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AFL-CIO Region 8 records

Identifier: L1984-70

Scope and Content of the Records

The AFL-CIO Region 8 records, spanning 1930 to 1974, include correspondence, minutes, reports, legal papers, conference materials, membership cards, and printed materials. The collection pertains to the career of longtime labor organizer Paul R. Christopher, 1910-1974, who first joined the United Textile Workers in North Carolina in 1932 and who later worked with the CIO, 1937-1955 and the AFL-CIO, 1955-1974. The collection is arranged by type of record and organized in five series.

In addition to these series, the records also include many items such as periodicals, constitutions, contracts, pamphlets, and proceedings as well as non-print items such as photographs and artifacts. These items have been stored separately in the department's Printed Collection and Non-print Collection. Sound recordings, including a small amount of Christopher's dictation and conversations, have been digitized and are available online.


  • Creation: 1930-1974


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research use.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Georgia State University is the owner of the physical collection and makes reproductions available for research, subject to the copyright law of the United States and item condition. Georgia State University may or may not own the rights to materials in the collection. It is the researcher's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and obtain permission from the copyright holder before publication, reproduction, or display of the materials beyond what is reasonable under copyright law. Researchers may quote selections from the collection under the fair use provision of copyright law.

Biography of Paul R. Christopher

Paul Christopher was born February 14, 1910 in the Alice Mill Village in Easley, Pickens County, South Carolina. His father, Clarence Erasker Christopher, was a loom fixer and his mother Mary Jane (Hemphill) Christopher also worked in the Alice Mill. Young Christopher moved with his family to Greenville, South Carolina, was enrolled in a company grammar school (Poe Mill), and later attended Greenville's Parker District High School. At age fourteen, Christopher began work in the F.W. Poe Manufacturing Company, remaining in the mills (by his own account, at least six "cotton and rayon weaving mills" [letter from subject to George Mitchell, Executive Director, Southern Regional Council, Inc., November 23, 1955, Southern Labor Archives, Georgia State University Library]) until 1933, except for a period from 1930 to 1932 when he attended Clemson Agricultural College (now University), studying textile engineering. Shortly after leaving Clemson, Christopher met and married Mary Elizabeth Lybrand on August 13, 1932.

Upon returning to the cotton mills as a weaver, Christopher joined the United Textile Workers of America (UTWA) and quickly rose from within the ranks to the presidency of his local. In 1933 he secured employment as a full-time organizer and technical advisor for the UTWA, a post which he held until April, 1937. During these years, Christopher participated in a host of organizing campaigns, boycotts, and strikes, including the 1934 General Textile Strike. In recognition of his organizing abilities and leadership qualities, the North Carolina Federation of Textile Workers elected him president in 1934.

When the Congress of Industrial Organizations left the American Federation of Labor and began massive organizing drives among America's industrial workers, Christopher lent his support as an organizer and technical advisor to the Textile Workers Organizing Committee (TWOC), chartered in 1937. After a two year organizing campaign, stymied by the "Roosevelt Recession," the TWOC was rechartered as the Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA), and Christopher was elected a national vice-president, a position he held until 1941, while serving concurrently as TWUA South Carolina State Director.

In September 1940, Christopher moved to Tennessee with his wife and two daughters, Sara Jane and Patricia Ellen, there becoming executive secretary-treasurer of the CIO-affiliated Tennessee Industrial Union Council. Christopher was made CIO Tennessee State Director in 1942, a post he retained until being appointed CIO Region 4 (Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia) Director in 1953. Throughout the 1940s, Christopher held many concurrent administrative positions within the state and regional CIO, including Acting Southeastern Director for the CIO -Political Action Committee (1944 - 1946) and Tennessee State Southern Organizing Committee State Director during the Southern Organizing Drive, popularly known as "Operation Dixie." Following the merger of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1955, Christopher was appointed Director of AFL-CIO Region 8 (Tennessee and Kentucky) and remained in that post until his death in early 1974.

In addition to his career as a trade unionist, Christopher served in numerous social welfare agencies, educational organizations, and conferences and conventions covering a wide range of subjects. During World War II Christopher became associated with the following government agencies: Advisory Commission, Training-Within-Industry Division; War Manpower Commission, Region IX; Board of Directors, Tennessee War Fund; Tennessee War Services Council; Advisory Commission, Tennessee State Planning Commission; Knoxville (Tennessee) Area War Manpower Commission Labor Management Commission; National War Labor Board, Fourth (Southeast) Region; and Office of Price Administration Labor Advisory Committee.

