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215 S. Tejon St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Phone: 719-385-5990
Fax: 719-385-5645
Email: COSMuseum@Springsg. . .
Hours: Tues.-Sat.; 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; FREE ADMISSION





City of Colorado Springs / Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum / Collections / Archives Research / Finding Aids/Inventories / Areba Jackson

Areba Jackson

 

Extent: 

4 cubic feet

Finding Aid Prepared By:

Caroline E. Curtis, June 24, 2007

Provenance:

The materials in this collection were primarily the collection of Areba Jackson, friend to Gretchen McRae, who acquired the materials after Gretchen?s death, and kept them until her own death. These materials were then given to the Museum as a wish of Areba Jackson through her attorney Fred Wise.

However, works of art created by Gretchen McRae that were donated by Jim Jarvis and John S. Holley are also included in this finding aid for information purposes and to provide a complete image of Gretchen McRae. Materials that were acquired through Jim Jarvis were purchased at an estate sale after Gretchen McRae?s death and later donated to the Museum. Materials that were acquired by John S. Holley were collected by John Holley after Gretchen McRae?s death and donated to the Museum. Donors have been noted when these works of art appear in the finding aid.

Arrangement:

As no original order could be established, materials from the Areba Jackson Estate accession and accretion have been interfiled in an imposed order. Works of art acquired through separate donors, Jim Jarvis and John S. Holley have been kept separate.

Copyright:

The materials in the collection may be assumed to be copyrighted by the creator of those materials. The museum advises patrons that it is their responsibility to procure from the owner of copyright the permission to reproduce, publish, or exhibit these materials. The owner of the copyright is presumed to be the creator, his or her heirs, legates, or assignees. Patrons must obtain written permission from the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum to reproduce, publish, or exhibit these materials. In all cases, the patron agrees to hold the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum harmless and indemnify the museum for any and all claims arising from the use of the reproductions.

Restrictions:

The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum reserves the right to examine proofs and captions for accuracy and sensitivity prior to publication with the right to revise, if necessary. The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum reserves the right to refuse reproduction of its holdings and to impose such conditions as it may deem advisable in its sole and absolute discretion in the best interests of the museum. Oversized and/or fragile items will be reproduced solely at the discretion of the Archivist. Under no circumstances will more than 25% of any one collection be reproduced.

Credit:

Reproduction, publication, or exhibition of this work must include the following credit in proximity to the image or in a special section of credits:

The Areba Jackson Collection
The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum


(If items are works of art from the donation of John S. Holley or Jim Jarvis, credit must be in accordance with those two separate donations. Please reference these donations for proper credit.)


Biographical Note of Gretchen McRae:


Despite Gretchen?s intelligence and work ethic she continually experienced segregation in her office, as well as with payroll and promotions as a clerk. She wrote the Personnel Classification Board, requesting a higher job classification, and to Senator Edwin C. Johnson regarding the discrimination experienced in the Interior Department, but received no acceptable reply. Due to this racial segregation she eventually resigned on October 23, 1928. Prior to her resignation she was a delegate at the June 1928 NAACP conference. Her aspirations of working in civil rights were beginning to form at this time.

 

Gretchen, also Gretta, McRae was born on December 23, 1898 in the Mount Airy Township in the county of Surry in North Carolina. She was born to Bonaparte P. McRae and Martha Ann Hopper, who were also both born in North Carolina. In 1903, following the death of her mother, Gretchen moved with her family, which included her two older sisters Carye and Almena, her father and her grandmother Lucy J. Hopper, to Colorado Springs. 
    

The family bought a house at 822 South Weber Street, in the new, primarily black, neighborhood directly south of the downtown business district and lived there for the length of Gretchen?s life. The family also purchased the home at 805 S. Weber. Both houses no longer stand due to a redevelopment of that area long after Gretchen?s death.

 

Gretchen attended Lowell Elementary School and later graduated in 1917 from the Colorado Springs High School at the corner of Nevada and Platte. She was pictured in the back of the 1917 yearbook along with three other black students, and was captioned as ?the delight of her teachers.? Immediately following graduation, in 1918, Gretchen moved to Washington D.C. and worked as a clerk and stenographer in the U.S. Department of Interior, after a small job as an employee of a magazine subscription service. She lived with her sister Almena, who also worked as a clerk in the Department of Commerce.

     

During her time as a clerk in Washington D.C., Gretchen also took art classes at Howard University from 1921 to 1927. Her interest in art carried over when she moved to New York City in 1929. There, she completed three art classes from 1931-1932 at the Cooper Union Women?s Art School. However, her interest in art soon became overshadowed by her interest in civil and social rights, and she moved back to Washington D.C. to live with her sister Almena at 125 South Street.

     

In 1932 she issued a pamphlet titled ?Have You Depressionitis?,? which addressed economic and social issues of the time. In February 1934 Gretchen finally obtained an appeal conference with Secretary Harold Ickes for the purpose of calling for an end to segregation in the Department of Interior.

