Guide to the Thomas Autograph Collection

SJSU Special Collections & Archives
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
San José State University
One Washington Square
San José, CA 95192-0028
Phone: (408) 808-2062
Fax: (408) 808-2063
Email: special.collections@sjsu.edu
URL: http://library.sjsu.edu/sjsu-special-collections/sjsu-special-collections-and-archives
© 2010
Trustees of the California State University. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Thomas Autograph Collection

Collection number: MSS-2010-06-28



SJSU Special Collections & Archives
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
San José State University
One Washington Square
San José, CA 95192-0028
Phone: (408) 808-2062
Fax: (408) 808-2063
Email: special.collections@sjsu.edu
URL: http://library.sjsu.edu/sjsu-special-collections/sjsu-special-collections-and-archives


Finding aid funded by the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Processed by:
Jeffra D. Bussman, Lisa Zakharova
Date Completed:
2010
Encoded by:
Lisa Zakharova
© 2010 Trustees of the California State University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Thomas Autograph Collection
Dates: 1870-1945
Bulk Dates: 1885-1910
Collection number: MSS-2010-06-28
Creator: Thomas, Henriette
Collection Size: 3 boxes, 4.5 linear feet
Repository: San José State University. Library.
San José, California 95192-0028
Abstract: The Thomas Autograph Collection, 1870-1945 (bulk 1885-1910) contains correspondence collected by the Thomas family, who were active community members of Woodland, California. Charles W. Thomas collected the autographs of well-known literary and public figures during the late 19th Century. This collection of autograph letters includes George Washington Cable, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Oliver Wendell Holmes, David Starr Jordan, and others. The collection also includes correspondence from Thomas relatives and close friends, such as the Markham family and Calthea C. Vivian. Henriette G. Thomas, the daughter of Charles W. Thomas, inherited her parents' autograph and correspondence collection, and added to it some of her own letters, before donating the collection to the San Jose State College Library in 1965.
Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright is assigned to the San José State University Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives. Copyright restrictions may apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Preferred Citation

Thomas Autograph Collection, MSS-2010-06-28, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Jeffra D. Bussman. Additional processing by Lisa Zakharova. Finding aid EAD encoded by Lisa Zakharova. Reviewed by Danelle Moon and Erin Louthen.

Project Information

This finding aid was created as part of the Survey and Cataloging Project, a two-year San José State University Library grant project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The project began in 2008. The Project Director is Danelle Moon. The Project Archivist is Erin Louthen.

Family History

Born in October 1852 to George W. and Doritha M. Thomas, Charles W. Thomas lived in Kentucky until the late 1850s when his family moved to Missouri. He attended Missouri State Normal School of the First District, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts and Didactics in 1875. On August 5th, 1879, Charles married classmate and fellow graduate Serelda Gilstrap. Both worked as teachers in Missouri, but Mr. Thomas soon left the teaching profession to pursue law. He passed the Missouri bar in 1878 and worked as a clerk of the Missouri Senate Judiciary Committee in 1879. Mrs. Thomas continued to teach while earning a Master of Arts and Didactics degree. In the 1880s, the Thomas family moved to Woodland, California, where they were active charter members of the Woodland Shakespeare Club. In 1882, Mrs. Thomas became a book reviewer for the local newspaper, The Woodland Democrat. Charles W. Thomas was an avid collector of autographs by well known literary and public figures from the 19th century. It was their daughter, Henriette G. Thomas, a local San Jose High School librarian, who inherited the correspondence collection, which she added to before she bequeathed the autograph collection to the San Jose State College library in 1965.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Thomas Autograph Collection, 1870-1945 (bulk 1885-1910), consists primarily of correspondence collected by the Thomas family, who were active community members of Woodland, California. This collection includes autographs of well-known individuals such as George Washington Cable, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Oliver Wendell Holmes, David Starr Jordan, and others. The collection also includes correspondence from Thomas family relatives and close friends, such as the Markham family and Calthea C. Vivian. Henriette G. Thomas, a San Jose High School librarian and the daughter of Charles W. Thomas, inherited her parents' autograph and correspondence collection, and added to it some of her own letters. Also included is a small collection of miscellany that consists of newspaper clippings, an autograph book, an audio cassette tape of an interview with Mrs. Ralph Wyckoff, who was a close friend of Mrs. Henriette Thomas, program and poem booklets, and photographs. The bulk of the material dates from 1885-1910. All of the original correspondence related to Edwin Markham have been separated from this collection, and are now part of the Edwin Markham Collection.

Arrangement

This single series collection is arranged alphabetically by author surname, and chronologically by date. Additional ephemera and miscellaneous items are located in box 3.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Autographs
Signatures (Writing)
Twain, Mark, 1835-1910
Markham, Edwin, 1852-1940
Thomas, Henriette G.

Related Material

Edwin Markham collection, MSS-2005-10-01, San Jose State University Library Special Collections and Archives.

