Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Commodore Nolan papers

Abstract

The Commodore Nolan papers (dated 1919-1939, bulk 1923; 0.17 cubic feet; 6 folders) comprise letters received from various women in Nolan's life throughout the 1920s and 1930s, documenting marital and family life.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Commodore Nolan papers
Creator
Nolan, Commodore, 1898-1992
Extent
0.17 Cubic Feet
Subjects
African American families
African Americans -- Social conditions.
Courtship
Funeral rites and ceremonies.
Letters.
Marriage
Arrangement
Collection is arranged chronologically and by format.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0030: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Commodore Nolan papers, 1919-1939, bulk 1923), University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Commodore Nolan, an African-American day laborer, was born January 1, 1898 to John Nolan and Nellie Cross (d. 1930) in Terre Haute, Indiana. On September 27, 1920, Nolan married his first wife, Frances (Dix) Nolan (1899-1923). She passed at 24 years old due to tuberculosis, and by 1930, Commodore had remarried to Martha Washington (b. 1904). Nolan passed away on March 15, 1992, in his hometown of Terre Haute, IN.
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 Commodore Nolan papers (dated 1919-1939, bulk 1923; 0.17 cubic feet; 6 folders) comprise letters received from various women in Nolan's life throughout the 1920s and 1930s, documenting marital and family life. A majority of the letters are from his second wife, Martha Washington, of Centerville, Tennessee, while they were dating. The letters highlight issues in Nolan's marriage and his infidelity. Additionally, there are financial records relating to the burial of his first wife.
The Commodore Nolan papers 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

Commodore Nolan letters, 1919-1920

  • Box 124, folder 1
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Commodore Nolan business transactions, 1929-1939

  • Box 124, folder 6
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Commodore Nolan letters, 1923

  • Box 124, folder 2
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Commodore Nolan letters, 1924-1926

  • Box 124, folder 3
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Commodore Nolan letters, 1903-1931

  • Box 124, folder 4
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Commodore Nolan letters, undated

  • Box 124, folder 5
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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.