 

However, Gretchen?s time in Washington came to a close with the illness of her grandmother in 1937, and she returned to Colorado Springs to live at 812 S. Weber. After her grandmother?s death she began publication of her journal A Free Republic. This journal was created by Gretchen for the purpose of discussing inequalities that were often overlooked or ignored by other journals of the time. Gretchen desired to provide aid, through open discussion, for the solutions to economic and social ills of the nation.

 

In addition to her civil and social rights journal, Gretchen ran for the Colorado Springs City Council in 1943. Although unsuccessful in the race, she succeeded in the landmark event of a black woman being placed on the ballot during this era. Throughout her campaign Gretchen became an advocate for the poor minorities of Colorado Springs who were otherwise socially segregated by the community of the time. She continued to publish her monthly publication of A Free Republic, and the last recorded meeting for her publication was in September of 1945.

 

At the end of 1946 Gretchen?s father died, and Gretchen found herself alone and in financial hardship. At this time Gretchen continued to write about the civil rights and social ills of the country. She would take hundreds of notes on the subjects and produce eloquent and strong essays that she would then try to publish in periodicals across the nation. This did not prove to be as successful as she had hoped. Therefore, Gretchen decided to rely on her rental property at 805 S. Weber.

 

This business endeavor proved to be another hardship in her life. Shortly after fixing up the rental property and successfully renting it out, the local housing expediters informed her that she was breaking the law by renting her property at too steep of a price. This ruling of the housing expediters cost Gretchen a lot of money and the ability to ever rent her properties again, despite the fact that the rent she charged for them was comparable to other rental properties in the same area. For the next nine years Gretchen was stepping in and out of courtrooms and filing endless amounts of motions and appeals. It is no surprise that Gretchen decided to represent herself in the legal system. The verdict was not in her favor.

 

Almena returned to Colorado Springs in 1953 to live with Gretchen and the two continued their already exceptionally close sisterhood. They lived poorly, supported on Gretchen?s endeavors as a writer. On December 16, 1978, after the postman discovered that the McRae sisters had not picked up their mail in several days, Gretchen?s body was found, dead of a heart attack. It was determined that she died three days earlier. Along with her body, in the same room, wrapped in paper towels and propped in a chair was the body of her sister Almena. Almena had died three years earlier of natural causes. The media immediately jumped on the bizarre story, but there lies a deeper love here that was unexplored. Gretchen was a loyal and close sister to Almena, and to her entire family, as well as the entire black community. For her, she was unable to accept the fact that Almena had passed on before her. She was undoubtedly lonely. For her, the struggles of her life as a black woman had given her belief that black women and black people in general should stick together.

 

Gretchen?s body was buried in the Evergreen Cemetery after a funeral at the Angelus Funeral Chapel on January 3, 1979.


Biographical Note of Almena McRae:

Almena McRae was born in the Mount Airy Township in the county of Surry in North Carolina in 1893. She was born to Bonaparte P. McRae and Martha Ann Hopper, who were also both born in North Carolina. In 1903, following the death of her mother, Almena moved with her family, which included her older sister Carye, her younger sister Gretchen, her father and her grandmother Lucy J. Hopper, to Colorado Springs. 

The family bought a house at 822 South Weber Street, in the new, primarily black, neighborhood directly south of the downtown business district. The family also purchased the home at 805 S. Weber. Both houses no longer stand due to a redevelopment of that area.

 

Almena attended Lowell Elementary School and later graduated in 1912 from the Colorado Springs High School at the corner of Nevada and Platte. She left Colorado Springs to attend Fisk University in Nashville from 1913 to 1915. From 1915 to 1916 she taught school in Brunswick Georgia, and then again in McAlester, Oklahoma from 1916-1917. In 1918 she moved, with her sister Gretchen, to Washington D.C. and lived at 125 S. Street. She began work as a clerk in the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1919, where she experience racial discrimination and segregation.

 

Almena also attended Howard University in the Department of Education from 1925-1931, but she never earned her degree. Instead, Almena lived in Washington D.C and worked as a clerk-stenographer until 1953, when she returned to Colorado Springs to live with Gretchen seven years after the death of their father. Colorado Springs city directories cite Almena as retired during the last 24 years of her life. She suffered from paranoid delusions near the end of her life. 

In 1974 Almena died of natural causes but her body was kept mummified by her sister Gretchen in the living room of the house at 822 S. Weber for 4 more years until the death of Gretchen in 1978. At that time Almena and Gretchen were given a funeral at the Angelus Funeral Chapel on January 3, 1978 and were buried in the Evergreen Cemetery.

Biographical Note of Carye McRae:

Carye McRae was born in the Mount Airy Township in the county of Surry in North Carolina in 1897. She was born to Bonaparte P. McRae and Martha Ann Hopper, who were also both born in North Carolina. In 1903, following the death of her mother, Carye moved with her family, which included her sisters Gretchen and Almena, her father and her grandmother Lucy J. Hopper, to Colorado Springs.

