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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.
|5.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1300 items)
|The collection documents the education and career of James Alexander Boyer (1909-1998), an African American educator, professor of English, dean of the College, and College president at St. Augustine's College of Raleigh, N.C., and his father, Charles Henry Boyer (1869-1942), who also was an African American educator and dean at St. Augustine's College. It contains scattered records and publications of St. Augustine's College, including histories and speeches, and materials relating to the work of James Alexander Boyer and the Educational Leadership and Human Relations Center to ameliorate the problems of desegregation of public education in North Carolina during the late 1960s. Other materials document James Alexander Boyer's intellectual interests; his service on the "slaveship" S.S. Naushon steamship and as a literacy remediation instructor in the U.S. Navy during World War II; and Boyer family history, including their friendship with Bessie and Sadie Delany. Audio tapes include discussions about prominent African American political figures and a 1997 conversation involving Boyer and others about the history of college athletics at St. Augustine's.
|Boyer, James Alexander, 1909-1998.
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.
Processed by: Matthew Turi, September 2002
Encoded by: Matthew Turi, September 2002
Updated by: Nancy Kaiser, March 2019; Anne Wells, August 2019; Patrick Cullom, July 2022; Jodi Berkowitz, November 2022
Since August 2017, we have added ethnic and racial identities for individuals and families represented in collections. To determine identity, we rely on self-identification; other information supplied to the repository by collection creators or sources; public records, press accounts, and secondary sources; and contextual information in the collection materials. Omissions of ethnic and racial identities in finding aids created or updated after August 2017 are an indication of insufficient information to make an educated guess or an individual's preference for identity information to be excluded from description. When we have misidentified, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In November 2022 the decision was made to integrate all accessions (Acc. 99189, 99260, 99305, 101596, 103359).Back to Top
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.
Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.
James Alexander Boyer's life was inextricably bound to St. Augustine's College of Raleigh, N.C. On 15 June 1909, he was born on its campus, where his father, Charles H. Boyer, taught and later served as the institution's first African American dean.
James Alexander Boyer received his elementary and secondary education at St. Augustine's. After completing the two years of post-secondary instruction that were then offered by the College, Boyer went on to finish his bachelor's degree at Morehouse College in 1931. In 1934, he earned a master's degree from Atlanta University and returned to St. Augustine's as chair of its English department. In 1940, he began work in a doctoral program at the University of Michigan, but his studies were interrupted by service in the United States Navy, 1942-1946. After his discharge, Boyer returned briefly to St. Augustine's and then resumed his doctoral work at Michigan.
After receiving his Ph.D., Boyer became dean of the College at St. Augustine's. After serving in this capacity from 1949 to 1955, he assumed the presidency of the College and served in this capacity until 1967. Upon his retirement, he continued to teach and play an active role within the St. Augustine's community until his death on 28 Feburary 1998.
Charles Henry Boyer (1869-1942), the father of James Alexander Boyer, graduated from Yale University in 1896. He joined the faculty at St. Augustine's College the same year to teach mathematics, Greek, and athletics. He retired in 1936 as dean of St. Augustine's College.Back to Top
The collection includes papers that reflect the career of James Alexander Boyer, an African American educator, who was professor of English, dean of the College, and president at St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, N.C. Documented are Boyer's intellectual interests and honors received, his education, his service in the United States Navy during World War II, Boyer family history, and scattered St. Augustine's College records and publications. With the exception of speaking notes and a few lesson planners, there are no documents relating to Boyer's official duties and responsibilities at St. Augustine's. Also included are materials relating to the work of James Alexander Boyer and the Educational Leadership and Human Relations Center to ameliorate the problems of desegregation of public education in North Carolina during the late 1960s. Other materials document James Alexander Boyer's service on the "slaveship" S.S. Naushon steamship and as a literacy remediation instructor in the U.S. Navy during World War II; his dissertation on Thomas Henry Huxley; and the Boyer family friendship with Bessie and Sadie Delany. Audio recordings in the collection include discussions about prominent African American political figures and a 1997 conversation involving Boyer and others about the history of college athletics at St. Augustine's. Photographs depict James A. Boyer at different points in his life, including his childhood, years at St. Augustine's, service in the U.S. Navy, and the Boyer family from the early 1900s-1960s.Back to Top
Acquisitions Information: Accessions 99189, 99260, 99305, 101596, 103359
Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject.
