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H. L. Mencken essay and review typescript drafts

 Collection — Box: SFC3 [F09.090.03.01], Folder: 306
Identifier: MS0306

Scope and Contents

Five essays and one book review in typescript draft. They are handcorrected by Mencken in either pen or pencil. Mencken's signature appears at the top of the first page of each typescript.


  • Creation: 1939


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The H. L. Mencken is the physical property of J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections. Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Henry Louis Mencken was an American satirist, essayist, journalist, cultural critic, and scholar of American English. He was born in 1880 in Baltimore, son of a cigar factory owner. Mencken attended Professor Knapp's School and graduated as valedictorian from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 1896. He would go on to take a class in writing from Cosmopolitan University, one of the nation's first correspondence schools. in 1899, he was hired as a part-time journalist by the Morning Herald Newspaper in Baltimore. Mencken later moved to the Baltimore Sun, to which he continued to contribute until 1948. In 1908, Menken became a literary critic for the magazine, The Smart Set, and founded The American Mercury, which later developed a national circulation, with George Jean Nathan. It was during this period that he wrote the essays and opinion pieces that would make him famous. A skeptic of the New Deal and a fierce critic of FDR as well as of American involvement in World War II, he scaled back his writing for the Sun for several years during the 1930s, instead focusing on his memoirs and other projects as editor. H. L. Mencken suffered a stroke in 1948 and never fully recovered. He lost his ability to read, write, and speak. He died in 1956.


0.05 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Typescript drafts of five essays and one book review, dated January-March 1939, by H. L. Mencken. All bear extensive corrections in Mencken's own hand in pencil or pen.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Items removed, per R. Brabham, from Harry Golden collection, pt. 2 for separate handling.

Separated Materials

These items were removed from the Harry Golden collection (MS20.2) for separate cataloging as a manuscript collection.

H. L. Mencken essay and review typescript drafts
J. Nicholson, J. Henry
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

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