Papers of John Powell (2024)

C. Correspondence concerning Eugenics: Plecker

  • Box-folder 41:1

    W. A. Plecker and the Commissioner of Revenue, June 22, 1922, July 26, 1923

    1 TLS, 1 p. (Both correspondences are on one page.)

    Plecker responds to the Commissioner's question about families that do not want to be registered as colored by writing that the school census lists them as colored and they can bring suit and "make a test case showing their color."

  • Box-folder 41:2

    Local Registrar to W. A. Plecker, July 28, 1923

    TLS, 1 p.

    The registrar responds that he is not in a position to determine the racial status of the children and does not want to upset this family by registering them as colored. He writes that doing so could hurt his business. He states, "the only thing I could see to do without being very injurious to my business, was to let the birth registers go on as handed into me by the midwives as white."

  • Box-folder 41:3

    W. A. Plecker and Ivan E. McDougle, August 16, 1923, February 12, 1924

    1 TLS, 1 p. (Both correspondences are copied on the same page.)

    Plecker writes about birth certificates and the designated color of mulatto for several families in certain counties. On February 12, 1924 Mr. McDougle responds that Plecker can quote him, if necessary.

  • Box-folder 41:4

    W. A. Plecker to Senator M. B. Booker, February.15, 1924

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that they need legislation like Senate Bill 219 for assistance in defining the colored race and enforcement of the law. He also writes that a white man formed a union with a colored woman about four generations ago. Now a large number of their descendants are inter-marrying with whites and the "whole county is being contaminated."

  • Box-folder 41:5

    H. H. Sorrells to W. A. Plecker, April 25, 1924

    TLS, 1p.

    Mr. Sorrells writes that he knows practically all of the mixed population of upper Amherst and Rockbridge Counties and explains the relationships between the families; some of the families are Tyree, Clark, Terry, Masons, Hartlesses, Southers, Ramsey and Patterson.

  • Box-folder 41:6

    W. A. Plecker to the Clerks of Rockbridge, Amherst and Augusta Counties, April 29, 1924

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that his office is investigating families with mixed blood under the new Racial Integrity Act. He warns the clerks to use every precaution not to issue any marriage licenses for any mixed individuals or couples.

  • Box-folder 41:7

    State Registrar (W. A. Plecker) to Mrs. Robert Cheatham, and Mrs. Mary Gildon, April 30, 1924

    TLS, 1 p. (Two letters typed onto one page)

    Plecker sends Powell a typed reproduction of two letters from Plecker concerning race inquiries. Plecker writes, "This is a specimen of our daily troubles and shows how we are handling them." One letter from, April 30, 1924 is to Mrs. Robert Cheatham in which Plecker writes that the father of her child is a negro and, "It cannot go to white schools and can never marry a white person in Virginia. It is an awful thing." The second letter is undated to Mrs. Mary Gildon, notifying her that it is a penitentiary offense to falsely state the race of an individual. He writes, "What have you got to say about it? "

  • Box-folder 41:8

    W. A. Plecker to the Reverend Wendell White, May 10, 1924

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes in support of racial integrity laws in other states.

  • Box-folder 41:9

    W. A. Plecker to John Powell, July 21, 1924

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes about Powell's plan to speak to an audience in Pulaski, Virginia.

  • Box-folder 41:10

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. W. H. Clark, July 29, 1924

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker explains that the local registrar, Miss Aileen Goodman, Buena Vista, rejected the birth certificate from Mr. Clark because the names Clark and Terry are listed as mixed people. He also writes, "...It is my duty to see that this law is properly enforced and that I expect to do it with absolute impartiality and without regard to how if may affect any individual person."

  • Box-folder 41:11

    W.A. Plecker to John Powell, July 30, 1924

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker asks Powell to give a talk on racial integrity at the Roanoke Kiwanis luncheon and send literature. He also writes about colored people in Amherst who try to register as white. He mentions a family in Norfolk County, where ten children are trying to register as white."The more we go into it, the more I am impressed with the immensity and importance of the job which the legislature has given me to do."

  • Box-folder 41:12

    W.A. Plecker to Mr. A. W. Howard, Secretary, Roanoke Kiwanis Club, July 30, 1924

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker is sending him literature, including New Family booklets and copies of the Racial Integrity Law. He also suggests that they ask Powell or Earnest Sevier Cox to give a talk.

  • Box-folder 41:13

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. R. N. Anderson, Superintendent, Russell County School Board, Lebanon, Virginia, July 31, 1924

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker responds to Anderson's letter about a talk that Reid Williams gave stating that fifty of the most influential families of Russell County had been found to have negro blood even though they did not know it themselves. Plecker writes that Williams misunderstood this information, although Plecker thinks that it is suspicious since the physician involved in the case wanted to remain anonymous.

  • Box-folder 41:14

    W.A. Plecker to Dr. H. L. Bough, State Registrar, Nashville, Tenn, August 1, 1924

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that they need doctors to give information on the race of individuals. He is attempting to identify the race of the Collins family as mixed and wants to locate a book that claims that they are supposedly the lost Portuguese Colony. He also asks if Bough can influence the Tennessee legislature to pass similar racial integrity legislation or he writes, "we will become a Mongrel race."

  • Box-folder 41:15

    John S. Fulton, M.D. to W. A. Plecker, August 8, 1924

    TLS, 1 p.

    Fulton writes that Dr. Knox has shown him his letter which claims that "miscegenation will not last because mixed-bloods are as Plecker says 'terribly prolific ' and this usually means that they will also have a high death rate." The letter also contains descriptions of mixed-bloods such as "Octaroons," and "Wesorts" and describes their customs. He also writes that, "Mixed Indian blood does not pain my gorge a tenth as much as the black pigment."

  • Box-folder 41:16

    W. A. Plecker to Earnest Sevier Cox, August 9, 1924

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he wants to have a visit with Cox. He informs him that he has sold three more copies of White America . He also writes that "Amherst County Colony is up in arms and are on the verge of a race riot, threatening the life of one of the local registrars for giving out information about them." He has also written to the North Carolina State Registrar to secure his interest in racial integrity legislation. He sends Cox a copy of Fulton's letter and suggests that he might want to visit him and Dr. Knox, Chief of the Bureau of Child Hygiene of the Maryland Health Department. Plecker suggests that it would be good to have border states with similar racial integrity legislation.

  • Box-folder 41:17

    W. A. Plecker to Dr. F. M. Register, State Registrar, North Carolina, August 9, 1924

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker writes about racial integrity laws in Virginia and his hopes for it to spread across the country. He also writes that he will be addressing the clerks of the cities and counties next week at Ocean View. He hopes legislation will pass next time making fathers responsible for their illegitimate children. He offers that Powell and Cox can give speeches to help build interest in these laws.

  • Box-folder 41:18

    W.A. Plecker to W. B. Hesseltine, August 21, 1924

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker gives him some of the history of the Racial Integrity Act and recommends some literature on the subject, including Estabrook and McDougle's study. He also writes about his meeting with the county and city clerks at Ocean View where he encourages the clerks to use every effort to prevent the marriage of a white person with those of colored origin. He encourages all of the physicians, midwives, local registrars, and undertakers of the State to be accurate in designating race on certificates. He also writes that they need a bill that will ensure that the fathers of illegitimate children will be responsible for their support since studies show that more than 21 percent of the births of the mixed Negroes in Amherst County are illegitimate.

  • Box-folder 41:19

    W. A. Plecker to the Honorable W. E. Sandidge, Clerk of Amherst, Virginia and to the Honorable A. T. Shields, October 4, 1924

    2 TMs, 2 p.

    A. T. Shields refuses to grant a marriage license to Dorothy Johns and a white man.

  • Box-folder 41:20

    W. A. Plecker to the Honorable Harry E. Davis, Cleveland, Ohio, October 4, 1924

    1 TLS, 4 pp.

    Plecker explains that the Racial Integrity Law has an exception for individuals with one-sixteenth or less Indian blood to pass as white which is allowing colored groups to claim they are white. Plecker also describes an unreliable test that some registrars use to determine the racial status of an individual, "If it [a comb] passes through the hair of an applicant he is an Indian, if not he is a negro..." Plecker also offers suggestions on racial integrity legislature for Ohio.

  • Box-folder 41:21

    W.A. Plecker to the Honorable A. W. Robertson, Commonwealth Attorney, Lexington, Kentucky, October 4, 1924

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker asks if Robertson will handle the case, on the condition that the state can afford him. Plecker also sends him a copy of White America to read and to loan to any "doubting Thomases." He mentions that he would particularly like for Mr. Matthew Paxton of the County News to read it.

  • Box-folder 41:22

    W.A. Plecker to Mr. Samuel L. Adams, December 11, 1924

    TLS, 2 pp

    Plecker answers a question about the racial origins of the Halifax people known as "free issues " of Rockbridge and Amherst tribes by writing that John Powell was "quite positive" that these people were "of negro mixture." Plecker writes that "they are the offsprings of slave owners (usually batchelors) by negro women." He has heard that there was some Portugese stock, but does not believe that to be true.

  • Box-folder 41:23

    W. A. Plecker to Judge Henry Edwin Bolte, December 12, 1924

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker receives a copy of Why the Negro Should Not Vote or The Fraud of the Fourteenth Amendment and writes that it is very convincing and that he would be glad to hear from Bolte at any time as to the progress of this work.

  • Box-folder 41:24

    W. A. Plecker to A. W. Thompson, December 12, 1924

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker offers assistance to Thompson regarding racial integrity legislation in Indiana.

