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Albert Joseph Engel Papers, 1885-1960

10 linear feet

Prosecuting attorney for Missaukee County, Michigan, Republican State Senator, and U.S. Congressman from the 9th Michigan District from 1935 to 1951. Correspondence, reports and newspaper clippings concerning his activities on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Armed Services; material on the Manhattan Project and the testing of the atomic and hydrogen bombs; and photographs.

The Albert J. Engel papers primarily document his eight terms of service in United States House of Representatives, 1935-1951, though is some correspondence and other material dating back to 1911. The papers include correspondence, speeches, press releases, clippings scrapbooks and articles about Engel, files on various topics that came before Engel's House committees -- notably the Bikini Island A bomb and H bomb tests, and photographs


Alpheus Felch Papers, 1817-1896

6 linear feet — 6 oversize volumes — 1 oversize folder

Lawyer, Member of Michigan Supreme Court, 1842-1846, Democratic Governor of Michigan, 1846-1847, and holder of numerous other public offices; papers include correspondence and other papers documenting his career in public service.

The Alpheus Felch papers details the active life of this nineteenth century Michigan public servant. Not only are public issues discussed in the correspondence files but the researcher will also gain an understanding of some of the personal problems associated with public service. The collection also includes several files of other family members.


Alvin M. Bentley papers, 1935-1969 (majority within 1950-1968)

104 linear feet — 5 oversize volumes — 1.36 GB (online)

Republican congressman form Michigan's Eighth District, 1952-1960, candidate for U.S. Senate, 1960; member U.S. Foreign Service, 1942-1950, delegate to 1962 state constitutional convention; University of Michigan regent and philanthropist. Papers include diaries, correspondence photographs and other material his political career and other varied interests.

The Alvin M. Bentley collection includes correspondence, speeches, subject files, and other materials relating to his political career and public service activities. Included are his files while serving as a member of Congress and as a delegate to Michigan's Constitutional Convention in 1961-1962, his campaign files from his race for the U.S. Senate in 1960 and his bid to be elected Congressman-at-large in 1962. Other series in the collection relate to his interest in issues of education, particularly higher education, as reflected in his service on the Citizen's Committee on Higher Education, his campaign for the State Board of Education and his tenure as a member of the University of Michigan Board of Regents. Of value in documenting the various phases of Bentley's career are series of diaries and journals, scrapbooks and clipping files, and photographs.


Bartel J. Jonkman papers, 1908-1952

1 linear foot — 2 oversize volumes

U.S. Congressman from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Programs, clippings, photographs, campaign materials and scattered correspondence and speeches concerning his career.

The Bartel Jonkman papers consists of a miscellanea of correspondence, speeches, clippings, articles, and other materials relating to his Congressional career and to his activities in Grand Rapids.


Blair Moody Papers, 1928-1954 (majority within 1934-1952)

27.5 linear feet (in 29 boxes) — 29 film reels — 60 phonograph records — 37 GB (online)

Detroit newspaperman and United States Senator from Michigan. Correspondence chiefly concerning his 1952 senatorial campaign and his newspaper work in the United States and abroad during World War II; scrapbooks of newspaper articles written by Moody and published for the most part in the Detroit News and Barron's; tape recordings of public affairs radio program; photographs and motion pictures of public affairs interview programs.

The Blair Moody collection documents the career of a Washington-based newspaper correspondent and columnist and United States Senator. The collection covers the period 1928 to 1954, though the bulk of materials date since the mid-1940s. Much of the collection pertains to that period of time when Moody was in the Senate or was running for election to the Senate, although his newspaper career is also well documented. The collection has been divided into the following series: Biographical; Correspondence; Personal/Family; Newspaper Career; Gridiron Club; Senatorial Papers; Speeches; Scrapbooks; Sound Recordings; and Visual Materials.


Carl M. Weideman Papers, 1921-1972 (majority within 1932-1934)

3 linear feet — 1 oversize folder — 2 oversize volumes

Detroit, Michigan trial attorney, Democratic Congressman, 1933-1935, and Wayne County Circuit Court Judge. Correspondence and other materials concerning his term in Congress, national and local politics, and various judicial decisions; miscellaneous diaries, newspaper clippings, and scrapbooks concerning his association with the American Turners Association (German-American athletic society), Detroit, Michigan politics, and the election and recall of Detroit Mayor Charles Bowles; and photographs.

