W. C. George Papers, 1904-1971.

Creator: George, W. C. (Wesley Critz), 1888-1982.
Collection number:
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Abstract: Wesley Critz George was professor of histology and embryology and chair of the Anatomy Department, University of North Carolina Medical School, and an internationally recognized researcher on the genetics of race. Early items relate to George’s family and early career. Materials relating to George’s theories on the genetic basis of racial inferiority begin in 1944. There are also letters documenting George’s disputes with religious leaders, particularly at the Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill, N.C., about racial mixing in churches, and George’s disapproval of the liberal tendencies of Frank Porter Graham and Howard W. Odum at UNC. After the 1954 Brown decision, George’s fight against school integration escalated, reaching its height in 1955-1957, when George was active in the Patriots of North Carolina, Inc. Many materials, 1858-1963, relate to the North Carolina Defenders of States’ Rights, Inc., which picked up the anti-integration banner after the Patriots’ demise. George’s activities in I. Beverly Lake’s unsuccessful North Carolina gubernatorial campaign are reflected in materials dated 1958- 1960. Items, 1959-1963, document George’s interest in race problems in other countries and in the issue of academic freedom on college campuses. Correspondents include Carleton S. Coon, James P. Dees, Henry E. Garrett, Luther Hodges, R. Carter Pittman, Carleton Putnam, Clayton Rand, and Archibald Roosevelt. There are also a considerable number of letters and other items George received from individuals and organizations with extremist ideas on race relations. A scattering of family letters and a small number of items relating to George’s tenure at UNC are also included. Writings by George relate to academic freedom, civil rights, genetics and race, and communism. Also included are writings by others on race and other topics, notes, clippings, biographical materials, genealogical materials relating to the Critz and Dalton families, and a few family photographs.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: In Folder 1, there is a  1908 typed transcription of a letter from Roan Critz, former slave of Haman and Elizabeth Critz to Mrs. T. M. George about the death of her mother.

Subseries 1.2 (Correspondence from 1944 – 1954) contain 8 folders that deal mainly with George’s views on race relations,¬†primarily¬†arguing against racial mixing based on genetics. From the mid-1940s through the early 1950s, there are many letters from George to various church leaders, particularly Rev. Jones and Rev. David W. Yates, rector of the Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill, N.C., about interracial activities, both documented and alleged, in Chapel Hill churches and elsewhere.

There are also letters George wrote to Frank Porter Graham (19 April 1947) and Howard Odum (24 May 1944) on topics of racial and education.

In 1954, there are several letters George wrote after the Brown vs. the Board of Education decision, vehemently opposing school desegregation. Included are letters of support for a petition George circulated opposing school integration in Orange County, NC. Folders 10 and 11 contains these letters of support.

Throughout the rest of the correspondence in Subseries 1.3, there is also correspondence and documentation relating to groups such as Association for Preservation of the White Race, the Federation for Constitutional Government, the American Society for the Preservation of State Government and Racial Integrity, the National Association for the Advancement of White People, the Defenders of State Sovereignty and Individual Liberties, White Men Incorporated, and many states’ rights leagues and citizens’ councils. There is also some material from the American Eugenics Society

Series 2 (Writings) and Series 3 (notes) also contain George’s articles and notes about genetics, race, biology, and his issues with academic freedom.