 

The family bought a house at 822 South Weber Street, in the new, primarily black, neighborhood directly south of the downtown business district. The family also purchased the home at 805 S. Weber. Both houses no longer stand due to a redevelopment of that area.

 

Carye attended Lowell Elementary School and later graduated in 1916 from the Colorado Springs High School at the corner of Nevada and Platte. Following graduation she attended Wilberforce University in Ohio. Carye was the only McRae sister to marry, although she also did not have any children. She married Andrew Cunningham in the mid-1920s and they lived in Cleveland, Ohio where Andrew practiced law. Carye kept in contact with the family through letters. She died in June 1972 after returning to Colorado Springs with a liver ailment two years earlier.


Biographical Note of Bonaparte McRae:

 

Bonaparte McRae was born in North Carolina. He married Martha Ann Hopper and the two had gave birth to three girls, Carye, Almena and Gretchen. Following the death of his wife in 1903, Bonaparte moved to Colorado Springs with his daughters and his aging mother-in-law Lucy J. Hopper.

 

The family bought a house at 822 South Weber Street, in the new, primarily black, neighborhood directly south of the downtown business district. The family also purchased the home at 805 S. Weber. Both houses no longer stand due to a redevelopment of that area.

 

Bonaparte was aware of the obstacles for African-Americans in the society of the time, and he was dedicated to the education of his three girls. He helped them all to graduate high school, which helped them to excel in their lives. He also supported them spiritually and was an active member of the Payne Chapel AME Church, where he was a steward and trustee.

 

Bonaparte worked as a janitor at the Kaufman and Co. dry goods store from 1904 to 1912 and in 1913 as a janitor at the Barnes building in Colorado Springs. He then acquired the job as janitor in the Colorado Springs City Hall, which was a good job for a black man in the community at this time, and held this job for twenty years, until his body would no longer allow him to do the work. He suffered from hearing loss that he independently treated with the Elmo Co. treatment method, which proved mildly successful.

 

Following his retirement as a janitor Bonaparte did not receive his pension from the City of Colorado Springs, and despite letters written by him and on behalf of him by his daughters, the City did not present Bonaparte with his just due. In December 1946 Bonaparte died in his home.

Biographical Note of Areba H. Jackson

Areba H. Jackson was born on March 17, 1917 in Matoaka, West Virginia to parents Horace and Etta Jackson. She moved to Colorado Springs in 1920 and lived there the majority of her life working as a licensed practical nurse for 80 years between the General Rose Memorial Hospital in Denver, the St. Francis Hospital, and later, U.S. Air Force Academy Hospital in Colorado Springs from 1982-1984.

 

In 1949 Areba married and became Areba Anderson until the marriage ended in 1954. Again in 1970, Areba married and became Areba Stephens. This marriage ended in 1981 for unknown reasons. She remained unmarried for the remainder of her life and took her maiden name of Jackson.

 

Areba was an incredibly active black woman of the community and supported cooperation among community members as well as social and civil rights. She was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church from 1924 to her death. In 1924 she wrote an essay titled Negro Spirituals. Through the Church Areba was an officer of the Streamline Club. Through the community Areba participated in the Colorado State Federation of Colored Women's Club, the Negro Historical Association of Colorado Springs, and supported the creation of the Colorado Avenue Community Center.

 

Her connection to Gretchen and Almena McRae began through their similar connections within the larger community. They furthered their friendship in the last years of Gretchen?s life when Areba became a close neighbor at 823 S. Weber Street. Following Gretchen?s death in 1978, Areba collected many of the papers remaining in the McRae house, which now form this collection.

 

Areba died on March 27, 1997 in Colorado Springs. Following her death Areba?s written will requested that the papers of Gretchen McRae and a few items from Areba?s life were to be donated to the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.

