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New Acquisitions

The Manuscript Division constantly builds its collections through purchases, copyright deposits, and gifts. From single items to collections large and small, the holdings at the Library of Congress are always changing.

We add entirely new collections and obtain new additions to existing collections. We process collections every year and make them available through our reading room. We also maintain a trove of primary materials reproduced on microfilm available by Interlibrary Loan.

What's new? See our comprehensive lists of recent acquisitions and our online finding aids. Or search for keywords of your interest in the Library's online catalog.

Highlights from the Manuscript Division

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Amos A. Evans Papers

Journal from the USS Constitution, 1812-13

The young and erudite Naval officer Amos Evans (1785-1848) served as surgeon aboard the American frigate Constitution in the War of 1812. His journal contains a rare first-person account of the famous August 19, 1812, battle at sea between the Constitution and the Guerrière, in which the British ship was vanquished.

News of the decisive victory boosted American confidence in the war and foreshadowed the diminishment of British domination of the high seas.

Constitution and La Guerriere
The capture of the British frigate Guerriere by the Constitution during the War of 1812. Lithograph, Sarony & Major, ca. 1848. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. LC-USZ62-5126
Excerpts from the journal:
"During the engagement she came against our stern with her bows twice . . . . Our crew behaved very nobly. They fought like heroes, and gave three cheers when the colours were hoisted. They also cheered when each of her masts went over the side, and when her colours were struck"
"About 3 or 4 o'clock having got all the men from the Guerriere we set her on fire, and before the officer had time to get on board our Ship with the boat she blew up, presenting a sight the most incomparably grand and magnificent I have experienced. No painter, no poet or historian could give on canvas or paper any description that could do justice to the scene."

As shipboard physician, Evans witnessed firsthand both the heroism and the costs of battle. He chose as the journal's epigram lines from poet William Cowper's "The Task," written in 1783, quoting:

"O for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumour of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful or successful war
Might never reach me more!"

After his military service, Evans enjoyed a long career as a private physician in Maryland. His medical notebook from the 1812 era is part of the Amos A. Evans collection.

epigram page of Evans journal
Epigram page of the journal of Amos A. Evans, 1812-13.
Papers of Amos A. Evans, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

James Buchanan and Harriet Lane Johnston Papers

Letter to James Campbell, 1852

The Manuscript Division holds the papers of twenty-three of the nation's presidents. In comparison to the papers of most presidents, documents of James Buchanan are relatively rare. The Papers of James Buchanan and Harriet Lane Johnston (Buchanan's niece, who acted as First Lady in the Buchanan White House) has been bolstered by a series of recent small acquisitions.

Among these is a May 16, 1851 letter from Buchanan to Philadelphia lawyer James Campbell (1812-1893), Irish-Catholic candidate to the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court.

In the letter, Buchanan responds to popular anti-Catholicism and the anti-immigration sentiment of the Know-Nothing movement, which was winning local electoral victories in 1852. He makes strong statement for the principle of religious freedom, citing the connections between religious tolerance and the exercise of democracy in the context of urban politics.

James Buchanan
James Buchanan. From Brady daguerreotype ca. 1860. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress LC-BH821-6628

Excerpts from the letter:
"I know that there is yet much bigotry. . . . I sincerely rejoice that a Catholic for the first time is to be settled on the Democratic ticket for a State Office . . . . It is an elemental principle of Democracy that every human being has an absolute right to worship his God according to the dictates of his own conscience . . .
James Buchanan signature
James Buchanan to James Campbell, May 16, 1851, Page 1 and Page 2.
Papers of James Buchanan and Harriet Lane Johnston, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

American Colonization Society

Journal of Ralph R. Gurley, 1837-1840

In August 2007 the Manuscript Division received as a gift the journal of Ralph Randolph Gurley (1797-1872), an officer of the American Colonization Society. The donor was Ralph Randolph Gurley, Jr, the author’s great-great grandson. In 1816 the American Colonization Society was organized in Washington, D.C. with the objective of resolving the slavery problem through the repatriation of African Americans to Africa. To this end, the Society established the colony of Liberia on the West coast of Africa and raised money to transport and support emigrants.

