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David Yancey Thomas Papers

Identifier: MS T362 12

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, speeches, notes, diary, literary manuscripts, songs, notices, lists, photograph, clippings, leaflets, broadsides, programs, and other published or unpublished material created, received, or collected by University of Arkansas professor of history and political science David Yancey Thomas. Includes materials pertaining to: his academic career, especially at the University of Arkansas and specifically as regards his retirement; his research and publication in areas of United States, Southern, and especially Arkansas history and government, specifically as regards the Civil War and Reconstruction, race relations and the Elaine Massacre of 1919, labor strike in the Sebastian County (Ark.) coal fields, 1914-1915; his interests and activities in United States and Arkansas politics and in political reform, especially as regards election campaigns, tax law revision, the proposed Arkansas constitution of 1918, the National Popular Government League and the Initiative and Referendum League; his membership on the Arkansas History Commission, his leadership in the re-founding of the Arkansas Historical Association in 1941 and his service as editor of the Quarterly, and his participation in the Mississippi Valley Historical Association, American Political Science Association, Southwest Political Science Association, Social Science Research Council, and other professional societies and organizations.

Correspondents include: Nathan Philemon Bryan, Charles Joseph Finger, John Netherland Heiskell, Judson King, John Ellis Martineau, Evangeline Pratt, John Newton Tillman, and Julian Seesel Waterman.


  • Creation: 1872-1966
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1905-1943


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

No Use Restrictions Apply.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical Note

David Yancey Thomas, educator, author, and political activist, was born in Fulton County, Kentucky, in 1872. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory College in 1894. He then taught for two years in the public schools of Perote, Alabama, and Coleman, Georgia. Thomas was awarded a scholastic fellowship by Vanderbilt University and received his Master of Arts degree from that institution in 1898. He spent the next three years teaching Latin and Greek at Hendrix College in Conway, Ark. In 1901, he was awarded a fellowship in history at Columbia University, and he received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1903. He returned to Hendrix College in 1902 and taught history and political science there for three years. He taught at the University of Florida from 1905-1907. In 1908, he became professor of history and political science at the University of Arkansas, where he remained until 1941, except for intervals in 1924, 1930, 1940, and the fall of 1941, when he taught at the University of Texas. He was also on the summer faculty at Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tennessee.

Thomas authored numerous articles, short works, and several books. Some of his books include: A History of Military Government in Newly Acquired Territory of the United States, New York (Columbia University Press, 1904); co-author with John H. Reynolds of History of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (University of Arkansas, 1910); One Hundred Years of the Monroe Doctrine, New York (Macmillan Co., 1923); Arkansas in War and Reconstruction, 1861-1874, Little Rock (Arkansas Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, 1926); Arkansas and its People, a History, 1531-1930, New York (American Historical Society, 1930); co-author with Hazel Presson of The Story of Arkansas, Little Rock (Democrat Printing Co., 1942).

Thomas was a member of many professional organzations and societies, including: the American Historical Association, Mississippi Valley Historical Association, American Political Science Association, Southwest Political Science Association, University Commission on Race Relations, and Social Science Research Council. He also helped to revive the Arkansas Historical Association in 1941, and served as first editor of the Arkansas Historical Quarterly. He was active in the Democratic Party and the Methodist Church, as well.

David Yancey Thomas married Elizabeth Janney in 1905. They became parents of two children: Mary Elizabeth and Albert Janney.


1.5 Linear Feet (3 boxes and 6 broadsides)

Arrangement of the Papers

Arranged and described in 4 series:

  1. Series 1, Records pertaining to David Yancey Thomas' historical research and publication, 1872-1943
  2. Series 2, Records pertaining to David Yancey Thomas's interest in politics and political campaigns, 1914-1938
  3. Series 3, Records pertaining to David Yancey Thomas's academic career, 1895-1966
  4. Series 4, David Yancey Thomas's personal records, circa 1890, 1915-1941

Acquisition Information

The David Yancey Thomas Papers were donated to the University of Arkansas Libraries by Mary Elizabeth Thomas of Tallahassee, Florida, in August 1965.

Processing Information

Processed by Samuel Sizer; completed January 1982. The collection incorporates 413 items that had previously been cataloged as MS T36, David Yancey Thomas Papers.

David Yancey Thomas Papers
Samuel Sizer
January 1982
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
(479) 575-8444