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

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About Jon Elliston
An Asheville-based mountain journalist: Former Mountain Xpress managing editor. Investigations and open government editor at Carolina Public Press. Senior contributing editor at WNC magazine.

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

  1. DR.ANTINEOCONUS

    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.

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