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Maceo Jefferson Papers

Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Names:
Washingtonians, The.  Search this
Extent:
8 Cubic feet (26 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Hymnals
Programs
Correspondence
Legal records
Marriage certificates
Business records
78 rpm records
Passports
Sheet music
Music
Photographs
Contracts
Clippings
Birth certificates
Date:
1800s-1974
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the life and career of jazz musician, arranger, songwriter, and bandleader Maceo Jefferson. It includes biographical documents such as birth and marriaige certificates and passports; letters, mostly relating to the music business and including carbon copies of letters sent by Jefferson; photographs, many inscribed, including photographs of performers from the early jazz era; a hymnal used by Jefferson; several pieces of published sheet music written by Jefferson; concert programs, including a hand-made one for a concert given inside a Nazi internment camp where Jefferson was detained for two years; lyrics to songs; some business records, many in French; legal records; recordings, including 78 rpm records; and music manuscripts, which comprise roughly three fourths of the collection. Additionally, Jefferson's wife, Yvonne Runtz Jefferson, was a costume designer, and there are photographs relating to her work in the collection.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into seven series.

Series 1: Personal Papers, 1891-1978, undated

Series 2: Correspondence, 1909-1976, undated

Series 3: Business Records and Performance Materials, 1932-1971, undated

Series 4: Legal Records, 1920s-1970s, undated

Series 5: Music Manuscripts, Published Sheet Music, and Folios, 1891-1972, undated

Subseries 5.1: Jefferson Compositions, 1920-1972, undated

Subseries 5.2: Compositions by Oother Composers, 1921-1971, undated

Subseries 5.3: Sheet Music, 1891-1970, undated

Subseries 5.4: Folios, Songbooks and Instruction, 1870s-1950s

Series 6: Photographs, 1800s-1960s

Series 7: Recordings, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Maceo Buchannan Jefferson was born on July 14, 1898 in Beaufort, South Carolina to Reverend Paul William Jefferson and Julia Rose Singleton. The oldest of five children, Jefferson showed an early aptitude for both banjo and guitar. He enlisted in the Navy on April 6, 1917 and was released from service on December 24, 1919. According to the 1920 census, Jefferson lived in Portsmouth Monroe Ward, Portsmouth, Virginia as a laborer with the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad. During this time, he played with Gus Perry at the Limelight's Nightclub. Jefferson then moved to Norfolk, Virginia for two years before moving to Washington, DC. As noted in his resume, while in the District of Columbia Jeffersone, he performed with the J. R. Branson Orchestra in a dance hall on U Street and the Roscoe Lee Orchestra at the Better Old Club. He married Riccolin E. Sutherland on October 21, 1922. Jefferson spent another two years in a nightclub in Washington, where he met Duke Ellington and joined his band, the Washingtonians. By early 1923, Jefferson had joined Wilber Sweatman, and worked in a succession of nightclubs and theaters in New York, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. He also accompanied singer Ethel Waters on a recording session for Columbia Records. In 1926, he joined the Lew Leslie Blackbirds Plantation Orchestra and went on a European tour in 1927 with the band and singer Florence Mills. Jefferson joined Leon Abbey's band in 1928, and eventually relocated to Paris, France. During this time, he performed with several jazz bands and musicians including Louis Armstrong before returning to New York where he played in Willie "The Lion" Smith's band and toured with W. C. Handy. The late 1930s and 1940s found him back in France where he married a Parisian woman, Yvonne Josephine Stephanie Runtz, in 1937. Jefferson toured with different bands in France, England, Scotland, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, and Italy until the end of May 1940. In June, he drove a truck for the American Hospital of Paris to the base hospital of Angouleme for which he received no salary. From August to November, Jefferson worked for the American Red Cross as a driver transporting the sick and, injured, and distributing medicine and food. Jefferson resumed his musical career arranging, composing, copying, and playing music from December 1940-December 1941. His career took a dramatic turn when the Nazis, under the Vichy government, imprisoned him, three days after the United States declared war on Germany. Jefferson spent twenty-seven months in prison camp stalag 122 in Compiegne, France and while imprisoned led an orchestra. In 1944, the Nazis released and sent Jefferson back to the United States where he lived in New York before relocating to Bridgeport, Connecticut. In the latter part of his life and musical career, he focused on composition and developing new arrangements for old songs. He never fully regained his health after his time in the concentration camp. Jefferson died on June 15, 1974 in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Duke Ellington Collection (AC0301)

