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Daisy Bates Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MC 582

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of twelve boxes of correspondence and other documents, photographs, audio cassettes, and film. The files include correspondence resulting from her work and that of her husband, L.C. Bates, with the NAACP between 1957 and 1974. Significant correspondents include Harry Ashmore, Dale Bumpers, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Orval Faubus, and Roy Wilkins. An index of correspondents is located at the end of this finding aid. Other materials in the collection include honors and awards received by Mr. and Mrs. Bates, records of Mrs. Bates’s work with the OEO Self-Help Project at Mitchellville, Arkansas, and a considerable file of newspaper clippings. The collection also contains audio-visual materials, including recordings of interviews, speeches, and radio and television broadcasts featuring Mrs. Bates, members of the Little Rock Nine and their parents, Orval Faubus, and others, regarding Little Rock school desegregation. More than four hundred photographs provide visual documentation of events in Mrs. Bates’s career, and include pictures of the Little Rock Nine, whose advisor she was when they enrolled in Central High School.

Dates

  • 1940-1988

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email specoll@uark.edu at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

Original reel-to-reel audio tapes have been restricted for reasons of fragility. Copies on cassette tapes are available for research use. Original 8 and 16 mm film of Mrs. Bates is also restricted. Copies on 1/2" VH videotape are available for research use.

Biographical Note

Daisy Lee Gatson Bates was born in the small southern Arkansas community of Huttig, in Union County, November 11, 1914. Typical of early twentieth century race relations, her natural parents experienced the violence and powerlessness of the rural South. Her mother was killed resisting the sexual advances of three local white men and her father left shortly thereafter. Daisy was reared by friends of the family, the only parents she ever knew.

In 1942, Daisy Lee Gatson married L. C. Bates (1901-1980) and settled in Little Rock. Born in Liberty, Amite County, Mississippi, L. C. Bates attended Alcorn A and M College (now Alcorn State University) in Alcorn, Mississippi, and Wilberforce University in Ohio. Although he was an insurance agent when Daisy met him, L. C. had previously worked for a Colorado newspaper for three years and later joined the staff of the Kansas City Call in Missouri. After working for newspapers in California and Memphis, he moved to Little Rock and established the weekly Arkansas State Press; the first issue appeared May 9, 1941. It became the largest and most influential black paper in the state.

During its eighteen-year history, the Arkansas State Press became a leading voice in the Civil Rights Movement. Unrelenting in its criticism, the paper attacked police brutality, segregation and the inequities of the criminal justice system. In 1948, the paper supported the candidacy of Sidney McMath for governor against segregationist Jack Holt and in 1952 supported former Governor Francis Cherry in his re-election bid against Orval Faubus.

The Bateses were members of the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] from the time of their move to Little Rock. In 1952 Daisy was elected president of the Arkansas State Conference of NAACP branches. It was in this capacity that Daisy Bates became the advisor to the Little Rock Nine. The Little Rock School Board's desegregation plan, upheld by the District Federal Court and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, was to begin September 1957 at the senior high school level at Central High School.

Because of their involvement in the integration of Central High, the subsequent loss of advertising revenue forced the Bateses to close the Arkansas State Press in 1959. In 1960, L. C. became NAACP field director for the state until his retirement in 1971. In 1960, Mrs. Bates moved to New York City and spent two years writing her memoirs of the Central High crisis. The Long Shadow of Little Rock was published in 1962 with an introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt. After completion of the book, Mrs. Bates moved to Washington, D.C, where she worked for the Democratic National Committee and for the Johnson Administration's anti-poverty programs. After suffering a stroke in 1965, she returned to Little Rock.

In 1968, Mrs. Bates moved to Mitchellville, Desha County, Arkansas, one mile north of Dumas. For six years she resided in a mobile home in the predominately black community. She was a community organizer for the Mitchellville Office of Economic Opportunity [OEO] Self-Help Project. Her efforts resulted in a new water system in 1970; installation of a sewer system in 1971; paved streets, including Main Street; and the completion of a community center and swimming pool in 1972.

