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Finding Aid for the James O. Eastland Collection (MUM00117)

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The James O. Eastland collection is stored at an off-site facility. Researchers interested in using this collection must contact Archives and Special Collections at least two business days in advance of their planned visit.

Finding Aid for the James O. Eastland Collection



Descriptive Summary

PURL: http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00117/
Title: James O. Eastland Collection
Dates: 1930-1978 (bulk 1941-1978)
Collector: Eastland, James Oliver, 1905-1986.
Physical Extent: The entire Eastland Collection is approximately 1,800 linear feet. File Series 1: Personal/Political has 164 boxes that together are 249 linear feet in length. File Series 2: Public Relations has 133 boxes and 74 film canisters that total 133.5 linear feet. File Series 3: Constituent consists of 621 boxes or 926 linear feet.
Repository: University of Mississippi. Department of Archives and Special Collections. University, MS 38677-1848, USA
Identification: MUM00117
Location: Library Annex
Language of Material: English
Abstract: Correspondence, documents, publications, photographs, scrapbooks, and recordings from the congressional office of U.S. Senator James O. Eastland of Mississippi. Also includes his personal correspondence, financial records, plantation records, and law firm files.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The University of Mississippi received the first boxes for the James O. Eastland Collection in 1977 with the bulk arriving after the senator's retirement in 1978. The university hired a history graduate student, John Sobotka, to handle the initial transfer. Sobotka then worked in Eastland's congressional office for the last year of the senator's tenure. The university then rehired Sobotka to arrange the packing and shipment of the remaining files, and the Law School appointed him curator of the Eastland Collection.

In July 2004, the university administration transferred all responsibility for the Eastland Collection from the Law School to the Department of the Archives & Special Collections in the J.D. Williams Library.

Processing Information

Because many scholars have expressed an interest in the Eastland papers over the years, the archives decided to make the collection available in installments as opposed to restricting access until the entire collection had undergone processing. The Political Archives staff took several months to clearly identify each box in the Eastland Collection and prepare an inventory of the folder contents. During this period, the Political Archivist also sorted thousands of loose publications (for a description of the process, see the introductory remarks for File Series 1, Subseries 25). Simply removing office supplies and publications whittled the size of the collection from an estimated 3,000 linear feet to approximately 1,800 linear feet.

Once the staff achieved physical control over the content of the Eastland papers, it became clear that preserving the integrity of the current arrangement would only hinder accessibility for researchers. Not only was the office filing system altered numerous times during the senator's tenure, the filing itself was inconsistent and haphazard. In fact, many boxes simply contained loose documents and folders that possessed no chronological, topical, or functional coherence. Furthermore, constituent case files which tend to contain data of a private nature (such as medical records, service records, financial information, and identification numbers) were not completely isolated in clearly labeled boxes or folders but appeared in files throughout the collection. In 2005, the Political Archivist began sorting each file -- and more often than not each document -- into categories drawn from the professional literature on congressional papers management. However, the archivist preserved Eastland's existing filing system with regards to Campaign Records and Law Firm Files.

In December 2006, the Modern Political Archives received a $1,000 Partners Grant from the University of Mississippi Provost’s Office for a pilot project to restore and make digital access copies of several audio reel-to-reel recordings in the Eastland Collection. The laboratories of Cutting Corporation completed work on thirteen hours of recordings in February 2007.

Currently, the Modern Political Archives staff is processing File Series 4: Legislative Files which includes subject files, bill files, voting records, legislative assistant files, and committee files. Finally, a relatively small batch of office administration records will comprise File Series 5.

Leigh McWhite, Political Papers Archivist, directed the processing of File Series 1: Personal/Political. Joey Hammond, Senior Library Assistant, assisted with the massive undertaking as did the following student workers: Ryan Aber, Elizabeth Campbell, Joy Douglas, Rosland Holland, Brandon Lennep, Lynn Linnemeier, Sharee Pittman, and Rachel Smith. Work began on the project in August 2004. The on-line finding aid, prepared with the assistance of Chatham Ewing, Digital Initiatives Librarian, posted in June 2006.

McWhite and Hammond completed processing File Series 2: Public Relations in May 2007 with the help of the following student workers: Elizabeth Campbell, Erika Carpenter, Rebecca Domm, Brandon Lennep, Rachael Smith, Casey Spradling, David Steele, and Maarten Zwiers. Greg Johnson, Blues Archivist, provided advice and technical assistance with Subseries 2: Audio Recordings while Shugana Campbell, Curator of Visual Collections, helped to compile the inventory for Subseries 3: Audiovisual Recordings. Ewing assisted with the necessary revisions for adding File Series 2 to the on-line finding aid.

McWhite and Ellie Campbell, Senior Library Assistant, completed File Series 3: Constituent Files in March 2008 with the help of the following student workers: Erika Carpenter, Suzanne Farmer, Alyson Kennedy, Natoria Kennel-Foster, Brandon Lennep, Andrew Meadors, Andrew Mullins, Courtney Metz, Katrina Sims, Maggie Tate, and Chase Wynn. Digital Initiatives Librarian Jason Kovari posted revisions to the online finding aid.

In 2010-2011, the archive received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to preserve and digitize all the recordings in the Modern Political Archives, including the audio and audiovisual recordings in the Eastland Collection. The digitization and preservation of recordings in this collection are the result of a project supported in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this website do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Additions

No further additions are expected to this collection.


Subject Terms

Eastland, James O. (James Oliver), 1904-1986
Politicians -- Mississippi
Political campaigns -- Mississippi.
Southern States -- Politics and government -- 1951-
United States -- Politics and government -- 1945-1989.
United States -- Politics and government--20th century.
Practice of law -- Mississippi.
Eastland family.
United States. Congress. House.
United States. Congress. Senate.
Agriculture -- Mississippi.
Legislation -- United States.


Biographical Note

Early Life

James Oliver Eastland was born on 28 November 1904 in Doddsville, Mississippi. His father, Woods C. Eastland was an attorney in Sunflower County and owned a 2,300-acre Mississippi Delta plantation. In 1905, Eastland's parents moved back to the family home in Forest, a town located in the hill country of Scott County, Mississippi.

Education & Early Career

James O. Eastland attended the public schools in Forest, the University of Mississippi (1922-24), Vanderbilt University (1925-26), and the University of Alabama (1926-27). Admitted to the state bar in 1927 after reading law in his father's office, he began practicing law in Forest. A year later, the twenty-four-year-old Democrat won election to the Mississippi House of Representatives. Eastland, Courtney C. Pace (who later became Senator Eastland's Administrative Assistant), and Kelly J. Hammond became known as the "Little Three," floor leaders who supported Governor Theodore G. Bilbo's progressive legislative proposals for funding highways, free textbooks, and tuberculosis hospitals. Frustrated by the obstructionism of older, more powerful legislators and urged by his father to concentrate on family, law, and farming, Eastland decided against running for reelection when his term ended in 1932. He married Elizabeth Coleman, and two years later Eastland moved his family to Doddsville in order to manage their Delta plantation. He also opened a law office in nearby Ruleville.

Temporary Appointment & First Two Elected Terms in the U.S. Senate

In June 1941, Pat Harrison, a U.S. Senator from Mississippi, died in office. Governor Paul B. Johnson, Sr. offered the post to his political supporter Woods C. Eastland, who refused and suggested his son instead. James O. Eastland received the appointment upon the condition that he not campaign for the seat during the upcoming special election. Only in Congress for eighty-eight days, Eastland made a name for himself back home by leading the legislative fight to kill an announced Office of Price Administration regulation that would have placed a price ceiling on cotton seed oil. Wall Doxey, a candidate handpicked by Senator Bilbo, successfully won the special election. Eastland returned home, having maintained his promise not to compete in the special election.

