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Collection Title: Carter (William Hodding)/The Angry Scar Manuscript

Collection Number: M5

Dates: 1959

Volume: .45 cu. ft.

Provenance: Donated by Hodding Carter, circa 1963.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

William Hodding Carter, Jr., born in Hammond, Louisiana, on February 3, 1907, was the son of William Hodding and Irma Dutarte Carter. He spent most of his growing up years in the Mississippi Delta country, and his summers at his grandmother's home on the Mississippi River, where his love of the river grew. During his boyhood he witnessd two disturbing events: a large groups of rowdy white boys chasing a black boy and a lynched body. These memories never faded and may have been the reason for his strong views on civil rights.

Carter graduated from Bowdoin College, Maine, and began his professional writing career for the New Orleans Item-Tribune in 1929. Carter married Betty Werlein on October 14, 1931, and in 1932 they started the Daily Courier in Hammond, Louisiana, where they fought the "Huey Long machine." In 1936, he sold the Daily Courier and moved to Greenville, Mississippi, where he started the Delta Star; two years later he bought out his competition (Democrat Times) and merged these to form the Delta Democrat-Times.

Serving in World War II in the Intelligence Division, Carter continued his journalistic activities by editing the Middle East division of Yank and Stars and Stripes in Cairo, Egypt, and writing three books.

Carter returned to Mississippi following his military retirement in 1945, and resumed his newspaper work where he took up the fight editorially against racial, religious and economic intolerance, specifically the "Citizen's Council", an organization formed to preserve segregation in the South, and against such state politicians as Theodore Bilbo, James Eastland and John Rankin. In May 1946, Hodding Carter received a Pulitzer Prize for his editorials on racial injustice. He won various honors and awards throughout the years and had many of his pieces published in various magazines. Carter wrote numerous books about the South including Southern Legacy, Where Main Street Meets the River and The Angry Scar(1959), which deals mainly with Reconstruction. It was published by Doubleday in their series "Mainstream of America."

Hodding Carter, Jr. and his wife Betty had three sons, William Hodding III, Philip Dutartre, and Thomas Hennen Carter. He will best be remembered for his stands on civil rights and his journalistic endeavors. Carter died on April 4, 1972, in Greenville, Mississippi.

Scope and Content:

This collection consists of a typescript of The Angry Scar: The Story of Reconstruction, written by Hodding Carter and published in 1959, by Doubleday as part of a series entitled, "Mainstreams of America," the third work dealing with the Civil War.

The Angry Scar deals with the decade after the Civil War and how the South and its people lived during Reconstruction. The story is taken from diaries, newspaper articles and correspondence of the times with contemporary comments along.

The collection is arranged in one box of eight folders. Material in folder 1-7 is grouped by book and chapter divisions, while folder 8 consists of the bibliography and index. A folder list is given below. On the typescript there are various marks possibly made by an editor or publisher and/or the author himself. There are a few pages missing (111,112, and 800-807) but on the whole the typescript is in good condition.

For additional materials by and about Hodding Carter, the researcher is referred to Mitchell Library at Mississippi State University, where the personal papers of Hodding Carter are housed

Copies of The Angry Scar: The Story of Reconstruction (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1959) are available in the Cook, McCain, and Cox Libraries, call number E668 .C3.


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Revised: November 3, 2004