Charles E. Qualls papers, 1899-1996, bulk 1960-1983
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
ACMA.06-013
Creators:
Qualls, Charles E.
Dates:
1899-1996
bulk 1960-1983
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
3.02 Linear feet
7 boxes
Repository:
The Charles E. Qualls papers, which date from 1899 to 1988 and measure 3.02 linear feet, document the career of pharmacist and community organizer Charles E. Qualls. The papers are comprised of correspondence, documents from community organizations, magazines, newspaper clippings, photographs, and scrapbooks.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
This collection documents the professional life of Charles E. Qualls between 1960 and 1983. It contains materials related to Mr. Qualls's education, community involvement, and pharmacy business. Included in the collection are awards and citations, certificates, correspondence, financial records, photographic albums and prints, printed materials, and scrapbooks.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
The papers are organized into six series. The content of each series is arranged alphabetically. There are oversize materials in the Biographical, Photographs and Miscellaneous series. The oversize materials in the Biographical and Miscellaneous series contain scrapbooks. The series are arranged as follows:
  • Series 1: Biographical
  • Series 2: Community Organizations
  • Series 3: Correspondence
  • Series 4: Photographs
  • Series 5: Printed Materials
  • Series 6: Miscellaneous

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
On May 23, 1912 Charles Edward Qualls was born in New Bern, Tennessee to Fred and Ary Watts Qualls. Shortly after his birth the family of fourteen moved to South Bend, Indiana. He graduated from high school there in 1932 with a dream of becoming a business owner. After a few diversions along the way, in 1941 he graduated from Howard University's School of Pharmacy. Mr. Qualls's determination to fulfill his dream proved quite strong; a few months after his graduation he opened his own drug store, the Anacostia Pharmacy. From that point on, he became "Doc Qualls" to all who knew him. Two years later he married Aleneitha Johnson of Conway, South Carolina and they had one son, Neal Frederic Qualls.
The Anacostia Pharmacy, located on Nichols Avenue – later renamed Martin Luther King Avenue – became a gathering place for the community. Young people socialized at the soda fountain while older people planned for the future of Anacostia. It was from these gatherings that the vision for a community business organization developed; a vision that was realized in 1949 with the establishment of Anacostia Business and Professional Association (ABPA).
The ABPA provided assistance to local businesses by garnering grants and loans, lobbying politicians, and, at times, enforcing business regulations. To maintain its presence in Anacostia, the Association sponsored awards for organizations throughout the community: schools, police precincts, and cultural organizations. Additionally, the organization contributed time and money to various politicians, serving as an intermediary between Anacostia and the city at-large.
His influence in Anacostia and District of Columbia extended beyond the interests of local businesses. His concern for the health of Anacostia's residents led him to found the Washington Pharmaceutical Association in 1947. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Southeast Unit of the D.C. Chapter of the National Cancer Society, which opened to great fanfare in 1968. Undoubtedly his most important contribution in the area of health was his tireless lobbying for a hospital in Ward 8. Eventually the city gave its approval, and Mr. Qualls got right to work conducting several fundraisers. The Morris Cafritz Memorial Hospital (Greater Southeast Community Hospital) opened in the spring of 1966 and Mr. Qualls served on its board.
As if addressing Anacostia's economic and health concerns were not enough, Mr. Qualls found time to work on the cultural front. He was a founding member of the Anacostia Historical Society whose mission was to preserve and promote the history and culture of Anacostia. The Society operated under the auspices of the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum, and together the two organizations created an exhibit, Anacostia Story: 1608–1930. The show opened in 1977. On the historical front, Mr. Qualls and the ABPA lobbied the federal government – the National Park Service, in particular – to take ownership of Frederick Douglass's home. He, along with many others in the community, believed that only the stewardship of the government could save the house from ruin. His efforts paid off and he had a front row seat at the dedication ceremony for the newly established National Park Service historic site, Cedar Hill.
This pillar of the community died in 1984 at the age of 72. The official cause of death was cancer. But his family and friends would argue that point; many felt that he died of a broken heart. In late November 1983, the venerable Anacostia Pharmacy was robbed at gunpoint and then ransacked; all of this while Doc Qualls was undergoing what would be successful cancer surgery at his alma mater, Howard University. When he returned to his beloved pharmacy a few weeks later, he was absolutely devastated, so much so that he all but stopped working with the community organizations to which he had been dedicated. With his store padlocked and boarded up, his family and friends watched helplessly as his health declined. He was eventually readmitted to the hospital in late March of 1984 where, except for a few days in May, he remained for the rest of his life.
Charles Edward Qualls died on June 21, 1984.

Administration
Processing Information note
The papers were processed in November 2009 by Vuanya T. Cyrus.
Author
Vuanya T. Cyrus
Provenance
The Charles E. Qualls papers were donated to the Anacostia Community Museum in 1990 by the estate of Charles E. Qualls. Additional materials from his estate were donated by Dianne Dale in 2006.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
The collection is open for unrestricted research. Use requires an appointment.
Preferred Citation note
Charles E. Qualls papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of the estate of Charles E. Qualls.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Charles E. Qualls papers are the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with the Anacostia Community Museum. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.

Related Archival Materials note
Anacostia Historical Society records located in Anacostia Community Museum Archives.
Alice Bell Finlayson papers located in Anacostia Community Museum Archives.
Ella B. Howard Pearis papers located in Anacostia Community Museum Archives.
Dale/Patterson family collection located in Anacostia Community Museum Archives.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photograph albums Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Certificates Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diplomas Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Journals (periodicals) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anacostia (Washington, D.C.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Community organization Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Broadsides (notices) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographic prints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African Americans Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American neighborhoods Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Awards Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Financial records Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Qualls, Charles E. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American Cancer Society Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Greater Southeast Community Hospital (Washington, D.C.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Patterson, Frederick D. (Frederick Douglass), 1901-1988 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Cancer Society Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Barry, Marion, 1936- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Pharmaceutical Association Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
1901 Fort Place, SE
Washington, D.C. 20020
ACMArchives@si.edu
http://www.anacostia.si.edu/Collections/ArchiveCollection