During the 1942 regular election, however, Eastland campaigned against Doxey by vehemently opposing Roosevelt's New Deal programs. Reared in a hill county and living in the Delta, Eastland bridged an important political divide among the state electorate. Triumphing in the bitter election contest, Eastland earned the enmity of the senior senator from Mississippi, who refused to participate in his junior colleague's swearing-in ceremony. During his first two terms, Eastland's views echoed those of other southern Democrats – opposing civil rights, labor, and social welfare while supporting agricultural assistance programs and the Democratic Party's foreign policy. A Naval Affairs Committee trip to view the aftermath of World War II in Europe inspired him to publicly urge the president to adopt a more lenient occupation policy in order to deter the spread of communism into Western Europe. In 1948, Eastland ran unopposed for reelection.

As the end of his second elected term approached in 1953, the incumbent publicly discussed retiring from politics. When he reversed that decision, Eastland faced an electoral challenge by Lt. Governor Carroll Gartin, considered a racial moderate. Attacking the recent Supreme Court Brown decision desegregating schools, Eastland carried seventy out of eighty-two Mississippi counties and entered the national consciousness as a leading Senate defender of segregation and white supremacy. He also became a popular speaker before Citizens Council gatherings.

Committee Membership

In 1944, right after his first election, Eastland received an appointment to four committees: Claims, Education & Labor, Immigration, and Post Offices & Post Roads. The following year he dropped Education & Labor and added Judiciary, Naval Affairs, and Territories & Insular Affairs. The reorganization of Congress in 1946 decreased the number of Senate committees, and Eastland retained only his previous membership in the Judiciary while joining the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Department.

By 1953, Eastland became chairman of the Judiciary Committee's Internal Security Subcommittee, retaining this position until the Senate abolished the subcommittee in 1977. Created in 1950, the subcommittee investigated the administration, operation, and enforcement of the Internal Security Act of 1950 (also known as the McCarran Act) as well as other laws on espionage, sabotage, and other subversive activities. Over the course of its existence, this senate version of the House of Un-American Activities Committee investigated the United Nations; treachery in the Departments of State and Defense; communist-tainted decisions from the Supreme Court; U.S. foreign policy in Asia; the radio, television, and entertainment industries; newspapers; youth groups; labor unions; educational organizations; the defense industry; civil rights activities; campus unrest; the illegal drug trade; and the general scope of Soviet activity inside the United States.

Eastland assumed chairmanship of the entire Judiciary Committee in 1956. With jurisdiction over crime, judicial appointments, federal courts and penitentiaries, civil liberties, constitutional amendments, antitrust matters, patents and copyright issues, immigration and naturalization, and interstate compacts as well as several other matters, the Judiciary Committee handles approximately sixty percent of all Senate legislation. During considerations of federal judicial nominees, Eastland scrupulously honored any home state senator's veto and received praise from his liberal colleagues for his fairness in committee proceedings and the dispensation of autonomy, funds, and staff. For those nominees that the senator opposed, he simply delayed confirmation hearings. The vast majority of judicial appointments, however, made a fairly quick passage through his committee. The Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, was described as "the graveyard of civil rights legislation" as Eastland maintained a bottleneck that killed over 120 civil rights bills. To ensure the passage of the major civil rights laws of the late 1950s and 1960s, the Senate leadership manipulated matters so that the legislation bypassed the Judiciary Committee entirely. As one of his former aides stated, "Senator Eastland understood power and its proper application better than anybody…[he] understood what it was and how to use it properly and in the right degree. He never pounded a table, never screamed or hollered. He just got the job done." Wielding this power, Eastland eventually became known in Washington as simply "The Chairman."

In addition to Internal Security, he also chaired Judiciary's Immigration & Naturalization Subcommittee (1956-1978), the Civil Rights Subcommittee, and the FBI Oversight Subcommittee. As chairman of the full committee, Eastland was an ex officio member of all subcommittees and a regular member of Criminal Laws & Procedures; Separation of Powers; and Constitutional Amendments subcommittees.

Eastland served on the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments from 1947 until 1951 when he transferred to the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry. At the time of his retirement in 1978, he was the second highest ranking Democrat on that committee and chaired its Environment, Soil Conservation, & Forestry Subcommittee. Eastland's record of support for conservation issues was minimal, and he supported the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway despite warnings by environmentalists that the project posed ecological hazards. The senator also held membership on three other subcommittees: Agricultural Production, Marketing, & Stabilization; Agricultural Research & General Legislation; and Rural Development. His support for agricultural subsidies gained Eastland a reputation as a friend of the farmer, particularly the cotton farmer. Journalists frequently noted that until Congress capped individual subsidies at $50,000, Eastland himself received more than a $100,000 a year in cotton price support payments for removing a portion of his fields from production.

The senator also served on the Select Committee on Small Business from 1955 until 1957 when he stepped down in order to devote more attention to Judiciary. From 1953 until its termination in 1970, Eastland was a member of the Joint Committee on Immigration and Nationality.

State and National Politics

Known as "the godfather of Mississippi politics" and called "Big Jim" by his fellow Mississippians, Eastland maintained a political network across the state that he wielded in both state and national elections. A former aide ascribed his influence as based upon an intense two-way loyalty between senator and supporters. Eastland, however, never demonstrated a similar loyalty with his own national party, typically voting against the majority of his own party more often than not. In 1948, he supported the Dixiecrat States Rights Party instead of his own Democratic ticket; he refused to endorse Lyndon Johnson in 1964; and he played a major role in Mississippi's support for Republican Richard M. Nixon in 1972. However, Eastland's endorsement of Jimmy Carter helped elect that fellow southern Democrat to the White House in 1976. As for state leadership, Eastland used his influence to help elect Ross Barnett, Paul Johnson, Jr., and Bill Waller to the Governor's Mansion. Even after his retirement, politicians on the campaign trail still visited Eastland at his Sunflower County home seeking his endorsement.

Personality, Press, and Private Life

Eastland avoided the social circuit of Washington. He preferred to meet with his colleagues, liberal and conservative, after hours in his own office over cigars and a glass of Chivas Regal. Afterwards, the senator went home to his family and read detective novels. He regularly commuted to the Delta on weekends and holidays. Even the kindest judge would not rate him as an eloquent orator, and Eastland was atypical among politicians in his reticent conversation and his tendency to shun publicity.

Eastland's Last Three Campaigns

Eastland faced no opposition for his 1960 reelection. A white, first term Republican congressman, Prentiss Walker, challenged the senator in 1966. Walker attempted to label his opponent as soft on integration by linking Eastland to presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Eastland's supporters pointed out that Walker had appointed a black man to the Air Force Academy. When another Republican, Gil Carmichael, stepped into the 1972 campaign, the Nixon White House ignored the upstart politician. Eastland, whose votes tended to support the Republican administration agenda had developed a strong working relationship with the president. That year, one of the senator's campaign advertisements simply read "When Jim Eastland talks, presidents listen." Although Eastland was victorious, Carmichael polled an impressive 39% of the votes.

President Pro Tempore

In 1972, the Senate elected Eastland as president pro tempore to fill the vacancy left by the death of Allen J. Ellender. In the absence of the vice president, the Constitution provides for a president pro tempore to preside over the Senate. Since World War II, tradition has dictated that the senior member of the majority party assumes the position. The president pro tempore is third in the line of succession to the presidency, following the vice-president and the Speaker of the House. Twice, Eastland ascended a notch in the succession -- in 1973 when Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned and again in 1974 after President Richard M. Nixon's resignation. When the Democrats are in the majority, the president pro tempore is an ex officio member of that party's leadership, attending its conference, policy committee, and steering committee meetings. As president pro tempore, Eastland directed enforcement of rules governing the use of the Capitol and Senate office buildings and made appointments to an assortment of national commissions (usually acting upon the advice of the majority and minority leaders). During joint sessions of Congress, the president pro tempore shares presiding duties with the Speaker of the House. Eastland retained the title of president pro tempore until his retirement.

Retirement

Eastland resigned from the Senate on 27 December 1978, a few days before his term expired. This maneuver permitted the state's governor to appoint senator-elect Thad Cochran to the position and provided the new legislator a jump start ahead of his freshman colleagues on the senate's seniority scale. Eastland and his wife retired to their 5,800-acre plantation in Sunflower County on the outskirts of Doddsville, Mississippi. In ill health during his last years, Eastland made few public appearances. In August 1985, he attended the dedication ceremonies for a U.S. Courthouse and Post Office building in the state capital named in his honor. Asked in an interview later that year if he would change anything if he had to repeat his life, Eastland replied simply "I voted my convictions."

