A Guide to the John Edward Lawler Papers, 1937-1974 Lawler, John Edward, Papers M 148

A Guide to the John Edward Lawler Papers, 1937-1974

A Collection in
Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library
Collection Number M 148


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Virginia Commonwealth University, James Branch Cabell Library

Special Collections and Archives
James Branch Cabell Library
Box 842003
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2003
USA
Phone: (804) 828-1108
Fax: (804) 828-0151
Email: libjbcsca@vcu.edu
URL: http://www.library.vcu.edu/about/special-collections/cabell/

© 2002 By Copyright Virginia Commonwealth University. All Rights Reserved.

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Dan Yanchinsin

Repository
Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University
Collection number
M 148
Title
John Edward Lawler Papers, 1937-1974
Physical Characteristics
8.3 linear feet
Creator
John Edward Lawler
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access

Collection is open for use without restrictions.

Use Restrictions

None.

Preferred Citation

Box/folder, John Edward Lawler Papers, M 148, Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University

Acquisition Information

The materials were given to the Department by Mr. Lawler on 17 February 1982.

Processing Information

Collection processed in February 1980 and revised in August 1990.


Biographical/Historical Information

John Edward Lawler, attorney, FBI agent, and insurance executive was born 19 May 1908 in Mobile, Alabama. His parents were Ida Dickens and Matthew Joseph Lawler, Sr. He attended high school and college at Spring Hill, a Jesuit school in Mobile. in 1930 he went to Washington, D.C., where he attended Stryars Business College and worked in a Sanitary Grocery store. In 1931, he enrolled in Georgetown University Law School and received an LLB degree in 1935. He was appointed a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on 1 July 1935, receiving assignments to the Buffalo, NY, and Los Angeles, CA, field offices. In April 1937, he returned to Washington to become Administrative Assistant to John Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI. On 15 August 1939, Lawler was appointed agent-in-charge of the Richmond field office, which encompassed the Commonwealth of Virginia. Once again, in August 1940, he returned to Washington to assist Director Hoover in organizing the counter-espionage activities of the Bureau. lawler met his future wife in Richmond and, because of an illness in 1941, he asked to be reassigned to the Richmond field office, where he remained until his retirement from the Bureau in 1950.

Lawler and his wife had two daughters and two sons before their divorce in the mid-sixties. For a time after his retirement from the Bureau in 1950, Lawler worked for the Central Intelligence Agency establishing United Business Associates, which invested in African interests, and organizing the Richmond-based Old Dominion Research Company, which supported CIA agents. He was engaged by the Union Life Insurance Company as a Vice-President and General Counsel. He remained with the company after its purchase and merger with Herndon P. Jeffreys, Jr. in the firm of Jeffreys and Lawler. He was a member of the Richmond City Council filling six months of Ed Haddock's unexpired term and was elected to two successive terms (1956-1960). In Richmond, Lawler was also an Alternate Director of Civil Defense, Chairman of the City's Personnel Board and active on law enforcement advisory boards for the city and state.

Lawler died at the age of 74 on December 30, 1982. According to newspaper reports at the time, he was found beaten to death in his Riverside Drive house. An inquiry by Richmond City Police of his death was tied to an investigation of his alleged involvement with prostitution. As of 1983, the investigation remained unsolved.

Scope and Content Information

The papers are particularly rich in the areas of law enforcement and training. There is a great wealth of material from Lawler's career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, D.C., where he was an administrative assistant to J. Edgar Hoover and in Richmond where he was the agent-in-charge of the Field Office. Lawler played a key role in organizing the Bureau's counter-espionage work during World War II. He was also involved in anti-Communist activities, curtailing and controlling the activities of Alice Burke, Secretary of the Communist party, who lived in Richmond. Lawler developed training materials and delivered lectures to local and state law enforcement agencies in Virginia. There is one folder of material documenting some of the grants released by the Old Dominion Research Company, a CIA-sponsored money source organized by Lawler. Although Lawler served on the Richmond

City Council and other city boards, there is only a limited amount of material on his role in Richmond politics. There us an extensive group of materials relating to cases before the NLRB against the Union Life Insurance Company and its successor the Interstate Mutual Fire Insurance Company. The papers contain material for potential research in law enforcement , counter-espionage and intelligence, labor relations and law enforcement and politics of the Richmond area.

