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Collection Number: 12000

Collection Title: Augustus Thomas Papers, circa 1869-1974

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


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Size 24.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 3,200 items)
Abstract Augustus Thomas wrote popular plays, such as Alabama and Arizona, during the 1890s and the first fifteen years of the twentieth century. In all, he wrote or adapted more than 100 plays, though not all were published. Thomas also was a leader in dramatic organizations and an active participant in the Democratic Party and in debates about political questions of his day. He was married to Lisle Colby Thomas. The collection contains manuscript versions of seventy-five of Augustus Thomas's plays. Other materials include professional correspondence, chiefly concerning plays, actors, and other topics relating to the theater and publishing, and one letter, 1924, from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Thomas, asking his advice as a delegate of the Democratic National Convention; personal correspondence consisting mainly of letters from Thomas to his son Luke Thomas, September 1910-June 1914, and chiefly concerning daily activities and the health of family members; speeches, eulogies, essays, and other miscellaneous writings; clippings of Augustus Thomas's cartoons; articles about his career; numerous reviews of his plays; telegrams sent to Lisle Colby Thomas on her husband's death; a typescript copy of her A Well-known Playwright's Wife; a sketch book with drawings and personal messages addressed to Thomas from various artists, including Frederic Remington; the program from a 1909 Lambs Club fund-raising event; and a copy of the privately published honeymoon diary of Augustus Thomas's daughter, Glory Thomas Elliott, describing her trip to England and France in 1924. There are also a 35mm black-and-white sound film, circa 1919-1930, of Augustus Thomas and the actor Francis Wilson conversing in Clearwater, Fla., and related film notes, 1974, by Ronald Davis.
Creator Thomas, Augustus, 1857-1934.
Curatorial Unit University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Rare Book Literary and Historical Papers.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
Use of visual materials may require production of viewing copies.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Augustus Thomas Papers, #12000, Rare Book Literary and Historical Papers, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy (filmed August 2004) available.
  • Reel 1
  • Reel 2
  • Reel 3
  • Reel 4
Acquisitions Information
Purchase and gifts 1949-1979
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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Processed by: Manuscripts Department Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Sarah Arnold because of film processing, February 2011; Danielle Fasic, November, 2012; Nancy Kaiser, August 2020; Laura Smith, January 2022

Diacritics and other special characters have been omitted from this finding aid to facilitate keyword searching in web browsers.

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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

After early years as a journalist, Augustus Thomas wrote popular plays, such as Alabama and Arizona, during the 1890s and the first fifteen years of the twentieth century. In all, he wrote or adapted more than 100 plays, though not all were published. Thomas was a leader in dramatic organizations and in the Democratic Party and in debates about political questions of his day. He was married to Lisle Colby Thomas, sister of Bainbridge Colby, who served as United States secretary of state, 1920-1921.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection contains manuscript versions of seventy-five of Augustus Thomas's plays. Other materials include professional correspondence, chiefly concerning plays, actors, and other topics relating to the theater and publishing, and one letter, 1924, from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Thomas, asking his advice as a delegate of the Democratic National Convention; personal correspondence consisting mainly of letters from Thomas to his son Luke Thomas, September 1910-June 1914, and chiefly concerning daily activities and the health of family members; speeches, eulogies, essays, and other miscellaneous writings; clippings of Augustus Thomas's cartoons; articles about his career; numerous reviews of his plays; telegrams sent to Lisle Colby Thomas on her husband's death; a typescript copy of her A Well-known Playwright's Wife; a sketch book with drawings and personal messages addressed to Thomas from various artists, including Frederic Remington; the program from a 1909 Lambs Club fund-raising event; and a copy of the privately published honeymoon diary of Augustus Thomas's daughter, Glory Thomas Elliott, describing her trip to England and France in 1924. There are also a 35mm black-and-white sound film, circa 1919-1930, of Augustus Thomas and the actor Francis Wilson conversing in Clearwater, Fla., and related film notes, 1974, by Ronald Davis.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Plays, 1880-1939.

2,700 items.

Arrangement: Alphabetical.

Manuscript versions of seventy-five of Augustus Thomas's plays and screenplays, many of which were never published. Some manuscripts may be of adaptations.

Box 1

"After Thoughts"

Alabama

Box 2-3

Box 2

Box 3

As a Man Thinks

Box 3

"At Bay"

"At Liberty"

"The Baron"

Box 4

"The Battle Cry"

Box 4-5

Box 4

Box 5

"The Blue Devil"

Box 5

"The Boars Head Inn"

"The Burglar"

Box 6

"By-Law Number 5"

Box 7

The Capitol

"The Catspaw"

"Champagne Charlie"

Box 8

"Colonel Carter of Cartersville"

"Colonel George of Mt. Vernon"

Box 9

Colorado

Box 27

"A Constitutional Point"

Box 9-10

Box 9

Box 10

Copperhead

Box 10

"The Cricket of Palmy Days"

De Lancey

Box 11

"A Desperate Remedy"

"A Dress Suit"

The Earl of Pawtucket

The Education of Mr. Pipp

"Un Episode"

Box 12

The Embassy Ball

"Fate Sits Weaving"

"Friendly Voices"

"Georgie Porgie"

Box 13

Harvest Moon

"Holly Tree Inn"

The Hoosier Doctor

In Mizzoura

Box 14

Indian Summer

"The Jucklins"