  • Box-folder 41:25

    W.A. Plecker to the Louisiana Club for Segregation, December 19, 1924

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker offers assistance in preventing the amalgamation of the races. He also invites them to visit on their way to talk to the President of the United States and mentions that John Powell, Earnest Cox and Plecker would be willing to go with them to talk with the President.

  • Box-folder 41:26

    W.A. Plecker to L. M. Nance, December 19, 1924

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he will be coming to meet with two Negroes, J. F. Bowman and Peter Tyler of Ruthville, who claim to know a good deal about the race origin of the Charles City Indians.

  • Box-folder 41:27

    W. A. Plecker to Dr. C. W. Garrison, State Health Officer, Little Rock, Arkansas, January 5, 1925

    TLS, 3 pp.

    Plecker writes about the history of the Virginia Racial Integrity Law and offers advice on the important parts of the law. He also mentions a proposal for a new amendment for next year to help resolve the difficulties that they are having with Indian registrations.

  • Box-folder 41:28

    Typescript of an interview between William Archer Thaddeus Jones and the Honorable Albert O. Boschen, January 31, 1925

    TLS, 2 pp.

    The interview concerns the background and family of William Jones.

  • Box-folder 41:29

    Letter read by the Honorable Albert O. Boschen during the interview of William Archer Thaddeus Jones, January 3, 1925; December 1, 1910

    Physical Location: TLS, 1 p.

    TLS, 1 p.

    Two letters are typed onto the same page regarding the racial status of Mrs. Emma Jones. One letter, dated December 1, 1910 is from G. M. Cook to Chief William O. Adkins and the second letter, dated January 27, 1925 is from Clarence Jennings, Superintendent of Schools to the Honorable O. Boschen.

  • Box-folder 41:30

    W.A. Plecker to Leon Adler, Sales Manager, National Motion Pictures Co., Indianapolis, February 9, 1925

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker suggests that Louise Powell and Adler could work together on a film about racial integrity. Adler made a non-inflammable film, The Error of Omission and also a film called In His Father's Footsteps .

  • Box-folder 41:31

    W.A. Plecker to the Honorable George H. Roberts, Ohio, February 25, 1925

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes about Ohio legislation that forbids the intermarriage of the races and would appreciate being kept advised of its progress. Plecker also writes that he is very impressed with the phrase "or have carnal knowledge" that Roberts uses in his bill. Plecker may use it in his next amendment.

  • Box-folder 41:32

    "Statement of D. F. Rudisill, local registrar at Roxbury to ?ill Adkins," February 1925

    1 TL, 1 p.

    "Mr. D. F. Rudisill, local registrar at Roxbury, gives us Hill Adkins' Reason for not Joining the 'Tribe.'" Rudisill states that Adkins could have been in the Indian tribe if he desired but he claimed he did not have the money to "throw away" on membership fees. He said, "I am a negro and stay with the negroes."

  • Box-folder 41:33

    "Stenographic Report of an Interview Regarding 'the so-called Indians' of Charles City County" between Mr. E. H. Marston and Dr. W. A. Plecker, February 1925

    TM, 5 pp.

  • Box-folder 41:34

    W. A. Plecker to Senator Morris Sheppard, March 12, 1925

    TLS, 1 p

    Sheppard requests Plecker to write a racial integrity bill for the District of Columbia, and Plecker recommends C. H. Morrissett, Director Legislative Reference Bureau who wrote a good bill for Ohio. Plecker also mentions that Homer Ferguson, the head of the great ship-building plant of Newport News, strongly advocates writing an amendment that covers the point of extra-marital intercourse between the races.

  • Box-folder 41:35

    W.A. Plecker to the Editor, Survey Graphic, March 13, 1925

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker writes in response to a magazine article that attacks racial integrity legislation. He counters that he has great affection for Negroes but that does not mean they would tolerate marriage with them.

  • Box-folder 41:36

    W.A. Plecker to Homer N. Calver, Executive Secretary, American Public Health Association, March 17, 1925

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker has written a paper on immigration and sends it to Calver. He discusses the criticism that he received on it from Richard L. Jenkins, Stanford University. Plecker suspects the criticism is coming from a Negro and not from Stanford University faculty. Plecker feels that his paper is very conservative in comparison with A. E. Wiggam's Fruit of the Family Tree .

  • Box-folder 41:37

    W. A. Plecker to the Honorable H.W. Urquhart, March 17, 1925

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker shares information about racial integrity legislation in order to help Massachusetts with similar legislation. He points out certain defects in the law and advises him to improve it.

  • Box-folder 41:38

    W. A. Plecker to Marion S. Alley, April 15, 1925

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker helps Alley with racial integrity legislation for the District of Columbia. Plecker ask if Congressman J. L. Milligan supports the bill to prevent the intermarriage of the races in the District of Columbia which Senator Sheppard of Texas will introduce at the next Congress. He also writes about the organization of Anglo-Saxon clubs and refers him to John Powell and Dr. Lawrence Price.

  • Box-folder 41:39

    W.A. Plecker to the Honorable Stone Deavours, Mississippi, April 15, 1925

    1 TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker appreciates Devours' support against racial intermarriage and complains about the New York Association for the Improvement of the Colored Race, and the negro newspapers throughout the country. Plecker writes that he did not realize that the negroes were so "bitter" and "determined to pass as white." Plecker thinks that with legislation they can delay amalgamation for five hundred years instead of two hundred.

  • Box-folder 41:40

    W.A. Plecker to D. Harrower, April 27, 1925

    TLS, 3 pp.

    Plecker explains that "for any person therefore, to claim to be an Indian, so as to be eligible for inter-marriage with whites, it is necessary for him to show that there has never been any introduction of negro blood into his family." Plecker mentions that the Pamunkeys, Rappahannocks, Amherst Rockbridge group and the Chickahominies are part Negro. He also cites Estabrook's findings that Negroes have a low mentality and a high rate of illegitimacy. He mentions that William Archer Jones fails the "comb test." He hopes that the next legislature will repeal the one-sixteenth Indian clause from the law.

  • Box-folder 41:41

    W. A. Plecker to John Powell, April 27, 1925

    TLS, 1 pp.

    Plecker supports the possibility of C. E. McKenry being appointed by the Governor as a member of the commission that confers with other states on the uniformity of legislation. He also writes a that Harrower is pleading that, "I be fair to these most admirable people." Plecker hopes that they have stopped the issuing of Speck's report and asks Powell "to call upon the Indian Museum people and tell them a few things. George Heyer is the active man with Harrower."

  • Box-folder 41:42

    W.A. Plecker to Editor, The Richmond Times-Dispatch , April 28, 1925

    1 TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker complains that the article about an Indian reservation is inaccurate and romanticized, which leads people to believe that it is okay to intermarry with mixed races. He writes that he has studied the records as far back as 1853 and these people are no longer Indian. He writes, "History and the United States Bureau of Ethnology speak in no uncertain tones. That Bureau in a number of references to the Pamunkeys, Chickahominies, Mattaponis and Croatons describe them as being mixed with negro and white." He cites Howe's, History of Virginia (1845) as his reference. Plecker also writes about the "fish-fries" that white women are attending and wants them to be stopped.

  • Box-folder 41:43

    W. A. Plecker to John K. Gailey, March 21, 1925

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker answers Gaileys' questions regarding Plecker's paper. He recommends that Gailey read a pamphlet by A. H. Shannon and the book, White America . He also describes how the Negroes are inferior and claims that they were at their intellectual peak before the Civil War when they were obedient.

  • Box-folder 41:44

    W.A. Plecker to Thomas L. Dabney, July 7, 1925

    TLS, 3 pp.

    Plecker replies to his questions about the Garvey movement by writing that he believes Garvey's courage and leadership will bring success to the movement for the first time since Lincoln. Plecker recommends that Dabney read Cox's Let My People Go and White America .

  • Box-folder 41:45

    W.A. Plecker to the Reverend Arthur P. Gray, March 2, 1926

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker gives John Powell a message to contact Gray. Plecker writes that he would be glad to have Gray visit and work with him on "the great task of preserving the integrity of the races."

  • Box-folder 41:46

    W.A. Plecker to Senator Griswold Webb, March 3, 1926

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker offers advice on racial integrity legislation and warns him that "the registration part of the Act is a failure because the 'near-white undesirables ' are using it to attempt to register as white." He writes that there is a new bill which is set for a hearing in the House tomorrow. He also warns that the Association for the Improvement of the Colored Race will oppose it. Plecker offers assistance from Madison Grant, Lothrop Stoddard, Dr. Charles B. Davenport, and himself.

  • Box-folder 41:47

    Amherst Registrar to W. A to Plecker, March 10, 1926

    TLS, 4 pp.

    The Amherst registrar has spoken with Mr. Ambler as Plecker suggested and now, the registrar has the history of the Amherst issues. The history is from Howe's History of Virginia and a record of the lineage of some of the "issues."

  • Box-folder 41:48

    W. A. Plecker to the President of the United States, March 19, 1927

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker pleads to the President in support of a pardon for Marcus Garvey. He writes, "I am one of a considerable number of white people of Virginia who have given his case thought, and who believe that his violation of the law was an error of judgment rather than deliberate crime. Believing that he has been imprisoned sufficiently long to serve the ends of justice, I plead in his behalf that he may be pardoned, and permitted to continue his work with his race in this country."

  • Box-folder 41:49

    W.A. Plecker to John Powell, March 19, 1927

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he received a letter from Amy Garvey saying that there would be an application to the President for the pardon of her husband, Marcus Garvey. Plecker and Earnest S. Cox have written the President and encourage Powell to write. Plecker writes that George Mallison, of Hampton may also write a letter.

