Nellie Briscoe Perry collection, 1930-1946 (bulk 1943-1945)

Perry, Nellie Briscoe, 1922-2002


1.33 cubic ft. (2 containers).
Organized into eight series: Series I: Nellie Briscoe Perry Correspondence, 1944-1945. Series II: Photographs, 1943-1944. Series III: Recorded Correspondence, 1944. Series IV: Miscellaneous Documents, 1943-1944. Series V: Scanned Copy of Entire Collection, 1930-1946. Series VI: Nellie Briscoe Perry Scrapbooks, 1930-1945. Series VII: Miscellaneous Oversized Documents, 1944-1946. Series VIII: Newspaper.
This collection contains correspondence, including letters, cards, and recordings, as well as scrapbooks, a newspaper, photographs, legal documents, certificates, and scanned copies of the entire collection. The letters display Nellie Briscoe Perry's relationship to Mutt Perry as well as civilian life in Washington, D.C., during World War II. The scrapbooks supplement the letters with newspaper clippings, photographs, ephemera, and Nellie Briscoe Perry's personal writings. The legal documents and certificates create a background for the biography of Nellie Briscoe Perry. Photographs of friends and family include those corresponding with Perry during World War II. A copy of Washington, D.C., Times Herald newspaper from 15 Aug. 1945, provides articles on the reactions of Washington, D.C., inhabitants to the end of World War II.
Nellie (Briscoe) Perry (1922-2002) was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in the Shaw neighborhood. She graduated from Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School in 1940 and married Roscoe Barnes within a year after her high school graduation. The marriage was not a happy one and Briscoe Perry divorced Barnes within a year. During World War II, Perry wrote to approximately eighty-nine African American servicemen. These servicemen included friends and family members. Nellie Briscoe Perry began to foster a relationship through letters with Theodore "Mutt" Perry, who she knew as a friend previously. Nellie Briscoe Perry and Mutt Perry married on 3 June 1946, and made their home together in Washington, D.C., for fifty-three years. Nellie Briscoe Perry was a communication clerk with the Dept. of the Army at the Pentagon for thirty-five years, then retired in 1977. Mutt Perry died in 1999 and Nellie Briscoe Perry died in 2002. For more information about Nellie Briscoe Perry and the material in this collection see Johnarthur H. Lightfoot, Jr., Forever waiting: the compilation of an African-American woman's original writings and letters to her World War II serviceman (New York: iUniverse, Inc, 2009).
The material described in this catalog record is located in the collections of the Historical Society of Washington, D.C..
Collection is open for research.
Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], MS 0708 Nellie Briscoe Perry Collection, 1930-1946 (bulk 1943-1945), The Historical Society of Washington, DC.
Materials in English.
Finding aid available in the repository.

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