A Guide to the Papers of Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., 1924, 1949–1950 Stettinius, Edward R., Jr., Papers 2723-z

A Guide to the Papers of Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., 1924, 1949–1950

A Collection in
Special Collections
The University of Virginia Library
Accession number 2723-z


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Processed by: Special Collections Staff

Special Collections, University of Virginia Library
Collection Number
Papers of Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. 1924, 1949-1950
Physical Characteristics
380 items

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions.

Use restrictions

There are no use restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Papers of Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., 1924, 1949-1950, Accession #2723-z, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.


The collection was a gift from Cathy Zimmerman on August 24, 2008.

Biographical/Historical Information

Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. (1900-1949), was an American industrialist and public servant and the Secretary of State in President Franklin Roosevelt's Cabinet. He was born in Chicago, Ill., on Oct. 2, 1900 to Edward Reilly and Judith (Carrington) Stettinius. His mother was a Virginian of colonial English ancestry and his father was of German descent, and a native of St. Louis who worked for financier, J. P. Morgan.

Stettinius, Jr. received his education at the Pomfret School and the University of Virginia although he did not graduate. In 1924 he joined the General Motors Company as a stock clerk at 44 cents an hour. On May 15, 1926, he married Virginia Gordon Wallace, daughter of a prominent family of Richmond, Virginia. They had three children: Edward Reilly, and twins Wallace and Joseph. In 1931 he became Vice President in charge of public and industrial relations at General Motors. He worked to develop unemployment relief programs and came into contact with Franklin D. Roosevelt, for whom he worked briefly in the National Recovery Administration. In 1934 he became chairman of the finance committee of the U.S. Steel Corporation, and in 1938 he became chairman of the board. Two years later he became head of the Lend-Lease aid to the allies, a position he held until he became undersecretary of state. In October 1943 Stettinius succeeded Cordell Hull as Secretary of State. In this capacity he undertook a reorganization of the department, sought to bring it into closer relations with other parts of the government, improved the relations of the department with the public at large, and labored vigorously in the creation of the United Nations. In the winter of 1945 Stettinius accompanied President Roosevelt to the Yalta Conference in the Crimea, at which the Big Three, Roosevelt, Winston Churchill of England, and Joseph Stalin of the U.S.S.R., attempted to plot the future course of international affairs.

As Secretary, Stettinius made the decision to return a Russian codebook, found in Finland, to the Soviet Union. This hampered efforts of the United States to decode Russian cables, many of which, when later released, provided information about the widespread penetration of Soviet agents into senior United States Government positions. The reasons for this act are not clear. Soon afterward, Stettinius resigned as Secretary of State to become the first United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Stettinius resigned from this position in June 1946, after which he became critical of what he saw as Truman's refusal to use the United Nations as a tool to resolve tensions with the Soviet Union.

For three years after his return to private life he served as rector of the University of Virginia. A longtime friend of William Tubman,, the president of Liberia, he helped form (1947) the Liberia Company, a partnership between the Liberian government and American financiers to provide funds for the development of that African nation. He lived during his retirement at his estate, Horseshoe Farm on the Rapidan River, Virginia. He died of a coronary thrombosis at the home of a sister in Greenwich, Connecticut, at the age of 49, and was buried in the family plot in Locust Valley Cemetery, Locust Valley, New York.

Scope and Content

The collection contains condolences to Mrs. Stettinius on the death of her husband, Edward Reilly Stettinius, Jr. and an address list for those who wrote the condolence letters. Among the many prominent writers are Bernard Baruch, Harry Byrd, Sr., James F. Byrnes, John Foster Dulles, William F. Halsey, J. Edgar Hoover, Cordell Hull, Trygve Lie, Archibald MacLeish, George C. Marshall, Eddie Rickenbacker, Eleanor Roosevelt (telegram), Adlai Stevenson, William V. Tubman, Henry A. Wallace and Earl Warren. Miscellaneous items include letters concerning a gift of stock to Sidney James Weinberg; news clippings, photographs, miscellaneous printed items, commemorative statements, bound volumes of memorial resolutions and a blueprint of his gravesite. There are also nine letters that Edward Stettinius wrote to his parents about his travels in 1924. The collection consists of approximately 380 items, 2 Hollinger boxes, and one linear foot.

