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SOUTH CAROLINIANA LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY SOUTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY
MANUSCRIPTS DIVISION 2001
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James Spencer Verner papers, 1923, 1928 and undated
Forty-seven manuscripts, 1923, 1928 and undated, of Columbia attorney James Spencer Verner (1877-1933) consist principally of literary pieces, largely short stories, that bear such fanciful titles as "Bones of Contention," "Hidden Treasure," "Traveler's Aid," "The Initiation of Brother Jones," "The Confession of Ion Harris," "O'Possum, Teacher," "The Double Alibi,""Little Bottle," "Joseph-Son of Jacob," "Bacchus Plays Venus," "By Advice of Counsel," "The Hundred Thousand Dollar Verdict,"and "Dr. McLean's Miracle."

The collection evidences the frugal manner in which Verner, like many writers, reworked his own material. "The Conviction of Mickie Free," for instance, which appears also under the variant title "The Conviction of Nickie Free," is represented here in both short story and play genres. Many of the pieces also reveal something of the wit of the writer. A play titled "The Ghost of Honeymoon Lodge" is attributed pseudonymously to Ben Jonson, while "Malingering," a short story, is signed Vim Jerner.

In addition to the literary pieces, the collection includes a thirteen-page letter, 14 September 1923, from G[raves] Glenwood Clark, Richmond, Va., critiquing Verner's play "Divorce," presumably the drama "A Question of Jurisdiction. A Study of the Divorce Problem: A Comedy."

Verner was an 1897 graduate of the University of South Carolina. He earned his law degree from the University two years later. Actively involved in Columbia's Quill Club, the output of his literary avocation included short stories, plays, and poems. At the time of his death, one of Verner's plays was being considered for production by Town Theatre of Columbia.


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