Interested in labor education, Christopher was a member of the Board of Directors of the Southern Summer School for Workers and the Executive Council of the Highlander Folk School. Community work evidenced itself in his membership on the Board of Directors, Knox County Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Knoxville Community Chest, and he held membership in a number of civil rights organizations, including the Southern Conference for Human Welfare and the Southern Regional Council. A Democratic Party member and Unitarian, Christopher also held membership in fraternal organizations such as the Elks, Moose, and Young Men's Christian Association. While serving in many capacities in governmental, educational, community, and church organizations not directly connected with his work as a trade union leader, Christopher, revealed in his papers, pursued avocations as a stamp collector, ham radio operator, pilot, and "weekend" farmer.


12.4 Linear Feet (in 27 boxes)

Language of Materials



AFL-CIO Region 8 records, 1930-1974, include correspondence, minutes, reports, legal papers, conference materials, membership cards, and printed materials. The collection pertains to the career of long time labor organizer and Region 8 Director, Paul R. Christopher (1910-1974).


The records are arranged into six series:

  1. Series I: Correspondence, 1930-1972
  2. Series II: Operational Records, 1935-1973
  3. Series III: Financial Records, 1931-1973
  4. Series IV: Printed Materials, 1936-1974
  5. Series V: Personal Papers, 1943-1971
  6. Series VI: Oversize Storage

Acquisition Information

Donated by Patricia Newman, December 1984.

Online Availability

Sound recordings and photographs in this collection may have been digitized and are available online at Georgia State University Library Digital Collections.

Related Archival Materials

The Southern Labor Archives holds numerous AFL-CIO collections. These collections include State level organizations (Virginia State AFL-CIO, Mississippi AFL-CIO, Florida State AFL-CIO, Georgia State AFL-CIO, South Carolina State AFL-CIO, and North Carolina State AFL-CIO). In addition, the SLA has a number of regional office collections (the designations and locations have changed over time) including: AFL-CIO. Region 5, AFL-CIO. Region 6, AFL-CIO. Region 8 (Knoxville, Tenn.), and AFL-CIO. Region 10 (Nashville, Tenn.) as well as the AFL-CIO. Civil Rights Department. Contact Special Collections for more information.

Separated Materials

During processing, oversize items, photographic material, artifacts, and printed material were separated to other Southern Labor Archives collections.

For photographs, see the Southern Labor Archives Photographs Collection finding aid. For pamphlets, see the Southern Labor Archives Pamphlet Collection finding aid (note that this collection has been weeded over time). For periodicals, see the Southern Labor Archives periodicals collection finding aid or catalog. For books consult Special Collections or the University Library Catalog. For artifacts, contracts, constitutions, and bylaws, consult Special Collections for access.

Separated to Southern Labor Archives Constitutions and Bylaws Collection

  1. AFL-CIO, 1955
  2. Directly Affiliated Local Unions, February 16, 1960
  3. North Carolina State AFL-CIO, undated; October 25, 1966
  4. North Carolina State Industrial Union Council, November 1, 1953
  5. State Central Bodies, February 14, 1956
  6. Tennessee Committee on Political Action, 1958
  7. Tennessee State Industrial Union Council, June 16-18, 1950, June 13-15, 1953, June 17-19, 1955
  8. Tennessee State Industrial Union Council AFL-CIO, October 1957, October 1959
  9. Tennessee State Labor Council AFL-CIO, September 14, 1965, March 11, 1973
  10. Executive Council of the Tennessee Federation of Labor and the Executive Board of the Tennessee State Industrial Union Council, December 18, 1955
  11. National Council of TVA Public Safety Services Employees Local Union, undated
  12. Tennessee Valley Salary Policy Council, AFL-CIO, June 1, 1959, May 21, 1961
  13. United Furniture Workers of America AFL-CIO, May 2, 1960
  14. International Union United Steelworkers of America CIO, May 13, 1944