The man once known simply as "The Chairman" died on 19 February 1986 in the Greenwood Leflore County Hospital from a medical condition complicated by pneumonia. He left behind his wife Elizabeth; his son, Woods Eastland; and his daughters, Nell Amos, Anne Howdeshell, and Sue Terney. James O. Eastland was buried in the family plot in Forest, Mississippi. In 1991, the board of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History elected Eastland to the Mississippi Hall of Fame on the same day they voted in the slain NAACP leader Medgar Evers.


Bibliography

Chris Myers Asch. "No Compromise: The Freedom Struggles of James O. Eastland and Fannie Lou Hamer" (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2005).

________. "Revisiting Reconstruction: James O. Eastland, the FEPC, and the Struggle to Rebuild Germany, 1945-1946" Vol. 67, No. 1 Journal of Mississippi History (2005): 1-28.

________. The Senator and the Sharecropper: The Freedom Struggles of James O. Eastland and Fannie Lou Hamer. New York: New Press, 2008.

Joe Atkins. "Former U.S. Sen. Eastland Dies" Jackson Daily News (19 February 1986): 1A

________. "Eastland Honored at Building Dedication" Jackson Clarion Ledger (10 August 1985): 1B.

________. "Eastland's Influence: How Strong Was (Is) It?" Jackson Clarion Ledger (27 October 1985): 15A.

________. "Hundreds Pay Last Respects to Eastland" Jackson Clarion Ledger (22 February 1986): 1A & 8A.

________. "Senator ‘Got Things Done': Associates Recall Power of the ‘Machine'" Jackson Clarion Ledger (27 October 1985): 1A & 16A.

________. "Jim Eastland Winds Down a Life of Power" Jackson Clarion Ledger (27 October 1985): 1A & 16A.

Bart Barnes. "Former Senator James Eastland of Mississippi Dies" Washington Post (20 February 1986): C9.

Michael Barone, et al. The Almanac of American Politics 1976 (New York: E.P. Dutton& Co., 1976), pp. 453-456.

________. The Almanac of American Politics 1978 (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1978), pp. 457-60.

Sarah Hart Brown. "Congressional Anti-Communism and the Segregationist South: From New Orleans to Atlanta, 1954-1958" Vol. 80, No. 4 Georgia Historical Quarterly (Winter 1996): 785-816.

________. "Redressing Southern ‘Subversion': The Case of Senator Eastland and the Louisiana Lawyer" Vol. 43, No. 3 Louisiana History (2002): 295-314.

Don Colburn. James O. Eastland: Democratic Senator from Mississippi (Grossman Publishers, 1972). Part of the Ralph Nader Congress Project.

Lloyd Gray. "James Eastland: Southern Politics and Double-Edged Power" Biloxi-Gulfport Sun-Herald (26 March 1978): A1, A8, & A10.

Marjorie Hunter. "James O. Eastland Is Dead at 81; Leading Senate Foe of Integration" New York Times (20 February 1986): D23.

Carole Lawes. "NAACP Leader, Segregationist Elected to Mississippi's Hall of Fame" Jackson Clarion Ledger (7 December 1991): 1B.

J. Todd Moye. Let the People Decide: Black Freedom and White Resistance Movements in Sunflower County, Mississippi 1945-1986 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004).

Gary Nelson, et al. "Committees in the U.S. Congress 1947-1992" Vol. 2 (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1993), pp. 264-65.

Robert Ourlian. "Death Prompts Tales of Colorful Career" Jackson Clarion-Ledger (20 February 1986): 1A & 15A.

Steve Riley. "Politicians Nationwide Will Honor Eastland" Jackson Clarion-Ledger (20 February 1986): 1A & 15 A.

Wolfgang Schlauch. "Representative William Colmer and Senator James O. Eastland and the Reconstruction of Germany, 1945" Vol. 34, No. 3 Journal of Mississippi History (1972): 193-213.

Peter H. Schuck. The Judiciary Committees: A Study of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees (New York: Grossman Publishers, 1975).

Robert Sherrill. "Jim Eastland, Child of Scorn" in Gothic Politics in the Deep South: Stars of the New Confederacy (New York: Grossman Publishers, 1968), pp. 174-215.

Dorothy M. Zellner. "Red Roadshow: Eastland in New Orleans, 1954" Vol. 33, No. 1 Louisiana History (1992): 31-60.


User Information

Preferred Citation

James O. Eastland Collection, Archives and Special Collections, J.D. Williams Library, The University of Mississippi

Access Restrictions

The James O. Eastland collection is stored at an off-site facility. Researchers interested in using this collection must contact Archives and Special Collections at least two business days in advance of their planned visit.

Access to portions of this collection is restricted. Currently only File Series 1, 2, and parts of 3 are open and available to researchers.

For preservation reasons, access to original recordings is restricted; however, digital counterparts are available to researchers in the James O. Eastland Digital Collection at http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/eastland. Although descriptions for all of the collection’s recordings are available to anyone on the internet, only some of the recordings are accessible on the web due to copyright. Researchers may review restricted material via onsite computer terminals in the J.D. Williams Library.

Due to privacy and confidentiality concerns, files of individuals in File Series 3, Subseries 2: Academy Files will remain closed for seventy-five years after the latest date in each file’s description. Curators are currently processing File Series 3, Subseries 5: Case Files – when completed it will be governed by restrictions similar to Academy Files.

Copyright Restrictions

See the University of Mississippi Archives and Special Collections Policies for information on use restrictions.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use", that user may be liable for copyright infringement.


Related Material

Related Material at the University of Mississippi:

Thomas G. Abernethy Collection. Abernethy represented Mississippi in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1943 to 1973. The finding aid for the Abernethy Collection contains an item-level description for four boxes of files on the Mississippi Election Contest of 1964-1965 which includes several pieces of correspondence with Eastland. The collection also contains files on legislation both congressmen sponsored. http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00001/

Carroll Gartin Collection. Gartin served as Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi three times and ran against Eastland in the 1954 Democratic Primary. His collection includes campaign records from that contest. http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00198/. Digital collection available at http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/gartin.

Fannie Lou Hamer Collection. A former sharecropper from Eastland's home county, Hamer became a leading civil rights activist and her papers include files on the National Committee for Free Elections in Sunflower County. http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00215/.

Joseph M. Howorth Collection of James O. Eastland Correspondence. Collection consists of five letters between Howorth and Eastland dating from 1927 to 1941. http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM01708/

Ed King Collection. The files of this civil rights activist contain clippings on the senator, correspondence relating to state NAACP president Aaron Henry's endorsement of Eastland's 1978 reelection, and documents on the National Committee for Free Elections in Sunflower County from the 1960s. http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00251/

Mississippi Politics Collection. This collection contains an undated campaign poster for Eastland. http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00316/

Nash & Taggart Collection. This collection includes a number of oral histories that recall Eastland. http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM01737/. Digital collection available at http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/nashtagg.

Clarence Pierce Collection. Pierce served as a staff assistant for Eastland from 1964 to 1968 and was an employee of the U.S. Senate from 1968 to 1972. http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00364/

John C. Satterfield/American Bar Association Collection. This collection includes Eastland correspondence. http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00685/

William M. Whittington Collection. Whittington represented Mississippi in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1925 to 1951. His congressional papers includes correspondence with Eastland. http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00476/

Further Archival Sources on Eastland:

The Alabama Department of Archives and History contains Eastland material in three collections: the John H. Bankhead Papers, the Clifford J. Durr Papers, and the Virginia F. Durr Papers.

The Broadcast Pioneers Library at the University of Maryland has two 1973 Eastland audiotapes in the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company Collection.

A Virginia Durr interview in the Oral History Project at Columbia University discusses Eastland.

The Gerald R. Ford Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan possesses correspondence and briefing papers related to Eastland.

