Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Jesse Stuart papers

Abstract

The Jesse Stuart papers (dated 1938-1990, undated; 0.34 cubic feet; 17 folders) comprises letters, articles, and poems that document the life and impact of Kentucky author Jesse Stuart across the twentieth century.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Jesse Stuart papers
Extent
0.34 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Letters.
Correspondence.
Authors, American.
Friendship.
Marriage
Death
Farm life
Health
Magazines.
Travel.
Family.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged into two series: Letters and Papers. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0736: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Jesse Stuart papers, 1938-1990, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Jesse Stuart (1906-1984) was born in Greenup County, Kentucky to Mitchell Stuart (1880-1954) and Martha Hilton (1882-1951). In 1939, he married Naomi Deane Norris (1908-1993) and together the couple had one child, Jessica Jane (b. 1942). He attended Lincoln Memorial University, and after graduation he returned to his hometown and began teaching at Warnock High School in Greenup, Kentucky. He later became principal at McKell High School, but resigned this position to attend graduate school at Vanderbilt University. After graduate school he served as superintendent of the Greenup County Schools and finally was an English teacher at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, Ohio. He was the author of more than 55 books and 500 short stories about Appalachian Kentucky, education, and agriculture. Some of his most prominent works include Man with a Bull-Tongue Plow, Men of the Mountains, Taps for Private Tussie, and The Thread that Runs So True. He received a number of awards over the course of his writing career, including the Guggenheim Award in 1937, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Award in 1943, was named poet laureate for the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1954, and received the annual award from the American Academy of Poets in 1961.
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 Jesse Stuart papers (dated 1938-1990, undated; 0.34 cubic feet; 17 folders) comprises letters, articles, and poems that document the life and impact of Kentucky author Jesse Stuart across the twentieth century. The letters are primarily between Stuart and Wade Hall, discussing literature, book reviews, articles written about Stuart, speaking at universities, prominent authors, and thoughts on reviews of publications by Stuart and Hall. Other letters from Stuart discuss planning for Stuart to speak at the University of Kentucky, being attacked by a disgruntled Greenup County employee, working on various novels, travels with his wife, the birth of his daughter, getting into a car accident, marriage, and death. Articles in the collection include ones written by Stuart on the impact of writing on his life and when critics should and should not be listened to, along with articles written about Stuart, his works, and the acclaim he received for them. The poems by Stuart in the collection focus on his agricultural background, military experience and thoughts on death and being remembered; the short story is about a visit from Santa Claus.
The Jesse Stuart papers 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
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

Letters, 1938-1977, 1990

Jesse Stuart to Wade Hall, 1963-1969

  • Box WH-80, folder 12
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Jesse Stuart to Wade Hall, 1970

  • Box WH-80, folder 13
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Jesse Stuart to Wade Hall, 1971-1977

  • Box WH-80, folder 14
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Jesse Stuart to Catherine Lytle, 1964-1975

  • Box WH-80, folder 15
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Jesse Stuart to Mona MacElfresh, 1938-1951

  • Box WH-80, folder 16
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Jesse Stuart letters, 1952-1953, 1976, 1990

  • Box WH-80, folder 17
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Papers, 1935-1958, 1977-1984, undated

Alien Atolls by Jesse Stuart in The Saturday Review of Literature, 1945 March

  • Box WH-80, folder 18
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The American Book Collector Jesse Stuart number, 1958

  • Box WH-80, folder 19
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Catalog of Jesse Stuart books at George Brosi Booksellers, 1984

  • Box WH-80, folder 20
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Genius of W-Hollow by Virgil Leon Sturgill in The Southern Literary Messenger, 1940 March

  • Box WH-80, folder 21
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Kentucky Poetry Review Jesse Stuart issue, 1977

  • Box WH-80, folder 22
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The Legacy of Jesse Stuart by Glen Taul in The Mountain Spirit, 1984

  • Box WH-80, folder 23
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The Poet of W-Hollow by Gary Luhr in Rural Kentuckian, 1981 February

  • Box WH-80, folder 24
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Santa's Visit by Jesse Stuart, undated

  • Box WH-80, folder 25
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Untitled poem by Jesse Stuart in Quill and Quair - poetry issue, 1935

  • Box WH-80, folder 26
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When not to take Advice by Jesse Stuart in The Saturday Review of Literature, 1945 February

  • Box WH-80, folder 27
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Writing's been good to me by Jesse Stuart in Writer's Digest, 1977 November

  • Box WH-80, folder 28
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UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is open by appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Materials must be requested at least 5 days before your appointment.

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.

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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.