William Shakespeare Hays Collection, 179?-1949

Descriptive Summary

Title
William Shakespeare Hays Collection, 179?-1949
Creator
Hays, William Shakespeare
Extent
2 1/2 boxes, 29 folders, 1,032 items
Subjects
Columnists and columns - Marine
Composers - Ky.
Contracts - Royalties and copyrights
Copyright - Contracts
Diaries - Hays, William, Shakespeare, 1864-65
Essays
Grise, George, Calvin, 1918-1961
Hays, William Shakespeare, 1837-1907 - Photos
Ireland - Wills, 179?,1810
Journalism - Columnists
Louisville - Social life and customs, 1863-1866
Lyrics
McCullough, Belle, -1935
Musicians
Poets - Ky.
Poetry
Scrapbooks - McCullough, Belle
Steamboats
Finding Aid Author
Archives Staff
Repository
Western Kentucky University

Collection Overview

Biography / History
William Shakespeare Hays (July 19, 1837-July 23, 1907) was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and resided most of his life in that city. Hugh Hays, his father and a native Pennsylvanian, migrated to Louisville in 1832 where he married Martha Richardson. Will showed signs of musical talent at an early age and took a few violin lessons, but that seems to have been all of the musical training that he received. During 1856 and 1857, Will attended colleges in Hanover, Indiana; Clarksville, Tennessee; and Georgetown, Kentucky. While at Georgetown, he became known as the "boy poet." His first published song was "Little Ones at Home," which was written while he was at Hanover. This incident ignited a prolific writing career which resulted in Hays penning innumerable poems and newspaper columns in addition to approximately five hundred songs. He signed his manuscripts as "Will S. Hays." Some of his poetry was written to his future wife, Belle McCullough of Louisville. They were married in 1865.
Hays always had a love for the river, and his newspaper columns were based on river happenings and occurrences. During the Civil War, he commanded a river transport on the Mississippi, between Vicksburg and New Orleans. He continued to work on riverboats periodically during the sixties and the early seventies.
Hays began his newspaper work in Louisville in the late 1850s and maintained a position with the Democrat, and later, with the Courier-Journal and Times until his death. He served as marine editor for several years.
When he died in 1907, he was survived by his wife and two children, Dr. Samuel Brown Hays (1878-1933), and Mattie Belle Hays [Mrs. Fauche Warren Samuel] (1868-1947).
Scope and Content
The correspondence of Hays is comprised mainly of his letters to Belle McCullough, his future wife, written during the years of 1863 to 1866. Also, there is a diary entitled "My Leisure Moments to Belle," written by Hays during this same period while residing in Nashville, Tennessee. A few letters to Mattie Belle Hays Samuel and to Samuel Brown Hays constitute the Hays family letters. Manuscript poems, songs (chiefly lyrics), and newspaper columns of Hays, with accompanying typed and manuscript copies, are included. There are royalty and copyright contracts as well as lists of Hays' works. Many newspaper clippings of Hays' various endeavors are included, too. Additionally, there is a folder of George Grise's correspondence from 1947 to 1949, which he collected while researching and writing his thesis on Hays.

Contents of the Collection

Hays family papers. 179?-1949. 259 items.

  • Box 1

Letters to Belle McCullough. 1863-1866. 54 items.

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Wills: (1) John McCollock, and (2) Thomas Kyle, both of Belfast,Ireland. 179?,1810.2 items.

  • Box 1, folder 2
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Incoming letters to Hays, royalty and copyright contracts, andlists ofcompositions. 1847-1913. 14…

  • Box 1, folder 3

Letter from mother. 1847. 1 item.

  • Box 1, folder 3a
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Letter from W. W. Hite. 1904. 1 item.

  • Box 1, folder 3b
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Royalty and copyright contracts. 1867, 1884, 1911, 1913.4 items.

  • Box 1, folder 3c
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List of compositions. 8 items.

  • Box 1, folder 3d
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Incoming letters to Mattie H. Samuel. 1935, 1941. 3 items.

  • Box 1, folder 4
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Letters, clippings, etc., of Samuel B. Hays. 1888, 1933.7 items.

  • Box 1, folder 5
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Letters written to George Grise while he was writing histhesis. 1947-1949. 57 items.

  • Box 1, folder 6

Letters re: steamboats. 1947. 4 items.

  • Box 1, folder 6a
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Letters re: "The Drummer Boy of Shiloh",1948, 1990. 4 items.

  • Box 1, folder 6b
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Newspaper writings for various named columns.1863- .105 items.

