Publications and Papers


WTHS Papers
Submission Guidelines:

The West Tennessee Historical Society Papers* is a peer-reviewed journal that invites authors to submit any paper that pertains to historical events in West Tennessee, the Mid-South Region—which includes North Mississippi, the Missouri Boot-heel, southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, Central and Northeast Arkansas, and North West Alabama—or the South-at-large. Essay submissions will be double-spaced in Times New Roman, 12-point font, should be between 6,000-8,500 words, and will follow The Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition.

The journal also welcomes primary source and document submissions. These may include, but are not limited to, transcribed oral histories, letters, speeches, and personal memoirs, as well as literary, archaeological, anthropological, sociological, and philosophical analyses of topics within the journal’s geographical area of interest.

All published submissions become property of the West Tennessee Historical Society.

If you have questions please contact the editor at or use the form below.

*The West Tennessee Historical Society is the umbrella heritage organization for the Western Grand Division of Tennessee. Within its twenty-one counties, it supports historical programs, archives, publications, preservation, markers, museums, and other historical collections and promotes all aspects of state and local history.

If submitting in paper, please send two paper copies to:

The West Tennessee Historical Society
Attn.: Papers Editor
P.O. Box 111046
Memphis, Tennessee 38111

The Society and editors disclaim any responsibility for statements of fact or opinion made by the contributors.

Deadline for submissions for the 2017 WTHS Papers is September 1, 2017.

Information on submission of paper and information for purchase of books, contact WTHS through the following form, or contact the editor via email :

Not a member of the West Tennessee Historical Society? Click here to download the WTHS Membership Application.


An award is presented by The West Tennessee Historical Society to the contributor of the article chosen by the Executive Committee as being the best of those printed in each number of The West Tennessee Historical Society Papers. Past winners and their contributions:

1973    Larry Daniel, “The Quinby and Robinson Cannon Foundry at Memphis.”

1974    John Esterhold, “Fort Heiman: Forgotten Fortress.”

1975    James E. Roper, “The Revolutionary War on the Fourth Chickasaw Bluff.”

1976    Charles A. Bobbin, “The Memphis Gold Cup.”

1977    John Norris, “Park Field—World War I Pilot Training School.”

1978    Stephen M. Findlay, “The Alleghany: A Revisionist Note on a Memphis Myth.”

1979    Roger Raymond Van Dyke, “Antebellum Henry County.”

1980    Jerome G. Taylor, “Upper Class Violence in Nineteenth-Century Tennessee.”

1981    Joanne Cullom Moore, “The Devil’s Elbow.”

1982    Fred A. Bailey, “The Poor, Plain Folk, and Planters: A Social Analysis of Middle Tennessee Respondents to the Civil War Veterans Questionnaires.”

1983    Patricia M. LaPointe, “The Disrupted Years: Memphis City Hospitals, 1860-1867.”

1984    Granville D. Davis, “An Uncertain Confederate Trumpet: A Study of Erosion in Morale.”

1985    Charles L. Lufkin, “A Forgotten Controversy: The Assassination of Senator Almon Case of Tennessee.”

1986    Richard W. Hepler, “Bovine Tuberculosis and the Batde for Pure Milk in Memphis, 1910-1911″; and Lucie Robertson Bridgforth, “The ‘New’ Woman in an Old Role: Maternal-Child Health Care in Memphis.”

1987    Lynette B. Wrenn, “The Impact of Yellow Fever on Memphis: A Reappraisal.”

1988    Peggy Scott Holley, “The Seventh Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry: West Tennessee Unionists in Andersonville Prison.”

1989    John Linn Hopkins, “The Early History of Overton Park and the Memphis Park System.”

1990    Beth Quimet, “Thomas Jefferson Dobyns: River City Daguerreian Entrepreneur.”

1991    R. W Waschka, “River Transportation at Memphis before the Civil War.”

1992    Eda Clark Fain, “’Cut Loose the Corset Strings of Dull Times’: Attending Carnival in Memphis through Newsprint Advertising, 1872-1881.”

1993    Lonnie Maness: “Henry Emerson Etheridge and the Gubernatorial Election of 1867: A Study in Futility.”

1994    James B. Jones, “Selected Aspects of Drug Abuse in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Tennessee History.”

1995    Alice S. Long, “My Dear Manly Son: The Death of Jefferson Davis, Jr., at Buntyn Station, Tennessee, 1878.”

1996    Darla Brock, “Memphis’s Nymphs Du Pave: ‘The Most Abandoned Women in the World.'”

1997    Dieter C. Ullrich, “They Met at Lockridges Mills.”

1998    Harvey G. Hudspeth, “Seven Days in Nashville: Politics, the State Debt and the Making of a United States Senator, January 19-26, 1881.”

