A. Pratt Adams, Jr. papers
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A. Pratt Adams, Jr. papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Adams, A. Pratt, 1914-1981.
Title: A. Pratt Adams, Jr. papers
Dates: 1957-1971
Extent: 0.25 cubic feet (1 box)
Identification: MS 2165

Biographical/Historical Note

A. Pratt Adams, Jr. (1914-1981) was a third-generation Savannah lawyer in his family’s law firm of Adams, Adams, Brennan, and Gardner. As his father and grandfather before him, Adams earned a B. A. and a law degree from the University of Georgia. He then attended Harvard Law School. He volunteered for duty in the 30th Infantry in the European theater during World War II. After the war, he settled back into his law career in Savannah. In 1978, Adams was elected chairman of C & S Bank. Adams was very active in many civic organizations. and played a role in the desegregation of Savannah in the 1960s.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains material related to Civic Progress, Inc. This organization was chartered in 1959 to unite citizens in an effort to carry out civic improvement programs. The Savannah-Chatham Civic Progress was apparently based on a similar organization in St. Louis, Missouri, as there are a few documents relating to the St. Louis Civic Progress. This organization addressed issues emerging in the 1960s over desegregation. Business leaders, such as A. Pratt Adams, who founded this group realized that the future of the city’s and their own prosperity depended upon minimizing protests and violence. Materials relating to this organization include by-laws, a charter, minutes, and correspondence.

Adams also was involved with a committee known as the Bi-racial Committee, which included members of Civic Progress as well as some prominent civil rights leaders in Savannah. There are documents relating to this committee as well in the collection. This committee worked on an agreement between several movie theaters, hotels, restaurants, and bowling alleys to allow a certain number of blacks into their establishments at certain times of the day on certain days of the week.

There are also papers in the collection concerning the establishment of a Juvenile Unit within the Savannah Police Department. Adams was on several committees that worked on establishing this unit. There are reports, minutes, and correspondence dealing with this issue. Other papers in this collection include correspondence regarding Coastal Zoning and Historic District regulations.

Index Terms

African Americans--Georgia--Savannah.
African Americans--Segregation.
Civic leaders--Georgia--Savannah.
Civil rights movements--Georgia--Savannah.
Law, W. W., (Westley Wallace), 1923-2002.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Savannah (Ga.)--Race relations.
Savannah (Ga.). Police Department.
Savannah-Chatham Civic Progress, Inc (Ga.)
Zoning law--Georgia--Chatham County.

Administrative Information

Custodial History


Preferred Citation

[item identification], A. Pratt Adams, Jr. papers, MS 2165, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mr. Lane Morrison, 1984.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List



1By-laws of Savannah-Chatham Civic Progress, Inc., 1959


1Petition for charter - Civic Progress, Inc.


3Minutes and other material of Civic Progress, Inc.


4Correspondence regarding Civic Progress, Inc., 1959-1970


5Bi-racial Committee Documents


6Correspondence regarding Juvenile Unit, 1961,1966


7Reports in development of a Juvenile Unit in the Savannah Police Department, 1957, 1961, 1962, 1966


8Committee minutes regarding Juvenile Unit, 1962,1966


9Correspondence and minutes - Coastal Zoning, 1968, 1970


10Historic Area regulations and related correspondence, 1970-1971