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Guide to the Donald Stewart Lucas Papers, 1941-1998
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography and Organizational Histories
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Separated Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Donald Stewart Lucas Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1941-1998
    Accession number: 1997-25
    Creator: Lucas, Donald S. (1926-)
    Extent: 21 Boxes
    Repository: The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
    San Francisco, California.
    Abstract: This collection documents the professional life of Donald (Don) S. Lucas. It contains significant holdings relating to the Mattachine Foundation, the Mattachine Society, Pan-Graphic Press, the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, the Society for Individual Rights, and the Economic Opportunity Council of San Francisco, particularly the Central City Target Area. The collection contains a small cache of personal correspondence, mementos, and subject files.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials has been transferred to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Donald S. Lucas Papers, 1997-25, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

    Acquisition Information

    First items were donated to the GLBT Historical Society by Donald Lucas in 1997; over the next six years he continued to donate additional material.

    Biography and Organizational Histories

    Donald Stewart Lucas

    Donald Stewart Lucas was born in rural Colorado in 1926. He was raised on a farm mostly by his mother; work took his father away from the family frequently and divorce separated his parents permanently when Lucas was 16. Lucas had one brother who was three years his elder and who had cerebral palsy. Lucas spent a good deal of his adolescence caring for his brother, who died when Lucas was 18. Lucas finished high school at the age of 16 and then attended the local junior college, in Pueblo, Colorado, until he was 18. With his brother dead and his parents divorced, Lucas left for Tacoma, Washington, where he lived for five years. He worked in the shipyards during wartime. In his spare time he also worked in children's theater, the production of educational films, and performed on the stage as the magician, "Jus Foo Ling." Lucas had visited San Francisco once, in 1943, and was impressed with the beauty and magic of "The City." Six years later, while making a stopover in San Francisco while driving back to Colorado, Lucas decided to stay and settle in the city. He first lived in a rooming house near the corner of Haight Street and Market Street. He continued performing in local theater until the middle 1950s and worked for North British Insurance Company between 1949 and 1960.
    Although Lucas studied "abnormal psychology" in junior college, he claims to have not thought of himself as a sexual "deviant" during those years; he also remembers having dated women at the time. Lucas's first exposure to a gay subculture came when he was living and working in Tacoma. When Lucas moved to San Francisco in 1949 his homosexuality was not at issue, but in that city he was introduced to the Mattachine Society and the idea of homosexual education and activism. An acquaintance invited Lucas to a meeting of a San Francisco chapter of the recently re-formed Mattachine Society in mid-1953. In November 1953 Lucas attended a Constitutional Convention of the Society in Los Angeles and from that point in time became progressively more involved in the organization. As the leadership of the Society migrated from southern to northern California, Lucas assumed greater leadership responsibilities. In 1954, Lucas was a representative of the San Francisco Area Council and in 1955 he moved into the position of chair of the Society's Legal-Legislative Committee. Beginning in 1955, he also worked with Hal Call on publishing the Mattachine Review in the position of Business Manager.
    Joining with Hal Call and two other investors, Lucas founded Pan-Graphic Press in 1954. Pan-Graphic was a private enterprise that provided printing services for a range of clients but whose main responsibility was publishing the Mattachine Review, beginning in late 1955. Along with printing the Mattachine Review and other Society documents, Pan-Graphic published gay-related novels, non-fiction, poetry, and transcripts of radio and television programs; the press also published the Dorian Book Service Quarterly, a journal that joined news about obscenity laws with a mail-order catalogue, and Town-Talk, one of the first gay bar-oriented gay newspapers to carry advertising. Lucas left his job as assistant claims manager at the North British Insurance Company in 1960 to work fulltime for Pan-Graphic and the Society, which he did between 1960 and 1966. During that period of time, he kept the books for Pan-Graphic, but spent most of his time performing what he called "lay counseling" for the Society. This activity included working with individuals who contacted the Society with a whole variety of problems relating to employment, housing, civil rights, arrests, family, gender identity, and psychology; to help the individuals, Lucas worked with social workers, psychologists, lawyers, journalists, business owners, clergy, and landlords. This work occurred at a time when the San Francisco homophile movement experienced a period of significant growth. Lucas played an important role in the expansion of the movement as he helped to found the Council on Religion and the Homosexual in 1964 and worked with several other organizations including the Society for Individual Rights and the Committee to Fight the Exclusion of Homosexuals from the Armed Forces.
    As Lucas's interest in social services and counseling increased in the middle 1960s, he was exposed not only to homosexuals in need, but to others (like runaway youth, hustlers, drug addicts, the elderly, and transgender youth) in the Tenderloin and South of Market area who were confronted with a variety of problems. At the same time, Lyndon Johnson's Great Society agenda started spawning a variety of antipoverty programs. In San Francisco, the Economic Opportunity Council was formed to distribute grants and establish neighborhood-based programs. In 1966, Central City (comprised of the Tenderloin and South of Market) became one of the five "Target Areas" within the city of San Francisco. Shortly thereafter, Lucas was hired as the administrative assistant and then assistant director to the Central City Area Director, Calvin Colt. When Colt transferred to the main EOC office in the Fall of 1967, Lucas was promoted to the position of Director of the Central City Multi-Service Center. He served in that position until May 1969, when the Nixon administration already had made severe budget cutbacks in antipoverty programs.
    Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Lucas continued to work for communities in need by serving on the boards of North of Market Senior Services and the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic. However, after leaving the Central City Multi-Service Center, Lucas primarily worked as a bookkeeper and private consultant until retirement. As of February 2003, Lucas continues to live in San Francisco and makes periodic visits to his hometown in Colorado where he is active in the local historical society.