Contents List

Box-folder 1:1
Correspondence Edward Stettinius Jr. to his parents [1924]
9 items
Box-folder 1:2
Address lists of correspondents who wrote condolence letters to Mrs. Edward Reilly Stettinius after her husband's death [1949-1950]
4 items
Box-folder 1:3
Condolences received by Mrs. Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. (A-G) 1949-1950
95 items

Correspondents include Dean Gooderham Acheson (1893-1971); Carl Adams; Hafez Afifi; Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold (1886-1950), General of the United States Air Force; Brigadier General Frank Albert Allen, Jr. (1896-1979); American Consul General Stephen E. Aguirre; Hamilton Fish Armstrong (1893-1973); I Gonzalez Arevalo, Minister of Foreign Relations Guatemala; Warren Robinson Austin (1877-1962), United States Ambassador to the United Nations; Joseph W. Barron; Lucy M. Barringer; Claude Albert Barnett (1889-1967) Founder of the Associated Negro Press; Eugenia Barton and Harry Mason; D. M. Bates; Murray Reed Benedict (1892-1980), President of the Agricultural Economics Association; John James Bennett (1894-1967), New York State Attorney General; Right Honorable Isaac Leslie Hore-Belisha (1893-1957), British Secretary of State for War; Jules Basdevant (1877-1968), President of the International Court of Justice ; Sir Carl August Berendsen (1890-1973), Ambassador of New Zealand; Francis L. Berkeley, Jr. (1911-2003) University of Virginia Archivist and Professor Emeritus ; Scott B. Berkeley; Bernard Mannes Baruch (1870-1965), United States financier, presidential advisor, and statesman; William S. Bernard, Chairman of the War Industries Board; Charles Eustis "Chip" Bohlen, (1904-1974), United States Diplomat; William Marshall Boyle, Jr. (1902-1961) Chairman National Democratic Party; Otto Brandt; Ellen and Jim Bruce (United States Ambassador to Argentina); Barron Foster Black (1893-1974) and his wife Aileen Taylor Black; Henri and Helle Bonnet; Isaiah Bowman 91878-1950), Director of the American Geological Society; Arthur B. Van Buskirk; Senator Harry F. Byrd (1887-1966); James F. Byrnes (1879-1972), Secretary of State; Harry Clemons (1879-1968), Head, University of Virginia Library; Frederic Ren?oudert, Jr.(1898-1972), Assistant United States Attorney for New York; Madame de Chabrieres; Cliff Cobham; Rafael De La Colina, Ambassador of Mexico and representative at the United Nations; Mrs. Fairlie Patton Cooke; Oscar Cox; Colgate Whitehead Darden Jr. (1897-1981), President, University of Virginia; Howard Brush Dean (1918-1950) Vice President of Pan American World Airways; Gabriel L. Dennis, Secretary of State of Liberia; William E. Dennis, Secretary of the Treasury of Liberia; Marjorie Merriweather Post Davies and Joseph E. Davies (1876-1958), United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union; John William Davis (1873-1955), United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom; Gayer G. Dominick; Justice William O. Douglas (1898-1980); Cyro De Freitas-Valle, Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Fleet Admiral William Frederick Halsey (1882-1959); Lewis Williams Douglas(1885-1924), United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom; William A. Drayton; John Foster Dulles (1888-1959), United States Secretary of State; James "Jimmy" Clement Dunn (1890-1979), United States Diplomat; John D. East; Lewis Eldred, President of Elmira College; Helen W. Elting, The English-Speaking Union; Frank S. Emmert; Louise Eriksen; James Aloysius Farley (1888-1973), Postmaster General; Justice Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965), Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and newsclipping; W. L. Finger; Directors of Caribcemco; Harvey Samuel Firestone, Jr. (1898-1973); Baron Oliver Shewell Franks (1905-1992); John Gange, Chairman of the Woodrow Wilson School of Foreign Affairs; Paul Garrett, Vice President of Public Relations for General Motors Corporation; Bettis Alston Garside (1894-1989); Mrs. John Minor Gatewood; [Gil] Gillespie; Albert Goldman, Postmaster of New York; Reverend F. D. Goodwin and the Board of Virginia Theological Seminary; John Gladston Grace, President of the International Press Bureau; Julian Greenup, American Consul General; Mrs. William Gregg; Joseph Clark Grew, United States Ambassador to Denmark.

