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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Arrangement of the Collection

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Jessie Daniel Ames papers, 1919-1928, 1936, 1939-1940, after 1944, 1965, undated

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Jessie Daniel Ames:

An Inventory of the Jessie Daniel Ames Papers at the Texas State Archives, 1919-1928, 1936, 1939-1940, after 1944, 1965, undated



Overview

Creator: Ames, Jessie Daniel, 1883-1972.
Title: Jessie Daniel Ames papers
Dates: 1919-1928, 1936, 1939-1940, after 1944, 1965, undated
Abstract: Jessie Daniel Ames founded the Texas League of Women Voters in 1919 and spent her life advocating for women's and racial issues, being best known for founding the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching in 1930. The Jessie Daniel Ames papers are composed of articles, correspondence, a flyer, letterheads, notes, a press release, and a speech, and date 1919-1928, 1936, 1939-1940, after 1944, 1965, and undated.
Quantity: fractional
Language: These materials are written in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives

Biographical Sketch

Jessie Harriet Daniel Ames was born on November 2, 1883 in Palestine, Texas to James Malcolm and Laura Maria (Leonard) Daniel. Ten years later, the family moved to Georgetown, where she attended Southwestern University, receiving her B.A. degree in 1902. Ames would later do graduate work at the University of Texas and the University of Chicago. After graduation from Southwestern University, she moved with her family to Laredo, where she met army surgeon Roger Post Ames, whom she married in 1905. The couple had three children but spent most of their married life apart, he in Central America while she continued to live with her parents and older sister. Roger Ames died in 1914.

In order to support her family, Ames helped her mother run a Georgetown telephone company. She organized the Georgetown Equal Suffrage League in 1916 and started writing a column entitled "Weekly Suffrage Notes" for the local newspaper. In 1919, she founded the Texas League of Women Voters and represented the national league in 1923 at the Pan American Congress. Ames later served as president or director of the Texas branch of the American Association of University Women, Texas Council of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation (CIC), and the CIC's Woman Committee. Ames was also an officer in the Women's Joint Legislative Council, the Board of Education (Women's Division) of the Methodist Church, the Texas Committee on Prisons and Prison Labor, and the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs. She is best known for founding the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching in 1930, a politically active organization designed to combat vigilante justice, specifically by refuting racially motivated justifications based on interpretations of chivalry common in some areas of the American South at that time. She served as director of the organization until 1942, after which Ames retired to Tyron, North Carolina. In failing health, Ames returned to Texas in October 1968 to live with her daughter, Lulu, and, soon thereafter, donated 1,200 volumes of her personal library to Southwestern University. Ames died of pneumonia on February 21, 1972 in Austin, Texas.

(Sources include: Jon D. Swartz, "Ames, Jessie Harriet Daniel," Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 27, 2013, and the collection itself.)

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

Jessie Daniel Ames founded the Texas League of Women Voters in 1919 and spent her life advocating for women's and racial issues, being best known for founding the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching in 1930. The Jessie Daniel Ames papers are composed of articles, correspondence, a flyer, letterheads, notes, a press release, and a speech, and date 1919-1928, 1936, 1939-1940, after 1944, 1965, and undated. Topics include women's suffrage, lynching, the Ku Klux Klan, political campaigns, the temperance movement, and Texas Governor Dan Moody. Most of the records appear to have been collected (with some explanatory annotations added) by Ames in 1965, possibly for donation to an archival repository. Ames retained several letterheads to serve as a record of the many organizations to which she belonged. Perley Orman Ray, then professor of political science at Northwestern University, was a prominent correspondent. Ames also included some records pertaining to her mentor Minnie Cunningham Fisher. Of special interest are Ames's notes detailing her impressions and experience of Governor Moody, beginning when he was a county attorney in 1918 and continuing up to the State Convention in Beaumont in 1928.

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Arrangement of the Collection

These records are unarranged.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Restrictions on Use

Under the Copyright Act of 1976 as amended in 1998, unpublished manuscripts are protected at a minimum through December 31, 2002 or 70 years after the author's death. The term of copyright for published material varies. Researchers are responsible for complying with the Copyright Law.

Technical Requirements

None.

