Guide to the Frederick Augustus Grant Cowper Papers, 1900-1975
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Frederick Cowper was an educator, born in Island Pond, Vermont, March 3, 1883. He received his B.A.,1906, and M.A., 1911, at Trinity College, Hartford, CT, and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, 1920. Cowper also received an L.H.D, from Trinity College in 1956. He was the author of, The Sources, Date and Style of Ille et Galeron, by Gautier d'Arras, (1922), and other works. Cowper was a professor of Romance Languages, Trinity College, Durham, NC, 1918-1924, Duke University, 1924-1952. He married Mary O. Thompson, (1881-1968) in 1909. Dr. Cowper died in Durham on January 24, 1978. There were no children. This collection contains correspondence, diaries, manuscripts, printed material, photographs and film, with bulk dates 1920-1970, produced or acquired by Professor Cowper.
- Record Group
- Frederick Augustus Grant Cowper papers
- Cowper, Frederick Augustus Grant, 1883-1978
- 13.5 Linear Feet, 8000 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material in English, French
This collection contains correspondence, diaries, manuscripts, printed material, photographs and film, with bulk dates 1920-1970, produced or acquired by Professor Cowper. The major subject of the collection, and of Cowper's scholarly career, is the Ille et Galeron. Other subjects in the papers concern support for liquor laws in Durham and in North Carolina generally, the genealogy of the Cowper and related families, 19th century British consuls in Latin America, civil defense volunteers, and research and teaching romance languages and literature.
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Reels 1-3 have been digitized and are available for viewing. For reels 4-14, please contact research services for more information.
Frederick Cowper was an educator, born in Island Pond, Vermont, March 3, 1883. He received his B.A.,1906, and M.A., 1911, at Trinity College, Hartford, CT, and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, 1920. Cowper also received an L.H.D, from Trinity College in 1956. He was the author of, “The Sources, Date and Style of Ille et Galeron, by Gautier d'Arras,” (1922), and other works. Cowper was a professor of Romance Languages, Trinity College, Durham, NC, 1918-1924, Duke University, 1924-1952. He married Mary O. Thompson, (1881-1968) in 1909. Dr. Cowper died in Durham on January 24, 1978. There were no children.
The son of Rev. Frederick Charles and Emma Agnes Kidd Cowper, Professor Cowper received his secondary education at Holderness Preparatory School, Plymouth, New Hampshire, 1899-1902. In the fall of 1902, he enrolled at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut where he was awarded a Russell Scholarship, and in his senior year was editor of The Trinity Tablet, a literary and news paper. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and was Valedictorian at Trinity. After graduating, he was appointed a Russell Fellow, and spent two years studying at the universities of Strasbourg and Geneva. In 1911, he received his A.M. from Trinity, partly on the basis of research he had done while in Europe. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1920, with a dissertation on the sources, date, and style of the Ille et Galeron. This twelfth century romance by Gautier d'Arras was to engage him for the remainder of his career as a scholar. In 1956, he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Trinity College, Hartford.
Cowper held positions as a Professor of Romance Languages in Drury College, Springfield, Mo., 1908-1911; at the University of Kansas, 1911-1917; at University of Wisconsin, 1917-1918; and finally at Trinity College/Duke University from 1918-1952. He specialized in medieval French literature and history, Italian folklore, and to a lesser extent, in 18th and 19th century French literature. He was a member of the Modern Language Association, the American Association of University Professors; the Societe des Anciens Textes Fr.; the International Arthurian Society; the American Association of Teachers of Italian; and Phi Beta Kappa. He served on Library Council at Duke University. He and his wife were active in a number of community affairs, most notably in the movement to regulate the sale of liquor in North Carolina. Mrs. Cowper was a suffragette, and the founder and director of a successful day-care nursery in Durham. Prof. Cowper also worked in civil defense in the 1950s. After his 1952 retirement, he became interested in family history and spent time in Europe researching his genealogy.
- Mary Octavine (Thompson) Cowper Papers (Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University)
[Identification of item], Frederick Augustus Grant Cowper Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
The Frederick Augustus Grant Cowper Papers were received by the University Archives as a transfer starting in 1963.
Processed by Archives Staff, June 1989
Encoded by Molly Bragg, May 2011
Accessions were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.