Letter from E.W. Knight to U.S. Attorney General, February 7, 1882.
Edward W. Knight letters, 1882. Small Collection 946. Montana
Historical Society Research Center. Archives. Excerpted in Not In
Precious Metals Alone: A Manuscript History of Montana (Helena,
Context for E. W. Knight's Letter:
Western immigrants brought their prejudices with them. In Helena, the
issue of integrating the public schools prompted school board member E.
W. Knight to request an opinion from the U.S. Attorney General. Perhaps
Knight's inquiry stemmed from a sense of fairness or from the political
realities of his forthcoming campaign for mayor. Whatever the cause or
the reply, Knight won the election and Helena residents voted that spring to
integrate their schools.
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Written Document Analysis Worksheet.
About Primary Sources:
Letters, diary entries, census records, newspapers, and photographs
are all examples of "primary sources," material created at a
particular moment in the past that has survived into the present.
Primary sources can provide clues to the past. They are our windows
into an earlier time. The Montana Historical Society contains
thousands of primary sources. In the 1970s, archivists collected just
a few snippets into a book, which they called
Not in Precious Metals Alone: A Manuscript History of Montana.
That book is now on the web in its entirety. The above sample from that
book relates directly to this chapter.
Detail of photograph of Pioneer City, M.T., 1883,
photo by F. Jay Haynes, Montana Historical Society Photo Archives,
Haynes Foundation Coll. H-1098
Indian Camp with Mt. Helena in the distance, ca.
1874, photo by Bundy & Train, Helena, Montana Historical Society
Photo Archives 953-370