TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview of the Collection

Biographical Note

Scope and Content

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Container List

Series 1. Correspondence

Series 2. Subject Files

Series 3. Boards and Commissions Files


RG 005:030, Office of the Governor: James L. McConaughy and James C. Shannon (1947-1949)

Inventory of Records

Finding aid prepared by Connecticut State Library Staff.

Copyright © 2007 by the Connecticut State Library


Overview of the Collection

Repository: Connecticut State Library
Creator: Connecticut. Governor (1947-1948 : McConaughy)
Creator: Connecticut. Governor (1948-1949 : Shannon)
Title: James L. McConaughy and James C. Shannon records
Dates: 1947-1949
Quantity: 21 cubic feet
Abstract: Gov. James L. McConaughy and Gov. James C. Shannon's correspondence, subject files, and board and commission files.
Identification: RG005_030
Accession: T001232
Language: The records are in English.

Biographical Note

James L. McConaughy

Born: October 21, 1887 at New York, New York.
College: Yale, 1909; Bowdoin M.A., 1911; Columbia Ph.D., 1913; Dartmouth M.A., 1915.
Political Party: Republican.
Offices: Lt. Governor of Connecticut, 1939-1941; Governor of Connecticut, 1947-1948.
Died: March 7, 1948 at Hartford, Connecticut.

James McConaughy was one of several governors of Connecticut in the first half of the twentieth century who came from an academic background. Others were Bingham, Cross and Snow. What they shared with their university activities was a love of politics. McConaughy was born in New York City where his father, a minister, was an official in the Y.M.C.A. His family moved to Massachusetts and in 1901 he attended the Mount Herman School where his father had been on the faculty for ten years. McConaughy received college degrees from four universities and in 1918 was named president of Knox College in Illinois. He became associated with Connecticut when Wesleyan University in Middletown made him its president in 1925. He married Elizabeth Townshend in 1913 and they had three children.

When the new Republican Party of Connecticut emerged after the 1937 death of its long time party boss, J. Henry Roraback, McConaughy became one of its advocates. Known as a forceful speaker, he was one of several candidates being proposed in 1938 for the Republican nomination for governor. When Raymond Baldwin agreed to head the party's ticket that year, he consented to be nominated for the position of lieutenant governor. As with Baldwin, the small Union Party placed him on its ticket and this helped him win the election. McConaughy sought to serve two more years as lieutenant governor, but lost in the 1940 campaign. In 1942 he left Wesleyan to become president of the United Chinese Relief Fund during World War II. A year later he became part of the secret operations of the U.S. government's Office of Strategic Services (OSS). When the 1946 state Republican convention met, McConaughy was nominated for governor and he faced his former Wesleyan associate, Wilbert Snow, in the election. In winning the post, he replaced Snow as governor, who had served the last 13 days of Raymond Baldwin's term.

As governor, McConaughy pushed those programs that interested him, including education, reform in employment, housing needs, benefits for the elderly, and assistance for returning servicemen. To pay for these programs he urged passage of a state sales tax, which brought in more funds than were needed and had to be scaled down later. McConaughy also pushed for the integration of the state's National Guard so that Blacks would not be segregated into separate units. McConaughy suddenly died after serving a little over one year as governor on March 7, 1948. The state's offices, courts and schools closed in his honor. McConaughy was given a small private funeral in Middletown where his remains were cremated. A larger ceremony was held the next day at the Capitol Building in Hartford. McConaughy Hall at the University of Connecticut in Storrs is named in his honor, as is a building at Wesleyan University.

James C. Shannon

Born: July 21, 1896 at Bridgeport, Connecticut.
College: Georgetown, 1918; Yale Law School, 1921.
Political Party: Republican.
Offices: Lt. Governor of Connecticut, 1947-1948; Governor of Connecticut, 1948-1949.
Died: March 6, 1980 at Fairfield, Connecticut.