1999    Holly Reed Harrison, ‘”Our Relation to Persons of African Descent has Been Less Than Ideal . . .’: The Southern Baptist Convention, the Christian Life Commission, and Race Relations.”

2000    S. Davidson Hill, “The Self-Defined African American Community of Jim Crow Memphis.”

2001    Derek W. Frisby, “’Remember Me to Everybody’: The Civil War Letters of Samuel Henry Eells, Twelfth Michigan Infantry.”

2002    Timothy B. Smith, “The Handsomest Cemetery in the South: Shiloh National Cemetery.”

2003    Michael Bertrand, “Rock ‘n Roll, Race and Elvis Presley: Southern Youth in Dissent?

2004    Nathan K. Moran, “Bullets vs. Ballots:  Nathan Bedford Forrest and the Congressional Election of 1862.”

2005    Pam Dennis and Jimmy Davis for their three-part series on the history of WestTennesseeCollege, WTHSP vols. LVII-LIX (2003-2005).

2006    Janice Reagan, “The Kennedy Book Club.”

2007    Lauren Elizabeth Nickas, “Conceiving Happiness: Frances Wright and the Nashville Experiment.”

2008    Doug Cupples, “From Atelier to MFA (Then On To The Atelier): A Short History of Art Education in Memphis, Tennessee.”

2009    Richard L. Saunders, “James F. Estes:  Grassroots Advocate.”

2010    Rita Hall, “Colonel Edward Ward: The Life and Death of a Tennessee Senator.”

2011    James R. Chumney, “The Beginning of the University of Memphis.”

2012    George C. Browder, “Robert V. Richardson and the First Tennessee Regiment of Partisan Rangers”’

2013   Dr. Dale E. Zacher, “Our Forest Home:” Editor Edward Meeman’s Crusade for Shelby Forest, 1933-35

2014  George Graham Perry III, “The NAACP, Militancy and the Memphis Sit-ins”

2015  Margaret Williams Carmack, “It’s Becoming Trite:” The Campaign Against Police Brutality in Postwar Memphis

2015  Troy A. Hallsell, “That which is removed is annihilated”: The Overton Park Freeway Revolt, a National Movement, 1955-1981



The Society offers several books for purchase.

bk1Historic Shelby County: An Illustrated History by Dr. John E. Harkins

Few know Shelby County and its history like lifelong Memphian John E. Harkins, who expertly chronicles the city’s unparalleled heritage and the individuals and groups who have kept its past alive through the decades. Discover the history in this beautifully illustrated hardback book on Shelby County. Published by The West Tennessee Historical Society 208 Pages Member $35; Non-member $50


This book has been called the definitive business history of Memphis. Mr. Sigafoos had an illustrious career in economics and was professor of real estate and holder of the Morris S. Fogelman Chair in Real Estate at the University of Memphis.  He also held teaching positions at Indiana University, Penn State and Drexel Institute of Technology.  342 pages  Member $25; Non-member $35

Tennessee: The Volunteer State An Illustrated History By Dr. Robert E. Corlew and William B. Wheeler

Travel through centuries of Tennessee history, from the first settlement of the area by Native Americans to the development of the economic dynamo that is Tennessee today. Illustrated by 300 black & white and vivid color images and perfect for the coffee table, this is a grand addition to anyone’s collection of history.  239 pages Member $25; Non-member $35

bk2Memphis Chronicles by Dr. John E. Harkins

Take a break from the bustle of Poplar and Beale and enjoy this easy ride down memory lane, recalling days when downtown gridlock was caused by streetcars and wagons and the Mid-South was ruled by the likes of the Chickasaws, Confederates, King Cotton and Crump. Discover the origins of the yellow fever epidemic, Memphis in May, Elmwood Cemetery, the heroes of Shelby County history and so much more in “Memphis Chronicles.” Paperback Member $15; Non-member $20

Historical Sketches of the Mid-South by Paul R. Coppock

A six book hard cover set by Paul Coppock former editor and journalist for the Commercial Appeal, which spans more than four decades and is filled with hours of interesting and memorable historical reflections by one of the foremost authors on Memphis and Mid-South history. Memphis Sketches, Memphis Memoirs, Mid-South, Mid-South Vol. II 1971-1975, Mid-South Vol. III 1976-1978, Mid-South Vol. IV 1979-1982. Member $50; Non-member $65

Index for 2006-2012

WTHS 2012 CoverWTHS 2013 Cover