University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Horace R. Cayton:

A Preliminary Inventory of His Manuscripts for Long Old Road at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Creator: Cayton, Horace R., 1903-1970
Title: Horace R. Cayton Manuscripts for Long Old Road
Dates: 1931-1965
Abstract: This collection contains materials for the autobiography of Horace R. Cayton, entitled Long Old Road and published in 1965, including chapter outlines and drafts, research materials, and correspondence. All material in the collection is directly related to the content of the autobiography.
Extent: 3 boxes (1.26 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Scope and Contents

This collection contains material for the autobiography of Horace R. Cayton, entitled Long Old Road and published in 1965. Cayton was one of the foremost African-American sociologists of his time, chronicling the experiences of urban black communities in the northern United States. An author and an educator, he dedicated his life to improving the social conditions of African-Americans in the earlier half of the twentieth century. The collection is organized into two series: I. Long Old Road Manuscripts, 1931-1965, and II. Related Papers, 1955-1965 also pertaining to the work.

Series I. is arranged according to the chapter titles of the finished book with background materials and outlines preceding the chapter manuscripts. The background material includes interviews with and short biographies of friends and family. Also present is an obituary for Cayton's sister, Madge, and works about his ancestors, including Hiram Revels, the first African-American person elected to the U.S. Senate.

This section has two compiled notebooks of later drafts of the chapters which parallel the finished work; however, two chapters are missing: “The White Man, Too, Has Troubles,” and “Blood Makes Good Paint.” They also contain the manuscript of “Back to the Black Metropolis,” which is not present in an earlier form.

The Related Papers in Series II. are organized by date. Present are correspondence, including letters by Cayton to his publisher and agent as well as letters from each of them, all regarding Long Old Road. Also included are Cayton's résumé, along with his entry for Who’s Who in America for 1965. There is also a summons for a defamation lawsuit against Cayton and his publisher, Trident Press, brought by Yvonne Plummer for implying that she was of dubious morals.

The collection does not contain material relating to any other work by Horace R. Cayton or directly concerning his personal life outside of what is in the autobiography.



Open for research

Index Terms

African American sociologists--Biography.
African American authors--Biography.

Administrative Information


Purchase, 1967

Processed by:

Jonathan Reynolds, 2007

Horace R. Cayton Manuscripts--Folder List

Series I. Long Old Road Manuscripts, 1931-1965

Background Material
Box Folder
1 1 Cayton family events, timeline
Cayton, H. R., in 1887 story by Van B. Shaw, typescript and correspondence, 1959
Cayton, Horace R., Sr., biography, typescript
Cayton, Madge R., obituary, typescript, 1943
Cayton, Revels, interview for “Labor Pains,” typescript
Cayton, Revels, and Violet Rae, interview for “The Bride Was White,” typescript, 1962
Hardin, Robert, article on the election of, 1931
Lohman, Joe, interview for “To Be in Chicago in the '30s,” typescript, 1962
Revels, Hiram, biography by Elizabeth Lawson, typescript and correspondence, 1958
Roethke, Theodore, article on the death of, 1963
2 Chapter outlines and synopses
3 “Childhood in the West,” notes, typescript, and short story version
4 “The Voyage,” handwritten first draft and typescript
5 “A Boy’s Reformation,” 3 typescripts of the first draft and a typescript of the third draft
6 “Labor Pains,” notes, 3 typescripts of an earlier draft and a typescript of a later draft
7 “This Policeman’s Lot Was to Learn,” 2 incomplete typescripts of earlier drafts and a typescript of a later draft
8 “The Bride Was White,” notes, typescript, and a short story version
9 “To Be in Chicago in the '30s,” notes and typescript
10 “Tuskegee Was Quite a Place,” first draft typescript and second draft typescript
11 “Escape to Europe,” notes and typescript
12 “Back to Black Metropolis,” notes
13 “The Dark Inner Landscape,” notes and typescript
Box Folder
2 1-2 “In Fear and Trembling,” notes, 8 typescripts of various drafts
3 “The White Man, Too, Has Troubles,” typescript
4 “The Crackup,” notes and typescript
5 “Blood Makes Good Paint,” 2 typescripts and an incomplete short story version
6 “The World Is Now the Scene,” article, notes, and a typescript
7 “The Battle Is Being Won,” notes and incomplete typescript
8-9 Compiled notebooks 1 and 2
Box Folder
3 1 “Corrected office copy” of chapters 1-3, typescript
2 Proof copy

Series II. Related Papers, 1955-1965

Box Folder
3 3 Outgoing, 1962-1963, undated
4 Incoming, 1955-1964
Personal Papers
5 Defamation lawsuit by Yvonne Plummer Terrelongue, 20 December 1965
Negro Leadership Conference, 27-29 August 1965, program
Résumé, 1965
Who’s Who in America 34th ed. entry form, 1965