    The Mattachine Foundation and the Mattachine Society

    The Mattachine Society is perhaps the best known but also among the least understood organizations of the homophile movement. The Mattachine Society experienced three distinct stages in its organizational history and they can be categorized along the following lines: the Mattachine Foundation (1951-1953); the Mattachine Society as a national organization with local chapters (1953-1961); and the Mattachine Society as an independent organization (1961-1967).
    The Mattachine Foundation was formed in Los Angeles in 1951 and initiated the process of incorporating in 1952, but it can date its origins as far back as 1948. Harry Hay, a Los Angeles-based actor who was active in the Communist Party, met with a group of like-minded gay men and suggested that they mobilize support for Presidential candidate Henry Wallace with whom they had political sympathies. Although the gathering never moved beyond coining a name ("Bachelors for Wallace"), it did provide the impetus for Hay and others to found a more permanent group three years later. Hay suggested the name Mattachine--which he had learned were groups of traveling performers in Medieval Europe that staged satires while wearing masks--because he thought that the description resonated with the experiences of many American homosexuals who too were forced to hide behind masks. Many of the founders shared Hay's leftist politics and they agreed that the Foundation should be organized along the secretive, cell-like structure of the Communist Party, which also needed to protect the identities of its leaders.
    The main activity of the nascent organization was sponsoring groups to discuss homosexuality from both subjective and objective perspectives. Between 1951 and early 1953, the organization grew throughout Southern California and in the San Francisco Bay Area. The organization made tentative steps into the arenas of public relations and the law. Yet the leaders of the Foundation simultaneously choose to remain anonymous and secretive. This worried rank-and-file members and attracted the attention of at least one journalist, who wrote an article suggesting that the organization was a front for a subversive organization. In a pair of membership conventions in April and May of 1953, the leadership of the Foundation abandoned its secretive structure and opened the organization to democratic elections. In a climate of suspicions about everything from financial improprieties to self-misrepresentation to communist infiltration, the membership elected a new slate of leaders, including Kenneth Burns and Marilyn Rieger of Los Angeles and Harold "Hal" Call of San Francisco.
    At the May 1953 convention of the Mattachine Society, the leaders of the Foundation signed a document that officially dissolved the Foundation and recognized the establishment of the Society. The next two years witnessed a great deal of change within the organization. As the Society sought to establish itself, some members dropped away, new ones took their place, and some rose to positions of influence. Both Hal Call and Donald Stewart Lucas were among the latter group. Call had moved to San Francisco in 1952 and shortly thereafter became involved in the Foundation's Berkeley chapter. Immediately after the May 1953 convention, Call established a "publications chapter" of the organization in San Francisco and became the Publications Committee Chair. From that institutional position, Call published newsletters and proposed that the organization publish a journal to provide a public voice for homosexuals and to end what he called the "conspiracy of silence" surrounding the objective discussion of homosexuality. The journal, which came to be known as the Mattachine Review, first appeared in February 1955. As the central activity of the Society, the publication of the Review in San Francisco played an important role in shifting the locus of power within the organization to that city as well. Not without some wrangling between leaders in Los Angeles and those in San Francisco, the national headquarters of the organization officially moved to San Francisco in January 1957.
    In addition to publishing the Review, the Society's San Francisco chapter, first as a local chapter and then as the national headquarters, greatly expanded the educational activities of the organization. Lucas claims that education was the main priority of the Society. Education encompassed not merely the transmission of information about specific items of interest, but it meant the complete enlightenment of society, including both heterosexuals and homosexuals, about the scientific, objective truths of homosexual behavior and identity. The leaders of the Society were heavily influenced by the decidedly non-homophobic researchers, Alfred Kinsey and Evelyn Hooker. The Society pursued its education program through the Review as well as through: the Pan-Graphic Press publications; the research sponsored by the Society; the public relations activities and work with journalists, broadcasters, and photographers; the exchanges with social workers, clergy, parole officers, lawyers, and psychologists; and the hosting of conventions and meetings addressing the topic of homosexuality.
    As the national headquarters of the Society pursued these activities throughout the second half of the 1950s, a sense of dissatisfaction arose among the branch chapters, particular in New York and Washington DC. The struggle largely centered on questions of autonomy and independence and it resulted in the dissolution of the Society's national structure in 1961. Several of the branch chapters continued and some even thrived. The national chapter in San Francisco became known simply as the Mattachine Society, Inc., while some branch chapters kept their names (e.g. the Mattachine Society of New York) and others changed theirs (e.g. the Philadelphia chapter evolved into the Janus Society). In San Francisco, Call and Lucas continued to lead the organization, which by this time had become less a membership organization and more of an education and social service organization. A mixture of increased demand of services from the organization (partially due to the vastly expanded public visibility of the Society) along with diminishing financial and human resources resulted in the decline of the group between 1965 and 1967. Not coincidently, a new generation of homophile organizations appeared between 1960 and 1966 in San Francisco, including: the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, the League for Civil Education, the Tavern Guild, the Coits, the Imperial Court, Vanguard, and the Society for Individual Rights.

