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Walter Earl Douglas (1923-1979), an African-American newspaper journalist and writer. A staunch conservative Republican, Douglas
wrote columns under the byline of "The Earl of Charleston" and "W. Earl Douglas." His columns were featured in South Carolina
newspapers including the "Charleston Chronicle," "The Charleston Evening Post" and "Black News" (Columbia), in addition to
nationally syndicated papers including the "Union Leader" (Manchester, New Hampshire). Douglas' writings incorporate his position
on political conservatism, African-American culture, socioeconomics, United States government and politics, international
politics, among numerous other topics. The collection documents Douglas' extensive writings through essays, editorials, newspaper
clippings of his editorials; transcripts of his speeches and television show, "Earl's Byline;" and personal writings of short
stories and poems from 1963 to 1979, with the majority ranging from 1976-1979. Correspondence includes letters from elected
government officials (President Jimmy Carter, Senators Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, Ernest F. Hollings, and South Carolina
Governor James B. Edwards) and newspaper editors, William Loeb, III and Thomas R. Waring.
Walter Earl Douglas Papers, 1963-1979
Douglas, Walter Earl, 1923-1979
Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston
Walter Earl Douglas was born on August 13,1923 in Chicago, Illinois. His early youth was spent on a family farm in Washington
state. Douglas later relocated to New York City where he met his future wife, Charleston native, Rosslee Tenetha Green. The
couple married in 1952 and raised two children, Lynne Victoria and Sherman Elliott. In 1969, the Douglas' moved to Mt. Pleasant,
a neighboring town near Charleston, South Carolina.
A prolific writer, Douglas wrote editorials for the "Charleston Chronicle," in which he was managing editor in the early 1970s,
"The Charleston Evening Post," and the "Black News (Columbia, South Carolina). During the years of 1976-1979, Douglas wrote
for the "Manchester Union-Leader," under the editorial helm of William "Bill" Loeb, III. Loeb promoted extensively for the
syndication of Douglas' politically conservative column to extend his readership across the United States.
Douglas authored and self published "The Freedom Factor" newsletter, in addition to numerous booklets regarding his stance
on political conservatism, liberal African-Americans, socioeconomics, international and South African politics. He hosted
"Earl's Byline" a television talk show broadcasted on WCBD-TV in Charleston, SC in the mid-1970s.
Befriended by South Carolina Governor James B. Edwards, Douglas was appointed as a Commissioner for the state's Consumer Commission
in 1977. He was also a board member of the Charleston County Economic Opportunity Commission. On a national level, Douglas
participated in the White House Conference on Balance National Growth and Economic Development under President Jimmy Carter's
administration in 1978.
On June 5, 1979, at the height of his writing career, Walter Earl Douglas succumbed to complications from Amyotrophic Lateral
Sclerosis at the age of fifty-six.
This collection includes the writings, publications, correspondence, transcripts and research materials documenting and supporting
the opinions and ideological interests of Walter Earl Douglas.
1. Biographical Information includes resumes, brief sketches, and several handwritten legal pads documenting Douglas' last
days of life.
2. Writings contains numerous handwritten and typed drafts of manuscript essays by Douglas written in preparation for his
syndicated newspaper columns. The essays are organized by topics and are divided in subseries. The essays relate to African-American
social issues; societal ills in Harlem, New York; African-Americans living in South Carolina, many with a focus on Charlestonians
during the 1970s; African-Americans in politics and government in South Carolina and the United States; general topic essays
examining national and international issues including Blacks in South Africa; United States politics and government pertaining
to elected officials (President Jimmy Carter, Senator Strom Thurmond and Governor James B. Edwards) with topics including
Affirmative Action, the Equal Rights Amendment (E.R.A) the Republican Party and the military.
3. Publications contain Douglas' published articles (final typed manuscripts and photocopied newspaper clippings) in local
and nationally syndicated newspapers. Subseries includes newspaper columns and editorials: "The Earl of Charleston," written
for "The Chronicle," a Charleston, South Carolina periodical; the "W. Earl Douglas" column, a syndicated editorial published
in the "Manchester (New Hampshire) Union Leader," "The Daily Advance" (Lynchburg, Virginia) and the "Charleston Evening Post"
(South Carolina). Also included are Douglas' self published newsletter, "The Freedom Factor," and booklets/pamphlets regarding
political and socioeconomic issues. Several booklets were published posthumously by his wife, Rosslee Green Douglas.
