Leonidas Warren Payne, Jr.

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Leonidas Warren Payne, Jr. (July 12, 1873 – June 16, 1945) was an American linguist and professor of English at the University of Texas. He was a co-founder of the Texas Folklore Society along with John Lomax, edited the first anthology of Texas literature, and was one of the first to recognize the talent of e.e. cummings.

Payne was born in [[Auburn, Alabama]He was the eldest son of LWP Sr,who was sometimes called Lonnie Payne ], and attended the Auburn High School. He received bachelors and masters degrees from the Alabama Polytechnic Institute in Auburn in 1892 and 1893, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1904. He taught English at the Southwest Alabama Agricultural School, the State Normal School of Alabama, and the University of Pennsylvania prior to being awarded his Ph.D. From 1904 to 1906, he was the associate editor of Worcester's Dictionary, and in 1906 was appointed an assistant professor at Louisiana State University.

After a few months at Louisiana State, Payne was offered and accepted a position on the faculty at the University of Texas. In 1909, he and John Lomax founded the Texas Folklore Society, of which Payne was the first president. In 1919, he was elected full professor at Texas. In 1928, he published the first anthology of Texas literature, A Survey of Texas Literature.

Payne, at Texas, was one of the first teachers of American literature. He maintained friendships with Edward Arlington Robinson, Carl Sandburg, and Robert Frost. He mentored Stark Young and J. Frank Dobie, and was one of the first to champion e.e. cummings. Payne published two major works in addition his anthology: History of American Literature (1919) and Texas Poems (1936).

Payne retired from the University of Texas in 1943, and died in 1945.


  • Abernathy, Frances Edward (1982). T for Texas: A State Full of Folklore. Dallas, E-Hart Press.
  • Durbin, John R. (1945). In Memoriam: Leonidas Warren Payne, Jr.. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
  • Foxworth, Sarah Payne. "Payne, Leonidas Warren, Jr.", The Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
  • The University of Texas (1906). The University of Texas Record, Volume VII, Austin, Texas, University. pp 201-202.