A briefcase stuffed with letters, notes and newspaper clippings belonging to slain civil rights leader Harry T. Moore was found in an old vacant barn not far from where he was killed in a house bombing, officials said.
Workers for the Brevard County Historical Commission stumbled across the briefcase as they prepared to move the barn to make way for a planned subdivision.
The documents discovered in November were turned over to the state attorney general’s office to determine their significance. None was found, so they were given to Moore’s 76-year-old daughter, Evangeline Moore.
Moore and his wife, Harriette Moore, died in 1951 in a bombing at their home in Mims on Christmas Day. Harry Moore was the first NAACP official killed during the modern civil rights struggle, but it took years for investigators to determine that four now-dead Ku Klux Klan members were responsible.
Evangeline Moore was 21 when her parents were killed. She said she suffered memory loss due to the trauma of the bombing and has been unable to remember her childhood and parts of her early adulthood.
“I have looked through some of the copies of this material, and in fact it has given me my life story,” said Moore, who said she found several newspaper photos and articles about her own involvement in the civil rights movement.
Other documents include letters written to political candidates seeking their positions on voting rights and other racial issues at the time, as well as affidavits and research about lynchings in the area.
No investigation is planned to determine who may have hidden the documents in the barn, located about 900 yards from the Moores’ house, said Allison Bethel, head of the state attorney general’s civil rights division.