The Eyes of Willie McGee: A Tragedy of Race, Sex, and Secrets in the Jim Crow South - Alex Heard (2010)



Documents and Manuscripts

Albany, New York

Robert F. Hall Papers, 1928–93. New York State Library.

Atlanta, Georgia

Papers of the Southern Regional Council, news clippings file. Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History.

National Archives and Records Administration, John R. Poole v. Mississippi Publishers Corporation. U.S. District Court, Southern District of Mississippi, Jackson Division, Case No. 1324.

John Moreno Coe Papers. Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Austin, Texas

Tom C. Clark Papers. Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas School of Law.

Columbus, Ohio

Jessica Mitford Collection. Rare Books and Manuscript Library, Ohio State University.

Detroit, Michigan

Papers of the Michigan Civil Rights Congress. Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University.

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Mississippi Oral History Project. McCain Library and Archives, University of Southern Mississippi.

William M. Colmer Papers. McCain Library and Archives, University of Southern Mississippi.

Independence, Missouri

Harry S. Truman Papers. Harry S. Truman Library and Museum.

Jackson, Mississippi

Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jackson field office. “Lynching of Howard Wash: Laurel, Mississippi,” November 4, 1942.

Millsaps-Wilson Library, Millsaps College.

James P. Coleman Papers. Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Fielding Wright correspondence. Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Mississippi Supreme Court case files. Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Willie McGee subject files; miscellaneous subject files. Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Miscellaneous subject files. Historic Preservation Division (architecture), Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Laurel, Mississippi

Jones County Courthouse, State of Mississippi v. Howard Wash, Jones County Circuit Court, Case No. 995, October 1942.

Laurel-Jones County Library.

Subject files, Lauren Rogers Museum of Art Library.

Lexington, Kentucky

Stanley F. Reed Papers. William T. Young Library, University of Kentucky.

New York, New York

Bella Abzug interviews, 1995–96. Oral History Research Office, Columbia University Libraries.

Hunter College Archives and Special Collections.

National Archives and Records Administration, Willett [sic] Hawkins v. Freedom of the Press Company, Inc., John Gates, and George Lohr. U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, Manhattan Division, Case No. 68–305.

Vito Marcantonio Papers. New York Public Library.

Papers and photographs of the Civil Rights Congress and the Communist Party USA. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.

Simon W. Gerson Papers. Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Papers of the Southern Negro Youth Congress. Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Northampton, Massachusetts

Mary Metlay Kaufman Papers. Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College Library.

Oberlin, Ohio

Carl T. Rowan Papers. Oberlin College Archives.

Oxford, Mississippi

William Faulkner Papers. J. D. Williams Library, University of Mississippi.

Carroll Gartin Papers. J. D. Williams Library, University of Mississippi.

James O. Eastland Papers. J. D. Williams Library, University of Mississippi.

Starkville, Mississippi

John C. Stennis Papers. Mitchell Memorial Library, Mississippi State University.

Kenneth Toler Papers. Mitchell Memorial Library, Mississippi State University.

Tuskegee, Alabama

Tuskegee Institute news clippings file (microfilm), Series II: Miscellaneous Files, subseries on lynching, 1899–1966, reels 231–34. Tuskegee Institute Archives, Tuskegee University.

Washington, D.C.

Federal Bureau of Investigation. FBI files on Bella Abzug, Aubrey Grossman, Willie McGee, Jessica Mitford, William Patterson, John Poole, and Dixon Pyles.

Hugo L. Black Papers. Library of Congress.

Harold H. Burton Papers. Library of Congress.

William O. Douglas Papers. Library of Congress.

Papers of the Civil Rights Congress (microfilm). Library of Congress.

Papers of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Library of Congress.

William L. Patterson Papers. Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University.

National Archives and Records Administration. U.S. Supreme Court case files.

Interviews and Correspondence

Liz Abzug

John Polk Allen

Steve Babson

Ralph Boston

William S. Boyd III

Leslie Brody

Susan Brownmiller

Margaret A. Burnham

W. D. Coleman

Margaret L. Cooley

Bertha Mae Crowell

Jerry Dallas

William Deavours

Gus DeLoach

W. O. “Chet” Dillard

Jack Dix

Carolyn Poole Ellis

Katharine Carr Esters

Buddy Evers

Winifred Feise

William C. Gartin Jr.

