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Long, Rucker, and Aiken Family Papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS468

Scope and Content

The collection contains a variety of private and public documents covering the political, civic, educational, professional, family, and social lives of the Long, Rucker, and Aiken families from 1859 to 1976. Because of their political, social, and cultural activities the three families are considered very prominent within the African American community of Atlanta. The collection chronicles their social and political involvement as well as providing documentation of the lives of African Americans in Georgia from Reconstruction to the latter portion of the 20th century. The papers include correspondence documenting the political activities of Henry Rucker, active in the Republican party, as well as the personal and professional correspondence of Walter Aiken. Of particular interest are a number of letters to Walter Aiken in his work as coach and promoter of sports in Atlanta’s African American community. The papers also document through correspondence and other papers the many college activities of Long-Rucker-Aiken family members, from the activities of Ann Rucker at Atlanta University and Hampton Institute to the recruitment and coaching activities of Walter Aiken, also at Atlanta University.


  • 1871-1976


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright.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

Administrative/Biographical History

Jefferson Franklin Long (1836-1901), born a slave in Crawford County, Georgia, became a successful merchant-tailor in Macon, Georgia. He married Lucinda Carhart and had a daughter, Annie Eunice. In 1870, Mr. Long became the only African American elected to represent the State of Georgia in the United States Congress during Reconstruction. He is buried in Macon, Georgia. Annie Eunice Long (1865-1933) attended Scotia Seminary in Concord, North Carolina and married Henry Allan Rucker (1852-1924). Mr. Rucker, born a slave, had been owned by the King family of Athens, Georgia (in-laws of Atlanta journalist Henry Grady). Following the Civil War, Mr. Rucker opened a barber shop on Decatur Street in Atlanta; attended Atlanta University; was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois (1880); was appointed by the President Grover Cleveland as a clerk in the internal revenue collector’s office in Atlanta (1880-1885, 1889-1893). He was later appointed to the position of Collector of Internal Revenue for the District of Georgia by President William McKinley. Henry Rucker was the only African American to receive such an appointment. He served from 1896 to 1910. Mr. Rucker was active in the Niagara Movement and the NAACP. The Ruckers had eight children: Henry, Jr., Elizabeth (Bessie), Lucy Lorene, Jefferson, Neddie, Hazel, Alice, and Ann L. The family resided on Piedmont Avenue. In 1920 Lucy Rucker (1894-1992) married Walter Henry “Chief” Aiken (1893-1965). Mr. Aiken, born in Dover, Delaware, attended Hampton Institute in Virginia, and served as football coach at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, Atlanta University (his wife’s alma mater), and Clark University. Mr. Aiken was an architect and engineer. His Atlanta projects included West Lake Court Apartments, the women’s dormitory at Morris Brown College, residences in the Hunter Street-Washington Park subdivision, the Waluhaje Hotel and Apartments, and other subdivisions, residences, and facilities. Bessie Rucker attended Fisk University and married John Wesley Davis, later President of West Virginia State College. They had two daughters, Constance and Dorothy Long, known as “Dot” and “Dit”. Ann Rucker attended Atlanta University and Hampton Institute and served as librarian at Fisk University and the Carnegie Library, the Auburn Avenue branch of the Atlanta Public Library. She married Charles W. Anderson, Jr. of Louisville, Kentucky.


12.27 linear ft. (21 boxes and two oversize boxes)



System of Arrangement

The collection is broken down into several series: Series One includes papers from Jefferson Long. Series Two includes papers from Henry Rucker and his family. Subseries one includes personal papers Subseries two includes papers and records from fraternal associations Subseries three contains business and legal documents Subseries four contains political papers and records. Series Three includes papers from Walter Aiken and his family. Subseries one includes personal papers Subseries two are business records Subseries three are legal documents Subseries four are political papers and records Subseries five consist of military documents Subseries six are sports papers Subseries seven concern alumni and college associations Subseries eights involve fraternal associations Subseries nine concern business associations Subseries ten are miscellaneous papers

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Ms. Lucy Aiken, 1980 (1980.241).

Related Materials

Related materials of the same acquisition include: Long- Rucker-Aiken Family Photographs, VIS 32.

General Physical Description note

Extent: 12.27 linear ft. (21 boxes, 2 oversize boxes)

Description Control

Collection re-processed in 2008.


Inventory prepared by Mike Brubaker
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305