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Henry Allen Laine Collection

Collection Overview

Title: Henry Allen Laine Collection

Predominant Dates:1908-2009

ID: RG 08/8.16

Extent: 1.0 Boxes (General)

Date Acquired: 10/08/2009

Languages: English [eng]


Henry Allen Laine, c.1870-1955 was the son of slave parents in Madison County, Kentucky.  Laine would go on to become an educator, agriculturalist, poet and author, and one of the most intellectually and creatively gifted to be born and live in Madison County.

At a time when a college education was a rarity for anyone, he attended Berea College and became a teacher.  From 1889 to 1899, Laine attended Berea while at the same time being “hired out” by his father to pay off the family farm.  At Berea, he worked his way to teaching certification in 1892 and 1895.  Serving briefly in Clark County, he would devote the rest of his career and life to his native county.

According to “Madison County: 200 Years in Retrospect,” no black leader had more impact on the county in the first half of the 20th century than Laine. Laine taught school for 21 years and contributed to the cultural life of the county’s black population in numerous ways. In 1910, he founded the Madison Colored Teachers Association and led it for 20 years.

Laine became the county’s first black agricultural extension agent in 1915, organizing farmer and homemaker clubs around the county. Given the title “County Demonstrator for the Colored People,” his position was briefly funded by the fiscal court.

Supported by the white Methodist lay leader and social reformer Belle Bennett and others, he organized a Chautauqua for the county’s black residents, bringing such nationally known speakers to Madison County, including George Washington Carver and W.E.B. DuBois.

Laine’s most lasting legacy, however, may be his poetry and writings.  His book of poem, “Foot Prints,” was so popular that it went through four printings, 1914, 1924, 1947 and 1988.

In 2003, Laine was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame and Berea College honored Laine at its 2009 Founder’s Day Celebration. Laine and his wife, Florence Benton Laine, were the parents of eight daughters and one son.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This is a collection of records and materials documenting the life and work of Berea College graduate and civil rights leader Henry Allen Laine.  Materials include biographical sketches, copies of correspondence, a copy of "Foot Prints," Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame support letters and materials, and Laine's Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame plaque.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: Records can be accessed through the Reading Room, Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Hutchins Library, Berea College.

Use Restrictions: There are no restrictions on the collection other than federal copyright regulations.

Acquisition Source: Henry Allen Laine Family

Preferred Citation: [Record/Folder], RG 8/8.16: Henry Allen Laine Collection.  Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Berea, KY.

Processing Information: Boxlist created 2017.

Box and Folder Listing

Box 1: Henry Allen Laine CollectionAdd to your cart.
Folder 1: BiographicalAdd to your cart.
Includes copy of photograph, Founder's Day program, Biographical sketches
Folder 2: Letter: Laine to President FrostAdd to your cart.
Copy of letter, Dec. 27, 1908
Folder 3: Copy of Foot Prints, 2006 editionAdd to your cart.
additional materials regarding writings included
Folder 4: Copy of Uncle Remus in Rhythm and Rhyme"Add to your cart.
by Tommie Beatrice Holland (daughter of Henry Allen Laine), 1994 reprint
Folder 5: Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame, 2003Add to your cart.
3 letters of support; 2003 inductees program
Folder 6: Plaque, 2003Add to your cart.
Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, 2003 Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame
Folder 7: Certificate of Nomination, 2003Add to your cart.
Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Nomination through the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights
Folder 8: Donation Documentation/Provenance Files, 2009Add to your cart.