Basil Thompson Papers
Scope and Contents
These papers preserve fragments from the short life of a New Orleans poet who was involved with Double Dealer; they also preserve fragments of his family's history. Items within this collection include: Correspondence; Literary Manuscripts; Publications; Diary and Journal; Scrapbooks and Albums; Photographs; Miscellaneous Material.
- Created: 1861-1924
- Other: Majority of material found in 1913-1924
- Other: Date acquired: 01/01/1981
- Thompson, Basil (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research use.
Conditions Governing Use
Physical rights are retained by the J. Edgar and Louis S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. Copyright Laws.
Biographical or Historical Information
These papers contain material by and about Basil Thompson and certain members of his family. Thompson was born in New Orleans on 21 June 1892, the son of T. P. and Ida Marie Thompson. In 1910 he graduated from Loyola College in New Orleans with a bachelor of arts degree. He then studied law at Tulane University in 1910-1911 and at Washington and Lee in 1911-1912. Beginning in 1913 he worked as an agent for the Equitable Life Assurance Society. On 28 July 1914 he married Rebekah Brown of Chicago.
Thompson was a poet and a prominent figure in the literary circles that flourished in postwar New Orleans. His work was published in such magazines as The Smart Set, The Bookman, Current Opinion, Pearson's Magazine, and The Nation and in two slim volumes, Estrays and Auguries. In 1920 he was a founder and subsequently was an editor of The Double Dealer, a small but influential literary magazine based in New Orleans that published from 1921 to 1926.
Thompson died of pneumonia in New Orleans on 7 April 1924. The April 1924 issue of The Double Dealer printed a bibliography of his poetry and prose and reprinted some of his writings.
These papers also contain material by and about the following members of Basil Thompson's family. T. P. Thompson was Basil's father. He was the general agent for Louisiana and Mississippi for the Equitable Life Assurance Society, the same firm with which Basil was associated. He was also a New Orleans civic and cultural leader and a history enthusiast who owned an impressive collection of Americana relating to Louisiana and the Mississippi Valley. He was born in 1860 and died in 1924. Ida Marie Zorn was the maiden name of T. P. Thompson's second wife and Basil's mother; she was the daughter of Antoine Urban Zorn.
Dorothy Thompson was Basil's sister. Susan B. Elder was the mother of T. P. Thompson's first wife and a writer of some note. Her writings, which often reflected her devotion to the South and to the Catholic Church, included history, biography, fiction, and, poetry. She was born in 1835 and died in 1923.
Note written by
31.00 Linear Feet (5 boxes) : Mixed Materials ; 2.1 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
These papers preserve fragments from the short life of a New Orleans poet who was involved with Double Dealer; they also preserve fragments of his family's history. Much of the material in these papers is dated between 1913 and 1924, the years of Basil Thompson's literary activity. Thompson's childhood in the early 1900s also provided considerable material. Several items are dated from the nineteenth century, the earliest being the 1861 diary of Basil Thompson's grandfather.
These five boxes of papers, which total 2.1 linear feet, are arranged into seven series based on types of material: Correspondence; Literary Manuscripts; Publications; Diary and Journal; Scrapbooks and Albums; Photographs; Miscellaneous Material. By far the largest series is Publications, which contains published material by or about Basil Thompson or about The Double Dealer.
Source of Acquisition
Kennedy, Mrs. Gerald S. (Rebekah Thompson)
Method of Acquisition
Existence and Location of Originals
multi-part note content
- Thompson, Basil (Person)
- Basil Thompson Papers
- Carpenter, Arthur, updated and made DACS-compliant by Croker, Kure
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
Part of the J. Edgar and Louis S. Monroe Library, Special Collections & Archives Repository
6363 St Charles Ave
New Orleans 70118 US