Papers of Henry Lewis Stimson, 1867-1950 Author Index Family Correspondence and Other Family Papers



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Reel: 56
General Correspondence.

January 1921-May 31, 1921

In January Stimson wrote a long letter to President-elect Harding advocating the appointment of Leonard Wood as secretary of war. Later in the month Wood wrote that he was being considered instead for the position of governor general of the Philippines. In February Irving Fisher sent Stimson a copy of the Russian Press Review which he claimed was propaganda sent him by Felix Frankfurter. Stimson had heard other rumors of Frankfurter's "bolshevik" sympathies and decided to warn Frankfurter of the effect of public opinion on himself and on the Harvard Law School. His letter on March 7 cautioned Frankfurter to "Pay a little more attention to being on your guard not against evil but of the appearance of it." Frankfurter's reply on March 22 is a strong condemnation of the forces that would silence free speech in an effort to defeat "un-Americanism." Later letters from Frankfurter describe his work for the Cleveland Foundation. Stanley Howe of the National Budget Committee kept Stimson informed of legislation pending in Congress on the executive budget. Hermann Hagedorn reported the decisions of the Roosevelt Memorial Association and Edward C. Delafield described the proposed state chartered Veterans Relief Fund. Governor Nathan Miller wrote about the administration of state government and Arthur Page discussed articles that Stimson was writing for the World's Work. In late March Stimson suffered a painful attack of neuritis. All engagements were cancelled and plans made for a long vacation in Europe. There is much routine correspondence concerning travel arrangements.

Reel: 57
General Correspondence.

June 1921-December 30, 1921

In June Stimson left New York for a three month vacation in Europe. Allen Klots handled what office correspondence there was. During the time Leonard Wood wrote describing his mission in the Philippines. Hamilton Holt sought a response for the Independent to an open letter addressed to all those, including Stimson, who had assured the American public that the League of Nations would not be betrayed by the election of Warren G. Harding. A.A. Berle, Jr. and others circulated a defense of Harvard Professor Zechariah Chafee who was under attack for his political views. While in Paris Stimson was requested by Attorney General Harry Daugherty to organize an inquiry into war contracts, but had to decline because of his extended absence from the country. In the fall, Stimson, still recovering from his painful illness, was less active than usual, turning down requests for extra activity from organizations. He did write a letter to John Emory on September 28 objecting to an American Legion editorial opposing the decision of the New York Court of Appeals which declared the state's veterans bonus unconstitutional. He also protested against giving preference to veterans in civil service jobs. A few interesting letters on the Irish question came from Lawrence Timpson.

Reel: 58
General Correspondence.

January 1922-June 30, 1922

Nineteen manufacturers of portland cement, indicted by the government for violations of the Sherman Anti-trust Act, secured Stimson as their senior counsel in January. In a letter to Felix Frankfurter (May 17) Stimson explained his apparent about face from his position as a public prosecutor. The trial began April 4 and was declared a mistrial in mid-May. Stimson discussed the trial in letters to Blanton Winshop and Leonard Wood on June 22. In these letters Stimson evinced pessimism about the future of the country and described the present government as "pestiferous." During the winter President Harding had entertained the idea of appointing Isaac Siegel to the district court, although Stimson and several other lawyers protested that the man's legal background was not sufficient to qualify him for such a responsible post. Stimson was also disgruntled over the weakness of the Attorney General Harry Daugherty. Stimson sent Wood descriptions of the Washington Conference and other diplomatic problems, while Wood wrote of his own administrative difficulties in the Philippines. Lawrence Timpson continued to send personal views of British diplomacy, the Irish questions, and Lloyd George. Stimson also corresponded with Nathan Miller, William G. McCarthy, and Arthur Page about a contemplated article on the budget activities of the governor. The moral dilemma posed by the Volstead Act are discussed in correspondence with Yale classmates in regard to the serving of liquor at the June class reunion.

Reel: 59
General Correspondence.

