Document of the Day: A page from Thomas Wolfe’s FBI file

Today marks the beginning of Sunshine Week, an annual celebration of government openness and public access to public records. Across the country — and throughout North Carolina — activists, journalists and otherwise-interested citizens are assessing the levels of disclosure and secrecy that regulate access to official documents.

Here at Mountain Xpress, we’re marking Sunshine Week with the debut of The Xpress Files, an online archive of papers from all levels of government. And each day, we’ll focus on one extraordinary Document of the Day.

Today’s entry is a declassified — but still heavily excised — page from the FBI file of a famous Asheville native, the late Thomas Wolfe. Many readers might be surprised to learn that the bureau compiled a 42-page file on the prolific writer, who was hardly a radical. More surprising still is the fact that the file was compiled posthumously, after Wolfe’s 1938 death.

Click here to see a page from the secret file; for the full story, see the 2004 Xpress article ”Look Homeward, Big Brother.”

And check back tomorrow for another Sunshine Week offering from The Xpress Files.

— Jon Elliston, managing editor

About Jon Elliston
Former Mountain Xpress managing editor Jon Elliston is the senior editor at WNC magazine.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

3 thoughts on “Document of the Day: A page from Thomas Wolfe’s FBI file


    Jon I just wanted to say what a superb job you did on this article about the S.S….. I mean the F.B.I.
    Notice Jon how the sheep people did not responded to it. Could it be they are afraid the site is being monitored By the FB.I., which of course it is.

    Jon by doing the article you now become what the F.B. I. calls a “person of interest” which is a nice way of saying they will keep an eye on you. Dont worry you can join the club of the millions that are now in the F.B I. data base, here in the gulag

    Nonetheless, the article is simply fantastic and should scare a sane person as to the long history of usurpations by this agency, which technically, is limited to the jurisdiction of Washington D/C. and territories and to the investigation of Federal Employees in scope
    I just wanted to say I appreciate you and the article, even though the sheep people didn’t, see you in Guantanamo.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.