Chronology of Gretchen McRae


Dec. 23, 1898 - Born Gretchen McRae in Mount Airy, North Carolina
1903 - Moved to 812 S. Weber Street in Colorado Springs, Colorado
1917 - Graduated from Colorado Springs High School
1918 - Moved to Washington D. C. to be a clerk-typist in the U.S. War Department
1918-1920 - Began working through a magazine subscription service while beginning a job in the U.S. Department of Interior as a clerk-typist
1922 - McRae family buys 822 S. Weber and lives there for the rest of Gretchen?s life
Aug. 1924 - Began work as a clerk-stenographer in the U.S. Department of Interior
1924-1928 Writes to Personnel Classification Board requesting a higher job classification.
1921-27 - Took classes at Howard University while working
June 1928 - Became a delegate at NAACP conference
Oct. 23, 1928 - Resigned from the Department of Interior based on racial discrimination and segregation she had received
1928 - Filmed short black and white film of an African-American picnic and outing in Colorado Springs during one of her visits back home
1929 - Moved to New York City to 175 W. 137th St.
1929-31 - Took art classes in NYC at the Cooper Union Women?s Art School, where she experienced racial discrimination
1931-32 Completed three art classes at Cooper Union Women?s Art School
1932 - Moved back to Washington D.C. to live with Almena at 125 S. St.
1932 - Issued pamphlet ?Have you Depressionitis??, her first published social written work
Feb. 1934 - Obtained delayed appeal conference with Secretary Harold Ickes calling for end to segregation in the U.S. Department of Interior
Sept. 1934 - Returned to Colorado Springs due to grandmother?s illness
July 1935 - Began publication of A Free Republic
1937 Moves back to Colorado Springs due to grandmother?s illness.
May 6, 1941 Writes protest of Office of Advisor on Negro Affairs
1937-1943 - Voiced opinion regarding African-American community center in Colorado Springs
1943 Writes Senator Edwin C. Johnson regarding discrimination Almena experienced in the Dept. of Commerce
1941-1944 - Wrote majority of civil rights related correspondence
1943 - Runs in City Council Election
Sept. 10, 1945 - Last recorded meeting for A Free Republic
1945-1954 - Represents herself in the civil litigation with the Colorado Springs Housing Expediter regarding her rental property
1972 - City Directory cites Gretchen as a writer at 812 S. Weber
Dec. 13, 1978 - Dies in Colorado Springs of a heart attack
Dec. 16, 1978 - Gretchen?s body is found
Jan. 3, 1979 - Gretchen and Almena?s funerals are held at Angelus Funeral Chapel Buried in Evergreen cemetery

Published Works Featuring Gretchen McRae

Invisible People of the Pikes Peak Region by John S. Holly, published by the Friends of the
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, 1990.

Series and Sub-series


Gretchen McRae

Almena McRae

Carye McRae

Bonaparte McRae

Areba Jackson


I. Gretchen McRae

  A. Cooper Union Arts School

    1. Correspondence
    2. Publication
    3. Certificates
    4. Artwork

  B. Notes
    1. Viewpoints on War
    2. Civil Rights
    3. Depression/Poverty
    4. Employment/Retirement
    5. Natural Resources
    6. Christianity
    7. Census
    8. Writing
    9. Court Stenographer
    10. Miscellaneous Notes and Papers

  C. Essays     

1. World War II     

2. Civil Rights/Segregation     

3. Employment     

4. Christianity

D. Correspondence
    1. Personal     2. Civil Rights

E. Colorado Springs Political Activism
    1. City Council Election
    2. Colorado Springs Recreation Center
    3. Public Education 

F. Court Papers
    1. Statement of Rent Dispute
    2. Request for Admissions
    3. Rental Policies and Expenses for 805 S. Weber
    4. Court Papers
    5. Transcript of Hearing No. 1958
    6. Exhibits
    7. Envelopes
    8. Notes
    9. Forms
    10. Correspondence regarding Lee Herman, attorney

G. A Free Republic
    1. Notes
    2. Correspondence
    3. Advertising
    4. Order Forms
    5. Publications
    6. Artwork

H. Misc.
    1. Newspaper Clippings
    2. Pamphlets
    3. Invoices
    4. Notes and Paper Items

I. Photographs
    1. Family
    2. Croquet Game at 812 S. Weber
    3. Colorado Springs Community
    4. St. James A.M.E. Church, Cleveland
J. Film

1. Film

II. Almena McRae

  Correspondence
    1. Personal
    2. Employment
III. Carye McRae

 A. Correspondence

    1. Personal

IV. Bonaparte McRae

Correspondence
    1. Personal
    2. Business

V. Areba Jackson   

  A. Church Materials
    1. Methodist Episcopal Church
    2. Songs, Spirituals
    3. Invoices
    4. Streamline Club
    5. Pansy Blossom Book
    6. Essay ? Negro Spirituals
    7. Miscellaneous
    8. John ?Fez? Bryant

  B. Community Involvement
    1. Colorado State Federation of Colored Women's Club
    2. Negro Historical Association of Colorado Springs
    3. Colorado Avenue Community Center
    4. Miscellaneous and Business Related Materials

  C. Employment
    1. Nursing Materials
    2. Recommendations
    3. USAF Hospital Materials

  D. Photographs
    1. U. S. Air Force Academy
    2. Community
    3. Personal

  E. Newspaper Clippings
    1. General James E. Hill, Chaplain James E. Townsend, John ?Fez? Bryant
    2. First National Bank Building
    3. Redevelopment of South Downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado, Misc.

  F. Artwork
    1. Painting of Areba Jackson as a girl


Contents
I. Gretchen McRae
Scope Note: This series contains materials directly related to Gretchen McRae's life and works. The series is divided into ten sub-series: Cooper Union Art School, Notes, Essays, Correspondence, Colorado Springs Political Activism, Court Papers, A Free Republic, Miscellaneous, Photographs and a Film Reel.

