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Documents Relating to the Trial of Ruby McCollum for the Murder of Dr. LeRoy Adams, Live Oak, Florida

Identifier: MS Group 118

Scope and Content

Notes on the trial by Zora Neale Hurston, a Hurston letter to William Bradford Huie, notes compiled by an unknown source, and official court documents. All documents are photocopies.

Additional photocopies of archival material on the Ruby McCollum trial gathered from the Ohio State University Archives' William Bradford Huie Papers include Huie's notes and contracts regarding his book Ruby McCollum: The Woman In the Suwanee Jail and screenplay drafts. Also included are photocopies of original correspondence from Zora Neale Hurston and Ruby McCollum as well as copies of newspaper clippings and official circuit court records. The original folder from the Huie Papers is listed in parentheses.


  • Creation: 1953 - 2003
  • Creation: 1953 - 1959


The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

In 1952, Ruby McCollum, a Black woman shot and killed her white lover, prominent Live Oak, Florida, physician C. Leroy Adams. Her subsequent conviction and death sentence (1954) were later overturned by the Florida Supreme Court, but she was declared mentally incompetent and incarcerated for many years in a mental hospital. Zora Neale Hurston covered the trial for the Pittsburgh Courier and collaborated with William Bradford Huie whose book, Ruby McCollum: Woman in the Suwannee Jail (New York, 1956) is the principal account of the case.


0.58 Linear feet (1 Box)

Language of Materials



Documents relating to the trial of Ruby McCollum for the murder of Dr. LeRoy Adams, Live Oak, Florida, 1954. Official records copied from the State of Florida Archives and notes and correspondence of Zora Neale Hurston, among others. Also included are copies of Ruby McCollum related documents copied from the William Bradford Huie Papers (Ohio State University Archives).

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Related Material

The University of Florida Smathers Libraries also holds the Zora Neale Hurston Papers.

The William Bradford Huie Papers are held by the Ohio State University Archives.

A Guide to the Documents Relating to the Trial of Ruby McCollum for the Murder of Dr. LeRoy Adams, Live Oak, Florida, 1954
Finding aid prepared by Dept. Staff
March 2005 (Updated May 2019)
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America