Arrangement

Arrangement

The papers are contained in five record storage boxes and are divided into four series. Detailed notes on arrangement can be found at the head of each series

Organization

Series I--Biographical

Series II--Federal Bureau of Investigation

Series III--Richmond

Series IV--Insurance

Contents List

Series I--Biographical
  • Box-folder 1.1
    Interview conducted 2/8/1980 audio tape and transcript
  • Box-folder 1.2
    Miscellaneous
  • Box-folder 1.3
    Yearbooks
Series II--Federal Bureau of Investigations

There is a great deal of mimeographed and printed documents in the series that were preserved because they were maintained in Lawler's working files and often manipulated by him for training purposes. Moreover, it was deemed advisable to maintain the FBI publications for the benefit of researchers unable to travel to Washington, D.C., or to long-term government Depository Libraries. An attempt was made not only to establish an easily used subject file but also to maintain what remained of Lawler's original file order in the papers. The two notebooks of publications were part of Lawler's original office file. The remaining folders in the series arranged by subject include: FBI office memoranda, printed publications, reports, Lawler's lesson plans, mimeographed training materials issued by the Milwaukee and Washington, DC, police departments for the period 1937 to 1944. Researchers should be careful not to overlook the folder containing memoranda that illustrate the inner workings of the Bureau. There are related files in the subseries on the FBI field office in Series III.

  • Box-folder 2.1
    Notebook
  • Box-folder 2.2
    Notebook
  • Box-folder 2.3
    Arson
  • Box-folder 2.4
    Ballistics
  • Box-folder 2.5
    Bank Robbery
  • Box-folder 2.6
    Communist Party
  • Box-folder 2.7
    Communist Party Line
  • Box-folder 2.8
    Counterfeiting
  • Box-folder 2.9
    Criminal Identification
  • Box-folder 2.10
    Criminal Investigation
  • Box-folder 2.11
    Criminal Investigation
  • Box-folder 2.12
    Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Box-folder 2.13
    Desertion from Armed Forces
  • Box-folder 2.14
    Director's Addresses and Publications (incomplete)
  • Box-folder 2.15
    Espionage (World War II)
  • Box-folder 2.16
    Espionage Lecture
  • Box-folder 2.17
    Examinations from metropolitan police departments' training academies
  • Box-folder 2.18
    Federal Law Violations: Cases
  • Box-folder 2.19
    Fingerprints
  • Box-folder 2.20
    Fingerprints
  • Box-folder 2.21
    Fingerprints
  • Box-folder 2.22
    Firearms
  • Box-folder 2.23
    Firearms Training
  • Box-folder 2.24
    Footprints
  • Box-folder 2.24
    Juvenile Delinquency
  • Box-folder 2.25
    Juvenile Delinquency
  • Box-folder 2.26
    Juvenile Delinquency
  • Box-folder 2.27
    Kidnapping and Bank Robbery
  • Box-folder 2.28
    Kidnapping, Fried Case
  • Box-folder 2.29
    Kidnaping, Fried Case
  • Box-folder 2.30
    Kidnapping, Ross Case
  • Box-folder 2.31
    Kidnapping, School Data
  • Box-folder 2.32
    Lecture Material
  • Box-folder 3.1
    Lessons, Milwaukee Police Department
  • Box-folder 3.2
    Lessons, Washington (DC) Police Academy
  • Box-folder 3.3
    Internal Memoranda
  • Box-folder 3.4
    Narcotics
  • Box-folder 3.5
    National Police Academy
  • Box-folder 3.6
    Newspaper File, Clippings 1938-1943
  • Box-folder 3.7
    Photographs, Ballistics
  • Box-folder 3.8
    Photographs, Series 37-(incomplete)
  • Box-folder 3.9
    Photographs, Technical Lab Series-5 (incomplete)
  • Box-folder 3.10
    Photography
  • Box-folder 3.11
    Plant (Factory) Protection
  • Box-folder 3.12
    Poisons
  • Box-folder 3.13
    Portrait Parle (personal description method)
  • Box-folder 3.14
    Public Relations
  • Box-folder 3.15
    Public Relations
  • Box-folder 3.16
    Rape
  • Box-folder 3.17
    Records
  • Box-folder 3.18
    Report Writing
  • Box-folder 3.19
    Search and Seizure
  • Box-folder 3.20
    Selective Service
  • Box-folder 3.21
    Self Defense
  • Box-folder 3.22
    Technical Lab
  • Box-folder 3.23
    Technical Lab
  • Box-folder 3.24
    Traffic Enforcement
  • Box-folder 3.25
    Unlawful Flight
  • Box-folder 3.26
    Wartime Law Enforcement
Series III--Richmond