July 1, 1922-December 31, 1922

In July Philip Wells began organizing a national committee to defend the principles of the Federal Water Power Act of 1920. Writing to ask Stimson to join the committee, Wells described the goals of the new organization, among them the appointment of a Supreme Court judge favorable to conservation. The group also opposed Henry Ford's proposals for the Muscle Shoals power site. During the fall Stimson's legal practice was active. The Southmayd will case was successfully concluded in December, and Stimson received several letters of congratulation. At the same time he prepared for a vacation trip south during which he planned to do research for his next clients, a committee of bituminous coal operators. On September 18 Stimson sent a statement on the bonus question to Mrs. Frank Vaderlip of the New York League of Women Voters. He commented on Irving Fisher's proposed Independent Voters' League in his letter of October 16. His article "The Cause of High Prices," appeared in the World's Work in October. Stimson served as the treasurer of the National Budget Committee and corresponded with the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Association and the Boone and Crockett Club.

Reel: 60
General Correspondence.

January 1923-June 30, 1923

Stimson's labors as counsel for the bituminous coal operators before the United States Coal Commission prevented him from taking an active role in many civic causes. He did serve in the Ex-Service Men's Anti-Bonus League and consented to election to the Board of Managers of the State Charities Aid Association. Irving Fisher invited him to join the Eugenics Society and Philip Wells continued to keep him informed of the work of the National Committee for the Defense of the Federal Water Power Act. In June Stimson accepted the added responsibility of membership on the policy committee of the American Peace Award and corresponded with Esther Everett Lape about it. Individual letters worth noting include: Stimson's discussion with Felix Frankfurter on January 18 contrasting their ideas on trade unionism; Stimson's advice to President Harding on February 10 to veto the pending Army Appropriations bill in order to assert the authority of the president over the budget, and Stimson's advocacy of the state executive budget in a letter to Alfred E. Smith on March 31.

Reel: 61
General Correspondence.

February 1, 1924-July 31, 1924

In this period Stimson continued to work as counsel for the bituminous coal operators, studying in depth the industrial upheaval caused by labor disputes. A letter to his wife on July 29 describes a meeting between bituminous and anthracite coal operators and mine union officials. On August 27 Stimson wrote to Gifford Pinchot of the necessity of preserving a system of arbitration in labor disputes. In January he had the satisfaction of seeing the court quash an indictment against his client, former Assistant Secretary of War Benedict Crowell, for any corruption in the awarding of defense contracts. A rumor circulated that Stimson was being considered for appointment as a special prosecutor for the government in the Teapot Dome oil scandal. Stimson continued his association with the Ex-Service Men's Anti-Bonus League and the National Budget Committee. His work for the American Peace Award Policy Committee became more involved as progress was made in the selection of the Jury of Award in August. Esther Everett Lape sent him large quantities of information on the efforts to publicize the Peace Award contest around the country. Stimson also wrote an introduction for a new edition of Theodore Roosevelt's Foes of Our Own Household. The reel also includes correspondence with Gordon Johnston and Leonard Wood regarding the administration of the Philippines, and with Felix Frankfurter on the enforcement of Prohibition.

Reel: 62
General Correspondence.

February 1, 1924-July 31, 1924

Work continued for the members of the American Peace Award Policy Committee even after the Jury of Award had selected "the best practicable plan by which the United States may cooperate with other nations to achieve and preserve the peace of the world." During the publicity campaign in February for the winning Levermore plan Stimson spoke at the Philadelphia Forum. Esther Everett Lape corresponded frequently with Stimson to discuss the referendum being conducted on the plan, the pending Senate investigation of the award, and the possibility of introducing the winning plan in Congress. Stimson's opinion of the Levermore plan can be found in his letter to Mrs. Philip J. McCook on March 1. Stimson received letters from George Gordon Battle and Samuel Colcord of the Committee on Educational Publicity in the Interest of World Peace and from a group of private citizens including J.G. Harbord who had drafted a treaty to outlaw aggressive war. Stimson continued his association with the Ex-Service Men's Anti-Bonus League and the Roosevelt Memorial Association. He served on the New York City Bar Association's Committee on Character and Fitness, allowed his name to be included as a trustee of the Walter Hines Page School of International Relations, and accepted an invitation from Gifford Pinchot to join the advisory committee of the Giant Power Survey to formulate a constructive program for large scale, socially-minded power development. Stimson wrote several times to President Coolidge on subjects including Teapot Dome, the choice of the new attorney general, the Philippines, and the veto of bonus legislation. There is also correspondence with George Wharton Pepper, Felix Frankfurter, and Alfred E. Smith.

