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Guide to the Boyte Family Papers, 1941-1981

Collection Overview

The Boyte Family Papers, 1941-1981 (bulk 1968-1977), chiefly contain printed material, including photocopies produced for meetings, conventions, and other group activities; periodicals, flyers, brochures, pamphlets, posters and booklets; correspondence; and reports, minutes, notes and other organizational records. Also included are drafts of essays and articles, photographs, notebooks, and audio tapes. While useful for a study of political and social activism and community organizing in post-World War II United States at local, regional and national levels, the collection contains little on the personal lives of the Boyte family. The collection focuses on the careers of Harry C. Boyte, political organizer and writer, in the 1960s and 1970s, and to a lesser extent his father, Harry G. Boyte, in the 1950s and 1960s. Social action organizations represented prominently in the collection include the New American Movement (NAM), the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC), and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

Harry C. Boyte was involved in the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and New American Movement, a national socialist organization with a Chapel Hill-Durham, North Carolina chapter. He was a member of the National Interim Committee for NAM, a steering committee for local groups. Literature from these and other groups with which Harry C. Boyte was affiliated, such as ACT in Durham, the New University Conference, the Southern Student Organizing Committee and Students for a Democratic Society is located in the Subject Files of the Harry C. Boyte Series. Together with publications in the early 1970s from other groups in the Printed Material subseries, these files represent issues including the Vietnam War and conscientious objection, socialism, feminism, labor rights, civil rights, gay and lesbian rights and the impeachment of Richard M. Nixon.

Harry C. Boyte wrote regularly for NAM and other socialist publications on socialist theory and organization. Drafts of some of his articles, along with correspondence containing critiques by his associates can be found throughout the NAM and DSOC files in the Harry C. Boyte Series. Correspondence in those files and in the National Democratic Left Relations folder between Boyte and his associates contains discussion of the implementation of socialist theories in contemporary American society. These exchanges were conducted more formally through Discussion Bulletins, contained in the files.

Papers in the Harry C. Boyte Series also relate to local organizing efforts in Chapel Hill and Durham, N.C., concerning health care, welfare, industrial safety and inflation. The information is contained in folders titled ACT, Health Care, Occupational Health, People's Association for a Cooperative Commonwealth, Utilities and Tenants' Rights. A small amount of material relates to student activism at Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

There is some material on the women's movement and the career of Boyte's wife, Sara Evans Boyte, who received a Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and became a professor of women's history. She was involved in a Chapel Hill women's group called Lollipop Power, a folder for which exists in the Harry C. Boyte Series. There is also material scattered through the NAM files about the Charlotte Perkins Gilman chapter, a socialist feminist group. Examples of feminist literature can be found in the Printed Material subseries and in the Robert P. McMahon Series.

Harry C. Boyte's father, Harry G. Boyte, left the American Red Cross to work in race relations. Eventually he was appointed the first white man on the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference under Martin Luther King, Jr. Boyte's job search is documented by correspondence in the Harry G. Boyte Series. Contacts included the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Friends Service Committee, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Urban League, SCLC, the Southern Conference Education Fund, and the Southern Regional Council. The letters provide background information on Boyte's previous experience in Civil Rights projects. While on the staff of SCLC, he headed Operation Dialogue. There is material in the Correspondence and SCLC files of this series about this program intended to foster interracial communication.

Correspondence in the Harry G. Boyte Series also covers the later years of Boyte's Red Cross career and his initial involvement in desegregation efforts in Atlanta. He served as chairman of HOPE, Inc. (Help Our Public Schools) and as Executive Director of the Greater Atlanta Council on Human Relations. He was also instrumental in organizing an Atlanta chapter of the Unitarian Service Committee. The bulk of the Education files of this series is comprised of material relating to Harry G. Boyte's work for the American Friends Service Committee.

There is material in the Clippings, Correspondence and Racial files of the Harry G. Boyte Series regarding civil unrest in Monroe, N.C., in the late 1950s and early 1960s. During his short stay there, Boyte and his family hosted Freedom Riders and lent support to local NAACP leaders. Racial files include material relating to other Civil Rights programs and events in North Carolina and Georgia conducted by groups such as the Southern Regional Council, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and SCLC. There is also some literature from CORE in a separate folder.

