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Thomas H. Harris Papers

Collection 52

Harris, Thomas H. (1869-1942). Papers, 1891-1968, n.d.

4 feet, 2 inches; 1 volume

Thomas H. Harris was the Louisiana State Superintendent of Public Schools from 1908 to 1940. He was born in Arizona, LA into a preacher's family and attended many different schools, including Louisiana State Normal School at Natchitoches, University of Chicago, Harvard University, University of Iowa, and Louisiana State University. During and after his schooling, Harris held various teaching positions and served as principal at several different schools. For most of his career, he was Louisiana Superintendent of Education.

This collection contains correspondence, speeches, his autobiography and memoirs, photographs, financial documents, and materials (telegrams, newspaper clippings) concerning his death. The collection also includes some materials (thesis, correspondence, and school reports) from Sadie Harris Baskin, Harris’s daughter.

Sadie Harris Baskin donated the collection.

Series:

I. Correspondence (1927-1942) 1-01 through 2-11
II. Biographical Materials  
  A. Memoirs (1910-1937) 2-12 through 3-16
  B. Autobiography (1963) 3-17 through 3-29
  C. Personal Materials, Honors, Certificates (1934-1963) 4-01 through 4-05
III. Photographs (1937-1954) 4-06 through 4-08
IV. Speeches (1927-1939)  
  A. Speeches (unbound) (1927-1939) 4-09 through 5-09
  B. Speeches (bound) (1930-1936) 5-10 through 5-13
V. Reports by T.H. Harris  
  A. Book Reports (1921-1923) 5-14 through 7-05
  B. Education Reports (1936-1940) 7-06 through 7-08
VI. Writings about T.H. Harris (1934-1966) 7-09 through 7-11
VII. Obituaries and Sympathy Letters  
  A. Mrs. Thomas H. Harris (1939) 7-12 through 8-10
  B. Thomas H. Harris (1942) 8-06 through 8-10
VIII. Financial Records (1891-1947) 8-11 through 9-10, vol.1
IX. Sadie Baskin Materials (1923-1965)  
  A. Correspondence (1936-1943) 9-11
  B. Writings (1929-1965) 9-12 through 10-02
  C. Reports (1923-1936) 10-03
  D. International Relations Committee Materials (1939-1941) 10-04 through 10-06
X. Miscellaneous (1923-1968) 10-07 through 10-15

Inventory:

I. Correspondence, 1927-1942
1-01 October 27, 1927 – May 7, 1928
1-02 September 28, 1931 - October 31, 1937
1-03 November 1, 1937 - December 31, 1937
1-04 January 1, 1938 - March 31, 1938
1-05 March 1, 1938 - March 31, 1938
1-06 April 1, 1938 - April 30, 1938
1-07 August 4, 1938 – September 30, 1938
1-08 October 3, 1938 – October 31, 1938
1-09 November 2, 1938 – November 30, 1938
1-10 December 3, 1938 – December 23, 1938
1-11 January 3, 1939 – January 27, 1939
1-12 June 30, 1939 – July 29, 1939
1-13 August 1, 1939 – August 24, 1939
1-14 September 2, 1939 – September 28, 1939
1-15 October 3, 1939 – October 23, 1939
1-16 November 2, 1939 – November 29, 1939
1-17 December 6, 1939 – December 28, 1939
1-18 January 6, 1940 – February 23, 1940
1-19 February 26, 1940 – February 29, 1940
1-20 March 1, 1940 – March 29, 1940
2-01 April 1, 1940 – May 6, 1940
2-02 June 1, 1940 - December 31, 1940
2-03 January 1, 1941 - January 31, 1941
2-04 February 1, 1941 - March 31, 1941
2-05 April 1, 1941 - April 30, 1941
2-06 May 1, 1941 - May 31, 1941
2-07 June 1, 1941 - June 30, 1941
2-08 July 1, 1941 - August 31, 1941
2-09 September 1, 1941 - December 31, 1941
2-10 January 1, 1942 - February 24, 1942
2-11 Miscellaneous undated cards and notes
 
