Gordon-Jackson-McLester family papers
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Gordon-Jackson-McLester family papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Auburn Avenue Research Library
Creator: Jackson family
Creator: McLester family
Title: Gordon-Jackson-McLester family papers
Dates: 1850-1965
Quantity: 2.0 linear ft.
Abstract:The Gordon-Jackson-McLester family papers contains materials created or gathered by members of the Gordon, Jackson, or McLester families of Tuscaloosa, Alabama from the years 1850 through 1965, including photographs, correspondence, funeral notices, general documents, clippings, portraits, and books. The collection documents African American family life in Tuscaloosa, African American women's clubs, and African American business life.
Identification: aarl96-013

Biographical/Historical Note

The Gordon-Jackson-McLester family of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, some of whom were former slaves, includes Annie Laura McLester and Ida McLester, sistsers, who were the great, great, grandaunts of Ernest Gordon whose mother was Anita Thelma Jackson Gordon. Scott Jackson, who married Annie Washington Jackson, was the father of Ernest Lee Jackson, whose first wife was Lillie McLester Jackson, and whose son was Ernest Jackson. Other family members mentioned in the collection are Adulphus Franklin Jackson, Gertrude Jackson, and Jacqueline and Anna Laura.

Scope and Content Note

This collection would be helpful to researchers interested in information on the history on African Americans in Alabama and in the South; the African American family in Alabama and the South; the history of the Negro Women's Clubs, and Black business owners of the 20s, 30s, etc.

The Gordon-Jackson-McLester Family Papers tells the story about family members who lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Their stories are told mostly through photographs, most of which were taken in the 1800s, and a few in the 1900s. Most of the photographs show siblings from the same name family, (either the Gordons, the Jacksons, the McLesters) or mixed siblings from these three families.

The collection documents the activities of members in the Gordon-Jackson-McLester families. It includes portraits and photographs taken during the 1800's to the 1900's, ( the latest taken in 1980). The photographs and portraits include family members of the Gordon-Jackson-McLester families; in-laws of family members; and family members who were former slaves. Other photographs contain the Great-Great-Grand relatives of the Gordon-Jackson-McLester family.

Many of the photographs show beautiful country scenes in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Also included in the collection are newspaper clippings from the Birmingham News, (March 18, 1952); advertisements; marriage certificates; birth listings; funeral notices and general correspondence among members of the Gordon-Jackson-McLester families.

While viewing the photographs and reading the names of the individuals on them, even those photographs of family members who were former slaves, one cannot ignore the fact that these people were the offsprings of inter-married couples. They take great pride in the relationship they have with one another. They also cherish the history of knowing that some of their family members were former slaves.


Organzed into eight series:

I. Photographs
II. Correspondence
III. Funeral notice
IV. General documents
V. Clippings
VI. Books
VII. Portraits
VIII. Rare books

Index Terms

African American businesspeople--Alabama --Tuscaloosa.
African American families--Alabama--Tuscaloosa.
African American women--Societies and clubs--Alabama--Tuscaloosa.
African Americans--Alabama--Tuscaloosa--Social life and customs.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Freedmen--Alabama--Tuscaloosa--Social life and customs.
Gordon family
Jackson family
McLester family

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Gordon-Jackson-McLester family Papers. Archives Division, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.

Processing Information

Processed by Regina Broh-Gastin. Completed on 1998


Restrictions of Access

There are no restrictions on the research use of this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Prior permission from the Research Library must be obtained in writing before any portion of this collection can be published or reproduced.

Container List


Series I: Photographs, 1850-1965



11Four (4) pictures, 1850-1912
Annie Washington Jackson (c. 1850 and 1912); Adolphus Franklin Jackson (c. 1878-1904); women in front of dance hall in Alabama; Family members (former slaves) not identified.
2Eight (8) pictures, ca. 1912
Ernest Lee Jackson; Gertrude (ca. 1912) and sisters; Adolphus Jackson.
3Three (3) pictures, 1850-1932
Annie Washington Jackson, c. 1850; Adolphus Jackson at grave site, late 1800; Scott Jackson, father of Ernest, 1855-1932
4Six (6) pictures, 1878-1950
Ernest Jackson, four years old - 1903; Great-great grandfather of Ernest Gordon ( pictured on a post card). 1st. wife of Ernest Jackson, Lillie McLester Jackson, c. 1908; Baby, Ernest Lee Jackson, 1878; Ernest Jackson, c. 1950
5Four (4) pictures, c. 1869-1870 c. 1951
Picture of unidentified boy, Jackson family, 1870; country scene in Alabama, c. 1951; A. M. E. Zion, the Jackson family church, c. 1869, Tuscaloosa, Al; picture of two unidentified men
6Three (3) pictures, c. 1915
Gertrude's sister and sister's husband; an unidentified Jackson family member (a lady); picture with three unidentified ladies
7Seven (7) pictures, 1951
A boy in the fields with a horse - country scene in Alabama, 1951. Three ladies working in the yard; Great grand-mother purchasing groceries; the family church; two family pictures; 1 (one) picture of an unidentified couple
8Six (6) pictures, c. 1910
5 - unidentified men and women; 1 - of a barber shop, Tuscaloosa, Al.
9Four (4) pictures
General family members & some unidentified people. Also country scenes...scenes around Tuscaloosa.
10Five (5) pictures, c. 1940s
Gertrude Jackson-ca. 1940's; and members of Colored Women's Club.
11Four (4) pictures, ca. 1930's ca. 1951
Gertrude Jackson, 2nd wife of Ernest Jackson and her sisters
12Six (6) pictures
Gertrude Jackson and member of the Jackson family.
13Three (3) pictures, c. 1915
Gertrude Jackson
14Four (4) pictures, c. 1910 1912 c. 1915
Gertrude Jackson, and family members
15Six (6) pictures, c. 1960
5 - Gertrude Jackson and friends, ca. 1960's; 1 - unidentified women
16Five (5) pictures, 1955-1956
Picnic scenes with Gertrude Jackson and friends
16Little green photo album:, July 4th, 1955
5- pictures - picnic scenes
17Four (4) pictures, ca. 1911 c. 1920's
Anita Jackson; Adolphus Jackson (siblings)
17Ernest, Jacqueline, Anna Laura, 1960, Colored picture
18Eight (8) pictures, 1906-1980 1910 1911 1920
Youngsters: Anita Thelma Jackson (Gordon); Adolphus F. Jackson
18Anita Jackson Gorden, 1910; Anita Jackson Gordon (youngest), Ernest, 1910
18Gordon's mother, ca. 1911; Anita Jackson & friend, ca. 1920's;, ca. 1911 ca. 1920s