Robert McMahon was associated with Harry C. Boyte after becoming a member of the Chapel Hill-Durham chapter of NAM. He was also involved in the local chapter of the New University Conference and the Chapel Hill Peace Center. While a student at the University of Virginia, McMahon served as President of the Newman Student Federation, and as Chairman of the Southern Student Organizing Committee between the years 1967-1968. The Robert P. McMahon Series contains information on the organization, planning and programs of these two groups. Some documentation of his political involvements can also be found in the Harry C. Boyte Series.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Boyte Family papers 1941-1981
Creator
Boyte Family
Extent
14.8 Linear feet, circa 11,100 items
Repository
Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library Durham, North Carolina 27708-0185
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Language
English.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

A portion of the Harry C. Boyte Series is restricted until August 16, 2002.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in the Boyte family papers have not been transferred to Duke University. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the Special Collections Department.

Contents of the Collection

Arranged in Subject Files and Printed Material subseries. About one-half of the Subject Files consists of files, 1970-1982, on the New American Movement. This section consists primarily of typed correspondence and printed material, in equal amounts. Printed material includes drafts of published and unpublished articles, political statements, Discussion Bulletins, booklets, pamphlets and flyers. Also includes organizational records in the form of reports, resolutions, minutes, newsletters, meeting and discussion notes, announcements, agendas and convention packets. Other materials include several notebooks, loose notes, and training manuals. The remainder of the Subject Files consist mainly of a wide variety of printed material produced by left-wing political groups such as flyers, newsletters, typed copies of articles and speeches, fact sheets, booklets, pamphlets, reprints, conference information and reports. Correspondence, mostly to and from Boyte, is scattered throughout. Serials are filed in the folder of the producing organization if a folder exists.

The remainder of the serials are arranged alphabetically by title in the Printed Material subseries. General printed material is arranged chronologically. A portion of this series is restricted until August 16, 2002.

