1946-1970
43 lin. ft.
Boxes 80 - 122

Contents: Correspondence, memoranda.

Arrangement: The series is arranged alphabetically by department, agency, or subject, with subfiles of specific topics also alphabetically arranged. Contents of folders are in reverse chronological order. The order of Legislative Correspondence parallels the arrangement of the JJW:ERL Subject Files and Executive Correspondence series.

Description: Correspondence in this series was created in response to legislative issues and comes from both Delawareans and national constituents. The arrangement of the series is by department or agency with jurisdiction over the issue, or by broad subject. As with the Executive Correspondence series, similar topics may appear in several locations due to cross- jurisdiction of the departments or agencies, or the filing practices of the staff. The Legislative Correspondence series with its reflection of public opinion, richly complements the specific topics found in other series in the collection.

Each subseries in Legislative Correspondence series includes files for specific issues and "miscellaneous" files to accommodate general comments. The series contains correspondence, petitions, and many "robos," a form letter summarizing the Senator's opinion on an issue and sent in response to high-volume, single-issue constituent correspondence.

The range of topics represented in the Legislative Correspondence series provides an overview of the issues facing the American public during the 1950s and 1960s and addressed by the 80th - 91st Congresses. The spread of communism, U.S. foreign policies in Southeast Asia, defense spending, taxation, reform of laws for ethical standards for elected representatives and judicial appointees, the Social Security program, and changes in civil rights laws are some of the concerns documented in this series. Of special interest to Delawareans are public reactions to the court-ordered divestment of GM-Du Pont stock (found under Finance), and the development of Delaware projects and plans for state lands filed under Public Works.

The large volume of correspondence under the subseries Finance and Foreign Relations indicates widespread public concern with these issues. The volume is also the result of Senator Williams's reputation as an influential member of both the Finance and Foreign Relations committees. Another significant amount of correspondence is found under the Rules subseries and reflects the nationwide support of his efforts to expose government corruption.

Sampling techniques were heavily used to appraise this series of Legislative Correspondence. The large volume of single- issue petitions and correspondence, to which the Senator's office sent form letter responses, was routinely reduced to 20 percent of the original extent of the files. The "miscellaneous" topical files under each agency or department were also reduced by saving only a sample of the broad, general comments from constituents. An appraisal summary documenting the original volume of correspondence is filed in the front of several folders.