The collection includes papers that reflect the career of James Alexander Boyer, an African American educator, who was professor of English, dean of the College, and president at St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, N.C. Documented are Boyer's intellectual interests and honors received, his education, his service in the United States Navy during World War II, Boyer family history, and scattered St. Augustine's College records and publications. With the exception of speaking notes and a few lesson planners, there are no documents relating to Boyer's official duties and responsibilities at St. Augustine's. Also included are materials relating to the work of James Alexander Boyer and the Educational Leadership and Human Relations Center to ameliorate the problems of desegregation of public education in North Carolina during the late 1960s. Other materials document James Alexander Boyer's service on the "slaveship" S.S. Naushon steamship and as a literacy remediation instructor in the U.S. Navy during World War II; his dissertation on Thomas Henry Huxley; and the Boyer family friendship with Bessie and Sadie Delany. Also included are five audio recordings on 1/4" open reel audio and audiocassette.
Biographical information for James Alexander Boyer and Charles H. Boyer (12 November 1869-11 March 1942) consists of oral history, will, curriculum vitae and timelines, vital records, school records from Morehouse, the University of Michigan, and Yale, copies of photographs of home in Raleigh, pension and retirement records, honors, and diplomas.
Includes items received by James Alexander Boyer and Charles H. Boyer.
Includes a letter, 1935, from Charles H. Boyer to Mrs. Annie (or Anna) E. F. Washington, a copy of the Yale Obituary Record for Charles H. Boyer, a Boyer family tree, and a letter and telegram received by Emma Boyer following the death of James A. Boyer, 1998.
Entries include a list of books read and quotations with reflections.
Primarily cover topics of St. Augustine's College and the Boyer family, and are largely from The Carolinian and other local Raleigh papers.
The Delany sisters, Annie Elizabeth ("Dr. Bessie") Delany (3 September 1891-September 1995) and Sarah Louise ("Sadie") Delany (19 September 1889-25 January 1999), were the daughters of Rev. Henry Beard Delany and Nanny Logan Delany. Rev. Delany was vice-principal of St. Augustine's School (later College) in Raleigh, N.C. and the first elected bishop of color of the Episcopal Church, and Mrs. Delany was a teacher and administrator. Dr. Bessie Delany was a 1911 graduate of St. Augustine's School and in 1923 earned a doctor of dental surgery degree from Columbia University, becoming the second Black woman dentist licented to practice dentistry in New York, which she did until her retirement in 1950. Sadie was a graduate of St. Augustine's School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Pratt Institute in New York and a Master's degree from Teacher's College, Columbia University.
Papers include correspondence between Bessie and Sadie Delany and James and Emma Boyer, copies of photographs of the Delany family, funeral programs for Bessie and Sadie Delany, and clippings.
Entries describe work as an instructor in literacy remediation at Great Lakes, Ill., and other service assignments in the U.S. Navy.
The Educational Leadership and Human Relations Center was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and hosted on the campus of St. Augustine's College. The Center sought to help "the educational and community leaders of North Carolina attain the insights and skills necessary to cope with administrative, instructional and community problems rising out of school desegregation" (The Center / A Purpose booklet)
Notes taken at conferences and other meetings, possibly Advisory Council meetings, on loose papers and in notebooks.
Other materials include a proposal for an operating grant for St. Augustine's College for a project to address the need for "raising the level of professional competence of school personnel in eastern North Carolina schools that either have recently desegregated or else are in the process of desegregating."
Other supporting materials include an overview of and a budget for the Educational Leadership and Human Relations Center for Civil Rights; reading lists on group guidance and group counseling; African American lived experience, racism, and socioeconomic conditions.
Includes the initiation form of James A. Boyer and a membership list.
Includes printed articles and typed essays ("The Negro in Art").
James A. Boyer worked on the Naushon steamship, a vessel of the New Bedford, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket Line, to support himself during college and graduate school. Items include numerous certificates from the U.S. Department of Commerce, receipts and cards documenting his membership in the Seafarers' International Union of North America, a copy of the contract between the Union and the Steamship company, and clippings.
Transcripts and notes of speeches given by James A. Boyer in his capacity as president of St. Augustine's College. Most of these speeches are prepared on index cards on topics including Boyer's notions of the proper behavior and educational goals of college freshmen, the virtues of acquiring an education at St. Augustine's College, and the then current state of African American education; five notebooks that Boyer used as lesson planners for Freshman English 1A and Advanced Composition that he taught 1938-1940 and 1946-1948; and a variety of printed materials related to events at or about St. Augustine's that Boyer attended. These occasions ranged from church services at the campus chapel and graduation cermonies to building dedications and the awarding of honorary degrees.
