Jesse Stuart Papers
Kentucky Historical Society. Special Collections & Archives.Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-1931
Access at KHS only. Use microfilm, transcriptions or images when available.
For microfilmed copies see Clift number(s): 0920 (A)
[Identification of item], Jesse Stuart Papers, 98SC103,Library Special Collections and Archives, Kentucky Historical Society, Frankfort.
Stuart was born in Greenup County in 1906, the son of tenant farmers. He attended Greenup High School and Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. He returned to Greenup County as a teacher in 1929. In the next ten years, Stuart taught in one-room schools and served as high school principal and county school superintendent. He began to write as a college student and continued in a year of graduate study in 1931-1932 at Vanderbilt University. His first works, the books of poetry HARVEST OF YOUTH and MAN WITH A BULL-TONGUE PLOW, appeared in the early 1930s.
Other prominent works by Stuart included TAPS FOR PRIVATE TUSSIE, BEYOND DARK HILLS, and short story collections HEAD O' W-HOLLOW and MEN OF THE MOUNTAIN. He wrote more than five hundred stories and published more than sixty novels and other books. After leaving teaching, he devoted his time to the lecture circuit and writing. Stuart died in 1984.
This collection contains letters and a literary manuscript written by Jesse Stuart, author of numerous Kentucky novels and short stories.
Included in the collection are letters written to Aquilla and Dorothy Hanson of Baltimore, Maryland, by Stuart, and the original manuscript of a Stuart short story bought by Aquilla Hanson. Aquilla Hanson sent books to Stuart in 1941 to be autographed, opening a correspondence between them. Included in Stuart's letters are mentions of a possible play to be made from the short story "The People Choose" from MEN OF THE MOUNTAIN and the writing of Stuart's novel AN ACT OF GOD.
A January 1, 1942, letter by Stuart described a car accident in Mexico involving Stuart and his wife, Naomi Deane Norris Stuart, and her serious injuries. The theme of TAPS FOR PRIVATE TUSSIE was discussed in a letter of November 20, 1943.
Also present is the original typescript, with handwritten corrections, for "Against the Sunset," an early Stuart short story about striking steelworkers in Portsmouth, Ohio, across the Ohio River from Kentucky. According to the correspondence, Aquilla Hanson purchased the typescript from a third party. Stuart did not remember how the typescript left his possession.
The collection contains a 1941 booklet about the writer August Derleth. A note from Stuart expressing his admiration for Derleth's work is written across the cover. A clipping from the SATURDAY EVENING POST describing reaction to an earlier POST story about the building of the Stuart home in Greenup County is also included in the collection.
Creator's Occupation: Author; schoolteacher
County: Greenup County
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