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William Joseph Thompson Papers
1915-1938 (bulk 1915-1919)

UPT 50 T468

0.25 Cubic feet

Prepared by Joseph - James Ahern

October 2015

Access to collections is granted in accordance with the Protocols for the University Archives and Records Center.

PROVENANCE

The William Joseph Thompson Papers were transferred to the University Archives from the University Library's Rare Book and Manuscript Department in September 2015 (Accession Number: 2015: 037). 

 

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ARRANGEMENT

The William Joseph Thompson Papers are organized into two series: Correspondence and General Files. Each series is arranged alphabetically. 

 

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BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

William Joseph Thompson (1864 – 1944) was a Methodist Episcopal minister, professor, and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. Born in Dorchester County, MD., Thompson attended the University of Pennsylvania earning his B.S. in 1884. Shortly after he decided to enter the clergy and attended Drew Theological Seminary earning his B.D. in 1892 (being ordained a Methodist Episcopal minister that same year). Between 1892 and 1910 he served as pastor at churches in Washington, D.C., Maryland, New York, and Massachusetts. During his pastoral work, Thompson also earned an A.M from Harvard University (1901), and a Ph.D. from New York University (1910). He was also awarded honorary degrees from Dickinson College (D.D. 1906), and Hamline University (LL.D. 1913). In 1911 Thompson accepted a faculty position at Drew Theological Seminary as professor of religious psychology and pedagogy (a position he would hold until his retirement in 1934). 

In 1915, following the bicentennial of George Whitefield's birth, Thompson wrote to Provost Edgar Fah Smith about the possibility of erecting a monument to Whitefield to honor his involvement in the founding of the University of Pennsylvania. Whitefield and Benjamin Franklin were close friends, and Whitefield's Charity School was purchased as the site for Franklin's Academy of Philadelphia and College of Philadelphia (predecessors to the University of Pennsylvania). Efforts by Thompson, Smith, and Orville S. Duffield (a secretary of the Christian Association) resulted in R. Tait McKenzie's statue of George Whitefield dedicated in the Dormitory Quadrangle in 1919. 

Thompson died of a heart attack in New York City at the age of 80. 

 

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SCOPE AND CONTENT

The William Joseph Thompson Papers relates to Thompson's efforts to erect a memorial to George Whitefield on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania between 1915 and 1919. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence between Thompson, University officers and other interested parties related to the statue's conceptualization, design, and dedication. The General Files series contains material on Whitefield, and the statue's dedication. 

The collection does not contain any additional personal or professional papers of William Joseph Thompson. There is some biographical information and an image of Thompson in his Alumni Records File. 

 

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CONTROLLED ACCESS HEADINGS

Personal Name(s)

  • Lippincott, Horace Mather, 1877-1967
  • McKenzie, R. Tait, (Robert Tait), 1867-1938
  • Nitzsche, George E.
  • Penniman, Josiah Harmar, 1868-1941
  • Smith, Edgar Fahs, 1854-1928

Subject(s)

  • Sculpture, Modern--20th century--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia.

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INVENTORY

 

Correspondence 

Box

Folder

Ashbrook, William S. 1919 

1

1

Bigelow, Poultney 1918 

1

2

Borie, C. L. 1917-1918 

1

3

Committee on the Whitefield Statue 1917 

1

4

Donohugh, Thomas S. 1919 

1

5

Duffield, Orville S. 

 

 

 1915 

1

6

 1916 

1

7

 1917 

1

8

 1918 

1

9

 1919 

1

10

Dulles, Charles W. 1918 

1

11

Duncan, ? 1919 

1

12

Eggleston, Charles F. 1919 

1

13

Frederick Courtenay Barber and Associates 1918 

1

14

Garrison, Lindley 1919 

1

15

Gribbel, John 1919 

1

16

Gustafson, M. R. 1919 

1

17

Hall, Lincoln W. 1919 

1

18

Harbeson, John F. 1918 

1

19

Howard, Wilbert F. 1919 

1

20

Laird, Warren Powers 1917-1919 

1

21

Lampe, M. Williard 1918-1919 

1

22

Library of Congress 1925 

1

23

Lippincott, Horace Mather 1915 

1

24

Lippincott, Horace Mather 1918-1919 

1

25

MacColl, Alexander 1919 

1

26

Maris, F. A. D. 1919 

1

27

McKenzie, R. Tait 

 

 

 1916 

1

28

 1917 

1

29

 1918 

1

30

 1919 

1

31

Miller, William O. 1919 

1

32

Morse, E. H. 1915 

1

33

Neely, Thomas B. 1919 June 17 

1

34

Nitzsche, George E. 1919 

1

35

Penniman, Josiah Harmar 1918 

1

36

Penniman, Josiah Harmar 1919 

1

37

Pennsylvania Gazette 1919 

1

38

Redding, William A. 1917-1919 

1

39

Rogers, Robert W. 1919 

1

40

Rosengarten, Joseph George 1917 

1

41

Simpson, Alex , Jr. 1919 

1

42

Smith, Edgar Fah 

 

 

 1915 

1

43

 1916 

1

44

 1917 

1

45

 1918 

1

46

 1919 

1

47

University of Pennsylvania Library 1919, 1938 

1

48

Views of Professor Laird and C. L. Borie 1918 

1

49

Ward, George S. 1919 

1

50

Watchorn, John 1919 

1

51

Wood, Edward C. 1919 

1

52

Yocum, A. Duncan 1919 

1

53

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General Files 

Box

Folder

Agreement: Mary McL Thompson with R. Tait McKenzie 1916 

2

1

Articles Regarding Unveiling 1919 

2

2

Contributors to the Whitefield Statute 1919 

2

3

Duffield, Orville S., "Whitefield Reborn." The Christian Advocate 1918 October 24 

2

4

"Microphone is a Destroyer of Dogman --- The Radio Minister, with a Congregation of Millions, Cannot be Sectarian." The World 1925 December 20 

2

5

Neely, Thomas B., "Early Methodism in Philadelphia." The Philadelphia Record 1925 January 10 

2

6

Paterson, A. McDonald, "George Whitefield and the Old Presbyterian Church at Newburyport, Mass." The Christian Work and Evangelist 1915 January 23 

2

7

Thompson, William Joseph, "George Whitefield: Educator and University Founder" 1926 

2

8

Thompson, William Joseph, "George Whitefield, Patron of Education, University Founder." The Methodist Protestant-Recorder 1938 June 10 

2

9

Thompson, William Joseph, "A Methodist's Statue at the University of Pennsylvania." The Epworth Herald 1919 July 5 

2

10

Unveiling of the Statue of The Reverend George Whitefield 1919 June 15 

2

11

"Whitefield on the Pennsylvania Campus." The Literary Digest 1918 December 21 

2

12

"Whitefield Statue, Rejected Once, Finds Way into Art Club." Public Ledger 1919 February 25 

2

13

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