Box-folder 1:4
Condolences received by Mrs. Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. (H-P) 1949-1950
90 items

Edward and Dorothy Halifax; Cornelius A. Hall; [ William Averell Harriman] (1891-1986), Governor of New York, Ambassador, and United States Secretary of Commerce, and Marie Norton Whitney Harriman; Joseph M. Hartfield; [Frank A. Hecht,] English-Speaking Union; General Lewis Blaine Hershey (1893-1977), Director of the Selective Service; Russell Hopkinson; John Edgar Hoover (1895-1972) Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Cordell Hull (1871-1955), Secretary of State; Patrick Jay Hurley (1883-1963), Secretary of War; Jesse Holman Jones (1874-1956), Secretary of Finance; N. D. [Dean] Jay; Jane B. Kaynor; Vi Kyuin "Wellington" Koo (1887-1985), Chinese Foreign Minister; Jaakko Kahma, General manager of the Finnish Foreign Trade Association; The Baron of Kellie; Charles Franklin Kettering (1876-1958), Scientist; Charles Dunbar Burgess King (1875-1961), Ambassador of Liberia; Reverend Arthur B. Kinsolving (1861-1951); James S. Knowlson; Mrs. Frank Knox; Shawn Kelly; Reverend Paul H. Kratzig, Rector, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church; Sally Cameron Labouisse; Louis St. Laurent (1882-1973), Prime Minister of Canada; James E. Kinard, President of The Student Council at the University of Virginia; Russell Cornell Leffingwell (1878-1960), President of the Council on Foreign Relations and Lucy Leffingwell; Egbert G. Leigh; Admiral Emory Scott "Jerry" Land, Chairman of the Maritime Commission and Head of the War Shipping Administration ; Ed Lincoln; Robert Lodge, Campaign Manager New York Heart Association; Abercrombie Lovett (1895-1986); John David Lodge (1903-1985); The Venerable Albert H. Lucas D. D.; Robert J. Lynch (1902-1989), Executive in the Foreign Trade Industry; J. Malcolm Luck; Trygve Halvdan Lie (1896-1968) Secretary-General of the United Nations and Norweigan politician; Mrs. Lloyd Burlingham; R. J. McDonald, Secretary of International General Electric Company; Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982) Poet, Librarian of Congress, and Assistant Secretary of State; General George Catlett Marshall (1880-1959) Chief of Staff; James K. McClintock, Secretary for The American Red Cross; John Jay McCloy (1895-1989), Presidential Advisor; Doris M. McGovern; Frank McCarthy; Freeman Matthews (1899-1986) ,United States Ambassador; Herbert A. May; Dr. Richard H. Meade, Jr.; Samuel [W.] Meek; Richard King Mellon (1899-1970); Margery Knowles Megargel, wife of Roy Chester Megargel, President of Gulf Texas and Western Railroad and owner of Pepsi Cola; [Guillermo] Mendez, Minister of Foreign Relations of Panama; General Sir Frederick Hoyer Millar (1900-1989), British Diplomat; Francis P. Miller, Virginia Music Festival; Edward G. Miller, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State for the American Republics Area; Jim Mooney Henry Morgenthau, Jr. (1891-1967) United States Secretary of the Treasury; Mauricio Nabuco, Brazilian Ambassador; Richard Lewis Neuberger (1912-1960) , United States journalist and politician; Minister of Luxenbourg, Pierre Dupong (1885-1953); Caroline Preston Mordecai; Wilhelm Morgenstierne, Norwegian Embassy; John E. Orchard; Pete O'Neill; Irving Olds; Redvers Opie; C. F. Palmer; John Orlando Pastore (1907-2000) , Governor of Rhode Island; J. W. Pearson Secretary of Public Instruction of Liberia; Lester Bowles Pearson (1897-1972), Prime Minister of Canada and Chairman of the Political and Security Committee of the United Nations; John Emil Peurifoy (1907-1955), Deputy Under Secretary of State and Ambassador Extraordinary; Alice W. Phillips; Clementine Piltuck; John Lee Pratt (1879-1975), American businessman; Max Preiswerk; Edward A. Price, Jr. (1855-1934), City Attorney for Nashville, Tennessee and President of the English-Speaking Union; F. A. Price, Consulate General of Liberia

Box-folder 1:5
Condolences received by Mrs. Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. (R-Z) 1949-1950
67 items

