Guide to the Herbert C. Thompson papers

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Thompson, Herbert Cooper, 1875-1960
Title: Herbert C. Thompson papers
Dates: 1864-1960 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 8.0 linear feet (20 containters)
Collection Number: Ax 067
Summary: American journalist and historian Herbert Cooper Thompson worked as a reported for the Associated Press in England and France during World War I and in Mexico during the Mexican Revolution from 1916 to 1918. From 1924 to 1940, he worked as a writer and observer for the American Red Cross, visiting Cuba, Puerto Rico and Europe. Collection comprises diaries, correspondence, literary manuscripts, and photographs by Thompson.
Repository: University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
Contact Information: UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

Herbert Cooper Thompson, journalist and writer, was born in Eugene, Oregon in 1875, the son of Judge J. M. Thompson. (Judge Thompson, one of Lane County's first lawyers, was president of the Union University Association, the group of Eugene residents which promoted Eugene as the location for the state university in the 1860's. The judge was later a member of the first board of regents for the University of Oregon.)

Herbert C. Thompson attended the University of Oregon in the early 1890's, and completed his education at Stanford University, graduating in 1896. In 1898, he joined the Company C, Oregon Volunteers, and served in the-Philippines during the Spanish-American war.

He began his journalistic career as a newspaper reporter in San Francisco, from 1900 to 1910. He then served as an Associated Press reporter from 1912 to 1920, assigned to England and France during World War I and to the Mexican Revolution, 1916 to 1918. From 1924 to 1940, he was employed as a writer and observer for the American Red Cross, visiting Cuba, Puerto Rico and Europe. He became editor of the Red Cross magazine Courier in 1948, a post he held for four years.

A respected writer and historian, Thompson contributed articles to a number of publications including the New York Times Magazine, the Literary Digest and the Oregon Historical Quarterly. Be was a member of the National Press Club and the Overseas Writers group, both based in Washington D. C., his home from 1924 to 1948.

Thompson retired, with his wife, Elizabeth (there was an unhappy earlier marriage), to Santa Cruz, California. He died October 12, 1960.

Content Description

The first portion of the collection is comprised of 58 diaries, most belonging to Herbert C. Thompson, containing detailed descriptions of places and events. The diaries provided source material for his newspaper accounts and magazine articles, and cover such topics as the Philippines campaign (diaries #6-8), the San Francisco earthquake and fire, written after the event (diary #11) and Thompson's observations of Europe during World War I, plus accounts of his numerous trips. Detailed descriptions of the first 33 volumes of the diaries may be found in the attached guide.

Thompson's early letters, 1883-1900, include a series from and to his mother, when he was at Stanford University and in the Philippines. Later correspondence is with other newspapermen and friends. There is a series of letters from an uncle, William Thompson, a newspaperman in Alturas, California, written from 1912-1934. Another series of letters,1920-1926, is from writer Thomas Dykes Bailey of Santa Cruz, California.

The papers include manuscripts of many of Thompson's articles and books, including a history of the Philippines campaign, "War Without Medals" (excerpts from this work were published in the Oregon Historical Quarterly, Vol. 59, pp. 293-325), and the unpublished novel, "The Senator Runs Again." There is also an unorganized manuscript, "Notes on Europe, 1912-1916," which discusses newspapers and newspaper work. Loose papers in the collection include Philippine Island newspapers, 1898, and Mexican Revolution broadsides, photographs and mementos.

With the H. C. Thompson papers is a series of letters, 1864-1882, to his father, Judge John M. Thompson, and notes and speeches by J. M. Thompson. Major correspondents include Joseph Lane, Matthew Deady, Robert S. Bean and Cincinnatus H. Miller [Joaquin Miller].

The photographs include family portraits and images from Thompson's travels. Most of the prints are arranged by location. Photographs in this collection concern the following subjects and dates: Philippines, Spanish-American War, WWI, Mexico, Hawaii, SF earthquake.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Collection includes nitrate photographs to which access is restricted.

Restrictions on Use :  

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation :  

[Identification of item], Herbert C. Thompson Papers, Ax 067, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Collection is organized into the following series:

  • Diaries
  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts
  • Published materials
  • Miscellany
  • Photographs

Processing Note :  

Collection processed by staff.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Detailed Description of the Collection

1 1 Volumes 1-3
1 2 Volumes 4-7
1 3 Volumes 8-9
1 4 Volumes 10, 11, 11A, 12
1 5 Volumes 13-16
1 6 Volumes 17-18
2 1 Volumes 19-20
2 2 Volumes 21-25
2 3 Volumes 26-30
2 4 Volumes 31-34
2 5 Volumes 35-40
3 1 Volumes 41-43
3 2 Volumes 44-47
3 3 Volumes 48-49
3 4 Volumes 50-51
3 5 Volumes 52-54
3 6 Volumes 55-57
3 7 Volume 58