ACT, 1968-1971, undated
(2 folders)
Box 1
Africa, 1964-1975, undated
Box 1
American Friends Service Committee, 1959-1975, undated
Box 1
Asia, 1975-1976
Box 1
Billy Graham Day, 1975
Box 1
Boyte, Sara Evans, 1966-1975
Box 1
Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, 1962-1973, undated
Box 1
Chapel Hill-Durham, 1969-1976, undated
Box 2
Chapel Hill Peace Center, 1973-1975, undated
Box 2
Christian-Marxist Dialogue, 1961-1968, undated
Box 2
Conference on Radicals in the Professions, 1967
Box 2
Correspondence, 1971-1979, undated
(2 folders)
Box 2
Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, 1973-1976
Box 2
Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, 1977-1982, undated
(6 folders)
Box 3
Draft, 1965-1975, undated
Box 4
Duke University, 1964-1975, undated
Box 4
Economics, 1963-1975, undated
Box 4
Election Laws, 1971-1974
Box 4
Energy, 1973-1974, undated
Box 4
Farmers, 1973
Box 4
Grape-Lettuce Boycott, 1965-1972, undated
Box 4
Gulf and Shell Boycotts, 1973
Box 4
Health Care, 1971-1975, undated
Box 4
Housing, 1960
Box 4
Human Rights Party, undated
Box 4
Indians, South Dakota, 1973-1974
Box 4
July 4th Coalition, 1976
Box 4
Latin America, 1965-1975, undated
Box 4
Legal Defense Fund, 1969-1971, undated
Box 4
Legal Papers, 1972
Box 4
Lollipop power, 1970-1974
Box 4
Midwest Academy, 1974- 1979, undated
Box 5
National Campaign to Impeach Nixon, 1973-1974
Box 5
National Democratic Left Relations, 1972-1979, undated
Box 5
National Interim Committee for a Mass Party of the People, 1973-1975
Box 5
New University Conference, 1968-1970
Box 5
New American Movement, 1970-1972, Apr.
(3 folders)
Box 5
New American Movement, 1972, May-Dec.
(5 folders)
Box 6
New American Movement, 1972-1973, Aug.
(6 folders)
Box 7
New American Movement, 1973, Sept.-1974, Mar.
(7 folders)
Box 8
New American Movement, 1974, Apr-Dec.
(6 folders)
Box 9
New American Movement, 1974-1975, Aug.
(6 folders)
Box 10
New American Movement, 1975, Sept.-1976
(6 folders)
Box 11
New American Movement, 1976-1979
(6 folders)
Box 12
New American Movement, 1980, undated
(6 folders)
Box 13
New University Conference, 1968-1971
(5 folders)
Box 14
New University Conference, 1972, undated
(2 folders)
Box 15
Occupational Health (NAM), 1971-1973, undated
Box 15
Peoples Alliance for a Cooperative Commonwealth, 1975-1979, undated
Box 15
Pictures, 1951, undated
Box 15
Radical Historians' Caucus, 1969-1977, undated
Box 16
Radicals in The Professions Conference, undated
Box 16
Record, Crisis in the Nation, 1960s
Box 16
Southern Conference Educational Fund, 1963-1975, undated
Box 16
Southern Organizer's Conference, Greenville, S.C. (Sept. 4-5, 1971), 1971, Mar.-Sept, undated
Box 16
Southern Student Organizing Committee, 1963-1967, Apr.
(3 folders)
Box 16
Southern Student Organizing Committee, 1967, May-1969, undated
(3 folders)
Box 17
Students for a Democratic Society, 1962-1968
Box 17
Students for A Democratic Society, 1969, undated
Box 18
Tenants Rights, 1972-1973
Box 18
Union for Radical Political Economics, 1972-1974
Box 18
University of N.C. Student Strike, May, 1970
Box 18
Utilities, 1972-1976, undated
Box 18
Vietnam, 1965-1975, undated
(3 folders)
Box 18
Welfare, 1971-1975
Box 18
Youth, 1961-1969, undated
Box 18
General, 1955-1972
(5 folders)
Box 19
General, 1973-1979, undated
(6 folders)
Box 20
Serials, A-G
(5 folders)
Box 21
Serials, H-Pe
(5 folders)
Box 22
Serials, Pf-Z
(5 folders)
Box 23
Cooperative Commonwealth Project, 1980, undated
Box 24
1971-1980, undated
Box 24
(Private), 1971-1978, undated
(2 folders)
Box 24
Human Rights, 1974-1976, undated
Box 24
New American Movement, 1971-1973
Box 24
New American Movement, 1974-1975, undated
Box 25
Unity, 1976-1978, undated
(2 folders)
Box 25
Miscellaneous, 1972-1979, undated
Box 25

Chiefly Subject Files. Contains typed reports, correspondence to and from Boyte, clippings, speeches of Civil Rights leaders, press releases, a small amount of legal papers, and printed material. Printed material includes newsletters, brochures, booklets, announcements, annual reports, typed essays and information produced for meetings and conferences. Administrative records consisting of memos, minutes, agendas, budgets and correspondence which passed through the Atlanta SCLC office. Some correspondence is addressed to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Arranged chronologically in Correspondence files and alphabetically in Subject Files.

1944-1968, undated
(4 folders)
Box 26
American National Red Cross, 1946-1959, undated
Box 26
Appalachia, 1964-1975, undated
Box 26
Biographical sketch, 1963, undated
Box 26
Clippings, 1942-1968, undated
Box 26
Congress of Racial Equality, 1961-1965
Box 27
Education, 1954-1966, undated
(4 folders)
Box 27
Legal papers, 1955-1969
Box 27
Harry G. and Janet Chatten Boyte with American Red Cross and Family, 1945-1950, undated
Box 27
March on Washington, Aug. 28, 1963
Box 27
Southern Christian Leadership Conference, including Martin Luther King, Jr., undated
Box 27
Racial, 1957-1975, undated
(6 folders)
Box 28
Racial, undated
Box 29
Southern Christian Leadership Conference, 1957-1966, undated
(5 folders)
Box 29
Miscellaneous, 1945-1959, undated
Box 29