    Council on Religion and the Homosexual

    The Council on Religion and the Homosexual (CRH) was an outgrowth of San Francisco-based homophile organizations the Mattachine Society, the Daughters of Bilitis, and the League for Civil Education. Since the late 1950s, one goal of these organizations was to build alliances with liberal, mostly Protestant, ministers with hopes that they would become allies in the fight for homosexual civil rights. The immediate impetus of the organization dates to June 1964 when a two-day "Consultation" on "The Church and the Homosexual" was held in Marin County. The Consultation was sponsored by the Glide Foundation, two other agencies of the Methodist Church, and several homophile organizations. Out of this Consultation grew CRH. Along with the general goal of increasing understanding and tolerance of homosexuals was the more specific goal of addressing the problems and needs of young homosexuals and gender variants, many of whom ended up on drugs and working in prostitution in San Francisco's Tenderloin, where many of the homophile and religious organizations were located.
    The key event in CRH history was the New Year's Day Mardi Gras Ball of 1965. This Ball, held at California Hall on Polk Street, was a fundraiser for CRH and was sponsored by the city's homophile organizations. Although all the proper permits had been obtained, the members of the San Francisco Police Department photographed and otherwise harassed attendees; they also arrested several ministers, three lawyers, and a housewife for supposedly interfering with police work. What happened next is well documented: the behavior of the police backfired and, with the help of the CRH ministers, the event turned into an extremely important public relations coup not only for CRH and the homophile movement, but for San Francisco homosexuals in general.
    In the second half of the 1960s, the CRH focused its activities on educating clergy and seminarians. It also helped legitimize sexuality as a topic worthy of discussion in universities and other establishments of higher education, like the National Sex Forum (which emerged out of Glide Church) and the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (which developed out of the National Sex Forum).

