Tag Archives: Hurstwood Sister Carrie

a key source for “Sister Carrie”?

 

 

The following article does not appear in Dreiser bibliographies because it is not about Dreiser:

Henry, Sarah M. “The Strikers and Their Sympathizers: Brooklyn in the Trolley Strike of 1895,” Labor History 32.3 (summer 1991): 329- 53

However, the article would presumably be of interest to Dreiser scholars. It covers the Brooklyn trolley strike of 1895, which Dreiser drew upon for the plot of Sister Carrie.

In chapters XL and XLI of Sister Carrrie, the strike is described in great detail. Hurstwood, who is at first sympathetic to the strikers, becomes a scab out of desperation to find employment. He works as a trolley car motorman for a single day, and is subject to obloquy and physical abuse by strikers and their sympathizers.

The above referenced article is posted on online at

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00236569100890211?journalCode=clah20

It is not downloadable except for a fee and with permission of the publisher.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

     October 2016

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

 

 

‘Lorenzo A. Hopkins, Emma Wilhelmina Dreiser & Family’

 

 

See downloadable Word document above.

 

 

 

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Lorenzo A. Hopkins (aka L. A. Hopkins; 1847-1897) was the real life counterpart of the character George Hurstwood in Theodore 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; updated July 2020

 

 

 

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Also, see below:

photo of Lorenzo A. Hopkins’s grave

photo of Theodore Dreiser’s niece Gertrude A. Hopkins

 

 

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See also my posts:

 

“contemporary newspaper accounts about the real life Hurstwood’s theft”
https://dreiseronlinecom.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/contemporary-newspaper-accounts-about-the-real-life-hurstwoods-theft/

 

 

Roger W. Smith, “The Real Julia Hurstwood and the Lutz Murder Case”

https://dreiseronlinecom.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/the-real-julia-hurstwood-and-the-lutz-murder-case/

 

 

PHOTOS

 

 

lorenzo-a-hopkins-grave-posted

gravestone of Lorenzo A. Hopkins (1847-1897); Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Maspeth, Queens, NY (photograph by Roger W. Smith)

 

 

Gertrude A. Hopkins (Dreiser's niece)

Gertrude Amelia Hopkins (1894-1973)