Queer Places:
912 W Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23284
2419 Hanover Ave, Richmond, VA 23220
2301 Park Ave, Richmond, VA 23220
Hollywood Cemetery, 412 S Cherry St, Richmond, VA 23220

Image result for "Hunter Taylor Stagg"Hunter Taylor Stagg (May 29, 1895 - December 23, 1960) was born in the city of Richmond the younger son of Thomas E. and Sarah Stagg on 29 May 1895. The Stagg family home at 912 West Franklin Street is now part of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Monroe Park Campus. Kicked in the head by a horse at the age of seven, Stagg became prone to seizures later in life. Stagg attended the Richmond school run by John Peyton McGuire and in 1921 joined with three other "literary minded" individuals (Mary Dallas Street, Emily Clark (Balch) and Margaret Freeman, who married James Branch Cabell in 1950) to establish The Reviewer, a literary magazine.


912 W Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23284


2419 Hanover Ave, Richmond, VA 23220


2301 Park Ave, Richmond, VA 23220

"Hunter Stagg was an avid literary lionizer, the one of the four who sought meetings with writers for the thrill of associating with creative artists. His handsome appearance, his considerable charm, his genuine appreciation for writing aided him in establishing the friendships he cherished including that of Cabell. Carl Van Vechten, leader of avant-garde cultural circles in New York, responded to Hunter's appeal and opened literary doors for him." -- from the Ellen Glasgow Newsletter #15 which also provides extensive lists of acquaintances met during these years.

The Reviewer moved to North Carolina in 1924 and Stagg held several reviewing positions in Richmond before moving to Washington, D.C. in March 1938 to live with his sister, Helen Winston, and her family. He lived with Mrs. Winston until her death in the late 1940s. After spending some time in New York with Margaret Freeman recuperating from his sister's death, Stagg returned to D.C. and got a job managing a bookstore.

Stagg only worked intermittently throughout his life and was prone to alcoholism. Chronically without funds, Stagg forfeited a portion of his library and his furnishings when he did not meet the storage payments. He was eventually committed to St. Elizabeth's in Washington, D.C. and died there, 23 December 1960. He was buried in the Stagg family section of Hollywood Cemetery. 

The Hunter T. Stagg collection, totaling 2.5 linear feet, contains correspondence, notes, typescripts, reviews, bills and miscellaneous materials dating from 1917 to 1981. The bulk of the collection is comprised of correspondence from the 1920s and 1930s, especially that of James Branch Cabell and Carl Van Vechten (including copies of letters written to Van Vechten from Stagg obtained from Yale). Other notable correspondents include: Essie Robeson (wife of Paul Robeson), Majorie K. Rawlings, Tom Rutherfurd (Rutherfoord), Gertrude Stein, Alice Toklas, Frances Newman, Langston Hughes, Ben Ray Redman, Ellen Glasgow, and Montgomery Evans. The Evans correspondence contains copies of letters from Stagg to Evans from the Morris Library, Southern Illinois University. During the 1980s, photographs were removed and housed in the VCU photograph collection, including images of Stagg taken by Carl Van Vechten.

Stagg, who took a keen interest in the work of Harlem Renaissance artists and writers, met poet, playwright, and novelist Langston Hughes in 1926, when Hughes gave a reading at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia.

BACK TO HOME PAGE


  1. Hunter T. Stagg Papers, M 261, Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University: http://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaxtf/view?docId=vcu-cab/vircu00058.xml