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Home:  >News & Events   >Newsletter   >2002

Welcome to the Mississippi Writers Page Newsletter for December 6-12, 2002

In this issue:


The following events all happened during this week in Mississippi history.

1801: The capital of the Mississippi territory was moved from Natchez to Washington, Mississippi. (Dec. 12)

1817: Mississippi was admitted to the Union as the twentieth state. Its capital was Washington, Mississippi, and the governor was David Holmes. (Dec. 10)

1862: Confederate General Earl Van Dorn made a daring raid on Grant’s storehouses in Holly Springs. Capturing more than 1500 Union soldiers and much-needed supplies, the raid would set back Grant’s planned Vicksburg campaign by several months. (Dec. 12)

1871: Novelist Katherine Sherwood Bonner McDowell gave birth to a daughter, Lilian. (Dec. 10)

1901: Education professor Samuel Proctor McCutchen was born in Greenville, Mississippi. (Dec. 9)

1907: Educator William S. Vincent was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. (Dec. 12)

1912: Theologian John Allen Moore was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi. (Dec. 10)

1913: Theologian Paul Ramsey was born in Mendenhall, Mississippi. (Dec. 10)

1920: Journalist and fiction writer Elinor Richey was born in Braxton, Mississippi. (Dec. 6)

1924: Fiction writer and editor Charles East was born in Shelby, Mississippi. (Dec. 11)

1931: William Faulkner’s Idyll in the Desert was published by Random House, New York. (Dec. 8)

1934: Accounting professor Thomas Richard Prince was born in New Albany, Mississippi. (Dec. 7)

1935: English professor Joseph Larry Simmons was born in Tylertown, Mississippi. (Dec. 9)

1935: William Faulkner left for a five-week assignment at Twentieth Century Fox Studios, where he met Meta Dougherty Carpenter and began an intimate relationship that would last intermittently for fifteen years. (Dec. 10)

1947: Novelist and English professor Patrick Creevy was born in Chicago, Illinois. (Dec. 11)

1950: William Faulkner and his daughter Jill departed for Stockholm, Sweden, where he would receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. (Dec. 8)

1950: William Faulkner received the Nobel Prize for Literature for the year 1949 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Dec. 10)

1998: Actor, writer, and lightweight boxing champion Archie Lee Moore died in San Diego, California. (Dec. 9)

1999: Historian Woodrow Borah died in Oakland, California. (Dec. 10)


Man accused of stealing Faulkner letters

Dec. 4, 2002

JACKSONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A former lawyer previously convicted of stealing rare documents has turned himself in to face charges of taking six William Faulkner letters from a university.

Robert Hardin Smith, 43, of Jacksonville, is accused of taking the Nobel laureate author’s letters from Southeast Missouri State University’s rare book room and selling them to a Texas manuscript dealer.

He turned himself in Monday and was charged with theft of property. He is expected to be sent to Cape Girardeau, Mo., where the theft occurred.

Smith had earlier been convicted of the 1996 theft of historic letters from the University of Kansas library, including three signed by Civil War-era raid leader William Quantrill. He also was convicted of stealing manuscripts from the University of Arkansas, and served nearly two years in prison for that crime before being paroled in 1999.

Southeast Missouri State University police said a man who signed in at the book room as “R. Smith” viewed the Faulkner letters Sept. 30. Officials learned the letters were missing Nov. 11, after a Faulkner collector discovered they were being sold on the Internet.

Prosecutors said Smith sold the letters to a manuscript dealer who later told police that the man said he had inherited them from his grandmother’s estate.

All six letters have been recovered, school officials said.

Related web sites
The Center for Faulkner Studies at Southeast Missouri State University
The Brodsky Collection at Southeast Missouri State University
Articles about stolen letters from the Southeast Missourian newspaper (


Do you have a news item about a Mississippi writer? Please send your information to

AUTHOR EVENTS: Book Signings, Readings, and Appearances

Jan. 9: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi

Acclaimed novelist and short story writer Bobbie Ann Mason will read from her new biography of Elvis Presley. For more information, visit the Square Books web site,

Jan. 16: Bondurant Auditorium, University of Mississippi campus, Oxford, Mississippi, 7 p.m.

Tom Chandler, poet laureate of Rhode Island and author of Wingbones and Sad Jazz, reads from his poetry. Sponsored by the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series and the English Department. For more information, contact the department at (662) 915-7439, or online at

Feb. 6: Bondurant Auditorium, University of Mississippi campus, Oxford, Mississippi, 7 p.m.

U.S. Poet Laureate (2001-2002) Billy Collins reads from his poetry and offers commentary on his work and other matters. Sponsored by the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series and the English Department. For more information, contact the department at (662) 915-7439, or online at

Feb. 17: Old Chemistry Auditorium, University of Mississippi campus, Oxford, Mississippi, 7 p.m.

Clifton L. Taulbert, author of the acclaimed classic Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored, will speak. This event is in conjunction with Open Doors, the University of Mississippi’s yearlong observance of the 40th anniversary of the integration of higher education. Sponsored by the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series and the English Department. For more information, contact the department at (662) 915-7439, or online at

If you know of upcoming literary events by or about Mississippi writers, please let us know by writing us at 


The following events are planned for the coming weeks and months. You may wish to begin planning now to attend or participate.

March 25, 2003

Poetry Reading by Andrew Hudgins, Bondurant Hall Auditorium, The University of Mississippi campus, in Oxford.

March 26-30, 2003

Seventeenth Annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, New Orleans, Louisiana. For information, visit their web site at

April 10-13, 2003

Oxford Conference for the Book, Oxford, Mississippi.

July 20-25, 2003

30th Annual Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference, The University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi

If you know of additional news items for this newsletter or if you have suggestions, please write us at

For more information about events in the Oxford and University of Mississippi community, see the Ole Miss Community Calendar:

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