Scope and arrangement
The George Westerman Papers document the numerous and diverse interests of this journalist, sociologist, diplomat and activist, who was deeply immersed in issues relating to practically every issue on the isthmus of Panama, especially those affecting people of West Indian origin, from the 1940s through the early 1980s. The collection consists primarily of personal papers, news articles and administrative files pertaining to Westerman's journalism career, his published and unpublished writings, speeches, conference papers, and material relating to his career as an impresario. Additionally, the collection encompasses his involvement in Panamanian politics, United States-Panamanian relations, especially Panama Canal Treaty negotiations, as well as education, labor, ameliorating conditions associated with racial discrimination, and sports.
There is also reference material about various aspects of West Indian life in Panama. Publications or news articles written by Westerman which pertain to a particular subject are housed in folders at the beginning of that series. At the end of several series there is a folder containing publications not written by Westerman. Approximately 20% of the collection is written in Spanish. Some Spanish language material appears in every series.
The George W. Westerman papers are arranged in eighteen series:
Series includes numerous versions of Westerman's curriculum vitae, address books, invitations to official events in Panama, correspondence and news clippings regarding his family both in Panama and the United States, and information about his death. There is correspondence with friends such as Anesta Samuels (founder of a Brooklyn based Panamanian community organization called the Dedicators) and Audrey Thorne. This series also contains information about some of the many honors and awards bestowed upon Westerman, both in Panama and internationally from 1949-1984, including the Vasco Nufiez de Balboa Award (1953), the Lewis D. Brandeis Gold Medal Award for "Service to Humanity" (1959), the celebration of "Westerman's Day" by the Dedicators (1968), an achievement award by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People - Canal Zone Branch (1975), and an organization called "Friends of George Westerman" (1982). There are also personal financial records.
Of particular interest are Westerman's "memoranda of record" (1967-1973), which he wrote as a diary or record of important conversations he had with prominent figures on issues of national and international importance, especially United States-Panama relations. The memoranda for 1967-1968, deal with the Panamanian presidential pre-electoral and electoral campaign of 1968, and furnish valuable insights into the complexities of Amulfo Arias' campaign and the constitutional crisis that ensued in 1968 prior to Arias' overthrow by the Panamanian National Guard on October 11, 1968. The memoranda of 1969-1973 discuss the early years of the military government and Westerman's opposition to it.
Additionally, there are a large number of news clippings by and about Westerman (1933-1984) which include his columns from the newspaper Panama Tribune. The articles discuss nearly every professional issue and activity in which Westerman was involved, from Panamanian politics, trips abroad, the Canal Zone, labor, housing, the United Nations, race relations, U. S. - Panama relations, to his presentation of speeches, and honors awarded him.
This series also encompasses information about Westerman's numerous business ventures. He devoted the greatest effort attempting to improve housing conditions for West Indian laborers and was involved in several projects to either build or assemble pre-fabricated housing and regular housing in Panama. There are proposals from several companies including Betania Home Ownership Project, Cativa Housing Project, Dalite Corporation, and Philip W. Genovese & Associates, which worked on the Pan de Azucar housing development, as well as building and loan associations (1950s-1970s). Other files document his business attempts in minting numismatic coins, and in serving as a broker for various types of food and alcoholic beverages. This material is arranged alphabetically by type of business venture.
Series consists of correspondence with Roy S. Bryce Laporte concerning papers he and Westerman wrote and George Schuyler regarding Carl Van Vechten's 1951 visit to Panama. Additional material about Laporte and Schuyler may be found in the Conferences and Journalism and series respectively.
Series consists of correspondence with Panamanians living both in Panama and the United States who solicited Westerman's assistance, because of his position and influence, to help them gain employment, obtain visas for entry to the United States, secure housing, scholarships for students, locate "lost" relatives, information about Panama, etc. This series is arranged chronologically.
