William Ruthrauff Amberson papers, 1919-1968; 1971.

Creator: Amberson, William Ruthrauff, b. 1894.
Collection number: 3862
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Abstract: William R. Amberson was a professor at the University of Tennessee Medical School at Memphis, 1930-1937, advisor to the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union, and trustee of the Delta and Providence cooperative farms in Mississippi. The collection is primarily personal correspondence relating to Amberson’s activities as a member of the Socialist Party and his relationship with the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union (STFU) and the Delta and Providence cooperatives farms. Also included are a few clippings, manuscript copies of some speeches and articles, eviction notices, and several financial papers, including receipts of tenants and expense sheets of H. L. Mitchell, secretary of the STFU. Also scattered through the main body of the papers are items dealing with the Socialist Party in Tennessee, the Communist Party in the South, the Llano del Rio Cooperative Colony in Louisiana, race relations, the condition of the southern tenant farmer, and southern politics. Correspondents include Roger Baldwin, C. T. Carpenter, Sherwood Eddy, Sam H. Franklin, Robert S. Keebler, Howard Kester, Koss Kimberlin, George Lambert, A. James McDonald, Mary Connor Myers, Clarence Senior, Norman Thomas, Frank Trager, Blaine Treadway, James Peter Warbasse, and Lawrence Westbrook. Also included is a small amount of correspondence with Pauli Murray, regarding Amberson’s participation in a March 1940 National Sharecroppers Week event. Later correspondence documents Amberson’s donation of his papers to the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition, there is a very small amount of scattered family correspondence, as well as professional correspondence relating to Amberson’s work at the University of Tennessee Medical School at Memphis and later at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, circa 1939 to 1959, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., after 1960.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Correspondence and other papers of Amberson, native of Pennsylvania, while he was a professor at the University of Tennessee Medical School at Memphis, advisor to the Southern Tenant Farmers Union, and trustee of the Delta and Providence Cooperative Farms in Mississippi. Discussions at times relate to race relations.