VCU Libraries Gallery


M228 Box 28 Sixteenth St Baptist Church letter crop rsz2m.jpg

Immediately after the bombing, Dr. Wendell P. Russell, Dean of Students at Virginia Union University, sent out an appeal to over 500 churches and synagogues in the Richmond area. One of the people who responded to that appeal was Margaret Freeman Cabell, the widow of James Branch Cabell. 

Shown here is a letter sent to Margaret Cabell by The Rev. John H. Cross, Jr., pastor of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, and Samuel O'Neill, Chairman of the Rebuilding Committee. The letter thanks Mrs. Cabell for her sympathy and her financial contribution in response to the bombing. 

M228 Box 28 Carbon Copy of letter from Wendell P Russell to 16th St Baptist Church crop rsz2m.jpg


The second document is a carbon copy of the letter sent by Dr. Russell to the Rev. Cross. John Cross, Jr. had been a student at the Virginia Union University School of Theology where he received his Masters of Divinity in 1959. Cross continued to live in Richmond and was serving as pastor at Gravel Hill Baptist Church in 1962 when he was called to the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. 


The third letter is Dr. Russell's letter to the editor of The Washington Post sent on September 17, 1963 in response to the Post's editorial "Reaping the Whirlwind." This carbon copy was sent to Margaret Freeman Cabell along with a copy of a letter sent to the Rev. John H. Cross, Jr.

These letters are part of the Margaret Freeman Cabell Papers, 1910 - 1982 found in Special Collections and Archives in James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University.