John Ebson Thorne (January 20,
1921-May 10, 2002) was a San Jose-based attorney and activist who specialized
in civil rights and constitutional law. Over the course of his career, Thorne
extended his legal services to organizations including the Mississippi Freedom
Democratic Party (MFDP), the American Indian Movement (AIM), and anti-Vietnam
War activists. He also represented Black Panther Party member and activist
George Jackson, and intellectual Angela Davis. Thorne was also a prominent
figure in Santa Clara County and California state Democratic Party politics.
The collection primarily consists of Thorne’s correspondence, legal
documents, client and witness interviews, case research materials, and
publications related to his professional and activist work.
John Ebson Thorne (January 20, 1921-May 10, 2002) was a San Jose,
California-based attorney and activist born in Richmond, Indiana. Throughout
his legal career, Thorne specialized in civil rights issues and constitutional
law. He collaborated with African Americans and Native Americans in their
struggles for racial and political justice, pursued legal action against the
United States (U.S.) government as a means of demonstrating the illegality of
the Vietnam War, and was a prominent figure in Santa Clara County and
California state Democratic Party politics.
62.0 Linear feet, 123 boxes (111
legal document boxes, 11 cartons, 1 flat box)
Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary
rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For
permission to publish or to reproduce the material, please contact the Head of
Special Collections and Archives.
This collection is open for research. Some restrictions apply.