Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: William W. Masterson letters

Abstract

The William W. Masterson letters (dated 1877-1885, undated; 0.13 cubic feet; 5 folders) comprise letters that document the efforts of young William Masterson to become sober and turn his life around in the late nineteenth century.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: William W. Masterson letters
Creator
Masterson, William W., 1861-1922
Extent
0.13 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Alcoholism.
Courtship
Family.
Letters.
Temperance.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged chronologically. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0153: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: William W. Masterson letters, 1877-1885, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
William W. Masterson (1861-1922) was born in New Castle, Kentucky to Richard William Masterson (1817-1904) and Margaret Jane White (1826-1911). As a young adult, Masterson struggled with alcoholism and left school temporarily to move to Carrollton, KY and join a temperance society in an effort to stay sober. He later returned to school where he followed in his father's footsteps and became a lawyer. In 1895, he became a U.S. Consular official in South Africa; in Aden, 1895-98, 1903-06; Batum, 1906-08; Harput, 1908-1914; and finally Durban, 1916-20. Masterson passed away in 1922, in Plymouth, England.
American Letters collector Wade Hall (1934-2015) was a native of Union Springs, Alabama. Starting in 1962, he lived in Louisville, where he taught English and chaired the English and Humanities/Arts programs at Kentucky Southern College and Bellarmine University. He also taught at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida. He held degrees from Troy State University (B.S.), the University of Alabama (M.A.), and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.). He served for two years in the U.S. Army in the mid-fifties. Dr. Hall was the author of books, monographs, articles, plays, and reviews relating to Kentucky, Alabama, and Southern history and literature. His most recent books include A Visit with Harlan Hubbard; High Upon a Hill: A History of Bellarmine College; A Song in Native Pastures: Randy Atcher's Life in Country Music; and Waters of Life from Conecuh Ridge.
Scope and Content
The William W. Masterson letters (dated 1877-1885, undated; 0.13 cubic feet; 5 folders) comprise letters that document the efforts of young William Masterson to become sober and turn his life around in the late nineteenth century. The letters are primarily between William and his friends and family; they discuss the weather, farming activity, courtship and romance, attempts at sobriety, and run-ins with the law due to alcohol. There are a few letters sent between friends of William's that discuss keeping William in check and knocking sense into him when necessary.
The William W. Masterson letters are part of the Wade Hall Collection of American letters, which includes correspondence and diaries from all over North America covering the time period of the Civil to Korean Wars. The materials were collected by Wade Hall and document everyday men and women.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access The collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

William W. Masterson letters, 1877-1878

  • Box 236, folder 8
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William W. Masterson letters, 1881

  • Box 236, folder 9
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William W. Masterson letters, 1882-1883

  • Box 236, folder 10
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William W. Masterson letters, 1884-1885

  • Box 236, folder 11
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William W. Masterson letters, undated

  • Box 236, folder 12
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Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Requests

No items have been requested.