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Herbert C. Thompson papers, 1864-1960

Overview of the Collection

Thompson, Herbert Cooper, 1875-1960
Herbert C. Thompson papers
1864-1960 (inclusive)
8.0 linear feet, (20 containters)
Collection Number
Ax 067
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.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Access Restrictions

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.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

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 DescriptionReturn to Top

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 CollectionReturn to Top

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 InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

DiariesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
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

CorrespondenceReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
4 1
4 2
Elizabeth Thompson to Herbert C. Thompson
4 3
Letters from Joseph Lane, Matthew Deady, and R. S. Bean
4 4
Letters to Mrs. J. M. Thompson
4 5
Herbert C. Thompson letters from Stanford
4 6
Herbert C. Thompson letters from Stanford
4 7
Herbert C. Thompson letters from Stanford
4 8
Philippines campaign
5 1
Philippines campaign
5 2
5 3
5 4
5 5
5 6
5 7
5 8
5 9
William Thompson letters
5 9
William Thompson letters
5 10
Thomas D. Beasley letters

ManuscriptsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
6 1
Statement on M. H. de Young
6 1
The Terrorism of Tourism
6 1
Cuba Under the Skin
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
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

Published materialsReturn to Top

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

MiscellanyReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
9 1
Programs, tickets, cards
9 2
Official documents
9 3
Philippine miscellany
9 4
9 5
Mexican miscellany
9 6
Family notes and clippings
9 7
Poland (1920) miscellany
9 8
Memories of Eugene
9 9
Newspapers from Manila
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

Photographs (PH043), 1880-1930Return to Top

3.0 linear feet
Thompson, Herbert Cooper, 1875-1960
Container(s) Description Dates
Nitrate Negatives
Safety Negatives
Travel Albums