Roger W. Smith, “Lorenzo A. Hopkins, Emma Wilhelmina Dreiser, and Family”

 

 

 

lorenzo-hopkins-and-family

 

 

See downloadable Word document above.

 

 

Also, see below:

photo of Lorenzo A. Hopkins’s grave

photo of Theodore Dreiser’s niece Gertrude A. Hopkins

 

Lorenzo A. Hopkins (aka L. A. Hopkins; 1847-1897) was the real life counterpart of the character George Hurstwood in Dreiser’s novel Sister Carrie.

 

Gertrude Amelia Hopkins (1894-1973), Theodore Dreiser’s niece, was the daughter of Dreiser’s sister Enema Dreiser (1863-1936). Emma was the real life counterpart of, and model for, the lead character in Sister Carrie.

 

 

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Abstract/Summary:

 

Theodore Dreiser’s first novel, Sister Carrie, was based on real people and incidents: Dreiser’s sister Emma; and, Emma’s lover L. A. Hopkins with whom she eloped after Hopkins, a married man, stole money from his employer in Chicago.

In the novel, Carrie Meeber’s lover, George Hurstwood, commits suicide. Very little has been known hitherto about the identity of L. A. Hopkins, the real life model for Hurstwood, or what became of him after he and Dreiser’s sister Emma, the model for Carrie Meeber, settled in New York City.

This article provides information about Hopkins and his death. It also provides information about the life of Dreiser’s sister Emma after Hopkins’s death and about the children of Hopkins and Emma; they had two children whom Dreiser met in 1894 when he first visited New York City: George Nelson and Gertrude Hopkins. The former, George Nelson, did not relate to Dreiser in later life, though in his youth he had some contact with Dreiser’s brother Paul Dresser. The latter, Gertrude Hopkins, was Dreiser’s favorite niece.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

     October 2016

 

 

See also:

 

https://dreiseronlinecom.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/contemporary-newspaper-accounts-about-the-real-life-hurstwoods-theft/

 

 

 

 

lorenzo-a-hopkins-grave-posted
gravestone of Lorenzo A. Hopkins (1847-1897); Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Maspeth, Queens, NY
Gertrude A. Hopkins (Dreiser's niece)
Gertrude Amelia Hopkins (1894-1973)

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