In 1974, Mrs. Bates retired. After the death of her husband in 1980, she revived the Arkansas State Press in April 1984. She sold the paper in December 1987, but remained a consultant. Daisy Bates died on November 4, 1999.

Daisy Bates was the recipient of numerous awards and honors. The year following her retirement, the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas passed a resolution commending her for her outstanding service to the state. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in May, 1984. In 1986, the University of Arkansas Press published a reprint edition of Mrs. Bates's memoirs The Long Shadow of Little Rock and in the spring of 1988, the book was the recipient of the American Book Award, the first time that honor has been bestowed on a reprint edition.

Extent

6 Linear Feet (15 boxes)

Arrangement of the Papers

Materials are arranged by subject and type into six series:
  1. Series 1. Daisy Bates Files
  2. Subseries 1. Correspondence Files
  3. Subseries 2. NAACP Correspondence and Publications
  4. Subseries 3. Honors and Awards
  5. Subseries 4. Memorabilia, Speeches, Affidavits, Magazines, Partial Typewritten manuscript of memoirs, National Democratic Party materials
  6. Series 2. L.C. Bates Files
  7. Subseries 1. Correspondence Files
  8. Subseries 2. Honors and Awards
  9. Subseries 3. Documents of Obsequy
  10. Series 3. Mitchellville OEO Self-Help Project Files
  11. Subseries 1. Correspondence Files and Minutes
  12. Subseries 2. Mitchellville Proposal Files
  13. Subseries 3. Mitchellville Publications
  14. Subseries 4. Mitchellville Organization, Adult Education and Training
  15. Subseries 5. Financial Records
  16. Subseries 6. Miscellaneous Files
  17. Series 4. Photographs
  18. Subseries 1. Daisy Bates
  19. Subseries 2. L. C. Bates
  20. Subseries 3. The Little Rock Nine
  21. Subseries 4. Political Figures
  22. Subseries 5. Entertainers
  23. Subseries 6. NAACP 47th Annual Convention, San Francisco
  24. Subseries 7. Diamond Cross of Malta Award, Philadelphia
  25. Subseries 8. Summit Conference for the Moral Re-Armament of the World
  26. Subseries 9. Los Angeles
  27. Subseries 10. Honors and Awards (identifiable)
  28. Subseries 11. Honors and Awards (unidentifiable)
  29. Subseries 12. Little Rock, Arkansas
  30. Subseries 13. Mitchellville OEO Self-Help Project, Mitchellville, Desha County, Arkansas
  31. Subseries 14. Friends
  32. Subseries 15. Family
  33. Subseries 16. Bates home
  34. Subseries 17. Duplicates
  35. Subseries 18. Negatives
  36. Series 5. Newspaper Clippings
  37. Subseries 1. Honors and Activities
  38. Subseries 2. Honors: Black Press Archives
  39. Subseries 3. L. C. Bates
  40. Subseries 4. The Little Rock Nine
  41. Subseries 5. Central High School Crisis
  42. Subseries 6. Arkansas State Press
  43. Subseries 7. Mitchellville OEO Self-Help Project
  44. Subseries 8. Arkansas
  45. Subseries 9. Friends
  46. Subseries 10. Miscellaneous
  47. Series 6. Cassette Tapes and Film
  48. Subseries 1. Oral interviews, speeches and radio broadcasts of Mrs. Bates
  49. Subseries 2. Interviews and speeches regarding integration at Central and Hall High Schools
  50. Subseries 3. Hearings of the Special Education Committee of the Arkansas Legislative Council and the senate committee on the state constitution
  51. Subseries 4. Miscellaneous.
  52. Subseries 5. Sixteen mm negative film interview (no sound) of Mrs. Bates in Kansas City
  53. Subseries 6. Restricted materials (fragile items)

Acquisition Information

The Daisy Bates papers were donated to Special Collections by Daisy Bates in 1986.

