Your Edmundite Missions News Letter. 67 issues, 1959 - 1972. [with] Five Fundraising Letters, a Flyer and a Promotional Brochure.
Selma, Alabama: Fathers of St. Edmund, Southern Missions, Inc., 1959 - 1972. Newsletters: 7-1/2" x 5-1/8". Pagination varies, 8-16pp. per issue, including wrappers; several include unused self-addressed envelopes laid in. All mailed to the same recipient in San Rafael, CA, with his address printed on the back cover and the remains of a seal made of a circular sticker or thin strip of clear tape to the wrapper fore-edges. Some tears to wrappers, mostly from the seals being roughly opened; in one issue a quarter-sized piece is missing from the front cover, affecting an illustration on the verso. Light musty odor, occasional light soil.
Letters: sizes vary, most 11" x 8-1/2". Two form letters, three typescript personalized letters signed in ink by Father Gallagher or Father Crowley. Fold lines and light edge wear.
Flyer: 11" x 8-1/2". Titled, "Helping Hand for Selma," printed recto only. Details the history of the Mission in Selma and notes the costs incumbent upon building a new Good Samaritan Hospital; possibly included with one of the letters. Fold lines, minor soiling.
Brochure: 8-1/2" x 3-5/8". Six-panel brochure, "The Story of Good Samaritan in Selma, Alabama. 'The Hospital of Brotherly Love'." Illustrated from b&w photographs.
Very Good overall.
An incomplete run of this scarce bimonthly periodical, lacking 17 issues of the 84 published during a crucial 14-year period in the history of the Edmundite Missions.
The Edmundite Missions in Selma were founded in 1937 for the explicit purpose of serving poor and disadvantage African Americans in the South. Gradually, the Missions expanded their community services to include a grade school, a boys and girls club, the Good Samaritan Hospital, a nursing home, and a school for the instruction of practical nurses, the first of its kind in Alabama. During the Civil Rights movement, the Edmundites controversially became the only white organization in Selma to openly support voting rights, and they gained national attention when they treated African American marchers injured on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on "Bloody Sunday" at their Good Samaritan Hospital; Father James Robinson, assistant director of the Missions, would later play a key role in brining together black and white city leaders in order to effect the Selma Accord of 1972.
Their newsletters and fundraising letters provide a wealth of information about not only the progress of the Edmundites' own mission work, but also about Selma itself, the situation of race relations there and in general the living conditions of the people they served. Issues are necessarily devoted to the Missions' efforts toward children's health and educational opportunites, training nurses at the nursing school, news about the Missions' staff, volunteers and patients, nursing home residents, etc., but they often contain photographic images of the community (cotton picking, for example) and informative content, for example about midwifery in the area, or the June 1961 flood.
Of particular note, of course, are the Missions' direct efforts to effect racial equality in Selma, such as when they published a full-page newspaper ad in February 1965 urging Selma's residents to enact to racial equality, excerpts of which are printed in their Easter 1965 issue. Also notable are its struggles because of those efforts, as in this acknowledgement in a fundraising form letter dated June 3, 1965: "As you probably know Good Samaritan is a modern hospital serving the medical needs of the citizens of Dallas County, Alabama, without regard for race or religion. And during the recent violence in Selma, Good Samaritan's doors were open on a non-discriminatory basis to all who needed medical attention. ... Since the Selma crisis, the hospital has lost most of its support from the segment of the local community most able to support a non-profit hospital."
While the majority of the issues are devoted to the Missions' work in Selma, articles and sometimes full issues cover their service elsewhere, particularly in Appalachia, other missions in Alabama, and in Latin America.
Despite the relative frequency with which the newsletters were issued, OCLC locates only a handful of issues at Xavier University of Louisiana and the Wisconsin Historical Society, and Tulane University's Amistad Research Center appears to only hold the organization's records for this period, not the newsletters.
The full listing of issues offered here is below. Please be aware that there is a numbering inconsistency, with issues published in 1959 designated Vol. XV and issues published in 1960 designated Vol. XVII.
Vol. XV, Nos. 4-6; Vol. XVII, Nos. 1-2, 4-6; Vol. XVIII, Nos. 1, 3-4, 6; Vol. XIX, Nos. 1-6; Vol. XX, Nos. 1-6; Vol. XXI, Nos. 1-6; Vol. XXII, Nos. 1-6; Vol. XXIII, Nos. 1-3, 6; Vol. XXIV, Nos. 1-6; Vol. XXV, Nos. 1-3, 6; Vol. XXVI, Nos. 1-5; Vol. XXVII, Nos. 1-5; Vol. XXVIII, Nos. 1-2, 4; Vol. XXIX, Nos. 1-2, 4-6.