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Guide to the Thomas Nelson Page Papers, 1739-1927 and undated, bulk 1885-1920

Abstract

Virginia lawyer and writer; ambassador to Italy from 1913-1919.

The Thomas Nelson Page Papers span the years 1739-1927. Personal and professional correspondence, legal and business papers, writings, diplomatic dispatches, clippings and other items (chiefly 1885-1920) relate to Page's legal and literary career; his activities as a lyceum lecturer; his marriages and family relations; and his interest in civic affairs, plantation life, social reform and race relations in the United States, particularly during and after Reconstruction; American politics and diplomacy, especially during World War I; and European travel. Many of his papers directly relate to his term as ambassador to Italy during World War I, from 1913 to 1919.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Page, Thomas Nelson
Title
Thomas Nelson Page papers 1739-1927 and undated, bulk 1885-1920
Language of Material
English, Italian
Extent
12.4 Linear Feet, 9329 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The Thomas Nelson Page Papers span the years 1739-1927, with the majority of the materials dating from the 1880s to 1920. The papers include personal and professional correspondence, legal and business papers, writings, diplomatic dispatches, clippings and other items, all relating to Page's legal and literary career. Topics include his activities as a lyceum lecturer; his marriages and family relations; his role in and perspective on American politics and foreign relations, particularly during World War II; travels in Europe; and his interest in civic affairs, social reform and race relationsin the United States, particularly during and following Reconstruction. Collection is arranged in the following series: Correspondence, Legal and Financial Papers, Writings and Speeches, Diplomacy, Visual Materials, Personal Papers, and Clippings Two oversize newspapers are described in a series at the end of the finding aid.

In the Correspondence Series, the largest in the collection, letters prior to 1880 include personal correspondence from various members of the Page family, especially between Thomas Nelson Page, his mother, Elizabeth Burwell (Nelson) Page, and brother, Rosewell Page, who lived at the ancestral estate, "Oakland," in Hanover County, Virginia. Page describes his political activities in letters concerning the presidential campaigns of 1912 and 1916. Correspondence from this period also includes personal letters to members of the family describing new experiences in diplomatic life, and routine business correspondence. Significant correspondents in the series include C. F. Adams, Grover Cleveland, Josephus Daniels, J. C. Harris, William D. Howells, Robert Lansing, Robert T. Lincoln, Henry C. Lodge, Theodore Roosevelt, E. Root, J. M. Stoddart, and William H. Taft. For some of these individuals only one or two pieces of correspondence exist. Another set of correspondence, dated 1883-1912 and interfiled at the end of the correspondence series, comprises photocopies of letters (and a few other items, including a telegram, Christmas greeting, and obituary clipping on Henry Hobson) chiefly from Page to close friend Henry Wise Hobson (1858-1898), originally of Virginia, and to his wife Katherine. Notes: Originals for photocopies are in the donor's possession. The collection also includes two scrapbooks, found in the Personal Papers Series, containing cards and envelopes from distinguished persons. This series also houses documents related to Page's ties with the University of Virginia, personal reminiscences, various fragmentary notes, and a journal from 1863. Four folders of carbon copies of diplomatic dispatches from Page to the U.S. State Department and to President Woodrow Wilson, along with other papers related to his diplomatic activities, can be found in the Diplomacy Series. Another small group, the Legal and Financial Series, houses documents relating to Page's properties and other business affairs. The Writings and Speeches Series contains many manuscripts and drafts of political and literary speeches, memoirs, essays, and articles, but none of Page's major literary works. Several folders of materials in this series contain Page's detailed journalistic notes describing his trips in 1916 to the war fronts in Italy and France. Extensive folders of cuttings in the Clippings Series were taken from both American and Italian newspapers, and comprise a significant portion of the collection. The clippings refer to events in Page's career such as lyceum appearances, political appointments, and political speeches, both in the United States and in Italy. In addition, Page clipped articles referring to race relations in the United States, particularly in the South. The clippings also document national and global events during Page's years as an ambassador to Italy from 1913 to 1919, and provide rich background material for a study of United States foreign relations with Italy and other countries during World War I. There are also a few photographs in the Visual Materials Series, some of which depict scenes from wartime Italy.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Arranged in chronological order.

