The Resource Willis M. Carter collection

Willis M. Carter collection

Willis M. Carter collection, ca. 1894-2016
Willis M. Carter collection
Inclusive dates
ca. 1894-2016
  • Papers, ca. 1894-2016, of Willis McGlascoe Carter (1852-1902), an African American newspaper editor in Staunton, Virginia, consisting of a journal, ca. 1894, by Carter; issue, 1 September 1894, of Carter's newspaper the STAUNTON TRIBUNE; and a memorial, 1902, written by Carter's fellow teachers at Public School #2 in Staunton at Carters death. Collection also contains additional research notes and materials gathered by Deborah Harding, Cuesta Benberry, and Margaret Rhett including articles, interviews, maps, photographs, and court and federal records for the book FROM SLAVE TO STATESMAN, THE LIFE OF EDUCATOR, EDITOR, AND CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST WILLIS M. CARTER OF VIRGINIA by Robert Heinrich and Deborah Harding, foreword by Henry Louis Gates Jr., published by LSU Press May 2016. Collection also contains papers of Cuesta Benberry (1923-2007) of St. Louis, Missouri, who discovered the Carter journal
  • The Willis M. Carter journal and memorial are from the collection of Cuesta Benberry of St. Louis, Missouri. When citing journal, please cite as: Willis M. Carter journal, ca. 1894, from the collection of Cuesta Benberry. Accession 51546. Personal papers collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia
  • The collection is donated by Deborah Harding in cooperation with the Hutchins Center of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
  • Willis McGlascoe Carter was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, to Samuel Carter and Rhoda Brown Carter. Born into slavery the first of eleven children, Carter was educated at Wayland Seminary in Washington D.C., became a teacher, a newspaper editor, and a statesman and political activist respected for his work to promote African American political rights and educational opportunities. He married Serena Bell Johnson (ca. 1869-5 August 1898) on 13 September 1888, and had two sons, Roscoe Wilson Carter (4 July 1889-28 December 1974) and Storum W. Carter (21 February 1893-28 February 1894). Carter is believed to be buried at Fairview Cemetery in Staunton, Virginia.
  • Cuesta Aldine Ray Benberry was born 8 September 1923 in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Walter Ray Sr. and Marie Jones and was raised and lived in St. Louis, Missouri. Benberry was an esteemed historian, particularly of African American quilts and culture, a teacher, and a librarian. She married George L. Benberry in 1951 and had one son, George Jr. born in 1953. Benberry died 23 August 2007.
Cataloging source
Willis M. Carter collection
  • Journal, memorial, newspaper, and itemized finding aid available on-line
  • Consult both the on-line finding aid and the hard copy finding aid located in box 1
  • Original of journal and memorial are currently unavailable due to conservation. Please consult the on-line journal and memorial
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • Inventory
  • Inventory
  • The collection is
Governing access note
There are no access restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
  • Harding, Deborah
  • Benberry, Cuesta
  • Vickers, Jennifer
Reproduction note
Type of unit
cu. ft. (18 boxes)



Member of

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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