Ralph R. Gurley, the son of Congregationalist minister, moved to Washington, D.C., in 1818 after graduating from Yale University. A gifted orator, Gurley was licensed to preach in Presbytery of the District of Columbia, but never ordained. He joined the Society in 1822 as a traveling agent and in fifty years successively became secretary, corresponding secretary, vice-president, and honorary life director.

For twenty-five years, Gurley edited the Society’s official organ, the African Repository, and routinely produced its Annual Reports. He also served intermittently as the chaplain for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Fishtown at Bassau, Liberia
Fish Town at Bassau, Liberia, watercolor by Robert K. Griffin, American Colonization Society Records, Prints & Photographs Division. LC-USZC4-8195

During the 1830s and 1840s the Society came under attack from free African Americans and the growing abolitionist movement. It experienced difficulty securing funds and became heavily indebted. The journal chiefly chronicles Gurley’s fund raising activities on behalf the Society from May 26, 1837 to August 20, 1840. In it he notes the places visited, people met, and speeches or sermons delivered.

The focus of the journal is on Gurley’s travels through the states of Virginia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, and Kentucky. Of particular note is the long tour of Ohio. There Gurley was incited to revive the state colonization society by the large audiences that received him. Activities in the “more than fives weeks” he spent in Cincinnati included a debate with Rev. Blanchard of the Ohio Anti Slavery Society.

In July 1840 Gurley sailed for England to solicit support for the Society. In his journal he describes two meetings with Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, an abolitionist and member of Parliament. At the first meeting the prospect of “establishing a model cotton plantation in Africa on the banks of the Niger” was discussed. Gurley provided a full account of this trip in his Mission to England (Washington: W.W. Morrison, 1841).

The Manuscript Division holds additional manuscripts related to Ralph R. Gurley in the American Colonization Society Records.

Excerpt from Gurley's journal
Excerpt from Gurley's journal. Records of the American Colonization Society, Manuscript Division

Excerpts from the journal:
" . . . visited for the cause of Colonization New London, Norwich, Lebanon, Williamatic, Mansfield & Hartford & Springfield, North Hampton & Boston & Andover (Mass) & I trust effected something of good for that great object. Returned on the day of the annual meeting of the Colonization Society . . . . Am now on my way west & thence to proceed to Mississippi & Louisiana. My sins are great, they are like mountains on the swelling waves of ocean but I will hope in God I will cry unto him who can save to the uttermost. Lord save or I perish. I came to thy feet Great King & Physician of souls & beseech . . ."

Explore these related Web resources on the African American experience and organized responses to slavery:

The African American Experience in Ohio, 1850-1920

African American Odyssey

From Slavery to Freedom: The African American Pamphlet Collection, 1822-1900

Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860


Judge David Davis Papers

Letter to Julius Rockwell, March 4, 1855

The recent addition of a small collection of letters by Judge David Davis (1815-1886) provide considerable insight into the career and personal life of one of Abraham Lincoln’s closest associates.

Lincoln and Davis often traveled together in the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Illinois, and Davis played a key role in the nomination of Lincoln as the Republican presidential candidate in 1860. Lincoln later rewarded Davis with an appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1862. Davis served in that capacity until he resigned in 1877 and he served out the rest of his public career in the U.S. Senate.

The forty-five or so letters that Davis wrote to his brother-in-law, Julius Rockwell, primarily address family affairs, but contain an occasional political gem.

Judge David Davis portrait
Photograph of Judge David Davis (1815-1886), ca. 1855-65. Brady-Handy Photograph Collection, Prints and Photographs Division.
LC-DIG-cwpbh-02278

Excerpts from the letter:
“Although Judge Trumbull is elected United States Senator . . . Mr. Lincoln ought to have been elected. There were 51 anti Nebraska members of the Legislature, 30 Whigs . . . 16 elected as republicans and 5 men elected as anti-Nebraska Democrats. Now the republicans & whigs were all for Lincoln and but 5 men wanted Trumbull. The 5 would not yield, and the Whigs & Republicans rather than let the election pass over and a Nebraska man be elected voted for Trumbull. The members would not do it until Lincoln urged them to do so.”