The second Catholic governor of Connecticut, James Shannon, came from an active political family where both his father and uncle worked in local politics, and his grandfather, Patrick Coughlin, had been a Democratic mayor of Bridgeport in 1888. Shannon attended local schools in Bridgeport and graduated from Georgetown University in 1918. After serving in the U.S. Navy during the First World War, he earned a law degree from Yale in 1921 and returned to Bridgeport to practice law. Shannon served as the city's prosecuting Attorney for 1923-1931 and was a judge on its Juvenile Court for 1931-1935. In 1939 he became the counsel for the Connecticut Federation of Labor, and held that position until he became governor in 1948. Married to Helen M. McMurray in 1925, the Shannons had three children.

Until 1947 Shannon never sought office beyond Bridgeport. He had been approached in 1928 by the state Republican Party to run for Congress, but he refused to do so because of his family. At the 1946 state Republican Convention James McConaughy and Joseph Talbot sought the nomination for governor. In an attempt to avoid a battle among the delegates there, Talbot was urged by the party leadership to accept the nomination of lieutenant governor behind McConaughy. When he refused to do so and McConaughy was certain of victory, the leadership had Governor Raymond Baldwin telephone Shannon at his office in Bridgeport and ask him if he would like to be lieutenant governor. When Shannon replied, "Who wouldn't," he was told to prepare his acceptance speech and to be at the convention in the morning. He was elected to the office in November and when McConaughy died a little more than a year after his inauguration, Shannon became Connecticut's governor and immediately closed the state's agencies, courts and schools in honor of his predecessor. Although he was only in office for ten months, Shannon carried out McConaughy's programs. He did call the General Assembly into special session to face the problem of a lack of housing in the state. He had legislation passed that increased funding for housing and to assist people who faced eviction from their homes.

When the 1948 elections came, Shannon sought to be elected to a full term as governor, but he was defeated in a close campaign by the Democratic candidate, Chester Bowles. Shannon served on Connecticut's Superior Court for 1953-63 and on the state's Supreme Court for 1963-65.

He was active in programs of the Catholic Church, with the Boy Scouts, and with the Bridgeport Y.M.C.A. After his 1980 death he was buried in the Oaklawn Cemetery in Fairfield. His house in Bridgeport still stands and is privately owned.

Bibliography

Congressional Quarterly's Guide to United States Elections. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1994 [CSL call number GIS Ref JK 1967 .C662 1994.

Glashan, Roy R. American Governors and Gubernatorial Elections, 1775-1975. Stillwater, Minn.: Croixside Press, 1975 [CSL call number JK 2447 .G53 1975].

Hartford Times, March 8, 1948.

Sobel, Robert and John Raimo. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978. Westport, Conn.: Meckler Books, 1978 [CSL call number GIS Ref E 176 .B573].

Van Dusen, Albert E. Connecticut. New York: Random House, 1961 [CSL call number HistRef F 94 .V3].

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Scope and Content

Gov. James L. McConaughy and James C. Shannon's records are correspondence and subject files related to state agencies, commissions, legislative bills, and appointments among other topics. Also included are boards and commissions files.

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Arrangement

Series 1. Correspondence.

Series 2. Subject Files.

Series 3. Boards and Commissions Files.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

These records are stored at an off-site facility and therefore may not be available on a same-day basis.

See the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections policy.

Restrictions on Use

See the Reproduction and Publications of State Library Collections policy.

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Related Material

RG 069:146, James L. McConaughy Papers, 1888-1966, bulk 1888-1948, Connecticut State Library.

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Index Terms

Persons:

McConaughy, James L. (James Lukens), b.1887
Shannon, James C. (James Coughlin), 1896-1980

Subjects:

Connecticut -- History -- Sources
Connecticut -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950 -- Sources
Connecticut. Office of the Governor -- Archives
Governors -- Connecticut -- Archives
McConaughy, James L. (James Lukens), b.1887 -- Archives
Shannon, James C. (James Coughlin), 1896-1980 -- Archives

Document Types:

