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ACLU Carroll County Chapter records

Identifier: LH-0047

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains materials from the ACLU National chapter, the ACLU of Georgia, and the ACLU Carroll County Chapter. These materials include broadsides, clippings, correspondence, directories, issue files, meeting minutes, newspapers, and a secretary’s notebook. This collection also contains materials relating to two cases in Carroll County: The Carrollton 23 and The Rocking Chair case.


  • 1968-1975


Conditions Governing Access note

Open to all users; no restrictions

Conditions Governing Use note

Rights unknown.

Biographical/Historical note

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was formed in the early 1920s in response to the Red Scare, a fear of Communism following WWI and the Russian Revolution, which led to the false imprisonment of countless individuals. Over the years, the ACLU has addressed many other civil liberties abuses and was vocal on key issues involving race discrimination, gender discrimination, individual privacy, religious privacy, and sexual freedoms. Today, the organization continues to fight for individual rights and freedoms, including the right to privacy from the government.

The ACLU Carroll County Chapter was organized in 1968 and first met on April 7, 1969 on the campus of West Georgia College. Membership was comprised of community members, university faculty, and students. Throughout its existence, the Carroll County chapter had numerous service projects which included emergency legal advice, investigation on complaints against the police, court watching, and the establishment of an award which went to local individuals and groups who made a special effort to uphold the rights of their fellow citizens.

Moreover, the ACLU Carroll County Chapter focused the majority of its attention and resources on cases involving students. Two such cases within the collection are termed “The Carrollton 23” and “The Rocking Chair Case.” The Carrollton 23 involved a group of twenty-three individuals, nineteen of whom were students at West Georgia College, who were arrested on drug charges at Jackson Court apartments in May of 1971. Despite protests against the broad drug raid that resulted in their arrests, the nineteen students were indicted for violating the Georgia Drug Abuse Control Act. The Rocking Chair case garnered nationwide attention and involved Eva Pearson and Cathy Hess, both students at West Georgia, who were charged and arrested for the theft of a $5.00 rocking chair taken from an abandoned house. Both women thought it was acceptable to take the chair because some friends at a party told them that the house had been abandoned for a decade. Pearson and Hess were issued one year prison sentences. Hess appealed, but Pearson served four months in jail before she was released.


2.09 Linear feet (4 boxes)




The ACLU Carroll County Chapter was organized in 1968 and first met on April 7, 1969 on the campus of West Georgia College. Although the organization helped raise awareness of larger national issues like abortion and prison reform, the group focused the majority of their attention and resources on cases involving students.

Arrangement note

Organized into 3 series: 1. ACLU National; 2. ACLU of Georgia; 3. ACLU Carroll County Chapter.

Arranged alphabetically by file title.

Files were previously organized as chronological files, but in order to provide better accessibility, the collection was reprocessed and separated into series.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated by Dr. Robert H. Claxton in July 1975.

Processing Information note

Processed by Shannon Danielle Smith in 2009 and Candice Larson in 2014.

Guide to the ACLU Carroll County Chapter records, 1968-1975 LH-0047
Finding aid prepared by Candice Larson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of West Georgia Special Collections Repository

Special Collections, Ingram Library
University of West Georgia
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton GA 30118-2000 United States