Reel: 63
General Correspondence.

August 1924-December 31, 1924

Returning from vacation in October Stimson began work as chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the Bar Association of New York City. The committee investigated the qualifications of persons being considered for appointment to the federal district court bench, and Stimson sent their findings to Attorney General Harlan Stone. Stimson also supported the Lawyer's Committee to Procure Adequate Compensation for the Federal Judiciary and corresponded with Felix Frankfurter concerning the Supreme Court's understanding of the "due process" clause of the Constitution. Stimson participated in Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.'s campaign for governor of New York, advising him on the issues of prohibition and Robert LaFollette's proposal to allow Congress to override a decision of the Supreme Court. Stimson also corresponded with F. Trubee Davison about the campaign. Esther Everett Lape discussed with Stimson the necessity of maintaining the American Peace Award organization to promote United States adherence to the World Court. Samuel Colcord continued to send suggestions on the implementation of peace plans. In December, as a member of the advisory committee of the Giant Power Survey, Stimson with William Crozier drafted a letter containing the committee's suggestions which was sent to Gifford Pinchot and Morris Cooke. A proposal by the Long Island State Park Commission to extend a parkway through the quiet residential areas near Highhold also aroused Stimson's concern.

Reel: 64
General Correspondence.

January 1925-March 31, 1925

Stimson agreed to speak to the National Republican Club on January 24 in a debate, "Public or Private Operation of Public Utilities." For his speech in favor of private operation Stimson corresponded with Arthur Hadley, Newton Baker, Herbert Hoover, and Felix Frankfurter. At this time Stimson was serving on the advisory board of the Pennsylvania Giant Power Survey, a group interested in forging an agreement between New York and Pennsylvania on power sites. It was particularly concerned about the legal problems arising over transmission of electricity across state lines. Stimson corresponded with Morris Cooke, G. Gifford Pinchot, H.V. Bozell, and Albert Ottinger on this question. Frankfurter sent him useful information on the compact clause of the Constitution on January 19. In 1925 the New York legislature again had before it a proposal to implement an executive budget. Stimson expressed his concern to George K. Morris and Charles Hewitt. John G. Agar, organizing a citizens' committee on the executive budget, sent Stimson information regarding the committee's plans. Stimson sent his opinion of the Federal Trade Commission Act to Ellis Howland on February 19. He corresponded with Leonard Wood in the Philippines and sent Harlan Stone more of the New York City Bar Association's Judiciary Committee's recommendations of candidates for federal posts. Esther Everett Lape and Samuel Colcord continued to send him information on their efforts to promote United state adherence to the World Court.

Reel: 65
General Correspondence.

April 1925-August 31, 1925

Stimson and Arthur W. Page grew more concerned about the Long Island State Park Commission's decision to construct a parkway through West Hill. Correspondence on the issue can be found with Alfred E. Smith, Robert W. deForest, Thomas Adams, Charles Sheperd, and Alphonso T. Clearwater. Stimson studied a proposed constitutional amendment allowing the legislature to borrow money for public improvements in lump sums rather than for a stated project. He discussed it with Vincent Murphy, Elihu Root, and Governor Smith, and stated his decision to oppose the amendment in a letter to Ogden Mills on June 1.

The American Law Institute proposed to draw up a model code of criminal procedure, and William Draper Lewis invited Stimson to participate. Comments regarding the code appear in correspondence with Felix Frankfurter, Herbert Hadley, and Anna Judge. Stimson's Judiciary Committee of the City Bar Association studied ways to bring the influence of the bar to bear on judicial elections. Correspondence with Silas Strawn was informative on the methods employed by the Chicago bar. On behalf of the Committee to Procure Adequate Compensation for the Federal Judiciary, Stimson sent pamphlets to many New York legislators. Stimson followed the activities of the American Peace Foundation and the Walter Hines Page School and was kept up to date on the work of the Giant Power Survey by Philip Wells and Gifford Pinchot. Leonard Wood wrote him about the Philippines and on August 20 William Crozier in Peking sent him information on China's political situation.