1739-1817
Box 1
1836-1839
Box 1
1850-1896
Box 1
1897-1899
Box 2
1900 Jan.-1902 June
Box 3
1902 July-1904 Aug.
Box 4
1904 Sept.-1908 Dec.
Box 5
1909 Jan.-1911 Jan.
Box 6
1911 Feb.-1913 Mar.
Box 7
1913 Mar.-1913 Aug.
Box 8
1913 Sept.-1916 Sept.
Box 9
1916 Oct.-1918 June
Box 10
1918 July-1919 Dec.
Box 11
1920-1927 and undated
Box 12
Undated correspondence
(4 folders)
Box 13
1883-1912 and undated: Correspondence from Page to Henry Hobson and his sister, Katherine (Kitty) Hobson
(2 folders)
Box 13

Consists of records dealing with royalties due to Thomas Nelson Page and property owned by Page. Arranged in alphabetical order.

Bills and accounts, 1879-1920
(2 folders)
Box 13
Checks and receipts, 1882-1913
Box 13
Construction of residence in Washington, D.C., 1893-1897
Box 13
Hanover printing and publishing company, 1918, 1923
Box 13
Income accounts, 1903, 1915-1919
Box 13
Miscellaneous, 1912-1913
Box 13
Mont Air farm, 1901-1913
Box 13
Real estate, 1898-1916
Box 13
Royalty reports, 1899-1919
Box 13
Various legal papers, 1875-1919
Box 13

Consists primarily of literary manuscripts, addresses and speeches written by Thomas Nelson Page. Also included are various other writers on Southern history. Arranged in chronological order.