"The King and the Footpad"

Box 15

"Last Call"

"Leaf from the Woods"

Box 14

"Love Will Find a Way"

Box 15

"Man of the World"

Man Upstairs

"The Masqueraders"

"Matinee Idol"

"Miscellaneous"

Box 16

"Meddler"

"Member from Ozark"

Box 17

"Mere Man"

Model (Motion Picture Scenario)

Motion Picture Scenarios

"Mrs. Leffingwell's Boots"

Box 18

"Mule Shoe"

"Music Box"

"Nan"

"Nellie"

Box 19

Nemesis

New Blood

"New Year's Call"

Box 20

Oliver Goldsmith

On the Quiet

Box 21

Other Girl

"Outside Man"

"Pittsburg"

"A Proper Impropriety"

Box 22

"Racing Sketch"

"The Rangers"

"The Roman Coin"

"A Social Fiction"

Soldiers of Fortune

Box 23

"Song of the Dragon"

"The Soul Machine"

Box 24

"The Spider's Web"

"The Spinner"

Still Waters

"A Studio Picture"

"Surrender"

Box 25

"The Tent of Pompey"

"Texas"

"That Overcoat"

Box 26

"Vanishing Lady"

Box 27

The Witching Hour

"A Woman of the World"

Box 28

Cymbeline

Hamlet

The Merchant of Venice

Romeo and Juliet

The Taming of the Shrew

Twelfth Night

When Knighthood Was In Flower

Queen Fiamette

La Reine Fiamette

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Other Materials, 1869-1974.

800 items.

Other materials include professional correspondence, chiefly concerning plays, actors, and other topics relating to the theater and publishing, and one letter, 1924, from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Thomas, asking his advice as a delegate of the Democratic National Convention; personal correspondence consisting mainly of letters from Thomas to his son Luke Thomas, September 1910-June 1914, and chiefly concerning daily activities and the health of family members; speeches, eulogies, essays, and other miscellaneous writings; clippings of Augustus Thomas's cartoons; articles about his career; numerous reviews of his plays; telegrams sent to Lisle Colby Thomas on her husband's death; a typescript copy of her A Well-known Playwright's Wife; a sketch book with drawings and personal messages addressed to Thomas from various artists, including Frederic Remington; the program from a 1909 Lambs Club fund-raising event; and a copy of the privately published honeymoon diary of Augustus Thomas's daughter, Glory Thomas Elliott, describing her trip to England and France in 1924. There are also a 35mm black-and-white sound film, circa 1919-1930, of Augustus Thomas and the actor Francis Wilson conversing in Clearwater, Fla., and related film notes, 1974, by Ronald Davis.

Box 29

Correspondence, 1869-1939

Correspondence mainly concerns plays, actors, and other topics relating to the theater and are between Augustus Thomas and various actors, theater organizations, and publishers. There is also a letter from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Augustus Thomas, dated 1924, asking his advice as a delegate of the Democratic National Convention. A copy of Augustus Thomas's reply is included.

Poetry

Handwritten drafts of poetry by unidentified authors.

Lisle Colby Thomas, telegrams, 1934

Sent following the death of Augustus Thomas.

Miscellaneous manuscripts and typescripts

Miscellaneous notes on playwriting

Playbills and programs

Sketches, pamphlets, and miscellaneous items

Addresses

Funeral addresses

Published addresses

Prefaces

Manuscripts for essays and articles

Published periodical articles

Synopses of plays and motion picture scenarios

Box 30

Scrapbook

Primarily clippings reviewing Augustus Thomas's plays. Scrapbook is self-adhesive with "Mark Twain's Scrapboook" printed on the cover.

Harvest Moon Reviews

Clippings and publicity materials

Relating to various plays and theatrical organizations.

Box 31

Scrapbooks

Three volumes of clippings with reviews of Augustus Thomas's plays, programs from his plays, and letters from actors, publishers, and theatrical organizations.

Lisle Colby Thomas, memoirs

A Well-known Playwright's Wife.

Box 32

Correspondence, 1910-1914

Mainly with Augustus Thomas's son, Luke Thomas, concerning daily activities and the health of various family members.

Box 33

Glory Thomas Elliott diary, 1924

Copy of the privately published honeymoon diary describing Glory Thomas Elliott's trip to England and France.

Manuscript Autographe, 1933

A French publication, directed by Jean Royere, containing facsimiles of manuscripts of members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, advertisements, biographies, and reproductions of portraits.

Oversize Volume SV-12000/1

Sketchbook, 1892-1902

Portrait and full-figure sketches by a variety of artists with accompanying personal messages or quotes addressed to Augustus Thomas. At least two drawings are by American artist Frederic Remington. None of the sketches appear to have been made by Thomas, though at least one depicts him.

Film F-12000/1

Film: Augustus Thomas and Francis Wilson, circa 1919-1930

35 mm black-and-white sound film of Thomas and the actor Francis Wilson conversing in Clearwater, Fla.

Box 33

Film notes by Ronald Davis, 1974

Notes describe in detail the content of the black-and-white 35mm film of Augustus Thomas and Francis Wilson.

Image Folder PF-12000/1-2

PF-12000/1

PF-12000/2

Portraits and group carte-de-visite

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Microfilm.

4 reels.
Reel M-12000/1-4

M-12000/1

M-12000/2

M-12000/3

M-12000/4

Microfilm

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