Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Thomas Nelson Page

(1853-1922)
Virginia


frontispiece

Rosewell Page, Thomas Nelson Page: A Memoir of a Virginia Gentleman
(New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1923)

Thomas Nelson Page was born at Oakland, the family plantation in Hanover County, Virginia on April 23, 1853 and lived there until he began college. He began his education at Washington College (now Washington and Lee) but left in 1872 before receiving his degree because of financial problems. (The family had lost everything in the war.)

After leaving Washington College, Page tutored the children of a distant cousin near Louisville, Kentucky for a year, and he read law for a summer in the office of a nearby attorney. A very clever plan on the part of Page's father, as it taught Tom the importance of getting a good education (Tom hated the tutoring). The lawyer, however was not impressed with Tom and did not invite him back. It seems he invited Tom to read law in his office while he was away for several months, expecting Tom to live there and "house-sit." Tom spent most of his evenings visiting his pretty female cousins and their friends, seldom sleeping at the attorney's home/office. Even at this young age, Tom entertained his cousins by writing stories on a slate board, reading what he had written, erasing it, and writing more. He later commented that this seemed a good way to write a story.

Page studied law with his father, and in 1873 entered the University of Virginia and received his law degree in 1874. He practiced law in Richmond from 1876 until 1893, and then moved to Washington D.C. When he moved to Washington, D.C., Page gave up the practice of law and endeavored to support himself as a writer. For some twenty years, Page traveled, gave lectures and engaged in his various writings. In 1913, he was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson as Ambassador to Italy, where he served until 1919. He died at his Hanover County, Virginia home on November 1, 1922, leaving his last novel, The Red Raiders, unfinished.

[Source: Armistead C. Gordon, Jr., Virginian Writers of Fugitive Verse 127 (New York: James T. White & Co., 1923); "Thomas Nelson Page," in Frank N. Magill (ed.) Cyclopedia of World Authors (Pasadena, California: Salem Press, 3rd ed., 1997)] [See also: [Edmund Clarence Stedman (ed.), An American Anthology 1787-1899 813 (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1900)][The story about Page's tutoring in Kentucky was passed along to me by Gary Norman, Gatehouse Books, in upstate New York , and appears here with the gracious permission of Mr. Norman.]

Thomas Nelson Page
Documenting the American South
University of North Carolina Library

Thomas Nelson Page
Wikipedia

Thomas Nelson Page's Literature of the Lost Cause
Publishers' Bindings on Line, 1815-1930, University of Alabama


Poems

Ashcake

Uncle Gabe's White Folks

Poetry

A.C. Gordon & Thomas Nelson Page, Befo' de War (New York: Scribner, 1888) [online text] (New York: Scribner, 1901)(New York: Scribner, 1906)(Freeport, New York: Books for Libraries Press, 1971)

Thomas Nelson Page, Unc' Edinburg a Plantation Echo (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1895)(Charles Scribner's Sons, 1897)

________________, The Coast of Bohemia (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1906) [online text]

________________, Pastime Stories. Poems (New York: Scribner, 1906)(Series title: The Novels, Stories, Sketches and Poems, Plantation ed., vol. 10)

Journals & Correspondence

Harriet R. Holman (ed.), North African Journal, 1912; With Letters Along the Way (Miami, Florida: Field Research Projects, 1970)

Henry Field (ed.), On the Nile in 1901 (Miami: Field Research Projects, 1970)(journal written in 1901)

Writings

Thomas Nelson Page, In Ole Virginia; or, Marse Chan, and Other Stories (New York: Scribner, 1887)(Scribner, 1890)(Scribner, 1896) [online text] (Scribner, 1920)(Scribner, 1923)(Ridgewood, New Jersey: Gregg Press, 1968)(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1969)

________________, Two Little Confederates (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1888) [online text] (C. Scribner's Sons, 1908)(C. Scribner's Sons, 1911)

________________, Among the Camps (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1891) [online text]

________________, On Newfound River (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1891) [online text] (C. Scribner's Sons, 1906)

________________, Elsket, and Other Stories (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1891) [online text] (Freeport, New York: Books for Libraries Press, 1969)

________________, Marse Chan; a Tale of old Virginia (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1892) [online text] (C. Scribner's Sons, 1897)(C. Scribner's Sons, 1912) [online text: In Ole Virginia, or Marse Chan and Other Stories (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1895)(1887)]