Related Materials

In 1966, Mrs. Bates donated numerous papers, correspondence and photographs collected as a direct result of the 1957 crisis to the State Historical Society of Wisconsin at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Processing Information

Processed by Fon Louise Gordon; completed in May 1988.

Index to Correspondents

B = Box
F = Folder
Example: B2, F8 means Box 2, Folder 8.
If the item is italicized, it is from Daisy Bates to the person named. If it is not, it is from the person named to Daisy Bates.
Abrams, Annie
B2, F9 (2 items)
Afiya
B3, F1
Agnes
B2, F9
Ahrend, Mary Beth
B2, F6
Anderson, Bessie M.
B1, F8 (4 items)
Angelou, Maya
B2, F7; B2, F8; B2, F10
Arnold, Margaret
B2, F8
Ashmore, Harry S.
B2, F6 (3 items)
Ayers, Paulene
B2, F9; B2, F9
Babcock, Lucille T.
B2, F10
Baldwin, Fred D.
B6, F1
Barber, Walter L.
B2, F4
Barker, Vernon L.
B1, F8
Barner, Iris C.
B1, F7; B1, F7
Bates, Jennie B.
B1, F9
Bates, L. C.
B1, F4
Bates, Mother
B1, F7
Bell, Ray H.
B3, F4
Bellegarde, Ida R.
>B2, F9
Ben-Ari, Uri
B2, F3
Benjamin, James
B1, F5; B1, F5
Bethune, Mary McLeod
B1, F1
Billingslea, Rev. C. William
B1, F3; B1, F3; B1, F4; B1, F4
Birdie L.
B1, F3
Bowen, William F.
B1, F7
Bowens, Arthur
B6, F1 (2 items); B6, F2
Braginski, Bernard
B3, F5; B3, F6
Branch, William
B2, F7; B2, F8; B2, F8
Brannin, Carl
B2, F3
Branton, Wiley A.
B1, F2; B1, F9; B3, F1
Brasfield, Curtis
B2, F7; B6, F2; B6, F2
Brewer, Vivion Lenon
B2, F6
Brewster, Dr. W. Herbert
B1, F9
Britt, Constance
B3, F1
Bronstein, Alvin J.
B1, F7
Brooks, Alvin
B1, F7; B1, F7
Brown, Theodore E.
B1, F3 (2 items); B1, F3
Brown-Rowe, Marsallay
B2, F9
Bryant, T. Chester
B2, F3 (4 items)
Bumpers, Dale
B2, F6
Bunche, Ruth H.
B3, F6
Burns, Elizabeth Jacoway
B2, F2; B2, F4; B2, F5; B2, F6
Burns, Leonard L.
B3, F2; B3, F2; B3, F2
Cabirac, Henry, Jr.
B1, F6
Callender, Eugene S.
B1, F7
Carter, Leonard
B3, F3; B5, F1
Carter, Robert L.
B5, F2
Carter, Ronald L.
B1, F9; B2, F2; B2, F2
Caruth, Sylvia
B1, F9
Cates, Juanita
B1, F4
Cavin, Patty
B1, F4; B1, F4
Chapital, Arthur J., Sr.
B3, F2
Charlie
B1, F4
Clinton, Bill
B2, F8; B3, F1
Cockrill, Sterling R., Jr.
B6, F1; B6, F2
Coffin, John F.
B2, F9 (2 items)
Collins, Alice
B1, F8
Collins, Sarah Jean
B1, F8
Cox, E. Harley, Jr.
B2, F10
Crawford, James
B6, F1
Crenshaw, Rv. Jos C.
B5, F3
Crichlow, Dorothy K.
B1, F6; B1, F7
Crofton, Lenoulia O.
B2, F2
Cromie, Robert
B1, F4