  • Box-folder 41:50

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Augusta B. Fothergill, January 21, 1928

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker asks about her health and mentions that his own wife has been sick for nearly a year with a complete nervous breakdown. He writes that he will send the Colonial Dames literature on racial integrity laws. He also explains the bills definition of an Indian as one with 1/4 Indian blood. He mentions that "the present law was not repealed which allows a mulatto of 1/16 or more negro blood and the rest white to be classed as white."

  • Box-folder 41:51

    W.A. Plecker to Clerk, House of Delegates, Jackson, Mississippi, February 15, 1928

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker offers his assistance with their racial integrity legislation. He would like to know who introduced the bill and to have a copy of it and a printed list of the members of the legislature. He writes that he hopes that they do not copy the mistakes in the Virginia law, especially the registration, which coloreds are using to pass as Indians. He mentions that Alabama has a good law but Georgia copied the mistakes of Virginia.

  • Box-folder 41:52

    W. A. Plecker to the Tower Press, November 3, 1930

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that Anglo-Saxon clubs were set up to help the passage of racial integrity laws and are not currently active. He refers them to John Powell for further information.

  • Box-folder 41:53

    W. A. Plecker to the Honorable W. M. Steuart, Director of the U.S. Bureau of the Census, August 4, 1931

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker advises him of the mulattoes who are registering as Indian. He sends Steuart a copy of a letter from the Honorable A. D. Latane, Clerk of Essex County who can identify the mulattoes. Plecker emphasizes that this group "should under no circ*mstances be given classification as Indians in the census records."

  • Box-folder 41:54

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. John Powell, September 3, 1931

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he is delighted with the emphatic manner in which John Powell presented the matter to Mr. Steuart in his letter. Mr Steuart "seems perfectly willing to do what is right and to act upon it."

  • Box-folder 41:55

    W. A. Plecker to John Powell, June 7, 1933

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker writes about a Mrs. Trigg who is planning an exhibit in the Valentine Museum on Indians and she thinks that there are hundreds of them in Virginia. He writes, "The lady was greatly surprised when I told her that there were no native born Indians in the State." He complains about the publicity of Indians and thinks that Powell could stop it. He also mentions Mrs. Fothergill, a genealogist, who has information on the racial origin of the Pamunkeys and Mattaponies.

  • Box-folder 41:56

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. Howard H. Sorrell, former local registrar of Amherst County, March 9, 1934

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he has heard Sorrell's theory about the descendants of Cain and is not interested in the subject. Plecker states that he does want to know more about the families of the Beverlys, Weavers, Johns, and Clarks who live near the Sorrells. He writes that he did not know that they were establishing another colony.

  • Box-folder 41:57

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. L. Quibell, March 10, 1934

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that his office has "secured definite information " on the racial status of Clarence Brown of Buckingham County as a Negro. He writes, "You have the thing straight now, and we hope that your daughter can see the seriousness of the whole matter and will dismiss this young man without more ado. We will be glad to have you advise us as to the outcome of the whole matter."

  • Box-folder 41:58

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Lizzie Ware, October 2, 1935

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that they have received her inquiry as to the racial standing of the children of Mrs. Warren Odgen. Plecker also writes, "Please tell me just what the appearance of this woman, her husband and children is. Do any of the family have any negro characteristics. Frequently these show in one member of the family and not in another."

  • Box-folder 41:59

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Grace Davison, October 4, 1935

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that the racial classification of a native Filipino is classed as colored as well as all Asiatics, including Chinese, Japanese, native of India, etc. Under the law of Virginia, they are not permitted to marry white people and their child will be classed as colored.

  • Box-folder 41:60

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Elizabeth Tyler, April 16, 1936

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker writes that he received her letter requesting the names of the negroes living on the Indian reservations and questions her reasons for wanting this information. He explains the history of the Indians, and the politics involved in reclassifying these people from Negro to Indian in 1902. He also writes about the petition of 1843 where citizens of King William County asked the legislature to abolish the reservations because the occupants were no longer Indians. Plecker states, "If you write again, I shall be glad to have you tell us your purpose in asking for this information." He also mentions the famous "fish-fry " in Charles City County, which encourages inter-racial mixing.

  • Box-folder 41:61

    W.A. Plecker to Mrs. A. P. Bohannon, May 3, 1938

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker explains the proper terms to use when registering people. He emphasizes that there is no mixed-Indian and advises her not to let them intimidate her into using that term. He advises her that registrars do not recognize any native born people of Virginia who call themselves Indians. He does admit that there is a man in Lexington, Virginia who is one-fourth Indian, and three-fourths white.

  • Box-folder 41:61

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. J. J. Ambler-Amherst, May 27, 1938

    TLS, 2pp. and enclosure.

    Plecker writes that Samuel Christian Branham is perjuring himself when he claims that he is white on his application to marry Grace Vernon Mohler.

  • Box-folder 41:62

    W. A. Plecker to E. B. Ford, Esq. the Honorable Scientific Secretary Bureau of Human Heredity, March 22, 1939

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker writes to Ford about the tasks of the Bureau of Vital Statistics and their serious efforts to prevent further amalgamation which is only being done in Virginia. He explains that they use birth, death and marriage records, U. S Census records, and military records in accordance with the Act of 1924 to determine the accurate racial status of residents of Virginia. Plecker also sends him literature, such as a reprint of The Breach in the Dike by John Powell and other books by Earnest Sevier Cox. He also mentions Senator Bilbo of Mississippi, who is preparing to introduce a bill to the Senate that supports the deportation of Negroes.

  • Box-folder 41:63

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. Hale Collins, Attorney, Covington, Virginia, April 3, 1939

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker encloses the certified copy, as requested, of the marriage record of Calvin Branham and Birdie Johns and the marriage record of Wilmer K. Marshall (all colored) and Catherine V. Johns who swears that she is white while Plecker states that this is incorrect.

  • Box-folder 41:64

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Mary L. Martin, April 11, 1939

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that his office needs Thomas Earnest Sorrells and Elizabeth Martin to fill out the questionnaire giving their background. He writes that their child Priscilla June Sorrells cannot be classed as white until there is evidence that neither of her parents are of mixed blood.

  • Box-folder 41:65

    W.A. Plecker to Mr. Wilton H. Lehr, Virginia Polytechnical Institute, April 25, 1939

    TLS.

    Plecker responds that his office does not have enough funding to perform the necessary research needed to answer Lehr's request concerning the racial status of certain individuals. He refers him to Dr. Garnett "who is doing a very splendid piece of work in studying sub-marginal people..." Plecker is very interested in what information Lehr has collected concerning mixed families. He offers his records as long as the source is kept confidential.

  • Box-folder 41:66

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. L. H. Shrader, May 10, 1939

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes Mr. Shrader asking for information about a name change of Beverly to Burch for "a free issue " in Amherst County.

  • Box-folder 41:67

    W. A. Plecker to Senator Robert Reynolds, May 17, 1939

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker congratulates him on his speech in reference to "refusing admittance into this country of German refugees." He would be glad to send him racial integrity literature. He also commends Senator Bilbo on his speech.

  • Box-folder 41:68

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. Roy K. Brown, Clerk, Roanoke County, May 17, 1939

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes about a marriage between Dalbert Charlie Maxey (age 21) and Mary Magdalene Crum (age 16) and asks the clerk if he noticed if Mr. Maxey has mulatto characteristics. Plecker writes, "Shall this man, if he is of the Amherst group, be turned loose upon the community to raise more mulatto children?"

  • Box-folder 41:69

    W. A. Plecker to H. D. Kissenger, Missouri, May 17, 1939

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker gives a background history on the Virginia Racial Integrity legislation and offers his assistance for similar legislation in Missouri.

  • Box-folder 41:70

    W. A. Plecker to the Reverend G. W. Headen, May 17, 1939

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes, "We are enclosing a copy of our letter to Mr. Roy K. Brown, Clerk of Roanoke County. Did you observe any negro characteristics in this man? It is possible for a couple of this kind to get by the clerk and yet be held up by the minister. If this man comes from the family that we think he did, this marriage is illegal."

  • Box-folder 41:71

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. V. W. Nichols, Clerk Circuit Court Bedford County, May 19, 1939

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he has received Mr. Nichols' inquiry on the racial status of Dalbert Charlie Maxey who appears to be of mixed blood. Plecker responds that they need more information on Maxey and is sending questionnaires for Maxey to fill out.

  • Box-folder 41:72

    W. A. Plecker to Dr. David W. Peters , President State Teachers College, April 17, 1940

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker considers Peters question about whether Indians are barred from enrolling in white state schools. He writes that he does not know the answer as the Attorney General has not ruled on it but he thinks it would be safer to avoid establishing a precedent.

  • Box-folder 41:73

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. G. B. Wallace, April 20, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that his office does not have any information on the birth of Lillian Cunningham of King George County born in the year 1913 or 1914 because they do not have records of births between 1896 and 1912.

  • Box-folder 41:74

    W. A. Plecker writes to Mr. William E. Sandidge, Clerk, Amherst, April 20, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that the records of his office are insufficient to establish the racial status of Jesse Sorrells who has applied for a marriage license to marry a white girl.

  • Box-folder 41:75

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. William E. Sandidge, April 24, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that his office has received a request from the sister of Jesse Sorrells for a birth certificate so that she can be admitted into a training school for nurses.