Separated to Southern Labor Archives Contracts Collection

  1. Columbian Iron Works, Plant No. 2 Chattanooga, Tenn., and United Steelworkers of America, Local 3306, August 9, 1944
  2. Empire Furniture Corporation, Johnson City, Tenn., and Furniture Workers Local Union No. 27768, February 21, 1944
  3. L.B. Jenkins Redrying Company, Inc., Greenville, Tenn., and the Food, Tobacco, Agricultural and Allied Workers of America, February 15, 1947
  4. Merger Agreement and Proposed Constitution by the Executive Council of the Tennessee Federation of Labor and the Executive Board of the Tennessee State Industrial Union Council, December 18, 1955
  5. Tennessee Valley Authority and the Salary Policy Employee Council, May 7, 1964
  6. Tennessee Valley Authority and the Salary Policy Employee Council, February 4, 1955

Separated to Southern Labor Archives Pamphlets Collection

  1. Pamphlets added to or duplicated in the Southern Labor Archives Pamphlet Collection in the following subject areas: American Federation of Labor; American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO); AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education; AFL-CIO Department of Education; AFL-CIO Economic Policy Committee; AFL-CIO Organizations Affiliated with; AFL-CIO State and Local Central Bodies; Anti-Union Material; Arbitration; Automation; Benefits; Civil Rights; Community Development; Community Relations; Consumers; Cooperatives; Economic Issues; Education; Employee Handbook; Foreign Aid; Health Care; Housing Costs; Human Relations; Human Resources; Human Resources Development Institute; Inflation; Insurance Plans; International Ladies Garment Workers Union; Job Satisfaction; J.P. Stevens; Labor History; Labor-Management Relations Act, 1947; Labor Relations; Labor Songs; Labor Studies; Management; Minimum Wage Standards; Murray, Philip; National Labor Relations Act; Nuclear Energy; Open Shop; Organizing; Pension Plans; Political Action; Poverty; Public Works Administration; Race Relations; Religion; Religion and Labor; Right-to-Work; Safety; Shop Stewards; Social Security; Socialism; The South; Strikes -- Enka; Strikes -- Kingsport Press; Tennessee; Tennessee Valley Authority; Trade; Unemployment; Unemployment Insurance; Union -- Democracy; Union -- Principals; United States Labor Department -- Bureau of Employment Security; United States Labor Department Wage and Hour and Public Contracts Divisions; United States Office of Economic Opportunity; United Steelworkers of America (UTWA); Veterans; Wage and Price Controls; Wages; Welfare; Women Workers; Workers Compensation

Separated to Southern Labor Archives Photographic Collection

  1. Negative Strip, "Emil and Joie"
  2. (7) negatives, Greenback [TN] Industries
  3. (3) 8×10 BW, Estes Kefauver
  4. (1) 4×5 BW, unidentified man
  5. (1) 8×10 BW, ILGWU picketers
  6. (1) 8×10 BW, unidentified meeting
  7. (7) 4×5 BW, unidentified individuals
  8. (3) 4×6 BW, unidentified meeting
  9. (12) 8×10 BW, unidentified meeting
  10. (6) sheets of small contact photos, unidentified
  11. (21) 8×10 BW, unidentified
  12. (1) 8×10 BW, Allan Haywood, autographed
  13. (1) BW, John M. Livingston, autographed to Paul Christopher

Separated to Southern Labor Archives Periodicals Collection

  1. Ammunition, International Union, United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW-CIO), September 1948
  2. Economic Justice, National Religion and Labor Foundation, June 1947 (XV, 9) and December-January 1956-1957 (XXV, 4)
  3. Economic Trends and Outlook, AFL-CIO Economic Policy Committee, October 1958 (III, 10) and August 1959 (IV, 8)
  4. Labor and Nation, Inter-Union Institute, Inc., January-February 1947 (III, 1); November-December 1947 (III, 6); September-October 1949 (V, 5)
  5. Labor's Economic Review, AFL-CIO, November 1958 (III, 11)
  6. Labor's Non-Partisan League National Bulletin, Labor's Non-Partisan League, March 9, 1938 (II, 4)
  7. North American Labor, Arts and Crafts Press, June 1948 (I, 3)
  8. Religion and Labor (formerly Economic Justice), Religion and Labor Foundation, Inc., February 1958 (I, 5); April 1958 (I, 7); April 1959
  9. Rome GE IUE-CIO News, IUE-CIO GE Organizing Committee, July 21, 1954 (I, 1)
  10. Textile Labor, Textile Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO, CLC, July 1967 (XXVIII, 7)
  11. American Federation of Labor Weekly News Service, American Federation of Labor, August 17, 1935 (XXV, 33)
  12. Carolina Labor's View, North Carolina State AFL-CIO, July 1969 (II, 3)
  13. C.I.O. Labor Journal, Tennessee State Industrial Union Council, May 1954 (IV, 11)
  14. The Guild Reporter, American Newspaper Guild, CIO, May 11, 1956 (XXIII, 10)
  15. International Labor News Service, Inc., American Federation of Labor (2 copies), April 6, 1935
  16. The Labor World, Chattanooga Central Labor Union, October 24, 1956 (XLI, 27)
  17. Steel Labor, Steel Workers Organizing Committee - C.I.O., September 5, 1936 (I, 3)
  18. The Textile Labor Banner, United Textile Workers of America, 1934-1935 (39 issues)
  19. United Textile Workers of America Official News Sheet, United Textile Workers of America, 1934-1935 (8 issues)
  20. Tennessee State Labor Council AFL-CIO, 1957, 1960, 1965, 1967-1969
  21. The Textile Worker, United Textile Workers of America, 1935-1937 (25 issues)
  22. Union News Service, Committee for Industrial Organization, 1936 (14 issues)