Jack Gordy

Danny Grossman

Jesse James Harris

Ann Hawkins

Dorothy Hawkins

Sandra Hawkins

David Horowitz

Maurice Isserman

Leroy Jensen

Paul B. Johnson III

Zeb Jones

Cleaven Jordan

Ed King

Jim Leeson

Ann and Mitch Liberman

Evelyn Smith McDowell

Della McGee

Tracey McGee

Bridgette McGee


Lawrence McGurty

Gerald Meyer

Donna Poole Mills

Bill Minor

Chester M. Morgan

Mary Mostert

Steve Ordower

Emmett Owens

Cleveland Payne

Beverly D. Poole

John N. Popham IV

Todd Pyles

Simmie Roberts

Lester Rodney

Constancia Romilly

Lucile J. Ross

James Rundles

Ann Sanders

Marshall L. Small

Anne Stoll

Courtenay Stringer

Peter Y. Sussman

Jon Swartzfager

Paul Swartzfager Jr.

Wayne Valentine Jr.

Newspapers and Periodicals

Arkansas State Press

Atlanta Constitution

Atlanta Daily World

Atlanta Journal

Boston Guardian

Chicago Defender

Clarke County Tribune


The Commonweal

Congressional Record

Daily Compass

Daily People’s World

Daily Worker

Delta Democrat-Times

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Times


Greenville News

Hattiesburg American

Jackson Advocate

Jackson Clarion-Ledger

Jackson Daily News

Laurel Leader-Call


Memphis Commercial


Memphis Press-Scimitar

Meridian Star

Michigan Daily

Mississippi Enterprise


New Orleans Times-Picayune

New Leader

New Republic


New Yorker

New York Post

New York Times

Norfolk Journal and Guide

Oxford Eagle

People’s Voice

Pittsburgh Courier

Raleigh News & Observer

The Reporter

Saturday Evening Post

Sumter Daily News


Washington Post

Government Publications

President’s Committee on Civil Rights. To Secure These Rights: The Report of the President’s Committee on Civil Rights. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1947.

Reports of the Subversive Activities Control Board, Volume 1. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1966.

United States Senate, Seventy-ninth Congress, Second Session. Hearings Before the Special Committee to Investigate Senatorial Campaign Expenditures, 1946. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1947.

United States House of Representatives, Eightieth Congress, First Session. Report on Civil Rights Congress as a Communist Front Organization. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1947.

United States Senate, Eighty-fourth Congress, Second Session. Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws1956. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1956.

Pamphlets, Speeches, and Miscellany

Gerson, Simon. “Tribute to a Workingclass Journalist,” eulogy for Harry Raymond. Simon W. Gerson papers, Tamiment Library, NYU.

Hillegas, Jan. “Preliminary List of Mississippi Legal Executions,” Revised. Jackson: New Mississippi, Inc., 2001.

Lowenfels, Walter.: “The Martinsville Chant.” William Patterson papers, Howard University.

Patterson, William. “We Charge Genocide,” speech prepared by William L. Patterson for the General Assembly of the United Nations, Paris, France—December 1951. Patterson papers, Howard University.

Raymond, Harry. Save Willie McGee. New York: New Century Publishers, July 1951.



Ackerman, Kenneth D. Young J. Edgar: Hoover, the Red Scare, and the Assault on Civil Liberties. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2007.

Beautiful Jackson In Pictures. Jackson, Mississippi: Hederman Brothers.

Benedict, Ruth. Race, Science and Politics. Revised edition, with The Races of Mankind by Ruth Benedict and Gene Weltfish. New York: Viking Press, 1945.

Bilbo, Theodore G. Take Your Choice: Separation or Mongrelization? Poplarville, Mississippi: Dream House Publishing Company, 1947.

Blotner, Joseph. Faulkner: A Biography. Single volume edition. New York: Random House, 1984.

Brown, Sarah Hart. Standing Against Dragons: Three Southern Lawyers in an Era of Fear. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1998.

Brownmiller, Susan. Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1975.

Busbee, Westley F., Jr. Mississippi: A History. Wheeling, Illinois: Harlan Davidson, Inc., 2005.

Bynum, Victoria E. The Free State of Jones: Mississippi’s Longest Civil War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

Carter, Dan T. Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.

Chalmers, David M. Hooded Americanism: The First Century of the Ku Klux Klan, 1865–1965. New York: Doubleday, 1965.