Natale Ritacco; Hayden G. Raynor, Director, Office of British Commonwealth and Northern European Affairs, U. S. State Department; Philip D. Reed, Chief of United States Mission of Foreign Affairs in London; Patrick J. Reilly; Florence Van Rensselaer (mentions her genealogy book);General Richards; Edward Vernon Rickenbacker "Fast Eddie" (1890-1973), American fighter ace in World War I, race car driver and government consultant; Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (1908-1979); Carlos P. Romulo (1899-1985), President of the United Nations General Assembly; Jack and Julia Rooney; Sir William "Billy" Rootes (1894-1964) and his wife Nora; Telegram from Eleanor Roosevelt; Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr.(1914-1988); Lessing Julius Rosenwald (1891-1979), Chairman of Sears, Roebuck and Company; John C. Ross, Deputy Representative of United Nations Security Council; Mary de la Rue; Guillermo Sevilla-Sacasa (1908-1997), Nicaraguan Ambassador to the United States; James Arthur Salter (1881-1975), British politician and professor at Oxford and wife Ethel Salter; Willie Sherwin; [Roth Sherill;] [Willie Sherwin;] S. Silvercruys; A. Russell Slagle; Alfred Pritchard Sloan, Jr. (1875-1966) Chairman and President of General Motors; Spyros P. Skouras (1893-1971), movie executive for Twentieth Century Fox; Blackwell "Blackie" Smith; Mrs. Tanquary Smith; Tse-ven Soong (1894-1971) Chinese minister of finance and wife "Laura"; Kit and Betty Stark; John Roy Steelman (1900-1999), Assistant to the President of the United States, Harry S. Truman; Sir William Samuel Stephenson (1896-1989), inventor, businessman and master spy "Intrepid" and his wife Mary French Simmons; Whitney Stone; Jack Isidor Strauss ( 1900-1985), Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Macy's Department Stores; Judge Edward Allen Tamm and Assistant Director of the F. B. I. (1906-1985); Admiral Lewis Lichtenstein Strauss (1896-1974 ), Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and his wife Alice Hanauer Strauss; Myron Charles Taylor (1874-1959), Chief executive officer and Chairman of the United States Steel Corporation; Walter Clark Teagle (1878-1962), Head of Standard Oil; Channing H. Tobias (1882-1961), Senior Secretary in the Department of Interracial Services; Janine Terrill; Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) (telegram); William Vacanarat Shadrach Tubman (1895-1971), President of Liberia; William Munford Tuck (1896-1983) Governor of Virginia; Grace G. Tully (1900-1984), Secretary to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt; James Thomson; W. W. Trench; Dr. Hugh H. Trout, M. D.; Terence Lloyd Tyson, M. D.; J. E. Valenzuela, Minister of Foreign Relations; Mrs. Cornelius "Grace" Vanderbilt; Robert Waithman, Washington correspondent for the News Chronicle of London; John Scott and Marguerite Walker; Charles Montriou Wallace (1866-1957), Attorney, Representative of the House of Delegates and collected African American ballads; Henry Agard Wallace (1888-1965) Vice President of the United States and his wife Ilo Brown Wallace; Justice Earl Warren (1891-1974); Sidney B. Congdon, President of The National City Bank of Cleveland to Charles E. Wilson, President of General Electric; Lindsay Carter Warren (1889-1976), Comptroller General of the United States; Thomas John Watson (1874-1956), President of IBM; Mrs. W. B. Waugh; Elizabeth W. Weddell; Sidney James Weinberg (1891-1969),"Mr. Wallstreet;" Miss Ada R. Woods; Amelie Young; Alexander C. Zabriskie

Box-folder 1:6
Financial correspondence from Sidney James Weinberg 1949 November 23
3 items

Included is a letter from attorney John Marsh from Mr. Stettinius's estate concerning one thousand shares of common stock of the World Commerce Corporation that Stettinius left for Mr. Weinberg in return for his advice to Stettinius in business affairs. There is also a letter from Mr. Weinberg declining the gift from Stettinius. There is a letter from John Marsh to Mrs. Stettinius about insurance and her husband's estate.

Box-folder 2:1
News clippings Edward R. Stettinius Jr. 1949-1950
18 items

including articles taken from his scrapbook

Box-folder 2:2
News clippings Edward R. Stettinius 1949-1950
43 items
Box-folder 2:3
News clippings Edward R. Stettinius Jr. 1949-1950
35 items
Box-folder 2:4
Photographs [1910]
4 items

Two photographs of Edward Stettinius as a boy and two oversize photographs of him sitting at his desk

Box-folder 2:5
Printed 1949
11 items

Program for the United Nations Conference in Staten Island June 26, 1950 with charter and blueprint; English-Speaking Union Bulletin Volume 9, Number 2; 1949 and Saturday Review of Literature November 19, 1949 containing a review by Walter Johnson of Stettinius's book, Roosevelt and the Russians; Words of Comfort booklet; The Second Mile by Harry Emerson Fosdick and a blank University of Virginia greeting card with a Serpentine wall.

Box-folder 2:6
Statements of Admiration 1949
4 items
Three bound volumes of memorial resolutions for Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., two are printed on vellum and all three are printed in beautiful calligraphy.

One blueprint of the gravesite of Edward R. Stettinius