A Grassroots View of the American Right, 1955-1960

Masthead for _Right_ from August 1957.

Masthead for _Right_ from August 1957.

Yale University Library has recently acquired a full run of Right: A Monthly Bulletin of, by, and for the American Rightwing, an ephemeral newsletter published by Liberty & Property, Inc. of San Francisco.  The newsletters, which date from October 1955-Sepember 1960, are bound together in a quarto volume that includes other pieces of ephemera, including nine tracts created by the publishers of Right, a 1957 directory (with a 1960 addendum) of right-wing groups in the United States, a recruitment flyer for the Northern League: A Society for the Preservation of the Ethnic and Cultural Heritage of the Nordic Peoples, a booklet by Bela Hubbard titled The Hybrid Race Doctrine, and a three-part essay titled Cultural Dynamics.

_First National Directory of "Rightist" Groups_. 3rd edition of 1957.  Previously owned by M. Lyle Cashion, who was an oil worker in Houston Texas in the 1950s.  He gathered together the materials in this volume.

_First National Directory of “Rightist” Groups_. 3rd edition of 1957. Previously owned by M. Lyle Cashion, who was an oil worker in Houston Texas in the 1950s. He gathered together the materials in this volume.

The purported author of Cultural Dynamics, E.L. Anderson, was really Willis Carto, who was also the driving force behind Right.  Carto founded Liberty & Property, Inc. with the white supremacist Aldrich Blake in 1953 and has been involved with a variety of right-wing groups while managing a large network of right-wing publications and broadcasts for the last sixty years.  He might be most well known for founding Liberty Lobby, a right-wing advocacy group he dominated from 1958 until 2001, when it went bankrupt, as well as his virulent antisemitism and denial of the Holocaust.

For its first year, the publication appears to have been typed and copied for subscribers (who paid $3/year) and had very few images or graphics.  After November 1956, the newsletter takes on a crisper look and feel and contains more imagery, diverse fonts, and stories set off in boxes.  Each newsletter was four to six pages and has a vertical fold, since it was sent in a business-sized envelope to subscribers.

Announcement of William F. Buckley's _National Review_ in the first issue of _Right_.

Announcement of William F. Buckley’s _National Review_ in the first issue of _Right_.

Carto provides updates, usually no more than several short paragraphs in length, from other right-wing groups, notes any new publications of interest to his readers, and offers analysis of current events. For example, in the first issue of October 1955, Carto announced the appearance of the William F. Buckley’s National Review; in March 1956, he reported on the incorporation of Robert LeFevre’s Freedom School in Colorado Springs; and in June 1957 he commented critically on the addition of fluoride into the public water supply, a plot, he claims, perpetrated by “the Communist Party and the Aluminum Trust.”

This volume will be available to researchers to use in Manuscripts and Archives after it is processed and cataloged by the library.  If there are any questions about this volume, please direct them to david.gary@yale.edu.

David J. Gary
Kaplanoff Librarian for American History

Enumerating Slaves in Chester County, Pennsylvania, 1780-1821

photo 1“Pursuant to an Act of General Assembly passed at Philadelphia on Wednesday the first day of March Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and eighty Entitled an Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery …”

So begins the bound volume of blank pages now known as the Census of the Slaves in Chester County, Pennsylvania, serving as a record in one county of Pennsylvania’s conservative approach to the abolition of slavery. The Act, which represented an early approach by a U.S. state to abolishing slavery, simply banned importation of new slaves into the state. Slaves already in the state remained enslaved for life, and children born to them were afforded the status of indentured servants, forced to serve their mothers’ master until the age of 28.

photo 2The Act stipulated that residents of the state had to register their existing slaves with the county government annually or risk manumission. Foreshadowing a long tradition to come, members of the U.S. Congress, then meeting in Philadelphia under the Articles of Confederation, were exempted from the Pennsylvania Act.

