Council of the Southern Mountains

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The Council of the Southern Mountains was established as the result of fact-finding efforts by John C. and Olive Dame Campbell during the early 1900s. The organization's first annual meeting was held in 1912. Its original purpose was to provide a means of information sharing and cooperation among Appalachian social services, church, and school workers. Olive Campbell followed her husband as Council Executive Secretary, serving from 1919 to 1928. Others in that position include Helen Dingman, 1928-1942; Perley F. Ayer, 1951-1966; and Loyal Jones, 1967-1970. The Council assumed publication of Mountain Life and Work from Berea College in 1926. In the 1950's, the Council began focusing more on direct service activities. Concern for the problems of Appalachian migrants in urban areas led to the establishment of a Chicago office in 1963. With federal War on Poverty funding in the 1960s, the Council started the Appalachian Volunteers program and administered community action and manpower development projects. Philosophical differences among staff and membership led to major changes in the organization after 1969. Federal funding rapidly shrank, as the Council became an activist organization that concentrated on coal mining issues, textile-mill working conditions, and promotion of community and labor rights. Key leadership included Warren Wright, Julian Griggs, and Isaac Vanderpool. Offices were moved from Berea to Clintwood, Virginia in 1972. Publication of Mountain Life & Work continued until the Council disbanded in 1989.

From the description of Council of the Southern Mountains records 1912-1970. (Berea College). WorldCat record id: 50414262

The Council of the Southern Mountains (CSM) experienced a change in its grassroots goals and mission in the years 1970-1989. Council offices were moved from Berea to Clintwood, Virginia, in 1972. After several changes in leadership and structure, addition of new commissions, creation of community unions, the Council became mainly an organization that focused particularly on helping poor people to organize for the purpose of challenging governmental and industrial establishments, championing the rights of coal miners and textile mill workers, and fighting against strip-mining. Some of the Council's highlighted activities include their legal assistance to the widows of the miners who died in Blue Diamond Coal Company's Scotia Mine explosions, organizing efforts for the Brookside Strike, legal assistance after the Adkins Coal Mine explosion in Topmost, Kentucky, welfare marches, farm and garden projects, and various workshops for urban Appalachian migrants. Legal efforts also affected the Mine Health and Safety Act of 1977. Several staff members were hired through programs like VISTA and the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA). A few of the key individuals in CSM during the 1970s and 1980s included Dan Hendrickson, Elmer Rasnick, Bill Worthington, Mart Shepherd, Mike Smathers, Mike Maloney, and Mike Haga, among others. Judy McKinney was CSM's first female President, and Almetor King was CSM's first female African American President. The Council also provided to the public the CSM Bookstore and Bookmobile, and publication of Mountain Life and Work continued on a monthly basis until the organization disbanded in 1989.

From the description of Council of the Southern Mountains records 1970-1989. (Berea College). WorldCat record id: 71437006

The interviews provide documentation of the complete turnover in Council of the Southern Mountains leadership that began in 1970, and the resultant initiatives over the next several years in the areas of community organization, rural economic development, coal mine safety and health legislation, and mine disaster relief.

From the description of Council of the Southern Mountains Oral History Project Collection 2004-2005 / Harry Rice. (Berea College). WorldCat record id: 245538241

