Herndon J. Evans Collection

Abstract

Herndon J. Evans, editor of the Pineville Sun in Bell County, Kentucky, closely followed labor unrest in the Kentucky coalfields, especially in Harlan and Bell Counties, during the early 1930s. The collection contains handbills, leaflets, pamphlets and newspaper clippings collected by Evans primarily from 1931-1933. Also included are handwritten notes, correspondence, and drafts of articles and editorials written by Evans as well as memorabilia such as Communist Party membership books and organizational charts.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Herndon J. Evans Collection
Date
1929-1982
Creator
Evans, Herndon J., 1895-1976
Extent
3.5 Cubic feet
Subjects
Coal miners--Kentucky
Coal mines and mining--Economic conditions.
Communism--Kentucky.
Editors--Kentucky.
Pamphlets.
Strikes and lockouts--Coal mining--Kentucky.
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Processed by Archives Staff; machine-readable finding aid created by Beth Eifler
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], Herndon J. Evans Collection, 1929-1982, 82M1, Special Collections and Digital Programs, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Herndon J. Evans (1895-1976), a resident of Bell County, Kentucky, was editor of the Pineville Sun and local correspondent for the Associated Press (AP) in the early 1930s, a period of labor unrest in the Kentucky coalfields, especially in Harlan and Bell Counties.
Evans closely followed events in the Pineville area, paying attention to the strikes and attempts by the United Mine Workers of America and the Communist Party's National Miners Union to organize the miners. He was particularly concerned with two delegations composed mainly of writers, including Sherwood Anderson, John Dos Passos, Theodore Dreiser, Waldo Frank and Mary Heaton Vorse, who travelled to eastern Kentucky to investigate the conditions of miners and their families and who eventually published their findings in Harlan Miners Speak: Report on Terrorism in the Kentucky Coal Fields (Harcourt, Brace, 1932). Evans was also keenly interested in the various groups of college students who came to support the miners. Opposed to the activities of these delegations, Evans worked to undermine their presence and credibility by using his journalistic skills to write editorials for the Pineville Sun and articles for the AP.
Scope and Content
The collection contains handbills, leaflets, pamphlets and newspaper clippings collected by Evans primarily from 1931-1933. Also included are handwritten notes, correspondence, and drafts of articles and editorials written by Evans as well as memorabilia such as Communist Party membership books and organizational charts.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Use Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky.

Contents of the Collection

Biographical Materials

Contains Family Affairs written by Mary Elizabeth Evans, Herndon's wife, as well as clippings pertaining to Evans himself. See also Box 2, Folder 23.

Miscellaneous materials

  • Box 1, Folder 1
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Correspondence

Correspondence to Herndon Evans from supporters and those who disagree with his ideology and position on the labor strife in Harlan and Bell Counties. Also includes carbon copies of correspondence from Herndon Evans.

November 1931

  • Box 1, Folder 2
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December 1931

  • Box 1, Folder 3
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January 1932

  • Box 1, Folder 4
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February 1932

  • Box 1, Folder 5
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March 1-18, 1932

  • Box 1, Folder 6
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March 19-31, 1932

  • Box 1, Folder 7
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April 1932

  • Box 1, Folder 8
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May 1932

  • Box 1, Folder 9
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July 1932

  • Box 1, Folder 10
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undated

  • Box 1, Folder 11
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Miscellaneous [not strike-related]

  • Box 1, Folder 12
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Handwritten Notes

Handwritten notes

  • Box 2, Folder 1
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Handbills and Leaflets about the Strike

Handbills calling for mass meetings and marches

December 13, 1931-June 12, 1932; undated

  • Box 2, Folder 2
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Herndon Evans' News Stories

undated

  • Box 2, Folder 3
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Editorials and Letters to the Editor

February 1932; undated

  • Box 2, Folder 4
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Press Releases

November, 1931-May 1932; undated

  • Box 2, Folder 5
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Publications

Publications about the strike and related topics such as ideological positions on communism

Books and Pamphlets about the Strikes

Document laid in book Harlan Miners Speak: Report on Terrorism in the Kentucky Coal Fields, 1932).]

  • Box 2, Folder 6
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Pamphlets about the Strike

  • Box 2, Folder 7
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Periodical Articles

These articles are primarily related to the strikes in Bell and Harlan Counties. However, a few articles are about communism in general.

"Theodore Dreiser (An American Tragedy)," Time, November 23, 1931.

  • Box 2, Folder 8
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"Why Blood Flows in Harlan," The Literary Digest, December 5, 1931.

  • Box 2, Folder 9
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"Red Blood in Kentucky," Charles Walker, Forum and Century, January 1932.

  • Box 2, Folder 10
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"Starvation and the Reds in Kentucky," Oakley Johnson, The Nation, February 3, 1932.

