David Grayson Revealed

Nick Grabbe talks to audience during 'David Grayson Revealed' event Nick Grabbe talks to audience during 'David Grayson Revealed' event Nick Grabbe talks to audience during 'David Grayson Revealed' event

In March 2016 the Jones Library Special Collections hosted an event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the reveal of David Grayson's identity and the opening of the 'Who is David Grayson?' exhibit.

This event drew a crowd of over 60 people, one of our largest events ever. It feautred a talk and readings of David Grayson's work by Nick Grabbe, a local David Grayson scholar.

He started the talk with the following words:

We are here to honor an Amherst writer who, a century ago, was more popular than either Emily Dickinson or Robert Frost. He spent a lot of time in this library, and although he’s not well known today, his books still have something important to teach us.

He used the pen name David Grayson, and a lot of readers were curious about who he really was. One hundred years ago this month, his true identity was revealed after 10 years of secrecy and speculation.

His entire talk can be read on his blog.

David Grayson Revealed event photographs David Grayson Revealed event photographs

The event also feautred a rendition of the popular game show 'To tell the truth' as an interactive way for audience members to guess who David Grayson was. the three David Grayson's made their case and then the audience voted on who they thought was David Grayson.

Jonathan Tucker played Ray Stannard Baker, on the far left wearing a suit. While Kyle Boyd played the part of Ida Tarbell, a fellow muckracker who was suspected of being David Grayson. She is on the far right of the first picture. Matt Berube played Sewill Ramsey, a composite of the various con-men who pretended to be David Grayson including the Denver imposter and the con-men from Indiana. He is seen in the middle of the first picture. 

After each actor gave a speech claiming to be David Grayson the audience voted and the majority were correct that David Grayson is Ray Stannard Baker.

Thank you to all of our volunteer actors for participating. 

The event and David Grayson were featured in the Hampshire Gazette and the Amherst Bulletin in the week before the event.