There are few better accounts of the maneuvering that occurred during Lincoln’s failed bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 1855 than the one Davis wrote to Rockwell in March from Bloomington, Illinois. Lincoln sacrificed position for principle in throwing his support to Lyman Trumbull, who, though already elected to the House, ran for the Senate. Trumbull took his seat as a U.S. Senator in March 1855. He served in Washington until 1873, and then returned to the practice of law in Chicago.

The 1855 campaign was a devastating defeat for Lincoln, but he continued to support Trumbull, something Mary Todd Lincoln could not bring herself to do. Mary never again spoke to Trumbull’s wife, Julia Jane, formerly her best friend.

Davis letter to Rockwell
Judge David Davis to Julius Rockwell, March 4, 1855.
Page 2
- Page 3 - Page 4 - Transcript
Papers of David Davis. Manuscript Division.

Mary Todd Lincoln Letters

Mary Todd Lincoln to Judge Bradwell, July and August 1875

Robert Todd Lincoln would be none to happy with the latest addition to his papers.

Mary Todd Lincoln suffered severe emotional distress, guilt, and bereft despair in the years following the shocking assassination of her husband soon after his inauguration to a second term in office.

As time progressed, mother and son struggled with differences of opinion regarding the rational or irrational nature of her feelings and behavior.

In 1875, Robert Todd Lincoln testified against his mother in hearings to legally determine whether she was deranged. As a result, she was committed to an asylum for the insane.

During her institutionalization in Batavia, Illinois, Mary Todd Lincoln desperately sought the support of people sympathetic to her plight. She could not have done better than Judge J. B. Bradwell and his wife, Myra. The judge, a president of the Union League as well as of the Chicago Bar Association, was a supporter of woman suffrage. Myra Bradwell studied law under his instruction, but her application to practice law was denied by the Illinois Supreme Court in 1869 on the grounds that she was a woman–a ruling that was upheld under appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

To the surprise of Lincoln scholars and readers who had long believed her correspondence to be lost to history, photographic copies of Mary’s solicitous letters recently turned up in the stored papers of Robert Todd’s private secretary, Frederic Towers.

These two letters to Judge Bradwell are indicative of Mary Todd’s succinct but effective letter writing campaign for freedom. Much to Robert’s consternation, she won her release after three months’ confinement.

Lincoln and his family painting
Lincoln and His Family (Thomas, Abraham, Robert Todd, and Mary Todd Lincoln). Painting by S. B. Waugh engraved by W. Sartain. Philadelphia: Bradley & Co., c. 1866. Prints and Photographs Division. PGA - Sartain (W.)-Lincoln and his family (D size)

Mary Todd Lincoln letter

Mary Todd Lincoln to Judge Bradwell, July 28, 1875, Page 1 and Page 2 Robert Todd Lincoln Papers. Manuscript Division.

Excerpts from the August 8, 1875 letter:
“Knowing well your great nobleness of heart, I can but be well assured, that you will soon [see] that I am released from this place. . . . I am perfectly sane, I do not desire to become insane.”

Mary Todd Lincoln letter detail

Mary Todd Lincoln to Judge Bradwell, August 8, 1875, Page 1 and Page 2. Robert Todd Lincoln Papers. Manuscript Division..


Duke of Marlborough Papers

Letter from Winston Churchill to the Duke of Marlborough, 1898

In 1898 Winston Churchill, then twenty-three, was an ambitious yet poorly paid British Army subaltern. Anxious to secure fame and funding as a war correspondent, he maneuvered his way into a position with the Anglo-Egyptian expeditionary force to the Sudan, led by General ("Sirdar") H. Herbert Kitchener.

During the campaign he wrote newspaper articles for the London Morning Post while serving with the Twenty-first Lancers, which he joined shortly before the climactic battle outside the city of Omdurman, the capital of the Mahdist (“Dervish”) kingdom.