    

A. Cooper Union Art School

Scope Note: Under this sub-series are correspondence, yearbook for the Art School, and certificates of graduation for different art classes finished by Gretchen. Under Correspondence are letters from Gretchen to Cooper Union Arts School administrators regarding discrimination she experienced while attending school there. Of particular interest is a letter regarding "slurring references to Negroes" in the School's student publication. All of these materials are arranged chronologically. Part of the artwork included in this sub-series is not a part of the Areba Jackson Collection, but has been included for information purposes. Artwork with accession number S997.162.14 is part of the Areba Jackson Collection, which includes studies of people. All charcoal drawings, oil paintings, watercolors and pastel drawings with accession number A81.15 are part of the John S. Holley donation, which was received by CSPM on April 25, 1981. The twelve sketches of classic Greek statues with accession number S2000.99 are part of the Jim Jarvis donation that was donated to CSPM on December 12, 2000.

Box 1
(I)A:1-1 Corrsepondence: School Jan. 1931 - Feb. 1932
? includes letters between Gretchen McRae and various professors and administrators
(I)A:1-2 Correspondence: Personal 1931
? includes an invitation and letter to Bonaparte McRae and Lucy Hopper, grandmother
(I)A:2-3 Publication - Yearbook, Women's Art School 1931
(I)A:3-4 Certificates May 1931
(I)A:4-5 (Bin 22 Drawer 16)
Artwork 1929-1933
? includes charcoal drawings, oil paintings, watercolor paintings and pastels
? sketches of classic Greek statues

B. Notes
Scope Note: This sub-series contains handwritten and typed notes used by Gretchen McRae in the study of various topics and the completion of essays on these topics, which are explored in the next sub-series. The notes on civil rights and Negro Advisors Committee tie closely together as Gretchen thought that the current American Government perpetuated the discrimination and segregation of African-Americans in the United States. The notes regarding the current depression and poverty provide solutions to poverty and address the connection between the social mindset of hoarding money and the current economic crisis of the time. Of particular interest is a short story clip regarding her opposition to a project at a City Council meeting and the reaction of the community and notes on civil rights injustices within Colorado Springs. Gretchen's notes on personal writing skills offer a view how she wanted her writing to come across to the public.

(I)B:1-7 Viewpoints on war-World War II nd
(I)B:1-8 Viewpoints on war-Vietnam War, one with a newspaper clipping 1966, nd
(I)B:2-9 Civil Rights 1965-67, nd
(I)B:2-10 Civil Rights nd
? includes notes on Dotson incident in Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs city council meeting, and race issues in Colorado Springs
(I)B:2-11 Civil Rights nd
(I)B:2-12 Civil Rights-Negro Advisors nd
(I)B:2-13 Civil Rights-Ghettos 1966-67
(I)B:2-14 Civil Rights-Ghettos nd
(I)B:2-15 Civil Rights-Fair Employment Practice 1941, 1966-67
(I)B:2-16 Civil Rights-Newspaper Clippings 1963-1966
(I)B:2-16 Civil Rights-Newspaper Clippings 1963-1966
(I)B:3-17 Depression/Poverty nd
(I)B:4-18 Employment/Retirement nd
(I)B:5-19 Natural Resources nd
(I)B:6-20 Christianity nd
(I)B:7-21 Census nd
(I)B:8-22 Writing- Writing Skills nd
(I)B:8-23 Writing- Writing for Publication nd

Box 2

(I)B:8-24 Writing Sources nd
(I)B:9-25 Court stenographer nd
(I)B:10-26 Miscellaneous Notes and Papers nd
C. Essays
Scope Note: This sub-series contains the works of Gretchen McRae as a writer. These writings mainly deal with societal issues. Of interest among these are the similarities she provides in her What of the Night? essay between the Edomites and 'social cancers', and the essay "WPA In the Making?", in which Gretchen questions the intentions of the U.S. Employment Service.
(I)C:1-27 War-World War II nd
? regarding American and British strategy during WWII
(I)C:2-28 Civil Rights/Segregation nd
Civil Rights
Civil Rights Control
(I)C:3-29 Employment nd
WPA in the Making
(I)C:4-30 Christianity nd

What of the Night?