The Law School Library at Harvard University has material related to Eastland in the Richard Hinkley Field Papers.

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library maintains a website where one can download the transcript of a 1971 Eastland interview by Joe B. Frantz.

The McCain Library and Archives at the University of Southern Mississippi has several oral histories which discuss Eastland including that of Erle Johnston, a former public relations campaign manager for the senator, and Frank Barber, a field man in Eastland's 1954 campaign and a member of the senator's congressional staff. Barber also served as a legislative assistant on the Internal Security Subcommittee.

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has four boxes of speeches, photographs, and Judiciary Committee prints.

Mississippi State University's Mitchell Memorial Library possesses ten Eastland items and photographs, as well as an oral history in the John Stennis Collection.

The Richard B. Russell Library at the University of Georgia contains a 1971 interview with Eastland concerning Senator Russell.

The Hugh Scott Papers in the Alderman Library at the University of Virginia contains correspondence with Eastland. Additionally, the Presidential Recordings Program at the University of Virginia maintains a website where one can listen to a conversation between President Johnson and Eastland regarding the 1964 murders of three civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi.

The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas hosts an online video and transcript of Mike Wallace interviewing Eastland (28 July 1957) available at http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/collections/film/holdings/wallace/.

The U.S. Senate maintains a web page discussing the James O. Eastland portrait in the Senate Art Collection at http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/art/artifact/Painting_32_00040.htm.


Separated Material

Curators removed numerous publications from the James O. Eastland Collection. Many of these volumes are now available in the main stacks of the J.D. Williams Library, the Government Documents depository, or the Archives & Special Collections. Please view the . Further information on the books from the collection appears in File Series 1, Subseries 25: Book Inventory.

For preservation reasons, original recordings are stored in climate-controlled facility. Researchers may access their digital counterparts at http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/eastland.


Arrangement

The James O. Eastland Collection is approximately 1,800 linear feet in size. File Series 1: Personal/Political consists of 25 Subseries that together fill 164 boxes. These Subseries are as follows: (1) Biography; (2) Family Correspondence; (3) Plantation Records; (4) Law Firm Files; (5) Financial Records; (6) Donation Files; (7) Personal Correspondence; (8) Holiday Cards & Gifts; (9) Executive Secretary/Virginia Simmerman Files; (10) Executive Secretary/Jean Allen Files; (11) Guest Books; (12) Invitations; (13) Schedules/Appointments; (14) Trips; (15) Telephone Memorandums; (16) Executive Branch Correspondence; (17) Federal Correspondence; (18) Congressional Correspondence; (19) Campaign Records; (20) Politics; (21) Mississippi Office/C.B. Curlee & Wilburn Buckley Files; (22) Patronage, Nominations, Employment, & School References; (23) Presidential Inauguration Files; (24) University of Mississippi Files; (25) Publications & Enclosures.

File Series 2: Public Relations consists of 12 Subseries that comprise a total of 133 boxes and 74 film canisters. These Subseries are as follows: (1) Photographs, Negatives, & Slides; (2) Audio Recordings; (3) Audiovisual Recordings; (4) Clippings; (5) Floor Speeches; (6) Speeches; (7) Scrapbooks; (8) Original Political Cartoon Drawings; (9) Press Releases; (10) Newsletters & Publications; (11) Public Relations Correspondence; and (12) Published Writings & Interviews.

File Series 3: Constituent consists of 5 Subseries that comprise a total of 621 boxes. The Subseries are as follows: (1) Issue Correspondence, (2) Military Academy Appointments, (3) Routine Requests, (4) State/Local, and (5) Case Files.

Currently, File Series 4 is being processed and File Series 5 remains unprocessed.

Warning: File Series 1, 2, and 3 are not in their final form -- they will change over time as the Modern Political Archives staff discovers and adds documents and other items not found during earlier sorts. Modifications to the on-line finding aid, however, will only occur after the entire collection is processed.

FILE SERIES 1. PERSONAL AND POLITICAL PAPERS
Series 1 Subseries 1. Biography
Series 1 Subseries 2. Family Correspondence
Series 1 Subseries 3. Plantation Records
Series 1 Subseries 4. Law Firm Records
Series 1 Subseries 5. Financial Records
Series 1 Subseries 6. Donations
Series 1 Subseries 7. Personal Correspondence
Series 1 Subseries 8. Holiday Cards
Series 1 Subseries 9. Executive Secretary / Virginia Simmerman
Series 1 Subseries 10. Executive Secretary / Jean Allen
Series 1 Subseries 11. Guestbooks
Series 1 Subseries 12. Invitations
Series 1 Subseries 13. Schedules / Appointments
Series 1 Subseries 14. Trips
Series 1 Subseries 15. Telephone Memoranda
Series 1 Subseries 16. Executive Branch Correspondence
Series 1 Subseries 17. Federal Correspondence
Series 1 Subseries 18. Congressional Correspondence
Series 1 Subseries 19. Campaign Records
Series 1 Subseries 20. Politics
Series 1 Subseries 21. Mississippi Office / C.B. Curlee & Wilburn Buckley
Series 1 Subseries 22. Patronage, Nominations, Employment & School References
Series 1 Subseries 23. Presidential Inaugurations
Series 1 Subseries 24. University of Mississippi
Series 1 Subseries 25. Book Inventory
FILE SERIES 2. PUBLIC RELATIONS
Series 2 Subseries 1. Photographs, Negatives & Slides
Series 2 Subseries 2. Audio Recordings
Series 2 Subseries 3. Audiovisual Recordings
Series 2 Subseries 4. Clippings
Series 2 Subseries 5. Floor Speeches
Series 2 Subseries 6. Speeches
Series 2 Subseries 7. Scrapbooks
Series 2 Subseries 8. Original Political Cartoon Drawings
Series 2 Subseries 9. Press Releases
Series 2 Subseries 10. Newsletters & Publications
Series 2 Subseries 11. Public Relations Correspondence
Series 2 Subseries 12. Published Writings & Interviews
FILE SERIES 3. CONSTITUENT
Series 3 Subseries 1. Issue Correspondence
Series 3 Subseries 2. Military Academy Appointments
Series 3 Subseries 3. Routine Requests
Series 3 Subseries 4. State / Local
Series 3 Subseries 5. Case Files

