Juliette Hampton Morgan (1914 – 1957)


Juliette Hampton Morgan, a native of Montgomery, Alabama, was the daughter of Frank Perryman Morgan, a traveling dry goods salesman with political ambitions, and Lila Bess Olin, a liberated southern belle whose circle of friends included Zelda Fitzgerald, Sara Powell Haardt and Tallulah Bankhead.

Morgan attended Montgomery’s finest schools and was graduated from Sidney Lanier High School. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Alabama in 1934. She worked as a librarian in Montgomery’s Carnegie Library and became Director of Research at the Montgomery Public Library in 1952.

Morgan used the public forum of the local newspaper to write many articles about the rise of totalitarianism in Europe in the late 1930s and about her fear that a segregated America was as guilty in denying the rights of many of her citizens. She courageously opposed the White Citizens Council which had been set up to resist Brown vs. Board of Education. She was the first, and for a time, the only Caucasian woman to oppose the Council, though she was a third generation Alabamian and a seventh generation Southerner. With no thought to her own safety, she expressed outrage at injustice during the Montgomery bus boycott and during the integration of her Alma Mater, the University of Alabama.

On January 14, 1957, the editor of The Tuscaloosa News published a letter written by Morgan in which she praised him for his criticism of the WCC. She wrote: “There are many Southerners... who know the Southern Way of Life must inevitably change. Many of them are eager for change, but they are afraid to express themselves - so afraid to stand alone... Everyone who speaks as you do, who has the faith to do what he believes is right in scorn of the consequences, does great good in preparing the way for a happier and more equitable future for all Americans.”

Within six months Morgan had lost friends and resigned her job after the mayor withheld municipal funding for the library, though the superintendent and trustees refused to fire her.

Morgan’s courage and bravery against the evils of her day and her persistence in speaking out serve as a worthy model for men and women today.

View induction speech given by Mary Stanton

Past Inductees
Alabama Women's Hall of Fame
Judson College

© 2005 Alabama Women's Hall of Fame