Cromwell, Edwin B.
B6, F1 (2 items)
Cross, Clyde Lee
B1, F2; B1, F5
Crump, Allan C.
B1, F8 (2 items)
Current, Gloster B.
B5, F1; B5, F3 (3 items)
Daisy
B3, F2
Daniel, Bradford
B1, F6;B1, F6
Davis, Arris
B1, F7
Davis, Rev.C. Anderson
B1, F3; B3, F2
Davis, Dr. Marianna W.
B3, F1; B3, F1
Davis, Steve G.
B3, F1; B3, F1
Davy, Earl Lee, Jr.
B2, F10; B2, F10
Deane, William H.
B2, F10
Democratic Anniversary Committee
B1, F7
Dennis, Arthur E.
B1, F2
Dennis, G. M.
B6, F2
Dickerson, A. J.
B2, F2
Dockery, Richard L.
B3, F4
Dorsey, Thomas A.
B1, F8
Douglas, Emmitt J.
B2, F7
Drewry, Elizabeth B.
B1, F4
Duberman, Martin
B1, F8
Dunn, Wayman
B3, F4
Eckford, Elizabeth
B1, F1
Ekpo, A. B.
B1, F2
Enos Family
B3, F1
Ethel
B1, F7
Falconer, Etta
B2, F6
Faubus, Orval E.
B2, F10 (2 items)
Fender, Gloria
B6, F1
Fidelman, Steven
B2, F2
Flake, Floyd H.
B1, F9
Ford, E. E.
B2, F10
Fowler, George H.
B1, F6 (2 items); B1, F6
France, Robert R.
B3, F2
French, Samuel
B2, F7
Ganz, Joan
B1, F5
Garver, Mary E.
B1, F4
Gerth, Donald R.
B5, F1
Gibbans, Jim
B2, F8
Gladys
B1, F5
Glover, Silas F., Jr.
B6, F1
Golden, Harry
B3, F3
Goodwin, Mercedier deFreitas
B1, F8
Goodwin, Roietta
B1, F8
Gragg, Rosa L.
B1, F8
Graham, Gladys P.
B1, F9
Green, Ernest G.
B2, F5
Grey, Kayto
B1, F7
Griffin, John Howard
B1, F5; B1, F5
Hadley, William H., Jr.
B1, F4
Hanneman, Audra
B1, F9
Hardin, Howard E.
B5, F3
Harris, Dixie Dean
B1, F6; B1, F6
Hawkins, Delores W.
B2, F6; B2, F6
Henderson, Linda
B6, F2 (2 items)
Henry, Aaron E.
B3, F2; B3, F2
Hicks, Daisy
B1, F7
Hill, Ruth S.
B1, F3; B1, F3
Hofgren, Allan
B1, F7 (2 items); B1, F7
Hooks, Rev. Benjamin
B2, F8; B2, F9; B2, F9; B3, F4 (2 items); B3, F4
Hopkins, Barbara C.
B2, F10; B2, F10; B3, F1
Howard, George, Jr.
B1, F6
Howard, John
B2, F3
Hubbell, Webster
B2, F9
Huckaby, Elizabeth
B2, F9
Huff, William Henry
B1, F1
Hughes, Steve
B3, F1
Humphrey, Hubert
B3, F3
Hunter, Lillian Sharpe
B1, F4; B1, F5; B1, F6
Hurst, Fannie
B1, F3 (2 items); B1, F3
Jackson, Betty
B2, F2
Jackson, David G.
B6, F1
Jackson, Lillie May Carroll
B2, F8
Jackson, Thelma
B3, F2
Jacoway, Elizabeth
B2, F2; B2, F4; B2, F5; B2, F6
John, Alma
B1, F7; B1, F7
Johnson, Howard
B6, F1
Johnson, Rev. John H.
B1, F3; B1, F3; B3, F3
Johnson, Lewis J.
B6, F1
Jones, Edith Irby
B2, F7; B2, F7; B2, F8; B2, F9; B2, F10
Jones, Laurence C.
B1, F2
Jones, Nathaniel R.
B3, F6
Jones, Penn, Jr.
B1, F5; B1, F5
Kamen, Samuel
B1, F9
Kaplan, Kivie
