Lenoir Chambers papers, 1907-1970.

Creator: Chambers, Lenoir, 1891-1970.
Collection number: 3827
View finding aid.

Abstract: Lenoir Chambers was a native of North Carolina. Chambers worked as a newspaper editor in Norfolk, Va., 1929- 1961, and was the author of “Stonewall Jackson” (1959) and “Salt Water and Printer’s Ink” (1967). Correspondence, speeches, writings, and research materials of Lenoir Chambers. Papers up to 1929 deal mainly with his World War I experiences as a member of the 52nd Infantry, Sixth Division, American Expeditionary Forces. There is little information about the interim period between the war and his move to Norfolk. From 1929 until 1948, newspaper affairs and editorial policies are dominent themes, especially after Chambers became editor of the “Norfolk Ledger-Dispatch” in 1944. He began writing a biography of Stonewall Jackson in 1947, and papers from 1948-1952 consist of correspondence relating to his research. In 1950 he became editor of the “Norfolk Virginian-Pilot.” “Stonewall Jackson” was published in 1959. Chambers won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1960. These events and newspaper and local political affairs appear in the correspondence. Chambers retired in 1961 and afterward continued to write and lecture and to serve on many civic and historical boards. The collection consists largely of letters to Chambers and copies of his replys, copies of his speeches and a few editorials, some maps and pictures, clippings of articles, and various drafts of his two books.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: The 1930s papers include an unpublished editorial about lynching, a news release from Atlanta, Georgia, about the Southern Commission on the Study of Lynching, and a mimeographed report about lynching from Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. Also included are a group of “Letters to the Editor” and correspondence on the Supreme Court decision on segregation in public schools (1954-1958); a report entitled “Press Coverage of the Desegregation Story” given at an American Society of Newspaper Editors convention (1955); information on the policies of newspapers in Norfolk and Princess Anne Counties, Virginia, concerning circulation to blacks (1956); drafts, booklets, and articles concerning school desegregation and the migration of blacks to the North (1958).