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Charles H. Wesley collection, 1923-1996

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322



Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/pqjc9

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Wesley, Charles H. (Charles Harris), 1891-1987.
Title: Charles H. Wesley collection, 1923-1996
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1331
Extent: .5 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:Collection of material relating to African American educator Charles H. Wesley including correspondence, financial records, photographs, printed material, and audiovisual material.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Use copies have not been made for audiovisual material in this collection. Researchers must contact the Rose Library at least two weeks in advance for access to these items. Collection restrictions, copyright limitations, or technical complications may hinder the Rose Library's ability to provide access to audiovisual material.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Purchase from Constance Uzelac, 2010.

Custodial History

Originally received as part of the James A. Porter papers. Constance Uzelac was the daughter of James A. Porter and the stepdaughter of Charles H. Wesley.


[after identification of item(s)], Charles H. Wesley papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Appraisal Note

Acquired by Curator of African American Collections, Randall Burkett, as part of the Rose Library's holdings in African American culture and history.


Arranged and described to the file level by Sarah Quigley and Anastasiia Strakhova, May 2015.

This finding aid may include language that is offensive or harmful. Please refer to the Rose Library's harmful language statement for more information about why such language may appear and ongoing efforts to remediate racist, ableist, sexist, homophobic, euphemistic and other oppressive language. If you are concerned about language used in this finding aid, please contact us at rose.library@emory.edu.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Charles Harris Wesley (1891-1987), African American historian, educator, and minister, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on December 2, 1891 to Matilda and Charles Snowden Wesley. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in history from Fisk University (Nashville, Tennessee) in 1911, he continued his education earning a master's degree from Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut) in 1913 and a doctoral degree from Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts) in 1925, becoming the third African American doctoral graduate from Harvard. In 1928, Wesley also earned a Doctor of Divinity degree from Wilberforce University (Wilberforce, Ohio). Wesley held positions as the dean of the Liberal Arts College and Dean of the Liberal Arts Graduate School at Howard University, the president of Wilberforce University, the founder and president of the Central State University, the director of research and publications for the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, and the director of the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum in Philadelphia. He was also an ordained minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

He was married to Louise Johnson from 1915 until her death in 1973. The couple had two children: Charlotte Wesley Holloman and Louise J. Wesley. In 1979, he married Dorothy Porter, librarian and widow of art historian and artist, James A. Porter. Wesley died on August 16, 1987, in Washington, D.C.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of Charles H. Wesley from 1923-1987 including correspondence, personal papers, article reprints, some article drafts, and other printed material. There is a typescript of "Jonathan Davis, 1820-1874: Pioneer Druggist and Physician, Fraternal Organizer and Civil Rights Activist," as well as typescript of Wesley's review of Teach the Freeman: The correspondence of Rutherford B. Hayes and The Slater Fund for Negro Education, 1888-1893, edited by Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Audio recordings are primarily dictated letters and other dictated works during a period of convalescence following a stroke. Correspondence documents Wesley's work with the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History and his research on the life of Johnathan Davis. The collection also contains a project plan for the "Encyclopedia of the Negro," proposed by Wesley while president of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Photographs consist of snapshots of Wesley alone and at events.

Arrangement Note

Arranged in alphabetical order.

Selected Search Terms

Personal Names

Corporate Names

Topical Terms

Form/Genre Terms

Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 Articles about Charles H. Wesley, 1980-1989
1 2 Articles by Charles H. Wesley, "Jonathan Davis, 1820-1874: Pioneer Druggist and Physician, Fraternal Organizer and Civil Rights Activist," typescript draft and research, no date
1 3 Articles and speeches by Charles H. Wesley, printed, circa 1923-1965
1 18 Audio recording: Side 1: Unidentified music show; Side 2: Charles H. Wesley's letters to his colleagues and songs, no date [original: audio cassette]
1 19 Audio recordings: Side "Letters BK Prince Hall:" Charles H. Wesley's recital of Prince Hall's letters; Side "Prince Hall:" Dictation of an academic work on Prince Hall, Charles H. Wesley singing, no date [original: audio cassette]
1 4 Book reviews by Charles H. Wesley, 1959-1961
1 5 Bookplate, no date [with a drawing by James A. Porter]
1 6 Correspondence: 1966-1969
1 7 Correspondence: 1976, 1980
1 8 "The Encyclopedia of the Negro," project plan, no date
1 9 Howard University, program, The Sixtieth Anniversary Observance of the Department of History, 1973 [with a citation from Charles H. Wesley's work]
1 10 Other printed material, circa 1938-1974
1 11 Photographs: Hilldale Club of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), Champions-'25, 1925 [negative]
1 12 Photographs: Charles H. Wesley, no date
1 13 Photographs: Charles H. Wesley with others, circa 1977-1983
1 14 Prince Hall: Life and Legacy, brochure and order form, circa 1983
1 15 Programs, memorial services for Charles H. Wesley, 1987
1 16 Telephone and address book, no date [with paper notes by Dorothy Porter Wesley, business cards, and the Tableau of the United Supreme Council, 33, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry]
1 17 Unidentified handwritten notes by Charles H. Wesley, no date