Series II: Correspondence, 1932-1959



119Negro National Anthem; biographical note of Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune. Ernest Gordon with Jacqueline & Annie
20Correspondence to Annie Jackson. Blank post card of a train, "The Southerner"
21[Lucy Shepherd Art Club]
Programs, Feb. 22, 1933
By-laws, Order of Business, Oct. 1938
Constitution and By-laws
Prospectus, 1944-1945
Green menu booklet, Jan. 28, 1959
Program - Thirty-Fourth Annual Session, June 1-3, 1932

Series III: Funeral Notices, 1891-1941



122Mrs. Emma Perry, Feb. 28, 1895, 3:00 pm.
22Ms. Sophie Morris, Dec. 28, 1891, 3:00 pm.
23Hardie Jones - Nov. 4, 1896; funeral home, Oumes, Thus. Alabama, Nov. 4, 1896, 3:00 pm
23Luther Alexander Van Hoose, Aug. 3, 1941

Series IV: General Documents, 1904-1926



124Birth listings; Death listings; Marriage certificate for Scott Jackson & Annie Washington; Annie Jackson's Great-Grandmother, ca. 1922
25Application/Recommendation for Admission: For Anita Jackson, 1925 to 1926; Gliadin Paints stationary. Certificate of Appointment for Annie Jackson, from AME Church Mar. 10, 1909, March 10, 1909 1925-1926
26Information on AME Zion Church, founded in 1800: 1 picture of Rev. William Marshall, D.D.- pastor A. M. E. Church. Church Program; AME Zion Lesson card - Oct. 14, 1917; Weekly Offering ticket; Membership card; 1 (one) Card - "Returning From Captivity"; Pictorial Bible Lesson, Dec. 4, 1904, Oct. 14, 1917 Dec. 4, 1904

Series V: Clippings, 1923-1952



127Octagon, A Good Soap; (on the back), Interesting Facts About Soap Making; Colgate's FAB - a pure soap-flake and soap-cake too, coupon date, Dec. 25, 1923
28Newspaper clippings: The Present Truth (no date on clippings) Articles: "Sunday Blue Laws", Religious Legislation. "The Voice of the American Press" "Army Order Resented"
28 Birmingham News, "What Negroes are doing", Mar. 18, 1952

Series VI: Books

This box contains 1 (one) and 2 (two) school books:


2 Holy Bible
Robinson's Mathematical Series - The Rudiments of Written Arithmetic for Graded Schools..., Copyright, 1858 1863 1877
Swinton's Word Book Series: Speller - Word Book of English Spelling, Oral And Written - Introduction to Word Analysis., Copyright 1896

Series VII: Portraits: (Oval shaped)


3Annie Laura McLester - Great, Great Grand Aunt of Ernest Gordon (original)
Ida McLester (former slave), sister of Annie Laura McLester, c. 1870. Great, Great Grand aunt of Ernest Gordon, 1870
An unidentified member of the McLester family

Series VIII: Rare Books, 1912-1925

These are books that were used by Anita Thelma Jackson, Gordon, at Spelman College and Alabama State.


4 Writing: A Textbook of structure, style, and usage....by John C. French, Ph. D....Collegiate Professor of English...The John Hopkins University, Copyright 1924
The School Survey: A Textbook on the use of school surveying in the administration of public schools....by Jesse B. Sears, Copyright 1925
The Freshman Girl: A guide to college life...by Kate W. Jameson and Frank C. Lockwood..., Copyright 1925
Everyday English Composition...by Emma Miller Bolenius, Copyright 1917
The Human Mechanism: Its Physiology And Hygiene And The Sanitation Of Its Surroundings...by Theodore Hough and William T. Sedgwick. Copyright, 1906, 1918
The Bible: Writers of the Old Testament: Writers of the New Testament
1 (one) "Registry" receipt, dated Sept. 17, 1912