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Thomas Buchanan Read Papers, 1856-1871


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Collection Overview

Thomas Buchanan Read Papers, 1856-1871
Mss. 84s R22
0.03 Cubic Feet
Primary Creator
Read, Thomas Buchanan (1822-1872)
Date Acquired
Forms of Material


Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.
Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Letter, 13 September 1856, of Thomas Buchanan Read, Liverpool [Eng.] to Mrs. [?] Gray concerning his voyage to England, the 1856 United States presidential election (his support for Fremont) and letter, 10 Aug[us]t 1871, of Read, Rome [Italy] to [?] Gray, concerning Read's painting and religion.

Biographical Note

Thomas Buchanan Read (1822-1872), American poet, was a portrait-painter, and lived much abroad. He wrote a prose romance, <i>The Pilgrims of the Great St. Bernard</i>, and several books of poetry, including <i>The New Pastoral, The House by the Sea, Sylvia</i>, and <i>A Summer Story</i>. Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: <a href="http://scrc.swem.wm.edu/wiki/index.php/Thomas Buchanan Read">http://scrc.swem.wm.edu/wiki/index.php/Thomas Buchanan Read</a>.

Subject/Index Terms

Box and Folder Listing

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Folder 1

13 Sept. 1856. T[homas] Buchanan Read/ Liverpool/ [Eng.], to Mrs. [?] Gray, n.p. Tells of voyage to England taking 2(d  days, and the discovery of a major leak, "one inch per minute I" from the ship on the second day; constant pumping kept the ship afloat; wrote two poems while on board, which he hopes will be good enough to be published; comments on the upcoming presidential election in the United States, stating that everyone in England is "in favor of Freedom” which means of course [John Charles] Fremont"; hopes that Fremont will have the time to write a letter of introduction to Mr. Peabody in London; regards to Mr. and Mrs. Fremont and the "young ladies of his household"; message to Col. James that he expects to paint his portrait in Rome; asks latest opinion on the "Catholic question." 5 pp.

10 Aug[us]t 1871. T[homas] Buchanan Read, Rome, [Italy], to [?] Gray, n.p. Is busy painting, and writing poetry and lyrics; has not converted to Catholicism, and philosophizes about his sins and religion; mentions a 4th of July dinner, where his poetry was the topic of discussion; encloses photographs [not included] of his paintings, which he wishes to be mounted on large paper by a photographer/ and shown to whomever might be interested; has a studio full of completed work; comments that Rome will be full of tourists soon, and invites [him?] to come. 4 pp.

Administrative Information

Special Collections Research Center
Acquisition Source
Cese Kellinger
Acquisition Method
Preferred Citation
Thomas Buchanan Read Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
Processing Information
Processed by Cynthia L. Barwick in 1984.