Stephen L. Saltonstall Photograph Collection

Credo digital

In the summer 1962, future Harvard student Steve Saltonstall was one of the early wave of white northerners who went into the Jim Crow south to work for civil rights. During that summer, he worked with SNCC to organize public accommodations in Cairo, Ill., and with an AFSC crew to help clear brush from a drainage ditch near Circle City, Missouri, encountering local resistance in both places. Saltonstall later became an attorney and currently practices in Vermont.

The Saltonstall collection consists of approximately sixty photographs taken by John Engel during his tour with an AFSC crew during the summer of 1962. While most of the images depict the crew's work near Circle City, Missouri, six photos document a civil rights rally in Cairo, Ill. The images are available in digital form only.

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Background on Stephen L Saltonstall

Civil Rights demonstration, Cairo

Civil Rights demonstration, Cairo

In the summer 1962, future Harvard student Steve Saltonstall was one of the early wave of white northerners who went into the Jim Crow south to work for civil rights. Still a teenager, Saltonstall assisted a SNCC project in Cairo, Illinois, then a hotbed of KKK activity, that sought to integrate public accommodations built with federal funds.

From there, Saltonstall enlisted on a crew organized by the American Friends Service Committee, to travel fifty miles west to work on a seemingly more mundane project, to help clear a tree-filled drainage ditch near the segregated, all-white community of Circle City, Missouri, that caused the city to flood each year. The AFSC crew was integrated by a single African American woman who, as Saltonstall recalled, "ultimately left the camp for unknown reasons I never fully understood," and as a result, the northerners was visited nightly by night riders. "But the head camp counselor, Mick Micklem," Saltonstall wrote, "was a southerner who persuaded the rednecks to leave. We cleared the trees from the ditch and had a Quaker Meeting in it on the last day of camp. It was a beautiful sight, pink cotton flowers as far as one could see."

After college, Saltonstall spent some time as a back to the land hippie and later received a law degree from Northeastern University. Today he does civil trial work in Vermont, with a specialty in personal injury and wrongful death, criminal defense, and civil rights and civil liberties.

Contents of Collection

The Saltonstall collection consists of approximately sixty photographs taken by John P. Engel during his tour with an AFSC crew during the summer of 1962. While most of the images depict the crew's work near Circle City, Missouri, six photos document a civil rights rally in Cairo, Ill. The images are available in digital form only.