Duncan Schiedt Jazz Collection (AC1323)

W. C. Handy Collection (AC0132)

Gottlieb and Bodansky Family Papers (AC1245)
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center in 2015 by Jefferson's grand-nephew Thomas Cargill and his wife Darlene Johnson Cargill.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Music -- 20th century  Search this
Concentration camps -- France  Search this
Composers  Search this
Jazz musicians  Search this
Banjoists  Search this
Composers -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Hymnals
Programs -- Concerts -- 20th century
Correspondence -- 20th century
Legal records -- 20th century
Marriage certificates
Business records -- 20th century
78 rpm records
Passports
Sheet music -- 20th century
Music -- Manuscripts
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 20th century
Contracts -- 20th century
Clippings -- 20th century
Birth certificates
Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1370
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1370
Additional Online Media:

Published Sheet Music

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1891-1970, undated
Scope and Contents:
Materials used by Jefferson probably for performance purposes. Materials are arranged first by identified music and then by unidentified music aterials.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1370, Subseries 5.3
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref521

Folios, Songbooks and Instruction

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1870s-1950s
Scope and Contents:
Includes a collection of hymns and tunes, folios, and chord instruction for the guitar. The materials are arranged by type.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1370, Subseries 5.4
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref522

Recordings

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents:
Includes 10 inch 78 rpm audio discs of performances by Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra, Willie Lewis and Hhis Orchestra, Duke Ellington and His Washingtonians, and Briggs and His Black Boys. Some of the recordings may be originals. There is also a wire recording with unidentified contents. In addition, there are record jackets. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by title.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1370, Series 7
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref524

Compositions By Other Composers

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1921-1971, undated
Scope and Contents:
Contains compositions created by such notable composers as Irving Berlin, Chopin, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, and Johnny Mercer. to name a few. Materials are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the composer. There are some materials that could not be identified and those are found at the end of the container list.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1370, Subseries 5.2
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref520

Photographs

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1800s-1960s, undated
Scope and Contents:
Black and white photoprints and negatives documenting primarily the early years of Maceo Jefferson and many of the various bands and performers he was associated with in the United States and perhaps Europe. Some images are of family life and include outings with family, friends, and band members. Most are candid images with a number of formal portraits particularly of family and other musicians. Of interest are the images of Jefferson's service with the Red Cross in 1940 and the images of the bombed buildings during World War II. Materials are arranged in chronological order.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1370, Series 6
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref523

Tick a Tack

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Container:
Box 20, Folder 10
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref1000

Toi, Mon Bel Amour

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Container:
Box 20, Folder 11
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref1001

Tourbillon D'amour

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Container:
Box 20, Folder 12
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1939-07-28
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref1002

Toute Ma Vie

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Container:
Box 20, Folder 13
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1939-07-28
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref1003

Tout est Bleu

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Container:
Box 20, Folder 14
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1939-12-01
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref1004

Trees

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Container:
Box 20, Folder 15
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1936
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref1005

Treetop

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Container:
Box 20, Folder 16
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1933
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref1006

Tripit

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Container:
Box 20, Folder 17
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref1007

Tuberous

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Container:
Box 20, Folder 18
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1971
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref1008

T'was Sister Gill

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Container:
Box 20, Folder 19
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1929
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref1009

Twilight Mood

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Container:
Box 20, Folder 20
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref1010

Unchained Melody

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Container:
Box 20, Folder 21
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref1011

Underneath the Holly Tree

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Container:
Box 20, Folder 22
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref1012

Une Voilette

Collection Creator:
Jefferson, Yvonne Runtz  Search this
Jefferson, Maceo  Search this
Collection Donor:
Cargill, Thomas  Search this
Cargill, Darlene Johnson  Search this
Container:
Box 20, Folder 23
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1939-10-09
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Maceo Jefferson Papers, 1898-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Maceo Jefferson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1370-ref1013

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