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Collection Number: 04391

Collection Title: John B. Dunne Papers (#4391) 1943-1984

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size About 500 items (0.5 linear feet)
Abstract John B. Dunne (1943-1982) was a civil rights activist in Chapel Hill, N.C., and Birmingham, Ala., 1961-1964; student at the Choate School, 1958-1961, the University of North Carolina, 1961-1963, Harvard University, and Yale Law School; and a lawyer in Boston, Mass., 1972-1975, and Norwich, Vt., 1975-1982. The collection includes correspondence, writings, newspaper clippings, photographs, and memorabilia of John B. Dunne. The bulk of the collection centers around Dunne's activism in the South during the civil rights movement, 1963-1965. Most items are letters from Dunne to his parents, some from prisons in North Carolina and Alabama. Other items include letters to Dunne's parents about their son from John Ehle, Walter Spearman, and others; clippings about Dunne's acts of civil disobedience in Chapel Hill, N.C., and elsewhere; a few papers and articles written by Dunne; and items relating to the Dunne's memorial services.
Creator Dunne, John B.
Language English.
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Provenance
The bulk of the collection was received from John and Emmaline Dunne, Perkinsville, Vt., in July-September 1984 (Acc. 84117, 84123, 84129, 84140).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

John Bailey Dunne was born in Boston, Mass., on 18 March 1943 to John and Emmaline Dunne. He grew up in Brecksville, Ohio. From 1958 to 1961, Dunne attended the Choate School in Connecticut, where he won awards as a fullback on the football team and was an accomplished violinist. At Choate, Dunne was awarded the Joseph P. Kennedy Memorial Scholarship and won the prestigious John Motley Morehead Scholarship to the University of North Carolina. Based on his work at Choate and placement tests, Dunne entered the University of North Carolina as a sophomore. In his second year, Dunne became involved with the civil rights movement, helping to establish a University chapter of the Student Peace Union.

In the spring of 1963, Dunne traveled with the UNC Tar Heel Press on a trip to Birmingham, Ala., where he stayed on to join the Birmingham Movement. While in Birmingham, Dunne was arrested and jailed for helping black parents find their children, who were being released from jail. After his release, Dunne returned to Chapel Hill, but by December 1963, he gave up all pretense of finishing school. Dunne relinquished his Morehead scholarship because of its segregationist philosophy and devoted his time to the Freedom Movement in Chapel Hill. Dunne joined the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and led protests against local segregated restaurants. Dunne's involvement with the civil rights movement culminated in a Holy Week fast on the lawn of the old Post Office. Convicted of trespassing, Dunne began serving a two-year sentence, which later was overturned. During the summer of 1964, Dunne was released on parole to Connecticut and, in the fall of that year, returned to school to finish his senior year at Harvard University, where he received a scholarship.

In 1972, Dunne graduated from Yale Law School, practiced law briefly in Boston, then moved his practice to Norwich, Vt., in 1975. Dunne married Faith Weinstein, a professor of Education at Dartmouth College, and had two children, Matthew and Josh. While in Norwich, Dunne was an active supporter of children's theater and Upper Valley Youth Services. Dunne died of cancer on 26 December 1982.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Correspondence, writings, newspaper clippings, photographs, and memorabilia of John B. Dunne, student at the Choate School, the University of North Carolina, Harvard University, and Yale Law School. The bulk of the collection centers around Dunne's activism in the South during the civil rights movement, 1963-1965. Most items are letters from Dunne to his parents, some from prisons in North Carolina and Alabama. Other items include letters to Dunne's parents about their son from John Ehle, Walter Spearman, and others; clippings about Dunne's acts of civil disobedience in Chapel Hill, N.C., and elsewhere; a few papers and articles written by Dunne; and items relating to the Dunne's memorial services. About 175 early items are enclosed loosely in a scrapbook.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1958-1965, 1966, 1971, 1984.

About 250 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Mostly letters John B. Dunne wrote to his parents. The bulk of the letters were written at the height of the civil rights movement in Chapel Hill, N.C. Dunne wrote the bulk of the letters while in prison during 1964. There are also letters to Dunne's parents from various people, including John Ehle and Walter Spearman. Most letters praise the Dunnes for their son's ideals, but there are a few letters from people who opposed the civil rights movement.