  • Box-folder 41:76

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. L. B. Mason, Clerk, King George County Circuit Court, May 14, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker answers Mason's inquiry by saying that their records show that Lillian Pearl Cunningham is listed as white on her marriage license but the Cunningham family is a mulatto family in Virginia trying to pass as white. He cites as evidence the census report of 1870.

  • Box-folder 41:77

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. Elmer Hunt, June 11, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he is returning Hunt's birth certificate because red is not an acceptable racial term. He also writes that the Hunt and Locklear families have been proven to be of "negro origin."

  • Box-folder 41:78

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Blanche Cunningham, June 11, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he is surprised that one of the respectable Cunningham family would be asking about the racial status of Gus Stewart's children. Plecker writes that he was present when one of the Stewart children was born and recorded as "Indian and colored." Plecker writes, "I trust that...you will immediately break off entirely with this young mulatto man."

  • Box-folder 41:79

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. C. K. Holsinger, Superintendent, Henrico County Public Schools, June 11, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    In response to Holsinger's inquiries, Plecker writes that the father of these children is a white man but the mother "is of free negro descent." Plecker writes, "This family has been especially aggressive in their endeavors to secure classification as white. The fact that the mother secured admittance in to the white ward of Memorial Hospital is evidence of this fact."

  • Box-folder 41:80

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. Marvin Gregg, June 13, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes, "You asked us to look up the ancestry of Juan F. Johns and let you know if there is any negro blood. You do not tell us who you are or why you are asking that question, which we must know before we can give you any information about this man. You did not tell us where he came from or who his parents and grandparents were, which is necessary if we are to examine our records."

  • Box-folder 41:81

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. R. I. Overbey, Attorney, Rustburg, Virginia, July 11, 1940

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that his office would be glad to give all the assistance possible in securing the correct classification of the children and he would like to get all of the information on their parentage.

  • Box-folder 41:82

    W. A. Plecker to Dr. H. V. Fitzgerald, Chairman, Chatham County School Board, July 11, 1940

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker acknowledges receipt of a petition of fifteen citizens of Pittsylvania County requesting that "the King children be debarred from admission to the white schools on account of their being of negroid mixture." Plecker explains that it is easier for the local community to determine the race of these individuals since they are familiar with their characteristics.

  • Box-folder 41:83

    W. A. Plecker to Henry King, July 13, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he is returning King's birth certificate because it is not accurate. King had written that he was a "Black Hawk Indian" from Delaware Water Gap. Plecker writes, "We have learned that none of the native-born individuals in Virginia claiming to be Indian are free from negro mixture, and under the law of Virginia every person with any ascertainable degree of negro blood is to be classed as a negro or colored person, not as an Indian."

  • Box-folder 41:84

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Ethel Magner, July 20, 1940

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker answers her letter regarding her interest in Indians from Virginia. Plecker explains that there are none because they have all mixed with negroes. He writes that there are two reservations, the Mattaponi and Pamunkey, who are mulattoes in King William County. According to Plecker, "the only true Indians in Virginia are several mixed breed Indian and white men in Southwestern Virginia, one of one-fourth Indian living in Lexington."

  • Box-folder 41:85

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. John M. Maury, Jr., Assistant Commonwealth Attorney, Albemarle County, July 25, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    At Maury's request, Plecker sends the birth certificates for Garnett and copies of the birth records of other members of the Moon and Reed family, including the records of Ella, daughter of Margaret Reed, a slave born in 1862.

  • Box-folder 41:86

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. Charles S. Stokes, Executive Secretary, Charles County Welfare Board, July 31, 1940

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker responds to a request for the dates of birth for four children of George Hoffman and Emma Smith Hoffman and their racial status.

  • Box-folder 41:87

    W. A. Plecker to Robert A. McIntyre, Attorney, July 31, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker responds to an inquiry for the racial status of ten children of Hunton F. Taylor and Rose Thomas by writing that according to the midwife, "the mother is reported as colored, no information was given on the father, that being customary in the case of illegitimate children."

  • Box-folder 41:88

    W. A. Plecker to the Superintendent, Riverview Cemetery, August 1, 1940

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that William H. Moon, "of negro ancestry," was buried at Riverview Cemetery which is a white cemetery. Plecker explains, "We are giving you this information to take such steps as you may deem necessary. You probably know whether the State law permits the use of a white cemetery by colored people."

  • Box-folder 41:89

    W. A. Plecker to W. G. Muncy, Secretary, Riverview Cemetery Company, August 3, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    Muncy had written Plecker asking for advice on what course of action to take regarding the burial of a colored man in Riverview Cemetery. Plecker writes that, "in the case of the burials in the 'Pauper Section ' the question might not be as serious, but to a white owner of a lot, it might prove embarrassing to meet with negroes visiting at one of their graves on the adjoining lot."

  • Box-folder 41:90

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Elsie K. Graham, Public Health Nurse, Bowling Green, Virginia, August 9, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker responds to her inquiry about the use of a blood test to determine the racial status of an individual. He explains that there is no reliable test for such determination. He also writes that such a test would not be helpful because often the cases that need studying involve mixed black and white. Some effort has been made to determine the race by the hair. He writes that the most reliable method is by tracing family names and their records from the Census. He offers to find information for her, if she will supply the names of the parents and grandparents.

  • Box-folder 41:91

    W. A. Plecker to F. F. Jenkins, Director, Administration, State Board of Education, August 14, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker responds to Jenkins' inquiry about the racial status of Mrs. A. N Davis, daughter of John Temple Collins and Ada Bradby.

  • Box-folder 41:92

    W. A. Plecker to the Honorable Abram P. Staples, Attorney General, Richmond, Virginia, August 21, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker sends Mr. Staples a copy of a letter to A. H. Crismond, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Spotsylvania, Virginia and apologizes if his interpretation of this Act is in error.

  • Box-folder 41:93

    W. A. Plecker to A. H. Crismond, Clerk, Spotsylvania, August 21, 1940

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes, "If we are correct in assuming that this woman is white, then under the law of Virginia, you as Clerk were not authorized to issue a marriage license to a person of any of the colored races, including Filipinos." Crismond issued a marriage certificate for Philip N. Saure, a native of the Philippine Islands and Elsie M. Thomas.

  • Box-folder 41:94

    W. A. Plecker to Luke M. Smith, research assistant to Dr. Panunzio at the University of California, September 3, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker advises that the purpose of the law is to prevent the marriage of a white person with any one of the colored races, including Hindus, who are either considered Mongolian or Malay. He also writes, "It is barely possible, however, that there are still evident in India descendants of the original Aryan conquerors who have remained unmixed with the native population through the strict enforcement of the caste system."

  • Box-folder 41:95

    W. A. Plecker to Horace Sutherland, Commonwealth Attorney, Galax, September 6, 1940

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    The marriage of McKinley Bradley Price and Stella Mae Hodge is illegal because Plecker wrote to Dr. Elliot and received confirmation that the man is white and the woman is mulatto.

  • Box-folder 41:96

    W. A. Plecker to F. B. Gwynn, County Superintendent of Schools, Maryland, September 10, 1940

    TLS, 2 p.

    Plecker responds that regarding Gwynn's inquiry on the racial status of George Hoffman and Emma Smith Hoffman, Plecker's office considers them "colored."

  • Box-folder 41:97

    W. A. Plecker to A. M. Rucker , Clerk, Buena Vista, September 11, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker receives the birth certificate of Henley Webster Johns who is a Negro. Plecker writes, "I am amazed that you would register one of these Amherst negroes as white... Somebody has made himself liable to the penitentiary for registering a negro as white...Just who it is and how many is for you and Johns between you to decide."

  • Box-folder 41:98

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. E. D. Branham, September 16, 1940

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes, "We cannot accept this certificate with both parents stated as white."

  • Box-folder 41:99

    W. A. Plecker to William E. Bradby, February 2, 1942

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that his office is holding Bradby's birth certificate because "it states that your parents are Half Breed Indian." Plecker explains that they "do not recognize any native-born Indian as of pure Indian descent unmixed with negro blood."

  • Box-folder 41:100

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Hallie Adco*ck, February 16, 1942

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes, "We do not recognize the racial classification of Indian. We will make no change in this certificate." Plecker also describes the history of the family that descended from "Lucretia Branham, a little brown-skinned negress, who lived to be about 100 years old. This family is everywhere listed in the old records as colored."

  • Box-folder 41:101

    W. A. Plecker to the Honorable George M Warren, February 17, 1942

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes about legislation being drafted that authorizes judges to issue delayed birth certificates. Plecker has several questions about it.

  • Box-folder 41:102

    W. A. Plecker to Willie Lee Stewart, March 3, 1942

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes, "We are returning the photostat copies and decline to make any change in the racial classification which in accordance with the one accepted in our office as correct. If you do not desire the certificates, destroy them; it is useless to send them back."

  • Box-folder 41:103

    W. A. Plecker to Arthur J. Fields, March 10, 1942

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker answers Field's racial inquiry by saying that the midwife reported his child (Billie Ines Dickenson) as white. However the courts decided that the parents were both of "melungeon" stock. Plecker advises that there isn't much that can be done about it. He also asks for the correct spelling of Dickson and informs him that they will be attaching a marker to the back of the certificate showing that they are mulatto. Plecker also wants to know the names of the two older children.

  • Box-folder 41:104

    W. A. Plecker to Abraham Branham, March 20, 1942

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes, "Copies of these certificates cannot be furnished as they are made, as the race is incorrectly stated on all of them- one as Indian, one as mixed Indian, and one as white..."