The volume, a part of the Slavery Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection (MS 717. Box 3, folder 8) in Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, was maintained by the Office of the Clerk of the Peace for Chester County, which lies West-southwest of Philadelphia. The census records Chester County’s slaves from 1780 through the last entry in the volume, dated 1821. The clerk’s office maintained an index, at the beginning of the volume, of the pages on which individual county residents’ slaves were recorded. The Census provides a stark reminder of the extent of slavery in many Northern states in the decades between U.S independence and the onset of its Civil War. Pennsylvania’s legislature did not free slaves outright until 1847.

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#AskAnArchivist Day on Twitter, Thursday, October 30, 2014

AskAnArchivistDo you have a question about archives? Perhaps you have a research project you’d like to embark on and aren’t sure how to get started finding archival sources for it? Are you hanging on to family records at home and worrying that you should be taking better care of them? Maybe you’re thinking about a career in the archives and special collections professions and you have a question for someone already working in the field?

Join archivists from around the United States in celebrating #AskAnArchivist Day on Twitter this coming Thursday, October 30th, 2014. Ask any questions, large (well, 140-characters large) or small using the hashtag #AskAnArchivist and engage with archives professionals who will be waiting to respond to you.

Archives are your national, institutional, family, and personal heritage, not some mysterious inner sanctum that only the privileged few get to enter! U.S. archivists, based on their Code of Ethics, recognize “that use is the fundamental reason for keeping archives.” We welcome your questions and your research visits to archival facilities, websites, and online access systems.

Special Collections Fair at Yale Family Weekend

photo2The glistening, newly refurbished Nave of Sterling Memorial Library set the scene for a two-hour Special Collections Fair on Saturday, October 11, 2014. Over 150 of the thousands of Family Weekend guests who came to see the restored Nave stopped to engage with the special collections materials on display. Items from the collections of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Divinity Library Special Collections, Manuscripts and Archives, and the Medical Historical Library attracted the same kinds of enthusiastic engagement and questions from parents, siblings, and friends as they do when placed in students’ hands during class engagements in the library. Yale librarians and archivists Joan Duffy, Moira Fitzgerald, Melissa Grafe, Kathryn James, Bill Landis, and Suzanne Noruschat were on hand to answer questions about the items at hand, as well as discuss with visitors the collections and services available to Yale students through the Yale University Library.

photo5Manuscripts and Archives chose to focus on primary source assignments in several Freshman seminars and graduate courses during the current (Fall) term. Items were chosen from collections that had been used in hands-on class sessions for the following Yale courses:

  • AFAM 060/AMST 060/HIST 016: The Significance of American Slavery, taught by Professor Edward Rugemer (Tumblr blog used during class session with HIST 016 students).
  • AMST 014/HIST 007: America’s Backyard?: The History of U.S.-Latin American Relations, taught by Professor Jenifer Van Vleck and graduate student Taylor Jardno.
  • AMST 861/ARCH 4214: Built Environments and the Politics of Place, taught by Professor Dolores Hayden.
  • ARCH 1211: Drawing and Architectural Form, taught by Professor Victor Agran.

 

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New Article in the Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies (JCAS)

Manuscripts and Archives staff members, Michael Lotstein, Records Services Archivist and Matthew Gorham, Arrangement and Description Archivist are pleased to announce the publication of A Genealogy of the Lesbian Herstory Archives, 1974-2014” by Rachel F. Corbman in the Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies (JCAS): http://elischolar.library.yale.edu/jcas/vol1/iss1/1/.  Michael and Matthew currently serve as members of the JCAS editorial board, in partnership with the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and members of New England Archivists (NEA).

Visit the Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies at http://elischolar.library.yale.edu/jcas to learn more about sending in a submission or participating as a peer reviewer. 

The First Yale Unit and WW I

Highlighting the YaleNews article “Defending Allied Skies” by Amy Athey McDonald, which draws heavily on the collections of Manuscripts and Archives.