Reel: 66
General Correspondence.

September 1, 1925-December 31, 1925

In October Stimson wrote letters to several newspaper editors noting the importance of the amendments on the ballot in the pending election. He voiced his opposition to the amendment on debts and his support for the state reorganization proposal. In July Stimson had agreed to serve on a citizens' committee to recommend laws to carry out the spirit and purpose of the reorganization amendment if it should pass. Soon after the election the committee, under the chairmanship of Charles Evans Hughes, began its work in earnest. Stimson was appointed to chair the Sub-committee on the Executive and State Department. During November and December he corresponded with sub-committee members Robert Wagner, Parton Swift, and Alfred Marling, as well as with Walter Arndt, the committee secretary, and Hughes. For his research Stimson corresponded with Florence Knapp, Alfred E. Smith, Frank J. Goodnow, Samuel McCune Lindsay, W.F. Willoughby, and Albert C. Ritchie. This reel also contains correspondence on the American Law Institute, the American Peace Foundation, and the Judiciary Committee of the Bar Association of New York City. Correspondence with Robert W. deForest, Robert Moses, and Marvin Shiebler relates to the proposed Long Island Parkway.

Reel: 67
General Correspondence.

January 1926-April 20, 1926

As a member of the executive committee of the Hughes Commission Stimson received letters in regard to the Port Authority, the Land Commission, the executive budget, the Motion Picture Commission, and the Division of Military and Naval Affairs. He also supervised the drafting of bills relating to proposals in the commission's report. Information relating to the commission's work can be found in correspondence with Walter T. Arndt, Charles Evans Hughes, John Lord O'Brian, Alfred E. Smith, and William F. McCormick. The Long Island State Park Commission's proposal for the construction of a parkway near Highhold continued to trouble Stimson and his neighbors. He corresponded actively with Marvin Shiebler, Charles Hewitt, and Eberly Hutchinson on methods to change the proposal. Robert W. deForest continued to send Stimson copies of his correspondence with Robert Moses and other state officials. Stimson supported a measure by F. Trubee Davison to create local controls over the park commission. There are several exchanges on this reel with William D. Gutherie on New York City Bar Association matters. Letters from several lawyers form a poll of opinion on the question of equalizing the salaries of judges of the general sessions with those of the state supreme court justices. On March 2 Leonard Wood wrote Stimson for aid in finding someone to visit the Philippines who could give him legal advice regarding his administration. After consultation with Frank McCoy, Stimson decided to make a summer trip to the Philippines.

Reel: 68
General Correspondence.

April 21, 1926-October 31, 1926

In April Stimson was asked by the State Department to study the dispute in South America over Tacna-Arica, and for a time Stimson feared that his trip to the Philippines would have to be cancelled. Apart from the correspondence with Leonard Wood the State Department assignment is mentioned only in a letter from William Lassiter on July 13. (Stimson's June 3 memorandum on Tacna-Arica is included in reel 134.) The Long Island State Park Commission's proposal for a highway in the West Hills area continued to agitate local residents. Robert W. deForest, Alfred E. Smith, Townsend Scudder, and Thomas Regan all wrote Stimson about this proposal. Stimson left for the Far East in July to study Leonard Wood's problems in administering the Philippines. Before his departure Frank McCoy, Frank McIntyre, and Nicholas Roosevelt had all sent Stimson background information. While in the Islands Stimson met with Wood and native leaders and concluded that greater Filipino participation in government was needed. This suggestion can be found in Stimson's letter to Wood on September 19 and in Stimson's longer report to McIntyre on October 27. Additional correspondents on Philippine matters include Charles A. Johns, Elihu Root, Sergio Osmena, and Manuel Quezon. While in China Stimson visited his old friend, William Crozier, who later wrote him on the political situation in China. The correspondence that came into Stimson's office during his absence between July and October was minimal. Much of it dealt with the New York City Bar Association's Committee on Judiciary or with the approaching November elections. Elizabeth Neary, Stimson's secretary, handled most of this correspondence.

