MG-190. JAMES H. DUFF PAPERS, 1943-1951.
James Henderson Duff (1899-1969) served as governor of Pennsylvania from 1947-1951. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh Law School in 1907, Duff served as a delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1948 and he was Pennsylvania’s attorney general from 1943 to 1947 and a United States senator from 1951to1957. The State Archives only retains papers relating to Duff’s service as attorney general and as governor. References to African Americans have most frequently been found in the gubernatorial papers.
General Correspondence File, 1947-1951.
• Joseph Baker, Chief of the Division of Negro Research and Planning of the Department of Labor and Industry. Regards prejudicial treatment towards him from state officials with regard to supporting and approving staffing for his office. Also includes his response to having to move his office, requests for additional personnel, information on African American employment under Governor Duff; and letters from the Republican National Committee requesting employment information and listing the duties of the division.
• Civil Rights Congress. Contains copies of materials sent to President Truman and all of the governors requesting that steps be taken to halt injustices to African Americans, and urging them not to extradite African Americans to southern states due to the discriminatory and unfair practices that prevailed there.
• Girard College. File contains numerous requests for a proclamation for a Stephen Girard Day or a Girard College Centennial Day. One letter addressed to President Truman from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers concerns investigations by a committee into allegations of discriminatory practices at the college, especially the exclusion of African Americans from enrollment.
• Lincoln University. File contains various budget requests, aid for building maintenance and surplus property, and an invitation to the forty-second Lincoln-Howard football game between the nation’s oldest African American college and the largest African American university.
• Carl Murphy, president of the Afro-American Newspapers. File contains a letter requesting the establishment of a Reserve Officer Training Corps at Lincoln University.
• NAACP Correspondence. File contains letters regarding a case in which a university professor was dismissed for opposing discriminatory housing practices and for involvement with the school’s NAACP chapter, letters urging Governor Duff to encourage civil rights legislation, and complaints concerning discriminatory hiring practices.
• National Negro Business League. File includes a letter thanking Governor Duff for proclaiming Civil Rights Day and a letter from the commissioner of the State Police concerning an investigation into the activities of the director of the National Negro Council, who was cited as being an "inter-racial agitator."
Subject File, 1947-1951. Arranged alphabetically by subject.
Appointments and Recommendations, 1947-1951. Also arranged alphabetically by subject.
• Commission on Interracial Cooperation. Contains a description of the commission detailing its composition, functions, and relationship with state government.
• Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC). Includes correspondence urging the passage of fair employment legislation, reports detailing unfair employment practices in Philadelphia, news releases announcing the appointments of field representatives to the Philadelphia Fair Employment Practices Commission, a letter from Governor Duff commending the Philadelphia FEPC, FEPC annual reports, information on Fair Employment Week, correspondence on establishing a Committee on Civil Rights, from the Erie City Council urging a fair employment legislation, recommendations for members to serve on a state-wide organization to improve interracial relations and documents expressing disappointment at the failure of the state legislature to enact fair employment legislation.
• Lincoln University’s Report on Racial Discrimination, 1950. Contains letters complaining about the treatment of African American students from Lincoln University by Oxford businesses, a statement issued by the university’s president, and letters urging Governor Duff to enforce civil rights laws and to investigate the acquittal of Oxford businessmen accused of violating civil rights laws. Also present is a resolution asking Governor Duff to make clear his position on civil rights, a brief history of segregation in Oxford, and petitions signed by students at Lincoln University.
State Colleges, 1947-1950.
• Cheyney State Teachers, 1947, 1949. Contains letters of recommendation for appointments of members of the board of trustees of Cheyney State Teachers College. In 1947 Samuel L. Smedley and Dr. Frederick D. Stubbs left the board. Maude B. Coleman, a representative of the Educational Equality League and the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Philadelphia, submitted the names of Rev. William J. Harvey and Magistrate Hobson Richardson for consideration in filling these vacancies, while William Morris Maier and Dr. Alfred H. Williams submitted the names of James G. Vail and Verona Beckett. The latter two individuals were selected to serve on the board.