Daisy Bates led the NAACP branch in Arkansas and was in charge of the Little Rock school integration. Bates worked to organize a safe integration process and mentored the first students, known as the Little Rock Nine. Due to intense protests, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent the Arkansas National Guard to ensure that the school integration could proceed. Protestors and advertisers boycotted the Arkansas State Press, an activist newspaper owned by Daisy and her husband Lucius Christopher Bates. The Bates suffered financial difficulties due to their outspoken integration efforts. The “Dollars for Daisy Bates Trust Fund” was set up to provide much needed funds to the Bates.
Trigg Mary K. and Alison R. Bernstein, eds. Junctures in Women’s Leadership: Social Movements. New Brunswick: Rutgers, 2016.
Letter from the Dollars for Daisy Bates Trust Fund. The letter is printed in black ink on Douglass State Bank letterhead. It is addressed to Rev. V. K. stokes and begins [Dear Brother Pastor: / Doubtless, you have already read some of the many news releases concerning the nation-wide effort to give assistance to Daisy Bates and her husband to liquidate heavy indebtedness, due to the forced closing down of their newspaper business]. The letter requests contributions before the end of the fundraising campaign for the Daisy Bates Trust Fund. H.W. Sewing, Treasurer of the Fund and President of the Douglass State Bank, signed the letter. There is a postscript at the bottom of the page which begins [P.S.- Rev. Stokes: Will you stress the courage of Mrs. Bates and ask your members if we as Negroes should let these freedom fighters lose all they have fighting in Little Rock for first class citizenship for the Negro?...]. The paper has a Douglass State Bank watermark. The reverse is blank.