Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Creator:
Padmore, George, 1902-1959
Title:
George Padmore Collection
Repository:
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/td96k255d
Dates:
1933-1945
Size:
1 box
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1
Language:
English

Abstract

Consists of original letters, essays, and articles of George Padmore (1903-1959), a leading Pan-Africanist, journalist, and author. Padmore played a crucial role in developing the Fifth, Pan African Congress, and was also instrumental in organizing black labor movements from the 1930s onwards.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Description:

The collection consists of original correspondence, essays, and articles of George Padmore, from the period following his "expulsion" or resignation from the Communist Party up until the end of World War II. The correspondence is chiefly between Padmore and Henry Lee Moon, editor of the New York newspaper the New Amsterdam.

During this period, Padmore began a heated public exchange with the Communist Party, as they both were sending dueling letters to Moon, and to other newspapers for publication. Included is an essay, signed and annotated by Padmore for the Amsterdam News dated February 3, 1934, related to his expulsion from the Party. There are several autograph and typed letters to Moon. In a letter dated July 9, 1934, Padmore writes about his dispute with the Communist Party, and in another dated April 1945 he asks Moon to promote the idea of a Pan African Congress in his newspaper. Bearing the same above date, is an "Open letter to Earl Browder, Secretary of the American Communist Party," justifying Padmore's break with the Party. The editorial titled "Padmore Replies to Harry Heywood's Slanders" is also included. To be found is a letter from Moon to W. E. B. Du Bois, asking him to participate in the Fifth Pan African Congress.

Also included is an autograph letter signed from Mrs. Moon to her husband, sent from Berlin on May 11, 1933, regarding the state of black and white race relations in Nazi Germany. There are several letters and press releases, mostly sent to Moon, defending the Communist Party for expelling Padmore. There is a letter and an article from Cyril Briggs, the African-American writer and communist political activist, to Moon and the Amsterdam News, justifying the Communist Party's decision to expel Padmore, and a copy of an unsigned article "James Ford answers Padmore's Charges."

Arrangement:

Material is arranged in chronological order.

Collection Creator Biography:

Padmore, George, 1902-1959

George Padmore, born Malcolm Ivan Meredith Nurse in Trinidad, worked there as a reporter with the Trinidad Publishing Company before moving to the United States in 1924 to study medicine. In 1927 he changed his name, and became editor of the newspaper Negro Champion.

Padmore joined the American Communist Party's American Negro Labour Congress, while contributing articles to the left-wing newspaper the Daily Worker. His talents as an organizer and writer led to his appointment as head of the Communist International's "Negro Bureau." From 1929 to 1933 he was a leading agitator for colonial revolution, travelling widely and residing for periods in Moscow, Hamburg, Vienna, London and Paris, as well as editing and writing for the Negro Worker. The rise of Nazism in Germany led the Soviet Union to join the League of Nations and seek new diplomatic and military ties with Britain and France; anti-colonialism was no longer the central issue it once was for the Communist International. Disillusioned, Padmore resigned from his positions and faced vicious Stalinist slander and verbal attacks, and in 1935, left Russia and returned to England. In 1937, he formed the International African Service Bureau, later the Pan-African Federation and in 1945, together with Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah, he was central in organising the Fifth Pan African Congress held in Manchester, England, which was attended by many scholars, intellectuals and political activists who would later go on to become influential leaders in various African independence movements and the American civil rights movement.

Collection History

Acquisition:

The collection was purchased from The Raab Collection on April 11, 2008 (AM 2008-92).

Custodial History:

The collection originally was Henry Lee Moon's Archive of George Padmore.

Archival Appraisal Information:

No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Dina Britain on April 15, 2008. Finding aid written by Dina Britain on April 16, 2008.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Special Requirements for Access:

Some of the material is extremely fragile, please do not remove from the Mylar folders.

Credit this material:

George Padmore Collection; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/td96k255d
Location:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184