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A Guide to the Records in the Cases of McMillan vs. Escambia County and Jenkins vs. Pensacola before the United States District Court (Florida: Northern District)

Finding aid created by Ian P. Gaffney

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
April 2009


Descriptive Summary

Title: Records in the Cases of McMillan vs. Escambia County and Jenkins vs. Pensacola before the United States District Court (Florida: Northern District)
Dates: 1956-1978
Abstract: Correspondence and materials relating to two cases: McMillan vs. Escambia County, Florida, and Jenkins vs. Pensacola, Florida. Includes election results, precinct maps, depositions, memorandums and other resources for the cases.
Extent: 1.25 Linear feet. 3 boxes.
Identification: MS 105
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

The cases of McMillan vs. Escambia County and Jenkins vs. Pensacola, Florida, were originally filed independently in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. The first, brought by Henry McMillan and others, was against the Escambia County Board of Commissioners, the Superintendent of Elections, the School District of Escambia County, and the School Board of Escambia County. The second, brought by Elmer Jenkins and others, was against the City of Pensacola, the Pensacola City Council, and the elections supervisor. The two cases were filed March 18, 1977, and consolidated April 17, 1979.

In both cases the appellees represented African-American voters of Escambia County, Florida, and alleged that the at-large system for electing the five members of the Board of County Commissioners operated to "dilute" their voting strength. The U.S. District Court ruled that the at-large system used by the county discriminated against black voters and had been retained at least in part for discriminatory purposes. The court concluded that the system violated rights under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and the Voting Rights Act. The court ordered that the five commissioners be elected from single-member districts.


Scope and Content

The collection consists of materials relating to two consolidated cases, McMillan vs. Escambia County and Jenkins vs. Pensacola, before the U.S. District Court in Florida. Quantitative data constitutes the bulk of the collection, including registered voters (by count) of Florida from 1938-1976, miscellaneous worksheets, and the Escambia County Democratic and Republican primaries/general election results from 1956-1976. Also included in the collection are precinct maps, correspondence and legal documents such as the depositions of expert witnesses Dr. David Curry (Sociology) and Dr. Charles Cottrell (Political Science). The materials were collected by Dr. Manning J. Dauer, and there is one folder of correspondence documenting his involvement with the case.


Arrangement

The legal documents and correspondence relating to the cases are arranged chronologically from 1977-1978. The quantitative data, such as election results and voter counts, are arranged chronologically from 1956-1976.


Access or Use Restrictions

Access

The collection is open for research.


Related or Separated Material

For additional material relating to McMillan - Jenkins v. Escambia County see "McMillan - Jenkins v. Escambia County, Florida" in the University of South Alabama Archives. For additional material relating to at-large voting see "Bolden v. City of Mobile" in the University of South Alabama Archives.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Records in the Cases of McMillan vs. Escambia County and Jenkins vs. Pensacola before the United States District Court (Florida: Northern District), Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated by Dr. Manning J. Dauer.

Processing Notes

Additional files, including 'Closed' and 'Closed - Pending' files have not been arranged or described and currently are stored in an off-campus storage facility.


Contents List

Box
1 Correspondence. 1977-1978
1 Misc. work sheets
1 Deposition: Dr. David Curry
1 Deposition: Dr. Charles Cottrell
1 Precinct Maps Escambia Co.
1 Democratic and Republican primaries/general elections. 1956-1958
2 Escambia Co. Democratic and Republican primaries/general elections. 1959-1969
3 Escambia Co. Democratic and Republican primaries/general elections. 1970-1976
3 Registered voters (by count) of Florida. 1938-1976

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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