Series encompasses correspondence, administrative files and printed material about thirty-seven community organizations in Panama and the United States, that, for the most part, attempted to further the progress of Panamanians of West Indian descent. One of the three best documented organizations is the Dedicators (a. k. a. Las Servidoras) which was founded in 1957 by Anesta Samuels in New York to build a scholarship fund for Panamanians of West Indian descent who wished to attend college in the United States. Included are correspondence and news clippings regarding the 1968 luncheon held in honor of Westerman, as well as programs for the balls and other activities the organizations sponsored. The records of the Isthmian Negro Youth Congress (1942-1947) include correspondence, programs and news clippings pertaining to performances by such entertainers as William Allen, Todd Duncan, Hazel Lawson, Florizelle Wilson and William Grant Still, which were sponsored by the INYC 's Intercultural Committee, of which Westerman was chairman. This organization also published a booklet entitled An Exhibit on the Races of Mankind written by Linda Samuels with an introduction by Westerman. The series contains correspondence and reference material concerning the manuscript and lectures Samuels delivered about the contributions made by various ethnic groups worldwide, in addition to bulletins and other publications. The National Civic League was dedicated to promoting the general welfare of children of West Indian Panamanians. The files (1946-1952) document some of the activities with which Westerman was involved, most importantly the efforts to abolish the discriminatory policies of the 1941 Constitution of Panama. There is also material relating to the drive to raise money for Linda Samuels' education at Fisk University. This series is arranged alphabetically by name of organization.
Series consists of papers delivered by Westerman and others at a variety of conferences held internationally and in Panama concerning subjects of worldwide importance. Among the conferences he attended which are represented in the collection are the Congreso Cultura Negra de las Americas (1980), Congreso Nacional de Mujeres Catolica de Panama (1963 and 1975), Congreso Regional de Enfermeras para las Americas (1962), all in Panama City. Representing the Congreso Cultura Negra de las Americas are programs and papers by Jean Casimir, J. G. Evering, Alberto Smith Fernandez, Vera Green, and Abdias do Nasciemento. International conferences he attended include the International Sociological Association in Zurich (files include minutes and abstracts of papers), the Research Institute on Immigration and Ethnic Studies in Washington, D. C., and UNESCO's Meeting of Experts on the Role of Mass Media in a Multicultural Society in Paris. A 1957 interview with Richard B. Moore is included in the West Indian Federation file. The files are organized chronologically.
Series documents Westerman's service as a delegate to the United Nations from 1956 until 1960, and the trips he took representing Panama, as well as his special service to Caribbean nations in the 1960s. The United Nations subseries, 1956-1983 (3 lin. ft.) includes his official statements as a member of the Fourth Committee of the United Nations dealing with non-self-governing territories, especially South West Africa (Namibia) and Togoland (Togo), the latter under French administration. There are statements by other United Nations officials and politicians concerning the Fourth Committee, and by Panamanian leaders who spoke on worldwide issues. The series includes correspondence with officials, statements prepared by UNESCO, and news clippings about Westerman, including his candidacy for Secretary-General following the 1961 death of Dag Hammerskjold. There are invitations to official events and printed material Westerman collected about several African territories seeking independence in the late 1950s-early 1960s. Additionally, this series contains copies of the printed "Provisional Summary Records" of the United Nations General Assembly Fourth Committee for the 11th-15th and the 26th Sessions, as well as summaries of information transmitted to the secretary-general concerning territories in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Indian and Pacific Oceans (1956). There is a file on UNESCO's Decade for Action to Combat Racism in which Westerman participated in 1967-1968, after he left the United Nations. Publications about UNESCO, UNICEF, Africa, and the economic development of Latin America can also be found. This part of the series is arranged by format of material.
The Non-United Nations Diplomatic Activities subseries, 1957-1983 (.6 lin. ft.) documents Westerman's diplomatic career after his post at the United Nations had ended. Due in part to his position with the Fourth Committee and his role there supporting the independence efforts of non- self-governing territories, Westerman was invited to the independence celebrations and presidential inaugurations of African and Caribbean countries. Among other events, he attended the independence celebrations of Ghana (1957) which is represented only by a letter, Cameroon (1960), and the inauguration of President William V. S. Tubman of Liberia (1960) whose celebration is represented by invitations, programs, a sermon and addresses delivered by Tubman as well as biographical information about him.