II. Biographical Materials, 1910-1963
A. Memoirs (handwritten), 1910-1937
2-12 "Adult Illiterates"
2-13 "The Agriculture Division (1910-1912)"
2-14 "Attitudes of the Catholics"
2-15 "The Auditing Division," (1934)
2-16 "The Bookkeeping Division"
2-17 "The Cats Organize a Police Department"
2-18 "Certification of the Teacher," (1913)
2-19 "Curriculum Investigations"
2-20 "Division of Home Economics," (1912)
2-21 "Division of Music," (1934)
2-22 "Division of Safety," (1937)
2-23 "The Elementary Division," (1910)
2-24 "Free Textbooks," (1928)
2-25 "High School and College Boys and Girls of Fifteen to Twenty-two"
2-26 "The High School Division," (1908)
2-27 "The Library Division," (1928)
2-28 "Louisiana Country School"
2-29 "The Louisiana School Board Association"
2-30 "Mass Murder"
2-31 "The Negro School Division," (1916)
2-32 "The Old Lisbon School"
2-33 "Parish School System"
2-34 "Parish Superintendents"
2-35 "Phi Beta Kappa"
2-36 "Physical Education Division," (1935)
2-37 "Public Opinion"
3-01 "The Public School Financing System"
3-02 "The Rabbit has a Riding Horse"
3-03 "Reference and Service Division," (1925)
3-04 "Remembering School Days"
3-05 "Some Important School Laws"
3-06 "The State Board of Education"
3-07 "The State Equality Fund," (1930)
3-08 "State Institutions Administered by the State Board of Education"
3-09 "Stolen Elections and Theft of Public Funds"
3-10 "Supervision of Instruction"
3-11 "Teachers' Salaries"
3-12 "Two Half Brothers"
3-13 "Typhoid Fever Scene"
3-14 Typed manuscript adopted from "Memoirs:" p.1-71
3-15 Typed manuscript adopted from “Memoirs:” p.72-124
3-16 Typed manuscript adopted from “Memoirs:” p.125-194
 
B. Autobiography (proof copy), 1963
3-17 Chapters 1-2
3-18 Chapter 3
3-19 Chapters 4-6
3-20 Chapters 7-10
3-21 Chapters 11-12
3-22 Chapter 13
3-23 Chapters 14-15
3-24 Chapters 16-18
3-25 Chapters 19-20
3-26 Chapters 21-22
3-27 Chapters 23-25
3-28 Chapters 26-29
3-29 Chapters 30-32
 
C. Personal materials, honors, and certificates, 1934 – 1963
4-01 Personal memo book with calendar (1934)
4-02 Certificate for Harris from Louisiana School Board Association (1940); 2 copies
4-03 Louisiana Schools: Journal of the Louisiana Teachers Association, Vol. 19, no. 7 (March 1942); lists Harris as honorary president of the association
4-04 Genealogy notes on Harris family (1950)
4-05 Newspaper clippings, includes story of fish caught by Harris (n.d., 1963)
 
III. Photographs, 1937-1954
4-06 4-06 Personal photographs of T. H. Harris, (1937 – 1954)
4-07 Camellia Pageant at Southwestern Louisiana Institute (January 13, 1939); Harris was king of the pageant
4-08 Miscellaneous photo-postcards and photographs (c. 1930s and 1940s)
 
