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BLACKSHER, MENEFEE & STEIN
The law firm of Blacksher, Menefee & Stein handled several
major civil rights cases during the 1970s and 1980s including the Birdie Mae Davis v
Board of School Commissioners case (7 cu. ft.), Bolden v. City of Mobile (12
cu. ft.), and Brown v. Board of Commissioners (11 cu. ft.). The firm
also handled Elizabeth Martin v. University of South Alabama (14 cu. ft.), a sex
discrimination suit involving equal pay issues. The collection also contains many other
cases concerning discrimination in housing, education, and employment. The case files
contain briefs, depositions, petitions, exhibits, and other trial materials. Inventories
and abstracts are available for most cases. A list of the cases, as well as brief
inventories and abstracts are available by clicking on the link provided above. 180 cubic
One 9-page letter from Frank W. Boykin to Speaker of the House of
Representatives John McCormack dated August 20, 1963. The letter discusses many national
and state political figures, including Senator Lister Hill and Presidents John F. Kennedy
and Lyndon Johnson. The bulk of Boykin's papers are located at the Alabama Department of
Archives and History. For more, please see http://126.96.36.199/cdm4/boykin.htm.
Vernon Crawford (1919-1986) founded Mobile's first
African-American law firm in 1956. The records in this collection consist of the criminal,
civil rights, and family-related case files
of this black attorney, as well as papers related to the company he founded, Gulf Federal
Saving and Loan, and companies and organizations he represented such as the Johnson-Allen
Mortuary. Crawford worked on many important civil
right's cases, including L. B. Sullivan v. New York Times, Bolden v. City of
Mobile, and Birdie Mae Davis, et. al. v. Mobile County School Board. In
addition, he handled several important criminal cases, including the State of Alabama
v. Willie Seals. Within the collection are also files related to a number of bar
associations, as well as to the NAACP and NOW. A few of the lawyers who worked with
Crawford include Michael Figures, Frankie Fields, and David Coar. Some of the cases
started by Crawford were continued by the law firm of Blacksher,
Menefee, and Stein. 109.75 cubic feet.
DOWNING, MAURICE A. "CASEY"
These papers contain correspondence, printed matter, notes, and
newspaper clippings relating to Downing's legislative career in the Alabama House of
Representatives from 1962 to 1974. During those years he introduced legislation in support
of the Mobile Greyhound Park, the East and West Fowl River connection, and the University
of South Alabama Health Service Foundation. Includes materials through 1984. Other
portions of the collection focus on mental health, conservation, and wildlife, as well as
the Alabama State Docks, Mobile General Hospital, Brookley Air Force Base, and the
Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. 5 cubic feet.
These are the official papers of Congressman Jack Edwards, who
served in the U.S. House of Representatives, District l, Alabama from 1964 to 1984. The
papers include correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, tapes, etc. They have
been restored to their original chronological order and inventoried. Of particular local
interest are materials relating to the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Project and the
closing of Brookley Air Force Base. Also included in the collection are papers relating to
the Watergate scandal, school desegregation, and civil rights in general. 251 cubic
Jack Gallalee served as president of the Mobile County School
Board from 1961-1965. His personal files for the period of his term include
correspondence, publications, and school board meeting minutes. Subjects range from
federal educational mandates regarding integration to problems relating to fraternities
and sororities in the Mobile County school system. 2.5 cubic feet.
HOLMES, LARRY (87-09-152)
This collection contains materials amassed by Dr. Larry E.
Holmes, former professor of Russian history at the University of South Alabama, during the
course of an administrative and legal battle between him and the university over tenure.
