A Guide to the Richmond Crusade for Voters collection, 1953-1995 M 306

A Guide to the Richmond Crusade for Voters collection, 1953-1995

A Collection in
Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library
Collection number M 306


Virginia Commonwealth University, James Branch Cabell Library

Special Collections and Archives
James Branch Cabell Library
Box 842003
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2003
Phone: (804) 828-1108
Fax: (804) 828-0151
Email: libjbcsca@vcu.edu
URL: http://www.library.vcu.edu/about/special-collections/cabell/

© 2001 By Virginia Commonwealth University. All rights reserved

Processed by: Special Collections and Archives Staff

James Branch Cabell Library
M 306
Richmond Crusade for Voters collection 1953-1995
Physical Characteristics
.83 Linear Feet.
Thornton, William A.
Thornton, William S.

Administrative Information

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for use without restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Box/Folder, Richmond Crusade for Voters collection, Collection # M 306, Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va.

Acquisition Information

Materials in this collection were donated by Dr. William S. Thornton, a founder and the first president of Richmond Crusade for Voters, and William A. Thornton who served as the organization's historian. The donations were made in November 1995.

Historical Information

The Richmond Crusade for Voters was founded in 1956, and grew out of The Council to Save Public Schools, a Richmond organization formed to fight a January 1956 law which allowed cities in Virginia the option of closing public schools rather than integrating them. The three co-founders of the Crusade were Dr. William S. Thornton, Dr. William Ferguson Reid, and John M. Brooks. These three men founded the Richmond Crusade for Voters with the goal of "increasing effective black participation in Richmond's political process" (Nov-Dec 1988 edition of Richmond Surroundings). The Crusade's mission is "...to increase the voting strength of the population of the city of Richmond and to improve the moral, social, economic, educational and general welfare of our people" ("Richmond Free Press," January 1, 1994).

Scope and Contents

The collection includes materials collected by Crusade for Voters historian William A. Thornton and William S. Thompson. The date range of the collection, from the early 1950s until 1995, spans the history of the organization. The bulk of the collection was donated in two large binders, the contents of which have been rehoused but maintained in their original order, organized roughly by the terms of Crusade presidents. The binders hold minutes, correspondence, historian's reports, newsletters, newspaper clippings, campaign flyers, financial reports, and similar materials, many of which are photocopies. In addition to the binders, the collection also holds a variety of loose material including correspondence, financial records, clippings and newsletters, flyers, awards, photographs, and reports as well as documents pertaining to the organization's history and voting in Richmond, Virginia. Much of this loose material is duplicated in the photocopied contents of the binders.


Materials donated in binders are arranged in their original order. Other materials are arranged by record type.

Related Material

Separated Material

A video, on the history of the Crusade from the television news program "Impact," originally accompanied the collection and has been cataloged separately.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • African Americans -- Politics and government -- Virginia -- Richmond
  • African Americans -- Suffrage -- Virginia -- Richmond.
  • Crusade for Voters (Richmond, Va.) -- Form subdivision--Archives.;
  • Richmond (Va.) -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
  • Voting -- History -- 20th century -- Virginia -- Richmond

Container List

Box-folder 1:1-11
Historian Binder 1
Box-folder 1:12-13, 2:1-4
Historian Binder 2
Box-folder 2:5
African American employment in Richmond schools, report
Box-folder 2:6
1953-1958, 1973-1988
Box-folder 2:7
Financial records
Box-folder 2:8
1959-1980, undated
Box-folder 2:9
Lobbyist application
Box-folder 2:10
Newspaper clippings, newsletters, and press release
1965-1983, undated
Box-folder 2:11
Organizational history materials
Box-folder 2:12
1978, undated
Box-folder 2:13
Precinct and voting information
1960-1975, undated
Box-folder 2:14
Research committee records
1965, undated
Box-folder 2:15
Telephone bank materials
Box-folder 2:16
Twenty-fifth anniversary celebration program
Box-folder 2:17
William S. Thornton awards
1970-1988, undated

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Thornton, William A.
  • Thornton, William S.

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

  • Richmond (Va.) -- Politics and government -- 20th century.