  • Box-folder 41:105

    W. A. Plecker to Rose L. Taylor , March 27, 1942

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that his office rejected the certificate because they "do not recognize Moorish as a race, but as a nation."

  • Box-folder 41:106

    W. A. Plecker to J. Granville Johnston, Chairman, Local Board, Rockbridge County, Lexington, March 30, 1942

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker writes that other certificates are possibly inaccurate and in some cases not completely filled out for Garnet Odel, Dudley Coffey, and James E. Wood.

  • Box-folder 41:107

    W. A. Plecker to R. S. Major, Clerk, Charles City,Virginia, August 28, 1942

    1 TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker writes, "We received this birth certificate for [Reable Tazewell Adkins] with both parents given as white. Of course we will not accept the certificate in that way, but we are trying to find out the facts..."

  • Box-folder 41:108

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Fred Caudill, Kentucky, August 28, 1942

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker continues to seek answers to many questions about the family of Reable Tazewell Adkins.

  • Box-folder 41:109

    W. A. Plecker to Miss. Charlotte Edmunds, September 3, 1942

    1TLS, 1 p.

    Racial status of Ethel Mae Brame (Hoyle).

  • Box-folder 41:110

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. Beale, Medical College of Virginia, September 11, 1942

    1 TLS, 1p.

    Plecker thanks Beale for writing to his local registrar and receiving the information that the mother of Ethel Brame (Hoyle) is white and the father is colored.

  • Box-folder 41:111

    W. A. Plecker to William Kinckle Allen, Amherst, Virginia, September 23, 1942

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker sends Allen a copy of Jesse Stuart Branham's birth certificate but writes a note on the back certifying that the race is not correct.

  • Box-folder 41:112

    John Randolph Tucker, Attorney (for William Kinckle Allen) to W. A. Plecker, October 1, 1942

    1 photostat copy, 2 pp.

    Tucker wants a correct copy of the birth certificate that states that the Branhams are white. Tucker writes to Plecker, "I find no where in the law any provision which authorizes the Registrar to constitute himself judge and jury for the purpose of determining the race of a child..."

  • Box-folder 41:113

    W. A. Plecker to William E. Sandidge, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Amherst, October 6, 1942

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes to Sandidge that John Randolph Tucker (Allen's attorney) is demanding a copy of William Kinckle Allen's birth certificate stating Allen's racial status as white. Plecker writes that he cannot do this because Allen's parents are colored according to their marriage certificate. Plecker asks Sandidge to verify which records are correct.

  • Box-folder 41:114

    William Sandidge to W. A. Plecker, October 7, 1942

    1 photostat copy, 1 p.

    Sandidge writes Plecker that the information on the back of the marriage license of the parents was erased and white was written in ink.

  • Box-folder 41:115

    W. A. Plecker to John Randolph Tucker, Attorney, October 8, 1942

    TLS 2 pp.

    Plecker writes that as State Registrar he cannot certify information that he knows to be false.

  • Box-folder 42:1

    W. A. Plecker to Selective Service System, January 29, 1943

    1 TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker writes to the Selective Service System explaining the difficulties that the Bureau of Vital Statistics is having with various groups of mulattoes trying to register as white by claiming themselves to be Indian. Plecker declares that they cannot be Indian because his researcher, Miss Eva Kelly, has done years of study on their racial origins and found that there are no native born Virginia Indians.

  • Box-folder 42:2

    W. A. Plecker to Dr. T. W. Hankins, February 3, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes to Dr. Hankins that it would be fine for local registrars to issue certified copies of birth and death certificates, although there will be no State Seal. He reminds him that certificates should not be given to mixed breeds stating that they are Indian or white.

  • Box-folder 42:3

    W.A. Plecker to E. C. Lacy, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Halifax, February 3, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that Lacy used the term Indian on a marriage license for the Stuarts and Plecker would like to change it to colored as his records show that this family descended from slaves. He also writes that his office (the Bureau of Vital Statistics) is trying to remove the term "Indian" from their records.

  • Box-folder 42:4

    W. A. Plecker to William E. Sandidge, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Amherst, Virginia, February 3, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that Sandidge used the term mixed Indian on a marriage license for Jimmie Lee Southers and Gloria Dimples Sorrels and he wants to change the racial designation to "Colored" since Plecker's office has determined there are no native born Indians in Virginia who are not mixed with Negro blood.

  • Box-folder 42:5

    W. A. Plecker to County School Board of Augusta County, February 4, 1943

    1 TLS, 1 p

    Plecker writes that there is some doubt about the race of Thelma Lucille Hartless and they will try to find more information about the family.

  • Box-folder 42:6

    W. A. Plecker to Senior Missouri Senator, February 8, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes to the Senator asking him for a copy of the new bill, the Capper Uniform Marriage and Divorce Bill, S. 460 and S. J. Res. 24 for amending the Constitution. He writes that this bill makes no mention of intermarriage between the races. It also does not require any report of marriages to the State Bureau of Vital Statistics. John C. Pope, Director of Medical Licensure, State Board of Health, Jefferson City, Missouri asks Plecker to send him a copy.

  • Box-folder 42:7

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Nannette Yleta Dickerson, February 9, 1943

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes, "We do not recognize that [American Indian] as a correct term for any of the native-born people of Virginia claiming to be Indians." He also writes that her father and mother were married as "a colored people."

  • Box-folder 42:8

    W. A. Plecker to Dr. A. P. Bohannon, February 13, 1943

    1TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes, "We are returning to you another birth certificate for the Halifax 'free issues ' designated by you as 'Indians. ' We do not recognize that as a correct statement as to the race of the people of James Kermit Martin and Edna Louise Stuart."

  • Box-folder 42:9

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Virginia Thomson, Superintendent, Department of Public Welfare, February 17, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that after receiving her warning letter about the Paggan family, they have searched their records and have not found any for these children. Plecker would like for them to be recorded and asks if any one from her office can obtain birth certificates. He also asks if any of these children are attending white schools.

  • Box-folder 42:10

    W. A. Plecker to the Honorable William M. Tuck, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, February 25, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker sends him copies of a letter that Tuck requested. He is also sending copies to Judge Dawes and wants to know if he should also send copies to the legislature involved with these counties and to all of the State.

  • Box-folder 42:11

    W.A. Plecker to Judge Dawes, Roxbury, North Carolina, February 25, 1943

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he enjoyed his visit and hoped that Dawes would come again. He also writes that he made copies of some pages in Carter G. Woodson's book, Free Negro Heads of Families in the United States in 1830 . Plecker also offers to send him a list of family names and information on North Carolina Counties.

  • Box-folder 42:12

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Beatrice Pettway, March 4, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that they are returning her certificate because there isn't a Queens County in Virginia, and they do not recognize the term "Cherokee" as race."The term 'colored ' must be used."

  • Box-folder 42:13

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Iola J. Bradby, March 4, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that they have delayed her certificate because the Bradby family is listed as "free negroes" before the War Between the States and they will only accept the race of colored now.

  • Box-folder 42:14

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Alice Baldwin Brown, March 8, 1943

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that the terms "Light" and "Dark" are not a "proper designation for race" on the certificate for the child of Arthur G. Hart and Lara Alice Wyatt.

  • Box-folder 42:15

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Aileen Goodman Henry, Rockbridge, March 10, 1943

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he understands from her letter that she is reluctant to use terms such as "colored" and "mulatto" when registering the Clarks and other Irish Creek "free issues" because they get mad. Plecker is sympathetic and writes, "I expect you are right about it and probably it is as well not to be too insistent. That [using the term mixed] is far better than 'Indian ' and infinitely better than white."

  • Box-folder 42:16

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Ruth Rogers, March 12, 1943

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that on the certificate for her child, she has indicated that her own race is "Indian" but this is not an acceptable term in Virginia. He explains that Indians are mixed with "negro blood and must be classed as colored."

  • Box-folder 42:17

    W. A. Plecker to Bessie Morris, March 12, 1943

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that they are returning the certificate for David Adams because she indicated his race as Indian, which "has not been accepted as correct for the race of this family." The family is "classified as colored in the Office of the Bureau of Vital Statistics based on early records."

  • Box-folder 42:18

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Clara Trent Pultz, March 17, 1943

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes, "The midwife in your case declared both of your parents to be white, which we now know to be false. This is confirmed by your reply to the set of questions which we sent to you. From that, we have learned that you are a descendant of Joe Clark, Jr. It has definitely been established that Joe Clark, Jr., was a colored man."

  • Box-folder 42:19

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Cassandra Alcos, March 19, 1943

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes, Since you have married a Filipino, who is a member of one of the colored races, regardless of whether or not you are of mixed colored blood your child will be considered non-white, or a member of a colored race. In Virginia he cannot as such marry into the white race or be considered a white person.

  • Box-folder 42:20

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. Daniel W. McNeil, Acting Attorney for the Commonwealth, Rockbridge, March 23, 1943

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he is surprised to receive letters that support his work. Plecker also writes about the decision of Judge Holt in the Wood-Sorrells-Clark family, where the Judge allows a white man to marry into a colored family and ignored the early records from Plecker's office. Plecker describes the courtroom, "The witnesses for the State were terrified when they saw the court room full of the brown faces of their near neighbors and their only testimony was I don't know."

  • Box-folder 42:21

    W. A. Plecker to Dr. R. B. Ware, March 25, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he is returning the birth certificate for Carolyne Jewel Lawhorn because Dr. Ware listed her race as white. Plecker writes, "As a resident of the county, you are in position to know, and if she is, [colored] then we cannot accept her race as white."