1863-1864, Extract from H. Nelson Gay's articles including reference to Pius IX's offer of intervention in American civil war, Oct 18, 1863
Box 14
1876, Page, Thomas Nelson, Copies of material on reconstruction in South Carolina
Box 14
1890, Page, Rosewell, When I was a Little Boy, rpt. 1970
Box 14
1893 Apr., Richmond, Virginia, Wise, B.H., Thomas Nelson Page
Box 14
1897, Washington D.C., Page, Thomas Nelson, Colonel William Nelson of Oakland
Box 14
1898 July 4, Rio de Janerio, Brazil, editorials from the press of Rio de Janerio
Box 14
1898 Oct. 19, Hobson, Henry W., Memorial and resolutions on death of...
Box 14
Circa 1898-1903, Book review lists
Box 14
1899 Mar. 29, Wilson, Robert Burns, The Song of the Lark
Box 14
1901, Page, Thomas Nelson, On the Nile, reprint, 1970
Box 14
1901 Jan., Page, Thomas Nelson, On the Nile, typescript, journal of a tour in Egypt
(2 folders)
Box 14
Circa 1901, Washington D.C., Page, Thomas Nelson, remarks as toastmaster at Jefferson dinner
Box 14
1906, Page, Thomas Nelson, Mediterranean Winter, Journal and Letters, reprint 1971
Box 14
1907, See UVA annual Corks and Curls, Page, Thomas Nelson, Recollections of the University of Virginia
Box 14
1908,Washington D.C., Page, Thomas Nelson, In Memoriam: Thomas Seddon Bruce
Box 14
1909 Apr. 28, Washington D.C., Ceremony in honor of L'Enfant
Box 14
1911 Jan. 27, Memorandum Relative to the Work of the American Forestry Association for 1911
Box 14
1912, Page, Thomas Nelson, North African Journal, reprint 1970
Box 14
1912 Nov. 27, Page, Thomas Nelson, Mr. Wilson's Nomination to the Governorship of New Jersey
Box 14
1912 Dec. 3, Mr. Kirkwood and Mr. MacVeagh and Mr. Windom, Mr. Cameron, In Regard to Civil Service
Box 14
1912 Dec. 10, Page, Thomas Nelson, Personal Recollections of the Opening of the Civil War
Box 14
1912 Dec. 12, The Baltimore Convention of 1912
Box 14
Circa 1912, Richmond, Virginia, unidentified address, attributed to Page, fragment, typed, pp. 35-83
Box 14
1913 Jan. 4, Washington D.C., Weller, Charles Frederick, American Needs and Opportunities
Box 14
1913 Feb. 22, Washington D.C., Page, Thomas Nelson, Henry Clay and the Treaty of Ghent
Box 14
1914, Page, Thomas Nelson, Has Civilization Failed?
Box 14
1914 Feb., Rome, Italy, Page, Thomas Nelson, Lines of the Room in which Keats Died
Box 14
1915, Page, Thomas Nelson, What America Stands for...
Box 14
1915 Nov. 22, Rome, Italy, Pope Address to the members of the Society for the Preservation of the Faith in Rome
Box 14
1916, Page, Thomas Nelson, President Wilson's Critics- A Challenge Not a Defense
Box 14
1916, Page, Thomas Nelson, The United States
Box 14
1916 July, Chantilly, France, Page, Thomas Nelson, A casual glimpse of the French front in Champagne
Box 14
1916 Sept. 13-18, Udine, Italy, Page, Thomas Nelson, journal of a visit to the Italian front
( 2 copies)
Box 14
1917 Feb. 22, Rome, Italy, Page, Thomas Nelson, Address... delivered Feb. 22nd 1917 at the American Embassy
Box 14
1917 July 4, Rome, Italy, Page, Thomas Nelson, Speech...Delivered at the Campidoglio,... to Celebrate America's Entrance into the War
Box 14
1917 Oct. 1, Rome, Italy, Page, Thomas Nelson, Speech delivered at luncheon given by Italian American Union to Col. Baker's Red Cross Commission
Box 14
1918 Jan. 15, Rome, Italy, Page, Thomas Nelson, speech delivered at Campidoglio
Box 15
1918 Apr. 2, Rome, Italy, Page, Thomas Nelson, Speech in honor of Secretary of War Baker
Box 15
1918 Apr. 7, Rome, Italy. Speech delivered at Campidoglio by Page
Box 15
1918 Apr. 9, Corriere d'Italia, Thomas Nelson Page
Box 15
1918 July, Rome, Italy, Page, Thomas Nelson, To My Compatriots, the American Soldiers in Italy
Box 15
1918 Aug. 1, Rome, Italy, Page, Thomas Nelson, Welcome addressed by U.S. Ambassador to Officers and Men of 32nd U.S. Infantry Regiment
Box 15
1918 Oct. 13, Rome, Italy, Page, Thomas Nelson, Address in an assembly before the embassy
Box 15
1918, Page, Thomas Nelson, Economic Conditions in the Southern Confederacy
Box 15
1919 Mar. 21, Rome, Italy, Page, Thomas Nelson, Greetings to the soldiers of U.S.A. Coming to Italy on Leave
Box 15
1919 Mar. 27, Page, Thomas Nelson, Introduction to Reminiscences Revd. Wm M Dame
Box 15
1919 June, Rome, Italy, Page, Thomas Nelson, speech introducing Miss Winifred Hold
Box 15
1919 Aug. 15, Richmond, Va., Page, Thomas Nelson, Address delivered in Hall of Virginia House of Delegates in Celebration of the 300th Anniversary of the Assembling of the 1st General Assembly of Virginia at Jamestown
Box 15
1919 Sept. 5, Page, Thomas Nelson, address to the New England Manufacturers Association
Box 15
1919, Page, Thomas Nelson, A few reflections in the interest of fair play
Box 15
1919 Sept., York Harbor, Maine, Page, Thomas Nelson, On the ratification of the peace treaty
Box 15
Circa 1920, Page, Thomas Nelson, Promotion of international peace and especially promotion of cordial relations between the two branches of the english speaking race
Box 15
Page, Thomas Nelson, printed poem and Personal Recollections of Thomas Nelson Page, by S.A. Steel
Box 15
Page, Thomas Nelson, The Ballad of Willy's Horn
Box 15
Page, Thomas Nelson, Poe: The First American Man of Letters
Box 15
Page, Thomas Nelson, fragment from Unc' Edinburgh's Drowndin'
Box 15
Page, Thomas Nelson, Memorandum and specifications of a stone and timber dam to be built at Fulcher's Mill on Little River, Hanover Co., Va.
Box 15
Page, Thomas Nelson, Introduction to Gordon Keith
Box 15
Page, Thomas Nelson, Mogul's Last Race
Box 15
Page, Thomas Nelson, Introduction to Mr. Leavitt's Book
Box 15
Page, Thomas Nelson, Sonnets
Box 15
Page, Rosewell, Introduction to The Commentaries of an American Ambassador during the World War
Box 15
Page, Thomas Nelson, My Opinion of Reviews of My Books
Box 15
Page, Thomas Nelson, Prospects of the International Association of Newspapers and Authors
Box 15
Weller, Charles Frederick, Rural Recreation
Box 15
King, Henry C., Some Notes on the Negro
Box 15
Page, Thomas Nelson, Thomas Jefferson: Apostle of Liberty
Box 15
The Major's Story
Box 15
Hampden-Sidney College
Box 15
Page, Thomas Nelson, Polly, dramatization fragment
Box 15
de Leon, Perry M., The Confederate States Navy in the Civil War
Box 15
Carey, William, fragment of memoir
Box 15
Page, Thomas Nelson, literary fragments
Box 15

