Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: William Pursley letters

Abstract

The William Pursley letters (dated 1929-1932, undated; 0.46 cubic feet; 1 box, 4 items) comprises letters from William Pursley to his girlfriend that document his experience serving in the US military in the Philippines in the early 1930s.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: William Pursley letters
Date
1929-1932, undated (inclusive)
Creator
Pursley, William, 1908-
Extent
0.46 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Letters.
Love-letters
Correspondence.
Military life.
Philippines.
Manila (Philippines)
Shanghai (China)
Travel.
Negatives (photographic)
Pursley, William, 1908-
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by subject. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0828: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: William Pursley letters, 1929-1932, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
William Pursley (b. 1908) was born in Ohio to Everett Pursley and Bessie Wilson. He enlisted in the army in the early 1930s, serving with the 31st Infantry Regiment in the US-occupied Philippines and then Shanghai, China after the Japanese invaded in early 1932. In September 1932, Pursley married Rachel Olive Wilson (1908-1990) and together the couple had one child, William C. (1937-2004). The couple spent the remainder of their lives together in Newark, Ohio.
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 Pursley letters (dated 1929-1932, undated; 0.46 cubic feet; 1 box, 4 items) comprises letters from William Pursley to his girlfriend that document his experience serving in the US military in the Philippines in the early 1930s. In the letters he discusses daily life in Manila, participating in drills, his countdown to returning to her, his opinion of the Filipino people, traveling around the Philippines on furloughs, and their preparation to go to Shanghai after the Japanese invasion of China. There are a few letters from his girlfriend discussing daily life at home and how she misses him, and letters from friends detailing their get-togethers. Also included are a few letters from Rachel Olive's aunt, discussing daily life at home and personal health. There are four negatives in the collection, depicting unidentified persons playing together in a yard.
The William Pursley letters collection is 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
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 Pursley to Rachel Olive Wilson, 1929 February - June

  • Box 1, folder 1
To top

William Pursley to Rachel Olive Wilson, 1929 July - November

  • Box 1, folder 2
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William Pursley to Rachel Olive Wilson, 1930

  • Box 1, folder 3
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William Pursley to Rachel Olive Wilson, 1931

  • Box 1, folder 4-5
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William Pursley to Rachel Olive Wilson, 1932, undated

  • Box 1, folder 6
To top

Rachel Olive Wilson to William Pursley, 1929-1931

  • Box 1, folder 7
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Demarius Shirley to William Pursley, 1931

  • Box 1, folder 8
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Aunt Bess to Rachel Olive Wilson, 1931-1932

  • Box 1, folder 9
To top

General letters, 1929-1932, undated

  • Box 1, folder 10
To top

Negatives, undated

  • Box WH-173, item 1-4
To top

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Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.

You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.

UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is open Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm. Appointments are encouraged but not required. Schedule an appointment here.

Researchers must have an SCRC Researcher Account to request materials. View account set-up and use instructions here.

Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.

Requests

No items have been requested.



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  2. Submit a request for SCRC materials.



You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.