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Basil Thompson Papers

Basil Thompson Papers

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Basil Thompson Papers

J. Edgar and Louis S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans


Profile Description

Creation: XML finding aid derived from Microsoft Word document.
Language: Description is in English.

Overview of the Collection

Repository: Loyola University (New Orleans, La)
Monroe Library
6363 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70118
Phone: 504-864-7111
Creator: Thompson, Basil, 1892-1924.
Title: Basil Thompson Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1861-1951
Dates: bulk 1913-1924
Quantity: 2.1 linear ft.
Abstract: Correspondence, literary manuscripts, printed material, scrapbooks, photographs, and other material related to Basil Thompson.
Collection No.7

System of Arrangement

Organized into seven series: I. Correspondence. II. Literary manuscripts. III. Publications. IV. Diary and journal. V. Scrapbooks and albums. VI. Photographs. VII. Miscellaneous.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

These papers preserve fragments from the short life of a New Orleans poet who was involved with The Double Dealer; they also preserve fragments of his family's history. Much of the material in these papers is dated between 1913 and 1924, the years of Basil Thompson's literary activity. Thompson's childhood in the early 1900s also provided considerable material. Several items are dated from the nineteenth century, the earliest being the 1861 diary of Basil Thompson's grandfather.

These five boxes of papers, which total 2.1 linear feet, are arranged into seven series based on types of material: Correspondence; Literary Manuscripts; Publications; Diary and Journal; Scrapbooks and Albums; Photographs; Miscellaneous Material. By far the largest series is Publications, which contains published material by or about Basil Thompson or about The Double Dealer.

Administrative/Biographical History

These papers contain material by and about Basil Thompson and certain members of his family. Thompson was born in New Orleans on 21 June 1892, the son of T. P. and Ida Marie Thompson. In 1910 he graduated from Loyola College in New Orleans with a bachelor of arts degree. He then studied law at Tulane University in 1910-1911 and at Washington and Lee in 1911-1912. Beginning in 1913 he worked as an agent for the Equitable Life Assurance Society. On 28 July 1914 he married Rebekah Brown of Chicago.

Thompson was a poet and a prominent figure in the literary circles that flourished in postwar New Orleans. His work was published in such magazines as The Smart Set, The Bookman, Current Opinion, Pearson's Magazine, and The Nation and in two slim volumes, Estrays and Auguries. In 1920 he was a founder and subsequently was an editor of The Double Dealer, a small but influential literary magazine based in New Orleans that published from 1921 to 1926.

Thompson died of pneumonia in New Orleans on 7 April 1924. The April 1924 issue of The Double Dealer printed a bibliography of his poetry and prose and reprinted some of his writings.

These papers also contain material by and about the following members of Basil Thompson's family. T. P. Thompson was Basil's father. He was the general agent for Louisiana and Mississippi for the Equitable Life Assurance Society, the same firm with which Basil was associated. He was also a New Orleans civic and cultural leader and a history enthusiast who owned an impressive collection of Americana relating to Louisiana and the Mississippi Valley. He was born in 1860 and died in 1924. Ida Marie Zorn was the maiden name of T. P. Thompson's second wife and Basil's mother; she was the daughter of Antoine Urban Zorn. Dorothy Thompson was Basil's sister. Susan B. Elder was the mother of T. P. Thompson's first wife and a writer of some note. Her writings, which often reflected her devotion to the South and to the Catholic Church, included history, biography, fiction, and, poetry. She was born in 1835 and died in 1923.


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission must be obtained from Special Collections & Archives and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Item], Basil Thompson Papers, Collection 07, Special Collections & Archives, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University, New Orleans.

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