B1, F4 (2 items); B1, F4; B1, F5; B1, F7 (2 items); B1, F7; B3, F5 (3 items)
Kelley, Charles
B6, F1
Kiah, Virginia J.
B2, F4
Kindzred, Catherine Harris
B2, F2 (2 items); B2, F4
King, Henton
B3, F4
Klein, Jerome E.
B1, F6
Konstantin
B1, F3
Kurjiaka, Sandra
B2, F9
Kyle, Frank
B5, F2
Laing, Alex
B1, F1
Laing, Dilys
B1, F1
Lampkin, Daisy E.
B1, F5; B1, F5
Langsam, Gertrude
B1, F6; B1, F6
Laws, Clarence A.
B2, F3; B3, F2
Ledbetter, Brownie
B2, F5
Lee, George W.
B1, F4
Leonard, Ruth
B2, F7
Lewis, Alfred Baker
B5, F3 (3 items); B5, F3
Lewis, Delores
B1, F7
Linda
B2, F10
Litto, John F.
B3, F2
Lorch, Lee
B2, F7; B3, F1
Loretta
B2, F4; B2, F9; B2, F10; B2, F10; B2, F10
Lottie
B2, F2
Lovejoy, Lelia
B1, F6
Lovejoy, Mrs. William
B1, F5
Lyles, Thelma Gladys
B2, F9
Madison, Joseph E.
B3, F6
Mae
B2, F9
Martin, Louis
B1, F7; B1, F8
Mary
B2, F10
Masem, Paul W.
B2, F8; B2, F8
Mayo, Ed
B2, F4
Mays, Jewel P.
B3, F1 (2 items)
McBrown, Gertrude P
B1, F4; B1, F5; B1, F6; B1, F6
McClain, Richard W.
B5, F3
McDonald, Margaret
B3, F1
McKay, David
B1, F1; B1, F4; B1, F4; B1, F5; B1, F7; B1, F8; B1, F9; B2, F9; B2, F9
Mims, Crawford J.
B2, F8; B2, F8
Mitchell, Linda
B2, F10
Modeste, Leon E.
B1, F9
Monk, Dupree
B1, F8
Moon, Henry Lee
B3, F3
Moore, Waddy W.
B2, F6
Morris, Aldon D.
B3, F1
Morris, Mrs. John H.
B1, F5; B1, F5
Morris, Louise Fisher
B2, F2 (2 items); B2, F2
Morsell, John A.
B3, F2; B3, F3; B5, F3 (3 items); B5, F3
Mosley, Mom
B1, F6
Mothershed, Mrs. A. L.
B1, F7
Mothershed, Thelma
B1, F7 (3 items)
Motsenbocker, Ray K.
B6, F1 (2 items)
Mullis, Lee
B2, F6
Murray, Pauli
B1, F4; B1, F4; B1, F7; B1, F9; B2, F5
Nemiroff, Robert
B2, F7; B2, F7
Odom, Edward J., Jr.
B3, F2; B3, F2
Ogden, Rev. Dunbar
B1, F6; B1, F6
Olson, Elisabeth
B2, F2
Ossa, Helen Nelson
B1, F3
Pappas, Brynda
B2, F9 (2 items); B2, F9; B2, F10 (3 items); B3, F1
Parsons, Arch
B3, F2
Patton, W. C.
B1, F2
Penn, Emma
B1, F7
Penn, Suzanne
B2, F7; B2, F7
Perkins, Evelyn
B1, F7
Perry, Pauline
B5, F1
Peterson, Esther
B3, F3
Philips, Marian
B2, F7
Phillipi, Paul
B6, F2
Phillips, Rev. Wendell H.
B3, F2; B3, F2
Pickard, Sandra
B2, F9
Poitier, Juanita
B1, F3
Pollard, William E.
B2, F9
Pryor, David
B3, F1
Pugh, Alfred L.
B1, F8
Pugh, Tom
B1, F8
Purcell, Joe
B2, F8
Randolph, A. Philip
B1, F9
Raskin, Julius
B1, F4
Ratcliff, James L.
B2, F3
Ray, Carter H.
B1, F5; B1, F5
Reed, Lynelious
B2, F3
Reeves, Frank
B1, F7
Rhee, Y. B.
B6, F2
Richardson, Judy