Collection Contents

Boxes 1-3

Series : I
Autographs 1870-1945 (bulk 1885-1910)

Physical Description: 3 boxes

Scope and Content Note

This series documents the incoming and outgoing correspondence of the Thomas family. A significant portion of the collection consists of letters(1889-1907) from contemporary writers, literary figures, government officials, and organization leaders. Serelda G. Thomas corresponded with contemporary writers and other literary figures between 1890 and 1905. Letters with notable autographs are those written by Lyman Abbott, George Washington Cable, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Oliver Wendell Holmes, David Starr Jordan, Charles Fletcher Lummis, Henry Morton Stanley, and Benjamin Ide Wheeler. One of the folders for David Starr Jordan contains original copies of his "What Shall We Say?" articles. The largest segment of the correspondence is comprised of the incoming and outgoing letters representing the Thomas family and friends, including Mrs. Edwin Markham (Anne Catherine Murphy) and Calthea C. Vivian, the head of the Art Department at San Jose State Normal School between 1900 and 1916. The friendly and prolific correspondence between Anne Catherine Markham and Serelda Thomas spans nearly six decades. The final section of the collection contains miscellaneous items, such as a notebook of additional Thomas-collected autographs (1870-1889), an audio cassette recording of an interview of Mrs. Ralph Wyckoff, who was a close friend of Henriette G. Thomas, poem cards, program pamphlets, and photographs. Also included are biographical index cards of the authors, which were created during the first iteration of processing this collection in the late 1960s.

Arrangement

This single series collection is arranged alphabetically by author surname, and chronologically by date. Additional ephemera and miscellaneous items are located in box 3.
Below are letters authored by persons of particular historical significance.
Box 1, Folder 1

Abbott, Lyman 1891

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folder 2

Adams, Oscar Ray 1891

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folder 3

Aldrich, Thomas Bailey 1890

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folder 4

Alger, William L. 1891

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folder 5

Alden, James Lane 1892

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folder 6

Atherton, Gertrude 1897

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folder 12

Budd, James Herbert 1890

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folders 13-14

Cable, George Washington 1889

Physical Description: 2 folders
Box 1, Folder 15

Clemens, Samuel 1890

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folders 19-20

Curtin, Jeremiah 1890 1891

Physical Description: 2 folders
Box 1, Folder 21

Custer, Elizabeth B. 1891

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folder 22

Donnelly, Ignatius 1890

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folder 23

Fair, James G. 1890

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folders 24-26

Field, Kate 1891

Physical Description: 3 folders
Box 1, Folder 27

Fisher, George P. 1890

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folders 28-29

Foote, Mary Hallock 1892

Physical Description: 2 folders
Box 1, Folder 30

Forsyth, George A. 1895

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folder 32

French, Alice 1896

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folder 33

Gale, Zona undated

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folder 34

Gayley, Charles Mills 1898

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folder 35

Gilder, Jeanette L. 1901

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folders 36-37

Gilder, Joseph Benson 1897 1907

Physical Description: 2 folders
Box 1, Folders 38-39

Gilder, Richard Watson 1890 1893

Physical Description: 2 folders
Box 1, Folder 45

Grant, Robert 1893

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folders 46-47

Hale, Edward Everett 1891

Physical Description: 2 folders
Box 1, Folders 48-51

Harris, William Torrey 1889-1897

Physical Description: 4 folders
Box 1, Folder 52

Hay, Henry H. 1890

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folders 53-55

Hill, Thomas 1896

Physical Description: 3 folders
Box 1, Folders 56-57

Holmes, Oliver Wendell 1890

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folder 58

Hopper, James 1909

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folder 59

Howells, William Dean. 1895

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folder 60

Hutton, Laurence 1895

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folder 63

Johnson, Grove L. 1890

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folders 64-74

Jordan, David Starr. 1899-1915

Physical Description: 10 folders
Box 1, Folder 76

LeConte, Joseph 1890

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folders 77-80

Lummis, Charles Fletcher 1895-1897

Physical Description: 4 folders
Box 2, Folders 198-199

McMaster, John Bach 1890, 1895

Physical Description: 2 folders
Box 2, Folders 200-201

Miller, George N. 1891

Physical Description: 2 folders
Box 2, Folders 202-204

Miller, Joaquin 1895 1896

Physical Description: 3 folders
Box 2, Folders 205-210

Morgan, James Appleton 1889-1892

Physical Description: 5 folders
Box 2, Folder 215

Muttersbach, Alice 1903

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 2, Folder 216

Owen, Mary Alica 1893

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 2, Folder 217

Page, Thomas Nelson 1894

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 2, Folder 218

Pardee, George Cooper 1903

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 2, Folders 231-232

Porter, Charlotte 1889, 1890

Physical Description: 2 folders
Box 2, Folder 234

Putnam, George Israel 1895

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 2, Folder 235

Reed, Elizabeth Armstrong 1893

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 2, Folders 236-237

Repplier, Agnes 1891

Physical Description: 2 folders
Box 2, Folders 239-241

Rolfe, W. J. 1890

Physical Description: 3 folders
Box 2, Folders 242-244

Roseboro, Viola 1892, 1893

Physical Description: 3 folders
Box 2, Folder 247

Scott, Frank H. 1890

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 2, Folder 248

Scudder, H. E. 1897

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 2, Folder 249

St. Nicholas 1890

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 2, Folder 250

Stanley, Henry Morton 1890

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 2, Folders 254-256

Thomas, Edith M. 1890-1899

Physical Description: 3 folders
Box 3, Folders 278-279

Voorsanger, Jacob 1890

Physical Description: 2 folders
Box 3, Folder 280

Ward, Elizabeth Steward Phelps 1899

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 3, Folder 281

Warde, Frederick 1890

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 3, Folder 284

Wheeler, Benjamin Ide 1903

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 3, Folders 285-287

White, Eliza Orne 1895

Physical Description: 3 folders
Box 3, Folders 288-289

Wickson, Edward 1903

Physical Description: 2 folders
Box 3, Folders 290-291

Wildman, Rounsevelle 1896

Physical Description: 2 folders
Box 3, Folders 292-297

Miscellany 1870-1945

Physical Description: 6 folders