Richardson Preyer papers, ca. 1900-2004.

Creator: Preyer, Richardson.
Collection number: 5111
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Abstract: Lunsford Richardson Preyer (1919-2001) was a lawyer, judge, politician, educator, and civic and philanthropic leader from Greensboro, N.C. The collection documents the public and private life of “Rich” Preyer; his wife, Emily Harris Preyer (1919-1999); their children; and other Preyer and Richardson family members. Political papers document Preyer from his failed candidacy for governor of North Carolina in 1964 to his role as an advisor and fundraiser for the Democratic Party after he left elected office in 1981. Most materials pertain to his six-terms in Congress representing the sixth district of North Carolina, including his service on the Select Committee on Assassinations. Also documented are the Preyers’ extensive civic and philanthropic work for education, the environment, health care, legal affairs, politics, social uplift, and the First Presbyterian Church. Richardson family materials show Preyer’s contributions to family interests, including the Vick Chemical Company; the Lunsford Richardson Memorial Hospital, which served African Americans in Greensboro; the Smith Richardson Foundation, Inc.; and other family businesses. Preyer’s law practice and judicial appointments are also documented, as are his speaking and teaching activities after 1981. These materials reflect Preyer’s interests in education, the Democratic Party, ethics, media, politics, and health policy. Emily Harris Preyer papers include speeches and other materials that document her roles as civic leader in her own right and supportive wife of a politician. Also included are biographical materials, scrapbooks, photographs, audio-visual items, and other materials documenting familial relationships and academic and leisure activities of Preyer and his family.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: The collection includes correspondence, reports, and financial materials relating to administration of Lunsford Richardson Memorial Hospital (LRMH), which opened its doors in 1930 to serve the African American community in Greensboro, N.C.

Items pertaining to LRMH are primarily in Subseries 3.3. Materials concern personnel matters, including discussion of the importance of hiring a black rather than a white hospital administrator; financial management and mismanagement; the impact of Cone Memorial Hospital on LRMH; the training of black health care workers, including termination of the hospital’s nurse training program and establishment of a new program at North Carolina Agriculture and Technical College with support from the Smith Richardson Foundation, Inc.; racial tension over who should treat the most challenging cases at LRMH; and the new building campaign.

There are also files that relate to political issues and the Democratic Party which Preyer was a member of, including files on desegregation (Folder 332) foreign relations in African, as well as interactions with Africans and African Americans (Folders 350-353).