First Church of Christ in Simsbury, CT
Mentioned in MLK's letters to his parents

"The Dream"
In Simsbury


Our Document Library
MLK statues across the country
Archives of Committee Activities
Luddy / Taylor
Connecticut Valley
Tobacco Museum
Simsbury Historical Society at Phelps Tavern Museum
The King Center, Atlanta GA

Stanford University's Collection




Martin Luther King, Jr. in Simsbury
Finding Aid for Primary Source Material
Collected by Pam McDonald, Westminster School, Simsbury, CT
In partial fulfillment of her Master of Library Science Degree 
from Syracuse University 
Supervised by Stephen Simon - Simsbury Historical Society

Draft 8/29/00



CONTACTS - Includes all of the contact information used to collect or contact primary sources; includes individuals and institutions

BOOK REFERENCES and INTERNET ADDRESSES - Includes many of the books and internet addresses that were consulted for generating leads and building a basis of inquiry

LEADS - Includes leads that have not been fully researched for those who would like to add to the research of this phase of Martin Luther King, Jr.ís summers in Simsbury

SEARCH PROCESS and SUGGESTIONS - Includes useful tidbits of information that may support anyone new at researching Martin Luther King, Jr.ís summers in Simsbury



(Some sources are covered by copyright law and cannot be reproduced for public view.*

Please contact Pam McDonald for more specific information.)

Chamber of Commerce - Hartford as an Industrial Location. Hartford Chamber of Commerce, 1939.

Fraude, Wilson: Hartford - Fraude, Wilson H. Images of Hartford. Wilson H. Fraude, 1994.*

Inter-Racial Commission: Baldwin File - Includes:

Connecticut State Archives. Record Group 5: Governor Baldwin. Subject files I-J, Box 463. Inter-Racial Commision.

Connecticut State Archives. Record Group 5: Governor Baldwin. Subject files I-J, Box 463. Inter-Racial Commision: Complaints.

Inter-Racial Commission: LAW - Includes:

Connecticut. Inter-Racial Commission [established]. (1943) 122b:470g.

Connecticut. Additional duties of inter-racial commission. (1947) 279:1361i.

Connecticut. Hearing examiners. (1947) 279:1362i.

Connecticut. Powers of the inter-racial commission. (1947) 279:1363i.

Connecticut. Procedure. (1947) 279:1365i.

Connecticut. Fair Employment Practices. (1949) 371:7400-7407.

Inter-Racial Commission. Rules and Regulations of Inter-Racial Commission. [Hartford]: Francis Burke Redick, Secretary of State, 1947.

Connecticut State Library "In 84" - [In 84 is a call number in the State Library] [This designation includes publications by, and publications relevent to, the Inter-Racial Commission.]

Glee Clubs - Includes random pages from the Zeidler scrapbooks held at the Simsbury Geneological Library which highlight glee club activity among the established population.

1921 Johnson, C. S. - The Negro Population of Hartford - Includes the complete report of: Johnson, Charles S.. The Negro Population of Hartford, Connecticut. Urban League, 1921. copyright??????

Johnson, Fay Clarke: Soldiers of the Soil - Johnson, Fay Clarke: Soldiers of the Soil. Vantage Press, 1995. [about Jamaican tobacco workers in the 1940ís with references to Southern college students.] excerpts relevant to the Morehouse College program

Joyce - Documents Raymond M. Joyce as operator of the Eno Memorial movie theater. Clippings and excerpts from the Zeidler Scrapbooks in the Simsbury Geneological Library, The Hartford Times, The Herald (New Britain), The Hartford Courant, the Social Security Index and the 1900 Federal Census, etc..

Labor Shortage - Documents the shortage of labor for agricultural work and the recruitment efforts of growers. Hartford Courant, The Hartford Times, etc..

Powlowski: "How the Other Half Lived" - Describes immigrations and displacements of African Americans in Hartford from the 1850ís through the 1940ís and beyond. Powlowski, Robert E. and The Northwest Catholic High School Urban Studies Class. How the Other Half Lived: An Ethnic History of the Old East Side and South End of Hartford. Robert E. Pawlowski, 1973. See particularly pp 24-27.

Simon, Stephen: "History of Northwest Park" - [donít include?]

Simsbury - Photo of "Niggerís Elbow" [please pardon the particularly unsavory reference], a landmark south of Chancy Enoís farm, Hoskinís Station, and the Elbow Diner.

