Guide to the of Harry A. Slattery Papers, 1890-1953
The Harry Slattery Papers span the period 1890-1953 with the bulk dated 1928 to 1944. They include correspondence, memoranda, writings and speeches, printed material, clippings, scrapbooks, and indexes. The collection chiefly concerns positions Slattery held during his years of public service and reflect his lifelong interest in conservation. Very few of Slattery's personal papers are included in the collection.
The bulk of the collection relates to Slattery's positions as personal assistant to Harold L. Ickes (1933-1938), as Under-secretary of the Interior (1938-1939), and as administrator of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) (1939-1944). Other papers concern his service as secretary to Gifford Pinchot (1909-1912), as secretary of the National Conservation Association (1912-1923), as special assistant to Interior Secretary Franklin K. Lane (1917-1918), as a Washington lawyer (1923-1933), and as counsel to the National Boulder Dam Association (1925-1929). There is also information about the Teapot Dome Scandal. While information about the REA is found throughout the collection, information pertaining to the other topics is found chiefly in the Correspondence, Memoranda, Writings and Speeches, Printed Material, and Clippings Series. A typescript of Slattery's autobiography, From Roosevelt to Roosevelt, Washington, D.C., 1948, and information relating to the published work Rural America Lights Up, Washington, D.C., 1940, which is attributed to Slattery, are found in the Writings and Speeches and Scrapbooks Series. Persons studying conservation issues in the United States and the spread of electricity to rural areas would find this collection particularly helpful.
There is extensive material relating to the controversy surrounding the Rural Electrification Administration, tensions between the REA and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, whose executive manager was Clyde Ellis, and the conflict between Slattery and the Secretary of Agriculture Claude W. Wickard. Correspondents include Harold L. Ickes, Judson King, Basil Maxwell Manly, Gifford Pinchot, Amos R. Pinchot, John Patrick Grace, Cornelia B. Pinchot, and Philip Patterson Wells.
- Collection Number
- Harry A. Slattery papers
- Slattery, Harry A.
- 60 Linear Feet, circa 35,300
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Correspondence, 1908-1953, undated (bulk 1928?1944).
- Office Calendars, 1940-1944.
- Memoranda, 1908-1944, undated (bulk 1928-1940s).
- Writings and Speeches, 1906-1940s, undated (bulk 1920-1940s).
- Miscellaneous, 1910s-1944, undated
- Cards and Invitations, 1930s-1945, undated
- Printed Material, 1907-1945, undated (bulk 1920-1945).
- Clippings, 1910-1940s, undated (bulk 1920-1940s).
- Scrapbooks, 1890-1944.
- Indexes, 1909-1944.
- Oversize Materials
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
Use & Permissions
The copyright interests in the Slattery Papers have not been transferred to Duke University. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the Special Collections Library.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Harry A. Slattery Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Chiefly typed professional letters documenting Slattery's career. About half consists of Slattery's outgoing and incoming mail. The remainder is between other individuals. Also contains a few telegrams, cards, memoranda and clippings. One folder dated Oct., 1938contains copies of microfilmed records relating to oil scandals. Arranged chronologically.
One box of alphabetized file cards compiled by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library staff indexes letters in the Correspondence Series written to Slattery by prominent individuals. Cards record the date of the letter, place of origination, and, in some cases, the format in which it was written. This box is filed at the end of the collection.
Typed logs of daily visits and phone calls to Slattery's office, presumably while he was employed at the REA. Most are bound by year, with pages for each workday. Some entries also contain phone messages and schedules for meetings and speaking engagements.
Arranged chronologically by volume.
Chiefly typed material relating to Slattery's career in the form of articles, speeches, reports, and press releases. They pertain to a variety of topics including conservation, utilities, legislation, and governmental investigations. Most speeches were given by individuals other than Slattery. Also includes correspondence; printed material in the form of newsletters, invitations, conference programs, and announcements; statements; clippings; notes; lists; meeting minutes; financial records; and a few photographs. The majority of material was not originated by Slattery.
Arranged chronologically by month, year and decade. Folders created within the chronological order for material relate to particular people and subjects.
