William Tappan Thompson Collection

Call Number   MS-17

Name: A finding aid and inventory of the William Tappan Thompson held in the Valdosta State University Archives

Dates:  The dates of the correspondence range from July 26, 1865 through April 28, 1881. The collection also consist of research conducted in 1942. 

Size: Fifty folders, 1 box

History/Biography:  William Tappan Thompson was a humorist writer in the 19th century. His works gained popularity, and he was well known during his time. He was famous for the realistic nature of the stories. His most famous work was entitled Major Joseph Jones. It was written in dialect.  This and others of his work may well have influenced Mark Twian in Huckelberry Finn.  Thompson often published in the Augusta Mirror, which he founded.

Thompson was born in Ravenna, Ohio in 1812. His parents were David Thompson and Catherine Kerney Thompson. His first job at the age of 14 was with the Philadelphia Daily Chronicle. He moved south and studied law under Augustus Baldwin Longstreet and worked for Longstreet’s newspaper State Rights Sentinel. Tappan married Carolina Amour Carrie in Augusta in 1837 and had 10 children. Four of the 10 children died at an early age.

Tappan founded the Augusta Mirror where he published some of his earliest sketches and stories. In 1850 he founded the Savannah Daily Morning News. He was editor until his death on March 24, 1882 in Savannah.

Scope and Content: This collection represents the research of Henry Presntice Miller  in order to complete his dissertation titled The Life and Works of William Tappan Thompson. The box is full of letters to and from William Tappan Thompson. There are also some original editions of The Augusta Mirror. All of the letters in the folders have a microfilm, handwritten, and typed copy of the letter except for those that have indicated absences. Cursory research and records do not indicate where the microfilmed letters may be found originally; however, the transcription of the originally handwritten, microfilmed letters adds value to the microfilmed collection.

Subject Headings:

Henry Prentice Miller

William Tappan Thompson

Carrie Thompson

Yates Thompson

Joe Thompson

A.R. Spoffard (The Librarian of Congress)

Margeret Piggot

J.C. Derby

Mollie  Thompson

H. Clay Lukens

Mr. E.C. Wade

Augusta Mirror

Inventory:

Folder 1: The Life and Works of William Tappan Thompson-Dissertation of Henry Prentice Miller at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois in September, 1942., unbound photocopy

Folder 2: The Life and Works of William Tappan Thompson-Report, Note cards about the Letters of William Tappan Thompson.

Folder 3: Rough draft of Henry Prentice Millers dissertation on Thompson. The draft is in a large envelope that was mailed from Mr. Hugh Vallotton to Valdosta-Lowndes County Planning commission. Both addresses are in Valdosta.

Folder 4: Miscellaneous Illustrations-Hand drawn cartoons and a Hotel bill.

Folder 5: July 26, 1865-Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Savannah.

Folder 6: May 27, 1867- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from a ship called the Br. Bark latitude=11.30, longitude=50.30

Folder 7: May 29, 1867- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie on Wednesday night letter from the St. Georges Channel 150 from Liverpool.

Folder 8: June 1-4, 1867- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie on Saturday night June 1st, Sunday night June 2nd, and Tuesday evening June 4. (no hand written version)

Folder 9: June 17, 1867- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from London.

Folder 10: June 23, 1867- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his son Yates letter from London.

Folder 11: June 30, 1867- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Hotel Duvan in Paris.(no typed version)

Folder 12: July 17, 1867- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Paris- no hand written copy

Folder 13: August 1, 1867-Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his son Joe letter from Rome

Folder 14: August 28, 1867- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from London

Folder 15: August 17, 1871- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Atlanta, GA- Last letter prior to this one was on August 28, 1867(no hand written version)

Folder 16: October 16, 1871- Letter from A.R. Spoffard (the Librarian of Congress) to William Tappan Thompson letter from Washington - Also the cost of printing and Copyrighting to publish his book Major Jones Courtship.

Folder 17: January 6, 1872- Letter from Margeret Piggot to William Tappan Thompson letter from Baltimore.

Folder 18: April 1, 1872- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to J.C. Derby letter from Savannah (only microfilm see September 19, 1876-folder 25 for hand written and typed copy).

Folder 19: May 21, 1872- Letter from J.C. Derby to William Tappan Thompson letter from New York

Folder 20: July 30, 1872- Letter from A.R. Spoffard (the Librarian of Congress) to William Tappan Thompson letter from Washington

Folder 21: September 6, 1876- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Savannah, GA

Folder 22: September 9, 1876- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Savannah, GA

Folder 23: September 12, 1876- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Savannah, GA

Folder 24: September 14, 1876- Two letters from William Tappan Thompson to Mollie his daughter letters from Savannah, GA

Folder 25: September 19, 1876- One letter from William Tappan Thompson to Carrie his wife letter from Savannah, GA and one letter from William Tappan Thompson to J.C. Derby from Savannah, GA (letter dated April 1 1872, see folder 18 for Microfilm copy)

Folder 26: September 20, 1876- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Savannah, GA

Folder 27: September 21, 1876- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to Mollie (Millie) his daughter letter from Savannah, GA

Folder 28: September 22, 1876- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Savannah, GA

Folder 29: September 23, 1876- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Savannah, GA

Folder 30: March 12, 1877- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Tallahassee, FL

Folder 31: March 17, 1877- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Nichol Hotel in Jacksonville, FL

Folder 32: May 14, 1877- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Tallahassee, FL

Folder 33: July 10, 1877- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Atlanta, GA

Folder 34: July 12, 1877- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Atlanta, GA

Folder 35: July 15, 1877- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Atlanta, GA

Folder 36: July 30, 1877- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Atlanta, GA

Folder 37: August 2, 1877- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Atlanta, GA

Folder 38: August 8, 1877- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter from Atlanta, GA

Folder 39: August 12, 1878- Letter from H. Clay Lukens to William Tappan Thompson letter from New York

Folder 40: December 12, 1880- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie; letter written on Hotel Stationary from Carleton House in Jacksonville, FL

Folder 41: April 28, 1881- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to his wife Carrie letter written on Hotel Stationary from the Burnet House in Cincinnati.

Folder 42: Undated and not location indicated- Letter from William Tappan Thompson to Mr. E.C. Wade

Folder 43: Augusta Mirror February 9, 1839

Folder 44: Augusta Mirror February 23, 1839 Vol. 1, No. XXII

Folder 45: Augusta Mirror March 9, 1839, Vol. 1, No. XXIII

Folder 46: Augusta Mirror March 23, 1839, Vol. 1, No. XXIV

Folder 47: Augusta Mirror April 6, 1839, Vol. 1, No. XXV

Folder 48: Augusta Mirror April 20, 1839, Vol. 1, No. XXVI

Folder 49: Augusta Mirror November 30, 1839, Vol. 2, No. 9

Folder 50: Augusta Mirror December 14, 1839, Vol. 2, No. 10

Processing Date:  James B. Bennett, March 2, 2005   ; processed in partial fulfillment of the requirements of History 3000, Spring 2005.

Author of Finding Aid: James Bryan Bennett