Displayed in Archives Center exhibition, "The Experience of a Lifetime: The Maid of Cotton Story, 1939-1993", from December 1, 2010 to March 25, 2011. Craig Orr, curator.
Collection is open for research but the negatives are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-633-3270.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
The Col. West A. Hamilton papers, which dates from 1887 to 1991 and measures 4.50 linear feet, are the personal papers of West A. Hamilton most noted for his service on the Board of Education for Washington, D.C. The papers comprise books, certificates, correspondence, photographs, and scrapbooks.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers which date from 1887-1991, bulk dates 1937-1978, document the personal and public life of Col. West A. Hamilton. The majority of material relates to Col. Hamilton's involvement with Washington D.C.'s educational system, both as a teacher and civic activist. A series of letters in particular highlight his efforts to help Dunbar High School, which he was an alum. There are also documents and photographs from his long serving military career and printing business.
The papers are arranged into six series. Folders are arranged alphabetically within series, while documents are organized chronologically. Four series contain oversized material and include: Biographical Files, Career, Photographs, and Printed material. Non archival materials associated with the papers are housed in the Collections Department.
Series 1: Biographical files
Sub-series 1.1: Correspondence
Sub-series 1.2: Education
Sub-series 1.3: General
Series 2: Books
Sub-series 2.1: Club Books
Sub-series 2.2: Fiction
Sub-series 2.3: Religious Books
Sub-series 2.4: Text Books
Series 3: Career
Sub-series 3.1: Committee Work
Sub-series 3.2: Correspondence
Sub-series 3.3: General
Series 4: Financial Records
Series 5: Photographs
Series 6: Printed Materials
Col. West A. Hamilton was born in 1886 to John A. Hamilton, a missionary and social worker, and Julia West Hamilton, a prominent club woman and activist in the Washington D.C. area. Mrs. Hamilton socialized with some of the most well known African American intellectuals of her time, including Mary McLeod Bethune. It was the early experiences of his parents' work with their community that would influence Hamilton later in life.
Throughout his life Col. Hamilton's activities could be divided into three areas: the military, public service, and private business. As a child Hamilton earned his education through Washington's public school system. He graduated from Dunbar High School and went on to receive his teaching degree from Minor Teachers College. After working as a teacher for ten years, Hamilton enlisted with the National Guard for the first time in 1905. It would be the first of many reenlistments and would include World War I, riding with the 10th Cavalry Regiment Buffalo Soldiers near the Mexican border, and commanding the 366th Infantry in North Africa and Italy during World War II. In 1983 Col. Hamilton became an honorary Brigadier General at the age of 96 for his long and distinguished service with the U.S. Armed Forces.
While working as a teacher and joining the military, Hamilton was also an entrepreneur. Joining forces with his brother Percival Y. Hamilton, the Hamilton brothers went into the publishing business and produced their own newspaper called the Sentinel. They established the Hamilton Printing Company in 1910 and worked from two previous locations before permanently locating on the corner of 14th and U St from 1922 to the 1970s.
Outside his many careers Hamilton carried on his mother's altruistic pursuits and involved himself heavily in club work and civic organizations. He served on Washington D.C.'s Board of Education, the Board of Elections, the recreation board, as well as, the American Legion and the Masons. For many years his mother, Julia West Hamilton, served as President of the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA and Col. Hamilton continued her work with the organization.
Col. Hamilton married twice but never had children. He died in 1985 just shy one year from his 100th birthday.
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
The Col. West A. Hamilton papers are the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with the Anacostia Community Museum. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.
American magazines and magazine covers dating from 1941 through 1943 with illustrations of the American flag collected and donated by Pete Claussen.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains American periodicals and periodical covers dating from 1941 through 1943 that depict the American flag. There is one cover dating from 1941. Series one consists of the periodicals and periodical covers. Oversized materials are located at the end of the collection but are alphabetized in the container list. Series two is composed of period ephemera related to the flag.
The artwork on the covers illustrates the flag in a variety of styles, from a small inset on an unrelated image to a color spread encompassing nearly the entire cover. In some instances, the flag appears in patriotic scenes of American life on the home front while in others it appears in battle or in close proximity to specific factories or consumer products.
Beyond their covers, the periodicals contain a snapshot of American life during the middle years of the Second World War. They include an extremely broad range of interests and topics ranging from embalming practices to railroad employee journals. War-related themes are conveyed in the form of patriotic articles, practical advice and knowledge, jokes, and caricatures of enemies. Photographs provide a visual depiction of day-to-day life during the period. Periodicals in the collection include magazines, comic books, community newspapers, and story collections. Most are imprinted with a date of publication or copyright and many include the "United We Stand" slogan. Non-periodical materials in the collection include a "United We Stand" postcard, an Indiana public schools syllabus entitled "Character Education," and a booklet entitled "Make and Mend for Victory" with instructions for making clothing wear longer. A reprint of a letter of appreciation for high achievement in the production of war equipment sent to the White Motor Company by the Under Secretary of War is included, along with a similar letter to the Hoover Company. Also part of this series is a 1942 magazine which captures the patriotic spirit of the time but does not depict the American flag.
This collection represents a contribution to the understanding of American patriotism and patriotic symbolism in American life, as well as mutually beneficial collaboration between the United States government and private industry.
In July 2002, Mr. Pete Claussen, a member of the Museum's National Board, viewed the exhibit July 1942: United We Stand (http://www.americanhistory.si.edu). The exhibition featured American flag cover art. Most of the covers in the exhibition were loaned to the Museum. Mr. Claussen became so interested in the covers that he began collecting them and donating them to the Museum.
The collection is arranged in two series.
Series 1, Magazine Flag Covers, 1941-1943
Series 2, Ephemera, 1942-1943
Biographical / Historical:
The National Publishers Association coordinated a campaign with the United States Department of the Treasury in the summer of 1942 to feature the American flag on magazine covers. Paul MacNamara, a publicist with the Hearst Corporation in New York, conceived of the campaign. The magazine industry could demonstrate its patriotism and the importance of magazines to American morale and at the same time justify its use of paper and other resources in the face of rationing. The Treasury Department endorsed the program and assisted magazine publishers by organizing store displays designed to show off the covers to the public. The federal government benefited from the campaign as many magazines, at the request of the Treasury Department, ran advertisements for war bonds. About five hundred magazines participated in this campaign.
The campaign rules required that the flag was not to have any overprinting, was to be displayed according to flag protocol, and was to appear with the motto "United We Stand." The motto, long a part of American history, came from the 1768 ballad The Liberty Song by John Dickenson. The United States Flag Association, in support of the "United We Stand" campaign, selected winning cover designs and awarded its Patriotic Service Cross to eight magazines and the Cross of Honor to the grand prize winner. Harper's Bazzar, House and Garden, Infantry Journal, The Merck Report, Modern Industry, NYLIC Review, This Week and Time earned the Patriotic Service Cross. The House and Garden cover, as the grand prizewinner, also was awarded the Cross of Honor.
The Treasury Department attempted to reprise the campaign again in 1943, but participation was scattered and not on the same level as the original 1942 campaign.