University of Delaware Library

Special Collections

A Manuscript Sampler

Twentieth Century History and Politics

One of the priority collecting areas for the University of Delaware Library has been twentieth century history and politics. The Library holds the papers of Delaware congressional figures and other politicians, diplomats, business leaders, community activists and organizations.

Booker T. Washington, 1856-1915.
Typed letter signed, to Alice Moore
Dunbar, 20 May 1905, 1 p.

From the Alice Dunbar-Nelson papers.

Jane Addams, 1882-1935.
Autograph letter signed to "Miss Titsworth,"
19 April 1922, 1 p.

Jane Addams founded the world famous social settlement Hull House on Chicago's Near West Side in 1889. From Hull House, where she lived and worked until her death in 1935, Jane Addams built her reputation as the country's most prominent woman through her writing, her settlement work, and her international efforts for world peace. In this letter Addams offers encouragement to one of her teachers at Hull House. It forms part of a small group of papers and ephemera relating to Hull House and is accompanied by a photograph of Jane Addams with a group of children.

Gift of Robert D. Fleck

Harold Brayman, 1900-1988.
Born in Middleburg, New York, Harold Brayman began his journalism career in Albany, where he worked for six years as a legislative correspondent for several newspapers. In 1928, he became the Washington correspondent for the New York Evening Post, and covered his first national political convention. He went on to attend every national political convention from 1928-1940, becoming one of the nation's leading political correspondents. In 1938 he was elected President of the National Press Club, and in 1941, President of the Gridiron Club. In 1944, Brayman joined the Du Pont Company in Wilmington, Delaware, as assistant director of public relations, and became the director two years later. Displayed here is a group of letters from political notables, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Howard Hughes, and J. Edgar Hoover sent to him as part of his National Press Club duties.

Harold Brayman papers, gift of Martha Brayman


George S. (George Strausser) Messersmith, 1883 1960.
Papers, 1907-1955.

George Messersmith's long diplomatic career affords insight into the many personalities and global crises that he encountered. As U.S. Consul General in Berlin from 1930 to 1934, he witnessed the Nazis' rise to power, warning from the beginning that Hitler represented a threat to Western civilization. In 1934 he was named Minister to Austria, a post he held until 1937, when he returned to Washington to serve as Assistant Secretary of State. He continued to provide vital information on the European situation during this entire period.

Typed letter, George Messersmith to Secretary of State [Cordell Hull], November 17, 1933.

Typed letter, George Messersmith to [Under Secretary of State] William Phillips, March 24, 1934.

Typed letter, George Messersmith to Mr. Secretary [Cordell Hull], August 20, 1938.

Typed memorandum, George Messersmith to Senator Key Pittman, September 1, 1938.

Bequest of George S. Messersmith

Senator John J. Williams, 1904-1988.
Papers, 1946-1988.

John J. Williams served as a United States Senator from Delaware from 1947-1970. During his long, distinguished career, he achieved national recognition for his legislative work, but it was his independent investigative efforts which brought him his widest acclaim. His papers document these activities and include a wealth of correspondence and documents from prominent known figures including the material on display from Richard Nixon, Groucho Marx, and Ronald Reagan.

Gift of Mrs. Elsie Steele Williams

Franklin D. Roosevelt , 1882-1945.
Typed letter signed, to Honorable Sol Bloom, 25 February 1937.

In this short note to the New York Congressman Sol Bloom, President Roosevelt comments humorously on plans for the Sesquicentennial of the United States Constitution.

Introduction | Delaware Collection | 18th and 19th c. Literature & Politics | Science | 20th c. Literature

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Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
(302) 831-2229

Last modified: 12/21/10

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