Westerman also attended the independence celebrations of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, both held in August 1962. Since many laborers who worked on the Panama Railroad and Panama Canal were from Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, letters and statements from various officials, including the former and current presidents of Panama are included in the series, which also contains programs, booklets and news clippings. Additionally, there is documentation on Westerman's appointment by President Marco Robles to the position of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary on Special Mission for the purpose of establishing diplomatic relations between Panama and the Caribbean nations and assisting with their admittance to the Organization of American States. During his tenure as Ambassador, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados were admitted to the OAS (1967) and Barbados was admitted to the U. N. (1966).
As a result of Westerman's efforts, Panama maintained a close relationship with Barbados, the home of his father. This series documents the close personal relationship he had with Barbados' first Prime Minister, Errol Barrow, and diplomatic relations between Panama and Barbados. There is information relating to the independence celebrations in 1966 which Westerman attended, as well as Westerman's role in getting Barrow's support for the candidacy of Panamanian Dr. Eduardo Ritter Aislan for the position of Secretary General of the OAS following the retirement of General Jose A. Mora in May 1968. There is also material concerning Barrow's visit to Panama in February 1967, Westerman's subsequent visit to Barbados in August 1967, and Westerman's appointment as Honorary Consul for Barbados in Panama in 1968 at the request of Barrow. Documentation indicates he resigned the following year because of his frequent trips outside of Panama. In his official capacity as Ambassador, in August 1967 Westerman also visited Trinidad and Tobago, New York and Washington. Files include correspondence, a speech and news clippings pertaining to the independence celebrations, biographical information about Barrow, and news releases concerning Barbados' admission to the United Nations. Barrow's visit to Panama in February 1967 consists of an itinerary, correspondence, and news clippings. Materials related to Westerman's return visit in August 1967 as well as his trips to Trinidad and Tobago and New York include correspondence between Westerman and Barrow regarding postponing a 1968 visit by Barrow to Panama because of political turmoil in Panama. Barbardos' admission to the OAS is documented by press releases, OAS Information Service News Releases and news clippings. This part of the series is arranged alphabetically by name of country.
Series contains documents on education in the Canal Zone for the children of West Indians and the general population. The greatest amount of information pertains to Canal Zone schools. Included are a policy manual, annual reports of the Division of Schools (1952-1953), reports and correspondence with the Canal Zone Colored Teachers' Association, and reports and news clippings pertaining to the 1954 language and curriculum conversion mandated for children of Panamanian employees attending U. S. schools on the Canal Zone. The conversion from the English-language American curriculum to the Spanish-language Panamanian curriculum was instituted to facilitate assimilation to Panamanian citizenship and culture.
Files on the Ministry of Education consists of reports to the National Assembly and national plans for education, 1966-1969. The University of Panama folders provide information about the faculty and printed matter about the autonomy of the university. Also, there are a booklet and news clippings about founding a second university in Panama, the University of Santa Maria la Antigua in 1965. Information about the predecessor of the University of Panama, the Canal Zone College, consists of a transcript of an interview held by the Civic Committee with the superintendent of Canal Zone schools about the employment of black instructors, 1950. Westerman served as chairman of this Civic Committee. Additionally, this series contains some of the autographed letters Westerman loaned to the La Boca School Library, the Isthmus' school for West Indians, for an exhibit entitled "Fifty Outstanding Afro-Americans", 1942. This collection formed the nucleus of a library which emphasized books by and about blacks, and Westerman served as secretary of the Library Committee. Administrative files document the opening and growth of this library. Other material pertains to La Boca Normal School and the U. S. government's request to reorganize this high school as a teacher-training and general educational institution at the junior college level, 1949. There are also reports about teachers in the secondary school system, scholarships for students, graduation programs, writings by Westerman and others about education and related news clippings about general education topics in Panama and Latin America. This series is arranged by: Canal Zone schools, Ministry of Education, University of Panama, and general.