File Series and Subseries Description

FILE SERIES 1: PERSONAL AND POLITICAL PAPERS
Note: Please click .pdf links in each subseries description to view in-depth content lists.
File Series 1, Subseries 1: Biography
Scope: Arranged sequentially, the folders in this one-box Subseries contain biographical outlines of Eastland's life. The senator or his staff composed some of these documents, while others are the work of outside sources like the annual reference work Who's Who. In addition, the files contain correspondence relating to oral histories by Eastland, and in one case, the transcript of an interview conducted in 1971 that focuses primarily on the senator's relationship with President Lyndon B. Johnson.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 1 (13 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 2: Family Correspondence
Scope: The single box in this Subseries contains Eastland's family correspondence in an alphabetical arrangement. The bulk of the series is the personal correspondence of Eastland's father, Woods C. Eastland. The family patriarch, Woods was a successful planter and lawyer. He was also a major political player in Mississippi. Elected as a district attorney from the eighth district in 1911, the elder Eastland made many connections in the political arena. He became particularly close to Paul B. Johnson, Sr., governor of Mississippi from 1940 to 1943. The Woods C. Eastland correspondence also indicates that he participated at a decision-making level in the federal and state job patronage system. Of particular interest is Woods C. Eastland's correspondence from the year 1941, when Paul B. Johnson appointed James Eastland to serve the remaining term of the late U.S. Senator Pat Harrison. Congratulations poured in from friends around the country, and the correspondence includes instructions from father to son. Further correspondence from Woods C. Eastland discussing his son's election campaigns appears in the Campaign Records Subseries.The Family Correspondence Subseries also contains correspondence with Senator Eastland's cousin, Oliver "Punk" Eastland; his cousin Woods Eastland and wife Lucille; another cousin named Woods, and his wife Bunny; his mother, Alma; his wife, Elizabeth; his granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth; his aunt, Ida Ormond; and his uncle William Lane Austin (Director of the Census Bureau from 1933 to 1941). Further correspondence with Ida Ormond (postmistress of Forest, Mississippi) also appears in the State/Local Subseries, "Forest, Mississippi -- Post Office" folder as well as in those files of the Patronage, Nominations, Employment, & School Recommendations Subseries related to post office positions in Forest, Mississippi.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 2 (13 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 3: Plantation Records
Scope: The three boxes that comprise the Plantation Records Subseries contain the records of Eastland's plantation outside of Doddsville in Sunflower County, Mississippi. The records are organized in chronological order from the 1930s through 1978. Most of the early materials are reports to Eastland in Washington on the daily running of the plantation, such as information on the weather and plantation supplies. The files also contain ledgers recording the plantation's expenses, including monthly ledgers confirming workers' wages on the plantation. A compelling aspect of this Subseries is its rarity. While several collections exist on plantations in the nineteenth century, records from the more recent past are less available to scholars. These files also provide an opportunity to trace changes in plantation operations from the late 1930s through the Civil Rights Era to the late 1970s. At the end of the series is a large folder dedicated completely to correspondence and material on Charolais cattle, a particular interest of the senator's.[.Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 3 (35 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 4: Law Firm Records
Scope: Before joining the U.S. Senate, James O. Eastland had a small law practice in Ruleville, Mississippi. As with most of Eastland's career ventures, he was in business with his father, Woods C. Eastland. The four boxes of material in this Subseries feature case files from Eastland's law office in the 1930s and 1940s. The files are in alphabetical order by client or correspondent, and the folders retain the original subject headings of the law firm. Most of the practice dealt primarily with civil law and family law. In addition to strictly legal matters, the files also contain correspondence of a more political nature, such as requests for assistance in gaining government employment or receiving pardons or shortened sentences for imprisoned laborers.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 4 (20 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 5: Financial Records
Scope: The four boxes in the Financial Records Subseries contain records from 1924 through 1978, with the bulk of the material dating between the late 1930s and the 1950s. The documents include tax records, personal checks, and paid bills. During the latter years, gaps appear. Researchers interested in finances should also consult the Plantation Subseries.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 5 (58 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 6: Donations
Scope: The files in the two boxes of the Donation Subseries are arranged chronologically and contain letters and information related to Eastland's charitable works. The bulk of the Subseries concerns Eastland's involvement in the CARE program that provided aid to Europe following World War II. Although the CARE program operated in several countries, the families that received Eastland's packages all lived in Germany. Most of the documents from this period are letters from those families. Eastland also received Christmas and Easter cards from the families, which are located in the Holiday Cards Subseries. Besides the CARE letters, this Subseries also contains appeals to Eastland for donations from numerous charitable organizations, churches, and individuals.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 6 (13 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 7: Personal Correspondence
Scope: The two boxes in this Subseries contain the personal correspondence of Senator Eastland during his tenure in office. The files are arranged chronologically and contain items of correspondence not related to Congress or financial matters. For example, the files contain letters received during Eastland's stays in the hospital and congratulations upon the births of his children.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 7 (13 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 8: Holiday Cards
Scope: The four boxes in this Subseries contain holiday cards and birthday greetings received by Eastland. Grouped first by holiday, files are then arranged chronologically. The last box, however, contains copies of correspondence from Eastland and his staff thanking givers of Christmas presents, lists of gifts presented by Eastland, and lists of cards sent or received by Eastland.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 8 (16 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 9: Executive Secretary / Virginia Simmerman
Scope: At one time, Virginia Simmerman was a secretary in U.S. Senator Theodore G. Bilbo's office. She then briefly worked at the War Department before taking a position as Eastland's secretary in 1943. Simmerman remained with the senator until 1951. Most of the correspondence is personal in nature, with some requests for assistance with the government or discussions of Mississippi politics. Of particular note is one folder devoted to the christening of the steamship "Victory Pontotoc" in January 1945 at the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard in Baltimore, Maryland. A native of Pontotoc, Simmerman was chosen as the "Sponsor" for the occasion and thus assisted with the arrangements for the christening ceremony.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 9 (11 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 10: Executive Secretary / Jean Allen
Scope: Employed as a secretary in the senator's congressional office, Jean Allen worked for Eastland from 1945 until his retirement in 1978. The first box contains material related to the United States Senate Administrative Assistants & Secretaries Association from 1969 through 1978, in which Allen appears to have held the office of secretary. The association sponsored a number of social events and many of these functions included the attendance of senators. These files are arranged chronologically, as are the files of Allen's personal documents contained in the second box. The exceptions to this chronological order are Folder 2-30 and the loose notebooks which contain handwritten, typed, and shorthand notes composed by or for Allen in the course of her office work.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 10 (14 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 11: Guestbooks
Scope: The two boxes in this Subseries contain the guest books signed by visitors to Senator Eastland's congressional office in Washington, DC between 1953 and 1978.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 11 (12 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 12: Invitations
Scope: Comprising twenty-one boxes of invitations received by Eastland, the files in this Subseries are first arranged by the date of the event and then subdivided according to whether the senator accepted or declined the invitation or whether the material fails to indicate his response. Scattered invitations also appear in the Executive Branch Correspondence, Federal Correspondence, Congressional Correspondence, and Campaign Subseries.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 12 (71 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 13: Schedules / Appointments
Scope: The three boxes in this Subseries contain letters requesting appointments with Eastland and appointment calendars. The first part of the collection is a chronological arrangement of the correspondence; and the second part is a chronological arrangement of his calendars.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 13 (14 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 14: Trips
