This collection documents the life and work of Hamilton T. Boswell, minister of Jones Memorial Methodist Church in San Francisco
and founding minister of Bowen Memorial Methodist Church in Los Angeles. The collection includes correpsondence and working
documents related to Boswell's work with his congregations and within the United Methodist Church; San Francisco civic and
public institutions such as the Juvenile Justice Commission and Housing Authority; the Civil Rights movement; his activities
as a San Francisco police chaplain and chaplain of the California Assembly; and his personal life. Also included are his
writings, from early classwork to sermons, speeches, and articles for his column, 'The Pulpit Voice', as well as photographs
spanning his life and career. Audio recordings of sermons and family films are also present. Included are correspondence
and photographs from Boswell's interactions with figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Justice Thurgood
Marshall, Langston Hughes, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Willie Brown, Jr. and various other San
Francisco mayors, California governors, and other city and state officials.
Rev. Hamilton T. Boswell was born in Dallas, Texas in 1914. In 1920, his family moved to Los Angeles, where he attended grade
school and high school. He attended Wiley College in Marshall, Texas and then earned his master’s degree and PhD in 1943
from the University of Southern California. He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first African-American, intercollegiate
Greek-lettered fraternity, and continued his involvement for 72 years. He met and married Eleanor Gragg in 1939, after a
courtship of three days; they would remain married until their deaths in 2007. The couple had two daughters, Eleanor and
8.2 Linear Feet
6 cartons; 1 box; 2 oversize folders; 1 portfolio
Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction
of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions,
privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright
beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests
exclusively with the user.
Collection is open for research.