Cook, Blanche Wiesen. Eleanor Roosevelt: The Defining Years, Volume Two, 1933–1938. New York: Penguin Books, 1999.

Crowe, Chris. Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case. New York: Phyllis Fogelman Books, 2003.

Culver, John C., and John Hyde.: American Dreamer: A Life of Henry Wallace. New York: W. W. Norton, 2000.

Davis, Angela Y. Women, Race & Class. New York: Random House, 1981.

De Courcy, Anne. Diana Mosley: Mitford Beauty, British Fascist, Hitler’s Angel. New York: William Morrow, 2003.

Dillard, W. O. “Chet.” Clearburning: Civil Rights, Civil Wrongs. Jackson, Mississippi: Lawyer’s Publishing Press, 1992.

Dittmer, John. Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994.

Donovan, Robert J. Tumultuous Years: The Presidency of Harry S. Truman, 1949–1953. New York: W. W. Norton, 1982.

Dray, Philip. At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America. New York: Random House, 2002.

Duberman, Martin Bauml. Paul Robeson. New York: Ballantine Books, 1989.

Edwards, Alison. Rape, Racism, and the White Women’s Movement: An Answer to Susan Brownmiller. Chicago: Sojourner Truth Organization, 1979.

Egerton, John. Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994.

Esters, Katharine Carr. Jay Bird Creek and My Recollections. Kosciusko, Mississippi: Solid Earth, 2005.

Fairclough, Adam. Race & Democracy: The Civil Rights Struggle in Louisiana, 1915–1972. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008.

Faulkner, William. Collected Stories of William Faulkner. New York: Vintage International, 1995.

———. Intruder in the Dust. New York: Random House, 1948.

Federal Writers Project, Works Progress Administration. Mississippi: The WPA Guide to the Magnolia State. New York: Viking Press, 1938. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1988.

Frederickson, Kari. The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932–1968. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

Gacs, Ute, Aisha Khan, Jerrie McIntyre, and Ruth Weinberg, eds. Women Anthropologists: Selected Biographies. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1989.

Gates, John. The Story of an American Communist. New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1958.

Goodman, Walter. The Committee: The Extraordinary Career of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1968.

Green, A. Wigfall. The Man Bilbo. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963.

Honey, Michael Keith. Black Workers Remember: An Oral History of Segregation, Unionism, and the Freedom Struggle. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

Horne, Gerald. Communist Front? The Civil Rights Congress, 1946–1956. Rutherford, New Jersey: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 1988.

Janken, Kenneth Robert. White: The Biography of Walter White, Mr. NAACP. New York: The New Press, 2003.

Johnston, Erle. Politics: Mississippi Style. Forest, Mississippi: Lake Harbor Publishers, 1993.

Lawson, Steven F. Black Ballots: Voting Rights in the South, 1944–1969. New York: Columbia University Press, 1976.

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Fortieth anniversary edition. New York: HarperCollins, 1999.

Levine, June, and Gene Gordon. Tales of Wo-Chi-Ca: Blacks, Whites and Reds at Camp. San Rafael, California: Avon Springs Press, 2002.

Levine, Suzanne Braun, and Mary Thom. Bella Abzug: How One Tough Broad from the Bronx Fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, Pissed Off Jimmy Carter, Battled for the Rights of Women and Workers, Rallied Against War and for the Planet, and Shook Up Politics Along the Way. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.

Lovell, Mary S. The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family. New York: W. W. Norton, 2002.

Matusow, Allen J., ed. Joseph R. McCarthy. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1970.

McCain, William D., and J. F. Hyer. The Story of Jackson: A History of the Capital of Mississippi, 1821–1951. 2 vols. Jackson, Mississippi: J. F. Hyer Publishing Company, 1953.

Macdonald, Dwight. Henry Wallace: The Man and the Myth. New York: Vanguard Press, 1948.

McCullough, David. Truman. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.

McMillan, Stokes. One Night of Madness. Houston, Texas: Oak Harbor Publishing, 2009.

McMillen, Neil R. Dark Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim Crow. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989.

Meeropol, Michael, ed. The Rosenberg Letters: A Complete Edition of the Prison Correspondence of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. New York: Garland Publishing, 1994.

Meriwether, James B., ed. Essays, Speeches & Public Letters by William Faulkner. New York: Random House, 1965.

Meyer, Gerald. Vito Marcantonio: Radical Politician, 1902–1954. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989.

