Daniel H. Pollitt Papers, 1935-2009

Creator: Pollitt, Daniel H.
Collection number: 5498
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Abstract: Daniel Hubbard Pollitt (1921-2010) was a law professor, civil liberties lawyer, progressive activist, and staunch advocate and defender of civil liberties and civil rights. The collection documents Daniel H. Pollitt’s legal career and his scholarly and public service interests and activities. The bulk of the collection consists of Pollitt’s subject files. Major topics include ABSCAM and other congressional ethics controversies; amnesty for draft dodgers and deserters; planning a law school with a focus on public service; civil rights, especially school desegregration and employment discrimination; the death penalty in North Carolina; government employee strikes; self-incrimination and the House Un-American Activities Committee, especially with regard to Lillian Hellman and Arthur Miller; Hobby v. United States, a case about grand jury foreman selection that Pollitt argued before the United States Supreme Court; impeachment; labor, especially the reorganization of the National Labor Relations Board, migrant workers, and the Brookside Mine Strike in Harlan County, Ky.; the North Carolina speaker ban; and Supreme Court nominations. Numerous other topics are covered in these files, many of which concern narrower aspects of constitutional law, such as separation of church and state and search and seizure. Subject files also document long collaborations with a number of legal scholars, civil liberties attorneys, and government officials, including Congressman Frank Thompson, as well as Pollitt’s work with academic associations, government agencies, and civil liberties and civil rights groups, and his teaching career and his service to the University of North Carolina. Other smaller series in the collection include Biographical Materials; Correspondence and People Files, which refer to legal cases, writings, and career activities and developments of Pollitt and others, including Joseph L. Rauh Jr., Henry Edgerton, and H.L. Mitchell; Writings, which overlap considerably with the Subject Files; and Photographs, which are chiefly of Pollitt.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: There are a number of materials that deal with civil rights, civil liberties, employment discrimination, and social justice in this collection. Folder 86 contains correspondence regarding Pollitt’s analysis of school desegregation legislation in Arkansas. Folder 105 contains correspondence with Julius Chambers, former chancellor of North Carolina Central University.

Speech topics include the KKK and the Lumbee Indians (Folder 186), racial discrimination in employment practices (Folder 198) , and legal issues in school desegregation in the South (Folder 192). There are also various subject files related to African American history and civil rights organizations in Chapel Hill (Folders 325, 331). Several subject files deal with civil rights issues in Chapel Hill and throughout the South (Folders 337-350). There are also numerous files related to the death penalty in North Carolina, including discussions of race and subject files related to particular individuals (see Folders 618-740).