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4 1 Undated Undated
4 2 Elizabeth Thompson to Herbert C. Thompson Undated
4 3 Letters from Joseph Lane, Matthew Deady, and R. S. Bean 1864-1882
4 4 Letters to Mrs. J. M. Thompson 1883-1889
4 5 Herbert C. Thompson letters from Stanford 1890-1893
4 6 Herbert C. Thompson letters from Stanford 1894-1895
4 7 Herbert C. Thompson letters from Stanford 1896-1897
4 8 Philippines campaign 1898
5 1 Philippines campaign 1899
5 2 1900
5 3 1910
5 4 1911-1919
5 5 1920-1929
5 6 1930-1939
5 7 1940-1947
5 8 1950-1960
5 9 William Thompson letters 1912-1934
5 9 William Thompson letters 1912-1934
5 10 Thomas D. Beasley letters 1920-1926

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6 1 Statement on M. H. de Young 1894
6 1 The Terrorism of Tourism 1921
6 1 Cuba Under the Skin 1926
6 1 Imperial Poland
6 1 The Soldier Musicians of Uncle Sam
6 1 Omai, the Savage
6 1 Glick of Kansas
6 1 Touring by Bus in Mexico
6 1 A Citizen of the State of Nature (William E. Darling)
6 1 Priorities on Fame
6 1 Adventures on the Mexican Border in 1918
6 1 On Writing
6 2 Boyhood compositions
6 3 The Senator Runs Again (A Novel About 'Senator Brisket')
6 3 Southern Comfort
6 4 They Shall Not Pass (A Story About the Cleveland Harrison Election)
6 4 Fishing as a Fiesta
6 4 Two Stanford compositions: "A View from My Window" and "Our Japanese"
6 4 A Professor Looks Forward (Review of The Supercity by Robert R. Kern)
6 4 Professorese, a Study in Cultural Illiteracy
6 4 The Banditti of the Appennines
6 4 Notes on a Trip to Yosemite in 1907
6 4 Moray Applegate
6 4 Two college compositions
6 4 Letter to New Statesman on the Chessman case
6 4 Pastor Russell
6 4 Santa Claus in a Banana Grove
6 4 The Man Who Saw Nagasaki
6 4 Hoover at the Crossroads
6 4 Reminiscences of Moray Lindsay Applegate -- Trip to Jolo
6 4 Reminiscences of an American Hacendado in Mexico
6 4 Abroad in Town
6 5 National Glory
6 5 Temperance
6 5 4th of July address
6 5 Journal on politics and public life, written by H. C. Thompson's father, John Meredith Thompson, during the 1870s
6 6 Notes on Europe, 1912-1916. 3 paperbound volumes
6 7 Article on the Canadian "Queen's Own Rifles" "Breaking the Coeur D'Alene Strike: An Episode in the Career of John Hays Hammond," plus notes and associated articles
6 8 Notebook entitled "Tomnyisms"
7 1 "Tourist in Arms: A Footnote to the History of the American Occupation of the Philippines." 3 paperbound volumes
7 2 "Tourist in Arms: A Footnote to the History of the American Occupation of the Philippines." 3 paperbound volumes
7 3 "Tourist in Arms: A Footnote to the History of the American Occupation of the Philippines." 3 paperbound volumes
7 4 "War Without Medals," second sheets
7 5 "War Without Medals," second sheets
7 6 "War Without Medals," second sheets
8 1 War Without Medals: History of the Philippines Campaign

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Published materials
8 2 Newspaper clippings of editorials, 1923 (some identified as by H. C. Thompson) 1923
8 3 Clippings of newspaper articles, ca. 1925 (some identified as by H. C. Thompson) 1925
8 4 Clippings of newspaper articles, most from 1909-1911, regarding San Francisco 1909-1911
8 5 Clippings of the "Menippus Papers," published in the Stockton Evening Mail, 1909-1912 1909-1912
8 6 Tearsheets from magazines and newspapers, spanning H. C. Thompson's career
8 6 Periodicals with articles by H. C. Thompson

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9 1 Programs, tickets, cards
9 2 Official documents
9 3 Philippine miscellany
9 4 Passports
9 5 Mexican miscellany
9 6 Family notes and clippings
9 7 Poland (1920) miscellany 1920
9 8 Memories of Eugene
9 9 Newspapers from Manila 1898-1899
10 1 Reno divorce; personal letters
10 2 Genealogical materials
10 3 Childhood drawing books
10 4 Collected clippings
10 5 Miscellaneous research and notes

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Photographs (PH043), 1880-1930
3.0 linear feet
Thompson, Herbert Cooper, 1875-1960
1 Nitrate Negatives
2 Safety Negatives
3-6 Prints
7-9 Travel Albums

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  • Personal Names :
  • Thompson, Herbert Cooper, 1875-1960
  • Thompson, Herbert Cooper, 1875-1960--Correspondence
  • Thompson, Herbert Cooper, 1875-1960--Diaries
  • Corporate Names :
  • University of Oregon--History.
  • Subject Terms :
  • Journalists--United States--Correspondence
  • Mexico--History--Revolution, 1910-1920
  • San Francisco Earthquake, Calif., 1906
  • Spanish-American War, 1898--Journalists
  • World War, 1914-1918--Journalists
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Diaries
    • Negatives
    • Nitrate negatives
    • Photograph albums
    • Photographic prints
    • Safety film negatives

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