1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Thomas, Augustus

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THOMAS, AUGUSTUS (1859- ), American playwright, was born in St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 8 1859. He was educated in the public schools, for several years worked in railway freight offices, and, after serving as special correspondent for various newspapers, became in 1889 editor and proprietor of the Kansas City (Mo.) Mirror. As a youth he had been a member of local amateur dramatic companies and had tried his hand at dramatic composition. One of these early pieces, Editha's Burglar, based on Mrs. Burnett's story of the same name, was enlarged to a four-act play and presented with great success at the Madison Square theatre in New York in 1889. This led him a little later to devote all his attention to the drama. His play Alabama (1891), depicting the old-time South, contributed to the removal of sectional prejudice resulting from the Civil War. His numerous dramas include In Mizzoura (1893); The Hoosier Doctor (1898, by many considered his best); Oliver Goldsmith (1900); Soldiers of Fortune (1902); The Earl of Pawtucket (1903, highly successful in England); Mrs. Leffingwell's Boots (1905); De Lancey (1905); The Embassy Ball (1905); The Witching Hour (1909); As a Man Thinks (1912); Mere Man (1912); Indian Summer (1912).