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John Paul Carter Papers

Collection ID: MG 63

Scope and Contents

The collection includes correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, and other material related to the political involvement of John Paul Carter, an Episcopal priest. Some of the topics covered in the collection include Henry Howell's gubernatorial campaigns, redistricting in Virginia, and Carter's involvement with the Airlie Group, among others.


  • 1965-1997, undated
  • Other: Date acquired: 00/00/1999



0.40 Linear Feet

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Biographical or Historical Information

John Paul Carter was born May 14, 1923 in Clarksburg, West Virginia. He was the oldest child of the Rev. Josiah Tidbal Carter and Virginia Rutherford Nolting. He had two younger brothers, James and Josiah, and two sisters, Virginia and Louise. John was always known as "Jack", probably because his grandfather and uncle shared his name. Carter married in 1947. He and his wife, Joan, had six children together. In his youth, Jack attended public schools in Clarksburg. He decided long before college that he wanted to be part of the ministry. He was accepted to both Harvard and William and Mary. Because of the financial assistance it offered, he chose to attend William and Mary. In college, Carter was involved in many extracurricular activities. He was President of the class of 1945, member and officer of the biology club, and choir member in the Bruton Parish Church. He was active in the Canterbury Club. He also started a football team. Carter graduated in June 2, 1944. After graduation, he went to the Virginia Theological Seminary. In 1947, Carter was ordained in his father's church in Durham, North Carolina. He went on to become deacon-in-charge of St. James Kannapolis, St. Paul's, and St. Peter's Salisbury. Five years later, Carter accepted a job as the Episcopal Chaplain to the University of Texas. There he put his energy into church reform. In 1964, Carter accepted a job with the Airlie Foundation in Warrenton, Virginia. The Airlie Foundation was a "think tank" organization. Airlie served as an innkeeper for a number of National and Washington organizations, and they generated meetings between people with similar liberal/populist ideas. There Carter met Henry Berne and Max Tuffs. They were all very active in opposition to Massive Resistance and in Community Action. Among other things, they "preached" and spoke politically at Black churches, wrote position papers, and campaigned for Henry Howell and for George Rowling. After a year, Carter left Airlee. He went back to working for the Episcopal Church. There he served as Secretary/Treasurer of the National Association of Episcopal Schools. In 1979, Carter received his Ph.D. After graduation, he became assistant to the President of Mary Baldwin College. He resigned this position after six weeks. Carter then moved to Maryland, and served at St. John's in Ellicoll City. Eventually, he became a rector there. Retiring in 1987, Carter moved to Sewanee, Tennessee. In 1997, Carter died of pulmonary fibrosis.

Note written by Special Collections Staff

Language of Materials



Episcopal priest, active in Virginia Democratic Politics. Served on the Committee for Fair Redistricting, Airlie Foundation, and the Virginia Political Study Group. Was active in Henry Howell’s political campaigns. The collection includes papers on political issues in Virginia during the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Arrangement Note

The collection is organized into five series: Series I: Correspondence; Series II: Airlie Group; Series III: Henry Howell; Series IV: Politics; and Series V: News Clippings.

Source of Acquisition

Unknown provenance

Method of Acquisition


Related Materials

Henry Howell Papers (MG 1).

Processing Information

The finding aid was revised by Mel Frizzell, Special Collections Assistant, in May 2003.

A Guide to the John Paul Carter Papers
Revised by: Mel Frizzell, May 2003
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the ODU Community Collections Repository

3000 Perry Library
4427 Hampton Blvd.
Norfolk VA 23529 US