|Name:||Thomas Nelson Page|
|Birth Day:||April 23, 1853|
|Death Date:||Nov 1, 1922 (age 69)|
As per our current Database, Thomas Nelson Page died on Nov 1, 1922 (age 69).
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He taught children in order to finance his college education at Washington and Lee University. He later received his law degree from the University of Virginia.
Page was born in one of the Nelson family's plantations in Oakland, near the village of Beaverdam in Hanover County, Virginia. He was the son to John Page, a lawyer and a plantation owner, and Elizabeth Burwell (Nelson). He was a scion of the prominent Nelson and Page families, each First Families of Virginia. Although he was from once-wealthy lineage, after the American Civil War, which began when he was only 8 years old, his parents and their relatives were largely impoverished during Reconstruction and his teenage years. In 1869, he entered Washington College, known now as Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, Virginia when Robert E. Lee was president of the college. In Page's later literary works, Robert E. Lee would come to serve as the model figure of Southern Heroism. Page left Washington College before graduation for financial reasons after three years, but continued to desire an education specifically in law. To earn money to pay for his degree, Page tutored the children of his cousins in Kentucky. From 1873 to 1874, he was enrolled in the law school of the University of Virginia. At Washington College and thereafter at UVA, Nelson was a member of the prestigious fraternity Delta Psi, AKA St. Anthony Hall.
Admitted to the Virginia Bar Association, he practiced as a lawyer in Richmond between 1876 and 1893, and also began his writing career. He was married to Anne Seddon Bruce on July 28, 1886. She died on December 21, 1888 of a throat hemorrhage.
His 1887 collection of short stories, In Ole Virginia, is Page's quintessential work, providing a depiction of the Antebellum South. Criticism of Page's works runs the gamut, largely based upon whether the critic holds traditionalist or revisionist viewpoints of the antebellum South, War, and Reconstruction years. His most well-known short-story from that collection was "Marse Chan". "Marse Chan" was popularized because of Page's ability to capture southern dialect. Another short-story collection of his is entitled The Burial of the Guns (1894).
He remarried on June 6, 1893, to Florence Lathrop Field, a widowed sister-in-law of retailer Marshall Field. In the same year Page, who had become disillusioned with the Southern legal system, gave up his practice entirely and moved with his wife to Washington, D.C. There, he kept up his writing, which amounted to eighteen volumes when they were compiled and published in 1912. Page popularized the plantation tradition genre of Southern writing, which told of an idealized version of life before the Civil War, with contented slaves working for beloved masters and their families. He based much of his writing on his personal experience living on a plantation in the Antebellum South. Page viewed the Antebellum South as a representation of moral purity, and often vilified the reforms of the Gilded Age as a sign of moral decline.
In 1898 he published Red Rock, a Reconstruction novel, with the heinous figure of Moses, a loathsome and sinister black politician. Moses tried to rape a white woman: "He gave a snarl of rage and sprang at her like a wild beast" (pp. 356–358). The depiction of rape using animal metaphors was a common feature of American sentimental literature. He was later lynched for "a terrible crime".
Page was an activist in stimulating the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities to mobilize to save historical sites at Yorktown and elsewhere, especially in the Historic Triangle of Virginia, from loss to development. He was involved in gaining Federal funding to build a seawall at Jamestown in 1900, protecting a site where the remains of James Fort were later discovered by archaeologists working on the Jamestown Rediscovery project which began in 1994.
Page dealt with the morality of lynching by acquitting the mob from any guilt, holding, instead, the supposedly debased Negroes responsible for their own violent executions. The following excerpts are taken from Page's essay, "The Negro: The Southerner's Problem," published in 1904. Page expected his reader to read his entire book with care before making judgments on complex, difficult subjects, in accordance with a society that read in depth. In his words in his introduction:
The ruins of Rosewell Plantation, the home of early members of the Page family and one of the finest mansions built in the colonies, sit on the banks of the York River in Gloucester County. In 1916, a fire swept the mansion leaving a magnificent shell which is testament to 18th century craftsmanship and dreams. There are ongoing archaeological studies at the site.
Under President Woodrow Wilson, Page was appointed as U.S. ambassador to Italy for six years between 1913 and 1919. There he supported the Czechoslovak Legion in Italy. Despite being untrained in Italian and having little experience in governmental affairs, Page was determined to do a good job. He eventually learned Italian, formed beneficial relationships with Italian government officials, and accurately reported on the Italian state during World War I. During his time as ambassador Page managed to maintain and improve American-Italian relations during World War I, and provided a sympathetic ear to the Italian and Triple Entente cause in the U.S government. After a disagreement with President Wilson over the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, in which he argued for increased Italian benefits, Page resigned his post in 1919. His book entitled Italy and the World War (1920) is a memoir of his service there.
After returning to his home in Oakland, Virginia, Page continued to write for the remainder of his years. He died in 1922 at Oakland, Virginia in Hanover County, Virginia.
Currently, Thomas Nelson Page is 170 years, 1 months and 18 days old. Thomas Nelson Page will celebrate 171st birthday on a Tuesday 23rd of April 2024.
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