Correspondence
Records

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Container List

Series 1. Correspondence
Box
A-C 486
D-H 487
I-N 488
O-S 489
T-Z 490
Series 2. Subject Files
Box
Adjutant General , 1947 491
Adjutant General , 1948
Aeronautics Dept.
Agricultural Experiment Station , 1947
Agricultural Experiment Station, 1948
Agricultural Experiment Station Conference, Re: One Director For Both or Under Separate Directors
Agricultural Experiment Station Re: Minutes of Board of Control [one black binder], 1948
Agriculture Dept.
American Overseas Aid United Nations Appeal for Children
American School for Deaf
Athletic Commissioner, 1947-1948 492
Attorney General , 1947
Attorney General , 1948
Auditors [half the box]
Banking Department, 1947-1948 493
Blood Donor Service , 1947-1948
Board of Education of the Blind , 1947-1948
Bradley Field , 1947-1948
Cancer Society
Census Bureau
Chamber of Commerce , 1947-1948
C[ongress] I[ndustrial] O[rganizations]
Civilian Defense 494
Civil Rights
Communist Party, Letters From
Community Chest
Community Property Law
Comptroller , 1948
Comptroller’s - Construction Div[ision]
Comptroller’s Office , 1947
Comptroller’s Real Estate Division
Conference, Governors’ – Miscellaneous 495
Conference, Governors’ - Hotel Statler, Boston, 1947 November 20-21
Conference on State Defense
Congressmen – Correspondence with , 1947
Connecticut Federation of Labor
Connecticut Hospital Service
Connecticut Labor – Management Advisory Council
Connecticut Nautical Cadets
Connecticut Prison Assoc[iation]
Connecticut Public Expenditure Council 496
Connecticut Reformatory
Connecticut Rural Roads Improvement Association
Connecticut State Employees Assoc[iation]
Connecticut Veterans’ Advisory Com[mission], 1947
Connecticut Veterans’ Advisory Com[mission] , 1948
Coroner
Council of State Governments 497
Council of State Governments Bulletins 498
County Commissioners
County Jail
Dairy and Food Commission
Development Commission , 1947 499
Development Commission , 1948
Development Commission Reports
Directories 500
Domestic Animals [Commission]
Economy Report of Committee of General Assembly
Egg Inspection Letters Regarding Inspection of Same
Education Department , 1947
Education Department, 1948
Equal Rights Amendment 501
Extraditions
F[air] E[mployment] P[ractices] C[ommission] Hearing Examiners Com[mittee]
Fairfield County Home
Farms and Markets Department
Federal Security Agency
Finance and Control , 1947
Finance and Control, 1948
[Finance and Control] – Budget Division
[Finance and Control] – Purchasing
Fish and Game Complimentary Licenses
Fish and Game Department
Food and Drugs Commission
Food Conservation Committee 502
Forest & Wildlife Commission
Freight Rate Committee
Fuel Advisory Committee, [CT] – Minutes of Meetings
Fuel – Correspondence with: Mayors, First Selectmen Re: Fuel Committees Conservation of Fuel
Fuel - Correspondence with Newspapers Re: Governor’s Speech on Fuel, Also a copy of Governor's Address, 1948 January 5
Fuel – Correspondence with Oil Companies Re: Fuel Supplies & Reservation of Heating Fuels
Fuel – Correspondence with: President, Secretary of Commerce, Navy Dept., Dept. of Interior, Maritime Comm. & Cong[ressional] Delegates
Fuel – General File 503
Fuel - Reports from State Department Re: Conservation of Fuel
Fuel – Texas Oil Strike Correspondence With: President - Congressional Delegates - American Oil Co[mpany] & Gov. [Robert F.] Bradford [MA]
Governor Mc[Conaughy] - Inaugural Address
Governor’s Contingent Fund
Governors, Correspondence with, 1947
Governors, Correspondence with , 1948
Governors Correspondence with Members of the General Assembly
Grain Situation
Green Pastures Contest
Hawaii Statehood
Health Department, 1947
Health Department, 1948 504
Highway Department , 1947
Highway Department , 1948
Highway Safety Commission, 1947 505
