Storer College Correspondence, Business Papers and Other Material A&M.2621

Storer College Correspondence, Business Papers and Other Material A&M.2621


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West Virginia and Regional History Center

1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown, WV 26506-6069
URL: https://wvrhc.lib.wvu.edu

Staff of the West Virginia & Regional History Center

Repository
West Virginia and Regional History Center
Identification
A&M.2621
Title
Storer College Correspondence, Business Papers and Other Material1854-1964
URL:
https://archives.lib.wvu.edu/ark:/22916/248
Quantity
21.3 Linear Feet Summary: 21 ft. 4 in. (39 document cases, 5 in. each); (4 document cases, 2 1/2 in. each); (2 records cartons, 15 in. each); (1 small flat storage box, 3 in.); (1 large flat storage box, 3 in.); (2 large flat storage boxes, 3 1/2 in. each); (1 card file box, 4 in.); (1 roll storage box, 4 in.)
Creator
Storer College
Location
West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL: https://wvrhc.lib.wvu.edu/
Language
<language langcode="eng" encodinganalog="041">English</language>
Abstract
Records of Storer College, West Virginia's first African American institution of higher learning, located in Harpers Ferry. Types of records include correspondence, business papers, photographs, memorabilia, issues of the Storer Record (the Storer College newspaper), financial records, scrapbooks, bulletins, minute books, newspaper and magazine clippings, diaries, motion pictures, and miscellaneous material. Includes records regarding the early years of the College, among other topics. See "Scope and Content Note" and "Historical Note" for further information.

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the West Virginia and Regional History Center.

Conditions Governing Access

No special access restriction applies.

Preferred Citation

A&M 2621, Storer College Correspondence, Business Papers and Other Material, West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries.


Biographical / Historical

Storer College of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, emerged from the aftermath of the Civil War with the purpose of educating former slaves who were now facing the world with few skills and no education. It began in 1865 as a school in the Lockwood House, a private residence, with the support of the Freewill Baptist Home Mission Society of New England under Reverend Nathan Cook Brackett; in 1867 it officially became Storer Normal School, with the mission of training teachers; and in 1938 Storer became a College. The College closed in 1955 due to declining enrollment, financial problems, and the advent of desegregation.

Although there were dedicated teachers in the beginning, by 1867 there were still only 16 instructors to educate 2,500 students. Reverend Brackett realized the only way to reach all of the students was to train African American teachers, thus necessitating the expansion of the school into a teacher college.

The philanthropist John Storer from Maine came forward and offered a $10,000 grant to the Freewill Baptists to create a teacher college under three conditions: first, the school must eventually become a degree-granting college; second, the school had to be open to all applicants, regardless of race or gender; and finally, the most difficult of the prerequisites, the Freewill Baptist Church had to match his $10,000 donation within a year. After a year-long effort the money was raised, and Storer Normal School opened its doors; and by March 1868 it received its state charter.

the beginning local residents were resistant to a "colored school" and tried to shut it down through slander, vandalism, and local politics. One teacher wrote, "it is unusual for me to go to the Post Office without being hooted at, and twice I have been stoned on the streets at noonday." The attitudes of local residents eventually changed, however, so that later in his life Reverend Brackett became a respected citizen of Harpers Ferry.

Though Storer remained primarily a teacher college, in time it began adding courses in higher education to its curriculum so that students could graduate with a normal degree for teaching, or an academic degree for going on to college. In 1938, under the leadership of school president Henry T. McDonald, Storer became a college. Its enrollment peaked at around 400, and then dipped lower during World War II. The College survived until 1955 when declining enrollment, financial stress, and court-ordered desegregation combined to close it.

In addition to its progressive role in educating African Americans, the College became associated with other advocates of civil rights, such as Frederick Douglas, who visited Storer Normal School in 1881 to deliver a speech on John Brown, and the Niagara Movement led by William Du Bois, who held a conference at Storer in 1906. The NAACP was later to adopt many of the goals of the Niagara Movement.

This historical note was sourced from the West Virginia Encyclopedia and Wikipedia.

Scope and Contents

Records of Storer College, West Virginia's first African American institution of higher learning, located in Harpers Ferry. This collection contains both institutional records and personal papers related to the College.

Types of records include correspondence, business papers, photographs, memorabilia, issues of the Storer Record (the Storer College newspaper), financial records, scrapbooks, bulletins, minute books, newspaper and magazine clippings, diaries, motion pictures, and miscellaneous material.

Highlights of the collection include records regarding the early years of Storer College; correspondence and papers of Henry J. McDonald, who served as president of Storer College president from 1899 to 1945; correspondence and other material regarding the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); and correspondence and photographs regarding the service of Storer College students during World War I and World War II.

