[American Civil Rights] "Red Squad" Archive Documenting Surveillance of U.S. Citizens by the FBI, Detroit City Police, and the Michigan State Police
n.p. Drayton Holcomb - Photographer. Archive. An exceptional multi-decade American Civil Rights archive, documenting the surveillance of U.S. citizens by the FBI, Detroit City Police, and the Michigan State Police. The archive consists of original photographs, c. 1,200 copies of official police reports, letters and evidence collected by government "Red Squads" over many years. Red Squads were formed to combat the threat of Communism, (aka the "Red Scare") in the U.S. One imperative document included in this archive is a photocopy of an order signed by the head of the FBI [blacked out of course] to commence a smear campaign against Dr. David Herreshoff. This letter was an affirmative answer to an earlier Detroit FBI office letter requesting permission to proceed with the action, with an attached a six-page sample letter to that effect, signed "A Fed-up Taxpayer". Herreshoff's original [and later] typed response letter is also present, along with his occasional holograph notations found within various Police reports throughout the archive. List of items : 9 original c. 8x10 inch B&W silver gelatin photographs ; 4 being of a fight sequence captured during a demonstration in Detroit - - with Herreshoff front and center in the action - by The Detroit News photographer Drayton Holcomb (photo was published in The Detroit News on Sunday Aug. 7, 1966 * n.b. We contacted the holding institution of The Detroit News archives - they do not hold a copy of this photo) ; 5 being of Herreshoff attending various rallys, demonstrations and meetings, with one photo showing Herreshoff attending the 51st Annual Convention of the American Federation of Teachers (w. back stamp of Capitol and Glogau Photographers, Wash., DC * damaged bottom corner) ; 1 c. 5 x 7 inch halftone photo showing Herreshoff holding a microphone for a student while he talks to a crowd and carries a "Stop the Killing" protest sign. All photos carry the back stamp of The Detroit News save the uncredited 5x7 and the 8x10 Teacher's Convention ; 1 box [16.5 x 10.25 x 2.5"] labeled "Michigan State Police Files" w. 425 photocopies of Police files ; 2 boxes [12.5 x 10.25 x 2.5"] both labeled Detroit "Red Squad" and containing two manila files, each labeled #1 [w. 172 photocopies of Police Reports] #2 [w. 177 photocopies of Police Reports] #3 [w. 166 photocopies of Police Reports] and #4 [w. 208 photocopies of Police Reports] ; [TOTAL = 1,184 photocopies of Police Reports] ; a photocopy of a clipped newspaper article with a photo of Herreshoff holding another man in a headlock during at Peace demonstration after the man had pulled down a flag (the original Detroit News fight sequence photo described above) ; a Police Recruitment pamphlet ; photocopies of Herreshoff's draft card, etc. ; a copy of his memorial ; a copy of an article stating David was the Poet Laureate of Kaslo, BC ; 1 offprint copy of "A Blow Against The Red Squads" from the publication "The Nation" ; 3 sets of copies of the FBI smear letters ; a few misc. photocopies of Police photographs of Herreshoff and a stray Police report ; a TLS (Typed Letter Signed) from a lawyer thanking Herreshoff for contacting a Judge about the possibility that Red Squad Police files might be destroyed ; a letter from the "Red Squad Notification and Distribution Compliance Program" [unsigned by Herreshoff] w. their unused return envelope ; 2 - 1943 wartime Army service letters addressed to his mother, Constance Herreshoff ; 1 letter from the Rhode Island Historical Society [David hails from a long line of famous Rhode Island boat-builders and inventors] ; a Fine copy of Herreshoff's "Labor into Art" and an author signed, Near Fine copy of Herreshoff's "American Disciples of Marx" At Least Very Good. Item #3868
Dr. David Herreshoff was a tenured English professor at Wayne State University, publishing the books "American Disciples of Marx" (1967) and "Labor into Art" (1991), he was also active in the New Left and prominent in Detroit's Anti-War Movement. This archive records the multilevel, government sanctioned methods used by the Red Squads to clandestinely track and document the activities of Herreshoff and many others. The set of circumstances which resulted in the creation and retention of this Red Squad archive, are mostly due to the fact that Herreshoff had the foresight to request, retain and curate the evidence compiled against him in the first place. Fortunately, this archive now stands as a precious resource for scholars, and an information touchstone in the study of such undemocratic tactics. It is also interesting to note, that those very policies which made Herreshoff's experience neither singular nor remote, also caused many thousands of other American citizens to be impacted by Red Squad activities.
Price: $7,500.00 CAD other currencies