Register of the Charlotta A. Bass Papers

Processed by The Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research staff; supplementary encoding and revision supplied by Xiuzhi Zhou.
Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
6120 S. Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90044
Phone: (323) 759-6063
Fax: (323) 759-2252
Email: archives@socallib.org
URL: http://www.socallib.org
© 2000
Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. All rights reserved.

Register of the Charlotta A. Bass Papers

Collection number: MSS 002

Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research



Los Angeles, California

Contact Information:

  • Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
  • 6120 S. Vermont Avenue
  • Los Angeles, California 90044
  • Phone: (323) 759-6063
  • Fax: (323) 759-2252
  • Email: archives@socallib.org
  • URL: http://www.socallib.org
Processed by:
Mary F. Tyler
Date completed:
Nov. 1983
© 2000 Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Charlotta A. Bass Papers
Collection number: MSS 002
Creator: Bass, Charlotta A., 1874-1968
Extent: 8 document cases

3 cubic feet
Repository: Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research.
Los Angeles, California
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access

The collection is available for research only at the Library's facility in Los Angeles.  The Library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Researchers are encouraged to call or email the Library indicating the nature of their research query prior to making a visit.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. Researchers may make single copies of any portion of the collection, but publication from the collection will be allowed only with the express written permission of the Library's director. It is not necessary to obtain written permission to quote from a collection. When the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research gives permission for publication, it is as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Charlotta A. Bass Papers, MSS 002, Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research, Los Angeles.

Biography

Charlotta Bass, nee Spears, was born on February 14, 1874 in Little Compton, Rhode Island. She attended Brown University, Columbia University and UCLA. At 36 years of age, she moved to Los Angeles and Joined the Eagle later to become the California Eagle. John Neimore was editor and publisher of the Eagle and upon his death in 1912 he left the paper to Charlotta. She soon married Joseph Blackburn Bass from Topeka, Kansas. They became co-editors and publishers of the California Eagle. Mr. Bass died in the early 1930s leaving Charlotta to manage the paper.
Mrs. Bass was an activist who fought against the Ku Klux Klan and racial bias. Her political affiliations were with the Republican Party until 1948 where she had once been the Western Regional Director for Wendell Willkie for the 1940 presidential race. In 1950, Mrs. Bass attended the conferences in Prague, Czechoslovakia on the Defenders of the Peace Committee of the World CONGRESS and subsequently visited the Soviet Union. Mrs. Bass was impressed with the Soviet Union's policies on racial issues and saw it as a model for other countries:
I will never forget the moment when I first realized, standing there in the great Georgian University, that there is in very truth not even a semblance of racial exclusiveness in Russia.
The example which the Russians are setting in this field will have an effect in every country in the world, including our own. (p. 171 Bass, Forty Years).
Mrs. Bass joined the Progressive Party and ran for Congress in 1950 for the Fourteenth District in California. In 1952, she was selected to run for Vice-President on the Progressive Party ticket.
In 1960, Charlotta Bass published her book Forty Years: Memoirs from The Pages of A Newspaper. The book shows the relationship between the California Eagle and the community which it served. It is incidentally an autobiography of Mrs. Bass. The book is a study of local social history and is concerned with the struggle against discrimination in the workplace and in the community.
In the 1950s, Mrs. Bass retired from the paper and subsequently moved to Elsinore, California where she developed the Community Reading Room on Black and Jewish history.
At the age of 95, Mrs. Bass died April 12, 1968.

Scope and Content

The Charlotta Bass COLLECTION covers the period form 1924 to 1983 and arranged in three series: FORTY YEARS DRAFT AND MANUSCRIPT, BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL PAPERS and FINANCIAL RECORDS.
The basic and most important feature of the collection is the draft and manuscript of Mrs. Bass's book Forty Years published in 1970. The collection also includes publicity for Forty Years such as the receptions held in Mrs. Bass's honor. There are also loan documents and loan account books. Business cards of the California Eagle, press card, dues cards from the Daughters of the IBOE of W and the OES, an invitation to attend the International Stalin Peace Prize Ceremony, 1954, and a sample ballot of the Los Angeles Branch NAACP Election, 1954. There is a poem by S. O'Brien and Family, 1934, expressing sympathy for the death of a family member, perhaps for Mr. Bass. The newspaper clipping from the California Eagle, 1974, is an appeal to work and contribute to the National Negro Congress-Bay Cities Chapter led by Paul Robeson and Charlotta Bass. The Torchlight is a newsletter and in this particular issue a tribute is paid to Paul Robeson written by Mrs. Bass.
The correspondence reflects Mrs. Bass's political activism. Some of the correspondence refers to Marxism and the Cold War Era. A letter from the Iota Phi Lambda Society of Toledo, Ohio, 1956, revoked Mrs. Bass's honorary membership because her name was mentioned in the Sixth Report on Un-American Activities in California, 1951. Other correspondence includes fan letters and cards from well-wishers.
The collection also contains the draft of a biography and published biographies of Mrs. Bass. Also included are her address books and her campaign schedule for the presidential election of 1952. The memorial service of 1977 in honor of Mrs. Bass is part of the collection in addition to the Obsequies of April of 1969.
Her personal bank statements and cancelled checks date back to 1952, while the bank statements and cancelled checks to the California Eagle date back to 1927.
Most of the photographs in this collection were taken by professional photographers and undated. They probably date from the late 1920s, they are of Mrs. Bass and her activities.

