Bontecou, Eleanor Papers

Dates: 1906-1991

Attorney, Civil Rights Section, Department of Justice, 1943-1946; Legal Adviser, War Crimes Branch, Civil Affairs Division, War Department, 1946-1947

The papers of Eleanor Bontecou consist of correspondence, legal briefs, memoranda, newspaper clippings, notes, press releases, reports, and other materials relating to Ms. Bontecou’s work and interest in legal questions surrounding various civil rights issues.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]

ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 6 linear feet, 2 linear inches.
Access: Open.
Copyright: The donor gave to the U.S. government the copyrights in this material and in any other material received by the U.S. government and maintained in a depository administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. Documents created by U.S. government officials in the course of their official duties are in the public domain. Copyright interest in other documents presumably belongs to the creators of those documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Erwin J. Mueller (1974); Randy Sowell (2000); Tammy Williams (2023).

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1891 (February 4)

 

Born, Short Hills, New Jersey

1913

 

Graduated from Bryn Mawr College

1917

 

Obtained Law degree, New York University

1922-1925

 

Dean of Bryn Mawr College

1928

 

Received Ph.D., Brookings Graduate School of Economics and Government

1930

 

Professor of Legal Relations, University of Chicago

1943-1946

 

Lawyer, Civil Rights Section, Justice Department

1946-1947

 

Legal Advisor, War Crimes Branch, Civil Affairs Division, Department of War

1948-1952

 

Associate Director, Cornell Research in Civil Liberties

1976 (March 19)

 

Died, Alexandria, Virginia

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The Eleanor Bontecou Papers contain legal briefs, reports, memoranda, notes, manuals, and other materials related to Ms. Bontecou’s service with the Justice Department and the War Department. The collection contains information on several pivotal issues that arose during the Truman administration: civil rights, internal security, and war crimes. The collection is arranged into four series.

The first series, the General File, contains legal briefs, manuals, memoranda, notes, and reports on general legal topics related to Ms. Bontecou’s legal career in the federal government. Among the items in this series is a copy of the rules of criminal procedure, and the operations manual for the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. This series also contains Ms. Bontecou’s personnel file material from her federal employment.

The second series is the Civil Rights File. This series contains correspondence, notes, memoranda, legal briefs, pamphlets, press releases, legislation, reports, journal articles, clippings, charts, and graphs relating to civil rights issues, including First Amendment issues such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Included are materials collected and used during Ms. Bontecou’s service with the federal government, as well as material that post-dates her federal employment and documents her continued interest in civil rights issues. Topics addressed in this series include the case of Screws v. U. S.; laws governing elections, such as the Hatch Act and the Federal Corrupt Practices Act; cases involving Jehovah’s Witnesses; the National Labor Relations Act, the War Labor Disputes Act, and the federally secured right to strike; police brutality, especially perpetrated against Black soldiers and veterans; and voting rights.

The third series is the Internal Security File. This series contains correspondences, law review articles, manuscript drafts, memoranda, newspaper clippings, notes, press releases, regulations, and reports relating to rules governing and investigations of the loyalty of government employees at the federal, state, and local level. Topics featured in this series are the Scientists’ Committee on Loyalty Problems; the Scientists Committee on Loyalty and Security; J. Robert Oppenheimer; the loyalty case of Commerce Department employee William Remington; the security investigation at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey; and drafts of two books that Ms. Bontecou wrote about government employee loyalty and security issues.

The fourth series is the World War II File. This series contains directives, law review articles, legal briefs and filings, manuals, memoranda, press releases, and reports relating to war crimes trials and civil rights in wartime. Included in this series is a copy of the War Department Basic Field Manual on the Rules of Land Warfare and a War Department Technical Manual on Treaties Governing Land Warfare. Many of the materials in this series relate to habeas corpus issues for war criminals and others.

Related collections regarding World War II and war crimes trials include the Truman Papers (President’s Secretary’s Files and Confidential File) and the papers of Samuel Rosenman and Katherine Fite Lincoln. Related collections regarding civil rights include the Truman Papers (Official File, President’s Personal File, President’s Secretary’s Files, and Philleo Nash Files); the papers of Clark Clifford, George Elsey, David Niles, and Philleo Nash; and Record Group 220: President’s Committee on Civil Rights. Related collections regarding internal security and loyalty issues include the Truman Papers (Official File, President’s Secretary’s Files, and Post-Presidential Papers); the papers of Stephen Spingarn, George Elsey, David Lloyd, Charles Murphy, and A. Devitt Vanech; and the Records of the President’s Commission on Internal Security and Civil Rights.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos.

