Skip to main content

Vermont in Mississippi Collection

 Collection
Identifier: mss-158

Scope and Contents

While the Vermont in Mississippi project collection contains materials from 1963 through 1973, the bulk of the collection covers 1965-1967. The collection has been arranged chronologically by three subjects: Vermont in Mississippi, Inc. (Two boxes), the Ted Seaver Teaching Contract Controversy (one box), and Civil Rights Movement - 1960's (one box). The collection is comprised of correspondence, newspaper clippings, printed materials, business and financial records, progress reports, photos, and audio tapes.

The collection consists of materials received in October 1985 and January 1986, as gifts from the President of VIM, Dr. Irving Adler of No. Bennington, and Myrtle Lane of Montpelier, a member of the Board of Trustees. The material from the two collections has been integrated and duplicates have been sorted and placed in Box 4.

Dates

  • 1965-1967

Creator

Access:

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights:

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

Biography

Vermont in Mississippi, Inc. (VIM), a civil rights movement project, was organized in June 1965, under the auspices of the Vermont Civil Rights Union. The honorary directors included Vermont Governor Philip Hoff, and Rabbi Max Wall, Bishop Robert Joyce, and Reverend Harvey Butterfield, of Burlington, Vermont, as well as other prominent persons from throughout the state.

This non-profit organization promoted community advocacy projects for blacks in Jackson, Mississippi, to develop voter education classes, voter registration drives, a cooperative day-care center, and a community center, the Medgar Evers Neighborhood Guild. Montpelier High School English teacher, Edward (Ted) Seaver and his wife Carol directed the activities of VIM in Jackson. Ted Seaver applied for a one-year leave of absence from his teaching position, however in January 1965, the Montpelier Board of School Commissioners voted to deny Seaver's teaching contract for "attitudes unbecoming a teacher." This action created a controversy over whether the decision of the Board was related to Seaver's civil rights activities.

The Seavers' goal in Jackson was to teach local community members to assume leadership in gaining constitutional rights for blacks in Mississippi. This goal was achieved and the Rev. Jesse Montgomery gradually took over the Seaver's responsibilities. Funded primarily though private contributions with the assistance of the Michael Schwerner Memorial Fund, as well as the Taconic Foundation, VIM was entirely self-supporting. Due to declining financial support, Vermont in Mississippi, Inc. was dissolved in 1967.

Extent

1.6 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Overview

Vermont in Mississippi, Inc. (VIM), a civil rights movement project, was organized in June 1965, under the auspices of the Vermont Civil Rights Union. The collection is comprised of correspondence, newspaper clippings, printed materials, business and financial records, progress reports, photos, and audio tapes.

Physical Location

Silver Special Collections, Billings Library.

Acquisition Information

The collection consists of materials received in October 1985 and January 1986, as gifts from the President of VIM, Dr. Irving Adler of No. Bennington, and Myrtle Lane of Montpelier, a member of the Board of Trustees.
Title
Guide to the Vermont in Mississippi Collection
Status
Completed
Date
1997
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)