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Herman L. Turner papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS1226

Scope and Contents

This collection contains mostly correspondence and press clippings from Reverend Turner's latter years in ministry, with a focus on the 1957 "Ministers' Manifesto" and similar materials connected to the second statement issued the following year. Additional material includes speeches, publications and other writings from Turner's earlier professional and social affiliations.


  • 1934-1966, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Biographical / Historical

Herman Lee Turner (1891-1972) was born to Elijah Howard Turner (1865-1936) and Sabrina Allen Hornbuckle (1873-1966) in Lacey Springs, Alabama. He attended Alabama public schools, and later the University of Chicago. He married Ann Grace Hartung (1893-1993) in 1911 in Morgan County, Alabama. The Turners had four children: Margaret Elizabeth (1913-2008), Herman Lee Jr. (1916-1984), Donald Bernard (1918-1990), Paul Gray (1921-1975). Herman Lee Turner served as a secretary for the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and as a Sabbath School missionary before his ordination in 1919. Turner became minister at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Atlanta in 1930 and remained in that position until he retired in 1961.

In 1957, Reverend Turner led 80 white Atlanta Christian ministers in publishing what was referred to as the "Ministers' Manifesto," a statement calling for calm and reason amid violent reactions to the integration of public schools in the South. The following year, after white supremacists bombed The Temple on Peachtree Street, a second statement, signed by more than 300 Atlanta area clergy, was published.


0.834 linear ft. (two document cases and two oversize folders)




This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 2020

Existence and Location of Copies

This collection was partially digitized by JStore's Reveal Digital collection Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movements. It is viewable at

Bias in Description

As archivists, we acknowledge our role as stewards of information. We choose how individuals and organizations are represented and described in our archives. We are not neutral, and bias is reflected in our descriptions, which may not accurately convey the racist or offensive aspects of collection materials. Archivists make mistakes and might use poor judgment. In working with this collection, we often re-use language used by the former owners of the material. This language provides context but often includes bias and prejudices reflective of the time in which it was created. The Kenan Research Center’s work is ongoing to implement reparative language where Library of Congress subject terms are inaccurate and obsolete.

Kenan Research Center welcomes feedback and questions regarding our archival descriptions. If you encounter harmful, offensive, or insensitive terminology or descriptions, please let us know by emailing Your comments are essential to our work to create inclusive and thoughtful description.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2022.

Herman L. Turner papers
Dexter B. Levine
June 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305