Separated to Southern Labor Archives Artifacts Collection

  1. Sewing Kit: International Ladies Garment Workers Union, undated
  2. Memo Pad: Boot and Shoe Workers Union, undated
  3. Guest Medal: United Furniture Workers of America, 1962
  4. Convention Survival Kit: Maritime Trades Department, undated
  5. "Member of CIO" Sticker, undated
  6. "The Free Riders Psalm" [re people who benefit from the union but do not join], undated
  7. Tennessee State Labor Council Delegate Badge, undated
  8. Memo and Address Book: Tobacco Workers International Union, undated
  9. Pilots Association Patch, undated
  10. Bumper Stickers (2): "Win with Adlai and Estes," undated
  11. Car Tag: "Join NC State AFL-CIO," undated
  12. Bumper Sticker: "1963 Home Show"
  13. Bumper Sticker: "Don't Shop at Anti-Union Sears," undated
  14. Sticker: "Re-elect Clements Senator," undated
  15. Car Tag: "Like the Change? Vote Democratic," undated
  16. Bumper Sticker: "Fair Taxes Now Take the Rich Off Welfare," undated

Separated to the Southern Labor Archives Book Collection or the Georgia State University Library General Collection

  1. Alford, L.P. Henry Laurence Gantt. (General Collection), 1934
  2. Austin, Aleine. The Labor Story. (SPEC), 1949
  3. Carlson, John Roy. Under Cover. (General Collection), 1943
  4. Babson, Roger W. Business Fundamentals. (General Collection), 1927
  5. Baker-Crothers, Hayes. Problems of Citizenship. (General Collection), 1924
  6. Beshoar, Barron B. Out of the Depths. (General Collection), 1942
  7. Brooks, Thomas R. Toil and Trouble. (SPEC), 1964
  8. Buchanan, Joseph R. The Story of a Labor Agitator. (General Collection), 1903
  9. Burke, Fielding. A Stone Came Rolling. (RARE), 1935
  10. Carnes, Cecil. John L. Lewis. (SPEC), 1936
  11. Chambers, Walter. Labor Unions and the Public. (LAW), 1936
  12. Chapin, A.L. First Principles of the Economy. (General Collection), 1879
  13. Childs, Harwood. Labor and Capital in International Politics. (General Collection), 1930
  14. Cole, Gordon H. Labor's Story. (General Collection), 1961
  15. Crawford, Kenneth G. The Pressure Boys. (General Collection), 1939
  16. Creamer, Daniel. Labor and the Shut-Down of the Amoskeag Textile Mills. (SPEC), 1939
  17. Fitch, J.A. Social Responsibilities of Organized Labor. (General Collection), 1957
  18. Furniss, Edgar S. Labor Problems. (General Collection), 1925
  19. Goldberg, Arthur J. AFL-CIO Labor United. (SPEC), 1956
  20. Gorman, Francis J. The Fate of Trade Unions Under Fascism. (SPEC), 1937
  21. Groat, George G. The Study of Organized Labor in America. (General Collection), 1916
  22. Grogan, William. John Riffe of the Steelworkers. (General Collection), 1959
  23. Hays, Arthur G. Democracy Works. (General Collection), 1939
  24. Howard, Sidney. The Labor Spy. (SPEC), 1924
  25. Huberman, Leo. The Labor Spy Racket. (RARE), 1937
  26. Huberman, Leo. Man's Worldly Goods. (General Collection), 1936
  27. Huberman, Leo. The NMU: What It Is and What It Does. (SPEC), 1943
  28. Johnson, C.S. The Collapse of Cotton Tenancy. (General Collection), 1935
  29. Johnson, F.E. The New Spirit in Industry. (General Collection), 1919
  30. Josephson, Matthew. Sidney Hillman Statesman of American Labor. (SPEC), 1952
  31. Karsh, Bernard. Diary of a Strike. (General Collection), 1958
  32. Kelly, Richard. Nine Lives for Labor. (General Collection), 1956
  33. Key, V.O. Southern Politics. (General Collection), 1950
  34. Kilgo, John. Campaigning in Dixie. (SPEC), 1945
