Arkansas Black Lawyers
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Thomas Jewell Price came to Arkansas from New Haven, Connecticut, where he was born on April 2, 1884. He was admitted to practice before the Arkansas state Supreme Court on June 15, 1908. He obtained his legal education from Howard University School of Law, graduating in 1906. During law school and after graduation, Price clerked for Black judge Robert H. Terrell in Washington, D.C.

Price and Scipio Jones were listed as partners in Little Rock City Directories from 1908 to 1914. Although he was listed as a sole practitioner in 1915 and thereafter, Price worked with Scipio Jones in defending Black defendants arrested following the “race riots” near Elaine, Arkansas, in 1919. Despite his help with the Elaine case, Price was primarily a business attorney. He was legal advisor to a number of insurance and fraternal organizations. In 1908, he joined with Scipio Jones and others in creating the Arkansas Realty and Investment Company. This business was intended to help Blacks purchase homes. It failed after three years. His name appears as attorney of record in ten cases appealed to the state supreme court between 1901-24. He was admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court and of the 7th and 8th Circuit Courts of Appeals.  Price was a founding member of the first Arkansas branch of the NAACP in Little Rock in 1918 and remained a member for a number of years. At one point, Price edited and published the weekly Arkansas Times. His last listing in the Little Rock City Directory was in 1929.

Price moved to Chicago about 1930, where he continued the practice of law. He was still alive in 1944, when he was listed in Who’s Who In Colored America. The 1920 Census reported him as married to Florence R (who was Florence Beatrice Price, a Little Rock native and the first African American woman to succeed as a composer), with two children (Thomas C. and Florence L.).

Sources:  Judith Kilpatrick, “(EXTRA)Ordinary Men: African-American Lawyers and Civil Rights in Arkansas Before 1950,” 53 Ark. Law Rev. 299, 347 n350, 347 n351, 351 n378, 361 n470, 362 n470, 367-72, 377, 380 (2000); Class List, Howard University School of Law, Library Archives; e-mail dtd 7/10/2005 from Shirley E. Revallion (re Florence Price); Joseph J. Boris(ed.),Who's Who in Colored America 424 (1927,1933-37; Who's Who in Colored America 1930- 1932 at 344,  (photograph); Who's Who in Colored America 1927; Papers of the NAACP, Part 12, Reel 14, no. 777-8, 783, 785-6 (letters dtd 11/3/1917, 11/8/1917, 7/20/1918 regarding formation of a Little Rock chapter and Application for Charter dtd 7/4/1918); Thomas Yenser  (ed.), Who's Who in Colored America 424; Papers of the NAACP, Part 12, Reel 4, p. 991, (letter dtd 10/31/1927, from Scipio A. Jones, Mosaic Templars of America, Endowment Department, to James Weldon Johnson, NAACP, Little Rock, AR, showing Price as Ass’t Atty General);

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