There are also several letters to Dunne, including one from the dean of Choate School awarding Dunne the Joseph P. Kennedy Memorial Scholarship. Most are of a positive nature, supporting Dunne's actions and moral views. Also included are a letter to the Selective Service System about Dunne and a letter written by Dunne's father after Dunne's death to an archivist at the University of North Carolina describing Dunne's meeting with Eleanor Roosevelt, with an attached photograph of the event.

Folder 1

1958 #04391, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1958-1965, 1966, 1971, 1984." Folder 1

Folder 2

1959 #04391, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1958-1965, 1966, 1971, 1984." Folder 2

Folder 3

1960 #04391, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1958-1965, 1966, 1971, 1984." Folder 3

Folder 4

1961 #04391, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1958-1965, 1966, 1971, 1984." Folder 4

Folder 5

1962 #04391, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1958-1965, 1966, 1971, 1984." Folder 5

Folder 6

1963 #04391, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1958-1965, 1966, 1971, 1984." Folder 6

Folder 7

1964 #04391, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1958-1965, 1966, 1971, 1984." Folder 7

Folder 8

1965 #04391, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1958-1965, 1966, 1971, 1984." Folder 8

Folder 9

1966, 1971, 1984 #04391, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1958-1965, 1966, 1971, 1984." Folder 9

Folder 10

Undated #04391, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1958-1965, 1966, 1971, 1984." Folder 10

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse 2. Newspaper Clippings, 1963-1982.

About 150 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Newspaper clippings, mostly 1963-1965, chronicling Dunne's political and civil activities. One folder contains clippings about the book, The Free Men, written by John Ehle about Dunne and the civil rights movement in Chapel Hill, N.C. Also included are the wedding announcement of Faith Weinstein and John Dunne and Dunne's obituary.

Folder 11

1963 #04391, Series: " 2. Newspaper Clippings, 1963-1982." Folder 11

Folder 12

1964 #04391, Series: " 2. Newspaper Clippings, 1963-1982." Folder 12

Folder 13

1965: The Free Men #04391, Series: " 2. Newspaper Clippings, 1963-1982." Folder 13

Folder 14

1964-1982: Post-University of North Carolina #04391, Series: " 2. Newspaper Clippings, 1963-1982." Folder 14

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Writings, 1958-1965.

9 items.

Arrangement: by subject.

Mostly English class papers that Dunne wrote at the Choate School, with a few papers written at the University of North Carolina. Also included are a few articles written by others regarding the civil rights movement in Chapel Hill.

Folder 15

Writings by John B. Dunne, 1958-1963 and undated #04391, Series: "3. Writings, 1958-1965." Folder 15

Folder 16

Writings by others, 1965 and undated #04391, Series: "3. Writings, 1958-1965." Folder 16

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Memorial Service, 1983

About 10 items.

Mostly items from memorial services held in Chapel Hill, N.C., and Hartland, Vt., for Dunne, with some correspondence relating to the services.

T-4391/1. Audiotape of memorial service in Chapel Hill, N.C. #04391, Series: "4. Memorial Service, 1983 " Folder 16

Folder 17

Memorial Service, 1983 #04391, Series: "4. Memorial Service, 1983 " Folder 17

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Miscellaneous Items, 1958-1969.

About 30 items.

Arrangement: by subject.

Included are Dunne's Choate School term reports, with letters to his parents from the advisor; a Harvard Law School questionnaire; a Father and Son Weekend program from Choate; a printed copy of Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham City Jail; and a publisher's announcement for the book The Free Men, as well as a few pamphlets, notices, and a church program. About 175 early items are enclosed in the scrapbook.

4391/S-1. John B. Dunne scrapbook, 1943-1958 #04391, Series: "5. Miscellaneous Items, 1958-1969." Folder 17

Folder 18

Choate School reports, 1958-1961 #04391, Series: "5. Miscellaneous Items, 1958-1969." Folder 18

Folder 19

Miscellaneous, 1960-1969 #04391, Series: "5. Miscellaneous Items, 1958-1969." Folder 19

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Items separated include a scrapbook (V-4391/S-1) and an audiotape (T-4391/1).

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