The collection consists of correspondence, primarily from the period when Weideman was a member of Congress; files relating to his election campaign and to a few of the issues of the time; and miscellaneous other materials from his career with the Wayne County Circuit Court and as a member of the American Turners. There is also an extensive series of scrapbooks detailing his professional and civic activities and several folders of photographs.


Charles and William R. Humphrey correspondence, 1811-1847

46 items

This collection is made up of letters addressed to Charles Humphrey, a New York lawyer and politician (39 items), and to his son William (7 items). Charles Humphrey's incoming correspondence concerns his legal career, his financial and business affairs, and state or national political issues. William Humphrey's incoming letters primarily concern his finances relating to his law practice in Ithaca, New York.

This collection is made up of letters addressed to Charles Humphrey, a New York lawyer and politician (39 items), and to his son William (7 items). Charles Humphrey's incoming correspondence concerns his legal career, his financial and business affairs, and political issues. William Humphrey's incoming letters primarily concern his finances relating to his law practice in Ithaca, New York.

Charles Humphrey received 39 letters between April 14, 1811, and June 3, 1843, most of which date from his terms in the United States House of Representatives and the New York State Assembly. His correspondents, many of whom were lawyers and politically active persons, discussed state and national issues, such as the Missouri Compromise (March 9, 1820), the Locofocos (August 9, 1837), a fire in New York City (January 21, 1836), the New York salt industry (February 25, 1834), and Humphrey's speeches and political actions. They also wrote about office-seekers and nominations for various public positions. Some letters relate to specific legal cases around the state of New York; for example, Alvin Bradley wrote a lengthy letter about Catharine, who had been seduced and impregnated while working as a family's domestic employee (January 14, 1835). Charles Humphrey also received a personal letter co-written by Charles H. Cooke, his nephew, and "S. Cooke," his sibling (January 10, 1842).

William Ross Humphrey received 7 letters between January 11, 1845, and October 11, 1847, of which his father, Charles Humphrey, wrote 5. These letters pertain to Will's financial and business affairs while he worked as a lawyer in Ithaca, New York.


Charles C. Pratt papers, 1902, 1905, 1908-1909 (majority within 1902, 1908-1909)

1 linear foot

The Charles C. Pratt papers contain incoming letters to Pratt about two of his political campaigns: his unsuccessful bid for the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1902 and his election to the United States House of Representatives in 1908.

The Charles C. Pratt papers (859 items) contain incoming letters to Pratt about two of his political campaigns: his unsuccessful bid for the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1902 and his election to the United States House of Representatives in 1908.

Pratt's incoming Correspondence (837 letters) pertains to state-level politics in early 20th century Pennsylvania. Many letters written during the early stages of Pratt's 1902 campaign were optimistic, and some writers already considered the election effectively settled in Pratt's favor, particularly due to his affiliation with the Republican Party. Others exercised more caution. The collection also has telegrams from the night of the election (November 4, 1902) and letters from Pratt's friends expressing their disappointment in the outcome.

The second group of letters, apart from one 1905 item, documents Pratt's campaign for the United States House of Representatives in 1908. The Republican Congressional Committee sent letters prior to the election, but most items are congratulatory letters to Pratt written from November 4-6, 1908. Later items include requests for official appointments and recommendations of friends or family for particular positions. Some items have illustrated letterheads, including one with an illustration of whiskey bottles and a distillery (November 2, 1902) and one for the Beach Sanitarium, "Famous for the cure of cancer without the use of knife or plasters" (November 4, 1908).

The collection contains the following 8 Documents:
  • Completed but unsigned survey about the potential abolition of direct primaries
  • Petition for "legislation providing for a system of parcels delivery on the rural mail delivery routes, and for the establishment of postal savings banks" (4 copies)
  • Petition for creation of a National Highways Commission
  • Typed list of "Republican Voters, New Milford Twp."
  • Typed election results from two Pennsylvania elections (November 1902), with notes on the 1908 United States House of Representatives election
The Ephemera, Newspaper Clippings, and Speech Notes series is made up of the following 14 items:
  • Newspaper clipping about George W. Kipp's expenditures during a congressional campaign
  • "A Toast" ending with the lines "Here's champagne to your real friends/And real pain to your sham friends"
  • Wedding announcement for Frederick W. Poten and Mary Belle Cross (February 11, 1909)
  • Printed text of "An Act. Punishing the Printing, Posting and Distributing of Any Libelous Circular or Poster or Other Written or Printed Paper" (June 26, 1895)
  • Printed pamphlet entitled "Another Bank Cashier in Politics. Another Bank Gone to Smash! Startling Instance of Misplaced Public Confidence"
  • Printed circular from Atlantic Deeper Waterways Association
  • Printed speech of Charles Morningstar & Co., of New York, before the House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means
  • Charles C. Pratt speech notes (3 items)
  • Notes and fragments (4 items)