On September 2, 1898, Kitchener’s modern weapons and overwhelming firepower destroyed the opposing Dervish army with, for the most part, minimal losses to his own forces. The lancers, however, sustained casualties so heavy as to rival those suffered during the famous charge of the Light Brigade (1854). Returning from Africa by train, Churchill began writing the featured letter (Sept. 29) to his cousin, the Duke of Marlborough. The resulting document, placed in an unlikely location and long forgotten, was a vivid capsule description of one of the British Army's last great cavalry charges. It was uncovered during a search for Manuscript Division items to be displayed in the exhibition Churchill and the Great Republic, a joint production of the Library of Congress and the Churchill Archives Centre. External Link

Churchill letter
Churchill’s Sept. 2, 1898 letter
Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5 - Page 6

Duke of Marlborough Papers, Manuscript Division

Excerpt from the letter:
“ Now about the war: - Perhaps you will read my letters in the "Morning Post". They contain the best of my impressions and reflections put down as carefully, from the point of view of style, as I can. The military operations, though short, have been interesting. The Battle was a wonderful spectacle. I had the good luck to ride through the charge unhurt-indeed untouched-which vy few can say. I used a pistol and did not draw my sword. I had no difficulties and felt confident that I should get through if, neither my horse fell nor I was shot-for I must tell you the ground was execrable and there was the wildest shooting in all directions. Neither of these things happened and such of the enemy as approached me or attacked me I shot-three I think I killed. It is difficult to miss at under a foot's range. The whole thing was a matter of seconds-for as you may have gathered-we burst through their line and formed up the other side. The loss was most severe-1 officer and 21 men killed-9 officers & 66 men wounded and 119 horses out of only 320. Such a proportion and such a loss has been sustained by no regiment since the Light Brigade-forty years ago.”
An illustrated publication featuring Churchill exhibit items is available for purchase from the Library of Congress gift shop.

John D. Whiting Papers

Locust album, 1915

John D. Whiting (1882-1951) had the distinction of being the first baby born in Palestine to the members of the newly formed American Colony in Jerusalem, a sectarian group of utopian-minded Christians who traveled from the United States and England to Jerusalem in 1881. They were joined in the 1890s by an influx of Swedish migrants from the village of Näs.

Colony members found a niche in the polyglot Jerusalem community. John D. Whiting became a manager in the Colony’s business enterprises, a tour guide to archeological and sacred sites of the Holy Land, and from 1907 to 1915, deputy American Consul for Jerusalem. Urbane and observant, he was equally at home having tea at the Colony with the visiting Gertrude Bell or being feted by Bedouin friends in the desert.

Whiting’s Arab-language skills and his extensive knowledge of the geography of the Near East made him a valuable resource as an intelligence officer for the British during the Arab Revolts and World War I.

Whiting was also a photographer with the American Colony Photo Department, which documented the people, landscapes, and cityscapes of the greater Jerusalem region. Among the albums preserved in the Whiting collection is one documenting the locust plague of 1915. Hand-tinted photographs taken by American Colony Photo Department photographer Lewis Larsson captured the effects of the invasion of locusts that destroyed vegetation while they blanketed buildings, walls, and houses. Whiting wrote about the onslaught of locusts for one of several articles he published in National Geographic.

John D. Whiting photograph
Photograph of John D. Whiting. American Colony in Jerusalem Photograph Department. G. Eric and Edith Matson Collection. Prints and Photographs Division.
LC-DIG-matpc-13486

Image from Locust Album

Image from Locust Album, 1915. Photographs by Lewis Larsson. John D. Whiting Papers. Manuscript Division.

Explore Digital Resources

Photographic albums from the John D. Whiting collection showcase American Colony life and feature images of the Near East by American Colony photographers. Selected albums can be found digitized in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog.

Visit the American Colony in Jerusalem virtual exhibition.


Caspar W. Weinberger Papers

High School Graduation Speech, December 13, 1933

Librarian of Congress James Billington officially welcomed the Caspar W. Weinberger collection to the Library of Congress in April 2007. The former secretary of defense deposited portions of his papers at the Library in the 1980s and early 1990s, with a final addition arriving in 2005. After Mr. Weinberger’s death in 2006, his wife and children formally gifted ownership of the collection to the Library. Access to the papers remains subject to their permission during their lifetimes.

The Weinberger papers total more than 500,000 items and cover Weinberger’s entire life, including his career in California state politics and the federal government. Family papers and files from his private legal practice are included, as is material relating to his work in public television, as a newspaper columnist, and as a vice president and general counsel for the Bechtel Group of Companies.

