acumen 3.0ɑ
W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library Manuscript Collections

Guide to the Matthews Family Papers MSS.3387


University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266

May 2011


This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2011-05-02T12:46-0500

Language Usage:


Description Rules:

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Collection Title:

Matthews Family Papers

Unit ID:



University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

SC0069 3387.01

0.1 Linear feet (10 Letters and 1 greeting card)




The Matthews Family Papers contain letters written to and from members of the W. B. Matthews family in Atlanta and contains one recommendation letter from W. E. B. DuBois.

Preferred Citation:

Matthews Family Papers, W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Processing Information:

Processing Information note

Processed by Erin Schmidt 2011

Access Restrictions:



Gift of Wade Hall 2008

Scope and Contents note

In 1904, W. E. B. DuBois writes "To whom it may concern" on behalf of Mr. W. B. Matthews, recommending Matthews for any position in a public school system. DuBois writes of his seven year acquaintance with Matthews and his family and speaks very highly of Matthews, both personally and professionally.

The collection also contains letters written during WW I in which Joseph S. Cotter writes from Louisville, Kentucky, to Louise Matthews in Atlanta, Georgia, regarding his activities as a "colored officer" in the military; one letter from Louise Matthews to Cotter recounting her activities as a student at Atlanta University; a solicitation from The Crisis magazine; a letter from the National Urban League; and a New Year Card signed by Joseph S. Cotter. According to the donor the greeting card is dated circa 1931.

Biographical/Historical note

By 1906, W. B. Matthews was serving as principal of the Gate City Colored School, the first public school for African Americans in Atlanta, Georgia. According to Rage in the City: The Story of the 1906 Atlanta Race Riot, DuBois and Matthews both attended the First Congregational Church.

W. E. B. DuBois lived from 1868 to 1963 and was one of the most prominent leaders of the Civil Rights movement in the United States during the early twentieth century. He was a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and served as editor of The Crisis, its magazine, from 1910 to 1934. In 1904, at the time of the writing of the W. E. Burghardt DuBois Letter, DuBois was a Professor of Economics and History at the Atlanta University.

Matthews Family Papers Box SC0069 Folder 3387.01