Donald Robert Perry Marquis 1878-1937, was a newspaper columnist, humorist, poet, playwright and author of about 35 books of which the best known are books of humorous poetry about Archy the cockroach and Mehitabel the cat. Don's work appeared regularly in the New York Sun and the Saturday Evening Post, among other places. Though largely forgotten today, in his time Don Marquis was often described as America's most popular and best-loved columnist, playwright, humorist and author. Don still had enough fans in 1978, 41 years after his death, that several dozen people assembled in Port Townsend, Washington, to celebrate his 100th birthday. Among the celebrants were Frank Herbert, author of the Dune trilogy; William McCollum, Jr., editor of The Selected Letters of Don Marquis (Northwoods Press) and the now-defunct Don Marquis Newsletter; Bob Lyon of The Non-Profit Press who published Don's play Everything's Jake in honor of the occasion; and Jim Ennes, author of Assault on the Liberty (Random House), who proudly shares Don's name and maintains this web site. The group shared cocktails, dinner, conversation, speeches, stories about Don, and Baked Beans Ambrosia prepared exactly as Don says beans should be prepared in The Almost Perfect State.
This page is a creation of Jim Ennes, a longtime admirer and namesake of Don's. Although not related by blood, Jim's full name is James Marquis Ennes, Jr., because he was named after his father, James Marquis Ennes, Sr. James, Sr. was named not after Don, but after Don's father, Dr. James Marquis, who was a respected elder neighbor and mentor of Jim's grandfather, Lindsey Theodore Ennes (1886-1960). The Ennes and Marquis families were next-door neighbors for many years in Walnut, Illinois, where Don was raised.
We are grateful to The Gutenberg Project for arranging to publish several of Don's full length books electronically on the internet. Volunteer typists are needed to keep this project alive.Now online in electronic and HTML text are: