TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview of the Collection

Biographical Note

Scope and Content

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Container List

Series 1. Personal Papers 1905-1966, bulk 1905-1948

Series 2. Political Papers 1938-1948

Series 3. Photographs 1888-1948, bulk 1947-1948


RG 069:146, James L. McConaughy Papers

Inventory

Finding aid prepared by Paul E. Baran.

Copyright © 2012 by the Connecticut State Library


Overview of the Collection

Repository: Connecticut State Library
Creator: McConaughy, James L. (James Lukens), b.1887
Title: James L. McConaughy Papers
Dates: 1888-1966, bulk 1888-1948
Quantity: 5 cubic feet
Abstract: James L. McConaughy was President of Wesleyan University, 1925-1943, and Governor of the State of Connectuct, 1947 until his death on March 7, 1948. Included in his papers are correspondence, speeches, photographs, and the scrapbook he kept while attending Yale from 1905-1909.
Identification: RG069_146
Accession: 2009-005
Language: The records are in English.

Biographical Note

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 Townsend Rogers 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 (O.S.S.). 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.

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Scope and Content

These papers are arranged into three series: Personal Papers, Political Papers, and Photographs.

Series 1. Personal Papers, 1905-1966, bulk 1905-1948, includes biographical information; McConaughy's Yale University scrapbook, 1905-1909; correspondence from McConaughy to his wife Elizabeth while he was abroad working for the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.) during World War II; a few items from China, including McConaughy's business card as President of United Chica Relief with the Chinese translation on the reverse; and a few of McConaughy's writings including a narrative of his experience in the O.S.S.

Series 2. Political Papers, 1938-1948, consists primarily of speeches. Included are those from the 1938 and 1940 campaigns for Lieutenant Governor and the 1946 campaign for Governor. From his term as governor are speeches delivered to the Meriden-Wallingford Foremen's Club, YMCA, New England Governors' Conference, President's Highway Safety Conference, Connecticut Federation of Labor Convention, Knights of Columbus, Connecticut State Apprenticeship Council graduation, Connecticut Manufacturers Association, West Hartford Chamber of Commerce, C.I.O Convention, Connecticut Bankers Association, the Boy Scouts, as well as for Pan-American Day, the Italian-American Columbus Day celebration, Lincoln Day for both 1947 and 1948, and the General Assembly adjournment in 1947. Also present are radio talks given Monday evenings, primarily from the Executive Residence, from January 27 to June 9, 1947. These talks were meant to be informal and McConaughy often gave an update of his activities as Governor. Topics covered in these radio talks include the state budget, taxation, veterans issues, and education. Elizabeth McConaughy stood in for her husband on two occasions when he was away. She spoke about her family. Two radio talks in January 1948 concern the oil shortage and a final one in February 1948 was to call a Special Session of the Legislature.

Series 3. Photographs, 1888-1948, bulk 1947-1948, are mainly from McConaughy's term as Governor. Included are photographs of his inauguration, various state officials and employees, events that he attended, and military events such as Submarine Day and McConaughy's trip with other governors to Hawaii on the battleship U.S.S. Iowa. There are also photographs taken at McConaughy's home in Cornwall and several of his wife Elizabeth McConaughy. The portrait photographs include some of McConaughy as a child.

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Arrangement

Series 1. Personal Papers, 1905-1966, bulk 1905-1948

Series 2. Political Papers, 1938-1948

Series 3. Photographs, 1888-1948, bulk 1947-1948

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

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 005:030, James L. McConaughy and James C. Shannon Records, 1947-1949, Connecticut State Library.

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Subjects:

Bigelow-Sanford Carpet Company
Connecticut -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950
Fairs -- Connecticut -- Danbury
Governors -- Connecticut
Iowa (Battleship)
Naval Submarine Base (Groton, Conn.)
Navy-yards and naval stations -- Connecticut -- Groton
Navy-yards and naval stations -- Connecticut -- New London
United States. Office of Strategic Services
Yale University -- Students

Places:

Cornwall (Conn.)
Danbury (Conn.)
Groton (Conn.)
Hartford (Conn.)
New London (Conn.)
Thompsonville (Conn.)

Persons:

McConaughy, Elizabeth
McConaughy, James L. (James Lukens), b.1887

Document Types:

Clippings
Correspondence
Diplomas
Photogrpahs
Publications
Reports
Scrapbooks
Speeches

