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CHARLES HAMILTON HOUSTON: A GALLERY Houston portrait (photograph)

[Many of the images in this collection can be viewed at full size by clicking on them.]

  Houston as Army officer in World War I (photograph)

Houston as an Army officer during World War I.  He was later to write: 

The hate and scorn showered on us Negro officers by our fellow Americans convinced me that there was no sense in my dying for a world ruled by them.  I made up my mind that if I got through this war I would study law and use my time fighting for men who could not strike back. 
Houston entered Harvard Law School in the fall of 1919.

Houston was the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review.  Here, he is shown with the other members of the Law Review editorial board of 1923, in the back row next to the arch at the right.Harvard Law Review staff (photograph)

Madrid Letter to Dean Roscoe Pound - page 1 (handwritten) Madrid Letter to Dean Roscoe Pound - page 2 (handwritten) Madrid Letter to Dean Roscoe Pound - page 3 (handwritten) After graduating from the Harvard Law School, Houston went to the University of Madrid to do post-doctoral work in law. He later wrote Dean Roscoe Pound from Madrid, asking for his recommendation to the Howard University Law School, where he was being considered for a faculty appointment.  He was later to become Dean.  Some of Houston's activities during this period are chronicled in a video from the University of Virginia, The Road to Brown. You can request a brief excerpt over the Internet. [Note: this is a 7MB MPEG clip and will take some time to download]


Houston travelled extensively throughout the United States, surveying the condition and practices of Negro lawyers.  During his travels in the South, he made films of the conditions he encountered.  Houston later solicited Roscoe Pound's comments on a draft of his survey.


A snapshot from the Maryland State Archives, taken during Houston's years at Howard.  A very young Thurgood Marshall is standing at the left. Houston is writing, seated at the right.  The man in the center is Donald Murray, who was to become the first black student admitted to the University of Maryland School of Law.

Houston at Howard University with Thurgood Marshall and Donald Murray

Letter inviting Roscoe Pound to Howard University Though Houston invited Roscoe Pound to Howard on numerous occasions, there is no evidence that Pound ever actually visited.  The last paragraph of the letter at the left reads, "Not to be selfish, but I do hope that you can find time to show you a little bit about our side of America."

Houston argued a number of cases before the Supreme Court:

Telegraph requesting visit to Dean Roscoe Pound