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Guide to the Lucy Randolph Mason Papers, 1910-1959 and undated

Abstract

Labor activist, public relations representative in the South for the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), and resident of Richmond, Virginia, and Atlanta, Georgia.

The papers of Lucy Randolph Mason span the years 1910-1959, with the bulk of the papers dating between 1940-1954. The collection consists of correspondence, drafts of writings, memoranda, speeches, printed material, clippings, and miscellany. The most extensive correspondence begins in 1937 and relates to the development of labor unions in the South, attitudes of churches toward labor, conditions in textile mills, and blacks in the labor movement. There is also material on Georgia politics and government, especially the gubernatorial campaign of 1946, and the Roosevelt administration. Organizations mentioned frequently are the American Federation of Labor, the Southern Regional Council, the Highlander School in Monteagle, Tennessee, the Southern School for Workers in Richmond, the Southern Conference for Human Welfare, and the Southern Conference Education Fund. Correspondents include Jonathan Daniels, Allan S. Haywood of the CIO, Sidney Hillman, John L. Lewis, George Sinclair Mitchell, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Mason, Lucy Randoph, 1882-1959.
Title
Lucy Randolph Mason papers, 1910-1959 and undated
Language of Material
English
Extent
12.0 Linear Feet, Approximately 6500 items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The papers of Lucy Randolph Mason span the years 1910-1959, with the bulk of the papers dating between 1940-1954. The collection consists of correspondence, drafts of writings, memoranda, speeches, printed material, clippings, and miscellany. The correspondence prior to 1937 largely concerns Mason's work with the Richmond League of Women Voters. There is much material relating to her southern tour in 1931 but very little on the YWCA and none on the National Consumer's League. The most extensive correspondence begins in 1937 and relates to the development of labor unions in the South, attitudes of churches toward labor, conditions in textile mills, antiwar sentiments, blacks in the labor movement, and race relations in general. There is also material on Georgia politics and government, especially the gubernatorial campaign of 1946, and the Roosevelt administration.

Organizations mentioned frequently are the American Federation of Labor and its competition with the CIO, the Southern Regional Council, the Highlander School in Monteagle, Tenn., the Southern School for Workers in Richmond, the Southern Conference for Human Welfare, and the Southern Conference Education Fund. Correspondents include Jonathan Daniels, Allan S. Haywood of the CIO, Sidney Hillman, John L. Lewis, George Sinclair Mitchell, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

There are two boxes of speeches written by Mason, and there are several speeches also by Henry A. Wallace. The collection also includes notes and the typescript for her book, To Win These Rights. Minutes, memoranda, and other materials are filed together and are concerned largely with Mason's union work and philanthropic interests. Print materials include publications from a variety of labor and social welfare organizations, in the form of leaflets, pamphlets, and broadsides. There are also many folders of clippings, arranged by decades, dealing with labor unions, Georgia politics, and the administrations of Roosevelt and Truman.

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

Collection is open for research.

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 this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

1918-1940 Apr.
Box 1
1940 May-1942 May
Box 2
1942 June-1944 Sept.
Box 3
1944 Oct.-1947 Feb.
Box 4
1947 Mar.-1948 July
Box 5
1948 Aug.-1949
Box 6
1950-1951 Apr.
Box 7
1951 May-1954 and undated
Box 8
Addresses, 1931-1949
Box 9
Drafts and typescript of To Win These Rights
Box 10
Addresses, 1950-1953 and undated
Box 11
Minutes, 1946-1952
Box 11
Memoranda, 1938-1953 and undated
Box 11
Miscellany, 1920-1940
Box 11
Miscellany, 1941-1946
Box 12
Miscellany, 1947-1949
Box 13
Miscellany, 1950-1953
Box 14
Miscellany, undated
Box 15
1910-1939
Box 16
1940-1949
Box 17
1940-1949
Box 18
1940-1949
Box 19
1950-1959
Box 20
Undated
Box 21
Volumes
Box 21
1912-1945
Box 22
1946-1948
Box 23
1949-1951
Box 24
1952-1954
Box 25
Printed material, National Union Farmer, 1945 Feb.
Box OV 21

Historical Note

Born in Virginia on July 26, 1882, Lucy Randolph Mason was the daughter of Rev. Landon Randolph and Lucy (Ambler) Mason. Among her ancestors were some of the most prominent names in Virginia at the time. Her parents instilled in her an active interest in social problems, and she devoted her long life to improving conditions for women, factory workers, and African Americans. Never attending college, Mason taught herself stenography and typing, went to work in a Richmond law office, and became active in the Richmond Equal Suffrage League and the League of Women Voters. She served as industrial, then general secretary of the Richmond Young Women's Christian Association from 1914-1932. In 1931 she was employed for two months by the National Consumers' Laue to work with the Southern Council on Women and Children in Industry in an attempt to create more favorable public attitudes toward child labor legislation and restrictions on working hours for women and children in factories.

In 1937 Mason moved to Atlanta to assume a post as Congress of Industrial Organizations' (CIO) relations representative for the Southeast U.S. Until her retirement 17 years later she was the CIO spokesperson in the South. During her time with the CIO, Mason represented labor interests during strikes, visited communities where the CIO was attempting to organize workers, attended many college conferences, made speeches, wrote articles, and carried on an extensive correspondence with labor leaders, politicians, journalists, manufacturers, and church representatives. Shortly before retiring in 1952, Mason published her memoirs, entitled To Win These Rights. Lucy Mason died in 1959 at the age of 77.

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • Published biography by John Salmond, Miss Lucy of the CIO: the Life and Times of Lucy Randolph Mason, 1882-1959. Also appears to be title of unpublished MA thesis by Margaret Lee Neustadt, UNC Chapel Hill, 1970. (Duke Libraries and UNC Chapel Hill)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Lucy Randolph Mason Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Lucy Randolph Mason papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1948 and 1954.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library staff.

Encoded by Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, March 2011.

All accessions from 1948 and 1954 have been merged and are described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.