Highway Safety Commission , 1948
President’s Highway Safety Conf[erence]
[Hospitals and Institutions] Fairfield State Hospital 506
[Hospitals and Institutions] Institutions Conference Re: Epidemics (All Institution Heads)
[Hospitals and Institutions]] Long Lane School
[Hospitals and Institutions] Mansfield - Southbury Training Schools for Conference Re One Director for Both - Or a Director for Each School
[Hospitals and Institutions] Mansfield State Training School and Hospital
[Hospitals and Institutions] Middletown Hospital
[Hospitals and Institutions] Norwich State Hospital
[Hospitals and Institutions] Sanatoriums 507
[Hospitals and Institutions] Southbury Training School
[Hospitals and Institutions] State Farm for Women
[Hospitals and Institutions] State Institution for Deaf
Hospital Rates
[Housing Authority, Connecticut State “Review of Connecticut’s Housing Problem and Methods to Alleviate the Shortage", 1948 July 1, 2 copies
Housing: Correspondence Re: Towns Applying and Towns Refusing State Aid
Housing: Funds Allocated for Veterans Housing
Housing: General Correspondence, 1947 508
Housing: General Correspondence, 1948 January-June
Housing: General Correspondence , 1948 June-August
Housing: General Correspondence, 1948 August-October
Housing: General Correspondence , 1948 October-December
Housing: Insurance Companies 509
Housing: Joint Committee on Moderate Rental (Gov. – Atty. Gen. - Comptroller - Mr. White) Public Act 405
Housing: Letters from College Students
Housing: Letters to Mayor and Senators Re: Allotments to Towns and Cities
Housing: Vacancies in Temporary War Housing
Housing: Veterans Housing
Humane Society 510
Immigration and Naturalization Service
Insurance , 1948
Insurance Department
Inter-American Commission
Inter-Governmental Cooperation Com[mission]
Inter - Racial Commission , 1947
Inter - Racial Commission , 1948
Jewish Material Re: Palestine Issue
Judge of Probate 511
Judges
Judicial Council, Labor Board of Mediation and Arbitration
Labor Department , 1947
Labor Department, 1948
Labor Dept. Bulletins
Labor - Unemployment Compensation
Labor Dept. Tobacco
League of Women Voters
Legislation – Circular Letter sent to all State Departments and Institutions 512
Legislative Council
Legislative Research
Legislative Special Session , 1948
Liberia Centennial
Library - State
Liquor Control Com[mission]
Manufacturer’s Association
Medical Society 513
Meeks, Everett V.
Meriden School for Boys
Military Training
Milk Administration [one quarter of box]
Milk Companies
Mock Legislature [Connecticut Intercollegiate]
Motor Vehicle
National Guard
Naval Militia
Navy Department
Negroes’ Letters Re: Governor’s Stand In Regard To Negroes [Opposed segregation in the National Guard] 514
New England Council
New Haven Teachers College
Organizations
Park & Forest Commission 515
Personnel
Plimpton Street Property
Police, 1947
Police, 1948
Police Reports
Prison [Connecticut State] 516
Proclamations
Public Utilities , 1947
Public Utilities , 1948
Public Utilities – Common Carriers Public Welfare , 1948
Public Welfare, 1948
Public Welfare Council , 1947
Public Welfare Council, 1948
Public Welfare Department, 1947 517
Putnam Phalanx
Rent Control
Sales Tax, 2 folders
Secretary of Defense
Secretary of State 518
Secretary of State - Washington, DC
Selective Service
Senators, Correspondence with , 1947
Senators, Correspondence with, 1948
Sheriffs
Silent Guest Fund Campaign
Soldiers’ Sailors’ Marines’ Fund
State Boundary Line
State Chemists
State’s Attorney
Strikes
Summary Process Actions Re: Letters from Clerks, Common Pleas Courts
Supreme Court
Tax Department, 1947
Tax Department, 1948 519
Tax Foundation
Tax Study Committee
Town Grants
Treasurer – Veterans Bonus
Treasurer’s Office , 1947
Treasurer’s Office , 1948
Treasurer’s Office – Veterans Bond Commission
Treasury Department
Tuberculosis Commission, 1947
