A Guide to the Frederick (Fritz) Earnest Nolting, Jr. Papers Nolting, Frederick (Fritz) Earnest, Jr. Papers 12804

A Guide to the Frederick (Fritz) Earnest Nolting, Jr. Papers

A Collection in the
Special Collections
The University of Virginia Library
Accession number 12804


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© 2007 By the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. All rights reserved.

Funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Special Collections Department Staff

University of Virginia. Library. Special Collections Dept. Alderman Library University of Virginia Charlottesville, Virginia 22903 USA
Collection Number
Frederick (Fritz) Earnest Nolting, Jr. Papers 1890-1989
ca. 12,000 items

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

See the University of Virginia Library’s use policy.

Preferred Citation

Frederick (Fritz) Earnest Nolting, Jr. Papers, Accession #12804, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.

Acquisition Information

The collection wasa gift from Mrs. Frederick Nolting.

Processing Information

The contents of Box 29 (personal financial and medical records) were returned to Grace Lindsay Nolting, April 4, 2007. There is a gap in numbering since boxes were not re-numbered.

Biographical Sketch

Educator, diplomat and banker, Frederick Earnest Nolting, Jr. was born August 24, 1911 in Richmond, Virginia to Frederick Earnest Nolting, Sr. and Mary Buford Nolting. Known as "Fritz," he spent his early childhood and student years in Richmond attending the St. Christopher's School. Later as an undergraduate he attended the University of Virginia in Charlottesville where he earned a B.A. degree in history and went on to work as an investment banker in the family business in Richmond for the next five years.

In 1939, Nolting returned to graduate studies at the University of Virginia, earning an M. A. (1940) and a Ph.D.(1942) in philosophy and serving as a lecturing fellow in that field. He also earned a second M.A. in philosophy at Harvard in 1941. During World War II, Nolting served overseas in the Navy, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander. In 1946, he left the Navy and began a career that would span 18 years with the Department of State. His service included assignments as a member of the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations (1951); as Special Assistant to Secretaries of State Dean Acheson and John Foster Dulles for Mutual Security Affairs (1953-1955) and as Alternate U.S. Representative to the North Atlantic Council (NATO) in Paris (1955-1961). In 1961, President Kennedy named Nolting as Ambassador to the Republic of South Vietnam where he served until 1963 in what was to be a period of shifting U.S.Vietnamese policy developments that precipitated the overthrow and assassination of President Ngo Dinh Diem.

In 1964, Nolting retired from the U.S. Government to become Vice-President in charge of the European offices of the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company in Paris (1964-1969), then Assistant to the Chairman in New York City (1969-1973) and, finally, as consultant to the company (1973-1976).

During this time, Nolting had returned to the University of Virginia to serve as Diplomat-in-Residence (1971-1973) before going on to hold teaching and administrative posts as Olsson Professor of Business Administration in the Darden School of Business (1973-1976), Professor in the Woodrow Wilson Department of Government and Foreign Affairs and Director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation and as a member of the Center for Advanced Studies and the International Management and Development Institute.

In 1982, Nolting retired from the University of Virginia and devoted a good deal of his time to the writing of his book, From trust to tragedy : the political memoirs of Frederick Nolting, Kennedy's ambassador to Diem's Vietnam, which he published in 1988. The book serves as Nolting's personal testament to his role as U.S. Ambassador in Saigon and as a critical analysis of the conflicting political strategies that existed among the many policy making players during that volatile period of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

On December 14, 1989, at age 78, Nolting died and was survived by his wife, Olivia Lindsay Crumpler whom he had married in 1940 and who is presently residing in Charlottesville and by their four daughters: Mary Nolting Bruner and Jane Nolting Meniktos both of Charlottesville; Grace Lindsay Nolting of Columbia, Virginia and Frances Temple of Geneva, New York.

Scope and Content

The collection contains ca. 12,000 items (17 shelf feet) and consists of a large quantity of generally routine personal and official correspondence; a smaller portion of "Selected Correspondence" listed by correspondent name; professional papers associated with Nolting's governmental, business and academic career activities; personal papers containing military and property records; manuscript notes, drafts and correspondence relating to Nolting's publications and an assortment of photographs (ca. 500 items), many of which were take during his service in Vietnam.

Interesting documents within the collection groupings include: (a) Correspondence : The exchange of letters with Dean Rusk, W. Averell Harriman and the editors of the New York Times in which Nolting challenges some of the U.S. policy strategies of the 1961-1963 Vietnam experience. (b) Professional Papers : Copies of State Department declassified documents that reveal the unfolding day-to-day actions that led to a major shift in U.S. relations with the South Vietnamese Government and that resulted in the overthrow and death of President Diem. (c) Personal Papers : Records of the Nolting family involvement in the restoration and preservation of the historic Sully and Chantilly properties in Virginia. (d) Photographs : Dramatic photographs of some of the major players involved in the U.S.-Vietnam policy drama of 1961-1964, including: President Diem, Henry Cabot Lodge, W. Averell Harriman, Maxwell Taylor, Vice-President Johnson and Ambassador Nolting.

Container List

Series I: Correspondence
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Series II: Professional Papers
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Series III: Personal Papers
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Series IV: Publications
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Series V: Photographs
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