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Jeff Adams collection of Don Marquis

Identifier: MSS 16749

Content Description

Correspondence and miscellaneous papers on Don Marquis. Photocopies of correspondence with Don Marquis.


  • Creation: 1980 - 2000

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

Don Marquis,(July 29, 1878 – December 29, 1937) was an American humorist, journalist, and author. He was variously a novelist, poet, newspaper columnist, and playwright. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Don Marquis charmed New Yorkers with his whimsical newspaper column. He is remembered best for creating the characters Archy and Mehitabel, supposed authors of humorous verse. During his lifetime he was equally famous for creating another fictitious character, "the Old Soak," who was the subject of two books, a hit Broadway play (1922–23), a silent film (1926) and a talkie (1937). Marquis's columns were edited by Jeff Adams.

From 1902 to 1907 Marquis served on the editorial board of the Atlanta Journal where he wrote many editorials during the heated gubernatorial election between his publisher Hoke Smith and future Pulitzer Prize winner, Clark Howell (Smith was the victor).

In 1912 he began work for the New York Evening Sun, and edited for the next eleven years a daily column, "The Sun Dial". In 1922 he left The Evening Sun (shortened to The Sun in 1920) for the New York Tribune (renamed the New York Herald Tribune in 1924), where his daily column, "The Tower" (later "The Lantern") was a great success. He regularly contributed columns and short stories to the Saturday Evening Post, Collier's and American magazines and also appeared in Harper's, Scribner's, Golden Book, and Cosmopolitan.

Marquis was the author of about 35 books. He co-wrote (or contributed posthumously to) the films The Sports Pages, Shinbone Alley, The Good Old Soak and Skippy. The 1926 film The Cruise of the Jasper B was supposedly based on his 1916 novel of the same name, although the plots have little in common.

Sources: "Don Marquis." Amazon. retrieved 3/16/2023 "Don Marquis" Wikipedia. retrieved 3/16/2023


1 Cubic Feet (3 document boxes) : collection designated to be housed in Ivy Stacks.

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was a gift from Jeff Adams to the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia Library on 2 February 2021.

Jeff Adams collection of Don Marquis
Ellen Welch and A. Morgan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States