Charles E. Potter Papers, 1947-1958

10 linear feet — 2 oversize folders — 11 oversize volumes — 1 film reel — 1.73 GB

Republican U. S. Congressman from Lapeer, Michigan, 1946-1952; U.S. Senator, 1952-1959. Scrapbooks containing clippings, press releases, speeches, newsletters, and photographs; senatorial campaign files, 1952 and 1958; statements about state and national issues; files relating to legislation which he introduced; Potter's voting record in Congress; and photographs and motion pictures.

The Potter collection, except for a copy of his 1965 account of the Army-McCarthy controversy, Days of Shame, begins with his first term in Congress following his election in 1947 and concludes with his defeat for reelection to the Senate in 1958. The collection includes a small series of Biographical/personal information followed by several files detailing his senate election campaigns in 1952 and 1958. Other series in the collection include Congressional Papers; Scrapbooks and Clippings; and Visual Materials.


Clare E. Hoffman papers, 1934-1962 (majority within 1954-1962)

93 linear feet — 5 phonograph records — 10.1 GB (online)

Republican congressman from Michigan's 4th Congressional District, 1934-1962, served on the Education and Labor Committee and the Government Operations Committee, known for his fiscal conservatism and opposition to much of the New Deal legislation, he was particularly concerned with the growing power of labor unions and worked to amend the Wagner Act, eventually becoming a key player in passage of the Taft-Hartley Act. As chair of special subcommittees, Hoffman conducted several investigations into labor racketeering, particularly by the Teamsters Union. Collection includes committee files, some constituent correspondence, topical files, investigation files, press releases, scrapbooks and a limited number of sound recordings and photographs.

The Clare E. Hoffman Papers consist of Congressional files detailing his work on the House Committee on Education and Labor, the House Committee on Government Operations, and various subcommittees, including investigating labor racketeering; files concern in part his sponsorship of labor-related legislation, bills unifying the armed services, and bills authorizing reorganization of the executive branch; and photographs.

The Hoffman collection of congressional papers covers the years 1934-1962. Unfortunately the first few terms of his service are not as adequately documented as might be hoped, as in 1942 Hoffman directed his staff to discard retired files. As a result, except for a few political files and subject files, the Hoffman collection bulks largest for the years 1943-1962.

Despite the fragmentary character of the documentation on Hoffman's early years in Congress, the collection provides a detailed view of the activities of a conservative congressman from western Michigan for a twenty-year period. In recent American history, the years 1943-1962 were important both for wartime politics and for the myriad problems that came after victory: the cooling of relations with the Soviet Union, the integration of returning veterans into the economy, shortages in housing and consumer goods, a renewed militancy among the nation's labor unions, the continuation of the struggle for civil rights for blacks, the fear of internal subversive activities; in short, problems of great importance and complexity, issues for which there were no easy answers.

Hoffman was eyewitness and participant to the politics of these issues. As a representative of increasing seniority, he was a powerful conservative voice within the Congress. Because of his position on the Education and Labor committee, he helped shape the bulk of legislation passed in the postwar period, notably the Taft-Hartley Act. And because of his position on the Expenditures Committee, Hoffman was instrumental in passage of the National Security Act of 1947 that unified the administration of the armed services and enlarge their responsibilities.

Apart from these major pieces of legislation, the Hoffman collection documents the service of a congressman who was attuned to the concerns and politics of his largely rural and small-town district, with constituents economically conservative and ever distrustful of federal encroachments upon their lives. Of special interest are various files of correspondence with the businessmen and small manufacturers of his district. As a good politician, Hoffman was especially mindful of maintaining good relations with these people, and helping them when he could with their labor-related problems.

Like many congressional collections, the Hoffman papers consist in large part of communications with constituents and out-of-district citizens. But because of his power within the Congress, Hoffman's files (letters received and sent) are often substantive in content and a valuable complement to the work of the House, as published in the Congressional Record and other printed sources.