Collection Number: 05088

Collection Title: James Alexander Boyer Papers, 1893-2000

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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.


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Size About 1300 items (5.0 linear feet)
Abstract James Alexander Boyer (1909-1998), an African American educator, was professor of English, dean of the College, and College president at Saint Augustine's College of Raleigh, N.C. The collection chiefly includes biographical materials about the education and career of James Alexander Boyer and his father, Charles Henry Boyer (1869-1942), who also was an African American educator and dean at St. Augustine's College; 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 the Bessie and Sadie Delaney family; and awards, honors, and diplomas. 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 Saint Augustine's.
Creator Boyer, James Alexander, 1909-1998.
Language English.
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Restrictions to Access
Use of audio materials may require production of listening copies.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the James Alexander Boyer Papers #5088, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Provenance
Received from Edna Rich-Ballentine of Raleigh, N.C., in January 2002 (Acc. 99189), June 2002 (Acc. 099260), August 2002 (Acc. 99305), May 2012 (Acc. 101596), and February 2019 (Acc. 103359).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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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.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

James Alexander Boyer's life was inextricably bound to Saint 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 Saint 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 Saint 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 Saint Augustine's and then resumed his doctoral work at Michigan.

After receiving his Ph.D., Boyer became dean of the College at Saint 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 Saint 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.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

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 Saint 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 various events at Saint Augustine's College. With the exception of speaking notes and a few lesson planners, there are no documents relating to Boyer's official duties and responsibilities at Saint Augustine's. 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 Saint Augustine's.

The addition chiefly consists of biographical materials about the education and academic careers of James Alexander Boyer and Charles Henry Boyer; scattered St. Augustine College records and publication, including speeches and histories; 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 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; the Boyer family friendship with Bessie and Sadie Delaney family; and awards, honors, and diplomas. Also included are images depicting James A. Boyer at different points in his life, including his childhood, years at Saint Augestine's, service in the U.S. Navy, and images of the Boyer Family from the early 1900s-1960s.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Papers, 1924-2000 (Original Deposits of January and August 2002).

About 500 items.

Acquisitions Informatin: Accessions 99189, 99305

Arrangement: by material type.

These papers were kept by James Alexander Boyer, an African American educator, who for nearly half a century served Saint Augustine's College in Raleigh, N.C., as professor of English, dean of the College, and College president. With the exception of speaking notes, this collection does not contain documents that relate to Boyer's official duties and responsibilities as dean or president. These papers are more personal in nature, reflecting his accomplishments, Boyer family history, events attended at Saint Augustine's College, intellectual interests, and honors received.

Included are transcripts and other materials related to the degrees that Boyer earned at Morehouse College, Atlanta University, and the University of Michigan. There is also a February 1939 exchange of correspondence between Boyer and W. W. Pierson, dean of the Graduate School at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, regarding the possibility of Boyer's admission. There are also documents relating to his service in the United States Navy during World War II and to his status as a member of the Masonic Order.

Also included are materials Boyer collected about his family's history, among them a family tree and photocopied articles about his father, Charles H. Boyer. There are also a letter his father wrote in 1935; a brother-in-law's Dental School diploma and a photograph of 1924 graduates of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn.; a photograph taken in 1970 of the Boyer family celebrating the naming of an academic building at Saint Augustine's after Charles H. Boyer; and an undated photograph of "The Team that Defeated Shaw." Boyer, the coach, appears in the upper left corner.

There is also a collection of speeches 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 Saint 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 Saint 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.

There is a file of clippings regarding Saint Augustine's College and the Boyer family. The articles, 1940s-1990s, are primarily from The Carolinian and other local Raleigh papers.

Also included are four audio recordings on 1/4" open reel audio and audiocassette. The first 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. The first recording 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. The second 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. Nabet of Howard University. The third recording contains a 1966-1967 talk show hosted by Jamie Brag Top of Washington, D.C.. The fourth tape, recorded 25 July 1997, contains a conversation among James Alexander Boyer, Coach H. Heartley, L. Simmons Henry, and Emma Perry Boyer about the history of college athletics at Saint Augustine's.

Folder 1

Educational transcripts and other materials, 1927-1949 #05088, Series: "1. Papers, 1924-2000 (Original Deposits of January and August 2002)." Folder 1

Folder 2

Military service records, 1942-1946 #05088, Series: "1. Papers, 1924-2000 (Original Deposits of January and August 2002)." Folder 2

Folder 3

Freemasonry material, 1949 #05088, Series: "1. Papers, 1924-2000 (Original Deposits of January and August 2002)." Folder 3

Folder 4

Boyer family materials, 1924-1970 #05088, Series: "1. Papers, 1924-2000 (Original Deposits of January and August 2002)." Folder 4

Folder 5

Newspaper clippings, 1949-1993 #05088, Series: "1. Papers, 1924-2000 (Original Deposits of January and August 2002)." Folder 5

Folder 6-7

Folder 6

Folder 7

Lesson plans, 1936-1940 and 1946-1948 #05088, Series: "1. Papers, 1924-2000 (Original Deposits of January and August 2002)." Folder 6-7