IV. Speeches, 1927-1939
A. Speeches (unbound, mostly undated and arranged in alphabetical order)
4-09 “Adult Education Program,” 2 pp.
"Armistice Day", 3 pp.
[school dedication on Armistice Day], 2 pp.
[school dedication on Armistice Day], 4 pp.
4-10 C. E. Byrd, 2 pp.
[Campaign for Louisiana Governor], (December 29, 1939)
[Changes in the Country School system], 2pp.
[Changes in the School System], 3 pp.
4-11 "Changes over the Years" LTA (incomplete), 5 pp.
"Compliments on the School System" LTA, 15 pp.
4-12 "Defense of College Students", 9 pp.
"Depression" LTA, 5 pp.
“Do Severe Penalties Diminish Crime?” 2 pp.
"Duties of a County Superintendent", 9 pp.
4-13 “Education in its Broader Phases,” 6 pp.
“Education in Louisiana,” 9 pp. (August 1938)
[Efficiency of Schools and Progress of Education in Louisiana], 19 pp.
4-14 "Extension Activities," 10 pp.
Federal Aid, 8 pp.
4-15 [Financing Public Schools in a Changing World], 3 pp.
[Financing public schools during the Depression] 4 pp.
4-16 [Funding Public Schools], 8 pp.
[Funding schools through the state], 6 pp.
4-17 [Future of Schools], 2 pp.
[Future of schools]"The Schools of Tomorrow", 7 pp.
4-18 "The General Extension Division" 1936-37, 2 pp.
"George Washington", 6 pp.
"George Washington", 7 pp.
4-19 “High-School Celebration,” 4pp.
[High school commencement speech]"Schools Set-Up," 4 pp.
"Appeal to High School Graduates," 13 pp.
[High school graduation], 3 pp.
[High school graduation], 2 pp.
4-20 “High School Division,” 2pp. (1939)
[Higher Education], 11 pp.
"College", 8 pp.
[A Good College Professor], 2 pp.
4-21 "Hi-Y Conference," 3 pp.
“Ideals: Their Values,”6pp.
"Illiteracy," 6 pp.
4-22 [Importance of Educated Teachers], 10 pp.
“Improvements at Colleges and State Eleemosynary Institutions Administered by the State Board of Education,” 14pp. 
“Instruction for Employed Persons,” 3pp.
Address to Lion's Club, 5 pp.
“Literate Louisiana,” 3pp. 12 January 1939
4-23 "Louisiana Normal College Celebration," 4 pp.
"Louisiana State Federation of Labor," 4 pp.
  “Louisiana Teachers Association,” 6 pp. (November 20, 1939)
“Louisiana Teachers Association,” 7 pp. (November 20, 1939)
“Louisiana Teachers Association,” 15 pp.
5-01 "Mary," (example of an underperforming student) 3 pp.
“Music,” 3 pp.
[Nature of the Public School system], 29 pp. (November 1939)
"The Need for Schools," 13 pp.
5-02 Negro Education, 5 pp. (April 26, 1927)
"The Advancement of the Negro in the U.S.," 3 pp.
“Negroes,” 5 pp.
5-03 "The New Deal," 8 pp.
"New Orleans Teachers," 2 pp.
“Nurses Graduating Class, Charity Hospital, New Orleans,” 4 pp. (1933/1934)
[PTA] "Long Ago Defense of Louisiana Accomplishments," 9 pp.
[PTA] "Taxation,” 5 pp.
"Peabody College," 4 pp.
[Philanthropy], 1 p.
5-04 "Physical Training," 2 pp.
“Physical Training,” 3 pp. (handwritten version of above speech)
“Physical Training,” 2 pp. (revised version of above two speeches)
“Public Education in Louisiana,” 7 pp.
“Public Education in Louisiana sixty years ago and now,” 9 pp.
5-05 [Public School accomplishments and conditions in Louisiana], 12 pp. (January 14, 1938, corrected)
[Public School accomplishments and conditions in Louisiana], 12 pp. (January 14, 1938, not corrected)
[Public School accomplishments and conditions in Louisiana]  (on radio), 14 pp.
“The Public School’s Contribution for Social Family Living,” 3 pp.
“Public Services unselfishly performed,” 6pp.
"Putting Yourself in the Pupil's Place," 6 pp.
5-06 [Radio education], 4 pp.
[Race for State Superintendent of Education], 4pp. (November 4, 1939)
"Red Cross", 3 pp. with 5 pp. of notes and corrections
“Red Cross,” 3 pp.; 2 copies, no corrections
5-07 "The Relation between State and County System of School", 11 pp; 2 copies
  [Relationship between Teachers and School Officials], 10 pp.
“River-encircled Paraguay,” 7 pp.
5-08 "S.L.I.,” 4 pp.
“S.L.I.,” 4 pp. (1933/1934, revised)
“Some Observations by T. H. Harris, State Superintendent of Education,” 8 pp.
“Springfield High School Commencement Exercises,”4 pp. (1933/1934)
5-09 "Teacher Institutes," 7 pp.
"Tribute to Police Juries," 7 pp.
“Vocational Education in Louisiana,” 3 pp. (February 23, 1939)
[What Educated Parentage means to the Schools], 6 pp.
 