D. Correspondence

Scope Note: This sub-series consists the correspondence of Gretchen McRae, arranged chronologically, relating to her personal life, her business side of life and her more prominent role in civil rights. Included in business correspondence are many product requests and past due account problems that she encountered with two different publishing companies. Among the civil rights correspondence are numerous letters from Gretchen to the National Secretary, the US Department of Commerce, the US Senate, the Fair Employment Practice Committee and the Federal Housing Administration. It should be noted that materials related directly to a specific piece of correspondence have been kept with that piece of manuscript.
(I) D:1-31 Personal 1943-50
? includes letters between Gretchen McRae and a post office, Gretchen and Mrs. Beatrice Taylor, Kimbal, Mrs. Jones, and Mrs. Parker
(I)D:1-32 Personal- Business- National Association of Schools and Publishers 1953
(I)D:1-33 Personal- Business- West Publishers Co. 1952-1958
(I)D:1-34 Personal- Business 1938-1948
(I)D:1-35 Personal- Business 1949-1974
(I)D:2-36 Civil Rights 1943-44, 1951
? includes correspondence from Gretchen McRae to the Dept. of Commerce and the US Senate regarding Almena's job; from Gretchen to The Home Owners Loan Corp. regarding discrimination of African-Americans; from Gretchen protesting the Negro Advisors and other correspondence relating to inter-racial relations.
E. Colorado Springs Political and Community Activism
Scope Note: This sub-series consists of materials related to the political activism of Gretchen McRae, and is divided into two topics: City Council Election and the Colorado Springs African-American Recreation Center. The City Council Election papers are from Gretchen's campaign to become a Colorado Springs City Council Member in 1943. In addition, are numerous materials relating to Gretchen's interest in the proposed African-American Recreation Center in Colorado Springs and a few materials relating to education in District 11 of Colorado Springs. All materials are arranged chronologically. Of special interest within the Election Campaign are campaign meetings and a list of persons that Gretchen's campaigners drove to the Clerk's office to be registered. Of interest within the Correspondence under the Colorado Springs African-American Rec. Center are letters between Robert Washington, a man that Gretchen worked with on the Rec. Center, and the Works Progress Administration.
(I)E:1-38 City Council Election-Campaign 1943
? includes meeting minutes, list of persons taken to register to vote, campaign contributions and ballots
(I)E:2-39 Colorado Springs African-American Rec. Center-Notes nd
(I)E:2-40 Colorado Springs African-American Rec. Center-Petition 1938
? petition circulated by Robert Washington for Colorado residents for construction of bath house and rec. center for colored people
(I)E:2-41 Colorado Springs African-American Rec. Center-Correspondence 1937-1943
? includes letter to Federal Works Agency; letter regarding petition; letters between Robert Washington and the WPA
(I)E:3-42 Public Education- Publication of League of Women's Voters May 1941
(I)E:3-43 Public Education- Recommendation of League of Women's Voters May 1941
F. Law and Legal Affairs
Scope Note: This sub-series contains all of the materials related to a litigation between Gretchen McRae and the Office of Price Administration, through local housing expediters, regarding McRae's rental property at 805 S. Weber, Colorado Springs. Within "court papers" are legal correspondence, written motions and court decisions between Gretchen and the U.S. District Court of Colorado, the U.S. Court of Appeals, the U.S. Emergency Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. These materials are arranged chronologically, and tell the entire story of this litigation process when read in this chronologically order. Of specific interest is a letter from Gretchen McRae to the US Emergency Court of Appeals, dated Dec. 6, 1947, where she cites the Price Administration for her financial hardships, a personal statement of character submitted by Gretchen McRae, and the transcript of a hearing Aug. 3, 5 and Sept. 28, 1954. Important documents relating to this civil litigation have been kept with the court papers.
(I)F:1-44 Statement of Rent Dispute nd
(I)F:2-45 Request for Admissions nd
(I)F:3-46 Rental Policies and Expenses for 805 S. Weber nd
(I)F:4-47 Legal Papers Aug. 1945
(I)F:4-48 Legal Papers Aug. 1946-Dec. 1946
(I)F:4-49 Legal Papers Jan. 1947-Aug. 1947
(I)F:4-50 Legal Papers Sept. 1947-Nov. 1947

Box 3

(I)F:4-51 Legal Papers Dec. 1947
(I)F:4-52 Legal Papers Jan. 1948-Feb. 1948
(I)F:4-53 Legal Papers March 1948-April 1948
(I)F:4-54 Legal Papers May 1948-July 1948
(I)F:4-55 Legal Papers Aug. 1948-Oct. 1948
(I)F:4-56 Legal Papers Oct. 1949-Oct . 1950
(I)F:4-57 Legal Papers June 1951-Dec. 1951
(I)F:4-58 Legal Papers Jan. 1952-Aug. 1953
(I)F:4-59 Legal Papers July 1954-Jan. 1955
(I)F:4-60 Transcript of Hearing No. 1958 Aug. 3,5 and Sept. 28, 1954
(I)F:6-61 Exhibits nd
(I)F:7-62 Envelopes 1945-51
(I)F:8-63 Notes nd
(I)F:9-64 Forms (blank) nd
(I)F:10-65 Correspondence
? regarding Lee Herman, attorney
July 1947-Aug. 1948

