University of Texas at Austin

Horace R. Cayton:

A Preliminary Inventory of His Manuscripts for Long Old Road at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Cayton, Horace R., 1903-1970
Title: Horace R. Cayton Manuscripts for Long Old Road
Dates: 1931-1965
Extent: 3 boxes (1.26 linear feet)
Abstract: This collection contains materials for the autobiography of Horace R. Cayton, entitled Long Old Road and published in 1965, including chapter outlines and drafts, research materials, and correspondence. All material in the collection is directly related to the content of the autobiography.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-00726
Language: English
Access: Open for research

Administrative Information

Acquisition: Purchase, 1967
Processed by: Jonathan Reynolds, 2007

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Scope and Contents

This collection contains material for the autobiography of Horace R. Cayton, entitled Long Old Road and published in 1965. Cayton was one of the foremost African-American sociologists of his time, chronicling the experiences of urban black communities in the northern United States. An author and an educator, he dedicated his life to improving the social conditions of African-Americans in the earlier half of the twentieth century. The collection is organized into two series: I. Long Old Road Manuscripts, 1931-1965, and II. Related Papers, 1955-1965 also pertaining to the work.
Series I. is arranged according to the chapter titles of the finished book with background materials and outlines preceding the chapter manuscripts. The background material includes interviews with and short biographies of friends and family. Also present is an obituary for Cayton's sister, Madge, and works about his ancestors, including Hiram Revels, the first African-American person elected to the U.S. Senate.
This section has two compiled notebooks of later drafts of the chapters which parallel the finished work; however, two chapters are missing: “The White Man, Too, Has Troubles,” and “Blood Makes Good Paint.” They also contain the manuscript of “Back to the Black Metropolis,” which is not present in an earlier form.
The Related Papers in Series II. are organized by date. Present are correspondence, including letters by Cayton to his publisher and agent as well as letters from each of them, all regarding Long Old Road. Also included are Cayton's résumé, along with his entry for Who’s Who in America for 1965. There is also a summons for a defamation lawsuit against Cayton and his publisher, Trident Press, brought by Yvonne Plummer for implying that she was of dubious morals.
The collection does not contain material relating to any other work by Horace R. Cayton or directly concerning his personal life outside of what is in the autobiography.

Index Terms


African American sociologists--Biography.
African American authors--Biography.

Horace R. Cayton Manuscripts--Folder List