Charles L. Coon papers, 1775-1931.

Creator: Coon, Charles L. (Charles Lee), 1868-1927.
Collection number: 177
View finding aid.

Abstract: Educator, educational historian, and child labor reformer Charles L. Coon taught in Lincoln County and Charlotte, N.C., and served as superintendent of schools in Salisbury, N.C., 1903; as superintendent of African American normal schools in North Carolina, 1904-1906; as chief clerk of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 1907; and as superintendent of schools in Wilson and Wilson County, N.C., 1907-1927. Correspondence and writings include material related to Coon’s work as an educator and education reformer, including his efforts to improve education for African Americans, especially regarding funding and teacher training. Topics in education include curricula; the establishment of a school for the mentally handicapped; adoption of textbooks; teacher training, certification, and evaluation; farm life schools; legislation for mandatory school terms; professional ethics; school athletics; school financing; and Coon’s work for the Bureau of Information of the Southern Education Board, the North Carolina Teachers Assembly, North Carolina African American normal schools, and the schools of Salisbury, N.C., and Wilson County, N.C. Also included are materials about child labor reform; social services; Coon’s work with the North Carolina Child Labor Committee and the Wilson Welfare League; pacifism and peace movements; juvenile crime, especially as it relates to illiteracy; and the establishment of a tuberculosis hospital for African Americans. Prominent correspondents include Booker T. Washington, Charles Brantley Aycock, Clarence Poe, A. J. McKelway, and Claude Kitchin. Educational materials include collected articles on education; notes on the history of education; and subject files on various topics in education, information about North Carolina schools and teachers, and teaching and testing materials. In addition, there are documents pertaining to Coon’s historical research, especially the educational history of North Carolina; materials regarding residents of Mecklenburg County, N.C., 1775-1874; and clipping files, chiefly related to education.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Discussions of African-American education can be found throughout the collection, including correspondence with E. E. Smith, F. M. Kennedy, J. B. Dawdle, J. D. Raid, and Booker T. Washington, among others (1909, 1912-1913). Papers also discuss the northern migration and African-American tuberculosis hospitals. Scrapbooks and other materials reflect Coon’s various interests including North Carolina history and juvenile crime among blacks and whites in North Carolina (1910-1911).