Folder 8-11

Folder 8

Folder 9

Folder 10

Folder 11

Speeches #05088, Series: "1. Papers, 1924-2000 (Original Deposits of January and August 2002)." Folder 8-11

Folder 12

The Teacher and Integration, with notes by James Alexander Boyer #05088, Series: "1. Papers, 1924-2000 (Original Deposits of January and August 2002)." Folder 12

Folder 13

Honorary degree from Saint Augustine's College, 13 May 1984 #05088, Series: "1. Papers, 1924-2000 (Original Deposits of January and August 2002)." Folder 13

Folder 14

Miscellaneous materials, 1948-1971 #05088, Series: "1. Papers, 1924-2000 (Original Deposits of January and August 2002)." Folder 14

Folder 15-16

Folder 15

Folder 16

Saint Augustine's publications, 1947-2000 #05088, Series: "1. Papers, 1924-2000 (Original Deposits of January and August 2002)." Folder 15-16

Folder 17

History of Saint Augustine's College #05088, Series: "1. Papers, 1924-2000 (Original Deposits of January and August 2002)." Folder 17

Audiotape T-05088/1

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 #05088, Series: "1. Papers, 1924-2000 (Original Deposits of January and August 2002)." T-05088/1

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Audiotape T-05088/2

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. Wilcoks and guest of John Hopkins University, Dr. James M. Nabet, from Howard University #05088, Series: "1. Papers, 1924-2000 (Original Deposits of January and August 2002)." T-05088/2

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Audiotape T-05088/3

Jamie Brag top Washington D.C. talk program, 1966-1967 #05088, Series: "1. Papers, 1924-2000 (Original Deposits of January and August 2002)." T-05088/3

1/4" Open Reel Audio

Audiocassette C-05088/2

Dr. James A. Boyer, history of athletics at St. Augustine's, 25 July 1997 #05088, Series: "1. Papers, 1924-2000 (Original Deposits of January and August 2002)." C-05088/2

Audiocassette

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012).

About 800 items.

Acquisitions Information: Accession 99260, 101596

Arrangement: by subject.

The addition chiefly consists of biographical materials about the education and academic careers of James Alexander Boyer and Charles Henry Boyer; St. Augustine College records and publications, including speeches and histories, documenting the period in which the Boyers served in administrative roles; 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. 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; the Boyer family friendship with Bessie and Sadie Delaney family; and awards, honors, and diplomas.

Box 3

Biographical information #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 3

Biographical for James Alexander Boyer and Charles H. Boyer (12 November 1869-11 March 1942), 1930s-1980s: oral history, will, curriculum vitae and timelines, vital records, school records from Morehouse and Yale, copies of photographs of home in Raleigh, pension and retirement records.

Yale Pot-Pourri, 1893 and correspondence, 1997 #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 3

S.S. Naushon steamship, 1930s, 1984 #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 3

See photographs below for Boyer's "slaveship" reference.

James A. Boyer's dissertation on Thomas Henry Huxley, 1949 #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 3

Box 4

James A. Boyer's dissertation on Thomas Henry Huxley, 1949 #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 4

St. Augustine's records, 1950s-1992 #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 4

Includes speeches, contracts, clippings, notes on 125th anniversary planning, 1956 inauguration, speech at 1966 retirement from presidency, plots owned at Oakwood Cemetery.

Box 5

St. Augustine's records, 1950s-1992 #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 5

St. Augustine's publications, 1934-1966 #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 5

Includes yearbooks, commencements, histories of the college.

Box 6

U.S. Navy, 1942-1946 #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 6

Includes discharge papers, clippings about literacy remediation school, correspondence.

Diaries, 1942-1946 #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 6

Entries describe work as an instructor in literacy remediation at Great Lakes, Ill., and other service assignments in the U.S. Navy.

Box 7

Desegregation of public education, 1966-1972 #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 7

Includes meeting notes and notebooks, some correspondence, proposal for an institute to help school counselors to work with desegregation problems in North Carolina, monthly reports and workshop handouts from the Educational Leadership and Human Relations Center at St. Augustine's, curriculum vitae materials, clippings about social and educational challenges of desegregation/integration in North Carolina and nationally, and publications about the Civil Rights Act, Higher Education Act, prejudice in children, and other educational topics.

Box 8

Desegregation of public education, 1966-1972 #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 8

Box 9

Desegregation of public education, 1966-1972 #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 9

Awards, honors, diplomas, 1892; 1970s-1990s #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 9

Box 10

Bessie and Sadie Delaney family #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 10

Audiocassette C-05088/2

Bessie and Sadie Delaney family: Having Our Say #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." C-05088/2

Box 10

Charles H. Boyer notebook, 1908-1908 #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 10

Entries include a list of books read and quotations with reflections.

Book of Common Prayer of Dr. James A. Boyer #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 10

Miscellaneous #05088, Series: "1A. Papers, 1893-1992 (Additions of June 2002 and May 2012)." Box 10

"Negro in Art" essay and Marion Anderson clipping

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2A. Photographs, circa 1900s-1970s (Addition of May 2012).