Various official missives and documents arising from Page's activities diplomatic activies in Europe. Arranged in chronological order.

1915-1919, Duplicate carbons
(4 folders)
Box 15
1915-1919 and undated, Miscellaneous papers
(3 folders)
Box 16
Passports and related documents
Box 16

Photographs include family trips, the campus of the University of Virginia, and the effects of World War I on Italy.

Blueprints and maps
Box 16
Photographs
Box 16
Story illustrations
Box 16

Of note are the materials on the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson. Another section is dedicated to the rebuilding efforts at the University of Virginia. Arranged in alphabetical order.

Bylaws and house rules: York Harbor Reading Room, 1901
Box 16
Cards and invitations
Box 16
Inauguration of Woodrow Wilson, 1913
Box 16
Journal, 1863
Box 16
Miscellaneous printed material; circulars, etc.
(3 folders)
Box 17
Recollections and Reflections, Thomas Nelson Page
Box 17
University of Virginia
(2 folders)
Box 17
Various forms, lists, invitations and miscellaneous papers
Box 17
Various fragmentary notes and lists, 1865-1917 and undated
Box 17
Various notes, lists and other papers
Box 17

Extensive collection of clippings taken from major American and Italian newspapers, chiefly from the period when Page was writing about race relations and other social issues in the United States, and during his politically active period from 1910 to the 1920s. Most of the American clippings have been photocopied from the originals. Other clippings may be fragile; handle with care. Photocopies may be necessary to access material. Arranged within geographical categories chronologically by date.

American, 1882-1902
Box 17
American, 1903-1926 and undated
Box 18
French, 1904, 1915-1919
Box 18
German, 1897
Box 18
Italian, 1915 Apr.-1917 May
Box 19
Italian, 1917 May-1917 July
Box 20
Italian, 1917 Aug.-1917 Oct.
Box 21
Italian, 1917 Nov.-1919 Jan.
Box 22
Italian, 1919 Jan.-1919 Apr.
Box 23
Italian, 1919 Apr.-1921
Box 24
The Sun (N.Y.C.), 1898 Aug. 8 (article marked: "Seizure of the Ladrone Islands")
Oversize Folder 1
New York Herald, 1912 Dec. 5 (Christmas edition): Christmases of the Nation, by Thomas Nelson Page

Historical Note

DateEvent(s)
1853 Apr. 23Page born on Oakland Plantation, Hanover County, Va.
1869-1872Attended Washington College
1874Graduated from University of Virginia Law School
1884Published "Marse Chan"
1886 July 28Married Anne Seddon Bruce
1887Published "Unc' Edingburgh's Drowndin'" and "No Haid Pawn"
1888 Dec. 22Death of Anne Seddon Bruce Page
1889-1893Toured on lyceum circuit
1893Married Florence Field
1895Headed alumni campaign to raise funds for rebuilding of University of Virginia rotunda
1899Oakland Plantation burned
1913Chairman of Reception Committe for Wilson's Inauguration
1913 July 6Appointed ambassador to Italy
1916Returned home on leave
1916 JulyResumed post in Italy
1919 July 5Resigned post of ambassador
1919Wrote volume on Italy and the World War
1921 MayFlorence Page died
1922 Nov. 1Died at Oakland Plantation

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Thomas Nelson Page Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The Thomas Nelson Page Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1937.

Processing Information

Processed by Ted Holt and David Hershey, Dec. 2006

Encoded by Ted Holt and Paula Jeannet Mangiafico

Completed Dec. 2006

Accessions 1037 and 03-163 were merged into one collection and described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.