  • Box-folder 42:22

    W. A. Plecker to William E. Sandidge, March 25, 1943

    2 TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker writes that Sandidge has issued Clarence Roberts and Cassie Burley a license stating that their race is white, "though both of them were stated as being children of Branham mothers (who are listed as 'free issue ' stock)." Enclosed is also a copy a letter from Plecker to Clarence Roberts. Plecker reminds Roberts that "the attempt to register a birth falsely as to color is a penitentiary offense."

  • Box-folder 42:23

    W. A. Plecker to Dr. Algerd Powell, March 30, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that Dr. Powell made the correct class distinction by writing "Iss." identifying Lena Mason, a colored or free issue. Plecker writes, "They are making great efforts to pass either as Indian or as white. They have about jumped the Indian stage, however, and are making a rush to register in our office as white." He also mentions that one of his local registrars is using the term "mixed" because people get so upset if she uses the term "colored."

  • Box-folder 42:24

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Mary Wood, March 30, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes to Wood that he is not able to accept her birth certificate without the race being designated correctly. Plecker believes that her family is from Negro descent and explains that, "The race of families and individuals does not change, and when your forefathers are recorded as colored in the early records, all of their descendants are under the law colored. The Bureau of Vital Statistics is not authorized to change the race of families or individuals."

  • Box-folder 42:25

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. C. A. Mason, March 31, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes to Mason that he is returning a birth certificate for Nola Irine Mason because she has given the race of her parents as white. The early records in his office show that they are related to the Clark families of Rockbridge and Amherst who are of negro descent. He writes, "I am warning you that this attempt to register a child as white makes you liable to one year in the penitentiary under the Act of 1924."

  • Box-folder 42:26

    W. A. Plecker to Dr. Paul C. Pearson, March 31, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he is returning the birth certificate of Marie Miles Custalow because Pearson designates the racial status as "Indian" which does not match the early records for this family.

  • Box-folder 42:27

    W. A. Plecker to Dr. J. A. Drake, Jr., March 31, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he received the birth certificate for Douglas McArthur Lawless and he needs Dr. Drake to sign it. He also writes that the racial designation on the certificate must be changed to show the correct race of colored. He writes, "Please bear in mind that we cannot accept certificates for any of the 'free issue ' people of Amherst or Rockbridge county as other than colored, mulatto, 'issue, ' or negro."

  • Box-folder 42:28

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. Harry W. Tyree, March 31, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that the birth certificates from the Tyree family indicate their race as white but this classification cannot be accepted unless they can prove that the father is a member of a white Tyree family of Amherst or Rockbridge County.

  • Box-folder 42:29

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Lawrence H. Hartless, April 1, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that the father of all three children must sign a form acknowledging that he is the father and it will also be necessary for her to sign a form stating that she previously gave "wrong information." According to the questionnaire that Mrs. Hartless filled out, her mother is Bessie Anderson Dempsey, daughter of the Sorrels.

  • Box-folder 42:30

    W. A. Plecker to John Powell, April 5, 1943

    TM, 1 p.

    Note about a news clipping in The News Leader : "Two Given Terms in Draft Violation ", Everett Hugo Byrd and Russell Collridge Fortune were charged with"failing to report for induction into the armed forces." They were sentenced to two years in a Federal reformatory by Judge Robert N. Pollard.

  • Box-folder 42:31

    W. A. Plecker to the Honorable John Collier, Commissioner, Office of Indian Affairs, April 6, 1943

    TLS, 3 pp.

    Plecker defends his actions in preventing Ruth Rogers Garret from trying to pass as Indian. Garret's consort, Jasper Thomas Garrett had complained about Plecker to the Office of Indian Affairs and Plecker's boss, Dr. I. C. Riggin, State Health Commissioner. Plecker invites Colliers staff to come and see the research of Miss Kelly. Plecker writes "Your staff member is probably correct in his surmise that Hitler's genealogical study of the Jews is not more complete."

  • Box-folder 42:32

    W. A. Plecker to Norman Lawhorne, April 8, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that Mr. Lawhorne's questionnaire is incomplete. Plecker states that without any information about his grandparents, it is impossible to issue him a certificate.

  • Box-folder 42:33

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Nellie Crum, April 9, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he cannot accept the birth certificate for Nellie Randolph Hicks because both parents are listed as white while records of other family members in the past have shown the racial status as colored.

  • Box-folder 42:34

    W. A. Plecker to Ivy Lewis April 21, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker responds to a letter of criticism that he receives from a University of Virginia student, L. G. Moffatt, "They, like many others, without knowing the facts, have misjudged us and think that we are harsh on the negroes as a whole. Any harsh feeling is only for the portion of the race trying by various maneuvers to escape into the white race..."

  • Box-folder 42:35

    W. A. Plecker to L. G. Moffatt April 21, 1943

    TLS, 3 pp.

    Plecker responds to Moffatt's criticism by explaining that Plecker was referring only to "negroes" that want to pass as white. Plecker describes these families in Amherst County, Virginia as "free issue" people or "rats" trying to "sneak in" and obtain white or Indian birth certificates. He also mentions that his office tries to help the "negroes" who accept their "colored " status because they have more problems than white people and are less able to take care of themselves. Plecker recommends that Moffatt talk about the racial issue with Dr. Ivy Lewis and cites some literature for him to read.

  • Box-folder 42:36

    W. A. Plecker to the Honorable Herbert G. Smith, Judge of the Corporation Court, Newport News, Virginia April 22, 1943

    TLS, 4 pp.

    Plecker reveals information from his records stating that William Thomas Edward Price is colored and gives Smith a background on the family lineage. He also explains that the optional registration (as opposed to mandatory) places a great burden on the State Registrar. Plecker defends criticism about his use of power and writes that they try to be "correct as far as is in our power the great evil of racial intermixture..." Plecker also mentions a new law that removes the power from judges to determine race.

  • Box-folder 42:37

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Eleanor M. Anderson, Clerk, Lynchburg, May 7, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker answers her inquiry about the racial status of Willie Branham by writing that the Branham family is from "negro origin." He advises that she should "classify this boy as colored." He also warns her of the consequences of altering a certificate.

  • Box-folder 42:38

    Copy of the information written on the back of the birth certificate of Edward Parker Willis by W. A. Plecker, May 7, 1943

    TMS, 1 p.

    Plecker states that Willis is a "free colored" and not Indian.

  • Box-folder 42:39

    W. A. Plecker to Dr. R. R. Kason, May 8, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he is returning the certificate for Bonnie Jane Arthurs because Kason gives the race of the father and mother as white and this family belongs to the "free issue" group of Irish Creek. He also reminds Kason that it is a felony to falsely report the racial status.

  • Box-folder 42:40

    W. A. Plecker to Edwin P. Hamilton, May 25, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that before his office can accept the birth certificate of his child, they need to have more information about his family.

  • Box-folder 42:41

    W. A. Plecker to Nancy S. Hundley, Superintendent of Public Welfare, Cumberland, Virginia, July 19, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker explains that the birth of an illegitimate child of a white mother and colored father needs to be reported. He also advises that the child be brought into the Bureau of Vital Statistics and examined for racial characteristics. He writes, "Psychological examination or blood tests do not show the race. That has to be decided upon what can be seen and learned."

  • Box-folder 42:42

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Bruce Clemons, July 20, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he is sending her a copy the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 which shows that "no white person in Virginia is permitted to intermarry with any of the Asiatic races." He also writes that, "Filipinos are included in the Malay class."

  • Box-folder 42:43

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Helen Dunges, July 21, 1943

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker answers her inquiry of the racial status of her recent husband by writing that the Dunge family are "negroes." However, he writes that to absolutely certify that her husband is colored Plecker would need more information about her husband's parents and grandparents. Plecker asks her to fill out a questionnaire. He also writes, "Please tell us what his appearance is. Do negro characteristics show in his hair and features?"

  • Box-folder 42:44

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Lillie Carroll, July 22, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he is not accepting her birth certificate as it is filled out, because her mother and father are from the Gibson and Collins' families that are descendants of "melungeons."

  • Box-folder 42:45

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. F. C. Drummond, Chairman, Amherst County Selective Service, July 24, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker responds that the Clarke family has been trying aggressively to pass as white and advises Drummond that as a local resident of Amherst he is in a better position to judge for himself whether these people are colored or not.

  • Box-folder 42:46

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Nancy S. Hundley, Superintendent, Cumberland County Public Welfare Board, July 27, 1943

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker responds to her letter about the "promiscuous sexual habits of Mattie Murray, the feeble-minded white woman who seems to have given birth to one or two mulatto children" by writing that the proper thing to do without loss of time is to "place this woman in the State Colony and have her sterilized." He also advises that the local officials are the best judge of determining the race based on the appearance of the mulattoes.

  • Box-folder 42:47

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. Jessie Lee Collins, July 28, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he cannot accept his birth certificate because he is related to the Collins family who are "members of the group known as Melungeons, who are of mixed negro stock."

  • Box-folder 42:48

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. Taylor Gibson, July 28, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he cannot accept his birth certificate because his parents are from the Gibson and Collins family who are known as "Melungeons."

  • Box-folder 42:49

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. Ovis Shaw, July 28, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he needs more information on the Shaw family before he can accept his birth certificate.

  • Box-folder 42:50

    W. A. Plecker to John Powell, October 13, 1943

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that the Attorney General decided that the birth certificates for two of the Branham children can be issued without any comments stating that they are colored. Plecker states, "This is the worst backset which we have received since Judge Holt's decision." Plecker's recourse is that they will ensure that the certificates are accurate before they accept them. Plecker confesses, "I have been doing a good deal of bluffing, knowing all the time that it could not be legally sustained. This is the first time my hand has absolutely been called."

