The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
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Collection Title: Lake (Ellen) Freedom Summer Collection
Collection Number: M370
Dates: ca. June - October 1964
Volume: .1 cubic foot
Restrictions: Available for research use by the serious student and scholar.
Ellen Lake was born in New York City, New York on November 11, 1944 to Leonard and Alice Lake. Lake attended Harrison Avenue Elementary School and in 1962 graduated from Harrison High School. Lake graduated from Radcliffe College/Harvard University in 1966 and received her JD in 1970 from Case Western Reserve University. In 1984 Lake married William G. Hoerger. They have two children, Rachel and Joshua Hoerger.
During the summer of 1964, Ellen Lake worked with the voter registration project in Gulfport, Mississippi as a Mississippi Freedom Summer Project volunteer. In preparation for the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project, Lake attended an orientation session at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio.
Ellen Lake was a co-founder, editor, and reporter for The Southern Courier, a weekly Alabama newspaper begun in 1965. The paper covered news of civil rights and the African-American community in Alabama -- the only paper to do so at that time. The paper lasted about three years.
Currently, Lake lives in Oakland, California where she practices law. Her law practice is devoted to employment discrimination, wrongful termination, and personal injury cases in the appellate courts.
Contents of the Collection
This collection consists of photocopies of materials collected by Ellen Lake relating to the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. The originals are housed at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Ellen Lake's mother, Alice Lake, received an assignment to write an article for Redbook about the Project. The article "Last Summer in Mississippi" appeared in the November 1964 edition and describes Kay Prickett, a Freedom Summer volunteer in Madison County, Mississippi.
Folder 1 contains photocopies of letters Lake wrote to her parents and grandparents during the summer of 1964. The letters dated June 24, June 26, July 4, and August 12 are quoted in Elizabeth Sutherland Martínez's Letters from Mississippi.
Folder 2 contains two letters written by Ruth Kay Prickett to Alice Lake. The letter dated August 2, 1964 is quoted in Elizabeth Sutherland Martínez's Letters from Mississippi.
Folder 3 contains Alice Lake's article "Last Summer in Mississippi." The article was published in the November 1964 edition of Redbook.
Folder 4 contains correspondence between Alice Lake and Federal officials including Senator Kenneth B. Keating, Representative Ogden R. Reid, Senator Jacob K. Javits, Assistant Attorney General Burke Marshall and Associate Counsel to the President Lee C. White.
Folder 5 contains a letter by Harvard professor Mark DeWolfe Howe to Alice Lake, a pronouncement by several law professors regarding the federal government's ability to intervene in Mississippi in 1964.
Folder 6 contains materials distributed to the Mississippi Freedom Summer project volunteers.
Folder 7 contains "Profiles of Typical Freedom Schools" (1964).
Folder 8 contains two Freedom Schools Reports for Cedar Grove Church in Madison County, Mississippi.
Folder 9 contains "Mississippi Summer Project Running Summary of Incidents (June 16 - July 16, 1964)."