Thomas Nelson Page (1853 - 1922) - Author Collection
Thomas Nelson Page (April 23, 1853 – November 1, 1922) was a lawyer and American writer. He also served as the U.S. ambassador to Italy during the administration of President Woodrow Wilson, including the important period of World War I.Born at Oakland, one of the Nelson family plantations, in the village of Beaverdam in Hanover County, Virginia to John Page and Elizabeth Burwell (Nelson). He was a scion of the prominent Nelson and Page families, each First Families of Virginia. Although he was from once-wealthy lineage, after the American Civil War, which began when he was only 8 years old, his parents and their relatives were largely impoverished during Reconstruction and his teenage years. In 1869, He entered Washington College, known now as Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, Virginia when Robert E. Lee was president of the college. Robert E. Lee also served as the model figure of Southern Heroism in Page's literary works. After three years, Page left Washington College before graduation for financial reasons. To earn money for the law degree he desired, Page taught the children of his cousins in Kentucky. From 1873 to 1874, he was enrolled in the law school of the University of Virginia in pursuit of a legal career. At Washington College and thereafter at UVA, Nelson was a member of the prestigious fraternity Delta Psi, AKA St. Anthony Hall.