Abstract

In the summer 1962, future Harvard student Steve Saltonstall was one of the early wave of white northerners who went into the Jim Crow south to work for civil rights. During that summer, he worked with SNCC to organize public accommodations in Cairo, Ill., and with an AFSC crew to help clear brush from a drainage ditch near Circle City, Missouri, encountering local resistance in both places. Saltonstall later became an attorney and currently practices in Vermont.

The Saltonstall collection consists of approximately sixty photographs taken by John Engel during his tour with an AFSC crew during the summer of 1962. While most of the images depict the crew's work near Circle City, Missouri, six photos document a civil rights rally in Cairo, Ill. The images are available in digital form only.

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English
Special Collections & University Archives
UMass Amherst Libraries
154 Hicks Way
Amherst, Mass. 01003-9275
413-545-2780
Stephen L. Saltonstall Photograph Collection
1962
1 volume (0.1 linear ft.)
Call no.: PH 014

Background on Stephen L Saltonstall

In the summer 1962, future Harvard student Steve Saltonstall was one of the early wave of white northerners who went into the Jim Crow south to work for civil rights. Still a teenager, Saltonstall assisted a SNCC project in Cairo, Illinois, then a hotbed of KKK activity, that sought to integrate public accommodations built with federal funds.

From there, Saltonstall enlisted on a crew organized by the American Friends Service Committee, to travel fifty miles west to work on a seemingly more mundane project, to help clear a tree-filled drainage ditch near the segregated, all-white community of Circle City, Missouri, that caused the city to flood each year. The AFSC crew was integrated by a single African American woman who, as Saltonstall recalled, "ultimately left the camp for unknown reasons I never fully understood," and as a result, the northerners was visited nightly by night riders. "But the head camp counselor, Mick Micklem," Saltonstall wrote, "was a southerner who persuaded the rednecks to leave. We cleared the trees from the ditch and had a Quaker Meeting in it on the last day of camp. It was a beautiful sight, pink cotton flowers as far as one could see."

After college, Saltonstall spent some time as a back to the land hippie and later received a law degree from Northeastern University. Today he does civil trial work in Vermont, with a specialty in personal injury and wrongful death, criminal defense, and civil rights and civil liberties.

Contents of Collection

The Saltonstall collection consists of approximately sixty photographs taken by John Engel during his tour with an AFSC crew during the summer of 1962. While most of the images depict the crew's work near Circle City, Missouri, six photos document a civil rights rally in Cairo, Ill. The images are available in digital form only.

Collection inventory
Stephen Saltonstall and unidentified crew member Stephen Saltonstall and unidentified crew member
1962
Digital
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1962
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1962
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1962
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1962
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1962
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1962
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1962
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1962
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Tree litter in drainage ditch, Circle City, Missouri Tree litter in drainage ditch, Circle City, Missouri
1962
Digital
40
Tree litter in drainage ditch, Circle City, Missouri Tree litter in drainage ditch, Circle City, Missouri
1962
Digital
41
Burning brush, Circle City, Missouri Burning brush, Circle City, Missouri
1962
Digital
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Burning brush, Circle City, Missouri Burning brush, Circle City, Missouri
1962
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Burning brush, Circle City, Missouri Burning brush, Circle City, Missouri
1962
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Burning brush, Circle City, Missouri Burning brush, Circle City, Missouri
1962
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Civil rights demonstrators organizing, Cairo, Ill. Civil rights demonstrators organizing, Cairo, Ill.
1962
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Civil rights demonstrators marching past Blankenship and Co. auto parts sign, Cairo, Ill. Civil rights demonstrators marching past Blankenship and Co. auto parts sign, Cairo, Ill.
1962
Digital
51
Civil rights demonstrators marching past Shemwell's Barbeque, Cairo, Ill. Civil rights demonstrators marching past Shemwell's Barbeque, Cairo, Ill.
1962
Digital
52
Police and civil rights demonstrators, Cairo, Ill. Police and civil rights demonstrators, Cairo, Ill.
1962
Digital
53
Civil rights picket line, Cairo, Ill.  Signs read "Jim Crow must go" and "We demand our rights," "We shall overcome," and "Segregation is evil." Civil rights picket line, Cairo, Ill. Signs read "Jim Crow must go" and "We demand our rights," "We shall overcome," and "Segregation is evil."
1962
Digital
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Civil rights demonstrators, Cairo, Ill.: signs read "We demand Human Relations Council." Civil rights demonstrators, Cairo, Ill.: signs read "We demand Human Relations Council."
1962
Digital
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1962
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1962
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Administrative information
Provenance

Acquired from John Engel by Tom Fels, 1999.

Processing Information

Processed by Dex Haven, August 2010.

Alternative Formats

Digitized versions of the images in this collection have been added to SCUA's online repository, Credo.

See other collections in the Famous Long Ago Archives.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Stephen L. Saltonstall Photograph Collection (PH 014). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms
Subjects
  • Cairo (Ill.).
  • Circle City (Mo.).
  • Civil rights demonstrations--Illinois--Photographs.
Names
  • American Friends Service Committee.
  • Engel, John P.
  • Saltonstall, Stephen L.
  • Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)
Genre terms
  • Photographs.