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Series II. Correspondence, 1935-1979

Scope and Content Notes:

The Correspondence series consists of letters written and received by P.L. Prattis. It is divided into two subseries, professional and personal.

Subseries 1. Professional Correspondence, 1935-1979

Scope and Content Notes:

The correspondence in this subseries chronicles issues relating to Prattis’ career at the Pittsburgh Courier and after his retirement his involvement with organizations such as Frontiers International, YMCA, and the Yorkfellows. Of particular interest is a folder of correspondence from famous people which contains a handwritten letter from Lena Horne in 1971. Also found in this subseries is a copy of a letter Prattis wrote to then Senator John F. Kennedy on August 18, 1950. The letter is regards to a previous meeting the two had and developing possible series of articles on Kennedy’s efforts on behalf of African Americans. Recently added material can be found under the section "New Material Added." The correspondence is arranged by year.


Box 1
Folder 93 Correspondence from Notable People, 1935-1979
Folder 94 Correspondence regarding the financial situation of the Courier, 1950, 1958, 1965
Folder 95 Correspondence, 1945-1954
Folder 96 Correspondence, 1955-1957
Folder 97 Correspondence, January- July 1958
Folder 98 Correspondence, August-December 1958
Folder 99 Correspondence, 1959-1966
Folder 100 Correspondence, 1967-1968
Folder 101 Correspondence, 1969-1979, undated

Section: New Material Added, 2011


Box 2
Folder 74 Correspondence from Notable People; Richard J. Daley and W.E.B. DuBois, 1957-1958

Subseries 2. Personal Correspondence, 1919-1976

Scope and Content Notes:

The Personal Correspondence subseries consists of letters and postcards Prattis wrote to his wife and daughter during frequent trips while on assignments for the Pittsburgh Courier in the 1940s. There is also a folder of letters between Prattis and Rudolph Dunbar, a close friend and an African American symphony conductor living and working in Europe. The letters offer a glimpse into race relations in Europe and the United States. The personal correspondence subseries offers insight into Prattis’ feelings regarding the issues of the day. He was a voluminous correspondent and often candid in expressing his feelings. Recently added material can be found under the section "New Material Added." The subseries is arranged chronologically.


Box 2
Folder 1 Post cards to family, 1941-1954
Folder 2 Correspondence to family, 1941
Folder 3 Correspondence to family, 1942-1943
Folder 4 Correspondence to family, 1944-1945
Folder 5 Correspondence with Rudolph Dunbar, 1946-1971
Folder 6 Correspondence to family, 1956-1975
Folder 7 Helen Prattis Correspondence and notes, 1963, 1998, 2004
Folder 8 Condolence Letters to Helen Prattis, 1980
Folder 9 Correspondence, 1939-1964
Folder 10 Correspondence, 1965-1967
Folder 11 Correspondence, 1967-1976, undated

Section: New Material Added, 2011


Box 2
Folder 75 Correspondence in French, 1919
Folder 76 Courtship letters between Prattis and wife, Helen (Sands) Prattis, 1937-1939
Folder 77 Correspondence to Helen Prattis on board the S.S. Argentina on the way to Paris, 1945
Folder 78 Correspondence from P.L. Prattis to Helen Prattis, 1948-1966
Folder 79 Correspondence to Patricia Prattis while at Deerwood Music Camp in the Adirondacks, 1956-1957
Folder 80 Correspondence to Patricia Prattis while atthe Marlboro (Vt.) Festival, 1962
Folder 81 Correspondence to Patricia Prattis during the Pittsburgh Symphony's tour of Europe and the Middle East, 1964