Interview SummaryThroughout this interview, Dr. Thomas D. Clark discusses his writing career. Clark states that his first experiences with writing began in high school when he helped start a school paper. He was also a reporter while he was in college. Once Clark returned to UK after finishing his dissertation, he started writing History of Kentucky. Clark remembers that for four years, he spent nights working on "History of Kentucky." From this book, he created "Exploring Kentucky" with Lee Kirkpatrick which was published by Prentice Hall. Clark describes his pride in the History of Kentucky, and his reasons for writing it. During the summer of 1936 or 1937, Clark spent time researching at Mount Brilliant Farm. Clark describes how this research resulted in the publication of "The Rampaging Frontier" in 1939. He recalls visiting the Bobbs Merrill publishing company in hopes of getting this work published, and reactions and reviews of this book.
Clark remembers meeting Constance Rourke, who had been invited to UK to talk to the women at the university. Constance was writing a book on the Ohio River, which, Clark explains, opened the door for him to write a book on the Kentucky River. He describes his research for this book which including tagging along with the revenue service on an attempt to find illegal moonshine operations. Yet, Clark states that he had the most excitement writing "Pills, Petticoats, and Plows" which was published in 1944. During this year-long research period Clark was able to write "Simon Kenton, Kentucky Scout" as well. Clark talks about the demanding experience of writing and the increasing pressure on university faculty to publish in the mid-1940s and throughout the 1950s.
Clark discusses some of his good friends like A. B. Guthrie who were also writers. He lists Sunny Day, Winston Coleman, Bill Townsend, Rupert Vance, W. T. Couch, Howard Oldham, George Fort Milton, and many others. Clark talks about his affiliations with the Southern Historical Association and the Mississippi Valley Historical Association. Clark also discusses collaborating with a group of writers on a bibliographical volume of the south after receiving a grant from the Rockefeller foundation, which resulted in "Travels in the Old South" and "Travels in the New South."
Interview KeywordAcademic writing. Authors and publishers. Authorship. Books--Reviews. College publications College teachers as authors. Historiography. Kentucky River (Ky.) Kentucky--History Universities and colleges--Faculty. Universities and colleges--Research University of Kentucky. Department of History
Interview RightsAll rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Clark, Thomas D. Interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. 27 Jun. 1986. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Clark, T.D. (1986, June 27). Interview by T. L. Birdwhistell. Thomas D. Clark Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Clark, Thomas D., interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. June 27, 1986, Thomas D. Clark Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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