Accession Number: 12
The Jesse Stuart Collection, 1933-1979
3 linear feet
Part A, Series I -
Part A, Series II -
Part A, Series
Articles and clippings
Part A, Series IV -
Photographs (Some autographed)
Part A, Series V -
Part A, Series VI -
Stories in Esquire
Part B, Series I - Stuart-Thompson
Part C, Series
Typescripts of Books
Part C, Series II - Typescripts of Poems
Part C, Series III - Finished Poems
Part C, Series IV - Correspondence
Part C, Series V - Photographs and slides
Part C, Series VI - Envelopes
Part C, Series VII - Miscellaneous
Part C, Series VIII - Jane Stuart
Part D, Series I -
Part D, Series II -
Part D, Series III -
Part D, Series IV -
Access and Use:
Part A of the Jesse Stuart collection includes documents collected
over a period of years by the library staff of Berea College.
Part B of the collection was copied from documents owned by Lawrence Thompson
of the University of Kentucky.
Part C was donated by William Plumley, former Director of Morris Harvey College
Publications, in Charleston, West Virginia. These papers were received on June
30, 1998 and opened for research in May of 2000.
Part D was given by Carolyn Dobbs, who founded the magazine, The Pointer, to
help teachers and parents of mentally handicapped children. Carolyn and her
husband, Tom, had become personal friends of Jesse Stuart and Naomi Dean, and
after Stuart's death Carolyn Dobbs donated these items to Berea College. The
papers were received on December 28, 1999, and were opened for research in
June of 2000.
Access: The only restrictions are Federal copyright requirements.
Preferred Citation: The Jesse Stuart Collection, Special
Collections & Archives,
Berea College, Berea, Ky.
7 Manuscript Boxes
The first part of the collection contains correspondence, a small
manuscript accumulation, a variety of magazine articles and newspaper
clippings (some written by Stuart and others written by various
book critics and columnists), a few photographs (some of which
are autographed), and a miscellaneous file. The latter file contains
a bibliography in addition to a copy of the Kentucky State Constitution
revision/comparison study, in which Stuart participated as a committee
member. There is also a collection of Esquire magazines
containing Stuart stories from the 1940s.
The other three parts of the collection were accumulated by individuals
who had a personal relationship with Stuart during his lifetime.
Part B consists of copies of correspondence and other materials
owned by Lawrence Thompson, formerly classics professor at the
University of Kentucky. Part C contains corrected typescripts that
Stuart sent to William Plumley for publication, with related correspondence;
photos; and poems by Stuart's daughter Jane. Part 4 includes recollections
by Carolyn Dobbs, notes from famous public figures, and Stuart's
correspondence with Carolyn and her husband.
Archives at Berea
Albert Stewart Papers, SAA 84
Jesse Stuart was born in Greenup County, Kentucky on August 8,
1907. He lived with his wife, Naomi Deane, near Greenup, Kentucky,
on a tract of land that includes the old tenant farmhouse once
rented by his family during his childhood. His one child, Jane
Stuart, is also a published author.
Stuart started writing about life in Appalachia when he was a
young boy. He is known for a sensitive portrayal of the Appalachian
highlander as a neighbor, relative, or friend. Stuart portrays
Eastern Kentucky as a land of highland traditions that enable mountain
people to take pride in their heritage. In his fiction, life in
the mountains generates an intense loyalty to one's family and
one's country. He was the author of more than 500 volumes, including
novels, more than 450 short stories, collections of his 2100 poems,
and a book about his recovery from a severe heart attack.
Stuart's poetry was early acclaimed when he received the prestigious
Guggenheim Award in 1937. Later awards, both that from the Academy
of Arts and Sciences in 1941, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Award in 1943, praised both his poetry and prose works. He was
designated a Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1954. "The
World of Jesse Stuart" was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Poetry
in 1975. He also won the $10,000 Academy of American Poets Award
and a special award from Berea College. In 1976, Stuart received
the first "Outstanding Kentuckian Award" from the Kentucky Council
of Teachers of English. The highest acclaim and perhaps the most
meaningful came through the remarkable public demand for his books.
Out of all his literary honors he was proudest of an eight foot
tall monument placed in front of the Greenup County Courthouse
in his honor.
Near his seventieth birthday Stuart had a stroke that paralyzed
his left side. In 1981 he received the Governor's Medal for Distinguished
Public Service. Stuart fell into a stroke-induced coma in May of
1982, and died February 17, 1984, at the age of seventy-six. Jesse
Stuart is still remembered as "one of the most celebrated and beloved
of the Appalachian writers."
This information was collected from the Courier Journal's
February 19 and February 21, 1984 issues.
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