4. Speeches and Media Programing Transcripts contain Douglas' typed and handwritten speeches given at various South Carolina
civic organizations. Of note is a transcript Douglas' talk delivered at the Republican Party State Convention in Columbia,
South Carolina (1978). Also included are transcripts from Douglas' local television program, "Earl's Byline" broadcasted on
WCBD-TV in Charleston, South Carolina. Transcripts include topics on African-American culture and race identity; Apartheid
in South Africa; labor and unions; politics and government.
5. Personal Writings comprises Douglas' biographical drafts; draft essays on his fictional characters, "Willie and the Professor;"
various themed short stories, poems and plays.
6. Correspondence includes letters mostly written to Douglas by newspaper publishers, political figures, and readers of his
editorials and writings. A significant portion of letters are written by William "Bill" Loeb, III, the president and publisher
of the Manchester (New Hampshire) Union Leader (1977-1979). Loeb writes of expanding Douglas' readership by promoting his
work to nationally syndicated newspapers. He also expresses concern over Douglas' diagnosis of Peroneal Nerve Palsy which
resulted in his declining health and ultimate death. The subseries also holds letters from United States Senators Storm Thurmond,
Jesse Helms and Ernest F. Hollings, and Governor James B. Edwards. Letters sent by Douglas includes replies to his editorial
readers and to Thomas R. Waring, editor of the "Charleston Evening Post."
7. Civic Involvement includes Douglas' civic participation with the Charleston County Economic Opportunity Commission and
the South Carolina Commission on Consumer Affairs. A subseries of Political Involvement includes conference materials reports
and supporting documents pertaining to Douglas' citizen participation with the White House Conference on Balanced National
Growth and Economic Development (1977-1978). Letters and invitations from President Jimmy Carter and staffers are also in
8. Research Materials comprises reports, journal essays, newspapers and magazines articles written by others, and assembled
by Douglas as reference sources for his writings.
Douglas' published articles in local and syndicated newspapers, in addition to self published booklets and pamphlets.
3.1. Publications: Newspaper columns and editorials, 1972-1979, undated.
Includes Douglas' published essays for South Carolina newspapers, "The Earl of Charleston," and the nationally syndicated
column, written under the by-line, "W. Earl Douglas."
3.1.1. "The Earl of Charleston," column, 1972, undated.
Editorial columns written by Douglas under the name of "William Earl," for "The Chronicle," a Charleston, South Carolina based
weekly newspaper focusing on current issues pertaining to the local African-American community.
Box 5 Folder 1
"The Earl of Charleston,"January-September 1972
Box 5 Folder 2
"The Earl of Charleston,"1972
Scattered collection of columns
3.1.2. The "W. Earl Douglas" Column, 1977-1979, undated.
Syndicated editorials published in the "Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader," "The Daily Advance," and the "Charleston Evening
Box 5 Folder 3
Editorials for the Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader, 1977-1979, undated
Douglas' column for the "Behind the Headlines Commentary on Our Times" section.
Box 5 Folder 4
Editorials by William Loeb, 1976, 1979, undated
Written by "Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader's publisher, William Loeb. Several of the editorials are written in support of
Douglas' columns. Also includes several "Letters to the Editor" (1979).
Box 5 Folder 5
Editorials for "The Daily Advance,"1977-1979
Photocopied newspaper clippings of Douglas' syndicated column for "The Daily Advance," Lynchburg, Virginia.
Box 5 Folder 6
Editorials for the "Charleston (S.C) Evening Post,"1976-1979, undated
Photocopied newspaper clippings of Douglas' syndicated column for the "Comment & Opinion" section.
3.2. Publications: "The Freedom Factor" Newsletters, 1977-1980.
Douglas' "The Freedom Factor," a series of self published writings on national socio-economic and political issues.
Box 5 Folder 7
"The Freedom Factor,"1977
Promotion material and letters announcing the publication of Douglas' newsletter.
Box 5 Folder 8
"The Freedom Factor" newsletters, 4 May-14 Dec 1977
Box 5 Folder 9
"The Freedom Factor" series: "An Epitaph for Black America,"18 May-24 Aug 1977
Newsletter edition, Part 1-8.