  • Box 1, folder 7

"Driftwood" columns. 14 items.

  • Box 1, folder 7a
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"Old Ike" columns. 22 items.

  • Box 1, folder 7b
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"Our Log" columns. 1870, 1883. 30 items.

  • Box 1, folder 7c
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"Syah" columns.1863-1864. 5 items.

  • Box 1, folder 7d
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Hays' newspaper writings - river column. 12 items.

  • Box 1, folder 7e
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Hays' miscellaneous newspaper writings. 22 items.

  • Box 1, folder 7f
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Newspapers -The Inland Voyager, published by theGreen Line Steamers, Oct. 2-20, 1939, and related…

  • Box 1, folder 8
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Poems. 1864-1907. 519 items.

  • Box 2

Poems, A-G. 101 items.

  • Box 2, folder 1
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Poems, H-M. 90 items.

  • Box 2, folder 2

Poem, "Marthy, John An' Jim".1 January 1888.1 item.

  • Box 2, folder 2a
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Poems with information about them. 1 item.

  • Box 2, folder 2b

1. "The Hopewell Hymn".

  • Box 2, folder 2b
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2. "Old Shep".

  • Box 2, folder 2b
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Poems, N-S. 83 items.

  • Box 2, folder 3
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Poems, T-Y97 items

  • Box 2, folder 4
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Poems, copies.38 items. Holographic & typed copies.

  • Box 2, folder 5
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Poems, untitled. 44 items.

  • Box 2, folder 6

Untitled poems. 39 items. Originals.

  • Box 2, folder 6a
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Untitled poems. 5 items. Holographic and typed copies.

  • Box 2, folder 6b
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"In Memoriam" poems. 1864-1906. 55 items.

  • Box 2, folder 7

In memoriam of Capt. Pink Varble. 1892. 2 items.

  • Box 2, folder 7a
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In memoriam poems; no date, alphabetized by title. 25 items.

  • Box 2, folder 7b
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Poems, typed and printed. 2 items.

  • Box 2, folder 8
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Poems written to and in honor of. 1882, 1885. 2 items.

  • Box 2, folder 9
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Poems written in 1907. 1907.7 items.

  • Box 2, folder 10
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Miscellaneous materials. 1864-1907. 254 items.

  • Box 3

Manuscript lyrics for songs. 126 items.

  • Box 3, folder 1

Song, "When Sherman Marched Down to the Sea," and front coverfrom sheet music of the same. 2 items.

  • Box 3, folder 1a
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Copies (holographic) of songs. 5 items.

  • Box 3, folder 1b
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Photostat of Hays' song "Old Ike". 1 item.

  • Box 3, folder 1c
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Article re: authenticity of song "Goodbye Susan Jane". 1 item.

  • Box 3, folder 1d
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Material concerning composer of "Dixie". 22 items.

  • Box 3, folder 2
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List of Hays' songs in Kentucky Library.6 items.

  • Box 3, folder 3
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Diary - "My Leisure Moments to Belle McCullough," 1864-1865.1 item. Original, photocopy, and two…

  • Box 3, folder 4

Typescript copy of diary.

  • Box 3, folder 4a
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Compositions. 5 items.

  • Box 3, folder 5
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Indices to collections of Hays' materials. 4 items.

  • Box 3, folder 6
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Scrapbooks - Belle's book, poems of Belle and of Will. 1862-1864. 3 items.

  • Box 3, folder 7
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Papers re: Hays' 50th and 57th birthday celebrations. 7 items.

  • Box 3, folder 8
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Printed items. 1899-1947. 68 items.

  • Box 3, folder 9

Article about steamboats. 1 item.

  • Box 3, folder 9a
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Clippings re: Hays' newspaper columns. 1899. 10 items.

  • Box 3, folder 9b
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Clippings re: Will S. Hays and his works. 1941. 15 items.

  • Box 3, folder 9c
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Clippings re: George Grise's inquiries concerning Will S.Hays. 1947. 4 items.

  • Box 3, folder 9d
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Clippings of Hays' poems and songs. 24 items.

  • Box 3, folder 9e
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Clippings and photostat re: authorship of "Dixie". 9 items.

  • Box 3, folder 9f
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Tributes to Will S. Hays. 1907. 5 items.

  • Box 3, folder 9g
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Photographs and pictures. 9 items.

  • Box 3, folder 10
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Biographical material about Will S. Hays. 3 items.

  • Box 3, folder 11
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