The case revolved around issues related to academic freedom and civil rights. The papers
include a chronology of events, documents related to the FBI and its concern with
Holmes activities, correspondence, memoranda, briefs, interrogatories, affidavits,
newspaper clippings, reports, and depositions. The collection also includes a CD of an
interview conducted in August 1973 with Holmes by Mike Sloan of the local radio station
WABB and Don Henry of the Alabama Education Association. A later donation made by Holmes
was added to this collection and contains correspondence, grant awards and applications,
newspaper clippings and other material related to Holmes professional career, and a
copy of Holmes 1997 article on Moscow School No. 25 that appeared in the Slavic
Review. (See also an April 17, 2002, oral interview with Holmes conducted by graduate
student John Lyle., and Manuscript
Collections under Ahmed, Dr. Nahfiza; Blacksher, Menefee, and Stein; Case, Delene;
Crawford, Vernon Z.; Foley, Father Albert; Gallalee, Jack C.; LeFlore, John L.; LeFlore
Oral History Project; Mims, Lambert C.; Neighborhood Organized Workers; Non-Partisan
Voters League; Thomas, Judge Daniel H.; and United States District Court Cases.) 1
OF WOMEN VOTERS
Minutes, annual reports, newsletters, correspondence, and
miscellaneous papers of the Mobile chapter of the League of Women Voters dating from 1955
to 2007. Also includes a series devoted to environmental issues. 15.75 cubic feet.
Materials relating to various activities of civil rights leader
John L. Leflore. Included are correspondence, minutes, and other records of the regional,
state and local NAACP (1939-1956); the Mobile Housing Board (1966-1970); the Alabama House
of Representatives (1975-1976). The collection also contains one CD with John LeFlore's
FBI file, photographs, and articles written by Mr. LeFlore for various
newspapers. The papers have been microfilmed. 10 cubic feet.
Contains videotaped interviews with Joseph Langan, O. B. Purifoy,
Dr. W. B. LeFlore, Janet LeFlore, Fred Richardson, J. C. Randolph, Hon. James T.
Strickland, Henry Williams, Geraldine Clark, and Lancie Thomas. The interviews, filmed in
1996, are available on 34 VHS video tapes. They were produced under a grant from the
Alabama Humanities Foundation for a documentary on John L. LeFlore. An index for the
tapes is available.
Twenty-one videotaped interviews, 1994-1995, with various
Mobilians including Charles Boyle, Caldwell Delaney, Jack Edwards, William J. and Emily
Staples Hearin, Paulette Horton, Joseph Langan, Lionel Noonan, Jack Stallworth, Eugene
Walter, Frederick Whiddon, and Caldwell Whistler. Also includes interviews with
members of Murphy High School Class of 1943 at their 50th reunion, and with Frances Sibley
on the history of Murphy. The interviewer, Jeanette Maygarden, worked as Woman's Editor at
the Mobile Press Register after graduating from Murphy and pursued a career in
public relations. (See also Photograph Collections under
MC CORVEY, GESSNER T.
Kept in his youth by the former Alabama state Democratic
executive committee chairman, this one-volume (November 1, 1907 - August 1, 1909)
handwritten financial journal details household and business transactions. Gessner is
perhaps best known as one of the leaders of the Dixiecrat revolt of 1948, and for his
support of the Boswell Amendment, a 1945 codicil to the Alabama state constitution that
selectively disfranchised blacks and poor whites.
MIMS, LAMBERT C.
This extensive collection consists of a multitiude of subjects
connected with the long-time political career of this former mayor/city commissioner.
Consisting of a vast array of genres, from judicial and legal records to proclamations and
press releases to campaign material and photographs, the information in this collection
covers local topics typically found within such collections, but it also contains material
related to Mims' personal religious views and to the American Public Works Association.
Mims was rotating mayor and public works commissioner of Mobile from 1965 to 1985. 136
MOBILE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
This Mobile organization was the first in the state, chartered by
the Alabama Legislature in 1854. The materials in this collection relate primarily to the
development of Dauphin Island and include brochures, photographs, scrapbooks, and news
clippings. The collection also includes, however, two scrapbooks dedicated to the
1971 visit of President Richard Nixon. 2.75 cubic feet.
