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Collection Guides: Robert C. McGuire Collection, 1977

Robert C. McGuire Collection, 1977

Westfield State University Archives

Collection Guide

 Robert C. McGuire Collection, 1977


Mr. Robert C. McGuire researched Samuel Edward Courtney, Class of 1885.  This research was most likely for the dedication ceremony for Samuel Edward Courtney Hall in 1986. The photocopies available in the university archives are copies of letters and newspaper clippings that Mr. McGuire donated to the university after completing his research. The letters are photocopies of the Booker T. Washington Papers, found at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. There are published works of the Booker T. Washington Papers available in the Ely Library.

Samuel E. Courtney was a graduate of the Westfield State Normal School, Class of 1885. He had graduated from the Hampton Institute before coming to Westfield. He attended medical school at Harvard University from 1885 - 1888 and afterward became a physician. He married Lilla V. Davis in 1896 and they had six children during their married life. Mr. Courtney recruited Westfield Normal School graduates and others to teach in the Freedmen’s school in the South. Samuel Courtney was instrumental in organizing the Westfield State Normal School Eastern Alumni Association that began on May 6, 1905. These alumni members met every year at the Copley Square Hotel in Boston. The meetings were held until 1926. In 1939 the Eastern Alumni Association disbanded. Samuel E. Courtney died in 1941 in Boston, Massachusetts.


This correspondence represents the letters between Samuel Courtney and Booker T. Washington and span the years from 1901 – 1915. Also included in this collection are two letters to Samuel E. Courtney from Emmett Scott. Mr. Scott was the private secretary to Booker T. Washington for eighteen years. Mr. Scott also wrote a biography about Booker T. Washington called Booker T. Washington: Builder of a Civiliation, 1916.

This collection includes Newspaper clippings, obituaries, photocopy of Some Reminiscences of Booker T. Washington, by Samuel E. Courtney, letters from various institutions that provided information or lack of information regarding Mr. Courtney, and a paper in which Mr. McGuire documents his research methods. It is comprised of four file folders.


This collection has been arranged in approximate date order.


These letters are housed at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. They were photocopied and donated to the archives.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research only. No photocopies will be made as this material does not belong to the university.

Related Collections

Westfield State University Alumni Association Collection, 1847 – Present (Westfield Normal Alumni Association of Eastern Massachusetts)

Subject Headings

Washington, Booker T., 1856-1915; Westfield Normal School; Westfield State College History; Westfield State University History; Westfield State University Alumni Association ; Westfield Normal School -- Eastern Alumni Association, 1905-1939.


K. Canary

July 2012

577 Western Ave, Westfield, MA 01086

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