Special Collections and Archives

Vincent Godfrey Burns papers

Vincent Godfrey Burns papers, 1956-69

Finding Aid

Prepared for the Web by Barbara Bass, March 5, 2002
1 document case, .33 cubic foot, 11th floor


Biographical Note

Vincent Godfrey Burns, or Bobby Burns (1893-1979), was named poet laureate of Maryland in 1962, a position he held for the rest of his life, even amid some controversy. A Congregational minister and beloved radio performer, Burns was politically very conservative - he described himself as a "dedicated patriot" and is remembered for his poem, "Down at the Old Watergate", in which he maintained that Richard Nixon had been the victim of a virtual witch hunt. His most notable prose includes I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang, written with his brother, Robert Burns in 1932, and Female Convict, which sold more than a million copies in paperback.

For more information on Burns see Contemporary Authors v. 41-44 First Revision.


Scope and Content

The Vincent Godfrey Burns Papers consist of typescripts and xerox copies of 17 poems, essays, and one television play by Burns. The typescripts are corrected and annotated. Also included are copies of letters from Burns to Spiro T. Agnew; Lyndon B. Johnson; Life magazine; Nathan Pusey; Max Rafferty; Time magazine; Harry S. Truman; The Washington Post.


Box 1
Folder -- Contents

  1. "A Statue Down the Way" by V.G. Burns
  2. Letters by V.G. Burns: 1957-1968
  3. "Memories" by V.G. Burns
  4. "My Definition of Freedom" by V.G. Burns
  5. "No Retreat" by V.G. Burns
  6. "Poet laureate interviews a man who loves books" by V.G. Burns
  7. "Poet laureate interviews one of Anne Arundel's great ladies", by V.G. Burns
  8. "Poet laureate interviews the chaplain of the Naval Acadamy", by V.G. Burns
  9. "Poet laureate interviews the man who wears the star", by V.G. Burns
  10. "Poet laureate interview the new president...", by V.G. Burns
  11. "Poet laureate reports on a poetry tent lecture", by V.G. Burns
  12. "Poet laureate tells of a descendant of Johns Hopkins", by V.G. Burns
  13. "Poet laureate tells of new member on the City Council", by V.G. Burns
  14. "Poet laureate tells of two saints in Taiwan", by V.G. Burns
  15. "Poet laureate tells the story of the CHRISTMAS TRAIN, by V.G. Burns
  16. "Poet laureate visits...", by V.G. Burns
  17. "Sonnet for Frank Buchman", by V.G. Burns
  18. "Sonnet for mothers", by V.G. Burns
  19. "Sonnet for Mother of the Year", by V.G. Burns
  20. WORLD ON FIRE--a television drama in three acts, by V.G. Burns