Harry J. Bowie Papers, 1964-1967

Scope and Content Note

The collection documents Rev. Bowie's activities in the McComb area between the summer of 1964 and the summer of 1967, as well as the agencies with which the Delta Ministry cooperated, or those it helped to establish. A variety of material is filed under the various headings: limited correspondence, affidavits, personnel forms, notes, circulars, information sheets, etc.

When many arrests of Negroes and white volunteers were made in October 1964 and March 1965, Rev. Bowie provided the bail with funds received from the National Council of Churches, the American Conscience Fund (headed by Drew Pearson), and his own resources. Although most of the bail money was refunded when the cases were settled, the problems he encountered in dealing with these arrests are shown in Box 1, Folder 2.

An indication of the financial involvement of the National Council's Delta Ministry may be obtained from an examination of Folder 9 in Box 1 and of Rev. Bowie's personal records in Folder 3. Box 3 is a card file showing personnel who either became associated with or wanted to become associated with the movement in 1964, and listing the names and titles of local residents and officials with whom the McComb Ministers' Project had to have contact. Volumes 2 and 3 contain many newspaper stories concerning civil rights in Mississippi between June 24, 1964 and August 18, 1965.

The card file and Volumes 2 and 3 (scrapbooks of news clippings) have been microfilmed and the originals discarded.