B. Speeches (originally bound in binder), supplemental notes, and notecards (1930 – 1936)
5-10 (Material contained in 3 ring notebook)
Fragments of speech by T. H. Harris
Poems Harris used in speeches;
Program of event at which Harris spoke
5-11 (Material contained in 3 ring notebook)
Speech: State Education System
Speech: 300th Anniversary of High Schools
Speech: [High Schools Promote Civilization]
Speech: Education of Louisiana School Teachers, (1930-31)
Speech: "Educational Trends," 10 pp.
Speech: (The Future of Business) 9 pp.
Speech: Talk at Lafayette (9/11/30) 9 pp.
Speech: "Educational Progress in Louisiana" 10 pp. (1931)
"Some Principles of Good Supervision" by A. S. Barr, University of Wisconsin, Department of Education, (n.d.)
Importance of Teaching about the Natural Resources of the State. Louisiana Department of Education, Circular #575, (January, 15 1936)
Why T. H. Harris Should be Re-elected as State Superintendent of Education, 6 pp., (n.d.)
Questionnaire, 1 p., (1930)
5-12 Miscellaneous notes for speeches, (n.d.)
5-13 Notecards from Harris' speeches, (n.d.)
 
V. Reports by T. H. Harris (1921 – 1940)
A. Book Reports (1921 - 1940)
5-14 10/22/1921: Modern Europe by Hayes
5-15 11/18/1921: A Political and Social History of Modern Europe by Hayes volume II
12/8/1921: A Political History of Contemporary Europe by Seignobos
5-16 12/15/1921: A Political History of Japan During the Meiji Era by W. W. McLaren
5-17 1/7/1922: The History of Europe by Holt and Chilton
5-18 1/31/1922: A Brief History of the Great War by Hayes
6-01 2/10/1922: What Really Happened at Paris: The Story of the Peace Conference by American Delegates
6-02 2/24/1922: The Diplomacy of the Great War by Arthur Bullard
3/15/1922: The Union of Italy by W. J. Stillman
6-03 4/20/1922: The New World: Problems in Political Geography by Isaiah Bowman
6-04 4/26/1922: A Few Special Chapters
6/14/1922: Modern Democracies by Lord Bryce, Volume I
6-05 9/19/1922: The United States by Lord Bryce, Volume II
6-06 9/20/1922: History of the American People by Woodrow Wilson, Volume I
10/1/1922: History of the American People by Woodrow Wilson, Volume II
6-07 10/7/1922: History of the American People by Woodrow Wilson, Volume III
6-08 10/20/1922: History of the American People by Woodrow Wilson, Volume IV
10/24/1922: History of the American People by Woodrow Wilson, Volume V
6-09 12/2/1922: History of the United States by Channing, Volume II
12/6/1922: History of the United States by Channing, Volume III
6-10 1/17/1923: History of the United States by Channing, Volume IV
2/16/1923: History of the United States by Channing, Volume V
6-11 2/23/1923: The Life of John Marshall by Albert J. Beveridge, Volume I
2/27/1923: The Life of John Marshall by Albert J. Beveridge, Volume II
6-12 3/5/1923: The Life of John Marshall by Albert J. Beveridge, Volume III
3/5/1923: The Life of John Marshall by Albert J. Beveridge, Volume IV
6-13 3/18/1923: The American Nation (1850-59):  Parties and Slavery by Smith
3/20/1923: Mississippi Valley Beginnings by Henry E. Chambers
6-14 4/9/1923: Slavery Abolition by Albert Bushnell Hart
4/26/1923: History of the Civil War by James Ford Rhodes
6-15 5/8/1923:   History of the United States by James Ford Rhodes, Volume I
5/19/1923: History of the United States by James Ford Rhodes, Volume II
6-16 5/29/1923: History of the United States by James Ford Rhodes, Volume III
6/29/1923: History of the United States by James Ford Rhodes, Volume IV
6-17 7/10/1923: History of the United States by James Ford Rhodes, Volume V
7/11/1923: History of the United States by James Ford Rhodes, Volume VI
7-01 7/17/1923: History of the United States by James Ford Rhodes, Volume VII
7/19/1923: History of the United States by James Ford Rhodes, Volume VIII
7-02 8/24/1923: Documentary History of Reconstruction by Walter L. Fleming, Volume I
7-03 10/4/1923: America as a World Power by J. H. Latane
10/22/1923: National Progress by F. A. Ogg
7-04 10/24/1923: History of the United States by James Ford Rhodes, Volume IX
10/27/1923: National Problems by D. R. Dewey
7-05 11/9/1923: National Development, 1877-1885 by E. E. Sparks
11/13/1923: The American Spirit in Education by Edward E. Slosson
 