Scope: Arranged chronologically, the files in this Subseries contain correspondence, publications, and ephemera related to various excursions Eastland took to foreign destinations. Perhaps most noteworthy is the visit he made in 1945 with the Committee on Naval Affairs to view the aftermath of World War II. This trip inspired Eastland to urge the administration to adopt a more conciliatory reconstruction plan for Western Europe. In 1969, Eastland visited South Africa and Rhodesia, both under white control at the time. Larry Speakes, the senator's press secretary, accompanied him, and Eastland actively publicized the trip.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 14 (10 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 15: Telephone Memoranda
Scope: The single box of this Subseries contains telephone memoranda from Eastland's office. The majority of these documents are undated and therefore reside in the last folder. Those few messages that do have dates are organized accordingly. Evidently, the office never adopted a formal message logging system, communicating telephone calls mainly through ad hoc typed and handwritten notes.[.pdf inventory for Subseries 15 (10 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 16: Executive Branch Correspondence
Scope: The two boxes in this Subseries contain correspondence between Senator Eastland (or his staff) and the executive branch of the federal government. Files are arranged sequentially by presidential administration, and then by the office of the correspondent. "White House Correspondence" folders include the exchange of letters with the president as well as with White House staff. These files also include separate folders containing White House press releases. Direct correspondence with presidents and vice-presidents after they have left office appear in folders at the end of their respective administration files. Copies replace all original documents signed by presidents and vice-presidents (originals reside in a VIP Restricted Access location).The inventory records each document contained in this Subseries and includes the names and titles of correspondents, dates, and a brief description of the content. Note that executive correspondence also appears in File Series 1, Subseries 22: Patronage, Nominations, Employment, and School References, as well as in File Series 3, Subseries: Routine Requests regarding appeals for Eastland's assistance in gaining acceptance of invitations to various Mississippi events. Photographs of presidents and vice presidents reside in the Photographs Subseries of the Public Relations File Series.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 16 (174 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 17: Federal Correspondence
Scope: The ten boxes in this Subseries contain correspondence between Eastland and various federal government departments, commissions, and agencies. The files are arranged alphabetically by the name of the department, commission, or agency. Reorganization of the government occurred several times in the course of Eastland's career, so specific functional units might appear in various locations on the list as a result of name changes.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 17 (49 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 18: Congressional Correspondence
Scope: The ten boxes in this Subseries contain Eastland's correspondence with U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives, as well as various non-member congressional offices and agencies. Arranged alphabetically by the last name of the member of Congress, the inventory then provides a chronological, item-level description of each document. Eastland correspondence with congressional office and committee staff appears under the relevant member of Congress. Correspondence with no apparent date is placed at the end of each file.The item-level description includes a brief summary of the topic under discussion. Subjects discussed range from routine birthday greetings; thank you notes for gifts; requests for signed photographs, surplus tickets, or publications; and discussions of committee assignments. Other letters may contain in-depth analysis of politics and legislation with attached memoranda and publications. Also present are drafts of tributes by Eastland honoring various colleagues.Researchers should note that members of Congress often send letters addressed as "My dear Senator," or "Dear Colleague" to either the entire Congress or to the membership of their respective legislative branch. However, those letters on the inventory designated as specifically addressed to Eastland were not necessarily sent to him alone. Also, note that Eastland occasionally received copies of correspondence between other members of Congress, as well as correspondence between other members of Congress and the executive branch or federal government agencies. Occasionally, correspondence between Eastland and constituents are filed in this Subseries if the only topic under discussion is a particular member of Congress.Several members of Congress may co-sign a letter. All correspondents are listed in the item-level description (if a typed name appears underneath the signature), but the relevant letter is filed under the individual whose name is on the letterhead (if that is unclear, the first name listed). Thus, researchers interested in a particular member of Congress should conduct a search throughout the entire Subseries inventory, not just that individual's file.When apparent from the context of the correspondence, the item-level description provides the number of the senate (or house) bill (or resolution) under discussion, as well as the unofficial name of the legislation. Descriptive terms used are not consistent, so researchers should either read the entire Subseries inventory or conduct numerous keyword searches on potential terms. The archivist made a concerted effort, however, to provide the specific name of the federal department/agency/office referenced in a piece of correspondence. In addition, the archivist avoided using government acronyms whenever possible, so conduct keyword searches on terms in the complete title of a government agency or program.Most congressional correspondence pertaining to an individual employment application or nomination resides in File Series 1, Subseries 22: Patronage, Nominations, Employment, and School References. Other congressional letters regarding constituent appeals for the senator's assistance inviting a congressman to Mississippi events exist in File Series 3, Subseries: Routine Requests. Letters co-signed by Eastland and other members of Congress are also in the Executive Branch Correspondence and the Federal Correspondence Subseries.Correspondence between Eastland and non-member congressional offices are at the end of the Subseries. These files also appear in alphabetical order, but contain no item-level description as the majority of this correspondence is typically of a mundane, administrative nature.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 18 (1506 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 19: Campaign Records
Scope: Eastland competed in six elections over the course of his senate career. These campaigns occurred in 1942, 1948, 1954, 1960, 1966, and 1972 (see chart below). The files in this Subseries of forty-three boxes are arranged by election years, and this Subseries is one of the few in the collection that preserves the original filing system of Eastland's office. Within each campaign, the records are first organized alphabetically by counties, and these county files primarily contain letters of support to Eastland. The county files are followed by various subject folders such as newspaper clippings, mailing lists, voter's lists, speaking engagements, policy statements, campaign literature, and form letters. The senator also prepared a campaign for 1978, and this Subseries contains those files, as well as documents on his retirement announcement and subsequent public reaction.The extensive time span covered by these files documents transformations in the conduct of political elections. Files from 1942, for instance, contain logs from county managers reflecting a more personal and grassroots style. Also of interest is a letter from U.S. Senator Theodore Bilbo urging Eastland to join the armed forces during World War II and Eastland's response that Bilbo's motives were not patriotic but purely political as Eastland was then running against Bilbo's handpicked candidate. With each successive campaign (except for the years 1948 and 1960 when Eastland ran unopposed), the amount of documentation increases. After the 1972 election, the Senate investigated Eastland's campaign for taking an illegal contribution. Eastland's letters of the time, however, state that all members of Congress were audited after the 1972 campaign, and although cleared, Eastland's staff endeavored to ensure that similar accusations would not reoccur.Examination of the campaign Subseries would permit a researcher to determine the network of behind-the-scene power brokers that existed throughout the state of Mississippi from the 1940's through the 1970's. The Subseries contains many letters from Eastland's political allies keeping him abreast of local political developments while allies and constituents probed Eastland for his stance on issues of the day, such as segregation, civil rights, and agricultural policies.Favor files and oversized campaign items appear at the end of the Subseries. In many cases, favor files are case files where Eastland carried out some favor for his constituents (case files comprise a Subseries of the Constituent File Series). Eastland's staff preserved copies of case file letters (or, failing that, accumulated index cards retaining the pertinent information) in self-styled "favor files," which were later used to compile campaign mailing lists. The size of the favor files, however, indicates that not every case file automatically became a favor file - thus, the preservation of these duplicate copies for interested researchers.