Of particular interest are his records from his cabinet positions in the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations, as well as other posts in Washington. An extensive subject file from the Department of Defense makes up part of the collection. It is based on copies of originals at the Pentagon made by Weinberger’s staff and later organized and indexed. It covers issues from U.S.-Soviet nuclear weapons discussions to U.S. policy on Latin America and the Middle East.

Weinberger was a star pupil, already keenly interested in politics and national affairs, while a student at San Francisco Polytechnic High School in the 1930s. He commencement oration on the nobility of “the profession of politics, or as some people prefer to call it–The Art of Statesmanship” anticipated his first run for public office as a Republican candidate for the California State Assembly in 1952, and the long career in the political arena that was to come.

Caspar Weinberger commencement address
Commencement address of Caspar Weinberger, December 13, 1933.
Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3
Papers of Caspar Weinberger. Manuscript Division.

Excerpts from the speech:
“ . . . the average citizen is accustomed merely, to make a few desultory remarks about ‘crooked politicians’, and other things in a similar vein, and then go about his business quite complacently with never a thought that if he, the average citizen were not so complacent and not so reluctant about going to the polls on election day, the so-called political machine would not be able to function/ even for/ a day, for it is unquestionably the average American’s indifference to public affairs and political matters, that encourages the power of the political machine.”
“There is a world of opportunity for young men or women if they choose a political career. . . . Most men drift into politics, but few deliberately plan a life of civic service.”

Ralph Ellison Papers

Novel manuscripts for Invisible Man, ca. 1952
and the unfinished “The Hickman Novel”
(Three Days Before the Shooting, or Juneteenth)

Although Ralph Ellison (1914-1994) also published books of essays during his lifetime, it is for his break-through novel, Invisible Man (Random House, 1952) that he remains best known.

With Invisible Man, winner of the National Book Award for 1953, Ellison established a genre of the African-American novel of identity and made his fame as a major American author heralded world-wide.

After the critical and financial success of Invisible Man, Ellison held teaching posts at ten prestigious universities, lectured, wrote essays, and worked on his second novel.

The Ralph Ellison collection at the Library of Congress includes manuscripts, drafts and notes for published and unpublished works, speeches, correspondence, notebooks, lectures, subject files, photographs, recordings, and Ellison’s working library. The Invisible Man files in the Ralph Ellison Papers are open for research access.



Invisible Man typescript
Ralph Waldo Ellison, Invisible Man
Original typescript, page 1
Ralph Waldo Ellison Papers,
Manuscript Division

First lines from the manuscript:
“I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook such as those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor one of your Hollywood movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, or flesh and bone, fiber and liquids–I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, you see, simply because people refuse to recognize me.”

Ralph Ellison worked on his second novel for forty-two years but left it unpublished at this death in 1994. His widow, Fanny McConnell Ellison, transferred his papers to the Library of Congress between 1995 and 1998. They included over 2,000 pages of manuscripts for his untitled “Hickman Novel.”

Ellison’s literary executor, John Callahan, edited the central portions of those drafts, published as the novel Juneteenth (Random House, 1999).
Over the next seven years, Dr. Callahan and co-editor Adam Bradley fully collated the manuscript drafts for the novel Ellison left unfinished. Their highly awaited annotated edition is scheduled for publication as Three Days Before the Shooting (Random House, 2008).

As an intellectual, Ellison contributed in several capacities to the life of the mind at the Library of Congress. He lectured at the Library in 1964, served as the Library's Honorary Consultant in American Letters from 1966 to 1972, and returned in 1983 to read from drafts of this novel-in-progress.

Restrictions apply on access to the “Hickman Novel” files and to certain other series in the Ralph Ellison Papers.

Labelled box
Ralph Waldo Ellison, “The Hickman Novel”
Typing paper box fragment labeled with Ellison’s episode titles [including 3 Days Before the Shooting]
Ralph Ellison Papers, Box 132
Manuscript Division

First lines from the manuscript:
“Three days before the shooting a chartered planeload of Southern Negroes swooped down upon the District of Columbia and attempted to see the Senator. They were quite elderly: old ladies dressed in little white caps and white uniforms made of surplus nylon parachute material, the men dressed in neat but old-fashioned black suits, and wearing wide-brimmed, deep-crowned panama hats . . . . Solemn, uncommunicative, and quietly insistent, they were led by a huge, old fellow of distinguished carriage who on the day of the chaotic event was to prove himself, his age notwithstanding, an extraordinarily powerful man.”