Lasbury Scrapbooks: Tobacco Glee Clubs, Migrant Living Conditions, Female Labor from Florida, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, damage to the Tobacco Crop, etc. - Photocopies of Newspaper Clippings copied from the Lasbury scrapbooks housed in the Tobacco Cultural Museum at Northwest Park and Nature Center primarily concerning female labor from the South and recreational activities sponsored primarily by the Connecticut Council of Churches.

Pickens - 3 pages of detailed notes documenting the contents of the raw footage of a CPTV interview with William Pickens, PhD. and 1 page of highlights from the same interview.

Proctor - Notes from a phone interview with Emmett L. Proctor, (Ph. D.?) by Pam McDonald, August 16, 2000.

Smith - Notes from a phone interview with Otis Smith (Ph. D. ?) by Pam McDonald, August 16, 2000.

MLK Letters - 4 letters written by Martin Luther King, Jr. to his mother in the summer of 1944. (The letter to his father during that summer is in his autobiography.)

Branch, Taylor: Parting the Waters - Explains the ambiguity of Martin Luther King, Jr.ís name (Michael Luther King, Jr., M. L., Little Mike), (pp 39-40), his early entrance to Morehouse College, (pp50-60), his decision-making about what profession he wanted to enter (pp61, 65)

Eno Memorial - Photo of the interior of Eno Memorial Hall, where movies were shown to the public during the early to mid-40ís, from the Hartford Times, March 24, 1945 from the Zeidler Scrapbook 1943-1945.

Simsbury Interviews - Notes from personal or phone interviews with residents of Simsbury who lived in Simsbury during their younger years. Muriel Chagnon Viets, Bill Hall, Mary Jane Gary. [Other audiotaped interviews include Bernice Martin and Dorothy Ames. See transcripts.]

FVH 1943 - Farmington Valley Herald articles from 1943 - sample movie ads, Indian Head Glee Club concerts in Granby and East Hartland, a request to all races to attend an event, sample Methodist and Congregational Church schedules [Searched April 29 - September 30, 1943]

FVH 1944 - Farmington Valley Herald articles from 1944 - all Methodist and Congregational church schedules and union services, movie ads for Eno, page 1 reference to a murder and the race of the perpetrator, reference to the Hartford Circus Fire (happened on a Thursday), reference to Raymond Joyce regarding Morse College, Eno Memorial Theatre and the Frozen Food Locker Plant, loss of tobacco crop

FVH 1947 - Farmington Valley Herald articles from 1947 - no ads for Eno Memorial Theatre, articles mentioning Florida girls choir performing at churches, but no performances by Connecticut Council of Churches sponsored Glee Clubs, Farmington River condemned at Hoskins bridge (where Morehouse College kids and other African American migrant workers would likely have swum.)

Bishop Gray Chair - Ct Inter Rac - Notes taken from Bishop Grayís files at the Episcopal Diosise on Asylum Street in Hartford - Bishop Gray was the first Chairman of the Inter-Racial Commission. His files contain mostly letters about potential appointees to the commission, some minutes, letter from ACLUís Winifred Raushenbush.

Mr. Cullman - Efforts to contact Mr. Edgar Cullman, 81 years old [in 2000] seller of CulBro.


King, Martin Luther, Jr. The Autobiography of . . . . Clayborne Carson, ed. Warner, . pp11-12. Includes letter to MLKís father and his own thoughts about his experience in Simsbury.

Cockerham, William. "World War II set stage for blacks to activate civil rights efforts: War set the stage for black activism." Hartford Courant. Sept. 28, 1992. pA1. Reference to Eno Memorial Theatre, the Inter-Racial Commission and Raymond Joyceís statement promising not to discriminate.

Renner, Gerald. "Segregated Sunday." Colorlines, A Series on Race. Northeast Magazine. Hartford Courant. April 12, 1998.

Swift, Mike. "Kingís summers in state forstered famous dream of freedom." Hartford Courant. Jan. 21, 1991. pp 1, 4.

Wood, Alex. "Blacks recall Connecticut tobacco farms: Southern students worked the fields, experienced local life." Journal Inquirer. July 17, 1989. pp21 - 22.

Tuohy, Lynne. "25 years after Kingís death, his vision remains a dream." Hartford Courant. April 4, 1993. p a1.

"Shaping Character: Martin Luther King Jr.ís tobacco Summer." Connecticut Magazine. August 2000. p144.

Conversation between Bob Hafner and his wife, Jean, and a native white Floridian who worked tobacco in Tariffville.

Copyright Pam McDonald, 2007