Culbertson, John Bolt (1908-1983)
Papers, c. 1886-1989, 31 ft.
John Bolt Culbertson, lawyer and activist, was a "liberal lion" of South Carolina's Upstate for most of the twentieth century, establishing a law practice in which he represented unions, the working class, disabled veterans, African-Americans, and others in need of a voice--many of whom could not afford to pay him. His outspokenness and his political leanings, atypical for South Carolina at that time, resulted in financial setbacks, insults, and even crosses burned on his lawn, but Culbertson was largely undaunted.
Collection Finding Aid (pdf, 46 pages)
The collection documents Culbertson's life and career as a lawyer and activist. Series include Public papers from his term in the South Carolina House of Representatives, Legal papers, and Personal papers, as well as Clippings, Speeches, and Audiovisual materials. Personal files, which comprise the largest part of the collection, incorporate material from Culbertson’s work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, his advocacy for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), family papers, files regarding events, condolence letters, campaign materials, financial and real estate papers, travel files, and topical files.
John Bolt Culbertson Papers opening event, 2012 (video, with Dr. Tom Terrill, Professor Emeritus, USC History Department)