MATERIAL: Hand-Written/Painted
TYPE: Documents (Loose)
COMPONENTS: Single large 4to, leaf on Freelinghuysen University stationery. With other related material
ITEM ID: 2253

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Anna Julia Cooper Letter to Howard University

Year: 1944
Decade: 1940s
Century: 20th (1901-2000)

An autograph letter by Anna Julia Cooper on May 5, 1944, signed to the President and Trustees of Howard University regarding the editing and publication of Charlotte Forten Grimke’s writings. This is a rare and important letter with excellent feminist content, from the woman honored on a United States postage stamp in 2009. Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964), educator, writer, and activist, was born a slave in North Carolina. Cooper lived long enough to have been born a slave and witness the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. She was famous for saying, “only the black woman can say when and where I enter, the whole Negro race enters with me.'” Serving on the executive committee of the Pan-African Conference in London, Cooper was a tireless advocate for women’s rights. Her letter to the Trustees of Howard University discusses the fact that the Reverend Francis Grimke had entrusted her with the job of editing his wife Charlotte Forten Grimke’s diaries. However, the diaries (five volumes, in all) wound up in several different places. Here Ms. Cooper asks Howard University to please release them to her. A letter from Ray Billington at Smith College, dated four days before Cooper’s letter, states that he is “sending under separate cover the fourth and fifth volumes of Charlotte Forten’s diaries.” Also included are a carbon copy of a letter written by Billington to Cooper later in the year, as well as another to Rayford Logan at Howard University. Accompanied by several pieces of related material, including carbon copies of letters to Cooper from Ray Billington, professor at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and others regarding the publishing of the volumes of the Diaries of Charlotte Forten Grimke.

Name: Anna Julia Cooper
Type: Author