Series documents Westerman's career as an impresario for his own agency which he founded in 1949, Westerman Concerts. The agency sponsored black performers primarily from the United States to entertain in Panama. The performers included Marian Anderson, Carol Brice, Emily Butcher, Ellabelle Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Dorothy Maynor, June McMechen, Philippa Schuyler, Hazel Scott, William Warfield, and Camilla Williams. The series consists of booking files, correspondence, programs and news clippings about the concerts and performers, 1939-1956. There is also correspondence for the Balboa Radio Station of which Westerman was vice president (1958) and correspondence and news clippings about performers Westerman did not bring to Panama, but about whom he collected information. The series is arranged alphabetically by performer.
Series reflects Westerman's primary occupation and demonstrates how he utilized his position with The Panama Tribune and other newspapers to improve social conditions for West Indians and other Panamanians. The series consists of founding papers of The Panama Tribune, stock certificates and correspondence with shareholders and advertisers, financial records and reports about the origins, purposes, and accomplishments of the newspaper. The correspondence of the founder and original owner of The Panama Tribune, Sidney Young, pertains to the operation of the paper, as well as his personal business ventures. In addition, there is personal correspondence and biographical information about Young. The series contains correspondence relating to Westerman's purchase of the newspaper in 1959 from Young's widow. There are letters to Westerman as the associate editor in 1952 (in Spanish) dealing with continuing problems with the printing company, financial matters, and correspondence between Young and Westerman regarding The Panama Tribune's involvement in a struggle against Communist control of a labor union on the Canal Zone. There is extensive correspondence between Westerman and Rex Williams (a. k. a. Joseph Williams), Westerman's nephew who served as the Chicago correspondent. The letters from Williams discuss contemporary issues affecting Panama, his personal affairs, and his support of Westerman's efforts in all his endeavors. Included are a few articles by Williams. There are also articles by other columnists who wrote for The Panama Tribune. Other files deal with the suspension of operations of The Panama Tribune for what was believed to be temporary in March 1973 because of difficulties with the printing company and government restrictions. The series also contains Westerman's weekly editorial in The Panama Tribune entitled "The Passing Review", another column, and articles he wrote, covering the years 1935-1973. The news articles are arranged chronologically.
Westerman contributed many articles for a number of newspapers besides The Panama Tribune, during and after the period of its publication. Most notably, Westerman was special correspondent for The Miami Herald, Panama Edition in the mid -1960s. He also wrote occasional articles for The Chicago Daily News, Critica, La Hora, Mundo Graflco, The Nation, Panama America, La Republica and The Sunday Republic. The latter papers are Panamanian publications, several were Spanish language issues, although Westerman seemed to prefer writing in English for the West Indian community in Panama. Files consist of Westerman's drafts for the articles as well as the actual news clippings and correspondence. There is also correspondence with George Schuyler, the New York editor of The Pittsburgh Courier. Additionally, this series contains a list Westerman compiled in 1983 of Panamanian newspapers with brief comments including their political affiliations and leading columnists.
Westerman was a member of the Inter American Press Association and served as the regional vice chairman of the Freedom of the Press Committee from 1964-1970. He attended the annual general assemblies held in various member countries including the United States, and occasionally, the mid-year meetings as well. The records consist of conference proceedings, newsletters and news clippings, a directory of members and correspondence. There are also statements by Westerman and information about President Kennedy's address to the Association in Miami about inter-American relations on November 18, 1963.