Collection inventory
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Stephen Saltonstall and Priscilla Pace, posed outside white frame building
1962
Digital
1
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Man photographing young woman holding a baby outside small home
1962
Digital
2
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Unidentified man, apparently emerging from makeshift outdoor shower
1962
Digital
3
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Group of volunteers talking with elderly man
1962
Digital
4
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Volunteers posing in makeshift outdoor shower
1962
Digital
5
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Group of six volunteers taking lunch at picnic tables
1962
Digital
6
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Swimmers at a public swimming spot
1962
Digital
7
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Swimmers in a public swimming spot (image underexposed)
1962
Digital
8
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Volunteers horsing around with crutches, lying on a concrete path
1962
Digital
9
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Volunteers having lunch at a picnic table, probably near swimming spot
1962
Digital
10
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Dramatic colors in the sunset sky
1962
Digital
11
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Dramatic colors in the sunset sky
1962
Digital
12
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Dramatic colors in the sunset sky
1962
Digital
13
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Door to makeshift structure with bumper sticker reading "In event of nuclear attack, this shelter will be useless."
1962
Digital
14
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Group of volunteers heading to work at the edge of a neatly plowed cotton field
1962
Digital
15
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Group of volunteers heading to work at the edge of a neatly plowed cotton field
1962
Digital
16
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Volunteers using axes and other tools to clear thick brush at the edge of fields
1962
Digital
17
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Volunteers using axes and other tools to clear thick brush at the edge of fields
1962
Digital
18
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Volunteer cutting up a felled tree by the edge of a field
1962
Digital
19
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Volunteer using an axe to clear young saplings
1962
Digital
20
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Volunteer clearing brush from beside a field
1962
Digital
21
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
House behind a stand of trees, laundry drying on the line and a blanket on the grass. One unidentified woman stands on the porch, another unidentified male is sitting on a scooter
1962
Digital
22
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Volunteers clearing thick brush from beside a field
1962
Digital
23
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Piles of brush cleared from edge of cotton field
1962
Digital
24
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Two volunteers standing by the edge of cotton field
1962
Digital
25
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Three volunteers resting beside a large tank
1962
Digital
26
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
View across cotton fields
1962
Digital
27
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
View across field of migrant labor housing(?). Image underexposed
1962
Digital
28
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Group of volunteers walking in cotton field. Tractor and power lines and tractor is in background. Image underexposed
1962
Digital
29
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
View down a row of a cotton field. Power lines in background
1962
Digital
30
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Close-up of unidentified plant
1962
Digital
31
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Group of ten volunteers inspecting field
1962
Digital
32
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Farmhouse as seen across the fields (image underexposed)
1962
Digital
33
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Group of fifteen volunteers inspecting plants in field
1962
Digital
34
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Row of migrant labor shacks(?). Image underexposed
1962
Digital
35
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Migrant labor shacks(?) along roadside. Unidentified boy in background. Image underexposed
1962
Digital
36
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Volunteers in front of migrant labor shack(?). Image underexposed
1962
Digital
37
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Migrant labor shack(?) with power line attachment and shed in background. Image underexposed
1962
Digital
38
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Migrant labor shack(?). Image underexposed
1962
Digital
39
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Volunteer inspecting brush litter in drainage ditch, Circle City, Mo.
1962
Digital
40
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Dense brush litter in drainage ditch, Circle City, Mo.
1962
Digital
41
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Burning brush and other litter, Circle City, Mo.
1962
Digital
42
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Burning brush and other litter, Circle City, Mo.
1962
Digital
43
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Burning brush and other litter, Circle City, Mo.
1962
Digital
44
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Burning brush and other litter, Circle City, Mo.
1962
Digital
45
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
View down a cleared drainage ditch after brush burning, Circle City, Mo.
1962
Digital
46
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Young man on a ladder, painting a house, Circle City, Mo.
1962
Digital
47
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Young woman with man on a ladder, painting a house, Circle City, Mo. Laundry in foreground. Tent in background.
1962
Digital
48
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Image of house with a car in the driveway, Circle City, Mo. (image underexposed)
1962
Digital
49
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Group of white and Black civil rights demonstrators, gathering outside a brick building in Cairo, Ill. Demonstration organized by SNCC.
1962
Digital
50
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Group of white and Black civil rights demonstrators marching past Blankenship and Co. auto parts store and IGA supermarket in downtown Cairo, Ill. Several cars are parked in background. Woman on crutches in at the head of the march. Demonstration organized by SNCC.
1962
Digital
51
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Group of white and Black civil rights demonstrators marching past Shemwell's Barbecue, Cairo, Ill. Parking meters are in the foreground. Demonstration organized by SNCC.
1962
Digital
52
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Civil rights marchers march past two uniformed police officers and a hotel in Cairo, Illinois. Mailbox and cars in foreground. Cairo, Ill. Demonstration organized by SNCC.
1962
Digital
53
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Civil rights demonstration, Cairo, Ill. Signs read "Jim Crow must go" and "We demand our rights," "We shall overcome," and "Segregation is evil." Civil rights picket line, Cairo, Ill. Signs read "Jim Crow must go" and "We demand our rights," "We shall overcome," and "Segregation is evil." Demonstration organized by SNCC.
1962
Digital
54
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Civil rights demonstrators, Cairo, Ill.: signs read "We demand Human Relations Council", "Join the march for freedom" and "Love is our motto". Demonstration organized by SNCC.
1962
Digital
55
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Three young volunteers sunning themselves on a blanket on grass.
1962
Digital
56
Engel, John P., photographer:
An image
Three young volunteers sunning themselves on a blanket on grass.
1962
Digital
57

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English

Provenance

Acquired from John Engel by Tom Fels, 1999.

Processing Information

Processed by Dex Haven, August 2010.

Digitized content

Digitized versions of the images in this collection have been added to SCUA's online repository, Credo.

Related material

See other collections in the Famous Long Ago Archives.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Stephen L. Saltonstall Photograph Collection (PH 014). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Cairo (Ill.).
  • Circle City (Mo.).
  • Civil rights demonstrations--Illinois--Photographs.

Link to similar SCUA collections

Names

  • American Friends Service Committee.
  • Engel, John P.
  • Saltonstall, Stephen L.
  • Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)

Genre terms

  • Photographs.