_______________, The Old South: Essays Social and Political (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1892)(C. Scribner's Sons, 1896)(C. Scribner's Sons, 1908)(Chautauqua, New York: Chautauqua Press, 1919)(New York: Haskell House Publishers, 1968)(New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969)

________________, Meh Lady: A Story of the War (New York: Scribner, 1893)(Scribner, 1904)

________________, The Burial of the Guns (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1894)(New York: Garrett Press, 1969) [online text]

________________, Pastime Stories (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1894)(Freeport, New York: Books for Libraries Press, 1969)

________________, Polly; a Christmas Recollection (New York: Scribner, 1894) [online text] (Scribner, 1897)

________________, The Old Gentleman of the Black Stock (New York: Scribner's, 1897)(New York: Scribner's, 1901)

________________, Social Life in Old Virginia Before the War (New York: Scribner's, 1897) [online text] [online text] (New York: Scribner's, 1898)(New York: Scribner's, 1910)

________________, Red Rock: A Chronicle of Reconstruction (New York: C. Scribner, 1898)(New York: C. Scribner, 1900)(New York: C. Scribner, 1904)(New York: C. Scribner, 1906)(New York: C. Scribner, 1907)(New York: C. Scribner, 1909)(Ridgewood, New Jersey: Gregg Press, 1967)

________________, Two Prisoners (New York: R. H. Russell, 1898)(New York: R.H. Russell, 1903) [online text]

________________, Santa Claus's Partner (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1899) [online text]

________________, The Old Gentleman of the Black Stock (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1902)(1901)

________________, A Captured Santa Claus (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1902)

________________, Gordon Keith (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1903)(New York: Scribner, 1910)(New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1912) [online text]

________________, Bred in the Bone (New York: Scribner, 1904)(New York: Scribner, 1906)

________________, The Negro: The Southerner's Problem (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1904) [online text] (New York: Johnson Reprint Corp., 1970)

________________, The Novels, Stories, Sketches and Poems (New York: Scribner, Plantation ed., 1906-12)(18 vols.)

John Marvel Assistant (2 vols.) [vol. 2: online text]

________________, Under the Crust (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1907) [online text]

________________, The Old Dominion; Her Making and Her Manners (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1908) [online text] (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1914)

________________, Robert E. Lee, the Southerner (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1908) [online text] (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911) [online text]

________________, Tommy Trot's Visit to Santa Claus (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1908)(C. Scribner's Sons, 1916)

________________, John Marvel, Assistant (New York: C. Scribner's Sons 1909)(New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1910)

________________, Robert E. Lee, Man and Soldier (London: T. Werner Laurie, 1909)(New York: Scribner's Sons, 1911) [online text]

_______________, Mount Vernon and Its Preservation, 1858-1910 (New York: Knickerbocker Press, 1910)(New York: Knickerbocker Press, 1932)

________________, Two Little Confederates. Among the Camps. Two Prisoners (New York: Scribner, Plantation ed., 1912)

________________, The Land of the Spirit (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1913)

________________, The Stranger's Pew (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1914)

________________, The Shepherd Who Watched By Night (New York: Scribner, 1916)

________________, Italy and the World War (New York: C. Scribners, 1920) [online text]

________________, Dante and His Influence (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1922) [online text] (Port Washington, New York: Kennikat Press, 1969)

________________, Washington and Its Romance (New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1923)

________________, The Red Riders (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1924)

Bibliography

Henry Field, A Memoir of Thomas Nelson Page (Miami: Field Research Projects, 1978)

George C. Longest, Three Virginia Writers: Mary Johnston, Thomas Nelson Page, and Amelie Rives Troubetzkoy—A Reference Guide (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1978)

Theodore L. Gross, Thomas Nelson Page (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1967)

Jay B. Hubbell, The South in American Literature, 1607-1900 (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1954)

Rosewell Page, Thomas Nelson Page: A Memoir Of A Virginia Gentleman (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1924) [Rosewell Page was Thomas Nelson Page's brother]

Harry Aubrey Toulmin, Social Historians (Boston: R. G. Badger, 1911)

Bibliography: Articles

Michael Flusche, Thomas Nelson Page: The Quandary of a Literary Genleman, 84 (4) Virginia Maganzine of History & Biography 464 (1976)

Armistead C. Gordon, Thomas Nelson Page: An Appreciation Scribner's Magazine 75-80 (January, 1923) [Armistead C. Gordon]

Robert L. Scribner, "In Ole Virginia" [Thomas Nelson Page], 3 (1) Virginia Cavalcade 4 (Summer 1953)