Personnel of the First Yale Unit of the United States Navy Air Reserve during aviation training in West Palm Beach, Florida, ca. 1915-19, photographic print, F. Trubee Davison papers, 1882-1961 (inclusive). Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University Library.

Personnel of the First Yale Unit of the United States Navy Air Reserve during aviation training in West Palm Beach, Florida, ca. 1915-19, photographic print, F. Trubee Davison papers, 1882-1961 (inclusive). Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University Library.

“In 1916 as America faced a revolution in Mexico and full-blown war in Europe, a group of 12 friends at Yale University decided it was time they learned how to fly. That summer the young men, led by Frederick Trubee Davison ’18 (1896–1974) — manager of the Yale crew team — formed the Yale Aero Club and the volunteer Coastal Patrol Unit #1, later known as the First Yale Unit.

They would become the country’s first naval aviation unit in World War I — the eyes in the skies that spotted enemy troops and land mines, chased U-boats and zeppelins, and engaged enemy planes in battles over Dunkirk and Paris.

They came from great wealth, social standing, and privilege. With surnames like Rockefeller and Gates, members of the First Yale Unit were star athletes and students, part of the “silver spoon” set. Schooled in leadership, service, and sacrifice, they were willing to risk everything to join a war 4,000 miles away in Europe.” Read more …

Yale’s WW I Memorials

Judith Schiff, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library

Judith Schiff, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library

With the anniversary of the start of World War I upon us, our Manuscripts and Archives colleague Judy Schiff talks in a YouTube video about how Yale’s participation and losses in World War I are commemorated on campus. Give a listen!

Travelling the World in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries

Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, has recently acquired, processed, and made available for research the personal papers of Theodore Martindale Purdy, an 1883 Graduate of the City College of New York and long-time resident of Short Hills, New Jersey. The photograph albums, diaries, sketchbooks, and printed ephemera document Purdy’s extensive world travels as a journalist and correspondent for the New York Mail and Express from 1883-1931. Purdy was born in 1862, married Helen Van Dyk in 1892, and had two children. His son, Theodore Martindale Purdy, Jr. received a B.A. from Yale in 1925. He died in 1944. An online finding aid for collection number MS 1994 provides additional details about the collection of his papers.

"Water bearers," circa 1889-1891 (MS 1994, box 3).

“Water bearers,” circa 1889-1891 (MS 1994, box 3).

Purdy’s travels took him to the Middle East, North Africa, and East, Southeast, and South Asia.  The collection contains numerous albums of photographs from his journeys, including these from a trip to Egypt in circa 1889-1891.

"The Colossi at Thebes," circa 1889-1891 (MS 1994, box 3)

“The Colossi at Thebes,” circa 1889-1891 (MS 1994, box 3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel diary of Theodore Martindale Purdy, 1890-1891, entries for 22-24 March 1891. (MS 1994, box 12, folder 5)

Travel diary of Theodore Martindale Purdy, 1890-1891, entries for 22-24 March 1891. (MS 1994, box 12, folder 5)

His diaries document his travels and observations, such as these entries from March 22nd-24th on his arrival in Cairo by boat.

 

 

 

 

 

Theodore Martindale Purdy sketches of columns at Luxor and Karnak, from "Cairo '91" sketchbook, 1891. (MS 1994, box 12, folder 3)

Theodore Martindale Purdy sketches of columns at Luxor and Karnak, from “Cairo ’91″ sketchbook, 1891. (MS 1994, box 12, folder 3)

Purdy was a decent artist and the collection contains several sketchbooks of drawings made while abroad, including these columns seen in temples at Luxor and Karnak in 1891.

 

 

 

 

Thomas W. Knox, The Pocket Guide Around the World: The Globe-Trotter's Handy-Book, New York: Charles T. Dillingham, 1884: 18-19. (MS 1994, box 12, folder 6)

Thomas W. Knox, The Pocket Guide Around the World: The Globe-Trotter’s Handy-Book, New York: Charles T. Dillingham, 1884: 18-19. (MS 1994, box 12, folder 6)

Purdy also saved travel guides and other books, including this one in which his marginalia expresses skepticism about the author’s advice for combating seasickness by taking laxatives.

