- Collection ID:
- Physical Description:
The collection, which dates from 1932 to 1993 and measures 5.94 linear feet, documents the career and personal life of Washington, DC cabdriver Percival Bryan. The collection is comprised of an autobiography, autograph books, citations, correspondence, memorabilia, photographic prints, and printed materials.
The papers are organized into five series. The Photographs series has been further arranged into subseries. The contents of each series and subseries are arranged alphabetically. There are oversize materials in the Biographical and Photographs series. The series and subseries are arranged as follows:
- Series 1: Autobiographical
- Series 2: Biographical
- Series 3: Autograph albums
- Series 4 Memorabilia
- Series 5: Photographs
- Subseries 5.1: Portraits
- Subseries 5.2: Bryans and friends
- Subseries 5.3: Special events
- Subseries 5.4: Social groups
- Subseries 5.5: Travel and recreation
- Subseries 5.6: Miscellaneous
Born in Galena, St. Mary's Parish, Jamaica, Percival Bryan (1906-1996) came to the United States in 1924 as a stowaway in search of adventure and opportunity. He settled in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C., involved himself with various social and civic organizations, and was instrumental in forming the Caribbean American Inter-cultural Organization. He worked as a White House butler under Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), Harry S. Truman (1884--972), and Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969). Bryan also served as a chauffer for Attorney General Homer S. Cummings (1870-1956) before becoming a cab driver. An autograph collector, Mr. Bryan collected over 100,000 signatures of notable individuals.
Separated Materials note
Three-dimensional items located in the objects collection.
Processing Information note
Finding aid prepared by Vuanya T. Cyrus, 2009-06. Finding aid encoded by Elizabeth bauerle, 2011-12.
Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Preferred Citation note
Percival Bryan collection, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Rose Dyke.
The Percival Bryan collection was donated to the Anacostia Community Museum in 1993 by Mr. Bryan's daughter, Rose Dyke.
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
1901 Fort Place, SE
Washington, D.C. 20020