  35. Kirkpatrick, George R. Is Plenty too Much for the Common People. (General Collection), 1939
  36. Leiter, Robert D. The Teamsters Union. (General Collection), 1957
  37. Lens, Sidney. Left, Right and Center. (General Collection), 1949
  38. Litchfield, Paul W. The Industrial Republic. (General Collection), 1946
  39. Luthin, Reinhard H. American Demagogues. (General Collection), 1954
  40. MacDonald, Lios. Labor Problems and the American Scene. (General Collection), 1938
  41. Magee, James D. Collapse and Recovery. (General Collection), 1934
  42. Marquand, H.A. Organized Labour in Four Continents. (General Collection), 1939
  43. Maurer, James Hudson. It Can be Done. (SPEC), 1938
  44. McLaughlin, Glenn E. Why Industry Moves South. (General Collection), 1949
  45. McWilliams, Carey. Factories in the Field. (General Collection), 1939
  46. Mendelsohn, Sigmund. Labor's Crisis. (General Collection), 1920
  47. Michie, Allen A. Dixie Demagogues. (General Collection), 1939
  48. Mooney, James D. Wages and the Road Ahead. (General Collection), 1931
  49. Naylor, J.F. Labour's International Policy. (General Collection), 1969
  50. Perry, Jennings. Democracy Begins at Home. (General Collection), 1944
  51. Rayback, Joseph G. A History of American Labor. (SPEC), 1959
  52. Reynolds, Lloyd G. Labor and National Defense. (General Collection), 1941
  53. Rose, Arnold M. Union Solidarity. (General Collection), 1952
  54. Ryan, J.A. A Better Economic Order. (General Collection), 1935
  55. Seidman, Joel. Union Rights and Union Duties. (General Collection), 1943
  56. Seldes, George. Freedom of the Press. (General Collection), 1937
  57. Shippen, Katherine B. This Union Cause. (General Collection), 1958
  58. Shultz, George P. Strategies for the Displaced Worker. (General Collection), 1966
  59. Smith, Elliott D. Technology and Labor. (General Collection), 1939
  60. Smith, Harry. Industrial History. (General Collection), 1929
  61. Soule, George. Sidney Hillman Labor Statesman. (General Collection), 1939
  62. Steel-Maitland, A. The New America. (General Collection), 1935
  63. Stein, Emanuel. Labor Problems in America. (SPEC), 1940
  64. Tippett, Tom. When Southern Labor Stirs. (SPEC), 1931
  65. Todes, Charlotte. William H. Sylvis and the National Labor Union. (General Collection), 1942
  66. Tripp, L. Reed. Labor Problems and Processes. (General Collection), 1961
  67. Vorse, Mary Heaton. Labor's New Millions. (General Collection), 1938
  68. Walsh, J. Raymond. CIO Industrial Unionism in Action. (General Collection), 1937
  69. Webb, Beatrice. Our Partnership. (General Collection), 1948
  70. Weise, Mildred J. The Modern Worker. (General Collection), 1930
  71. Welty, Malcolm W. Labor Contract Clauses. (General Collection), 1945
  72. Williams, Francis. Magnificient Journey. (General Collection), 1954

Processing Information

Processed by Patricia Newman at the file level, December 1984. The sound recordings were digitized with the support of a Recordings at Risk grant from the Council of Library and Information Resources (CLIR), made possible by funding from the Mellon Foundation. Links to digitized materials added to series II by William W. Hardesty, December 2023.

AFL-CIO Region 8 [L1984-70]:
A Guide to Its Records at Georgia State University Library
Georgia State University Library
December 1984
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2323-12-06: Links to digitized materials added to Series II.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)