Box 4

G. A Free Republic
Scope Note: This sub-series, arranged chronologically, consists of materials related to the production of Gretchen McRae's monthly publication A Free Republic, which she produced in Colorado Springs. A Free Republic was published for the purpose of discussing inequalities that were often overlooked or ignored by other journals of the time. Gretchen desired to provide aid, through open discussion, for the solutions to economic and social ills of the nation. She hoped that in doing so the journal would help citizens of the nation become happier and have a more secure future. In addition, Gretchen desired for her journal to bring attention to the injustices, discriminations and unfair policies that were currently being permitted by those in power in the U.S. government. Alongside these hopeful aspirations the journal highlighted the arts of the nation and local Colorado Springs through poetry, creative writing and drawing and painting.
(I)G:1-66 Notes nd
? includes notes for advertising and publishing
(I)G:2-67 Correspondence 1944, 1948
? includes correspondence regarding submissions and subscriptions for the magazine;
? includes poems submitted for inclusion in the publication
(I)G:3-68 Advertising nd
? includes a blank petition to allow advertising in the magazine, with a short story written on the reverse side
(I)G:4-69 Order Forms nd

Box 5

(I)G:5-70 Publications Vol. 1-1 July 1938
Vol. 1-2 August 1938
Vol. 1-3 September 1938
Vol. 1-5 November 1938
Vol. 1-6 December 1938
Vol. 2-2 February 1939
Vol. 3-1 January 1940
Vol. 3-8 August 1940
(I)G:6-71 (Bin 22 Drawer 16)
Artwork
? three matted lithographs of two mountain goats signed by artist L. Barrett, given as gifts from the magazine

Box 6

H. Misc.
Scope Note: This sub-series contains numerous, unrelated newspaper clippings taken from different news publications, a few unrelated pamphlets, several invoices to a typewriter supply company, and unrelated paper items and notes.
(I)H:1-72 Newspaper Clippings nd
(I)H:1-73 Newspaper Clippings 1941-1977
(I)H:2-74 Pamphlets 1943
? includes "Mr. Dies and 'Citizens for Victory'"
(I)H:3-75 Invoices 1954-1956
(I)H:4-76 Notes and Paper Items nd
? includes slider rule for determining loan calculations, an intertype character count card, a blank tax form, a city directory form, a misc. note, and a couple envelopes
I. Photographs
Scope Note: This sub-series includes black and white photographs from Gretchen McRae's life. Included are photos of her parents and her as a young woman, the family-owned house at 822 S. Weber, Colorado Springs, a series of photos taken of Gretchen, Almena and their friends at a house at 812 S. Weber during a croquet game and picnic, photos of people and places in the community, and two photos of the A.M.E. Church in Cleveland, OH. Also, for information purposes, there is a photographic portrait of Bonaparte McRae that is from the John S. Holley donation, accession number A81.15.1.
(I)I:1-77 Family nd
(I)I:2-78 Croquet game at 812 S. Weber, Colorado Springs, CO nd
(I)I:3-79 Colorado Springs Community nd
(I)I:4-80 St. James A.M.E. Church, Cleveland, OH nd
J. Film Reel
Scope Note: This sub-series consists of a 14 minute film reel created by Gretchen McRae of the Colorado Springs community. It is an incredible look into the social life of the times of the late 1920s in Colorado Springs. The film is made up of a series on montages, consisting of a polo game at Stratton Meadows below Cheyenne Mountain, a primarily African-American picnic with Shriner ceremony at a gazebo in Stratton Meadow park, and footage of an elderly man of the church, perhaps a pastor.
(I)J:1-81 (Vault)
Film 1928

II. Almena McRae

Scope Note: This series is short but deserving of a separate grouping. These materials relate directly to the life of Almena McRae and are indicative of the similarities between Almena and Gretchen McRae. Part of it consists of correspondence regarding their father Bonaparte, of whom both Gretchen and Almena concerned and protective. The letters are written in a similar manner to Gretchen's letter to the City of Colorado Springs concerning her father, and they may have been written by Gretchen with Almena's signature at the end.
A. Correspondence
Scope Note: This sub-series consists of correspondence from Almena to her father, Bonaparte, to the City of Colorado Springs regarding her father, to First National Bank of Colorado Springs, and one letter to her father regarding a visit in the future. There are also papers and correspondence dealing with Almena's employment as a clerk in the Department of Commerce in Washington D.C., where she did deal with racial segregation and injustice and was consistently underpaid and under-promoted due to her race.
(II)A:1-82 Personal 1931-1965
(II)A:2-83 Employment- Dept. of Commerce 1945


III. Carye McRae

Scope Note: These materials relate to Carye McRae and consist only of correspondence to her sisters Almena and Gretchen. Carye lived in Cleveland, OH and was the only sister to become married. Her correspondence to Gretchen and Almena are indicative of the economic depression in the country at the time they were written as well as her concerns regarding Gretchen's work in social and racial equality.
A. Correspondence
(III)A:1-84 Personal 1966-1969


