WEST DURHAM HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT'S GRADUATION BOOK, 1923 - 1924. Women's Studies / Education, Voris Awilda . Schell Matheny, Leta Hazzard - Designer and, 1907 - 1997.
WEST DURHAM HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT'S GRADUATION BOOK, 1923 - 1924.
WEST DURHAM HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT'S GRADUATION BOOK, 1923 - 1924.
WEST DURHAM HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT'S GRADUATION BOOK, 1923 - 1924.
WEST DURHAM HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT'S GRADUATION BOOK, 1923 - 1924.

WEST DURHAM HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT'S GRADUATION BOOK, 1923 - 1924.

New York. C. R. Gibson & Company, (1923). 60 ll, printed. Assorted material affixed to leaves throughout; handful of laid-in material, primarily letters. Few blank or partially filled pages; most pages filled with writing and/or pasted-in material. Printed green line drawings, illustrations and ornaments by Leta Hazzard Schell throughout. 9-1/4" x 6". Inserted material varies in size. Green leather with gilt stamped lettering and decoration to front board, a.e.g. Binding professionally and unobtrusively repaired, with slight glue residue to front hinge. Light sunning and wear to binding; pages somewhat rippled from accomodating the extra material; occasional light soil and offsetting. VG. Item #43604

The graduation album of Voris Awilda Matheny, documenting her senior year at West Durham High School, in Durham, North Carolina. Named the "Poetess" in the hand-written list of class officers, Voris seems to have been well-liked and active in school life, as well as the "star pupil" of at least one teacher, who writes admiringly in the Faculty notes that Voris "had the perseverance, genius, and gift of poetry to write 'Lohengrin' in rhyme." She was also passionately involved in the debate team, providing accounts of several debates, the associate editor of the student newspaper, the Clarion, and the Chaplain of the Adelphian Literary Society. Voris later attended Duke University.

The album includes printed sections for messages from faculty and classmates, the class "yell" and motto, photographs, invitations, programs, sporting events, "Spreads and Entertainments," "Music and Dramatics," "Fun and Frolics" (including a program for the 1923 "West Durham School Minstrel," which featured "Coontown Thirteen Club Song Hits," ethnic dances such as the "Gypsy Tambourine Drill" and "Cotton Picking Dance," and concluded with a finale of "Old Zip Coon"), social events, etc.

The "Class History," "Class Prophecy," and "Class Poem" were written by the students, and provide insight into the composition of the class and, via the "Class Prophecy" -- written by "Piggie" White in the form of a fictional 1935 newspaper about the students -- the student's notions about the lives ahead of them. Of particular note is a section of the Prophecy entitled "Women Invade Politics," in which Miss Minnie Holt is a lawyer who has never lost a case; Miss Rhoda Kelley is "the first woman president of the U.S." and who "never feels tremors on addressing Congress for she once debated at Chapel Hill"; and Miss Virgie Reese is a famed public speaker who stumped for Miss Kelley and is "rumored...[to] shortly use these unusual powers [of speech] to get herself at the head of the Klux-Klan."

Pasted-in material includes printed programs, student calling cards, a leaf of the Clarion, envelopes with manuscript letters and invitations folded inside, assorted other notes and cards, 4 small photographs of individual students, botanical material, napkins, etc. Laid in are a wedding invitation, a card containing manuscript debate notes, and two letters sent to one Harry G. Rosenbluh from Julius Nelson, regarding a "typewriting art" contest and including two sheets of sample designs; it is unclear what relation Mr. Rosenbluh or Mr. Nelson may have to Ms. Matheny, if any.

An unusually well-rounded graduation book, providing insight into the life and plans of students, particularly female students, in the South during the interwar period.

Price: $475.00