Series documents the role of West Indian labor, local rate employees and the history of labor unions, all on the Canal Zone. Besides the publications and news articles written by Westerman, this series also contains several of his manuscripts about labor unions. Interspersed throughout the series are clippings that mention Westerman's involvement in labor issues as well as his correspondence. In addition, he also maintained a research file on labor consisting of academic histories written by others concerning West Indian labor in Panama dating to 1850. Various reports include a 1946 paper on alleged discriminatory treatment of Panamanian citizens and West Indian employees of the Panama Canal and Panama Railroad Company, an annual report of the Personnel Department (1954), and a study of socio-economic inequities relating to U. S. - Panama affairs on the Canal Zone (1960). Other information relates to labor unions, their formation and problems they dealt with in regard to the AFL and the CIO, as well as collective bargaining, salary and benefit disparities and working conditions of the "local rate" employees as compared to U. S. employees. "Local rate" employees were paid according to the Canal Zone Wage Structure, also known as the Caribbean Wage Scale. This wage scale was established in 1903 and refers to the lower rate of compensation for Panamanian workers ostensibly to prevent conflict with the surrounding Caribbean countries from which local labor was recruited.
The unions represented in this series are Panama Canal Zone Workers' Organizing Committee (PCZWOC) of the CIO, Locals 713 and 900 (also affiliated with the CIO), United Public Workers, the Government and Civic Employees Organizing Committee (GCEOC) and the Panama Canal West Indian Employees Association (PCWIEA). Files of Local 713 pertain to organizing the union and to the expulsion of the UPW from membership in the CIO due to the charge of having communist leanings. The material for Local 900 includes reports Local President Edward Gaskin prepared regarding socio-economic problems affecting Panamanian nationals employed in the Canal Zone and correspondence with John L. Yancey, assistant director of the GCWOC.
Additional papers pertain to the National Maritime Union (NMU), which represented approximately 5000 workers, both American and non-U. S. citizens. There are news clippings and correspondence concerning the efforts of the Canal Zone Central Labor Union and the Metal Trades Council to achieve equality of treatment for Americans and Panamanians working for the Canal Zone Company. News clippings, speeches and other material reflect Edward Gaskin's ongoing involvement with labor issues including his role as staff representative with Government Operations of the NMU. There is a position paper (1976) regarding proposed changes to the Canal Zone Wage Structure and the tropical differential (a monetary incentive established in 1903 to attract American employees to live in unhealthy conditions). Other positions papers propose recommendations regarding labor protection during the 1977 Panama Canal Treaty Negotiations, and the Panama Area Wage Base and Cost of Living Allowance (1981-1984). News clippings about the NMU's opposition to the exportation of Alaskan oil to foreign countries (1983) are also in this series. A file on the NMU sponsored scholarship program for children of NMU members to attend any accredited high school in Panama contains correspondence and news clippings discussing the selection process and winners. Westerman served as chairman of the Scholarship Committee.
About one-half of the series consists of a chronological ordering of documents related to a wide variety of labor issues. The 1950s papers pertain to the Caribbean Wage Scale, the proposal to have a single wage scale for Canal workers (a report by Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. with appendices by Westerman is included). Also, there are annual reports for the Personnel Bureau, and files about the Canal Zone Replacement Program which replaced the Panama Canal Company employees with local rate employees, and information about the working conditions of employees of the United Fruit Company. Material related to Hilton E. Hanna, labor relations specialist who studied labor-management problems in Panama, consists of correspondence, speeches and news articles by and about Hanna. News articles discuss the impact the 1955 Panama Canal Treaty had on wages of the local rate employees. Other news clippings and reports deal with the retirement system for non-U. S. citizens and pensions for local rate employees. There are also reports concerning grievances of U. S. employees.
The 1960s material includes legislation to improve the Cash Relief Act of 1937 regarding benefits to widows of retired employees who had worked in the Canal Zone, and the 25% tropical differential for U. S. employees working in the Canal Zone. The 1970s files contain the transcript of a conference with Ellsworth Bunker and delegates from labor unions in the Canal Zone, news articles about the ways the minimum age law affected Canal Zone workers, results of the Pestillo report about the Panama Canal Company's labor relations with U. S. employees, and news articles documenting the 1976 strike by U. S. employees caused by austerity measures.
