Augustus Thomas was an American playwright, born in St. Louis, Missouri. The son of a doctor, he worked a number of jobs including a page in the 41st Congress, studying law and gaining some practical railway work experience before he turned to journalism and became editor of the Kansas City Mirror in 1889. Thomas had been writing since his teens when he wrote plays and even organized a small theatrical touring company.
Thomas was hired to work as an assistant at Pope's Theatre in St. Louis. During this time, he wrote a one-act play based on a short story by Frances Hodgson Burnett called The Burglar. After touring in the play, he expanded the show to four acts and was able to get Maurice Barrymore to play the title role. Subsequently, he was hired to succeed Dion Boucicault adapting foreign plays for the Madison Square Theatre.
His first original play, Alabama was produced in 1891 and its success allowed Thomas to write full-time. Alabama is the story of an un-reconstructed Confederate. Notably, Thomas was one of the first playwrights to make use of American material. Other plays along the same lines include Arizona, In Mizzoura, Colorado and Rio Grande. Perhaps his most successful play was The Copperhead which made Lionel Barrymore a star.