MOBILE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT RECORDS
The Mobile County Circuit Court records include 613 linear feet
of individual case files and over 300 bound volumes of minutes, final records, etc. The
materials date from ca. 1830 to ca. 1917. Naturalization records created by these courts
have been indexed by Clinton P. King and Meriem A. Barlow in Naturalization Records, Mobile, Alabama,
1833-1906, and the minute books containing these records have been
microfilmed. Divorce cases are also available on microfilm and we have indexed
the records in Index to Divorce Cases of the
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Alabama, 1816-1918. Many of the early
cases require cleaning and preparation by staff before researchers can use them. See
instructions for ordering copies of court records.
PALMER, MARY S.
Mary S. Palmer received an MA in English from the University of
South Alabama in 1984. This collection contains research notes for her thesis entitled
"Keep on Keeping on: The Story of George Wallace," as well as an unpublished
1995 popularized and updated version of that thesis. The collection also includes
newsclippings about Wallace's career and the assassination attempt on his life, notes,
interviews, and memorabilia. (See also Photograph Collections
under the same heading.) 1.5 cubic feet.
Scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, and photographs relating to
Leroy Stevens (1897-1972), a member of the Board of Revenue and Road Commissioners
(1942-1957) and the County Commission of Mobile County (1957-1972). 3 cubic feet.
JUDGE DANIEL H.
Daniel Holcombe Thomas was born in Prattville, Alabama, in 1906.
He was appointed to the federal bench by Harry Truman in 1951. Although Judge Thomas
retired in 1972, he retained supernumerary status until his death in 2000, making him one
of the United States' longest serving justices. Known as a conservative, Judge Thomas
adjudicated several civil rights cases, the most important to our area being the
Birdie Mae Davis v Mobile County School Board school desegregation case. He also
developed a national reputation for presiding over maritime cases. This collection
consists of 13 personal scrapbooks that contain miscellaneous speeches, letters, pictures,
programs, and articles that span Thomas' entire judicial career, and one bound volume of
congratulatory letters to him on the 15th anniversary of his installation as
judge. 2.5 cubic feet.
TOULMIN, HARRY T.
Contains miscellaneous documents (1856-1936) related to Judge
Harry T. Toulmin (1838-1916). The documents include biographies, deeds, and other property
records (1869-1904), tax records (1856-1898), his will, estate papers, correspondence
(1863-1936), and two photographs. Also includes one receipt book (1858-1868). Some of the
material relates to Toulmin's judgeship and Civil War service. The judge began practicing
law in Mobile in 1860. He entered the Confederate army in 1861 as a private and was later
promoted to captain. Toulmin resumed the practice of law after the war. The collection
also includes a list of officers and soldiers of the 22nd Alabama Infantry, as well as a
typed report from Toulmin regarding the infantry's part in the battle at Chickamauga,
during which the son of Josiah Nott was killed. Some of the correspondence is between
family members or concerns family business and a number of the letters concern Toulmin's
selection to the federal bench. The receipt book lists expenses for, among other things,
renting slaves. The collection also includes an invitation to a breakfast engagement with
President Grover Cleveland. 1 cubic foot.
Documentation generated in four civil suits heard by the U.S. District
Court in Mobile includes court exhibits, depositions, pleadings files, newspaper
clippings, correspondence, and other official documents. 1. Bolden v. City of Mobile
(1976-1984) contested the use of at-large elections and resulted in a change in the form
of government for the City of Mobile. A box inventory is available (10 cubic feet.).
2. Brown v. John L. Moore et al. (1980-1985) involved the discriminatory nature
of school board at-large elections in Mobile County (8 cubic feet.). 3. Jail Inmates
v. Purvis (1980-1985) concerns prison overcrowding in Mobile County. There is an
inventory available (5 cubic feet.). 4. Lee et al. v. Macon County Board of Education
was a joint civil action suit (1970-1985) concerning school desegregation in several
Alabama counties and cities: Baldwin, Clarke, Conecuh, Dallas, Escambia, Macon, Marengo,
Marion, Monroe, and Washington counties, Demopolis, Selma, and Thomasville (12 cubic