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From Archibald James Carey, Jr.

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Author: Carey, Archibald J. (Archibald James) (Quinn Chapel AME Church)

Date: June 7, 1955

Location: Chicago, Ill.

Genre: Letter

Topic: Martin Luther King, Jr. - Family


Carey, pastor of Chicago’s Quinn Chapel AME Church and a prominent Republican politician, thanks King for the hospitality extended him during Carey’s visit to Montgomery.1 Carey spoke at a 1 June citizenship rally sponsored by the local chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. King gave the benediction at the rally.

Reverend M. L. King
309 Jackson 
Montgomery, Alabama

Dear M. L.:

I can’t tell you how very much I enjoyed the afternoon and night that I spent with you and your charming wife, Coretta and the distinguished Dr. M. L., Sr., when I came to speak at Alabama State College. I had no idea, when I approached the campus, that I was going to be in a good, old fashioned “preachers’ meeting”, in addition. But it was most enjoyable to reminisce and reflect and prognosticate (how’m I doing?) with you and your dad.

When you write him, please give him my kind regards and please tell your wife how much I appreciate every courtesy that both of you showed me so graciously. Remember, you have a pulpit in Chicago whenever you are coming this way and, meanwhile, I hope to see you again (either two or three of you—and I don’t mean your dad) before too long.2

Very sincerely,
[signed] Arch.


1. Archibald James Carey, Jr. (1908–1981), received his B.A. from Lewis Institute in Chicago in 1929 and his B.D. from Northwestern University’s Garrett Biblical Institute in 1932. In 1935 he received his law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law, and he was admitted to the Illinois bar the next year. From 1930 to 1949 he served as pastor of Woodlawn AME Church in Chicago. In 1949 he became pastor of Chicago’s Quinn Chapel AME Church, where he served until 1967. He was elected alderman of Chicago’s Third Ward in 1947 and 1951, and was the Republican nominee for the First Congressional District in 1950. In January 1955 President Dwight David Eisenhower appointed Carey vice-chair of the President’s Committee on Government Employment Policy. In 1966, after changing his party affiliation to the Democratic party, he was elected a circuit court judge in Cook County, Illinois.

2. Coretta Scott King was four months pregnant at the time.

Source: MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University, Boston, Mass.

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