906 August-September
1 2 Correspondence, 1906 October
1 3 Correspondence, 1906 November
1 4 Correspondence, 1906 December 4-18
1 5 Correspondence, 1906 December 22-29
1 6 Correspondence, Transcriptions, 1906 22 July-20 December
1 7 Correspondence to Albert Danner Thomson, August-December 1906
1 8 Correspondence, P. Y. Suezl to Board of Trustees, Methodist Mission South, July 9, 1906
1 9 Correspondence: Roy Anderson to Albert Danner Thomson, 1902-1926
1 10 Correspondence: Wilmoth A. Farmer to Albert Danner Thomson, May 22, 1925
1 11 Travel diary, 1906 July 18-August 7
1 12 Miscellany from travel diary, July 18-August 7, 1906
1 13 Travel diary, August 8, 1906-January 17, 1907
OBV1 Photograph album of Thomson's trip, 1906-1907
1 14 Loose photographs from photograph album
1 15 United States Department of State: Safe Passage Certificate, July 17, 1906
Collected material
2 1 Clippings about Orient trip by Warren A. Candler. 1906
2 2 Clippings about Orient, 1906
2 3 "T. H. Yun, of Korea and the School of Songdo" by Warren A. Candler, 1904
2 4 Cabinet card photograph: T. H. Yun and wife [?]
2 5 Great Northern Steamship Company's "Minnesota": Saloon Passenger List
2 6 Norddeutscher Lloyd, Bremen: Printed material
2 7 Shanghai Club: Invitation, 1906
2 8 England and Scotland: Printed material
2 9 France: Printed material
2 10 Hong Kong: King Edward Hotel baggage tags (blank)
2 11 Japan: Printed material
2 12 Rome: Printed material
2 13 Theater programs
2 14 Receipt: Westminster Palace Hotel Company, LTD, 1906
2 15 Memorabilia: Candle, ticket
2 16 Miscellanous note
2 17 Miscellaneous printed material
XOP1 - Miscellaneous printed Chinese material
2 18 Photographs
2 19 Writing by Roy Anderson, "The Hill and Sea Classic"
BV1 Postcard album
BV2 Postcard album
3 1 Correspondence, 1883, 1887, 1890-1892
3 2 Correspondence, 1894
3 3 Correspondence, 1895 January-March
3 4 Correspondence, 1895 April-August
3 5 Correspondence, 1895 September-December
3 6 Correspondence, 1896 January-October
3 7 Correspondence, 1896 November-December
3 8 Correspondence, 1897
3 9 Correspondence, 1898
3 10 Correspondence, 1899-[1900?], 1907, 1910
3 11 Correspondence, 1914
3 12 Emory College: Report on the Standing of Albert Danner Thomson, 1895-1897
3 13 Emory College: SAE ribbon
3 14 Emory College: Arbor Day invitation, February 26, 1898
3 15 Emory College: Emory Phoenix, June 1897, March 1898
3 16 Emory College: Tuesday Afternoon Club, March 1, 1898: booklet
3 17 Emory Alumnus, December 1953 (obituary)
OP1 1 Newspaper clippings
Albert Danner Thomson, Jr.
OBV2 Scrapbook, Druid Hills community and fire department, 1940s-1950s
OBV3 Scrapbook, Emory University and Alpha Tau Omega, 1940s