Document 2: Mr. Storey's Secretary to Mrs. C. J. Walker, 10 May 1919, NAACP Papers, Part 7: The Anti-Lynching Campaign, 1912-1955, Series B: Anti-Lynching Legislative and Publicity Files, 1916-1955, Library of Congress (Microfilm, Reel 1, Frame 284).
Madame C.J. Walker was the leading African-American businesswoman in the early twentieth century, making her fortune manufacturing and distributing hair care products. She began her commercial venture in Denver in 1906 and four years later created an expanded operation in Indianapolis. Her business at its height employed some 3,000 people, mostly women known as "Walker Agents," who sold products and services door-to-door.
Walker was soon a millionaire and became a strong advocate of racial uplift. Chief among the recipients of her philanthropy were the NAACP, the YWCA and African-American schools. She organized her agents in "Walker Clubs" and encouraged them in community philanthropic activities. She died on the 25th of May 1919, little more than two weeks after her generous contribution to the NAACP's anti-lynching activities.
May 10, 1919.
Mme. C. J. Walker
108 West 136th Street,
New York City.
Dear Madame Walker:
All of us have been deeply concerned over your illness. We missed you at the National Conference on Lynching, knowing how much pleasure you would take in what proved to be a splendid Conference.
The announcement by Mrs. Talbert at Carnegie Hall on Monday night of your most generous gift, the largest the Association has ever received, produced a tremendous effect upon the whole audience and was received with great applause. Immediately another gift of $1,000 was made, which I feel sure we would not have received had not yours preceded it. This came from Mr. Scott Bond of Arkansas.
At the meeting at Ethical Culture Hall on Tuesday night it was my privilege to make announcements at the close. The first announcement I made was of your gift, then of Mr. Bond's, after which from the audience an additional $3,400 was pledged, the greater part of it coming from colored people. I know our branches and individuals subscribing and pledging were inspired to do so as much by your contribution as by the inspiration of the gathering itself.
Mr. Storey asked me to express to you his personal gratification that the work we are doing appealed to you so much as to compel you to contribute as you have done.
I hereby acknowledge the receipt of your check for $1,000. Mrs. Talbert informed us that the $4,000 additional would be payable on demand up to January 1, 1920.
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