The 1980s material includes a report about the Panama Area Wage Base (PAWB), which went into effect in 1979 with the implementation of the 1977 Panama Canal Treaty. The PAWB established a pay system for new local employees based on locally prevailing rates for similar work in Panama. A paper in this series discusses the implementation of the Upward Mobility Program which helped employees reach their highest potential by providing opportunities for advancement according to their abilities. The series closes with a letter concerning the cost of living allowance for U. S. employees. News clippings for each decade have been placed at the end of the file for each decade.
The final part of this series deals with general information about labor on the Canal Zone from 1904 through the 1940s, and consists of photocopies of original documents regarding Barbadians who helped construct the Panama Canal; lists of contract laborers from Barbados, 1904-1913; notes about a silver labor strike on the Canal Zone, 1919-1920; information about discriminatory labor practices regarding the gold and silver roll, 1942-1946; and a report by the rate review sub-board.
Series concerns the issuance of a U. S. postage stamp in 1951 commemorating the West Indian contribution to the construction of the Panama Canal, an idea first conceived by Westerman in 1947. The series consists of financial and other documents related to the West Indian Stamp Appreciation Committee, material relating to the exercises including invitations, programs and a poster. Westerman's fund raising activities area represented by receipts for donations and ads taken out in The Panama Tribune supplement. There are no original stamps in the collection, however. Additionally, Westerman maintained a collection of First Day of Issue Envelopes, 1955-1966, including order forms from his supplier.
Series documents Panamanian politics dating to the nineteenth century. This series contains a section about the general history of Panamanian politics consisting of copies of constitutions of Panama from 1932-1973, articles written by Westerman, and printed matter about presidents and other individuals prominent in nineteenth and early twentieth century Panamanian politics. Among the papers are documents regarding investments and military debt, 1908-1910. The twentieth century part of the series is arranged chronologically by the dates the politician held office. The balance of the series contains material which, for the most part, was generated at the time the president or military officer maintained power; the term of office is noted in brackets. The first president for whom there are files is Arnulfo Arias Madrid, elected president for the first of several times in 1940, the last occasion being 1984. The files for the early presidents consist of news clippings about the election and campaign literature. The first president for whom there is documentation pertaining to the presidential election is José A. Remón who was the Renovador Party candidate in 1952. The Renovador Party was formed in the 1930s, but had not successfully put a presidential candidate into office until 1952 when Panamanians of West Indian descent were registered to vote. These voters were instrumental in electing Remón into office, and in 1956 they again succeeded with Ernesto de la Guardia, Jr. There is a list of West Indian registered voters of the Renovador Party, and a second list, for the deputy (representative to the National Assembly) elections, showing tabulated votes by party.
Westerman was most closely associated with Ernesto de la Guardia, Jr., president from 1956- 1960. Westerman worked for his election via the National Patriotic Coalition Party which is part of the Renovador Party. There are election lists and expense records for food and gasoline which were distributed to party members. As the head of the employment section for this political party, Westerman was a power broker and recommended hundreds of Panamanians, many of West Indian descent, for employment opportunities from 1955 until 1960. There is a daily ledger of requests and letters of appointment signed by de la Guardia. In 1960 he signed a presidential decree for appointments to the Ministry of Public Works, and the list of supporters to whom he gave jobs is included in the series. The files on de la Guardia's administration include the swearing-in ceremony, his speeches, correspondence with Westerman, news clippings concerning de la Guardia's visit to Haiti accompanied by Westerman, news clippings pertaining to the impeachment petition against de la Guardia headed by his Vice-President Temistocles Diaz, and many other news clippings. Lastly, there are letters and news clippings about a battle between National Guard troops and rebels in Veraguas Province, in 1959.
As a staunch member of the National Patriotic Coalition Party, Westerman collected news articles and lists regarding the 1964 presidential and deputy elections representing many political parties and city council and national assembly elections. He also gathered information about the electoral code reform and Electoral Tribunal. There are news clippings discussing the presidencies of Marco Aurelio Robles and Arnuflo Arias Madrid; Madrid is also represented by his addresses to the Organization of American States in 1968, and the military junta which ruled the country from 1968-1969. An anti-communist, Westerman wrote articles opposing the Communist Party. Included here is a draft of one of those article, for The Miami Herald, and a letter, as well as other writings.