Typed copies of articles, speeches, memoranda, and press releases by a number of authors; a book and book manuscript; and book orders and other miscellaneous material relating to Slattery's political career. Arranged chronologically. Slattery's two works are placed at the end of the series.
Photographs, notes, legal papers, reports, memoranda, clippings, receipts, copies of legislation, and lists. Arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by topic. The subseries Financial Papers is placed at the end of the series.
Calling cards, greeting cards, and invitations to banquets and other public events; both personal and professional in nature. Arranged chronologically.
Primarily booklets of speeches, articles, and government reports. Also includes brochures, programs, bulletins, addresses, periodicals, articles, reports, pamphlets, and government publications. Arranged chronologically.
Mostly newspaper, but also some magazine clippings, from a variety of sources. Most are loose, but some are glued on paper. Includes sections of the Congressional Record relating to rural electrification. Arranged alphabetically by topic. There is a “Persons” subsection within this order in which folders are arranged alphabetically by last names of individuals.
Includes newspaper and magazine clippings from a variety of sources, press releases, pamphlets, correspondence and excerpts from articles chiefly relating to Slattery and issues which arose while he was administrator of the REA. Arranged chronologically. See Oversize Material section of the inventory.
Three boxes contain indexes, presumably prepared by REA staff, referring to letters in the Correspondence Series and may also refer to material in other parts of the collection as well. These contain typed index cards filed alphabetically under the names of individuals. They include the date of correspondence, place of origination, and topic or type of material sent. Some refer to outgoing as well as incoming mail. Arranged alphabetically.
|1887, June 13||
Born, Greenville, South Carolina
Secretary to Gifford Pinchot, chief forester in Theodore Roosevelt's administration.
Executive Secretary of the National Conservation Association, appointed by its founder, Pinchot
Special Assistant to Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior
Counsel to the National Conservation Association
Practiced law in Washington
Executive and counsel for the National Boulder Dam Association
Counsel for the National Conservation Commission
Washington representative for New York Power Authority
Assistant to administrator of Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works
Personal assistant to Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior
Undersecretary of the Interior
Administrator of Rural Electrification Administration (REA), from which he resigned after a conflict with the Secretary of Agriculture in 1944
Consultant to the power subcommittee of the advisory commission of the Council of National Defense
Received LL.D. from the University of South Carolina
|1949, Sept. 1||
Slattery attended Mount Saint Mary's College in Maryland, Georgetown University and George Washington University. As part of government efforts to indict big business for the exploitation of the country's natural resources, he was involved in Senate investigations of the Mulhall exposure during Wilson's administration and the Teapot Dome Scandal of 1921. The 1944 controversy between the REA and the Department of Agriculture over the administration of REA led to a Senate investigation. Slattery was involved in the passage of a federal coal and oil leasing measure, federal water power legislation, Alaska coal and home rule acts, and rural electrification legislation. He was a member of the National Power Policy Committee, the Energy Resources and Land Committees of the National Resources Planning Board, the Interbureau Coordinating Committee, the Federal States Relations Committee, the Society of American Foresters, the National Press Club, the Missouri Athletic Club, and Delta Theta Phi Fraternity.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Boulder Dam Association
- Ellis, Clyde T. (Clyde Taylor)
- Grace, John P. (John Patrick), 1874-1940
- Ickes, Harold L. (Harold LeClair), 1874-1952
- King, Judson
- Lane, Franklin K.
- Manly, Basil Maxwell, 1886-1950
- National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
- National Conservation Association
- Pinchot, Gifford, 1865-1946
- Pinchot, Cornelia Bryce, 1881-1960
- Pinchot, Amos, 1873-1944
- Slattery, Harry A.
- United States. Rural Electrification Administration
- United States. Department of the Interior -- Officials and employees
- Wickard, Claude R. (Claude Raymond), 1893-1967
- Wells, Philip Patterson, b.1868
The Harry A. Slattery Papers, 1890-1953, were acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library through deposit in 1953 and by gift in 1958.
Processed by Janie Morris
Assisted by Denise Dolan
Date Completed: May 28, 1992
Encoded by Alvin Pollock