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn McGraw, Marie Tyler. Appalachian Volunteers Oral History Collection 1982. Berea College, Hutchins Library
referencedIn Ayer, Perley. Papers 1952-1968. Berea College, Hutchins Library
creatorOf Council of the Southern Mountains,. Council of the Southern Mountains Oral History Project Collection 2004-2005 / Harry Rice. Berea College, Hutchins Library
referencedIn Brosi, George, 1953- . Papers, 1962-1970. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Council of the Southern Mountains. Council of the Southern Mountains records 1912-1970. Berea College, Hutchins Library
referencedIn Ebersole, Gordon Keith, 1910-. Congress for Appalachian Development/Gordon Ebersole collection 1926-1977. East Tennessee State University, TET
creatorOf Council of the Southern Mountains. Council of the Southern Mountains records 1970-1989. Berea College, Hutchins Library
referencedIn Alan McSurely Papers, 1928-1985 (bulk 1960s-1980s) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
referencedIn Conference on Appalachian Studies (1970 : Wise, Va.). Tomorrow's people report 1970. Appalachian State University, ASU
referencedIn Dingman, Helen. Helen Dingman Papers 1917-1945. Berea College, Hutchins Library
referencedIn John C. Campbell Folk School Records, 1928-1988 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
referencedIn Papers, (inclusive), (bulk), 1893-1983, 1943-1983 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Appalachian Alliance. corporateBody
associatedWith Appalachian Book and Record Shop. corporateBody
associatedWith Appalachian Regional Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith Appalachian Volunteers. corporateBody
associatedWith Applby, Monica, person
associatedWith Ayer, Perley. person
associatedWith Baskin, Andrew, person
associatedWith Black Lung Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Brosi, George. person
associatedWith Brosi, George, 1953- . person
associatedWith Brosi, George. (Staff member) person
associatedWith Brown Lung Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Campaign for Human Development. corporateBody
associatedWith Campbell, John Charles, 1867-1919. person
associatedWith Campbell, Olive D. 1882-1954. person
associatedWith Clinchfield Coal Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Commission on Religion in Appalachia. corporateBody
associatedWith Conference on Appalachian Studies (1970 : Wise, Va.) corporateBody
associatedWith Dingman, Helen. person
associatedWith Duke Power Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Eastover Mining Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Ebersole, Gordon Keith, 1910- person
associatedWith Fitzgerald, Tom. (Staff member) person
associatedWith Galloway, L. Thomas. person
associatedWith Galloway, L. Thomas. (Attorney) person
associatedWith Haga, Mike (Staff member) person
associatedWith Hall, Eula (Board member) person
associatedWith Hendrickson, Dan (Staff member) person
associatedWith Hensley, Nunna (Staff member) person
associatedWith Henson, Mike. person
associatedWith Henson, Mike. (Board member) person
correspondedWith Jacqueline Bernard person
associatedWith John C. Campbell Folk School. corporateBody
associatedWith Jones, Loyal, 1928- person
associatedWith King, Almetor (Board member) person
associatedWith Lewis, Helen. (Board member) person
associatedWith LLoyd, R. Baldwin (Board member) person
associatedWith Maggard, Sally Ward, 1946- person
associatedWith Maloney, Mike. (Board member) person
associatedWith Martin County Coal Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith McAteer, J. Davitt. (Attorney) person
associatedWith McGraw, Marie Tyler. person
associatedWith McSurely, Alan, 1936- person
associatedWith Pittston Coal Group. corporateBody
associatedWith Poage, Ben, person
associatedWith Rice, Harry, person
associatedWith Smith, Herb E., person
associatedWith Somerville, Jim (Board member) person
associatedWith Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Stanley, Cathy (Staff member) person
associatedWith Stern, Gerald M., 1937- person
associatedWith Suters, Bill (Staff member) person
associatedWith Tennessee Valley Authority. corporateBody
associatedWith United Mine Workers of America. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Environmental Protection Agency. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Mine Safety and Health Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. corporateBody
associatedWith Urban Appalachian Council. corporateBody
associatedWith Van Anda, Jackie (Staff member) person
associatedWith Volunteers in Service to America. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Appalachian Region, Southern
Appalachian Mountains
West Virginia
Kentucky
Appalachian Region, Southern
Tennessee
Virginia
United States
Appalachian Region
Subject
Federal aid to regional planning
Coal miners
Coal Mine Accidents
Coal miners--Portraits
Recreation
Welfare recipients--Employment
Lung--Dust diseases
Rural-urban migration
Mine explosions
Cotton dust--Health aspects
Coal Miners' Strike, Harlan County, Ky., 1973
Coal miners' spouses--Interviews
Byssinosis--Social aspects
Charities
Medical care
Strip mining--Environmental aspects
Coal mines and mining--Environmental aspects
Mineral industries--Dust control
Social service
Public health
Education
Coal miners' spouses
Poverty
Coal mines and mining--law and legislation
Nonprofit organizations
Social action
Eastover Mining Company Strike, Harlan County, Ky., 1974
Welfare rights movement
Textile workers--Health and hygiene
Community development
Coal mines and mining--Safety measures
Women coal miners--Interviews
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 2004

Active 2005

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