 


Jack St. Clair Kilby Papers

The monolithic integrated circuit (the microchip), 1958

Jack St. Clair Kilby’s invention of the monolithic integrated circuit – the microchip – is regarded by many as one of the most significant inventions of the 20th Century.

Kilby’s breakthrough invention revolutionized the electronics industry. It laid the conceptual and technical foundation for the entire field of modern microelectronics and made sophisticated, high-speed computers possible.

In 2000, Kilby was awarded a Nobel Prize in physics for his 1958 invention. In addition to the microchip, Kilby is also known for patenting the portable electronic calculator and the thermal printer used in data terminals.

Among the items included in the Kilby Papers is his own “show-and-tell” kit in which he demonstrates the evolution of electronics from the vacuum tube to the microchip.

For some fifty years after the turn of the century, the bulky, fragile, and power-hungry vacuum tubes (on the left) dominated everyday electronics, only to be replaced after World War II by more reliable and far smaller transistors (center). But fabricating transistors was time-consuming and they were costly and still unreliable. Kilby’s breakthrough chip (right) incorporated all the necessary electronic components found in both tubes and transistors onto a single, small crystal of silicon, thus truly starting today’s information age.

 

Kilby with inventions
Jack St. Clair Kilby. Photographer unidentified. Jack St. Clair Kilby Papers. Manuscript Division.

microchip, transistor, vacuum tube
Left to Right: First microchip (left), transistor (center), and vacuum tube (right). Papers of Jack St. Clair Kilby. Manuscript Division

"For the next ten years at least, there is plenty of room to grow - or, I guess I should say, there is plenty of room to shrink." Jack Kilby on miniaturization in technology. Remarks at an International Science & Technology Center (ISTC) evening banquet, Shanghai, China, May 29, 2001. Papers of Jack St. Clair Kilby, Manuscript Division.

Patsy T. Mink Papers

Notes for a speech at the Democratic National Convention, 1960

Photograph from first term in Congress, 1972

In 2007 the Manuscript Division completed the processing of the rich and voluminous papers of former Hawaii representative and Title IX advocate Patsy T. Mink (1927-2002). Congresswoman Mink was a champion of women’s rights, an early and vocal opponent to the Vietnam War, and a leader on issues involving education, the environment, welfare, and civil rights. With her election in 1964, she became the first woman of color and the first Asian American woman to serve in Congress.

Mink represented the people of Hawaii during two periods, the first from 1965 to 1977 and again from 1990 until her death in 2002. In between, she served in the Jimmy Carter administration as an assistant secretary of state for oceans and international, environmental, and scientific affairs (1977-78), was president of Americans for Democratic Action (1978-81), served on the Honolulu City Council (1983-87), maintained a private law practice (1987-90), and founded the Public Reporter (1989-91), an organization that monitored and publicized the activities of the Hawaii state legislature.

The Mink collection, which numbers nearly 900,000 items, is arranged in 2,710 boxes and is described in a 700-plus-page finding aid. The collection contains personal and professional correspondence, daily schedules, central legislative files, bills, issue mail, speeches, clippings, press releases, scrapbooks, photographs, and other papers covering all aspects of Mink’s life.

In 1960, Mink, a former Hawaii state territorial senator and leader in the Young Democratic Clubs of America, was invited to speak at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. Mink was attending the convention as an Adlai Stevenson delegate and platform committee member. Mink used an empty envelope to draft notes for a speech to second the Democratic Party’s civil rights plank, which she delivered before 10,000 delegates and a national television audience on July 12, 1960.

During her first term in Congress, Mink was concerned that the Vietnam War peace talks had become stalled and grew frustrated at the lack of information being provided to Congress by the Nixon administration. She and Congresswoman Bella Abzug traveled to Paris in April 1972, where they met with U.S. delegates, North Vietnamese officials, and Mme. Nguyen Thi Binh, foreign minister of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam. The three women discussed the need to resume the peace talks, treatment of American prisoners of war, and issues surrounding Vietnamese-American orphans.