Box 5 Folder 10
"Epitaph for Black America,"1977, 1980
Typed drafts and published booklets.
Box 5 Folder 11
"The Freedom Factor" editorials, 1977, undated
Photocopied editorial columns for "The Charlestown Patriot" and the "Somerville Chronicle" (Massachusetts) and unidentifed
Box 5 Folder 12
Drafts and notes for "The Freedom Factor,"1977
3.3. Publications: Booklets and Pamphlets, 1977-1980, undated.
Douglas' self published writings on political and socio-economic issues. Several booklets were published post-humously by
his wife, Rosslee Green Douglas.
Box 5 Folder 13
Pamphlet: "An Amendment to the Constitution," c. 1978
Douglas' position paper to provide for representation of the District of Columbia for the South Carolina General Assembly.
Box 5 Folder 14
Booklet: "From "Roots" to Reality: The Curse of Liberalism," 1978.
Box 5 Folder 15
Booklet: "The License to Work," 1978
Includes draft of preface.
Box 5 Folder 16
Booklet: "Unionization and the Black South," 1978.
Box 5 Folder 17
Book Outlines, undated
Includes an outlines for "Black America: From Civil War to Civil Rights," "Black America: The World of Jive," and general
Contains Douglas' biographical drafts, draft essays on his fictional characters, "Willie and the Professor," short stories,
poems (several published) and plays.
Box 6 Folder 9
Biographical essays, undated
Untitled handwritten and typed drafts.
Box 6 Folder 10
Essays: "Willie and the Professor," c.1970s, undated
Drafts of essays written partly in vernacular, regarding African- American topics and issues, many focusing on life in Charleston
and South Carolina. Several of the essays were later published as newspaper editorials.
Box 6 Folder 11
Short Stories, undated
Drafts of fictional stories re: Christmas and love.
Box 6 Folder 12
Poems, 1964-1970, undated
Drafts (handwritten and typed) and published copies of verses written by Douglas.
Contains mostly letters written to Douglas by newspaper publishers, (mainly William "Bill" Loeb, III), political figures,
and editorial readers. Letters sent by Douglas includes replies to his editorial readers, and to Thomas R. Waring, editor
of the "Charleston Evening Post."
6.1. Correspondence: Letters from William Loeb, III, 1977-1979.
President and publisher of the Manchester (New Hampshire) Union Leader. Major topics include suggestions to Douglas regarding
expanding his newspaper column syndication circulation, and Loeb's concern over Douglas' diagnosis of Perenoil Palsy resulting
in his declining health. Letters are organized chronologically by year.
Box 7 Folder 1
Box 7 Folder 2
Box 7 Folder 3
Box 7 Folder 4
6.2. Correspondence: Letters from politicians and government staffers, 1977-1979.
Includes letters to Douglas from United States Senators Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms and Ernest F. Hollings; South Carolina
Governor James B. Edwards, and state representatives.
Box 7 Folder 5
Letters from U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond, 1977-1979
Box 7 Folder 6
Letters from U.S. Senators Jesse Helms and Ernest F. Hollings, 1978
Box 7 Folder 7
Letters from the South Carolina Office of the Governor, 1977-1979
Includes letters from Governor James B. Edwards.
Box 7 Folder 8
Letters from South Carolina state representatives and officials, 1977-1979
Box 7 Folder 9
Letters from various politicians and international representatives, 1977-1979
Includes letters from South African Consulate General, members of the House of Representatives and various United States politicians.
6.3. Correspondence: Business and General Correspondence, 1972-1979.
Contains letters and invitations, mostly from Douglas' editorial readership. Also includes correspondence with Thomas R. Waring,
editor of "Charleston Evening Post," (SC).
Box 7 Folder 10
Invites to political functions and committee meetings.
Box 7 Folder 11
Letters written to Douglas, 1976-1979
Re: readers response to his editorials published in various syndicated newspapers.
Box 7 Folder 12
Letters written by Douglas, 1972-1979
Majority of letters written in response to his readership and editorials written by others.
Box 7 Folder 13
Letters re: the "Charleston Evening Post,"1972-1978, undated
Letters to and from editor Thomas R. Waring.
Box 7 Folder 14
General letters to Douglas, 1977-1979.
Personal and general solicitation letters to Douglas and his family.
The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may
be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership
of most archival materials.
The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright
law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of
copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be
fully credited with the source.