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Chronological file, 1909 - 1980


Scope and Contents

Chronologically arranged correspondence, clippings, articles, essays, and related material. The bulk of the material provides a thorough documentation of the events described in Payton's book Scapegoat, including the Henderson strike, Payton's arrest, trial, and conviction, the alleged frame-up by the state of North Carolina, his imprisonment, release, and pardon efforts. Also documented in this series is Payton's career following his release from prison and his pardon. The majority of the correspondence from November, 1960 through July, 1961 consists of letters between Payton and his family while he was in prison. They reflect his family's intense devotion to him and to one another while also providing a portrait of prison life on a day-to-day basis. Most of the clippings document the strike, trial, and related events, but Payton also collected clippings on prison conditions and reform and on political events in which he was interested. This series includes information on Payton's family, biographical sketches, and speeches, in several of which Payton reflects on his early life. Also includes a typescript of a novel, "Invitation to Prison," written by Lee Winfield, an inmate befriended by Payton at Central Prison.


  • 1909 - 1980

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.


From the Collection: 3.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

From the Collection: Spanish; Castilian


Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte 28223 United Stated

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

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