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A Guide to the Documents Relating to the Trial of Ruby McCollum for the Murder of Dr. LeRoy Adams, Live Oak, Florida, 1954

Finding aid prepared by Dept. Staff

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
March 2005


Descriptive Summary

Title: Documents Relating to the Trial of Ruby McCollum for the Murder of Dr. LeRoy Adams, Live Oak, Florida
Dates: 1954
Abstract: Documents relating to the trial of Ruby McCollum for the murder of Dr. LeRoy Adams, Live Oak, Florida, 1954. Official records copied from the State of Florida Archives and notes and correspondence of Zora Neale Hurston, among others.
Extent: 0.25 Linear feet. 1 Box.
Identification: MS Group 118
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

In 1952, Ruby McCollum, a black woman shot and killed her white lover, prominent Live Oak, Florida, physician C. Leroy Adams. Her subsequent conviction and death sentence (1954) were later overturned by the Florida Supreme Court, but she was declared mentally incompetent and incarcerated for many years in a mental hospital. Zora Neale Hurston covered the trial for the Pittsburgh Courier and collaborated with William Bradford Huie whose book, Ruby McCollum: Woman in the Suwannee Jail (New York, 1956) is the principal account of the case.


Scope and Content

Notes on the trial by Zora Neale Hurston, a Hurston letter to William Bradford Huie, notes compiled by an unknown source, and official court documents. All documents are photocopies. The collection also includes the complete transcripts of the trial in digital format.


Access or Use Restrictions

Access

The collection is open for research.


Related or Separated Material

The University of Florida Smathers Libraries also holds the Zora Neale Hurston Papers.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Documents Relating to the Trial of Ruby McCollum for the Murder of Dr. LeRoy Adams, Live Oak, Florida, 1954, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.


Contents List

Box
1 Set of notes, unknown compiler (26 typed pages), beginning with statements of F. Bamberg Harrell, Jasper, Florida
1 "My Impressions of the Trial," signed Zora Neale Hurston, (17 typed pages)
1 "Ruby McCollum: Imprexsions [sic] Gained As I Watched and Listened at Her Trials," signed Zora Neale Hurston (4 typed pages), with letter to William Bradford Huie, May 14, 1954 (2 typed pages)
1 Autograph notes [by Hurston] (31 pp.). Source of original documents is unknown.
1 Official Court Documents, reproduced from the Florida State Archives: State of Florida vs. Ruby McCollum, defendant. Affidavit of Insolvency, June 18, 1953
1 Official Court Documents, reproduced from the Florida State Archives: State of Florida vs. Ruby McCollum, defendant. Court Reporter's Transcript, pp. 78-490
1 Official Court Documents, reproduced from the Florida State Archives: Ruby McCollum, appellant, vs. State of Florida, appellee. Brief for Appellant, filed April 15, 1954. 76 p.
1 Official Court Documents, reproduced from the Florida State Archives: In the Supreme Court of Florida, Ruby McCollum, appellant, vs. State of Florida, appellee, Opinion filed July 20, 1954. 3 p.
1 The Trial of Ruby McCollum: The True-crime Story That Shook the Foundations of the Segregationist South! by C. Arthur Ellis, Jr., and Leslie E. Ellis, 2003. CD-ROM version. Contains a complete copy of the transcripts of the trial. 2 copies.

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Adams, C. Leroy.
Criminal courts -- Florida.
Criminal justice, Administration of -- Florida.
Criminal procedure -- Florida.
Discrimination in criminal justice administration -- Florida.
Florida -- Race relations.
Hurston, Zora Neale.
Judicial process -- Florida.
McCollum, Ruby, defendant.
Minorities -- Florida.
Race discrimination -- Florida.
Social justice -- Florida.
Trials (Murder) -- Florida.
Women murderers -- Florida.



For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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