Eastland Elections

Campaign Year Candidates (Party Affiliation) Notes
1942 Eastland (D) vs. Wall Doxey (D) Until the 1960s, Mississippi was a one party state where the general election effectively happened in the primaries. Thus, Eastland's opponents during these years were also Democrats.
1948 Eastland (D) Eastland ran unopposed.
1954 Eastland (D) vs. Carroll Gartin (D) Until the 1960s, Mississippi was a one party state where the general election effectively happened in the primaries. Thus, Eastland's opponents during these years were also Democratic.
1960 Eastland (D) Eastland ran unopposed.
1966 Eastland (D) vs. Prentiss Walker (R)
1972 Eastland (D) vs. Gil Carmichael (R)
1978 Maurice Dantin (D) vs. Thad Cochran (R) Eastland chose not to run for reelection, and Cochran won Eastland's seat in the Senate.
[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 19 (99 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 20: Politics
Scope: Arranged chronologically, the four boxes of files in this Subseries contain correspondence, clippings, and other ephemera of a strictly political nature at both the state and national level. Please note that material related to Eastland's own election campaigns as well as papers related to his decision to retire in 1978 are located in File Series 1, Subseries 19: Campaign Records. Further material of a political nature also appears in the following File Series 1 Subseries: Mississippi Office/C.B. Curlee & Wilburn Buckley Files; Executive Secretary/Virginia Simmerman Files; Congressional Correspondence; and Executive Branch Correspondence. Newspaper and magazine clippings on political matters appear in File Series 2, Subseries: Clippings.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 20 (13 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 21: Mississippi Office / C.B. Curlee & Wilburn Buckley
Scope: Senator Eastland employed C.B. Curlee and Wilburn Buckley as his representatives within the state of Mississippi. As such, both men had occasion to relay political information and opinions in their correspondence to the senator. Curlee's letters, in particular, contain lengthy and detailed observations on Mississippi campaigns and political maneuverings. Further Curlee correspondence is in the Campaign Files Subseries. Both Curlee and Buckley also operated as case workers intermediating between individuals (or locales) and the federal government. Files in this one-box Subseries are arranged chronologically.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 21 (12 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 22: Patronage, Nominations, Employment & School References
Scope: This Subseries contains fifty-four boxes of documents related to employment and school admission. A broad category, these files include information on individuals ranging from aspirants to the U.S. Supreme Court to students seeking summer employment as manual laborers in the Forest Service. The jobs under consideration include federal and state positions as well as careers in private business. Students sought the senator's assistance in their applications to colleges, graduate schools, medical schools, and law schools. The files also contain correspondence from individuals wanting a position on Eastland's congressional and committee staffs. Note that appointments to military service academies such as West Point and Annapolis appear in File Series 3, Subseries: Academy Appointments.Files are arranged alphabetically by the name of the job applicant, and may contain resumes, correspondence with the applicant and interested parties, and constituents expressing endorsement or opposition to the candidate or nominee. The inventory identifies the prospective employer in the form of a named government agency/department or private business, and the time span of the documents in each file. Requests for government positions (either state or federal) within Mississippi include the name of the community.The last five boxes contain documents not filed by an individual name, but by the position sought. This includes correspondence that discuss several individuals vying for the same job without endorsement of a specific applicant, as well as applicants for jobs with Eastland's office or committees.Senator Eastland formally held patronage appointments to the U.S. Capitol Police. Although the files indicate that he on rare occasions influenced the selection of constituent's children as congressional pages, he typically replied to such requests that he did not possess that particular appointment patronage.Between 1836 and 1969, the president appointed local postmasters nominated by that state and district's U.S. Representative (if he or she belonged to the same political party) or a state committee composed of the president's supporters. Even after civil service tests became a part of the process, an applicant would still seek the support of their congressional representatives because a senator could essentially "veto" an appointment by delaying Senate confirmation indefinitely. Post office patronage files often contain significant discussions of a political nature that extend beyond mere discussions of the applicant's party involvement. At times, a large percentage of a community would write letters endorsing one or another competing job seeker and a number of these letters provide quite lengthy commentary. For researchers interested in a particular community, post office patronage files can be a rich source of local history and the state's political network.In addition to postal positions, Eastland appeared to have considerable influence with regards to state and local Farmers Home Administration jobs and made U.S. Marshal appointments within Mississippi.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 22 (1305 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 23: Presidential Inaugurations
Scope: Arranged sequentially, the files in this one-box Subseries contain a range of material related to presidential inaugurations. These typically include engraved invitations addressed to the senator, requests from constituents for tickets to various inaugural events, correspondence with inaugural committees, and related publications.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 23 (12 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 24: University of Mississippi
Scope: Two receptions were held to pay tribute to the work of Senator Eastland and to establish law school scholarships in his honor at the University of Mississippi. The first of these, a Mississippi reception, occurred on 8 March 1976 in Jackson. The second, in Washington, DC, followed a year later on 20 April 1977. The four boxes in this Subseries detail the planning of the dinners, as well as solicitations for donations to fund the Eastland Scholarship in Law. This Subseries is organized first by event and concludes with information on the scholarship. Many of the files and documents in this collection originate with the university and not Eastland's office. However, because the university stored the material together with the Eastland Collection and ownership remained unclear, the archivist made the decision to incorporate the university records within the auspices of the James O. Eastland Collection.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 24 (15 KB)]
File Series 1, Subseries 25: Book Inventory
Scope: The books and serials on this list include those publications (excluding government documents) found loose in the collection as well as those removed from files (only after the archivist replaced the item with a removal sheet noting the bibliographic citation, the reason for the transfer, and current location information). The list is arranged alphabetically by author (or by title if there is no clear author). The entries also contain traditional bibliographic information such as publishing location, publisher, and date. In addition, all signatures are noted, complete transcriptions of inscriptions provided, and itemized descriptions of loose material discovered within the publications.Enclosures are stored separate from publications in the two boxes of this Subseries and filed by the author (or title if there is no clear author) of the publication inside which they were originally discovered.Many of the books were complimentary copies sent to the senator. Topics range from government policy, political biography and memoir, national issues, fiction, and material specific to Mississippi. Agriculture, law, judiciary, communism, and race relations are themes in much of the literature.Patrons who wish to view original publications from the collection may consult the on-line J.D. William Library catalogue (http://umiss.lib.olemiss.edu/) to see if either the Main Library or Special Collections retains the title in their holdings. The catalogue will contain a notation that a volume is part of the Eastland Collection. In addition to locating a publication in the catalogue by author or title, patrons may also type "Eastland, James" in an author search to derive a complete list of all catalogued publications in the collection. This list will also include those government documents from the collection added to the library's holdings. Titles that do not appear in the catalogue were discarded for reasons of duplication, condition, or because of they did not meet the library's collection development policy and were available through interlibrary loan.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 25 (424 KB)]
FILE SERIES 2: PUBLIC RELATIONS
Note: Please click .pdf links in each subseries description to view in-depth content lists.
File Series 2, Subseries 1: Photographs, Negatives, & Slides
Scope: Twenty-four boxes contain the photographs, negatives, and slides that comprise Subseries 1. The first twenty-two boxes house photographs while Box 23 contains negatives and Box 24 holds two binders of slides and one microfiche. Dating from the 1940s through 1978, the images contain portraits and candid shots of Senator Eastland and other noteworthy individuals; family; Mississippi constituents visiting the Washington, DC office; campaign activities; pictures of livestock, agriculture, and forestry; committee hearings; legislation signings; Joint Sessions of Congress; Eastland addressing and attending various events and functions; and trips abroad. The finding aid for this particular Subseries is presented in the form of a chart. Each row represents an image with column fields for box and folder numbers; descriptions (which include not only the image but also all attached documents and transcripts of all inscriptions); date; creator; image type (black and white, color, negative, etc.); size; and notes (information on condition and the quantity of duplicates available). Photographs previously part of a document file in File Series 1 now appear in Box 22 and the "Notes" field contains information regarding the original location of the image (File Series, Subseries, Box, and Folder data). For cross reference purposes, each document file contains a removal sheet informing patrons of the existence of a photograph removed for preservation reasons and identifies the new locale in File Series 2, Subseries 1: Photographs. All images are in archival sleeves and folders. Boxes are located in a Cold Room which maintains temperature and humidity settings required by these formats. Patrons wishing access to these images must provide advance notice at least two business days prior to a visit so that curators may acclimate images to normal temperature & humidity settings before transporting boxes from a separate facility to the Special Collections Reading Room. There will be no exceptions to this policy.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 1 (293 KB)]
File Series 2, Subseries 2: Audio Recordings
Scope: Audio recordings in the Eastland Collection cover a wide range of topics. Among this Subseries are campaign jingles and advertisements, speeches, news interviews, oral histories, committee hearings, and unsolicited recordings sent to the senator by constituents and citizens across the nation. The Eastland Collection possesses a total of thirty-four reel-to-reels, forty-three cassette tapes, and five 78 rpm discs.In January 2007, the Modern Political Archives received a $1,000 grant from the University of Mississippi Provost’s Associates and Partners Grants Program to restore and create digital copies of eight audio reel-to-reels in the James O. Eastland Collection. The audio laboratories at Cutting Corporation completed the work one month later.In 2010, the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded a $450,000 grant to the University of Mississippi to preserve and digitize all recordings in the Modern Political Archives. This grant permitted the archive to complete the digitization of all audio recordings in the collection by the end of May 2011. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.The Eastland Collection recordings are available as part of the James O. Eastland Digital Collection. Although descriptions for the audio recordings are available to anyone on the internet, only a selection of the recordings are accessible on the web due to copyright. Researchers may view restricted recordings via onsite computer terminals in the J.D. Williams Library. Finally, a number of the recordings were duplicates of one another, and the digital collection typically provides only one copy.The James O. Eastland Digital Collection is available at http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/eastland
