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NAACP Membership, 1932 - Martin Erwin

NAACP Membership, 1932 - Martin Erwin Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


In March 25, 1932 Mr. Martin L. Erwin, Sr. compiled a list of members of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The names were typed on letterhead from the N&G Taylor Company, manufacturers of tin plate. This was a national company with a facility employing almost 900 people located in South Cumberland off of Lafayette Avenue.

The Cumberland Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church 1837-1987 Anniversary Booklet contains a photograph of Martin L. Erwin, Sr. (1876-1958) as well as his wife, Annie G. Erwin (1880-1976). They were active members of the church from 1914 to 1958, raised all six of their children in the church, and thought of the Cumberland A.M.E. Church as, "The First Church We Ever Knew - And Will Never Forget".

The names identified on Mr. Erwin's list included:

Mrs. Ethel Johnson, 136 Frederick Street

Mr. David Gates, 532 Green Street

Miss Annie Mae Erwin, 943 Glenwood Street

Mr. Samuel Denson, 151 N. Mechanic Street

Mrs. B.K. Denson, 151 N. Mechanic Street

Mr. James Sanker, 211 Wallace Street

Mr. William Walker, 211 Wallace Street

Mr. Harrison Walker, 211 Wallace Street

Mrs. Mary Fagans, 331 Central Avenue

Mrs. Estell Travers, Central and Pine Avenue Street

Mrs. Nellie Robinson, 308 Magruder Street

Mrs. Annie G. Erwin, 943 Glenwood Street

Mrs. Ida Ford, Church Lane

Miss Madah Topson, 217 Wallace Street

Mr. Marcellus Edwards, 313 Central Avenue

Mr. J.H. Payne, 511 Green Street

Mrs. Carrie Payne, 511 Green Street

Miss Mary Nugent, 511 Green Street

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has had a long and honorable history in the county. In 1973, and after some years of inactivity, the Allegany County branch of the NAACP was resurrected by John "Perkey" Yates, Frank Yates, Juanita Cage Lewis, Sam Walker, and Jon Loff.


The text is from Dan Whetzel and the Collections of the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

The photograph of Martin Erwin is from the Metropolitan A.M.E. Anniversary booklet.

There does appear to be some ambiguity as to the year a local Cumberland Chapter of the NAACP was established. Based upon information supplied by the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress and pertaining to Martin Erwin, there was an NAACP membership here in 1932. In researching the book, Hidden Stories, Discovered Voices: A History of African Americans in Cumberland, Maryland, high school students note a 1943 newspaper article giving the date as 1938. One possibility might be that 1938 was the year it was officially founded as part of the national organization.

Collection Location:
Allegany County, Maryland

African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.

Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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