Hilary A. Herbert papers, 1864-1931.

Creator: Herbert, Hilary A. (Hilary Abner), 1834-1919.
Collection number: 2481
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Abstract: Alabama and Washington, D.C., lawyer, author, Democratic U. S. representative, 1877-1893, and secretary of the Navy, 1893-1897. Correspondence, writings, speeches, and scrapbooks of Hilary A. Herbert. Correspondence, 1892-1919, is with friends, including many national politicians, concerning politics, foreign affairs, and, from 1904, Reconstruction and the race question. Also included are Herbert’s speeches; a “History of the 9th Alabama Regiment, C.S.A.,” written in 1864; European travel notes, 1887; historical, patriotic, and general articles; diary, 1910-1917; scrapbooks of his career; notes on his book, The Abolition Crusade and its Consequences; and reminiscences written 1903 and 1917 covering his early life in Laurens, S.C., and Greenville, Ala., his education at the University of Alabama and the University of Virginia, his Confederate service, and his political career, and containing his reflections on slavery, abolition, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the race question. Also included are scattered papers of his daughter, Ella (Mrs. Benjamin) Micou of Washington, D.C.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: After 1903 much of the correspondence focuses on race relations in the South. Included are letters which discuss Herbert’s efforts to bring Theodore Roosevelt and the South to an accord on southern race relations, to promote inter-sectional understanding, and to explain the South’s “Negro problem” (1904-1909). Other letters address national government’s domestic race policies (1904); Reconstruction and southern racial issues (1904-1905). See Folders 5-7.

There is also a 12 August 1909 letter from Booker T. Washington, thanking Herbert for his decision in a legal case involving the employment of African American by the Georgia Railroad (Folder 7).

The collection also contains Herbert’s “Reminiscences”, which express his thoughts on slavery and abolitionists (1903, 1917), and popular reactions to his book, The Abolition Crusade and its Consequences (See Folders 27-28).