Includes records of the Newman Student Federation in the form of correspondence to and from McMahon, notes, position papers, and printed material such as reprints, pamphlets, newsletters, reports and resolutions. Several notebooks with personal and organizational notes. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Newman Student Federation, 1966-1968, undated
(3 folders)
Box 30
Notebooks, 1967-1973
Box 30
People's Party, 1971-1974, undated
Box 30
Pitt County Movement, 1971
Box 30
Prisons and Prisoners, 1972-1976, undated
Box 30
Miscellaneous, 1965-1975, undated
(2 folders)
Box 30
Audio Tapes, undated
Box 31
Pictures, 1963, undated
Box 31
General, 1955-1981, undated
(2 folders)
Box 31
Clippings, 1960-1976, undated
(2 folders)
Box 31
Chapel Hill-Durham, 1974, undated
Box 32
Gulf and Shell Boycotts, 1973
Box 32
Health Care, 1972
Box 32
July 4th Coalition, 1976
Box 32
Latin America, 1974
Box 32
National Campaign to Impeach Nixon, 1974
Box 32
New American Movement, 1972-1975, undated
Box 32
New University Conference, 1969-1972
Box 32
Southern Student Organizing Committee, 1966-1971, undated
Box 32
Students for a Democratic Society, 1966, undated
Box 32
Utilities, 1972-1975
Box 32
Vietnam, 1967, undated
Box 32
General, 1967-1969, undated
Box 32
Serials, 1966-1973
Box 32
Subject Files: Latin America
Oversize Folder OC:II:1
Printed Material: General
Box 32
General, 1969-1976, undated
Box 33
A-Gra
(3 folders)
Box 33
Gre-Mr
(3 folders)
Box 34
Mo-New Sol.
(3 folders)
Box 35
New York-Z
(5 folders)
Box 36
Racial, 1966, undated
Oversize Folder OC:I:8
Southern Christian Leadership Conference, 1965
Box 36
Miscellaneous, 1972
Oversize Folder OC:II:4
1971-1973, undated
Oversize Folder OC:I:8

Historical Note

DateEvent(s)
1945, April 26Born, Washington, D.C.
1963-1964Founder, Duke-Durham chapter of Congress of Racial Equality
1964-1965Field Secretary for Southern Christian Leadership Conference in North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida
1966, June 5Married Sara Margaret Evans of McCormick, S.C.
1967Received B.A. with distinction in Psychology from Duke University, Durham, NC
1967-1968Attended University of Chicago Divinity School
1968-1970Community organizer, Operation Breakthrough, Durham, N.C.
1970-1971Editor, ACTION newspaper
1971-1975Member of the founding body and National Interim Committee of the New American Movement
1976-1981Member of the National Board and Executive Committee of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee
1977-1978Program advisor, Field Foundation
1978-1979United States correspondent, Tempo magazine
1980Published The Backyard Revolution: Understanding the New Citizen Movement
1980-1981Senior Neighborhoods Policy Analyst, New Careers Training Laboratory, City University of New York
1981-Director, Citizen Heritage Center

Mr. Boyte, a freelance writer, has one son, Craig and one daughter, Rachel. He is the author or coauthor of numerous articles and books about left wing political and social concerns.

DateEvent(s)
1911, June 26Born Charlotte, N.C.
1936Married first wife, who died the same year
1942-1944Served abroad as Assistant Field Director, then Field Director for American Red Cross Foreign Service
1944, Jan.Married Janet Chatten in Evanston, Ill.
1944-1945Assistant Chief of Personnel Administration for Red Cross Service to U.S. Armed Forces in Washington, D.C.
1946Executive Director of American Red Cross of Greater Atlanta
1948-1959Manager, Atlanta chapter of American Red Cross
1959-1962Involved with civil rights organizations in Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia
1962Directed community relations project for school desegregation in Prince Edward County, Va., for American Friends Service Committee
1963-1965Employed as Special Assistant to Martin Luther King, Jr. for Southern Christian leadership Conference in Atlanta, Ga.
1965Director of "Operation Dialogue" program for SCLC
1966Employed as Technical Assistance Officer, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Atlanta, Ga.

Mr. Boyte is a member of the Society of Friends. He has one son, Harry Chatten Boyte, and one daughter.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Boyte Family Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Boyte family papers, 1941-1981, were donated to the Special Collections Department from 1967-1982 by Harry C. Boyte and Sara Evans Boyte.

Processing Information

Processed by Denise Dolan

Completed October 29, 1991

Encoded by Alvin Pollock

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.