The collection is organized into sixteen series, including:

Series 1. Correspondence and Business Papers; ca. 1865-1964; boxes 1-12, 15-18a, 19, 25-26, 29-30
Series 2. Storer Record -- Newspaper; 1892-1931, 1940, 1942; boxes 13-14, 18b
Series 3. Financial Records and Other Material; 1912, 1939, 1953-1954; box 18b
Series 4. Scrapbooks and Miscellaneous Publications; ca. 1875-1950; boxes 20a-20b
Series 5. Financial and Other Record Books; 1913-1955; box 21
Series 6. College Bulletin and Other Material; 1882-1951; boxes 21, 22, 24
Series 7. Student Affairs; 1907-1955; boxes 23a-23b
Series 8. Minute Books; 1898-1944; box 27a
Series 9. Newspaper and Magazine Clippings; 1895, 1920, 1947, 1963-1964; box 27b
Series 10. Miscellaneous; 1867-1897, 1922-1940; box 28
Series 11. Diary of Henry T. McDonald; 1899-1900; box 28
Series 12. Photographs; ca. 1870-1955; boxes 31-32
Series 13. General Correspondence; ca. 1854-1950; boxes 33-41
Series 14. Memorabilia; 1938, undated; boxes 42-45
Series 15. Motion Pictures; 1940s, 1946; box 46
Series 16. Oversize Photographs; ca. 1895-1955; boxes 47-4

Related Material

1131, 1168, 1322, 1471, 2621

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Account books
  • African Americans -- Education (Higher)
  • African Americans - Schools for Freedmen.
  • African Americans -- Education -- West Virginia
  • Brackett, Louise Wood.
  • Brackett, Rev. Nathan.
  • Brewster, J.M.
  • Curtis, Silas, 1804-
  • Day, George T.
  • Diaries and journals.
  • Education
  • Fessenden, William Pitt, 1806-1869
  • Harpers Ferry (W. Va.)
  • Holt, Rush Dew, 1905-1955
  • Jefferson County (W. Va.)
  • Ledger books.
  • Malone, Weldon C.
  • McDonald, Henry Temple, 1872-1951
  • McKinney, Richard I.
  • Missionaries
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • National Education Association of the United States
  • New England Free Will Baptist Association
  • Newspapers.
  • Photographs.
  • Schools - Jefferson County.
  • Schools. SEE ALSO Academies
  • Scrapbooks
  • Segregation in education
  • Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Smith, Ella V.
  • Stewart, J.D.
  • Storer College
  • Storer Normal School
  • Teachers' letters and papers.
  • United States. Veterans Administration
  • Universities and colleges
  • West Virginia -- Race relations
  • Women -- Education
  • Women's history -- 1850-1899
  • Women's history -- 1900-1929
  • Women's history -- 1929-1950
  • Women's history -- 1951-present
  • World War II, 1939-1945 -- Letters
  • World War II.
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Letters

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Brackett, Louise Wood.
  • Brackett, Rev. Nathan.
  • Brewster, J.M.
  • Curtis, Silas, 1804-
  • Day, George T.
  • Fessenden, William Pitt, 1806-1869
  • Holt, Rush Dew, 1905-1955
  • Malone, Weldon C.
  • McDonald, Henry Temple, 1872-1951
  • McKinney, Richard I.
  • Smith, Ella V.
  • Stewart, J.D.

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

  • African Americans -- Education -- West Virginia
  • Harpers Ferry (W. Va.)
  • Jefferson County (W. Va.)
  • Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • West Virginia -- Race relations

Container List

Archival Resource Key
Series 1. Correspondence and Business Papers, Boxes 1-12, 15-18a, 19, 25-26, 29-30
1865-1964
Scope and Contents

Contains administrative records, such as correspondence, minutes, reports, financial documents, legal documents, speeches, clippings, and other material. Much of the material in this series is connected to the functioning of the President's Office, and much of it is related to the administration of President Henry T. McDonald, who served from 1899-1945. Topics include, among others, commencements, John Brown, legislation, local politics, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), school curriculum, and WWI (letters from students), among others.

Archival Resource Key
Series 2. Storer Record -- Newspaper, Boxes 13-14, 18b
1892-1931, 1940, 1942
Scope and Contents

Includes original copies of the "Storer Record," a newspaper published by and for students and staff of Storer Normal School (later Storer College).

