Guide to the Mary Sames Tucker Papers, 1936-1967


Piano teacher, of Lexington, Va. Personal correspondence from and about the author, Carson (Smith) McCullers, piano student of Mrs. Tucker in Columbus, Ga., and lifelong friend. Topics include McCullers' personal life, marital problems, and poor health. Mrs. Tucker was the wife of Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston Tucker.

Collection Details

Collection Number
Mary Sames Tucker papers
Tucker, Mary Sames
0.2 Linear Feet, 62 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Material in English

Collection Overview

The Mary Sames Tucker Papers are dated from 1936 to 1967, and are divided into two series, the Correspondence Series and the Printed Materials and Clippings Series. The bulk of the first series consists of letters written by Carson McCullers to her former piano teacher, Mary Tucker. They reveal the closeness of the relationship between the two women (Tucker is often referred to as a 'foster mother'). Other letters are addressed to Carson's husband Reeves; her mother, Marguerite Smith; and her physician and longtime friend, Mary E. Mercer. Together, the correspondence documents the writer's relationships, marital problems, and especially the suffering caused by her chronic poor health. The Printed Materials and Clippings Series contains several clippings of obituaries that appeared in newspapers after the death of McCullers and a booklet published by the Empire Theatre.

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], Mary Sames Tucker Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Contents of the Collection

1. Correspondence Series, 1936-1966 and undated

1 box

Contains primarily correspondence to Mary Tucker by Carson McCullers, Reeves McCullers, Marguerite Smith, and Mary E. Mercer. There are also several letters written by Carson McCullers to Mary Tucker's daughter, Virginia. The items are arranged in chronological order.

1936-1966 and undated
Box 1
1936-1966 and undated (photocopies of above correspondence)
Box 1

2. Printed Materials and Clippings Series, 1950-1967 and undated

1 box

Contains brief obituaries published after the death of McCullers and a booklet issued by the Empire Theatre to accompany the production of The Member of the Wedding. The items are arranged in chronological order.

1950-1967 and undated
Box 1

Historical Note

A native of Columbus, Georgia, and wife of a U.S. Army officer, Albert Sidney Johnston Tucker. Was Carson McCullers's piano teacher and remained a long-term close friend and life-long correspondent.

Related Material

Related materials include the Carson McCullers Papers, the Virginia Spencer Carr Papers, the Mary E. Mercer Collection of Carson McCullers-Mary Tucker Correspondence, and the Edwin Peacock Papers, all housed at Duke University's David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.


The Mary Sames Tucker Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 1968.

Processing Information

Processed by Pavla Vesela and other staff, May 15, 2004

Encoded by Pavla Vesela, Brittany E. Wilson, Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, Michael Shumate, 2006

Encoding updated by Meghan Lyon, February 2010

The Mary Tucker Papers were formerly part of the Collections on Carson McCullers.

Accession 1968-0172 is described in this finding aid.