University of Michigan-Flint
Frances Willson Thompson Library
Genesee Historical Collections Center
|Name of the collection:||Peter T. Jacquette|
|Quantity:||1 linear foot|
|Acquisition:||This collection (donor no. 231) was purchased in 1992.|
|Access:||There are no restrictions on access to this collection.|
|Photographs:||The collection contains 40 photographs, which are cataloged separately.|
|Processed by:||Paul Gifford|
Peter Theoplus Jacquette was born on April 9, 1890, in the British West Indies. He immigrated to the United States at Key West, Florida, in 1920, finding employment as a cook on a ship. He seems to have come to Detroit after 1923, working on the Detroit-Windsor Ferry. By 1928 he was in Flint, where he found work as a chef. For two years, in 1933 and 1934, he and his wife Scotia operated a sandwich shop at 1621 Elm Street, in Flint's black section in the southeast part of the city. The hard times of the Depression undoubtedly forced him out of business, but he later became employed by Chevrolet as a janitor and then the Fisher Body Corporation as a cook and chef. Fisher Body remained his employer for the rest of his working life, although he operated a cafe in 1952 on St. John Street in Flint.
Jacquette was a follower of Marcus Garvey, the Jamaican who advocated the ownership of businesses by blacks. He actively pursued some of Garvey's goals by opening a small business, by acting as a Flint agent for the Negro World, by selling lots and collecting payments from Flint residents for the black resort in Idlewild, Michigan, and by forming a co-op which purchased and sold food to its members at wholesale prices. He belonged to the Mount Olive Baptist Church, serving as assistant superintendent of its Sunday school, and held an office in the local Household of Ruth lodge (the women's auxiliary of the black Odd Fellows).
SCOPE AND CONTENT
This collection consists primarily of financial records and minutes of various black organizations in Flint, Michigan, dating mainly from 1928 to 1942. Jacquette was assiduous in keeping records of his personal finances, and the collection is therefore useful as a record of a Flint African-American's life during the Depression. Following Garvey, his interest in improving the race's condition is reflected by the constitution of the Flint Negro Improvement Club (an organization which may never have existed past Jacquette's initial attempts to organize it).
Jacquette's personal and business records provide good documentation on Depression life in Flint. His short-lived sandwich shop is well documented by the financial records, which itemize his purchases. Payment books to Flint retail stores, in the personal folder, show the method used in purchasing larger items such as furniture.
The Genesee Consumers Cooperative Club was an effort by Jacquette and others to organize a purchasing co-op as a means to lessen their cost in paying for food. It is the single best organization documented in this collection. Minutes of its meetings and financial records document its activities. It was disbanded in 1948, but seems to have become moribund by 1944.
Jacquette was a local collection agent for the Idlewild Resort Company, of White Cloud, Michigan, which developed an all-black summer resort in Idlewild, Michigan. He sold lots and collected payments from Flint residents. The collection documents the sales of lots and method of payment.
He seems to have held an office in a black Odd Fellows lodge, the "Pride of Flint" Household of Ruth number 6535, Grand United Order of Odd Fellows. Although this was a women's organization, Jacquette apparently maintained the lodge's membership records. The membership roll contains each member's name, date and place of birth, address, and occupation (although not every entry contains the full information), information of potential value for the study of the black community in Flint's southeast section.
Mount Olive Baptist Church material is documented by the Sunday School records, which show the names of the teachers, the attendance, as well as finances of the church. The church's membership is also listed.
Financial records, 1930-1936
Cash book, 1942-1943
Jacquette Sandwich Shop, 1933-1934
Cash book, 1933-1934
Disbursements and receipts, 1933-1934
Jacquette's Cafe, 1952
Business accounts, 1952
Business accounts, 1952
Ledger volume with various records; it contains the following:
Unity Corporative [sic] Club, statement of purpose and constitution, 1931;
credits of the Negro World, 1931; minutes of unidentified "Group #5" [club], 1931;
Mount Olive Baptist Sunday School, roster, 1931;
T. J. Wheeler's Group pledge receipts, 1937;
Mount Olive Baptist Sunday School attendance record, 1932;
Flint Negro Improvement Club, constitution, undated;
copy of letter to Mary McLeod Bethune, June 15, 1945;
Mount Olive Baptist Church B.Y.P.U. #1, membership roll, 1932;
Mount Olive Baptist Church Bank Organization, records, 1937.
Genesee Consumers Cooperative Club, 1937-1948.
Board of Directors
Draft minutes, 1940-1941
Minutes, 1940-1948 (this and the preceding volume were used alternately)
Purchases and receipts, 1937-1938 (this volume also contains the constitution
of the Citizens Club of the 9th Ward with minutes, 1936)
Dues record, 1940-1942
Genesee Consumers Cooperative Club, 1937-1948 (cont.)
Idlewild Resort Company, 1936-1939
Sales record, 1938
Records of purchase, 1936-1938
Weekly collection reports, 1938-1939
Monthly payment report, 1938
Mount Olive Baptist Church, 1930-1940
By-laws, 1940; sunday school reports, 1933-1934
B.Y.P.U. Group no. 2 - minutes, 1930
Grand United Order of Odd Fellows. Household of Ruth no. 6535, Pride of Flint, 1928-1934
Membership roll, 1929-1933
Dues register, 1928-1933