  • Box-folder 42:51

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Aileen Hartless, March 9, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he is returning her birth certificate with a note on the back which indicates the certificate contains false information pertaining to racial status. Plecker warns her, "I have no doubt at all but that it is all embarrassing for you. Your parents started out to make false statement about themselves, and their children are suffering...After the war it is possible that some of these cases will come into court. We might try this one. It would make a good one, if you continue to try to be what you are not."

  • Box-folder 42:52

    W. A. Plecker to the Reverend J. J. Murray, March 20, 1944

    TLS, 2 pp. on 11.

    Plecker is eager to know the race of the illegitimate children of Nellie Lee Clarke because they are living in the orphanage that he is planning on including in his will. Plecker writes that these children with their heredity and poor nurturing would be harmful to the other children in the orphanage.

  • Box-folder 42:53

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Mary Lula Mullins, March 23, 1944

    TLS, 1 pp.

    Plecker writes that he cannot accept the birth certificate for Mary Lula Collins because she answers the questionnaire with "I don't know."

  • Box-folder 42:54

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. M. L. Williams, April 17, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he received the birth certificates for Kate Johns, Fred Benson Johns, and Aubrey Louis Johns in which the race is falsely designated as Indian. Plecker also writes that due to the passage of a recent law, it his duty is to write on the back of a birth certificate when he believes it contains false information. He explains that this new law places the burden on Plecker's office instead of on the local registrars.

  • Box-folder 42:55

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Sadie M. Bane, Superintendent, Department of Public Welfare, Bland, Virginia, April 24, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he needs the names of the children and their birthplace in order to determine their racial origin. It is his understanding that Elbert Proffit is "a Negroid." Plecker also inquires as to the appearance of the children and whether they show any "negro features and characteristics."

  • Box-folder 42:56

    . A. Plecker to Clerk of the Hanco*ck County Court, Tennessee, April 24, 1944

    1 TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker writes that he needs information from their earliest records on the Gibson and Collins family. Plecker is particularly interested in the records for Commodore M. Collins.

  • Box-folder 42:57

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. Ernest Franklin Arthurs, April 27, 1944

    1 TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker responds to a letter from Mr. Arthurs that he does not know to whom Arthurs is referring but assumes that it is one of Arthurs' children. Plecker explains that the John's family in Amherst County are from "free negro stock." Plecker encourages Arthurs to submit any evidence by filling out the questionnaires.

  • Box-folder 42:58

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. William M. Cleveland, April 29, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that the wife of Mr. Cleveland "belongs to a group of mixed breeds of Amherst and Rockbridge, known locally as 'free issues. '" The certificates for the nephews of Mrs. Cleveland were accepted several years ago as they came in because the office was swamped with inquiries. Plecker advises that the only way that these certificates can now be accepted is to "have the racial pedigree noted on the back of the certificate."

  • Box-folder 42:59

    W. A. Plecker to Senator Lloyd M. Robinette, May 4, 1944

    TLS, 2 p.

    Plecker writes that it is difficult to establish the racial origin of Commodore M. Collins due to a lack of records. Plecker believes that Collin's grandfather is Solomon Collins who is listed in Carter G. Woodson's book as a Negro. Therefore he cannot register any of the Collins descendants as white. Plecker states that his wife is definitely white. He writes, "Probably she did not know the sort of family she was marrying into. The fact that he has probably good blood from good white stock to enable him to rise above his early surrounding does not remove the racial condition."

  • Box-folder 42:60

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. H. C. Jefferson, May 9, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that she needs to fill out the questionnaire giving more family history. He writes, "Be sure to answer every question correctly and do not say that you 'don't know.' That expression does not establish any facts."

  • Box-folder 42:61

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Edith Butcher, May 9, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he is holding her birth certificate because of a lack of evidence regarding her racial status. Plecker writes, "We are not willing to take chances when there is no positive evidence. The question is too involved for us to be able to handle at this time. It is not necessary for you to make further effort to register your birth."

  • Box-folder 42:62

    W. A. Plecker to Miss. Janey B. Reel, May 10, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he received the birth certificates for Oma R. Collins (Williams) and Ronald Earl Williams with the signature of the midwife but he does not understand why the midwife signed the certificates in pencil when the rest of it is signed with ink in Miss Reel's handwriting.

  • Box-folder 42:63

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. H. C. Jefferson, May 15, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes again to Mrs. Jefferson asking her to give his office more information. He writes that if she cannot show when and where she was married, her children "will be considered illegitimate." He also writes that there will be no certified copies for the certificates until these questions are answered.

  • Box-folder 42:64

    W. A. Plecker to R. E. Moore, Superintendent, Presbyterian Orphans Home, Lynchburg, May 18, 1944

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker writes that according to the family tree, Nellie Clark and her illegitimate children in the orphanage are "of mixed stock and not white." Plecker writes that illegitimate children of mixed stock are dangerous for other children in the orphanage.

  • Box-folder 42:65

    W. A. Plecker to Okla Collins, May 26, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he cannot place her birth certificate on file because her records are from Kentucky and North Carolina and his office only traces records from Virginia.

  • Box-folder 42:66

    W. A. Plecker to Guy Lawrence Hayslett, May 31, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he needs more information on the ancestry of Elizabeth Ann Floyd before he can accept the birth certificate for his daughter Betty Lou Hayslett.

  • Box-folder 42:67

    W.A. Plecker to Mrs. Oma R. Collins Williams, May 31, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he has received two birth certificates for Oma Collins Williams and her husband Ronald Earl Williams, but he will need more information since they were born prior to 1912.

  • Box-folder 42:68

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. James P. Greene, June 1, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he received Greene's birth certificate but the race of his parents is designated as "Indian " and Plecker needs to know when and where his parents were married and whether or not there were any other children.

  • Box-folder 42:69

    W. A. Plecker to the Selective Service, Lynchburg, Virginia, June 19, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker responds to their inquiry on the racial status of Clarence Loving Branham by writing that he is sending them a photocopy of the certificate in which the midwife states that both of Branham's parents are colored. Plecker asks that no one know that the midwife designated the racial status as colored, "as a matter of protection for her."

  • Box-folder 42:70

    W. A. Plecker to Clayton B. Pugh, July 19, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he is sending Pugh a new certificate with a statement on the back revealing that his mother is "of negro descent." He also writes, "If members of your family have certificates stating that they are white, they had better keep very quiet about them or return them to have them properly corrected. There are plenty of jobs open for colored people. You need have no trouble about that."

  • Box-folder 42:71

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Oggie Vanover, July 24, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he cannot accept her birth certificate because she did not fill out the information giving the names of her father's grandparents and great grandparents.

  • Box-folder 42:72

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Lucy Hoffman, August 11, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that the four birth certificates for her children cannot be accepted because the race of her parents is falsely designated as white. He requests that she write all the names and birthdays of the children on the back of one the certificates. He also writes, "All marriages between a white person and a colored person...shall be absolutely void. You cannot be the wife of a colored man."

  • Box-folder 42:73

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. Solomon Collins, August 12, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he his holding Collins' birth certificate until the "question of your pedigree is established." Plecker points out that Collins has contradicted himself about where his grandfather is born. Plecker also writes that without the records of North Carolina and Tennessee, he cannot trace the ancestry or accept Collins' birth certificate.

  • Box-folder 42:74

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. E.P. Hyman, American Red Cross, August 18, 1944

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker asks the Red Cross if the Turners are trying to pass as Indian. He writes, "Their efforts seem to be looked upon sympathetically by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which has endeavored to declare large groups as Indian by proclamation." Also J. E Daniel, Chairman of the Selective Service has responded to Plecker that Turner is illegitimate, his racial status is falsely designated as white, and that Turner is a member of a group that calls themselves Portuguese.

  • Box-folder 42:75

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Gillie Ann Cooley, August 18, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he cannot accept the birth certificate for her son, David because of a lack of background information. He writes, "It is too bad that a person of your age, 80 years old, can tell us nothing at all about your grandparents...It is useless to write further unless you can answer the questions which we asked."

  • Box-folder 42:76

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. James A. Lethcoe, August 29, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he cannot accept the birth certificate for her child, Ellamae Pearl Lethcoe because she has given conflicting information on the names of her parents.

  • Box-folder 42:77

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. W. R. Harrup, Manager, Western Union Telegraph Company, September 9, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker responds that there is no birth certificate on file for Herman Carl Floyd but he can send a form and questionnaire so that he can be registered. He reminds them that registering falsely is a felony and carries a penalty of one year in the penitentiary.

  • Box-folder 42:78

    W. A. Plecker to Employment Certificating Service, Murrell Dobbins Vocational School, October 13, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes he has received their request "for a birth certificate for a negro, Gilbert Emerson Page" but the facts are inaccurately given for racial status; Indian instead of "negro."

  • Box-folder 42:79

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. T. Moore Butler, Commonwealth Attorney, Covington, Virginia, October 18, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he is sending him a photostat copy of the birth certificate of Betty Lou Margret Thompson. He also writes that an "Act of 1944 requires his office to put on the backs of the original certificate... information as to the pedigree when incorrect statements as to race have been made."

  • Box-folder 42:80

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Jean M. Lambeth, October 19, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he needs more information on the birth certificate for Mrs. Daisy Lyons Wingate, daughter of William B. Lyons and Clara Catherine Gibson."Since you have vouched for these people and realize the seriousness of it, we expect you to make a special effort to obtain the truth for us."