 

Series

1-2   GENERAL FILE, 1913-1991
Correspondence, legal briefs, manuals, memorabilia, memoranda, notes, reports on general legal topics, and other materials relating to Eleanor Bontecou. Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
3-6   CIVIL RIGHTS FILE, 1906-1968
Correspondence, notes, memoranda, legal briefs, pamphlets, press releases, legislation, reports, journal articles, clippings, charts, and graphs relating to civil rights issues throughout the United States. Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
7-12   INTERNAL SECURITY FILE, 1940-1956
Correspondences, law review articles, manuscript drafts, memoranda, newspaper clippings, notes, press releases, regulations, and reports relating to rules governing and investigations of the loyalty of government employees at the federal, state, and local level. Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
13-14   WORLD WAR II FILE, 1938-1948
Directives, law review articles, legal briefs and filings, manuals, memoranda, press releases, and reports relating to war crimes trials and civil rights in wartime. Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

FOLDER TITLE LIST

GENERAL FILE, 1913-1991

Box 1

  • Admiralty Law – Background Data
  • Briggs Case – Harry Hopkins Letter Forgery
  • Conspiracy – Brief on
  • Criminal Division, U. S. Department of Justice, Manual
  • District Courts of the United States – Rules of Criminal Procedure
  • Federal Communications Commission [1 of 3]
  • Federal Communications Commission [2 of 3]

Box 2

  • Federal Communications Commission [3 of 3]
  • Federal Communications Commission – Report, Public Service Responsibility of Broadcast Licensees
  • Federal Court Cases – Historical Precedents
  • Legal Education in the United States, 1789-1835
  • Memorabilia, Correspondence, and Other Materials
  • National Labor Relations Act (S. 1958), Congressional Reports, 74th Congress, First Session
  • Notes and Other Items
  • Personnel Records of Eleanor Bontecou
  • United States Supreme Court – Cases Establishing Historical Precedents

CIVIL RIGHTS FILE, 1906-1968

Box 3

  • Annual Reports
  • Anti-Semitism
  • Civil Liberties and Media
  • "Civil Rights Today" - Bibliography
  • Congress of Industrial Organizations Political Action Committee [1 of 2]
  • Congress of Industrial Organizations Political Action Committee [2 of 2]
  • Correspondence – General
  • Court Cases
  • Directives – Justice Department
  • Election Laws
  • Fair Employment Practices Committee

Box 4

  • Federal Corrupt Practices Act – Legislative History [1 of 2]
  • Federal Corrupt Practices Act – Legislative History [2 of 2]
  • Federal Corrupt Practices Act – Memoranda Concerning
  • Freedom of Speech
  • Hatch Act
  • Japanese Americans
  • Labor Problems and Cases
  • Lynching Problems and Cases
  • Peonage Cases
  • Police Brutality

Box 5

  • Poll Tax [1 of 3]
  • Poll Tax [2 of 3]
  • Poll Tax [3 of 3]
  • Poll Tax - Jurors of United States District Courts
  • Prisoner's Rights
  • Project - Civil Rights Legal Committee, Inc.
  • Race Riots
  • Religious Freedom
  • Speeches and Articles

Box 6

  • Statutes and Civil Rights
  • Suffrage - Historical Background
  • Suffrage - Southern States
  • United States vs. Walker and LeBlanc
  • Voting Cases
  • Waller vs. Youell
  • War Labor Disputes Act

INTERNAL SECURITY FILE, 1940-1956

Box 7

  • Agency Loyalty Boards - Regulations
  • Army, Department of the
  • Atomic Energy Commission
  • Attorney General's list of Subversive Organizations
  • Background Data [1 of 2]
  • Background Data [2 of 2]
  • Bibliography Index
  • Bridges, Harry
  • Brosseau Case
  • A Chinaman's Chance - Drafts of Manuscript

Bog 8

  • Civil Service Investigations
  • Clubb Case
  • Eisenhower Security Program
  • English Policy as to Security Risks in the Civil Service
  • English Security Program
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation [1 of 2]
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation [2 of 2]
  • History of Congressional Action Concerning Subversives in Federal Employ – Report
  • House Civil Service Committee Report on H. R. 66
  • Interdepartmental Committee Employee Investigation
  • Internal Security and Individual Rights Boards
  • International Workers Order, Inc.

Box 9

  • Lorwin Case
  • Loyalty Review Board [1 of 3]
  • Loyalty Review Board [2 of 3]
  • Loyalty Review Board [3 of 3]
  • Loyalty Review Board of the Civil Service Commission: Reports
  • Manuscript for Book on Loyalty and Security [1 of 2]

Box 10

  • Manuscript for Book on Loyalty and Security [2 of 2]
  • McCarthy Attack: Newspaper Clippings
  • Military Personnel Security Cases Involving Draftees Under the Universal Military Training and Service Act – Report
  • Newspaper Clippings and Magazine Articles
  • Oppenheimer Case [1 of 3]

Box 11

  • Oppenheimer Case [2 of 3]
  • Oppenheimer Case [3 of 3]
  • Personnel Security Programs in Industry – Proceedings of Conference, 1955
  • President’s Temporary Commission on Employee Loyalty, Executive Order 9806
  • The Price They Pay - Manuscript for Book
  • Rees bill - H.R. 3813
  • Remington Case

Box 12

  • Scientists Committee on Loyalty and Security - Federation of American Scientists
  • Speeches
  • State and Local [1 of 2]
  • State and Local [2 of 2]
  • Subversive Organizations
  • Testimony of Arthur Flemming Concerning C