|Size:||.5 linear foot in 1 box|
|Repository:||Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, 9525 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, Illinois 60628|
|Immediate source of acquisition:||Materials donated by Vincent K. Pollard in December 1987.|
|Conditions governing use:||Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection|
|Conditions governing access:||Materials are open without restrictions.|
When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is:
Jearl Wood Defense Committee Archives, [Box #, Folder #], Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature
|Finding aid author:||Elizabeth Loch, Archival Specialist, January 2022|
Jearl Wood was charged in the 1980 shooting of his supervisor at the Chicago Ford Motor Company’s assembly plant. This collection contains the records of the Jearl Wood Defense Committee, including correspondence, litigation documents, meeting materials, leaflets, newspaper clippings, and an organization button.
The Jearl Wood Defense Committee was formed to defend Jearl Wood from state charges. Wood was charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery and armed violence in the Aug. 22, 1980, shooting of his foreman, Cecil Herrel, at a Chicago Ford assembly plant. Wood’s coworkers, family, friends, and fellow members of United Auto Workers Local 551 immediately began organizing for his defense after the incident took place. The organization raised funds for Wood’s defense, brought press attention to his case, and called on Cook County State’s Attorney Richard Daley to drop all charges against Wood.
Jearl Wood joined the Marines in 1968 and spent thirteen months in Vietnam. His defense team argued that the shooting was the result of post-traumatic stress from Wood’s military service. The defense also argued that Woods faced discrimination and abusive treatment as an African American from Herrrel, a white foreman. On May 5, 1982, the jury declared Wood not guilty by reason of insanity.
Scope and Content
This small collection consists of the records of the Jearl Wood Defense Committee in its effort to support Jearl Wood against state charges resulting from a shooting. The collection includes press articles on Jearl Wood’s case, correspondence, handwritten notes, event materials, subpoenas from Wood’s trial, meeting records of the committee, and a 1982 committee button.
Materials are arranged alphabetically by folder title.
|Box||1||Folder||1||Articles on Jearl Wood [newspaper and magazine clippings, serials]||1980-1981|
|Box||1||Folder||2||Articles on Jearl Wood [newspaper and magazine clippings, serials], one in Spanish||1982|
|Box||1||Folder||3||Articles on Jearl Wood [newspaper and magazine clippings, serials]||1983, undated|
|Box||1||Folder||4||Correspondence, Jearl Wood’s United Auto Workers grievance/request for reinstatement||1982|
|Box||1||Folder||5||Correspondence regarding Jearl L. Wood’s legal defense||1980-1982, undated|
|Box||1||Folder||6||Correspondence to/from Jearl Wood||1980, 1982|
|Box||1||Folder||7||Handwritten notes on the trial/defense of Jearl Wood||1980, 1982, undated|
|Box||1||Folder||8||Jearl Wood Defense Committee benefit/event flyers||1981-1982, undated|
|Box||1||Folder||9||Jearl Wood Defense Committee button||1982|
|Box||1||Folder||10||Jearl Wood Defense Committee correspondence||1981-1984|
|Box||1||Folder||11||Jearl Wood Defense Committee flyers, leaflets, and handouts||1980-1982, undated|
|Box||1||Folder||12||Jearl Wood Defense Committee handwritten notes||1980-1982, undated|
|Box||1||Folder||13||Jearl Wood Defense Committee picketing materials||1981-1982|
|Box||1||Folder||14||Jearl Wood Defense Committee planning materials||1980-circa 1982|
|Box||1||Folder||15||Jearl Wood Defense Committee press releases||1981, 1982|
|Box||1||Folder||16||Jearl Wood Defense Fundraising Subcommittee documents||1982, undated|
|Box||1||Folder||17||Jearl Wood Steering Committee meeting documents [agendas, notes, handouts]||1981-1982|
|Box||1||Folder||18||Lists of newspaper/press publicity [in support of Jearl Woods]||1982|
|Box||1||Folder||19||“Open Letter to Cook County State’s Attorney Richard Daley”||circa 1981-1982|
|Box||1||Folder||20||People of the State of Illinois v. Jearl Lee Jones subpoenas,||1981, 1982|
|Box||1||Folder||21||Revolutionary Socialist League (RSL) materials related to Jearl Wood defense||1980-1982|
|Box||1||Folder||22||“Who is Jearl Wood? – A Fact Sheet”||undated|