Booker T. Washington correspondence, 1903-1916, 1933 and undated 0.5 Linear Feet — 107 Items
The collection comprises over 90 pieces of correspondence and related materials concerning the Carnegie Hall Conference (January 6-8, 1904) and the subsequent formation of the Committee of Twelve for the Advancement of the Interest of the Negro Race. The conference was a critical event in the early history of the African American civil rights movement. It was organized by Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois, and it brought together many of the most prominent African American leaders in the United States. The Committee broke up in 1905 due to differences between the leaders.
The letters in the collection provide documentary evidence for the Committee of Twelve's evolution and work, as well as commentary on the status of African Americans. They detail Washington's relationships with many of the key African American leaders of his day. The most striking is Washington's correspondence with W.E.B. Du Bois, where the tension and ideological conflict between the two men is clearly demonstrated. Other prominent correspondents include Charles W. Chestnutt, John S. Durham, Thomas Fortune, Marcus Garvey, Archibald Grimké; Francis J. Grimké, James Weldon Johnson, Judson W. Lyons, Fredrick L. McGhee, Whitefield McKinlay, Kelly Miller, Robert R. Moton, Charles W. Russell, Emmett J. Scott, and Alexander Walters.
Other materials in the collection include copies of the pamphlet "Why disfranchisement is bad" (July 1904); a photocopy of and a copy of the original article, "The estimate of an eminent Virginian of the merit of the book THE WHITE MAN'S BURDEN"; and a poem, "The Empty Sleeve".
Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.