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Guide to the of Harry A. Slattery Papers, 1890-1953

Collection Overview

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.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Harry A. Slattery papers, 1890-1953
Creator
Slattery, Harry A.
Extent
60 linear feet, circa 35,300
Repository
Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library Durham, North Carolina 27708-0185
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Language
English.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

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.

warning Use Restrictions

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.

Contents of the Collection

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.

1908-1923 Apr.
(19 folders)
Box 1
1923 May-1926 Aug.
(20 folders)
Box 2
1926 Sept.-1928 June
(18 folders)
Box 3
1928 July-1931 Dec.
(23 folders)
Box 4
1932 Jan.-1933-June
(17 folders)
Box 5
1933 July-1934 Apr. 7
(19 folders)
Box 6
1934 Apr. 8 -1935 May
(19 folders)
Box 7
1935 June-1936 July 20
(21 folders)
Box 8
1936 July 21-1937 July 10
(18 folders)
Box 9
1937 July 12-1938 May
(15 folders)
Box 10
1938 June-1939 Nov. 20
(18 folders)
Box 11
1939 Nov. 21-1940 June 20
(16 folders)
Box 12
1940 June 21-1941 Jan. 26
(15 folders)
Box 13
1941 Jan.27-1942 May 15
(16 folders)
Box 14
1942 May 16-1943 Feb. 10
(14 folders)
Box 15
1943 Feb. 11-July
(14 folders)
Box 16
1943 Aug.-1944 June
(14 folders)
Box 17
1944, July-1953, undated
(8 folders)
Box 18

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.

1940-1943, Feb.
(5 folders)
1943, Feb.-1944
(6 folders)
Box 19

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.

1901-1916
(6 folders)
1916-1920s, Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of Interior
1916-1920s, Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of Interior
Box 20
1917-1923
(5 folders)
Box 20
1924,Draft of Oil Brief by Harry Slattery on leases of Naval Oil Reserves
Box 20
1924-1927
(8 folders)
Box 20
1927
(2 folders)
Box 21
1927,Boulder Dam
(3 folders)
Box 21
1927-1928
Box 21
1928
(7 folders)
Box 21
1928, story of Teapot Dome Oil Scandal
Box 21
1928,Boulder Dam
Box 21
1929
(2 folders)
Box 21
1930-1932
(16 folders)
Box 22
1933-1935
(14 folders)
Box 23
1935,Bonneville Dam Project (photographs)
Box 23
1935-1938, Kiplinger Washington Newsletter, with annotations
Box 23
1935-1938, Kiplinger Washington Newsletter
Box 24
1936-1939
(16 folders)
Box 24
1939
(2 folders)
Box 25
1939,Addresses given at special meetings by Slattery
Box 25
1930s
Box 25
1940
(8 folders)
Box 25
1941
(3 folders)
Box 25
1941
Box 26
1941-1944, slattery's personal files
(2 folders)
Box 26
1942
(4 folders)
Box 26
Daily Press Digest
Box 26
Directory
Box 26
1942,Winder/Pollock Investigation
Box 26
1943
(7 folders)
Box 26
1943
(3 folders)
Box 27
1943, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association – Rural Electrification Administration controversy
Box 27
1944-1953
(9 folders)
Box 27
1940s,Democratic state leaders
Box 27
undated
(2 folders)
Box 27
undated
Box 28

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.

1912-1940s, undated
(3 folders)
Autobiography: From Roosevelt to Roosevelt,1906-1946(7 folders, 1 vol.)
Rural America Lights Up, 1940 and undated

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.

1910s-1944, undated
(2 folders)
1930-1931, Louis T. McFadden
1921-1939, undated,Pictures
1914-,Relief provisions relating to oil and gas
1939, undated, Rural Electrification Administration (REA)
1927-1928,Walsh bill and resolution
1921-1943, undated

Calling cards, greeting cards, and invitations to banquets and other public events; both personal and professional in nature. Arranged chronologically.

1930s,Cards and invitations
1930s-1945, undated
(5 folders)
Box 29

Primarily booklets of speeches, articles, and government reports. Also includes brochures, programs, bulletins, addresses, periodicals, articles, reports, pamphlets, and government publications. Arranged chronologically.

1907-1922
(9 folders)
1922-1924, undated,Teapot Dome
Box 30
1923-1928
(10 folders)
Box 30
1928,Hoover campaign material
Box 30
1929
(2 folders)
Box 30
1930-1944
(15 folders)
Box 31
1944-1945, undated
(4 folders)
Box 32

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.

