Scope and arrangement
Divided into five series, the William Alphaeus Hunton Papers (1926-1970) consist of PERSONAL and PROFESSIONAL Papers, ORGANIZATIONAL Files for the National Negro Congress and the Council on African Affairs (CAA), and LITERARY Manuscripts of William Alphaeus Hunton and LITERARY Manuscripts of Dorothy Hunton. The collection contains documentation on Hunton's life and career, and the administration of the CAA and the Encyclopedia Africana Project in Ghana.
The William Alphaeus Hunton papers are arranged in five series:
The PERSONALpapers include biographical statements; correspondence with E. U. Essien, professor of political science at Ibadan University in Nigeria, following Hunton's expulsion from Ghana and with J. Suret-Canale, a French historian, President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, E. Harper Johnson, Afro-American artist and writer, and Nnamdi Azikiwe, Premier of Eastern Nigeria; correspondence, court summons and subpoena, petitions, press releases and printed matter related to Hunton's five month sentence in jail for refusing to submit the records of the Civil Rights Bail Fund to the Dies Committee on Un-American Activities; material related to his expulsion from Ghana and clippings of newspaper and magazine articles about Hunton.
The PROFESSIONALseries encompasses his teaching career at Howard University and at the Lycée Classique de Donka in Guinea, and the administrative files from the Secretariat of the Encyclopedia Africana Project. The files on Howard University include his letters of appointment and resignation, lecture notes, bibliographies and class syllabi, and letters and articles he wrote as Secretary of the Howard University Teachers Union which he helped found in 1938.
The Guinea file contains correspondence related to his appointment and his trip there, miscellaneous printed matter, and the text of a lecture on Richard Wright given by Hunton in Conakry. Hunton's correspondence with Kwame Nkrumah (1962-1970) and a substantial clipping file on the latter can be found in the Ghana subseries. Administrative files of the Encyclopedia Africana Project which constitute the bulk of this subseries contain Hunton's personnel records, correspondence with Dr. J. Yanney-Wilson, Secretary of the Ghana Academy of Sciences, with area editors and Africanist scholars, as well as minutes, administrative reports and memoranda.
The ORGANIZATIONseries contains material related to the National Negro Congress and the Council on African Affairs.
The file of the National Negro Congressconsists mainly of press releases and printed matter related to the Labor Committee of the Washington branch of the National Negro Congress, and to the Dies Committee's allegation that Hunton was a communist.
The Council on African Affairs (CAA)subseries is divided into correspondence, administrative records, legal and financial documents and printed matter. Outstanding correspondents include Kwame Nkrumah and Eleanor Roosevelt (1944), Ralph Bunche (1945), Jawaharlal Nehru (1946) and Walter Sisulu, Secretary-General of the African National Congress of South Africa (1953). Located in the Administrative Record is a memorandum addressed to Paul Robeson, Chairman of the CAA, by three members of the organization charging then Executive Director Max Yergan of “malfeasance, misfeasance and non-feasance” (1948), as well as reports of the Educational Director (Hunton) and the minutes of the meeting of the Executive Board which led to the dissolution of the Council. The Financial Records, mainly reports and bank statements, relate to fundraising projects of the CAA, particularly the African Famine Relief Campaign, the Kenyatta Defense Fund and the Campaign of Defiance Against Unjust Laws in South Africa.
The LITERARYseries contains an abridged version of Tennyson and the Victorian Political Milieu, Hunton's Ph. D thesis, published by the Graduate School of New York University in 1938, and typescripts of lectures, articles and reviews written by Hunton from 1938 to 1968. Letters and reviews by DuBois, Azikiwe, Elliott P. Skinner, Saunders Redding and Cyril Briggs related to his book, Decision on Africaare included therein.
The last series consists of two typescripts by DOROTHY HUNTON: Selected Writings of William Alphaeus Hunton and Alphaeus Hunton, the Unsung Valiant, published by the author in 1986.