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Eugene C. Hunt papers

Identifier: AMN 1047

Collection Overview

The Hunt papers contain materials that document his life and research materials he collected for Avery Institute of Afro-American History and Culture and the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, but which were not turned over in his lifetime and whose provenance is uncertain.

Biographical materials include vitae, photographs, tributes, data on his education at Talladega and elsewhere, a natal horoscope (1972), correspondence regarding his musical engagements (1940s-19505), Charleston social life (1950s - 1990s), exchanges with prisoners (1980s - 1990s, no date), papers regarding real estate, estates of deceased family members, etc. Burke High School materials include copies of the school paper, “The Parvenu”, historical materials (1937 - 19505), printed teaching matter, some data regarding students, student programs, exhibits, etc. College of Charleston papers include materials documenting Hunt’s teaching career, with data on Black Student Unions, a 1985 College desegregation report, a College Affirmative Action Plan, copies of the “The Sour Grapevine,” an “underground” College newspapers, data regarding the College’s attempt to administer the Old Slave Mart Museum, and carbon of a letter from Merton Simpson.

Avery Institute of Afro American History and Culture and Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture materials include Some founding documents, minutes of meetings, correspondence, donor forms, printed matter, brochures, photographs, content data from some historical programs given at Avery, including significant photocopied material regarding African American education in the area.

Research materials found in his papers, and whose provenance is unknown, include the following: a ribbon of the Young Cherubim Society; photos of tombstones in the Brotherly Association, Friendly Union, Humane and Friendly, and Unity and Friendship cemeteries, Charleston; paper fan, Mickey Funeral Home, with image of “Dr. W.E.B. DuBois & Sight Seeing Party, Charleston, SC, March 1917.” Photo of Edwin A. Harleston, and post card of Edwin G. Harleston & Son Funeral Home; Francis Cardozo materials; photocopied materials regarding Rev. John Dart, and Alonzo J. Ransier; Thomas E. Miller funeral program; data regarding Brown Fellowship Society, Aurorian Coterie, and Leslie Uggams. Materials documenting Nell Houston Chisolm include data on Nell, Houston and Chisolm families, her husband Frank R. Chisolm, and reports regarding textiles she donated to Avery.

Avery Institute related materials include photos (1920s and undated) of students; photocopies of early publications with lists of students, 1939 Averite annual, scrapbook materials of Mildred Drayton (later Jefferson), Louise Mouzon materials, which also include data on the Mouzon family, early twentieth century programs regarding Social and musical events at Centenary Church and Remley’s Point; and Julia Wilson Pope family materials.

YWCA materials include the script Hunt wrote for the organization’s anniversary, with some materials regarding its history, especially a legal case between integrated and segregated organizations vying for official “Y” affiliation in Charleston.

Materials on various organizations with which Hunt was affiliated include information on various local African American organizations and fraternities; the Martin Luther King, Jr. Interdenominational Choir, the Gaylords, a men’s club, theatrical and acting societies, production companies working on documentaries, on which Hunt advised, City of Charleston Black Portrait Study Committee, and information on the 1990 Charleston production of Porgy and Bess working with the musical group the Choraliers.

There is a series on cultural programs Hunt attended or participated in, and a series of scripts and essays by other writers.

The final series is a compilation of forms, inventories and lists of mostly research materials that once were part of the collection, many having been removed for separate cataloguing, or reunited with other collections from which they came.


  • Creation: 1834-1999
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1973-1995


Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

Eugene Clayton Hunt was born in Charleston April 9, 1916, the son of Albert W. and Irene Murray Hunt. After graduating from Avery Institute in 1935, he attended Talladega College, receiving his B.A. in 1940. He then enrolled at the University of Chicago, transferring to Northwestern University where he eventually received his MA in Theatre in 1954 before pursuing post graduate study in Speech Education. He taught English at Burke Industrial (later High) School from 1941-1972; there he was also was involved in student theatrical, music and debating productions. Hunt began as a visiting lecturer in Public Speaking at the College of Charleston in 1972, became the tenured African American professor in 1979, retired in 1989, and was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in 1993. He often performed as a vocalist and participated in various musical productions including the city’s 1970 and 1990 productions of the opera Porgy and Bess; he led the Martin Luther King Interdenominational Choir, was considered an expert on local African American History, and was instrumental in founding the Avery Institute of Afro­American History and Culture and the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. A member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Hunt never married and died in Charleston February 13, I994.


6.5 linear feet (11 archival boxes)

Language of Materials



Eugene C. Hunt graduated from the Avery Normal School and went on to Talladega College, where he received a Degree in English in 1940. He earned a Master's Degree in Theater from Northwestern University in 1954 and continued with postgraduate study in Speech and Education. Mr. Hunt taught English and Speech at Burke High School in Charleston from 1941 to 1972. In 1972, he became an Assistant Professor of English and Speech at the College of Charleston, moving up to Associate Professor in 1985. He taught at the College until his retirement in 1992.

Contains numerous, diverse materials that follow Mr. Hunt's interests and activities, especially education and African- American activism. Includes correspondence, articles, books, magazines, and papers from his own collection as well as additional materials donated to him because of his involvement as president of Avery Institute for Afro-American History and Culture.

Processing Information

Existing finding aid edited by Aaron Spelbring, December 2015

Inventory of the Eugene C. Hunt Papers AMN 1047
Finding aid prepared by Edited by Aaron Spelbring
Dec. 2015
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Revision Statements

  • Dec. 2015: Finding aid was revised.

Repository Details

Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository

125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States