B. Education Reports, 1936 - 1940
7-06 “A Brief Survey of the Public School System of Louisiana,” a report by State Superintendent, T. H. Harris, 11 pp. (n.d.)
[Memo about the 1936 Louisiana Educational Program], 10 pp. (1936)
7-07 Circular #781 (State of Louisiana, Dept. of Education, T. H. Harris), 7 pp. (March 10, 1937);
“State of Louisiana, Dept. of Education, Parish Superintendents of Public Education and Presidents of Parish School Boards of Louisiana,” 34pp.  (July 1937);
[Educational Report for Louisiana Schools, 1936-1937, compiled by T.H. Harris], 1p. (February 21, 1938)
7-08 Bulletin #431, “Official Proceedings of State Board of Education, a meeting held in the Offices of State Board of Education, Capitol Annex” issued by T. H. Harris; (March 1940)
 
VI. Writings About Harris, 1934 - 1966
7-09 News release [Harris’s visit to Texas to secure Federal emergency aid to prevent closing of schools in Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas in 1934/1935]; 2pp., 2 copies
[Biographical facts about T. H. Harris], 2pp. (November 11, 1937)
7-10 Letter to Sadie Baskin concerning the T. H. Harris Scholarship Fund, 16 May 1952
Minutes of Board of T. H. Harris Scholarship (n.d.);
“T.H. Harris Junior High School Biography of Thomas H. Harris (choral rendition),” 3 pp. and pamphlet, (1963);
Robert, Louis D. [Harris Scholarship Foundation] 4 pp;
cover letter to Sadie Baskin, (March 17, 1964);
Cline, Rodney, "Forward" (about T. H. Harris’s legacy), 3 pp. (n.d.)
7-11 Fruge, Mary Mercedes. "Thomas H. Harris, Educator," USL, History 307, (May 5, 1966)
Wright, Helen.  [Thomas H. Harris], USL, History 307, (May 5, 1966)
 
VII. Obituaries and Sympathy Letters, 1939, 1942
A. Mrs. Thomas H. Harris (Mary Elizabeth “Mamie” Blackshear): Sympathy letters and cards received by T.H. Harris after the death of Mrs. T. H. Harris on January 26, 1939
7-12 Mailing lists for sending out telegrams and letters to inform family, friends, and others of Mrs. T. H. Harris’ death (1939)
7-13 Sympathy cards sent to T. H. Harris (includes several prayer cards) (1939)
7-14 Sympathy cards sent to T. H. Harris (1939)
7-15 Sympathy telegrams sent to T. H. Harris, (January 26, 1939)
8-01 Sympathy telegrams sent to T. H. Harris, (January 27, 1939)
8-02 Sympathy telegrams sent to T. H. Harris, (January 28, 1939 – January 30, 1939)
8-03 Sympathy letters sent to/from T. H. Harris, (January 26, 1939 – January 31, 1939)
8-04 Sympathy letters sent to/from T. H. Harris, (February 1, 1939 – February 25, 1939)
8-05 Sympathy letters sent to/from T. H. Harris, (March 4, 1939 – April 4, 1939)
 
B. Mr. T. H. Harris: Sympathy letters and cards received by the family of T.H. Harris after his death on February 24, 1942
8-06 Newspaper clippings on T. H. Harris' death (1942)
8-07 Sympathy telegrams to Sadie Baskin (1942)
8-08 Sympathy letters to Sadie Baskin (1942)
8-09 Letters from Forest Hill students to Principal W. S. Campbell (1942)
8-10 Sympathy cards from the flowers at Harris' funeral (1942)
 