  • Box-folder 42:81

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. [Miss] Jean Lambeth, October 23, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that she gives no evidence that Clara Catherine Gibson, the mother of Mrs. Daisy Lyons Wingate, is white. He advises her to tell the Gibsons that more information is needed and that if they are white they would want to give the information so it could be placed in their records for their future protection.

  • Box-folder 42:82

    W. A. Plecker to Dr. A. L. Herring, October 27, 1944

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker writes that he has received the birth certificate for Elmer Davis Adams and responds that the "Adams and Allmond families belong to stock descended from the free negroes..." He advises that the simplest thing to do is to have a doctor sign a new certificate. He also warns that the Grace Hospital watch carefully when admitting patients. He adds that the University of Virginia Hospital often writes to his office to verify the race of some patients.

  • Box-folder 42:83

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Katherine E. Taliaferro, Clerk, Selective Service, Isle of Wight, Virginia, November 1, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker responds to her inquiry that, according to the certificate on file, the race of the mother, Mary Elizabeth Gay is given as "Mixed."

  • Box-folder 42:84

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. Roger Edwards, November 3, 1944

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he is very surprised that the Adams have affidavits with Edwards' signature verifying that they are Indians because Plecker's office has a birth certificate signed by Edwards stating that Adams is mixed. Plecker also writes, "I shall be glad to hear from you just why you are contradicting yourself." Plecker also mentions the King William County petition from 100 years ago to remove the reservations because the Indians are now all mixed.

  • Box-folder 42:85

    W. A. Plecker to Dr. A. W. Lewis, Aylett, Virginia, November 3, 1944

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker writes that the Adams family is using an affidavit, with Aylett's signature and stating that they are Indian, to be admitted into the white wards of the Medical College Hospital. Plecker requests that he explain why citizens are signing this affidavit.

  • Box-folder 42:86

    W. A. Plecker to M. A. Taff, Jr., Director, Division of Public Health Statistics, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 8, 1945

    TLS, 3 pp

    Plecker writes that he is delighted at the great work Taft is doing in New Orleans and refers to him as Elijah, maintainer of the truth. Plecker is grateful for the Attorney General's new law that will allow the registrar to indicate the correct racial designation on the back of certificates. He writes that the other registrars laugh at him and think he is "an old crank trying to do the impossible."

  • Box-folder 42:87

    W. A. Plecker to James A. Perry, Commissioner Georgia Public Service, February 16, 1945

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker received Perry's letter about a book on racial intermixture and writes to him, "There are quite a number of freaks of this sort who write books of that kind. They do not know it but they get their ideas from Communistic sources, frequently from foreign college professors. Every farmer boy knows that you cannot mix various types and breeds of stock and get anything but poor results. The same applies equally to human beings." He ends by saying that he hopes Georgia will follow Virginia on the race question and prevent racial intermarriage.

  • Box-folder 42:88

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Mabel Brady Clark, March 9, 1945

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he is returning the birth certificate for Wilridge Alexander Clark because he is "a descendant of a free negro" and thus cannot be registered as white.

  • Box-folder 42:89

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. J. P. Beatty, March 28, 1945

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker responds to an inquiry about the racial status of Schuler Branham who is from "a mulatto family" by writing, "These people should not be allowed to pass as white or as Indians. They should not attend white schools and, above all, no white person should intermarry with them. I am sorry you did not tell us just what business they are engaged in and something more about them. We shall appreciate having as full a description of their doings as you may give."

  • Box-folder 42:90

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. J. H. Whittington, Chief Attorney,Veterans Administration, Roanoke,Virginia, April 2, 1945

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he miswrote when he informed him that Rosa Wood was kin to the Clark family. He writes, "The Rosa Wood involved in your case is not one of the 'free issues' but is just an ordinary mulatto-white and negro,-though [sic] after being up amongst the 'issues' in Amherst County, they are posing as one of them and of Indian descent." He adds that the son of Rosa Wood married a white woman, Mary Hall and they were given two years in the penitentiary.

  • Box-folder 42:91

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. J. P. Beatty, Maryland, April 10, 1945

    TLS, 2 pp. on 1 L.

    Plecker compares notes with Beatty on the information concerning the Branham family and other families. He advises that any white people that have married into this family apply for annulments. He also mentions that he receives Beatty's letter about the activities of the Branham family.

  • Box-folder 42:92

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. C. S. Minter, Attorney, Covington, Virginia, April 11, 1945

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes to find out how Minter is proceeding with the annulment of the marriage between Emmett Wood and Frances Clark. He writes, "We attach great importance to this case, and we hope that you will fight it to a finish in the effort to secure an annulment for miscegenation, not for desertion or any other cause."

  • Box-folder 42:93

    W. A. Plecker to Rockingham Poultry Marketing Corporation, Inc. Timberville, Virginia, April 16, 1945

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker responds to their inquiry on the race of Dorothy Lucille Floyd by writing that they wait until Plecker's office can verify the race. He writes, "Do not consider this girl as white unless you secure our endorsem*nt to that effect."

  • Box-folder 42:94

    W. A. Plecker to John H. Powell, May 2, 1946

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he cannot accept Powell's birth certificate because his questionnaire is incomplete.

  • Box-folder 42:95

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. Faint Collier, May 2, 1946

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he cannot accept Collier's birth certificate because his mother is a native of Kentucky, and his office does not have records other than Virginia or before the year 1853.

  • Box-folder 42:96

    W. A. Plecker to Miss Dorothy Dix Dodson, May 15, 1946

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he cannot accept Dodson's birth certificate as white because she lists her father as white and her mother as Indian and his records show that her mother, Rose Hurt is colored. He also writes that there is no marriage license for her parents, as expected since intermarriage is illegal. On another subject, he questions the authenticity of her Bible since the notary public states that it was printed in 1611. He asks for a copy of the Bible record and a correct printed date.

  • Box-folder 42:97

    W. A. Plecker to Dr. I. C. Riggin, State Health Commissioner, May 25, 1946

    1 TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker insists, in reference to a letter from Mr. Stuart F. Head, a Charlottesville attorney, that Donald Wayne Wheeler is "colored." Plecker also writes that, "Mr. Head is trying to eliminate my opinion through you and that he should be required to submit the child or, at least, a good photograph of him to you for your inspection." Plecker also writes that he is willing to testify in court.

  • Box-folder 42:98

    W. A. Plecker to Dr. Ira C. Riggin, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Health, May 27, 1946

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker's writes, "Since I have much surpassed the age limit of service as a State official, I am hereby tendering my resignation as State Registrar of Vital Statistics, effective June 30, 1946." He also writes that he would like to continue to have access to the racial files (which he says are the best records to be found anywhere) and to work with Miss Kelley by helping her write difficult correspondence concerning correct registrations. He also writes, "Of course, I would have no other connection with the direction of the Bureau, even though I might be Registrar Emeritus."

  • Box-folder 42:99

    W. A. Plecker to Dr. Spotswood Robins, June 4, 1946

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker corresponds with Dr. Robins about the racial status of the Hague child. The mother is Frances Lillian Dalton and Plecker asks for more information on their background. Plecker writes, "We would not consider it safe to decide the case upon pigmentation of the genitalia alone without documentary evidence or marked facial characteristics."

  • Box-folder 42:100

    W. A. Plecker to Dr. Samuel H. Nixon, June 17, 1946

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that there is no reliable blood test for determining race and that mostly they use genealogical records, such as births, deaths, marriages, census reports and tax lists. Plecker encloses to Nixon a list of some mixed families that they have traced. He also writes that they like to know the appearance of the family and how they are viewed by the community.

  • Box-folder 42:101

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. N.B. Pfeiffer, June 19, 1946

    TLS, 2 pp.

    Plecker answers an inquiry on the latest eugenics legislation. He explains that there have not been any new laws since the 1924 Racial Integrity Act. He encloses a list of names of the families who are mixed breeds trying to register as Indian or white. He also writes about the history of these families and his plans to write a book to be titled, Virginia's Vanished Race.

  • Box-folder 42:102

    W. A. Plecker to Mr. E. F. Hargis, Clerk, Circuit Court, Lebanon, Virginia, June 26, 1946

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he has a request from a lawyer for a birth certificate for Thelma Evelyn Burton but he cannot issue the certificate as white since her parents are falsely reported white. Plecker asks Hargis for more information on the Burton and Keith families.

  • Box-folder 42:103

    W. A. Plecker to John Powell, June 29, 1946

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that today is his last day of service as State Registrar of Vital Statistics. (He is past 85 years of age.) He writes that Powell will no longer be receiving copies of the correspondence from Plecker as registrar. He points out that if the copies are kept they will give a good history of the racial issues and in cases where no mixture was found, the letters should be eliminated. He also writes that his plans are to publish a work titled, The Vanished Race and Other Studies in Virginia Demographics.

  • Box-folder 42:104

    W. A. Plecker to Mrs. Gilbert Shifflett, June 29, 1946

    TLS, 1 p.

    Plecker writes that he cannot accept the birth certificate for Alfred Lee Shifflett because she has not completed the questionnaire.

  • Box-folder 42:105

    Norton Mason, M.D. to John Powell, July 29, 1963

    TLS 1 p.

    Mason writes, "The P.O. Dept. in Washington is a disgrace, now being controlled by negroes."

  • Box-folder 42:106

    Judge Edwin Bolt to Dr. W.A. Plecker, n.d.

    ALS, 2 pp.

    Bolt writes that he heard that Plecker and Powell have a list of prominent people who are "negroid" and he would like to have this data for his campaign. He also writes that he is furious with Freeman Douglas for not being there.

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