Marjorie Jean McGregor Archives
A gift to history from Marjorie Jean McGregor
The Marjorie Jean McGregor Archive (in progress)
This extensive archive is named after Marjorie Jean McGregor, mother of Tom Manoff, Michael Manoff and Robin Eisenberg. It is referred to here as “MJM.”
The collection includes a wealth of primary sources from the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, collected when Tom Manoff was a CORE worker in Mississippi – 1964 (the “Freedom Summer”) and 1965.
Marjorie was always interested in history. Born to a late-pioneer family in Eastern Washington, she witnessed racism in many forms, notably against the Palouse Indians and blacks and Jews. Colfax, Washington, the closest town to the McGregor Ranch was a KKK stronghold in the 1920’s.
As the daughter of the ruling McGregor Family (Hooper, Wa, to this day remains a “company town”) she witnessed the struggles of the Wobblies to organize farm workers in the 1920’s, and her family’s efforts against them. She was a member of the American Communist Party which, in part, explained her interest in history. Among her causes was fighting and exposing the ill treatment of Native Americans, something she witnessed growing up on her family’s ranch in Eastern Washington. This history was taken up also by Tom Manoff, her son, and his extensive research material (including papers, writings, maps, library of books, collection of research xerox copies, pamphlets, artifacts (original KKK membership cards, for example) and other related information on computer hard drives is part of the MJM collection.
Also found in the collection are Tom Manoff’s personal letters, documents and pictures.
TOM MANOFF COLLECTED PAPERS (A SUB- CATEGORY OF THE MJM ARVCHIVE)INCLUDES;
Arnold Manoff Papers.
Arnold Manoff was the father of Tom Manoff, Michael Manoff, Eva Manoff and Dinah Manoff. He was a writer for film, stage, and t.v. and also produced the “classic” novel Telegram from Heaven. He was an Amercian Communist and blacklisted screenwriter. He was one of a few who attempted to seprate the American CP from Russian domination in the early 1950’s, a history which is yet to be documented and understood.
The MJM Archive includes a the portion of Arnold Manoff’s papers, things, contracts, research, writing (as sketches, notes, first drafts, final draft scripts, etc.) which are in the possession of Tom Manoff, on loan to him from Eva Russo (Arnold Manoff’s oldest child.)
Native American Materials
The MJM arhive includes extensive research about Native Americans, assembled (as of 2012) by Tom Manoff and his researcher Hilary McDevitt.
Included are outlines, notes, web links, pictures, written pieces, maps and similar materials about Native Americans. In particular there is the most extensive history of the Palouse Native American Sam Fisher (born 1855 ?) , who Marjorie knew when she was a child and young woman. Marge’s contact with Fisher had a profound impact on in her political views, leading directly to her membership in the communist party in an effort to oppose racism against all peoples.
The archive is currently being considered by the Wisconsin Historical Society as a permanent collection. Some part of the Civil Rights materials (either as copies or other media) will be found at the Canton House Freedom Museum (Canton, MS.) when it is finished. The division of the materials is still under question awaiting funding and additional developments in Canton.