  • Box 2, Folder 11
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"Marx Inverted," Book Review, The New Republic, February 24, 1932.

  • Box 2, Folder 12
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"Kentucky Newspaperman Denies Distorting Story on Writers," Editor and Publisher, February 27, 1932.

  • Box 2, Folder 13
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"In Pineville," Time, February 29, 1932.

  • Box 2, Folder 14
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"Kentucky Man is Off AP String List," Editor and Publisher, March 5, 1932.

  • Box 2, Folder 15
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"Kentucky Coal Town," Malcolm Cowley, The New Republic, March 2, 1932.

  • Box 2, Folder 16
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"Theodore Dreiser," Edmund Wilson, The New Republic, March 30, 1932.

  • Box 2, Folder 17
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"Who Knows What's Happening in Kentucky?" The Christian Century, A Journal of Religion, March 1932.

  • Box 2, Folder 18
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The Epworth Highroad, March 1932

  • Box 2, Folder 19
[It is not clear why Herndon Evans may have saved this magazine.] To top

"Kentucky Hits Communism : The Truth about the Coal Mine Situation in South Eastern Kentucky and the Dreiser-Frank "Ballyhoo," Herndon Evans, Kentucky Progress Magazine, April 1932.

  • Box 2, Folder 20
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"Kentucky Editors Look at Kentucky: A Series of Letters on Harlan and Bell Counties," The Nation, May 18, 1932.

  • Box 2, Folder 21
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"Communist Forcing Showdown? : Why Reds Stir World Wide Violence," US News and World Report, May 23, 1958.

  • Box 2, Folder 22
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"Herndon J Evans and the Harlan County Coal Strike," Phillip D. Supina, The Filson Club History Quarterly, July 1982.

  • Box 2, Folder 23
Contains biographical information about Herndon Evans. To top

Clippings about the Strikes

Clippings from newspapers around the country about the strikes in Bell and Harlan Counties

March-December, 1931

  • Box 3, Folder 1
Contains articles pertaining to Theodore Dreiser and his committee of U.S senators and private citizens who came to Kentucky to investigate conditions in the Kentucky coalfields To top

January-February, 1932

  • Box 3, Folder 2
Several articles in this folder are related to the abduction and abuse of two journalists, Allen Taub and Waldo Frank To top

March 1932

  • Box 3, Folder 3
Among other strike-related topics, this folder contains articles about the National Student League and their arrival in Bell and Harlan Counties To top

April 1932 and May 1932

  • Box 3, Folder 4
Articles in this folder continue to cover student support of the strike, including the arrival of students from Arkansas' Commonwealth College who were physically assaulted for their involvement To top

1931 [month and day unknown]

  • Box 4, Folder 1
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1932 [month and day unknown]

  • Box 4, Folder 2
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Clippings Unrelated to the Strikes

1929-1967

  • Box 4, Folder 3
Many of these clippings are about communism and constitutional rights in the United States. To top

Herndon Evans' Scrapbook

Photocopied version for patron use. Original is in fragile condition and is located in Box 6.

Scrapbook pages: November 1931- May 1932, p. 1-68

  • Box 5, Folder 1
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Scrapbook pages: Handwritten notes and speeches, p. 69-77

  • Box 5, Folder 2
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Undated, p. 78-88

  • Box 5, Folder 3
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Memorabilia

Memorabilia

  • Box 5, Folder 4
Includes Communist Party membership booklets, Pineville "transportation cards," membership cards for the "Society for the Protection of Defenseless Children," and patriotic memorabilia. Also, located in Box 7, are blueprints: Louisville & Nashville Railroad, Cumberland Valley Division chart of total monthly [coal] loadings, January 1927 to date [February 12 1932]; Bolshevist Organization in the United States of America, At Present Time, 1931 [organizational chart]. To top

Related Materials

Materials not pertaining to the strike.

Anti-communist materials

  • Box 5, Folder 5
Includes publications on the dangers of communism in public schools and the effects of communist propaganda. Booklets from the Committee on Un-American Activities are also included. To top

Communist Party booklets and pamphlets

  • Box 5, Folder 6
Includes a picture book about unemployment by Phil Bard and published by the Young Communist League, and a pamphlet entitled War against Workers' Russia, by Earl Browder To top

Miscellaneous Pamphlets

  • Box 5, Folder 7
Contains an American Red Cross Handbook and a brochure of Pineville Kentucky To top

Oversize Materials

Herndon Evans Scrapbook

Blueprints: Louisville & Nashville Railroad, Cumberland Valley Division chart of total monthly [coal] loadings, January 1927 to date [February 12 1932]; Bolshevist Organization in the United States of America, At Present Time, 1931 [organizational chart].

  • Box 7
To top

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