Bibliography

Bass, Charlotta A. Forty Years: Memoirs From The Pages of A Newspaper. Los Angeles: Charlotta A. Bass, 1960.

Container List

 

FORTY YEARS AND DRAFT AND MANUSCRIPT

Box 1, Folder 1-3

Draft Forty Years. 1959.

Box 1, Folder 1

pp. 1-150A.

Box 1, Folder 2

pp. 150-265.

Box 1, Folder 3

pp. 266-415.

Box 1, Folder 4-7

Manuscript Forty Years. [1959?].

Box 1, Folder 4

pp. 1-107A.

Box 1, Folder 5

pp. 107B-204B.

Box 1, Folder 6

pp. 205-307.

Box 1, Folder 7

pp. 307-424.

Box 2, Folder 8

Photograph Identification in Forty Years. [1959?].

Box 2, Folder 9

Forty Years Publicity. 1959-1960.

 

BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL PAPERS

Box 2, Folder 10

Unfinished Draft and Biography. Author Unknown. 1959.

Box 2, Folder 11

Newsletter, Biography, Information Card. 1961, 1980, 1983.

Box 2, Folder 12

Joseph Blackburn Bass. Memorabilia, Program. Condolence Poem to Mrs. Bass. 1924, 1934.

Box 2, Folder 13

Receipt, Business Cards, Dues, Card, Invitations, Newspaper Clipping. 1926, 1947, 1952-1955, 1961-1965.

Box 2, Folder 14

Correspondence and Cards. 1943, 1950, 1954, 1962-1964.

Box 2, Folder 15

Tribute to Paul Robeson- Torchlight. 1957.

Box 2, Folder 16

Address Books-Small: Late 1940s; Large: Date Unknown.

Box 2, Folder 17

Acceptance Speech, Campaign Schedule. 1952.

Note

missing
Box 2, Folder 18

Poem in Honor of Mrs. Bass. Nd.

Box 2, Folder 18

Obsequies of Charlotta A. Bass. 1969.

Box 2, Folder 18

Memorial Service Literature. 1977.

Box 2, Folder 19-20

Photographs. Nds.

 

FINANCIAL RECORDS

Box 3-4, Folder 21-26

Bank Statements and Cancelled Checks. 1952-1953, 1955-1959, 1961-1962, 1964.

Box 4, Folder 27-28

Cancelled Checks. California Eagle. 1927, 1929.

Box 5, Folder 29

Bank Statements and Cancelled Checks. California Eagle. Incomplete. 1930.

Box 5, Folder 30

Cancelled Checks. California Eagle. Incomplete. 1932.

Box 5, Folder 31

Banks Statements and Cancelled Checks. California Eagle. Incomplete. 1933, 1951.

Box 6

Two (2) Trophies.

Addition

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Articles and Speeches, Undated

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Articles, 1930s

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Articles and Editorials, 1940s

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Articles, 1950s

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Articles and Speeches, 1960s

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Biographical Notes

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--City Council Campaign (L.A.), 1945

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Congressional Campaign, 1944

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--in Elsinore Retirement

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Forty Years, Autobiography

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Grand Jury, 1943

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Letters to, Undated

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Letters to, 1920s, 1930s

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Letters to, 1940s

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Letters to, 1950s

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Letters to, 1960s

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Personal Papers, Certificates

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Photographs (of her and others)

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Progressive Party Campaign, 1952--Misc. Materials

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Progressive Party Campaign, 1952--Speech Fragments

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Progressive Party Campaign, 1952--Speeches

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Speeches, 1930s

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Speeches, 1940s

Addn. Box 1

Bass, C.A.--Speeches, 1950s (excluding 1952 Progressive campaign)

Addn. Box 1

Cold War, HUAC, McCarthyism

Addn. Box 1

The Eagle--History of, and Business Records

Addn. Box 1

Fair Housing Fights--L.A.

Addn. Box 1

Foreign Born, Committee for the Protection of

Addn. Box 1

Llano Colony (Western Comrade Magazine)

Addn. Box 1

Mailing Lists and Address Books

Addn. Box 1

Miscellaneous--Leaflets and Letters and Papers (from C.A. Bass files)

Addn. Box 1

NAACP Convention, 1939

Addn. Box 1

Negro Directory, L.A., 1930-1931

Addn. Box 1

Negro Press Foundation

Addn. Box 1

Owens, Rev. John H.

Addn. Box 1

Prague Peace Congress, 1950, Materials

Addn. Box 1

Progressive Party--1948

Addn. Box 1

Race Questions, Legislation on

Addn. Box 1

Race Relations and Black History

Addn. Box 1

Russia, Photographs, 1930s

Addn. Box 2

Kinloch, John H.--Early Writings

Addn. Box 2

Kinloch, John H.--Letters From

Addn. Box 2

Kinloch, John H.--Letters To

Addn. Box 2

Kinloch, John H.--Re His Death

Addn. Box 2

Kinloch, John H.--Writings for the Eagle, Radio

Addn. Box 2

Kinloch, John H.--Writings--Long Play

Addn. Box 2, Addn. Box 2

Kinloch, John H.--Writings--The Shadows (Novel)

Addn. Box 2

Sealed folder: Originals, on acid paper (have been copied)

Oversize Large Folder

The Eagle, Dec 23, 1927 (Not Complete?)