Files for the two major subseries, the FBI field office and Virginia Law Enforcement Training, relate to materials in Series II. there are three files particularly valuable for Richmond area researchers--those containing the field office's survey of crime for 1944 and 1947-1948 and those on the Schwarzchild Jewelry case, one of the major robberies in the city's history. Other materials important to the history of the city can be found in Lawler's incomplete political files and Jeffreys' and Lawlers' bills to the Richmond School Board in the Bradley v. Board desegregation case. For researchers concerned with the nation's intelligence gathering apparatus and the operations of the CIA, the file on the Old Dominion Research Company is an important source of material.

  • Box-folder 4.1
    Acknowledgements of Talks on law enforcement 1953-1954
  • Box-folder 4.2
    Christian Committee, clippings
  • Box-folder 4.3
    Communist Activities
  • Box-folder 4.4
    Communist Party Members
  • Box-folder 4.5
    Crime Survey 1944
  • Box-folder 4.6
    Crime Survey 1947-1948
  • Box-folder 4.7
    Crime Survey Photographs of Criminals
  • Box-folder 4.8
    Infantile Crime (Juvenile Delinquency)
  • Box-folder 4.9
    Lectures
  • Box-folder 4.10
    Report Writing
  • Box-folder 4.11
    Schwarzchild Jewelry Case 1949
  • Box-folder 4.12
    Schwarzchild Jewelry Case Photographs
    oversized
  • Box-folder 4.13
    Thompson Auto Theft Case 1947
  • Box-folder 4.14
    Jeffreys and Lawler Bradley v. Board
  • Box-folder 4.15
    Old Dominion Research Company 1959-1968
  • Box-folder 4.16
    Police Department
  • Box-folder 4.17
    Civil Defense
  • Box-folder 4.18
    Politics
  • Box-folder 4.19
    Politics, Campaign Card and Clippings
  • Box-folder 4.20
    Politics, Lists
  • Box-folder 4.21
    Regional Planning District Commission, Law Enforcement Committee 1970
  • Box-folder 4.22
    Smith, Stephen C. 1974-1975
  • Box-folder 4.23
    Virginia Law Enforcement Training Laws of Arrest
  • Box-folder 4.24
  • Box-folder 4.25
    Virginia Law Enforcement Training Criminal Investigation
  • Box-folder 4.26
    Virginia Law Enforcement Training Criminal Law
  • Box-folder 4.27
    Virginia Law Enforcement Training Due Process
  • Box-folder 5.1
    Virginia Law Enforcement Training Rules of Evidence
  • Box-folder 5.2
    Virginia Law Enforcement Training Rules of Evidence
  • Box-folder 5.3
    Virginia Law Enforcement Training Searches and Seizures
Series IV--Insurance

This series appears to be the "U -Z" portion of Lawler's files regarding Union Life Insurance Company and Interstate Mutual Insurance Company. The files have been maintained in the order in which they were received by the department except for the printed publications and clippings which were removed. The materials deal with cases brought before the NLRB.

  • Box-folder 5.4
    Mears, Edgar H. Photograph
  • Box-folder 5.5
    Labor Relations
  • Box-folder 5.6
    Unemployment Compensation
  • Box-folder 5.7-5.15
    Unions
  • Box-folder 5.16
    Wood, William C.
  • Box-folder 5.17
    Examination Report on Interstate Mutual Fire Insurance Co.
  • Box-folder 5.18
    Training Schools
  • Box-folder 5.19
    Training Schools
  • Box-folder 5.20
    Special Speech materials and scripts
  • Box-folder 5.21
    Manual of Instructions
  • Box-folder 5.22
    Manual of Instructions
  • Box-folder 5.23
    Manual of Instructions
  • Box-folder 5.24
    Manual of Instructions
  • Box-folder 5.25
    Manual of Instructions
  • Box-folder 5.26
    Manual of Instructions
  • Box-folder 6.1
    Manual of Instructions
  • Box-folder 6.2
    Manual of Instructions
  • Box-folder 6.3
    Manual of Instructions
  • Box-folder 6.4
    Manual of Rules and Regulations
  • Box-folder 6.5
    Manual of Rules and Regulations
  • Box-folder 6.6-6.28
    Publications
  • Box-folder 6.29-6.32
    Official Photographs
  • Box-folder 6.33-6.39
    National Defense Manual