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Container List

Series 1. Personal Papers, 1905-1966, bulk 1905-1948
Box Folder
Biographical information, 1948 1 1
Yale University, 1905-1909, 1938
Scrapbook, 1905-1909 2
Honorary Doctor of Law, 1938 9
Wesleyan University, 1924-1925 1 2
Includes program for the installation of McConaughy as president of Wesleyan University. A copy of The Wesleyan Argus, June 5, 1925 with the headline "Dr. McConaughy Installed as Tenth President" is in Box 9.
Correspondence - James L. McConaughy to Elizabeth McConaughty, 1944-1945 3-5
Correspondence - Extracts from letters of James L. McConaughy, 1944-1945 6
Writings - Narrative of O.S.S. experience, undated 7
Writings - "Maritime Middletown", 1950 8
Artifacts from China, undated 9
Artifacts from China - China's Patriotic Sing, undated 9
Family material - Record of births, marriages, and deaths for McCounaughy and Pierce families, undated 10
Family material - Miscellaneous, 1920-1956 11
Family material - Elizabeth McConaughy, 1948-1950 9
Includes presentation copy of Connecticut, State Register and Manual, 1948, and honorary Master of Arts from Wesleyan University, 1950.
Periodicals, 1947-1948
Issues of Life and Reader's Digest with articles about James L. McConaughy; 2 issues of The New Yorker with stories by Elizabeth McConaughy.
News clippings, 1940-1947, 1966
Includes article on the death of Elizabeth McConaughy in 1966.
Certificate presented by Deputies of Neptune at U.S. Submarine Base, New London, 1946 October 4
Series 2. Political Papers, 1938-1948
Campaign material, 1946 3 1
Govermor's Inaugural Dinner program, 1947 January 8 2
Letterhead from term as Lieutenant Governor, undated 3
Published speeches, 1947-1948 4
Speeches, 1938-1948 5-12
Radio speeches, 1947-1948 13-14
Unidentified audio disc, undated
Stored separate from collection in audio disc box
Series 3. Photographs, 1888-1948, bulk 1947-1948
Box Envelope
Portraits
James L. McConaughy as a child, 1888-circa 1895 8 195-200
James L. McConaughy as an adult, circa 1925-1947 4 1-10
Oversize of Gov. James L. McConaughy sitting in the state Senate president's chair, made from the Charter Oak, 1947 January 7 9 278
Others, circa 1888-1905 8 201-203
Inauguration, 1947 January 8 4 11-33
State officials and employees, 1947 34-40
Events
Republican candidates for governor dinner, 1946 August 24 8 204
New England Conference of Governors, 1947 January 18 5 41
Stamford Chamber of Commerce annual dinner, 1947 January 22 42-45
Lincoln Day dinner, 1947 February 12 8 205
Testimonial for Dept. of Labor Commissioner John J. Egan, 1947 March 1 5 46
Needle Club dinner, 1947 April 24 47-48
Memorial Day, Cornwall, 1947 May 30 8 206-216
Bill signing for state aid for education, 1947 June 3 5 49
Bill signing for a bathing pool in Wharton Brook State Park in North Haven, 1947 June 3 50
Bill signing for highway fund budget, 1947 June 12 51
Air Week End in Connecticut, 1947 June 28 52-53
National Governors Conference, circa 1947 July 13-16 54
Bigelow-Sanford Carpet Co. open house, 1947 September 25 55-67
Danbury Fair, 1947 October 1 68-81
Birthday luncheon, 1947 October 21 82-83
Southington-Plainville-Bristol Foremen's Club Ladies Night banquet, 1947 November 13 8 217-218
Christmas party for state employees with 30 years of service, 1947 December 10 6 84-109
New England Governors Conference, 1948 January 19 110-111
Special session of General Assembly, 1948 February 17 112
Stanislaw Mikolajczyk visit, 1948 February 20 113
First Company, Governor's Horse Guard annual dinner, 1948 February 21 114-116
Unidentified events, circa 1946-1948 117-134
Unidentified events, circa 1946-1948 8 219-223
Unidentified events, circa 1946-1948 228-232
Military
Navy's Civilian Advisory Committee, 1946 7 135-137
Submarine Day, 1947 April 11 8 233-265
U.S.S. Iowa, 1947 July 7 138-149
U.S. S. Iowa - Oversize, 1947 9 279
Inscribed by Capt. T.M. Stokes.
Camp Edwards, 1947 August 11 7
Miscellaneous, circa 1946-1948 161-169
Children and youth
Nutmeg Boys State, 1947 June 27 7 170-172
Christmas Seals, 1947 November 24 173
American School for the Deaf, circa 1948 February 174
Gov. McConaughy, a boy, and a girl with books, circa 1947 175
Cornwall home, circa 1946-1948 176-187
Cornwall home, circa 1946-1948 8 224-225
Elizabeth McConaughy
Miscellaneous, circa 1942-1948 7 188-194
Miscellaneous, circa 1947-1948 8 266-268
New Haven Women's Republican Club annual dinner meeting, 1947 January 29 226-227
Class photograph, circa 1900-1910 9 280
Travel and recreation
Yangtze River, China, 1945 September 8 269
Grand Canyon, circa 1946-1948, 7 photographs 270
Boat ride, circa 1946-1948, 8 photographs 271
Miscellaneous, circa 1946-1948, undated 272-273
Buildings
Governor's residence, undated 8 274
State Capitol, undated 275-277