About 50 items.

Acquisitions Information: Accession 101596

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.

Image Box IB-05088/1

James A. Boyer: S.S. Naushon, circa 1930s #05088, Series: "2A. Photographs, circa 1900s-1970s (Addition of May 2012)." IB-05088/1

Black-and-white photographic prints

James A. Boyer worked on the crew of this ship while attending.

Verso 1: "Slave ship 'Naushon' my 'ticket' through college and grad. school"

Verso 2:"'Slaveship' New Bedford, Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket"

James A. Boyer: U.S. Navy, circa 1942-1945 #05088, Series: "2A. Photographs, circa 1900s-1970s (Addition of May 2012)." IB-05088/1

Black-and-white photographic prints

James A. Boyer Family: James A. Boyer and his wife Emma Boyer with family, circa 1950s-1960s #05088, Series: "2A. Photographs, circa 1900s-1970s (Addition of May 2012)." IB-05088/1

Black-and-white photographic prints

James A. Boyer: Saint Augustine's University, Raleigh, N.C.: Football(player,coach), circa 1920s-1930s #05088, Series: "2A. Photographs, circa 1900s-1970s (Addition of May 2012)." IB-05088/1

Black-and-white photographic prints

Charles H. Boyer and James A. Boyer: Saint Augustine's University, Raleigh, N.C.: Commencement ceremony, 1935 #05088, Series: "2A. Photographs, circa 1900s-1970s (Addition of May 2012)." IB-05088/1

Black-and-white photographic prints

Charles H. Boyer: Saint Augustine's University, Raleigh, N.C. (faculty,dean,memorial), circa 1909-1970s #05088, Series: "2A. Photographs, circa 1900s-1970s (Addition of May 2012)." IB-05088/1

Black-and-white photographic prints

Includes 3 images from original deposits (Acc. 99189 and 99305): 2 portraits of Charles Boyer with graduating class and one image from dedication ceremony for building in his honor, circa 1970, at Saint Augustine's College of Raleigh, N.C.

Boyer Family: Snapshots and family portraits, circa 1910s-1930s #05088, Series: "2A. Photographs, circa 1900s-1970s (Addition of May 2012)." IB-05088/1

Black-and-white photographic prints

Boyer Family: Snapshots and family portraits, circa 1930s-1940s #05088, Series: "2A. Photographs, circa 1900s-1970s (Addition of May 2012)." IB-05088/1

Black-and-white photographic prints
Oversize Image Folder OP-PF-05088/1

Graduates of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., 1924 #05088, Series: "2A. Photographs, circa 1900s-1970s (Addition of May 2012)." OP-PF-05088/1

Black-and-white photographic print

Original deposits (Acc. 99189 and 99305)

Image Box IB-05088/1

Saint Augustine's University, Raleigh, N.C.: Chapel, circa 1900s-1920s #05088, Series: "2A. Photographs, circa 1900s-1970s (Addition of May 2012)." IB-05088/1

Black-and-white photographic prints
Image Box IB-05088/2

Boyer Family: Halftone engravings #05088, Series: "2A. Photographs, circa 1900s-1970s (Addition of May 2012)." IB-05088/2

Engraving

Includes an image of the Boyer Family, circa 1920s and two headshots of James A. Boyer, circa 1960s

Image Box IB-05088/3

Fragile materials: Boyer Family photograph, circa 1900s #05088, Series: "2A. Photographs, circa 1900s-1970s (Addition of May 2012)." IB-05088/3

Photographic Prints

Very fragile photographic paper.

Fragile materials: James A. Boyer: 4-5th grade class at Crosby-Garfeild Elementary School, Raleigh, N.C. circa 1920s #05088, Series: "2A. Photographs, circa 1900s-1970s (Addition of May 2012)." IB-05088/3

Photographic prints

Damaged photograph and mount.

Fragile materials: James A. Boyer: U.S. Navy, circa 1942 #05088, Series: "2A. Photographs, circa 1900s-1970s (Addition of May 2012)." IB-05088/3

Photographic prints

Rolled item: Boyer with his Naval training class

Fragile materials: James A. Boyer: U.S. Navy, circa 1942-1945 #05088, Series: "2A. Photographs, circa 1900s-1970s (Addition of May 2012)." IB-05088/3

Photographic prints

Heavily damaged print of Boyer and others.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2A. Photographs, circa 1930s (Addition of February 2019).

3 items.

Acquisitions Information: Accessions 103559

A portrait and snapshot photograph of James Alexander Boyer and one photograph of St. Augustine's Chapel in Raleigh, N.C.

Image Box IB-05088/1

Photographic prints, circa 1930s #05088, Series: "2A. Photographs, circa 1930s (Addition of February 2019)." IB-05088/1

Black-and-white photographic prints
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Processing Information

Processed by: Matthew Turi, September 2002

Encoded by: Matthew Turi, September 2002

Updated by: Nancy Kaiser, March 2019; Anne Wells, August 2019

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 wilsonlibrary@unc.edu.

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