R. Hunter Morey Papers, 1962-1967

Scope and Content Note

The papers of R. Hunter Morey have been arranged into four series, reflecting the various organizations and groups with which he was associated. The series are: Child Development Group of Mississippi Records, Records of the COFO Legal Coordinator, Young Democratic Club of Mississippi Records, and Other Papers.

Records of the CHILD DEVELOPMENT GROUP OF MISSISSIPPI include Morey's files kept while administrative assistant to the associate director of the field operations division, area administration section, Jesse Paris. Organized during the summer of 1965, CDGM was a federally-sponsored program designed to feed, educate, and generally improve the condition of underprivileged young black children throughout the state, while providing employment and training for local poor people. A number of other centers operated on a voluntary basis under CDGM direction, but with no federal funding. According to CDGM statistics, as of June 1966, 2272 employees worked with 12,145 children in 121 centers in the state. Many of the records in this series are administrative in nature, such as the correspondence and internal memoranda, records of CDGM centers, requisitions for food supplies, staffing and personnel, and transportation and travel records, although Morey's handwritten notes may be found throughout the files. Additional information about the goals and work of the Group is located in Morey's notes as well as in the typewritten minutes of meetings of the administrative staff, administrators of the various CDGM divisions or areas within the state, the board of directors and executive committee, and other committees. Criticism of CDGM's financial operations and effectiveness, particularly by Mississippi and Southern congressmen and legislators, led to a curtailment and cut in funds by the Office of Economic Opportunity in 1966. A detailed funding proposal prepared for OEO in response to the criticism, plus a folder of history and fact sheets, and the program reports of the management firm of Klein and Saks, Inc., provide a view of the internal structure and weaknesses of CDGM.

The records of the COFO LEGAL COORDINATOR contain correspondence, memoranda, reports, and printed material dealing with the efforts of Morey and other COFO staff members to provide legal services in preparation for the Freedom Summer of 1964. COFO, SNCC, and CORE offices were staffed by a volunteer corps of lawyers and law students, who served on a rotating basis throughout the summer while gathering evidence, doing research, and ultimately, providing legal advice and representation for civil rights workers arrested in Mississippi. The legal coordinator's office coordinated their efforts, and also maintained records of incidents of harassment, intimidation, and violence; prepared a number of legal rights manuals; worked with members of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) in preparation for its election challenges of 1964 and 1965; and with various legal organizations in the north. Volunteer attorneys were affiliated with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., National Lawyers Guild, and the Law Student Civil Rights Research Council. Their files contain correspondence and other papers regarding arrangements between COFO and the legal groups. General information about the work of COFO and the legal coordinator may be found within the administrative and official records and reports (see especially Morey's report of July 6, 1964, Box 3, Folder 1); correspondence, both general and with other organizations; minutes of the COFO legal advisory committee; and the legal rights manuals. Copies of legal cases filed by or for COFO members are also present, as are a few papers dealing with MFDP and Mississippi Freedom Labor Union matters.

The YOUNG DEMOCRATIC CLUB OF MISSISSIPPI RECORDS include some administrative material such as address, mailing and membership lists; and membership applications, but of greater interest may be the correspondence and related material, and the records of the YDCM charter applications and rejections, and conventions and reorganization. These files contain correspondence, notes, minutes of meetings, constitutions and by-laws and drafts, YDCM printed statements, and newsclippings. The original Club lost its charter in 1962, and in 1964 and 1965, various groups attempted to gain national recognition; one of which was led by Morey and his associates. Differences between individuals and groups led to a split between the COFO and MFDP Young Democrats and the more moderate Mississippi Democratic faction, which culminated in a walk-out by the moderates and an open breach at the state convention in August 1965. The Freedom Democrats were unsuccessful in several attempts to gain the charter and open the way for recognition of the FDP as the official state Democratic party. Further accounts of this struggle may be found in the folder on YDCM conventions and reorganization, and on a tape recording of the August 14, 1965 convention session. See especially a newspaper article written by Hodding Carter III, an anti-FDP leader (The Delta Democrat-Times, Greenville, Mississippi, August 17, 1965).

The OTHER PAPERS in the collection primarily contain correspondence relating to Morey's service with CORE in High Point, North Carolina in 1963, membership in the Socialist Party, Young People's Socialist League, and Student Peace Union, and fragmentary printed SNCC records. There is also a file of personal correspondence and papers, which includes two small undated notebooks, and a 1962-1963 assignment and date calendar covering his semester in law school, and early civil rights work.