 

 

 

 

Cunard Line passenger lists, 1909, 1925, and 1929 (l. to r.). (MS 1994, box 12, folder 1)

Cunard Line passenger lists, 1909, 1925, and 1929 (l. to r.). (MS 1994, box 12, folder 1)

Finally, Purdy saved some very interesting printed ephemera documenting the intercontinental travel technology of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including these three brochures advertising Cunard Line voyages.

 

 

 

Researchers may use the online finding aid to request boxes from the Theodore Martindale Purdy Papers (MS 1994). Consult our website for additional information about the collections and services of Manuscripts and Archives.

2014 Manuscripts & Archives Diane Kaplan Senior Essay Prize Winners Announced

We thank all thirteen Yale College seniors who submitted senior essays for prize consideration, and congratulate the following two students on their excellent prize-winning essays:

  • Outstanding Senior Essay on Yale:
    • John (Jack) Doyle, Berkeley College. Measuring “Problems of Human Behavior”: The Eugenic Origins of Yale’s Institute of Psychology, 1921-1929.
  • Outstanding Senior Essay Based on Research Done in Manuscripts and Archives:
    • Jonah Coe-Scharff, Pierson College. “New Roads” in Leftist Thought: Dwight Macdonald, Lewis Coser, and the Postwar Crisis of American Marxism.

The prize website provides a list of past winners of each prize, and in the future will contain links to the prize-winning essays on the Yale University Library’s EliScholar digital publishing platform.


Manuscripts and Archives offers two student prizes each year, in memory of our colleague Diane E. Kaplan, who was instrumental in making these prizes available to Yale College seniors. One is awarded for an outstanding senior essay on Yale. The second is awarded for an outstanding senior essay based on research done in Manuscripts and Archives. Each prize winner receives a $500 cash prize, which will be presented at the student’s residential college commencement ceremony. Essays from any department are eligible for consideration and students are invited to nominate themselves for these prizes. The essay prize submission and judging process takes place each year in March-April.

‘Bulldog and Panther’ Exhibit Opens

Bulldog and Panther: The 1970 May Day Rally and Yale – Memorabilia Room, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University

Bulldog and Panther exhibit poster1969 and 1970 were politically tumultuous years in the United States and indeed around the world. Unrest in U.S. urban areas and on college and university campuses focused on racial and gender inequalities, the ongoing U.S. war in Vietnam, and demands by students for more responsive and inclusive campus decision making. On 19 May 1969 Black Panther Party (BPP) member Alex Rackley was kidnapped and killed in New Haven by other BPP members who believed he was an FBI informant. In a time of intense FBI counter-intelligence focus on neutralizing the BPP’s influence in U.S. cities, the broad swath of indictments for the murder seemed an overreach to many. The defendants were referred to as the New Haven Nine, an allusion to the famous Chicago Seven, and included Bobby Seale, national BPP Chairman, who had spoken at Yale the day of the murder. Seale was extradited to Connecticut on the approval of California Governor Ronald Reagan, and the trial was set to begin in May 1970. A large protest rally was organized for the New Haven Green, scheduled for 1-3 May 1970. This exhibit explores the events leading up to the New Haven May Day rally, and its impact on Yale, the New Haven community, and beyond.

The exhibit is curated by Sarah Schmidt, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and Bill Landis, Manuscripts and Archives. It is free and open to the public Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM-4:45 PM, through May 16, 2014.

For additional resources on the exhibit see the New Haven Register article on a discussion panel, part of a collaborative series of events inspired by the exhibit hosted by the Yale University Library and Pierson College. The panel, held on February 26th, was moderated by Yale history professor Beverly Gage and featured Kathleen Cleaver, Ann Froines, and John R. Williams. Yale TV also did a feature on the exhibit, with interesting interview segments with Henry “Sam” Chauncey, Jr.