Chester Lake Hunger Strike, 1944
Conservation and Boulder Dam, 1910-1930s, undated
(6 folders)
Conservation and Reclamation, 1913-1932
(5 folders)
Conservation and Reclamation, 1933-1940s
(3 folders)
Box 33
Democratic Party and Politics, 1921-1941
Box 33
Ku Klux Klan, 1929
Box 33
Nye (Gerald) Committee, 1929-1931
Box 33
Appleby, Paul, 1941-1944
Box 33
Brandeis, Louis, 1927-1941
Box 33
Byrnes, James, 1942-1943
Box 33
Carmody, John M., 1941
Box 33
Corcoran, Thomas, 1937-1942, undated
Box 33
Davis, Chester, 1943
Box 33
Henderson, Leon, 1941-1942
Box 33
Hoover, Herbert, 1915-1932
(9 folders)
Box 33
Huston, Claudins Hart, 1924-1942
Box 33
Ickes, Harold LeClair, 1933-1943
Box 33
Lane, Franklin K., 1916-1920s
Box 33
LaFollette family, 1924-1934
Box 33
Morgan, John Pierpont, 1927-1937
Box 33
Morrow, Dwight Whitney, 1927-1931
Box 33
Nelson, Donald, 1941-1943
Box 33
Norris, George William, 1927-1943
Box 33
Pinchot, Gifford, 1919-1925
Box 33
Pinchot, Gifford, 1926-1944, undated
(12 folders)
Box 34
Reed, James Alexander, 1927-1929
Box 34
Roosevelt, F. D., 1923-1944, undated
(5 folders)
Box 35
Slattery, Harry A., 1930's-1944
Box 35
Slemp, Bascom, 1923
Box 35
Smith, Alfred E., 1927-1929
Box 35
Vare, William Scott, 1926-1929
(2 folders)
Box 35
Wallace, Henry, 1937-1943
Box 35
West, Ray O. and Charles West, 1928-1937
Box 35
Wickard, Claude W., 1940-1945
Box 35
Wilkie, Wendell, 1940-1941
Box 35
Price control and priorities, 1941-1943
Box 35
Public works and utilities, 1906-1928
(6 folders)
Box 35
Public Works and Utilities, 1928-1944, undated
(11 folders)
Box 36
Radio, 1930-1932
Box 36
Red Cross, 1931
Box 36
Rural Electrification Administration (REA), 1940-1945, undated
(6 folders)
Box 36
Teapot Dome oil scandal, 1915-1921
(2 folders)
Box 36
Teapot Dome oil scandal, 1922-1933, undated
(12 folders)
Box 37
Miscellaneous, 1915-1944, undated
Box 37

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.

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, 1943-1944(2 vols.)
Rural Elecrification Administration, 1944

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.

Rural Electrification Administration Indexes, 1939-1944(3 boxes)
Box 38
Correspondence, 1924-1944
Box 44
Memoranda, 1920-1928, undated
Box 44
Writings and Speeches, 1940
Box 44
Miscellaneous, 1928-1941
Box 44
Miscellaneous: Photograph Album, 1935-1941(Photographs of people connected with the REA)
Oversize Box 43
Cards and Invitations, 1936-1937, undated
Box 44
Printed Material, 1909-1944, undated
Box 44
Scrapbook, 1890-1939, Aug.
Oversize Box 39
Scrapbook, 1939, Sept.-Dec.
Box 44
Scrapbook, 1940, Jan.-Sept.
Oversize Box 40
Scrapbook, 1940, Sept.-1941, Sept.
Box 44
Scrapbook, 1941, Sept.-1942, July
Oversize Box 41
Scrapbook, 1942, July-1943, Mar.
Box 44
Scrapbook, 1943, Apr 1944, Oct.
Oversize Box 42
Scrapbook, 1940-1941 (Clippings relating to Rural America Lights Up)
Box 44

Historical Note

DateEvent(s)
1887, June 13Born, Greenville, South Carolina
1909-1912Secretary to Gifford Pinchot, chief forester in Theodore Roosevelt's administration.
1912-1917Executive Secretary of the National Conservation Association, appointed by its founder, Pinchot
1917-1918Special Assistant to Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior
1919-1923Counsel to the National Conservation Association
1923-1933Practiced law in Washington
1925-1929Executive and counsel for the National Boulder Dam Association
1929-1932Counsel for the National Conservation Commission
1931-1933Washington representative for New York Power Authority
1933-1938Personal assistant to Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior
Assistant to administrator of Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works
1938-1939Undersecretary of the Interior
1939-1944Administrator of Rural Electrification Administration (REA), from which he resigned after a conflict with the Secretary of Agriculture in 1944
1940-1942Consultant to the power subcommittee of the advisory commission of the Council of National Defense
1944Received LL.D. from the University of South Carolina
1949, Sept. 1Died

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.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Harry A. Slattery Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

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.

Processing Information

Processed by Janie Morris

Assisted by Denise Dolan

Date Completed: May 28, 1992

Encoded by Alvin Pollock

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.