Mitford, Jessica. A Fine Old Conflict. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977.

———. Daughters and Rebels. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Riverside Press, 1960.

Mitford, Nancy. The Pursuit of Love & Love in a Cold Climate. New York: Random House, 1945. Reissue, New York: Vintage Books, 2001.

Morgan, Chester M. Redneck Liberal: Theodore G. Bilbo and the New Deal. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1985.

Oshinsky, David M. A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy. New York: The Free Press, 1983.

Patterson, Haywood, and Earl Conrad. Scottsboro Boy. New York: Doubleday, 1950.

Patterson, William L. The Man Who Cried Genocide: An Autobiography. New York: International Publishers, 1971.

———, ed. We Charge Genocide: The Historic Petition to the United Nations for Relief from a Crime of the United States Government Against the Negro People. New York: Civil Rights Congress, 1951.

Payne, Charles M. I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.

Payne, Cleveland. Laurel: A History of the Black Community, 1882–1962. Laurel, Mississippi: 1990.

———. The Oak Park Story: A Cultural History, 1928–1970. National Oak Park High School Alumni Association, 1988.

Price, David H. Threatening Anthropology: McCarthyism and the FBI’s Surveillance of Activist Anthropologists. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2004.

Pryce-Jones, David. Unity Mitford: An Enquiry Into Her Life and the Frivolity of Evil. New York: Dial Press, 1977.

Radelet, Michael L. Hugo Adam Bedau, and Constance E. Putnam. In Spite of Innocence: Erroneous Convictions in Capital Cases. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1992.

Richards, Beah E. A Black Woman Speaks, and Other Poems. Sue E. Houchins, Penelope Choy, and Jeanne Joe, eds. Los Angeles: Inner City Press, 1974.

Rise, Eric W. The Martinsville Seven: Race, Rape, and Capital Punishment. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1995.

Roberts, Sam. The Brother: The Untold Story of the Rosenberg Case. New York: Random House, 2001.

Rowan, Carl T. Dream Makers, Dream Breakers: The World of Justice Thurgood Marshall. New York: Little Brown and Company, 1993.

———. South of Freedom. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1952.

Rowley, Hazel. Richard Wright: The Life and Times. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2001.

Simon, James F. The Antagonists: Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter, and Civil Liberties in Modern America. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989.

Sinclair, Upton. Boston: A Novel. New York: A. & C. Boni, 1928.

Southern Reporter, Second Series: Cases Argued and Determined in the Courts of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi. St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Company, 1946–51.

Stocking, George W., Jr. The Shaping of American Anthropology, 1883–1911: A Franz Boas Reader. New York: Basic Books, 1974.

Street, James. Tap Roots. New York: Dial Press, 1942.

Thompson, Julius E. Lynchings in Mississippi: A History, 1865–1965. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2006.

Topp, Michael M. The Sacco and Vanzetti Case: A Brief History with Documents. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Tushnet, Mark V. Making Civil Rights Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1936–1961. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Urofsky, Melvin I. Division and Discord: The Supreme Court under Stone and Vinson, 1941–1953. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1997.

Wagman, Robert J. The Supreme Court: A Citizen’s Guide. New York: Pharos Books, 1993.

Waldrep, Christopher. The Many Faces of Judge Lynch: Extralegal Violence and Punishment in America. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.

Watson, Bruce. Sacco and Vanzetti: The Men, the Murders, and the Judgment of Mankind. New York: Viking Press, 2007.

Welty, Eudora. One Writer’s Beginnings. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1984.

Wharton, Vernon Lane. The Negro in Mississippi: 1865–1890. New York: Harper & Row, 1947.

White, Walter. A Man Called White: The Autobiography of Walter White. New York: Viking Press, 1948.

———. Rope and Faggot: A Biography of Judge Lynch. Reissue, New York: Arno Press and the New York Times, 1969.

Williams, Juan. Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary. New York: Times Books, 1998.

Williams, Tennessee. Orpheus Descending with Battle of Angels. New York: New Directions, 1958.

Williamson, Joel. William Faulkner and Southern History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.


Brenner, Marie. “What Makes Bella Run?” New York, June 20, 1977.

Butler, Hilton. “Lynch Law in Action.” New Republic, July 22, 1931.

Carter, Hodding. “‘The Man’ from Mississippi—Bilbo.” New York Times Magazine, June 30, 1946.