Archival Resource Key
Series 3. Financial Records and Other Materials, Box 18b
1912, 1939, 1953-1954
Scope and Contents
Archival Resource Key
Series 4. Scrapbooks and Miscellaneous, Boxes 20a and 20b
1875-1927, 1940s
Scope and Contents
  • Mixed Materials Box: 20a Folder: 1 Archival Resource Key
    Alexander's Magazine--October
    1905
  • Mixed Materials Box: 20a Folder: 2 Archival Resource Key
    Six Issues of The Missionary Helper
    1913, 1915-1916, 1919
  • Mixed Materials Box: 20a Folder: 3 Archival Resource Key
    Free Baptist Women's Missionary Society--Report
    1875
  • Mixed Materials Box: 20a Folder: 4 Archival Resource Key
    Minutes of the 2nd General Conference of The Free Baptist
    1904
  • Mixed Materials Box: 20a Folder: 5 Archival Resource Key
    The Home Mission College Review--November
    1927
  • Mixed Materials Box: 20a Folder: 6 Archival Resource Key
    West Liberty State Teachers College Bulletin
    1940-1941
  • Mixed Materials Box: 20b Folder: 1 Archival Resource Key
    Four Scrapbooks--Programs and Calendars of Events
    1940s
  • Mixed Materials Box: 20b Folder: 2 Archival Resource Key
    Four Scrapbooks--Programs and Calendars of Events
    1940s
  • Mixed Materials Box: 20b Folder: 3 Archival Resource Key
    Four Scrapbooks--Programs and Calendars of Events
    1940s
  • Mixed Materials Box: 20b Folder: 4 Archival Resource Key
    Four Scrapbooks--Programs and Calendars of Events
    1940s
Archival Resource Key
Series 5. Financial and Other Record Books, Box 21
1913-1955 and undated
Scope and Contents
  • Mixed Materials Box: 21 unfoldered Archival Resource Key
    Baptist Minister Conference--Receipt Book
    1946
  • Mixed Materials Box: 21 unfoldered Archival Resource Key
    Founders Day--Contributions--Receipt Book
    1946
  • Mixed Materials Box: 21 unfoldered Archival Resource Key
    Founders Day--Donations--May
    1946
  • Mixed Materials Box: 21 unfoldered Archival Resource Key
    Founders Day--Receipt Book
    1948
  • Mixed Materials Box: 21 unfoldered Archival Resource Key
    Ledger Book (blank)--List of Women Cited for Record in the Lillian Sims Cup
    undated
  • Mixed Materials Box: 21 unfoldered Archival Resource Key
    Ledger Book--List of Winners of Viola Scott Morris Medal
    1943-1955
  • Mixed Materials Box: 21 unfoldered Archival Resource Key
    The Confort Contest--Scrapbook
    1913-1955
Archival Resource Key
Series 6. College Bulletin and Other Material, Boxes 21, 22, and 24
1882-1951
Scope and Contents

Includes publications by Storer College, including Bulletins and Catalogs, that document admissions procedures, courses of study, curriculum, etc., in order to assist students and facilitate the operation of Storer.

Archival Resource Key
Series 7. Student Affairs, Boxes 23a and 23b
1880-1948
Scope and Contents
Archival Resource Key
Series 8. Minute Books, Box 27a
1898-1944
Scope and Contents

Includes minutes of the Board of Trustees of Storer Normal School (later Storer College).

Archival Resource Key
Series 9. Newspaper and Magazine Clippings, Box 27b
1895, 1920, 1947, 1963-1964
Scope and Contents

Includes articles and clippings regarding the education of African-Americans in the United States in general, and regarding Storer Normal School, later Storer College, specifically.

Archival Resource Key
Series 10. Miscellaneous, Box 28
1867-1900, 1922-1944
Scope and Contents
  • Mixed Materials Box: 28 Folder: 1 Archival Resource Key
    Faculty Minutes, September 18, 1922-September 18, 1940
    1922-1940
  • Mixed Materials Box: 28 Folder: 2 Archival Resource Key
    President's Report
    1944
  • Mixed Materials Box: 28 Folder: 3 Archival Resource Key
    Commission for the Promoting of Education in the South--Records, February 1867-June1874
    1867-1874
  • Mixed Materials Box: 28 Folder: 4 Archival Resource Key
    Free Baptist Conference Board Records
    1886-1897
  • Mixed Materials Box: 28 Folder: 5 Archival Resource Key
    Storer College Book No. 1 Records with Index Notes
    1868-1897
Archival Resource Key
Series 11. Diary of Henry T. McDonald, Box 28
1899-1900
Scope and Contents

Diary of Henry T. McDonald in holograph created in the first year of his presidency at Storer Normal School (5 1/2 in. x 11 1/2 in.; 89 pages). Includes observations regarding both his personal experiences and professional activities.

  • Mixed Materials Box: 28 Folder: 6 Archival Resource Key
    Diary--September 1899 to September 1900
    1899-1900
Archival Resource Key
Series 12. Photographs, Boxes 31 and 32
1870s-1950s
Scope and Contents

Includes numerous images of the students, faculty, facilities, grounds, and activities of Storer Normal School (later Storer College). (Most of these photographs have been scanned and are available for inspection within the online West Virginia History OnView catalog; see link in Instances.)

Archival Resource Key
Series 13. General Correspondence, Boxes 33-41
1854-1940s and undated
Scope and Contents
Archival Resource Key
Series 14. Memorabilia, Box 42-45
1938 and undated
Scope and Contents
Archival Resource Key
Series 15. Motion Pictures, Box 46
ca. 1940s, 1946
Scope and Contents
  • Mixed Materials Box: 46 unfoldered Archival Resource Key
    Two Films--Inauguration (ca. 1940s) and Baccalaureate Commencement (1946) (includes original two reels of film and DVD user copy)
    ca. 1940s, 1946
Archival Resource Key
Series 16. Oversize Photographs, Boxes 47 and 48
1870s-1850s
Scope and Contents