William Tappan Thompson


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(1812–82), Ohio-born humorist of the Old Southwest, after 1835 lived mainly in Georgia, where for a time he was associated as a newspaper editor with A.B. Longstreet, his model in his humorous depictions of the Georgia cracker. His dialect short stories, which capture the quality of the oral storyteller, realistically portray the life of Georgia in the way Seba Smith's letters treat the Down East background. These tales are collected in Major Jones's Courtship (1843, enlarged 1844); Chronicles of Pineville (1845), republished as Scenes in Georgia (1858?); and Major Jones's Sketches of Travel (1848). In addition to his editorial work on various newspapers, Thompson wrote Rancy Cottem's Courtship (1879) and John's Alive …and Other Sketches (1883).

From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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