Cogley, John. “Willie McGee.” The Commonweal, May 25, 1951.

Dallas, Jerry. “Capitol Street, Jackson, Mississippi—Then and Now.”

Fleegler, Robert L. “Theodore G. Bilbo and the Decline of Public Racism, 1938–1947.” The Journal of Mississippi History, Spring 2006.

Henderson, Harry, and Sam Shaw. “Bilbo.” Colliers, July 6, 1946.

Henderson, Harry, and Sam Shaw. “Punch Lines by Sullens.” Colliers, September 13, 1947.

Hodge, Jo Dent. “The Lumber Industry in Laurel, Mississippi, at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century.” Journal of Mississippi History, November 1973.

Howe, Russell Warren. “A Talk with William Faulkner.” The Reporter, March 22, 1956.

Kahn, E. J. “The Frontal Attack.” New Yorker, September 4, 1948.

Lampton, Lucius. “The Rest of Your Mother: The Story of Eudora Welty, Ouida Keeton, and the ‘Legs’ Murder.” Journal of the Mississippi State Medical Association, January 2003.

Lehman, Milton. “Will Bilbo Fool ’Em Again?” Saturday Evening Post, June 29, 1946.

Leuchtenburg, William E. “New Faces of 1946.” Smithsonian, November 2006.

Life, “The End of Willie McGee,” May 21, 1951.

Life, “Lynch Trial Makes Southern History,” June 2, 1947.

McMillen, Neil, and Noel Polk. “Faulkner on Lynching.” Faulkner Journal 8:1 (Fall 1992; published Fall 1994), 3–4.

Moon, Henry Lee. “The Martinsville Rape Case.” New Leader, February 12, 1951.

Mostert, Mary. “Death for Association.” Nation, May 5, 1951.

Mullen, R. D. “The Great Author, the Great Scholar, and the Small-Town Reporter.” Journal of Mississippi History, May 1991.

Newsweek, “Bilbo’s Successor,” November 3, 1947.

Rowan, Carl T. “McGee Was Going to Die.” Stag Magazine, March 1953.

Rutledge, Wilmuth Saunders. “The John J. Henry-Theodore G. Bilbo Encounter, 1911.” Journal of Mississippi History, November 1972.

Stuart, Lyle. “Mississippi.” Music Business, July 1950.

Time, “Communist Calliope,” February 12, 1951.

Time, “Gentleman from Georgia,” August 14, 1950.

Time, “Justice & the Communists,” May 14, 1951.

Time, “The Martinsville Seven,” February 12, 1951.

Time, “Pizen Slinger,” May 13, 1940.

Time, “Prince of the Peckerwoods,” July 1, 1946.

Time, “Southern Scorcher,” January 18, 1943.

Time, “Trial by Jury,” May 26, 1947.

Time, “Twelve Men,” June 2, 1947.

Time, “Vicksburg Surrenders,” July 9, 1945.

Valentine, C. Wayne, and Odelle G. McRae. “Unraveling the Ouida Keeton ‘Legs’ Murder.” Ouida Keeton subject file, Rogers.

West, Rebecca. “Opera in Greenville.” New Yorker, June 14, 1947.

Wilson, Edmund. “William Faulkner’s Reply to the Civil-Rights Program.” New Yorker, October 23, 1948.

Zaim, Craig. “Trial by Ordeal: The Willie McGee Case.” Journal of Mississippi History, Fall 2003.

Zarnow, Leandra. “Braving Jim Crow to Save Willie McGee: Bella Abzug, the Legal Left, and Civil Rights Innovation, 1948–1951.” Law & Social Inquiry, December 2008.

Dissertations and Theses

Hilliard, Elbert Riley. “A Biography of Fielding Wright: Mississippi’s Mr. State Rights.” Master’s thesis, Mississippi State University, 1959.

Key, David Stanton. “Laurel, Mississippi: A Historical Perspective.” Master’s thesis, East Tennessee State University, 2001.

Randall, Terree. “Democracy’s Passion Play: The Lincoln Memorial, Politics, and History as Myth.” Ph.D. diss., City University of New York, 2002.

Skates, John Ray, Jr. “A Southern Editor Views the National Scene: Frederick Sullens and the Jackson, Mississippi, Daily News.” Ph.D. diss., Mississippi State University, 1965.