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To William P. Rogers

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Author: King, Martin Luther, Jr.

Date: May 18, 1960

Location: Atlanta, Ga.?

Genre: Letter

Topic: Voter registration


King informs U.S. attorney general William Rogers of voting rights violations in Lawrenceville, Georgia. In a 21 June 1960 reply, acting assistant attorney general of the Civil Rights Division Joseph M. F. Ryan thanked King and assured him that the matter "is being given careful attention."

Attorney-General William Rogers
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C.

Dear Attorney-General Rogers:

I have been informed by an anonymous white person that the names of several Negro citizens of Lawrenceville, Georgia have been removed from the voting list.1 This person tells me that no cause was given for the removal. It seems that almost every name that had colored marked after it was removed. The anonymous writer stated that he or she was afraid to sign their name for fear of possible reprisal. Listed below are the names of the persons who were excluded from the voting list. I would appreciate your investigating the matter at your earliest convenience.

Very sincerely yours,
Martin Luther King, Jr.

(Dictated, but not personally signed by Dr. King.)

1. Although the alleged purge of black voters from the county records may have occurred in late 1959, the Justice Department did not begin an investigation until August 1960 ("FBI Continues Its Probe into Voting Records Here," Lawrenceville News-Herald, 18 August 1960).

Source: MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Boston University, Boston, Mass.

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