VIII. Financial Records, 1891 - 1947
8-11 Tax certificates and receipts (1891 – 1937)
9-01 Life insurance bills (1901-1925)
9-02 Repayment certificate from the city of Opelousas (1914)
9-03 Receipt and contract for land purchase (1914)
9-04 Returned checks (1917 – 1941)
9-05 Deposit slips (1926 – 1938)
9-06 Household bills (1927 – 1936)
9-07 Mortgage (1928 – 1932)
9-08 Rental receipts (1935 – 1938)
9-09 Bonds (1943 – 1947)
9-10 Miscellaneous financial documents (n.d., 1930 – 1944)
   
  See also: Vol 1, “Account book for T.H. Harris,” (1936 – 1945)
 
IX. Sadie Harris Baskin Materials, 1923 - 1965
A. Correspondence, 1936 - 1943
9-11 4 August 1936 – 2 August 1943
   
B. Writings, 1929 - 1965
9-12 Sadie Baskin thesis and notes: “A Manual for the Teaching and Assimilation of American History in the Senior High School for Teachers and Students,” submitted to LSU for her Masters in Education, (1929)
10-01 “The Too-Whoot Owl Stories (3rd edition)” (2 copies), (n.d.)
10-02 “The Too-Whoot Owl, Tommy and the Pelicans: Volume 1 and 2, (2 copies, one signed by Sadie Harris Baskin) (1965)
   
C. Reports, 1923 - 1936
10-03 East Baton Rouge Parish High School annual state reports (1923-1936)
   
D. International Relations Committee of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs materials (1939 -1941)
10-04 IRC news releases and media reports (1939-1941)
10-05 IRC publications and supplemental brochures, pamphlets, posters, maps, and artifacts (1939-1941): “International Relations Folio”(January 1940);  Pan American Union brochure (April 1941); “Pan American Union: 1890-1940” booklet; poster of “Spotlighted Federation Personalities (International Federation of Business and Professional Women); poster advertising “Cruise to South America” for the annual Federation meeting; “Congressional Record, Proceedings and Debates of the 76th Congress, 1st Session;” “Fortune” publication and map (of South America) (September 1940); small artifacts from meetings (bookmark, napkin, and pamphlet)
10-06 IRC reports and correspondence (March 1940 – March 1941)
 
X. Miscellaneous, 1923 - 1968
10-07 Miscellaneous publications on education (1923 – 1931)
10-08 Miscellaneous reports, minutes, and other papers: Minutes of Agricultural Interests Committee, Louisiana Department of Education, (January 5, 1926); Miscellaneous statistics: extension program, (1936-37); Louisiana request for Federal Emergency Relief Administration, (Nov.-Dec., 1935); Members of State Board of Education, 1869-1917 (n.d.)
10-09 Auditor’s report: “Report of the examination of the books and records of Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, Ruston, Louisiana (31 March 1928)
10-10 "The Government of Louisiana” by Coleman Lindsey (1937); book inscribed by T. H. Harris
10-11 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings and pamphlet: clipping topics include: Natchitoches; Earl Long Campaign, and Sadie Harris Baskin (1948-1952), pamphlet is for the First Presbyterian Church (Baton Rouge, LA)
10-12 Louisiana Department of Education, Bulletin No. 1006, “Books Suitable for Use in Schools, Grades 1-12, Session of 1963 – 1964; 1966
10-13 Louisiana Parent-Teacher Association materials (1966): 1966 LPTA convention packet; “Resolutions” for the 1966 annual LPTA meeting; “Rules and Procedures of the Louisiana Parent-Teacher Association (1966)
10-14 Louisiana Parent-Teacher Association bulletins (1968): Louisiana Parent-Teacher Bulletin (vol. 35, no. 3), Louisiana Parent-Teacher Bulletin (vol. 35, no. 2); “LPTA: Handbook for District Directors (1968)”
10-15 Louisiana Parent-Teacher Association news clippings and local PTA organization booklets