Reel: 69
General Correspondence.

November 1, 1926-March 14, 1927

After his return from the Philippines Stimson was asked by President Coolidge to discuss the Wood administration and the report by Carmi Thompson. Summaries of this meeting can be found in Stimson's letters to Leonard Wood on December 24 and to William Howard Taft on December 27. Other correspondents on the Philippines include Frank McCoy, Frank McIntyre, Manuel Quezon, R.A. Duckworth-Ford, Ollie Roscoe McGuire, and Edgar Kiess. William C. Dennis wrote Stimson about Tacna-Arica and Esther Everett Lape continued to send him occasional reports on efforts to promote United States participation in the World Court. Stimson also watched the situation in Mexico which he found disturbing, a view supported by James Garfield's report on the status of property claims. When the American Society of International Relations invited Stimson to speak he considered addressing himself to the question of Senator Borah's impropriety in opening negotiations with the president of Mexico. Correspondence between Stimson and Robert Olds at the end of the reel relates to this situation. Stimson's other activities included continued participation on the Judiciary Committee of the Bar Association of the City of New York and the organization of a reunion dinner for members of the 1915 New York constitutional convention.

Reel: 70
General Correspondence.

March 15, 1927-July 15, 1927

In April Stimson sailed for Nicaragua as President Coolidge's special envoy to mediate in the civil war. Before departing Stimson was supplied with information and observations by Douglas Allen, Lewis Sanders, and Lawrence Dennis. Stimson completed his work in May with the signing of the Peace of Tipitapa which provided for a free election to be supervised by the United States. Though the correspondence between April and May is sizable there are only a few documents in it relating to Stimson's assignment in Nicaragua. In the period after his return, however, the correspondence is filled with references to Stimson's successful mission. Stimson's own report was sent to Secretary of State Frank Kellogg on May 23 and another summary of the mission can be found in a letter to William F. Oldham on June 23. Francis White and Robert Olds forwarded copies of State Department cablegrams and despatches concerning Nicaragua. Stimson was also consulted on details of the peace settlement: the formation of the mixed claims commission, the restoration of the Supreme Court, the proposed new election law, the United States electoral supervisory mission, and the Nicaraguan financial situation. In July there are copies of Stimson's memoranda of meetings with Frank McCoy, Francis White, and Elihu Root. Other correspondents include Enoc Aquado, Jose Moncada, Finance Minister F. Guzman, Silas Aztell, and E. Carazo Morales.

Additional correspondents in the reel include Esther Everett Lape, Anna Judge, Leonard Wood, Eugene Gilmore, and William Crozier. There are also many complimentary letters on Stimson's two articles on the Philippines.



Reel: 71
General Correspondence.

July 16, 1927-November 14, 1927

Nicaragua and the peace plan developed by Stimson are major topics in the correspondence in this reel. Francis White sent Stimson copies of nearly all State Department cables and despatches concerning Nicaragua. Stimson was consulted on the election law, the claims commission, the collection of internal revenue by the government in power, and the development of a national guard. He also had direct dealings with New York bankers over the financial needs of Nicaragua. Other important correspondents on Nicaragua included Frank McCoy, Jose Moncada, Charles Eberhardt, Adolfo Diaz, H.W. Dodds, and Henry Breck. In October Stimson's articles, "American Policy in Nicaragua," appeared in the Saturday Evening Post. On August 20 Stimson sent President Coolide a long letter discussing Nicaragua and also the conditions in the Philippines since the death of Leonard Wood. Stimson corresponded with Acting Governor Eugene Gilmore, and with Goerge H. Fairchild and R.A. Duckworth-Ford on conditions in the islands. On November 7 Stimson received a note from Manuel Quezon who was visiting the United States. Quezon reported rumors that Stimson was to be appointed governor general and guaranteed him Filipino cooperation if he came. The reel contains many letters complimentary to Stimson's articles on the Philippines and Nicaragua. There are also several letters from Esther Everett Lape concerning the work of the American Foundation.

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