The 1960s in Panama are characterized by the loss of presidential power and the military takeover by Brigadier General Omar Torrijos. Documenting this period is information about the exile of prominent citizens to Guayaquil, Ecuador in addition to testimony of two Panamanian citizens on behalf of the Panamanian Committee for Human Rights before the U. S. House of Representatives. There is a small amount of information about Brigadier General Manual A. Noriega as well as other rulers of the 1980s. This part of the series is arranged chronologically by the presidential administration.
Series documents the many forms of racial discrimination in Panama, affecting the entire country as well as the discriminatory policies of the Panamanian government affecting West Indians and African-American tourists. Information regarding U. S. discriminatory policies impacting life on the Canal Zone is also included.
The series contains Westerman's writings, in draft and published form, discussing his efforts to change several of these discriminatory policies. Through his participation with the National Civic League and news articles he wrote, Westerman was involved in modifying the 1941 Constitution of Panama, which had denationalized people of West Indian descent by revoking the citizenship of individuals born in Panama of foreign born parents within restricted immigrant classes. The 1946 amendment, which Westerman had supported, succeeded in partially restoring citizenship, however the right of full citizenship from birth was not restored until the passage of the Bazan Amendment in 1961.
The Immigration Law of 1948 was another discriminatory law enacted by Panama which was protested by Westerman. The law categorized "prohibited peoples", among them, English- speaking blacks, and specified that tourists of certain nationalities could only visit Panama for 30 days and had to pay a deposit of $500 to guarantee their return to their country of origin. In contrast, white visitors were permitted to enter Panama for a longer period of time and only had to pay $150. The series includes correspondence with tourists explaining their difficulties, and news clippings and correspondence discussing Westerman's letter to Panamanian President Remón protesting this discriminatory practice. Articles written by Westerman and others report on the difficulties encountered by Jamaicans and Trinidadians in obtaining visas for short visits.
The series also contains news articles Westerman and others wrote which discuss support for the law granting West Indian Panamanians full citizenship. Several folders deal with discriminatory practices in restaurants in Panama City and contain news clippings, correspondence and statements by President de la Guardia opposing such practices, 1952-1956. Also documented in this series are discriminatory practices imposed by the U. S. government against West Indian workers which also resulted in an inferior education for children of African-American employees on the Canal Zone, 1937-1938. Material documenting such practices includes a discussion of Westerman's 1950 speech about the mass media presented in Switzerland and Washington, and U. S. military records regarding incidents on the Panama Canal Zone in 1940 and 1971. Several publications and news clippings from 1940-1948 complete this series.
Series encompasses the many speeches Westerman delivered in Panama and the United States, as well as several interviews. Topics he spoke about involve United States-Panama relations, including tensions which sparked the Panama riots of January 1964, the history of basic changes in Canal policies governing relations between the two countries, and the tax haven law of 1962. There are several addresses concerning the history and contributions of West Indians in Panamanian society, and blacks of Hispanic traditions in Panamanian society, (i. e. blacks transported directly from Africa or Spain to Latin America). Religion, Panamanian economics, and Westerman's acceptance speeches for awards presented to him, and other subjects about which he spoke are included. Among them is a statement he made in 1946 before the House Committee on Un-American Activities denying Communist infiltration of a Panamanian labor union. Westerman's speeches at colleges, universities, professional and civic organizations, as well as churches and other religious institutions can be found in this series. During his years as a United Nations delegate he spoke before the Texas legislature, the Carnegie International Center, and business associations, among other institutions. In 1966 he was on the lecture circuit sponsored by the National Cash Register Company and delivered presentations throughout Ohio to various civic organizations. On a 1973 United States lecture tour, Westerman was a speaker for the Hubert Humphrey Lecture Series at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and also travelled to various colleges in California and Ohio. Files for both lecture tours include his speeches, correspondence concerning tour arrangements and related matters, and news clippings. The series includes duplicates of some of the statements he made during his ambassadorship to the United Nations pertaining to independence for non-self-governing territories; a complete set of these statements can be found in the Diplomatic Career-United Nations series. The series has been arranged chronologically.