IV. Bonaparte McRae

Scope Note: This series consists only of correspondence and business notes. Bonaparte was employed as a janitor in the Colorado Springs City Hall and upon his retirement did not receive his pension, and part of the correspondence relates to that issue. Bonaparte also suffered from a medical hearing loss condition that he treated with the Elmo Co. treatment, and he received numerous letters from others requesting his experience with the Elmo treatment method.
A. Correspondence
Scope Note: This sub-series consists of the letter from Bonaparte to the City Manager of Colorado Springs regarding his missing pension, which greatly handicapped-capped Bonaparte. There are numerous letters to Bonaparte from other people receiving the Elmo Treatment, many of which Bonaparte may have not answered because the return envelopes provided were never used. Also included are two short business notes regarding the sale of a large sum of trees to Bonaparte from two different members of the community. It is unknown what Bonaparte did with these trees, but it was probably an entrepreneurial endeavor.
(IV)A:1-85 Personal 1934-1949
(IV)A:2-86 Business 1932-1933


V. Areba Jackson

Scope Note: Areba Jackson, being the donor of all materials in this collection, included papers relating to her life as a nurse and active community member in Colorado Springs in order to provide a history of herself. This series if divided into church materials, community involvement and employment. Areba was a nurse at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
A. Church Materials
Scope Note: This sub-series consists of materials collected by Areba Jackson that relate to her activities the Methodist Episcopal Church. Included here are materials that relate directly to the Church, Christian songs and spirituals, church invoices, Streamline Club meeting minutes and records, a gift given to Areba - the Pansy Blossom Book, and essay that may have been written by Areba called Negroes Spirituals, and materials that relate to the death of John 'Fez' Bryant, a community friend.
(V)A:1-87 Methodist Episcopal Church 1924-1957
(V)A:2-88 Songs, Spirituals nd
(V)A:3-89 Invoices 1946-47
(V)A:4-90 Streamline Club Meeting Minutes and Bookkeeping 1940-47
(V)A:5-91 Pansy Blossom Book 1924
(V)A:6-92 Essay- Negro Spirituals nd
(V)A:7-93 Misc. nd
(V)A:8-94 John 'Fez' Bryant 1974
B. Community Involvement
Scope Note: Areba Jackson was an active member of the Colorado Springs community. This sub-series consists of different activities where she took an active part. Included here is the Colorado State Federation of Colored Women's Club, the Negro Historical Association of Colorado Springs, the Colorado Avenue Community Center, which focused on minority community activities, and miscellaneous materials related to Areba's active community life.
(V)B:1-95 Colorado State Federation of Colored Women's Club 1950
(V)B:2-96 Negro Historical Association of Colorado Springs 1982-1986
(V)B:2-97 Negro Historical Association of Colorado Springs Yearbook and program 1982, 1986


Box 7

(V)B:3-98 Colorado Avenue Community Center 1947
(V)B:4-99 Ephemera and Business Related Materials nd
? includes music teaching chart, "Futures Unlimited" pamphlet, and two promotionals on mobile homes
C. Employment
Scope Note: Areba Jackson was employed at the US Air Force Academy Hospital for a large part of her nursing career in Colorado Springs. This sub-series contains materials related to her training as a nurse and her employment at USAF Hospital. Areba took several nursing and medical classes and received certificates based on that training. She excelled in her field and received excellent recommendations from her employers. She apparently felt a strong bond with USAF which is evident in collection of USAF photographs and USAF nursing materials that she kept.
(V)C:1-100 Nursing Materials 1982-1984
? includes a Certificate of Service from USAF that has been moved to Box 8, Shelf 13 Row
(V)C:2-101 Recommendations 1954, 1961
(V)C:3-102 USAF Hospital Materials 1964
D. Photographs
Scope Note: This sub-series contains black and white photographs of the USAF campus and students in intramural activities and sports activities. Also included are some pictures of a birthday party for an elderly gentleman in nursing care and a nursing portrait of Areba.
(V)D:1-103 United States Air Force Academy nd
(V)D:2-104 Community nd
(V)D:3-105 Personal - Nursing Portrait nd
E. Newspaper Clippings
Scope Notes: This sub-series consists of newspaper clippings collected by Areba Jackson. They relate to community members General James E. Hill, Chaplain James E. Townsend, and John 'Fez' Bryant, as well as the death of Gretchen McRae. Other subjects were the renovation of the First National Bank Building and the redevelopment of the south downtown area of Colorado Springs, which was the neighborhood of Areba Jackson and Gretchen McRae.
(V)E:1-106 Gen. James E. Hill nd
Chaplain James E. Townsend nd
John 'Fez' Bryant nd
(V)E:2-107 First National Bank Building 1956
Death of Gretchen McRae 1978
(V)E:1-108 Redevelopment of South Downtown Colorado Springs, CO nd
F. Artwork
Scope Note: The only item in this sub-series is an oil painting of Areba Jackson as a 10-year-old girl. The painting depicts Areba sitting in a chair in a pink outfit with a blue drop cloth background. Its creator is unknown. (28 1/2" X 22")
(V)F:1-109 (workroom - S997.162.0001)
Painting of Areba Jackson as a girl nd

Box 8


(this box contains one item that has been relocated here due to size from (V)C:1-100)