Photocopy of a book written by Cecil D. Halliburton and published by St. Augustine's College in 1937. It is followed by a transcript continuation of St. Augustine's College's history through 1958.
Tape contains a conversation among James Alexander Boyer, Coach H. Heartley, L. Simmons Henry, and Emma Perry Boyer about the history of college athletics at St. Augustine's, recorded 25 July 1997.
Includes yearbooks, commencements, histories of the college.
Includes speeches, contracts, clippings, notes on 125th anniversary planning, 1956 inauguration, speech at 1966 retirement from presidency, plots owned at Oakwood Cemetery.
Contains marginal notes by James A. Boyer.
Includes discharge papers, clippings about literacy remediation school, correspondence.
President Johnson's State of the Union Message continued, 1967; arguments against Washington School track system, a message from Governor Maddox of Georgia and comments from Congressman Powell
1/4" Open Reel Audio
Recording contains the second half of Johnson's 1967 State of the Union address and comments about the speech from news reports and public interviews, and continues with a discussion opposed to the Washington school track system, a message from Grover Maddox of Georgia, and further discussion about Congressman Powell and African Americans in general.
Comments for and against Adam Clayton Powell, Mr. Edwards Brooks goes to Washington, and President Johnson's State of the Union, 1967; Comments by Dr. Francis O. Wilcox and guest of John Hopkins University, Dr. James M. Nabrit, from Howard University
1/4" Open Reel Audio
Recording contains a discussion "for and against" Congressman Adam Clayton Powell and Senator Edward Brooks, President Lyndon Johnson's 1967 State of the Union Address, and a discussion between Francis O. Wilcox of Johns Hopkins University and James M. Nabrit of Howard University.
1/4" Open Reel Audio
Recording contains a 1966-1967 talk show hosted by Jamie Brag Top of Washington, D.C.
|Extra Oversize Paper Folder XOPF-5088/1
Acquisitions Information: Accessions 101596 and 103559
Photographs depict James A. Boyer at different points of his life, including 4th-5th grade class portrait at Crosby-Garfield school in Raleigh, ca. 1919; St. Augustine's athletics, his service on the "slaveship" S.S. Naushon and in the U.S. Navy, as well as some family photographs. Also included are images of James A. Boyer's father, Charles H. Boyer, depicting him on campus as a faculty member and as Dean, as well as some family photographs.
Descriptions in quotation marks were transcribed from original captions or notes found with materials.
|Image Folder PF-5088/1
Black-and-white photographic prints and photographic negative (copy)
3 images; printed materials
Notes indicate image includes Dr. James Boyer, who was in the 5th grade.
|Image Folder PF-5088/2
|Image Folder PF-5088/3
|Image Folder PF-5088/4
James A. Boyer worked on the crew of this ship. Images depict both the ship itself and Boyer.
Verso 1: "Slave ship 'Naushon' my 'ticket' through college and grad. school"
Verso 2:"Slaveship New Bedford, Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket."
|Image Folder PF-5088/5
|Image Folder PF-5088/6
|Image Folder PF-5088/7
|Image Folder PF-5088/8
"Company 502 1942, E.J. O'Brien, C.S.P. Co. Com'd, July 16 1942, U.S. Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Ill.," circa 1942-1945Black-and-white photographic print
Boyer with his Naval training class.
Image Folder PF-5088/9-12
Photographic negatives for some prints in PF-5088/3-5.
|Image Folder PF-5088/13
Accession 103559 (Addition of February 2019).
Image Folder PF-5088/14-18
|Image Folder PF-5088/19
|Image Folder PF-5088/20
Includes 3 images from original deposits (Acc. 99189 and 99305): 2 portraits of Boyer's father Charles Boyer with graduating class and one image of the Boyer family at the dedication of the Charles Henry Boyer Classroom Building on the campus of St. Augustine's College, Raleigh, N.C., 1970.
Image Folder PF-5088/21-22
|Oversize Image Folder OP-PF-5088/1
Original deposits (Acc. 99189 and 99305)
|Image Folder PF-5088/23
|Image Folder PF-5088/24
Accession 103559 (Addition of February 2019).
|Image Folder PF-5088/25
Includes an image of the Boyer Family, circa 1920s and two portraits of James A. Boyer, circa 1960s