To Mink’s disappointment, little was accomplished and few new facts emerged from the meeting. Although other members of Congress made similar trips, Mink’s longstanding opposition to the Vietnam War earned her the epithet “Patsy Pink” and led many military constituents to question her actions. As she explained in a 1979 oral history interview with Fern S. Ingersoll preserved in the Manuscript Division’s Former Members of Congress, Inc., Oral History Collection (Box 8, transcript, p. 98), “It was a case of my living up to my own views and conscience. If I was defeated for it, that’s the way it had to be.”

Patsy Mink portrait
Patsy T. Mink, ca. 1992. Photographer unknown. Patsy T. Mink Papers, Manuscript Division. Used with permission of Gwendolyn Mink.

Mink envelope front Mink envelope back

Patsy T. Mink, undated handwritten notes for speech given in support of civil rights plank at the Democratic National Convention, Los Angeles, California, July 12, 1960. Patsy T. Mink Papers, Manuscript Division. Used with permission of Gwendolyn Mink. Transcript

Mink, Nguyen, and Abzug

Caption: Congresswoman Patsy T. Mink (left), Mme. Nguyen Thi Binh, Foreign Minister of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam (center), and Congresswoman Bella Abzug (right) meeting outside of Paris, France, [April 21, 1972]. Patsy T. Mink Papers, Manuscript Division. Used with permission of Gwendolyn Mink.

 


Mary McGrory Papers

Notes on the attacks of September 11, 2001

Draft of August 1, 1952, article

Newspaper columnist Mary McGrory (1918-2004) was a major figure in 20th-century American journalism and the first woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize for commentary.

Beginning with her earliest reports of the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings through her award-winning coverage of Watergate and President Richard M. Nixon’s resignation in 1974 to her final columns opposing the Iraq War in 2003, McGrory researched and wrote on issues of national importance. To her readers’ delight, McGrory also penned humorous and compelling stories about everyday life, her interests in gardening and dogs, and her steadfast advocacy for abused and neglected children.

In 2005, McGrory’s nieces and nephew donated to the Library of Congress a collection of her papers (55,000 items, spanning 1928-2004). The papers include correspondence, subject files, notebooks and notes, speeches and writings, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, and other materials touching on nearly every major issue in American politics and foreign policy since the 1950s, including arms control, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Iran-Contra Affair, social security, Supreme Court nominations, terrorism, and the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars.

McGrory’s files on U.S. presidential campaigns are particularly significant and date from 1956 to 2000. Her scrutiny of presidential candidates, however, began even earlier, as illustrated in an undated draft of an August 1, 1952, story about Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai E. Stevenson, written when she was still a book review editor for the Washington Star and just before she would begin her fifty-year career as a feature writer and columnist for the Star and later the Washington Post.

The collection also contains McGrory’s extensive reporter’s notebooks, in which she made notes in both cursive and shorthand, as well as her carefully drafted responses to letters from her readers. Among her notes are those she made the morning of September 11 as events unfolded in 2001.

 

Mary McGrory portrait

Mary McGrory, ca.1986. Photographer unknown. Mary McGrory Papers, Manuscript Division. Used with permission of the donors.

McGrory draft on 1952 election

Draft for an August 1, 1952, story on Eisenhower and Stevenson by Mary McGrory, n.d. McGrory Papers, Manuscript Division. Used with permission of the donors.


Sept. 11, 2001 notebook

Entry on the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. Notebook of Mary McGrory, ca. 2001, pages Page 1 and Page 2. Mary McGrory Papers, Manuscript Division. Used with permission of the donors. Transcript

Read more about it: Mary McGrory was characterized by David Von Drehle of the Washington Post as “a writer of lasting influence, exquisite technique, [and] liberal convictions” who had “a contempt for phonies and a love of orphans and delphiniums.”

"Columnist Mary McGrory Dies at 85: Legendary Newswoman Covered a Half-Century of Washington," Washington Post, April 21, 2004

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