B2, F7
Rivers, Dr. Doris
B6, F1
Roberson, Paul
B1, F8; B1, F9
Robertson, Mrs. Talmadge
B6, F1
Robinson, Guy U.
B6, F1
Robinson, H. Clay
B6, F1
Robinson, Hubert N.
B1, F7
Robinson, Robert L.
B1, F6
Rochelle
B2, F10
Rogers, James M.
B6, F1
Ronald, Alfred
B1, F7
Roosevelt, Eleanor
B1, F2; B1, F2
Rosemary
B2, F2
Rothstein, Freyda
B2, F8; B2, F8
Roxborough, Mildred Bond
B B3, F4 (2 items); B3, F4
Roybal, Rose Marie
B2, F5
Ruffin, Randy
B2, F2
Rundquist, George E.
B1, F3
Rundvold, Inga
B1, F4; B1, F4
Russell, Jef C.
B3, F4
Rustin, Bayard
B2, F3 (3 items)
Saunders, Bob
B3, F1
Segal, Edith
B1, F9; B1, F9; B1, F9
Segal, Sam
B1, F9
Sewing, H. W.
B1, F1; B1, F1
Sheffield, Horace L.
B2, F8
Shefrin, David
B1, F4; B1, F4
Short, Mary Jane
B1, F8
Silverblatt, Dr. C. W.
B6, F1 (2 items); B6, F1 (3 items)
Simmons, Althea T. L.
B3, F3; B5, F2; B5, F3 (2 items); B5, F3
Simpson, D.
B2, F10
Sizer, Samuel A.
B2, F10 (2 items)
Skillman, Sydney
B6, F2
Sloan, Gail
B1, F9
Smiley, Dr. W. L.
B1, F1
Smith, Mike
B2, F9
Solomon, Vera
B2, F7
Steel, Charles L.
B3, F1; B3, F1
Stevens, William A.
B1, F4; B1, F9; B1, F9
Strohmeyer, Donald
B6, F1
Sutton, Ozell
B1, F2
Taylor, Mrs. David H.
B1, F5 (2 items); B1, F5; B1, F6; B1, F8
Taylor, Earle Massie
B2, F8
Taylor, John R.
B1, F4
Thomas, Dora Siplin
B1, F7
Thomas, Ellis
B1, F4; B1, F5; B5, F1
Timmons, Bettye G.
B3, F1
Townsend, Dr. William H.
B2, F9
Trescott, Jacqueline
B2, F6
Tucker, C. DeLores
B3, F5 (2 items); B3, F5 (2 items)
Tucker, Toni
B1, F7
Varnado, Vashti
B2, F9
von Zahn, Peter
B1, F6; B1, F6
Walden, Portia
B6, F1
Walker, John W.
B2, F10; B2, F10
Walter, Jackie
B6, F2
Ward, Charles D.
B1, F9
Ward, Karen M.
B2, F5
Warner, Roger
B6, F2 (2 items)
Whaley, Dolores
B1, F7
Weightman, Phil
B1, F7
White, Oscar L.
B2, F9
Wilkins, Roy
B1, F4; B1, F7; B3, F3; B5, F1; B5, F1
Williams, Aldean
B1, F6 (2 items)
Williams, Dorothy J. S.
B2, F7; B2, F7
Williams, Dr. H. Benjamin
B2, F8
Williams, Jonnie
B1, F5
Willie Mae
B2, F8
Winningham, Rev. Robert
B3, F1
Wilson, Jerry
B1, F9
Wilson, Margaret Bush
B2, F8; B3, F6
Winston, Michael R.
B3, F1; B3, F1
Wishard, Helen
B2, F3
Yale, Mrs. Milton
B1, F7
Yvonne
B2, F10

Source

Creator

Title
Daisy Bates Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Fon Louise Gordon
Date
May 1988
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

Contact:
University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
479-575-5577