Series deals with some of the many organized sports played in Panama with a focus on West Indian athletes. A scrapbook of news clippings documents Westerman's years as a tennis champion (1936-1938), and correspondence discusses his coverage of other tennis players in The Panama Tribune. A day honoring baseball manager Stanford Graham in 1949 which Westerman helped coordinate is documented by correspondence and news clippings; boxing is represented by a scrapbook of news clippings (1920s) and Westerman's news articles about A1 Brown and Harry Wills. Correspondence and news articles discuss the Central American and Caribbean Olympics in which Panamanian athletes participated in 1959 and 1970, as well as additional sports. Printed matter, particularly news clippings comprise the bulk of this series. The majority of these articles are from Panamanian newspapers, some were clipped from United States and Jamaican papers.
Material which Westerman collected because of his broad interest in Panamanian affairs affecting West Indians but which he himself did not play an active role in achieving particular goals, have been placed in a SUBJECT FILES series. These subseries within this series are: Economics; Fraternal and Benevolent Societies; Health; Housing Policies; Reference Material - West Indians in Panama; and Religion.
Series provides extensive documentation on the problems and cooperation between these two countries in the operation of the Panama Canal. The series also deals with the numerous changes which have taken place both in Panamanian society and in U. S. - Panamanian relations in the areas of politics, trade, transportation, American foreign aid, and day-to-day social issues, among others. The files in this series consist selected materials that Westerman collected pertaining to issues that interested him. The subseries are as follows: Administration, Alliance for Progress and Agency for International Development, Flag Controversy on the Canal Zone and its Aftermath, Flags of Necessity, History, Panama Canal Operations, Panama Canal Treaty Negotiations, Panama Canal Zone, Pan American Highway, Publications, United States Congressional Hearings, United States Information Service, United States Tax Haven Law, and General.
Subseries is divided into two subseries, published and unpublished. A prolific writer, Westerman wrote about nearly every aspect of Panamanian West Indian life in which he was involved. He wrote both in English and Spanish, with some publications appearing in both languages. The container list for this series serves, in essence, as the bibliography of Westerman's published and unpublished writings; however, it does not contain his articles or his essays which appeared in newspapers. These have been filed at the beginning of the appropriate series as have duplicate copies of his publications. Contained in the Published Writings subseries, 1942-1979, (2 lin. ft) are pamphlets Westerman wrote, and if available, the manuscript, related correspondence, research material and notes. He authored pamphlets related to West Indian labor on the Panama Canal Zone, United States-Panama relations, education, and the history of West Indians in Panama, among many other subjects. The Unpublished Writings subseries (8.4 lin. ft.) consists of the manuscript, correspondence, research material and notes. Included is his most significant unpublished manuscript entitled "Fifty Years of West Indian Life on the Isthmus of Panama (1903-1953)". There are numerous drafts for some of the more extensive chapters on such topics as religion, the history of the labor force on the Panama Canal and the development of labor unions, West Indian contributions to the national life of Panama, sports, and cultural aspects of West Indian life in such fields as fraternal and benevolent societies. Some of the research material Westerman used for writing this manuscript can be found in other series with his writings on the same or similar subjects. This 548-page manuscript consists of several complete versions and revisions of particular chapters. The manuscript originally was written in the 1950s, then in the late 1970s and early 1980s Westerman and his colleagues attempted to get it published, without success. According to rejection letters from publishers, the sheer length of it and the 1950s encyclopedic writing style precluded the possibility of finding a publisher for it in its present form. There are also two boxes of writings by Westerman for which the title of the writing is unidentified. The Published Writings are arranged chronologically by date of publication and the Unpublished Writings are arranged alphabetically by title.