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Collection Title: Zwerling (Matthew) Freedom Summer Collection

Collection Number: M336

Dates: ca. 1963-1965

Volume: .50 cu.ft.


Provenance:
Donated by Mr. Matthew Zwerling on February 28, 2000


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:

Matthew Zwerling was a 1964 graduate cum laude of the University of Rochester, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and had been accepted to the Stanford University College of Medicine when he chose to spend his summer working as a volunteer with the voter registration program in Mississippi.

The son of a prominent family with strong political ties, Matthew was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts on April 15, 1944, to Dr. Israel and Florence Zwerling. His father was a Professor of Psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in Bronx, New York, and the family lived in New York City.

In June 1964, Matthew drove from his home in New York to the volunteer training session at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, with Andrew Goodman, who was a neighbor and friend of the family. After attending the orientation, the two young men drove to Mississippi, where they reported to their respective Freedom Summer sites. Matthew was appointed to Clarksdale, while Andrew was assigned to Meridian. Sadly, this was their last meeting, as Andrew became one of three civil rights workers murdered in Philadelphia, Mississippi shortly thereafter.

Despite the obvious danger, Matthew remained in Mississippi, extending his stay until the end of August. During these months, he was heavily involved in voter registration drives, and assisted in the planning of meetings and rallies to promote community participation. While Matthew worked in Mississippi, his family wrote letters and petitioned government officials to investigate the murders of Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner, and to provide appropriate protection for civil rights workers in the state.

Although little is known of his life after Freedom Summer 1964, at this writing, Matthew is an attorney working in an appellate project in San Francisco, California. He is married to Holly Veldhuis, and they have one son, Michael.


Scope and Content:

This collection contains civil rights materials collected by Matthew Zwerling and his family from 1963 to 1965. The bulk of the material documents Matthew's activities as a Freedom Summer volunteer in Clarksdale, Mississippi during 1964.

Box one consists of three folders of personal materials: two folders of correspondence, and one folder of photographs. The correspondence folders contain Matthew's weekly letters to his parents, which were usually composed every Tuesday, and give brief details of Matthew's living conditions and his own interpretation of his work's progress. Also included are letters between Matthew's parents and government officials concerning the Goodman/Chaney/Schwerner murders and the overall safety of Freedom Summer volunteers. The folder of photographs includes what is believed to be the last photograph of Andrew Goodman, taken a few weeks prior to his death. The remainder of the folders in the box consist of flyers, pamphlets, articles, reports, and other materials that were collected by Matthew and his family during the Civil Rights Movement, including organizational materials from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP).

Box two contains two folders of materials. The first folder is comprised of periodicals with articles devoted to civil rights issues. One of the periodicals is dedicated to Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner and the investigation of their deaths. The second folder includes various newspaper articles that document the Civil Rights Movement from 1963 to 1965.

This collection should be of value to researchers of Freedom Summer and the Civil Rights Movement in general.


Related Collections:

Glass (Jinny) Freedom Summer Diary, M 257

Zeman (Zoya) Freedom Summer Collection, M 320

Ellin (Joseph and Nancy) Freedom Summer Collection, M 323


Photograph Log:
Available.


Box and Folder List:


Box 1  
   
Folder 1

Correspondence From Matthew Zwerling to his Parents (June 20 - August 26, 1964)

Digitized items from this folder include the following:
Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling; June 20, 1964
Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling and Sara; June 23, 1964
Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling and Sara; June 26, 1964
Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling and Sara; June 30, 1964
Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling; July 3, 1964
Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling; July 7, 1964
Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling; July 12, 1964
Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling; July 14, 1964
Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling; July 20, 1964
Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling; July 24, 1964
Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling; July 28, 1964
Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling; August 3, 1964
Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling; August 5, 1964
Letter, Mathew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling; August 6, 1964
Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling; August 10, 1964
Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling; August 11, 1964
Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling; August 17, 1964
Letter, Matthew Zwerling to Israel and Florence Zwerling; August 26, 1964

   
Folder 2

Correspondence Between Matthew Zwerling's Parents and U.S. Government Officials (June 12, 1964 - May 11, 1965)

Digitized items from this folder include the following:
Letter, Dr. Israel Zwerling to President Lyndon B. Johnson; July 8, 1964
Letter, Abraham Ribicoff to Leo M. Davidoff; July 9, 1964
Letter, Dr. Israel Zwerling to Robert F. Kennedy; July 13, 1964
Telegram, Dr. Israel Zwerling; August 4, 1964
Letter, Ogden R. Reid to Dr. Israel Zwerling; August 5, 1964
Letter, Dr. Israel Zwerling to Lyndon B. Johnson; August 10, 1964
Letter, Ogden R. Reid to Mrs. Israel Zwerling; May 11, 1965

   
Folder 3

Freedom Summer Photographs, 1964

Digitized items from this folder include the following:
Freedom Summer training session, 1964
Freedom Summer office in Clarksdale, 1964
Matthew Zwerling in Freedom Summer office, 1964

   
Folder 4

Free Southern Theater, ca. 1964

Digitized items from this folder include the following:
Report from the Free Southern Theater

   
Folder 5

Goodman, Andrew, 1964

   
Folder 6 Magazine Articles on Civil Rights Movement (February 24 - August 22, 1964)
   
Folder 7 Miscellaneous Memos/Letters, Reports, Articles/Newsletters (June 25, 1964 - March 12, 1965)
   
Folder 8

Mississippi Assistance Project (MAP), ca. 1964

Digitized items from this folder include the following:
Letter from the Mississippi Assistance Project
Mississippi Assistance Project brochure

   
Folder 9

Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), ca. 1964

Digitized items from this folder include the following:
Challenge of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
Council of Federated Organizations brochure
Freedom vote ballot
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party flyer

   
Folder 10

Mississippi Road Map, 1964

   
Folder 11 Newsletter: The Student Voice (June 9 - August 12, 1964)

Digitized items from this folder include the following:
Student voice, Vol. 5, no. 14
Student voice, Vol. 5, no. 15
Student voice, Vol. 5, no. 16
Student voice, Vol. 5, no. 17

   
Folder 12 Pamphlets and Brochures on Civil Rights Movement, ca. 1964
   
Folder 13

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), ca. 1964

Digitized items from this folder include the following:
Current status of Mississippi legislation
Development of Mississippi project
SNCC newsletter

   
Folder 14

SNCC Mississippi Project Incident List (June 16 - August 26, 1964)

Digitized items from this folder include the following:
Mississippi Summer Project running summary of incidents

   
Folder 15

SNCC Guidelines for Parents of Mississippi Volunteers, 1964

Digitized items from this folder include the following:
Guidelines for action for parents of New York area students going to Mississippi

   
Folder 16

Town Hall Meeting at NYU (August 20, 1964)

Digitized items from this folder include the following:
Program for Town Hall meeting
Flyer for Town Hall meeting

   
Folder 17 Unitarian Universalist Report (January 1-9, 1965)
   
Box 2  
   
Folder 1 Newspaper Articles on Civil Rights Movement (July 20, 1963 - October 15, 1964)
   
Folder 2 Periodicals relating to Civil Rights Movment, ca. 1964

 


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