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Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Personal Names:
Moody, Daniel James, 1893-1966.
Ray, Perley Orman, 1875-1957.
Cunningham, Minnie Fisher, 1882-1964.
Corporate Names:
Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching.
Texas League of Women Voters.
Commission on Interracial Cooperation.
Klu Klux Klan--Texas.
Subjects:
Lynching--Texas--1919-1928.
Temperance--Texas--1919-1924.
Women--Suffrage--Texas--1919-1928.
Places:
Georgetown (Tex.)
Atlanta (Ga.)
Austin (Tex.)
Document Types:
Correspondence--1924, 1965.
Articles--1936, 1939, 1940, 1965.
Flyer--Austin (Tex.)--undated
Press release--Commission on Interracial Cooperation--after 1924.
Notes--1919-1923, 1928, undated.
Letterheads--1919-1921, 1925-1926, 1928, 1964-1965, undated.
Speech--Suffrage--undated.

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Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Texas Office of the Governor, Records of Dan Moody, 1924-1931, 78 cubic ft. [Restricted]
Erminia Thompson Folsom Papers, 1856-1965, 3.06 cubic ft.
Southwestern University
Jessie Daniel Ames Collection, Special Collections
Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Jessie Daniel Ames Papers #3686, Southern Historical Collection
Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin
Minnie Fisher Cunningham Papers, 1893-1992
Austin History Center
Jane Y. McCallum Papers (AR.E.004). 1889-1957
Woodruff Library, Atlanta University
Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching Papers, 1930–1942
Publications
Hall, Jacquelyn Dowd. Revolt Against Chivalry: Jessie Daniel Ames and the Women's Campaign Against Lynching. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1979.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Jessie Daniel Ames papers. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession number: 1971/053

This collection was donated by Jessie Daniel Ames's daughter, Lulu, to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission on January 20, 1971.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Jessica Tucker, August 2013

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Jessie Daniel Ames papers, 1919-1928, 1936, 1939-1940, after 1944, 1965, undated
fractional

Box
2-23/1142 Speech on women's suffrage, undated
Notes on Texas Governor Dan Moody, covering the time period from 1918 to 1928, undated
Beaumont convention, notes on Dan Moody, about 1928
Footnote to Beaumont convention, May 1928
Article "Ladies and Lynchings" by Lewis T. Nordyke, reprinted from Survey Graphic, for the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching, November 1939
Press release, Commission on Interracial Cooperation, after 1924
Letterheads with explanatory note written by Jessie Daniel Ames:
Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching, 1965
Texas Division, National Committee on Prisons and Prison Labor, January 2, 1964, undated
Texas Division on Inter-Racial Co-Operation, April 16, 1925, undated
Correspondence with Perley Orman Ray:
August 20, 1924
August 30, 1924
September 7, 1924
September 17, 1924
Article "Suffragette Recalls Her 1918 Vote Fight," Austin American, May 24, 1965
From Julia Collier Harris's column, "From My Balcony," Chattanooga Times, article on the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching, October 18, 1936
Excerpt from Leading Women of America with handwritten corrections, after 1940
Letter from Alex Smith regarding Ma Ferguson, August 14, 1924
Letter to the Dallas News from Ames, August 1924
Texas League of Women Voters, notes on resolutions adopted, October 10, 1919-December 6, 1923
Resolutions passed by the Texas League of Women Voters, Fourth Annual Convention, San Antonio, Texas, 1923
Letter from R.E. Thomason, May 17, 1965
Obituary for Minnie Fisher Cunningham, 1965
Biographical data for Jessie Daniel Ames, after 1944
Letterhead from the Texas Rural Church Conference, Fourth Annual Meeting, December 11, 1926
Letterhead from the Southwestern University Golden Jubilee (1873-1923) Committee, about 1923
Letterhead from the Texas Equal Suffrage Association (with handwritten note), February 18, 1919
Letter from Ames as president of the Texas League of Women Voters to "Captain," undated
Letterheads from the Texas League of Women Voters, November 4, 1921, August 27, 1928, undated
Letterhead from the Democratic Administration Executive Committee, March 25, 1920
Letter from Ames to unnamed recipient, May 6, 1965
Letterhead from the Alumni and Ex-Students Association, Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas, undated
Letterhead from the American Association of University Women, Texas Division, October 11, 1926
"Texas Women Cannot Forget Minnie Fisher Cunningham," flyer announcing speech by Cunningham at Woolridge Park, Austin, Texas, undated

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