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Rosslee Tenetha Green Douglas papers

Identifier: SCL-MS-14047

The papers of Rosslee Tenetha Green Douglas, nurse, educator, and twice Presidential appointee under the Reagan administration, spans the years 1938 though 2003, the bulk of the collection dates from 1978 through 1989. Materials include correspondence; invitations, photographs, scrapbooks and miscellaneous printed items revealing the political and social commitments of Green Douglas.

A native of Florence County, who spent her youth in Charleston, S.C., Rosslee Green graduated high school from the Avery Institute in 1948. Green married Earl Walton Douglas in New York City in 1952. The Douglas relocated to Mt. Pleasant, S.C. in the late 1960s. Douglas worked as an administrative supervisor for Outreach and Home Health at Franklin C. Fetter Health Center in Charleston from 1969 to 1979. With this period Douglas became the first African American to graduate from the Nursing program from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in 1972. Douglas was also responsible for instituting home health care practices in the state of South Carolina.

In July 1978, Governor Edwards appointed Douglas as a Commissioner on the State Industrial Commission, which made her the first African American female to hold this position. In 1981, after being nominated as the Secretary of Energy with the Ronald Reagan administration, Edwards appointed Douglas to head the Office of Minority Economic Impact, a position she held until 1985. Concurrently, President Reagan appointed Douglas as a Commissioner on the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission. In 1985, Douglas received an Honorary Doctoral degree from Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), with University President James B. Edwards presiding.

The bulk of the collection is comprised of letters, photographs, and invitations during Douglas’ tenure as Director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact, under the U.S. Department of Energy and as a Commissioner on the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission. The collection also contains Douglas’ two Presidential appointments, her Honorary Doctoral degree from MUSC, along with numerous awards and certificates.

Included in the Douglas collection are smaller collections on her father, Anglin Green, her mother, Rozenia Green, sister, Blondell R. Green Padgett, and Anglin Green, Jr., her brother. Douglas’ husband, Earl Walton, who was a syndicated newspaper columnist in the 1970s, has a small collection primarily consisting of his writings and booklets.

Description of Series

The papers of Rosslee Tenetha Green consist of 5.0 liner feet of materials detailing her life as a nurse, and Presidential appointee spanning the 1940 through the 2000s.

Series One: Biographical covers biographical information about Green Douglas including resumes, and identification materials.

Series Two: Education provides educational background from Green Douglas’ school years at Charleston Public Schools [Buist and Henry P. Archer elementary and junior high], Avery Institute High School Department, Lincoln School for Nurses and the Medical University of South Carolina. Materials include report cards, school programs, and diplomas.

Series Three: Correspondence consists of business and personal correspondence from the mid-1960s to 1999. Correspondence is primarily from Governor James B. Edwards, Senator Strom Thrumond, and William Loeb, publisher of the Manchester Union Leader, newspaper in New Hampshire regarding employment opportunities and well wishes.

Series Four: Presidential Confirmation consists of materials relating to Green Douglas’ Presidential Confirmation in 1981. Materials includes correspondence, itineraries, job description for the Director of Minority Affairs, biography for press releases, Davis, Noble, Tribble, and Douglas Nominations: Hearing before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Swearing-in ceremony format. Also included are newspaper articles regarding her appointment.

Series Five: Office of Minority Economic Impact Correspondence, Memorandums and Itineraries contains correspondence, memorandums and itineraries from Douglas’ tenure as the Director of Minority Affairs for the Department of Energy’s Office of Minority Economic Impact. The correspondence spans from 1982 until 1986.

Series Six: Martin Luther King Federal Holiday Commission details Douglas’ second Presidential appointment as a Commissioner for the Martin Luther King Federal Holiday Commission. Correspondence including itineraries, minutes and financial reports spans from 1984-1986. Also included are invitations, programs, photographs and newspaper/magazine articles.

Series Seven: Newspaper, Magazine Articles and Interview Transcripts provides newspaper and magazine articles covering Douglas’ graduation as the first African American student from MUSC in 1972 to 2003 interviews. The majority of the materials cover the years of 1982-1984, at the peak of Douglas’ Department of Energy career. Also included are several interview transcripts.

Series Eight: Newspaper, Magazine Articles, and Pamphlets Miscellaneous includes miscellaneous newspaper, magazine articles and pamphlets collected by Douglas. Included are booklets and brochures published by the Office of Minority Economic Impact, information on James B. Edwards and the Reagan administration.

Series Nine: Professional Licenses, Commissions and Organizations contains Douglas’ professional licenses, commissions and organizational documents. Included are Douglas’ commission from the Charleston County Mental Retardation Board and South Carolina Industrial Commission. Also included are Douglas’ registered professional nursing licenses from South Carolina, Georgia and New York.

Series Ten: Invitations and Programs consists of invitations and programs. The bulk of the invitations are from Douglas’ years with the Department of Energy, from 1981 to 1985. Invitations and programs relating to the 1984 Republican National Convention and the 50th American Presidential Inaugural are included.

Series Eleven: Honors/Awards consists of academic honors and awards Douglas received from 1946 to 1985. Among the awards is Douglas’ Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for the Medical University of South Carolina (1985).

Series Twelve: Certificates The bulk of the certificates span 1982 to 1989, received during Douglas’ Department of Energy years.

Series Thirteen: Conferences, Conventions & Workshops includes programs, 1980s to 2000s, either attended or hosted by Douglas.

Series Fourteen: Speeches contains drafts of talks given by Douglas at conferences and workshops from 1978 to 1985. Included is Douglas’ speech list from 1981-1985. Copies of speeches given by others are included.

Series Fifteen: Miscellaneous Materials consists of materials primarily of special interest to Douglas including newspaper articles on former professional peers, education, family and personal memorabilia.

Series Sixteen: Family Members contains small collections on Douglas' relatives: her father, Anglin Green; mother, Rozenia Green; sister, Blondell R. Green Padgett; and brother, Anglin Green, Jr. The family collections primarily consist of photographs, scrapbooks, and memoriam information. Husband, Earl Walton Douglas collection contains published writings from “The Earl of Charleston,” “The Freedom Factor,” and other editorials from his syndicated columns. Booklets, Epitaph for Black America, The License to Work, and From Roots to Reality are included with the manuscript, “The Why of Ghetto Housing: A Position Paper.” The remainder of the collection contains certificates, newspaper articles regarding Douglas and memoriam information.

Series Seventeen: Photographs includes images of Douglas at various periods in her life and career, family and friends, South Carolina Industrial Commission 1960-1970, functions at the White House and elsewhere, including the Republican National Convention, 1984. An eight page list is available.


  • 1939-2001


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

All rights reside with creator. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact The South Caroliniana Library.


5 Linear Feet (4 cartons 1 oversize folder )

Biographical Sketch

African-American nurse, administrator, and two-time presidential appointee during the administration of Ronald Reagan; native of Florence County, S.C.; 1948 graduate of Dillard University (New Orleans, La.), Lincoln School for Nurses, New York, N.Y., 1952, and Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, S.C., 1972; administrative supervisor for outreach and home health, Franklin C. Fetter Health Center, Charleston, S.C., 1969-1979.

Douglas was appointed by S.C. Governor James B. Edwards to the State Industrial Commission, 1978; served as director, Office of Minority Economic Impact, 1981-1985; appointed to Martin Luther King Federal Holiday Commission, 1984; received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, Medical University of South Carolina, 1985.

Repository Details

Part of the South Caroliniana Library Repository

910 Sumter St.
University of South Carolina
Columbia SC 29208 USA
(803) 777-5747 (Fax)

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