    Central City Target Area, Economic Opportunity Council of San Francisco

    Simultaneous with 1960s homophile activism, President Lyndon Johnson declared that a key feature of his Presidency would be waging a war on poverty. Johnson's "war" was subsidized through the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA), which he signed into law in August 1964. The EOA provided for the establishment of a national Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), which in turn called for the founding of local Economic Opportunity Councils (EOC). The EOC of San Francisco decided to distribute funds according to geographically and racially-based zones of poverty; the EOC initially established four of these zones, called "Target Areas," and formed boards that were to oversee the hiring of directors and staff and the running of programs. The four "Target Areas" were the Western Addition (primarily African-American), Chinatown-North Beach (primarily Asian-American), the Mission (primarily Latino), and Bayview-Hunter's Point (primarily African-American).
    Although being one of the most depressed areas of the city, the Tenderloin and South of Market (otherwise known as Central City) were not designated Target Areas because they were home mostly to white residents and thus did not conform to the racialized definition of poverty as employed by the EOC. In 1966, a multi-racial group of residents of and service professionals who worked in Central City formed the Central City Citizen's Council. Their goal was to make the EOC recognize Central City as an official Target Area. They succeeded in 1966. Calvin Colt was hired as the first director of the Central City Target Area, followed by Lucas from 1967 to 1969. The majority of funds in Central City were devoted to the establishment of a "Multi-Service Center." This office, which was located at the corner of Third and Mission Streets, catered to the social, economic, legal, health, and psychological needs of Central City's impoverished residents.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection documents the activist and professional activities of Donald S. Lucas; there also are a limited number of documents of a personal nature. The period covered ranges from 1941 to 1998. The vast majority of the collection, however, dates from 1953 to 1969. The strength of the collection lies in the administrative and work files of the Mattachine Society, the Mattachine Review, Pan-Graphic Press, and the Central City Target Area of the San Francisco EOC. The collection includes: correspondence, meeting minutes, constitutions and by-laws, newsletters, manuscripts, financial documents, reports, statistics, legal decisions, surveys, counseling records, funding proposals, and subject files. As the collection came to the Historical Society at various times and in a variety of formats (including binders, files, notebooks, and loose leafs), original order could not be maintained and processing was done according to standard archival practice.
    The Lucas collection contains an abundance of material relating to the early homosexual civil rights movement (the homophile movement) and the San Francisco manifestation of President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty. Within the Mattachine Society records, researchers may want to pay attention to the complete series of Board and Coordinating Council meeting minutes, the files related to annual conventions, and the remaining correspondence files. Also of interest are the files relating to the main activity of the Mattachine Society, "education"; these include: publication records, counseling/social service records, and research data and findings. Because Lucas served on the boards of both CRH and SIR, researchers will find important records pertaining to those organizations. The antipoverty program files document the process by which Central City came to be designated an official Target Area and the administration of that Target Area, especially in regards to the establishment of the Multi-Service Center and its related activities.
    Additionally, researchers will find useful material in the collection on the following individuals: Harry Benjamin, Eliot Blackstone, Kenneth Burns, Hal Call, Donald Webster Cory (Edward Sagarin), Mark Forrester, Dr. Joel Fort, Anthony Grey, Carl Harding (Elver Barker), Evelyn Hooker, Alfred Kinsey, Phyllis Lyon, Paul Mariah, Del Martin, Wallace de Ortega Maxey, Ted McIlvenna, José Sarria, Randy Wicker (Charles Hayden), and Reverend Robert Wood.


    The collection is divided into four series:
    1. Homophile Organizations
    2. Anti-Poverty Programs
    3. Personal Papers
    4. Audio-Visual

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Gay men
    Homophile movement

    Separated Material

    Items removed the collection totaled about one and a half cartons and included the following materials:
    • Artifacts: A half-dozen Mattachine Society lapel pins have been removed to the GLBTHS Button Collection.
    • Books: A few dozen books were removed from the Lucas Papers, including third copies of Pan-Graphic Press books (de-accessioned from GLBTHS); copies of Who's Who books in which Lucas was listed (photocopies of his entries have been placed in the collection); miscellaneous non-gay books (de-accessioned from GLBTHS); and about two dozen gay paperback "pulp" novels (moved to the GLBTHS Paperback Books Collection). The vast majority of the paperback novels were published by Fabian/Saber/Vega Books, a small publishing company owned by Sanford Aday and Wallace de Ortega Maxey, the latter of whom was an early member of the Mattachine Society and an associate of Lucas's.
    • Magazines: About two boxes of magazines were removed from the Lucas Papers. The majority of these were European homophile publications, like Der Kreis/Le Cercle/The Circle, Arcadie, and Vennen; many of these publications bear the stamp: "Property of the Mattachine Society Board of Directors." Moreover, the first two issues of Sex and Censorship magazine were removed from the collection. All queer-related publications were placed in the GLBTHS Periodical Collection. A few mainstream, non-queer publications also were removed and placed in the GLBTHS Ephemera Collection. Duplicate copies of the Mattachine Review were moved to the GLBTHS Periodical Collection while third copies were de-accessioned from the GLBTHS.
    • Newsletters: The Lucas Papers contained an extensive collection of chapter newsletters from the Mattachine Society dating from 1953 through 1960. Chapters represented included not only San Francisco Area Council chapters, but also those from Denver, Los Angeles, Long Beach, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. These newsletters were removed and placed in the GLBTHS Periodical Collection. A few non-Mattachine newsletters (e.g. CRH) also were removed to the Periodical Collection.
    • Meeting Minutes: The Lucas Papers contained a complete run of minutes for the Mattachine Society Board of Directors and Coordinating Council. In all cases, two copies of each set of minutes were retained in the Lucas Papers; in cases in which the minutes were altered with notes and marginalia, third and fourth sets of minutes were retained. In other cases, surplus copies of meeting minutes were de-accessioned from the Historical Society.