Tuberculosis Commission, 1948
University of Connecticut, 1947 520
University of Connecticut, 1948
University of Connecticut – Bond Commission
University of Connecticut – Minutes of Meetings 521
University of Connecticut – Proposed Medical School
University of Connecticut Farm Labor Program
Veterans Bonus Appeal Board
Veterans Home
Veteran’s Service Centers
Vetoes , 1947
Water Commission , 1947
Water Commission, 1948
Yale Corporation , [half of the box] 522
Yankee Friend Ship
Series 3. Boards and Commissions Files
Box
Reports [Agencies, Boards and Commissions] 522-523
Disarranged.
Boards and Commissions Files 524
Accountancy, Board of
Accounting and Auditing Functions
Alcoholism, Commission on
Architectural Board
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
Aviation
Banking, Advisory Council on
Barbers, Board of Examiners of
Child Study Home
Chiropody Examiners, Board of
Chiropractic Examiners, Board of
Chronically Ill, Aged & Infirm, Commission on
Dams and Reservoirs, Board of Supervision of
Dental Commission
Displaced Persons
Eastern States Exposition, Trustees of the Conn[ecticut] Building at the
Embalmers, Board of Examiners of
Engineers and Land Surveyors, Board of Registration for Professional
Erosion, Committee to Study Shore
Fire Prevention and Control, Commission on 525
Flood Control Committee, Governor’s Interstate
Flood Control, New England Interstate
Fort Griswold and Groton Monument Commission
General Statutes, Commission to Revise the
Geological & Natural History Survey
Groton - New London Bridge Com[mission]
Harbor Masters, Recommendations
Hartford Bridge Commission
Healing Arts, Board of
Henry Whitfield House, Trustees of
Historical Routes, Committee to Study
Homeopathic Medical Exam[ination] B[oar]d
Human Resources in Connecticut, Commission to Study
Humane and Welfare Institutions Building Program Com[mission]
Investment Committee
Israel Putnam Memorial Com[mittee]
Juvenile Welfare Committee
Labor Board to Determine Hours of Labor and Wages of Persons Employed in Construction of State Buildings
Labor Board to Determine the Prevailing Rate of Wages in Road and Bridge Work Authority by the State
Major General Edwards Memorial, Commission to Select Site and Design for 526
Marketing Authority
Mental Hospitals, Committee on Proposed Integration of
Merritt Parkway Commission
Metropolitan District
Milk Regulation Board
Mosquito Control Board
Natureopathic Examiners, Board of
Nursing, Board of Examiners for
Old Lyme-Old Saybrook Bridge Com[mission]
Opticians, Commission of
Optometry, Board of Examiners in
Osteopathic Exam[ination] Board
Pardons, Board of
Personnel Appeal Board
Personnel Committee, Advisory
Pharmacy Commission
Physiotherapy Technicians, Board of
Port Survey Commission
Poultry Commission
Probate Court Commission
Psychologists, Board of Examiners of
Public Health Council
Public School Building Commission
Public Utilities Commission
Reappointment, Letters to Members of Boards & Commissions Re:
Rent Advisory Commission
Rent Control Board, Federal
Sanitation Commission, Interstate 527
Savings Bank Life Insurance in Conn[ecticut]
Savings Banks’ Railroad Investment Committee
Scrap Drive Committee
Sculpture Commission
Shell Fish Commission
State Advisory Council
State Educational Institutions, Commission for
State Employees Retirement Commission
State Hospitals and Training Schools for the Mentally Defective, Commission to Study
State Institutions, Commission for
State Mental Hospitals, Joint Committee of
State Real Assets Advisory Committee
State Tax Study Commission
Steamship Terminals, Commissioners of
Tree Examining Board
Unemployment Commissioners
Unemployment Compensation Act, Advisory Council for the
Veterans Home Commission
Veterinary Board of Examination & Registration
Water Pollution Control Commission, New England Interstate
Workmen’s Compensation