File Series 2, Subseries 3: Audiovisual Recordings
Scope: Audiovisual recordings in the James O. Eastland Collection include a diverse array of subjects. Material in this subseries includes government and special interest documentaries, campaign broadcasts, speeches, television interviews and appearances, public service announcements, and television programs on political issues. The collection possesses fifty-one 16mm films, twenty two-inch quad tapes, two umatic tapes, and one 35mm film.For preservation reasons, the original recordings are stored in a climate-controlled facility, and access is restricted. However, digital counterparts are available to researchers. In 2010, the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded a $450,000 grant to the University of Mississippi to preserve and digitize all recordings in the Modern Political Archives. This grant permitted the archive to complete the digitization of all audiovisual recordings in the collection by the end of May 2011. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.The Eastland Collection recordings are available as part of the James O. Eastland Digital Collection. Although descriptions for the recordings are available to anyone on the internet, only a selection is accessible on the web due to copyright. Researchers may view restricted recordings via onsite computer terminals in the J.D. Williams Library. Finally, a number of the recordings were duplicates of one another, and the digital collection typically provides only one copy.The James O. Eastland Digital Collection is available at http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/eastland
File Series 2, Subseries 4: Clippings
Scope: This Subseries contains twenty-three boxes of clippings from newspapers and journals dating between 1923 and 1978, with the bulk of the material from between 1941 and 1978. Many of these clippings contain news stories that either feature or at least mention Senator Eastland. Other clippings are on subjects of interest to Eastland and his staff. In addition, this Subseries includes clippings forwarded to the senator by constituents and other interested parties; however, most examples of this latter group reside in File Series 3, Subseries: Issue Correspondence. Aside from direct coverage of Eastland, frequent topics are agriculture, civil rights, communism, the Internal Security Subcommittee, the judiciary & the Judiciary Committee, and politics. Researchers interested in Eastland speeches should note that press coverage often pre-dates and post-dates the month in which the event transpired. Files are organized chronologically by month/year and then alphabetically by subject. Undated material appears at the end in Box 23. The very last item is a folder of computer print-outs of Eastland news stories between 1969 and 1978 from the New York Times Information Bank. The quantity of clippings in Subseries 2 is not consistent across Eastland’s congressional tenure, and some years are quite simply sparse -- in particular, 1950-1954, 1958-61, and 1963. The volume increased dramatically after 1968, and 1978 boasts the largest amount. Further clippings are available in the scrapbooks of File Series 2, Subseries7. The collection also possesses a number of audio cassette recordings of Mississippi staff reading local papers aloud over the telephone to Washington, DC personnel (File Series 2, Subseries 2). News coverage of Eastland’s campaign races also appear in File Series 1, Subseries 19: Campaign. Finally, archives staff photocopied all newsprint clippings onto archival bond paper to ensure preservation and decrease space requirements. To these copies, archives staff added bibliographic notations citing publication, date, and page number when the information was available and not apparent on the copy itself.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 4 (479 KB)]
File Series 2, Subseries 5: Floor Speeches
Scope: The nine boxes of this Subseries contain drafts of speeches and occasionally research material for speeches that Eastland delivered on the floor of the Senate. They are arranged chronologically and then by topic. Several of the speeches are marked "not delivered" when curators could not determine through comparison with the Congressional Record that Eastland had delivered the speech on the floor of the Senate. Undated material appears at the end. Most of the speeches are concerned with agriculture, communism, and civil rights. The number of speeches increased in the 1950s following the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision when Eastland became a leading Senate proponent for segregation. As Eastland aged, he spoke less on the floor of the Senate, particularly after his 1972 election campaign. In fact, many of the speeches that Eastland gave in the years that followed were tributes to retiring and deceased colleagues. Similar tributes to colleagues also appear in File Series 1, Subseries 18: Congressional Correspondence and File Series 2, Subseries 6: Speeches.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 5 (60 KB)]
File Series 2, Subseries 6: Speeches
Scope: The seven boxes in this series contain copies of speeches given by James Eastland off the Senate floor. The senator delivered many of the speeches before various Farm Bureau and other agriculture-related groups, mostly in the state of Mississippi. Other common events at which Eastland spoke include Citizen Council meetings, Chamber of Commerce meetings, graduation and commencement ceremonies at high schools and colleges, building and monument dedications, and various festivals, mostly in Mississippi. Also included are transcripts of Eastland’s tributes to other political figures. Occasionally, a member of Eastland’s staff would deliver a speech when the senator could not fulfill his speaking obligations. Speech topics often included agriculture, race relations, and communism. Files are arranged chronologically when the date of the speech is identifiable. The undated files are at the end of the series. The number of speeches increases in the 1970s, especially during election years. Researchers interested in campaign speeches should also see File Series 1, Subseries 19: Campaign Records. Newspaper accounts of Eastland’s speeches are found in File Series 2, Subseries 4: Clippings as well as File Series 2, Subseries 7: Scrapbooks. Constituent reactions to some speeches may be found in File Series 3, Subseries 1: Issue Correspondence and requests for printed speeches in File Series 3: Routine Requests.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 6 (55 KB)]
File Series 2, Subseries 7: Scrapbooks
Scope: This Subseries contains nineteen boxes holding thirty-one scrapbooks dating from 1945 through 1978. Although mostly consisting of newspaper clippings, the formats involved also includes photographs and a variety of documents. Several of the scrapbooks document a miscellaneous array of topics, although many concentrate on themes that include the Internal Security Subcommittee; the Judiciary Committee; the International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelters; Mississippi politics; and the integration of the University of Mississippi. These volumes also concentrate on specific aspects of Eastland’s career, such as his 1954 campaign, his position as President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and his time as Acting Vice President of the United States. Two 1978 scrapbooks relate to "Jim Eastland Day" in Meridian, Mississippi. Many of the scrapbook covers have been discarded due to mold. Curators made photocopies or digital images of any covers or spines containing textual information and placed these copies with the original scrapbook pages. In two cases, mold had infested the interior of the scrapbooks: for the scrapbook in Box 1, curators made photocopies of the entire scrapbook; and for scrapbook B in Box 6, a digital copy in Content DM is available for patrons use in the Special Collections Reading Room.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 7 (20 KB)]
File Series 2, Subseries 8: Original Political Cartoon Drawings
Scope: Like other politicians, Senator James O. Eastland occasionally received original drawings of the political cartoons that had appeared in print in which he played a featured role. The newsprint versions of these and many other cartoons may be discovered throughout File Series 2, Subseries 4: Clippings.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 8 (16 KB)]
File Series 2, Subseries 9: Press Releases
Scope: The five boxes in this Subseries contain the press releases issued by Eastland’s congressional office. The releases are arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by subject. As the senator gained seniority, the media became more interested in his opinions, and the office produced more press releases. During the 1940s, the majority of the releases concerned agriculture, World War II, and veterans affairs. Agriculture continued to be a frequent topic, but during the 1950s and 1960s, many of the releases dealt with civil rights. After becoming chair of the powerful Judiciary Committee, releases covered communism, the judiciary, law enforcement, and foreign policy. Many of the press releases intended for distribution to Mississippi newspapers publicize federal grants awarded within the state.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 9 (122 KB)]
File Series 2, Subseries 10: Newsletters & Publications
Scope: This one-box Subseries contains items printed at the request of and distributed by Senator Eastland's office. During the early 1970s, Eastland followed the lead of several colleagues by producing a newsletter for his constituents entitled The Eastland Report. The office did not keep a regular schedule for this newsletter and efforts seem to have ceased after 1974. Other publications include pamphlets from Eastland's 1972 reelection campaign, printed speeches delivered by Eastland, and reprints of the Congressional Record. Eastland distributed two of the published speeches -- "The Barter of Our Heritage" and "The Miracle of Water" -- during his 1948 and 1954 election campaigns, respectively.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 10 (19 KB)]
File Series 2, Subseries 11: Public Relations Correspondence
Scope: The two boxes in this Subseries contain the correspondence of Senator Eastland or his office with various media outlets throughout the state and the nation between 1941 and 1978. This correspondence includes solicitations of media outlets to receive Eastland’s audio reports, requests for the senator to appear on television or radio, and requests for photographs of the senator for media files. The Subseries is arranged chronologically by year. Researchers interested in H.L. Hunt will find several pieces of correspondence with Hunt and his associates concerning the radio program "Facts Forum."[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 11 (14 KB)]
File Series 2, Subseries 12: Published Writings & Interviews
Scope: The one box of this Subseries contains manuscript drafts and copies of articles written by Eastland between 1946 and 1977. It also includes published interviews in which the senator participated. Topics tend to focus on agriculture, communism, law enforcement, civil rights, and the Senate Judiciary Committee. Articles and interviews are arranged together chronologically. It is possible that further articles by the senator appear in File Series 2, Subseries 4: Clippings. [Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 12 (20 KB)]
FILE SERIES 3: CONSTITUENT
Note: Please click .pdf links in each subseries description to view in-depth content lists.
File Series 3, Subseries 1: Issue Correspondence
Scope: This subseries contains 165 boxes of letters on general political subjects from Eastland’s Mississippi constituents as well as interested organizations and individuals from around the nation and the world. The correspondence dates from 1937 to 1978, with the bulk from 1941 to 1978. Frequent topics include agriculture and cotton, civil rights, communism, the economy, education, energy, the environment, foreign policy, health care, immigration, industry, labor, media, the military, natural resources, various individual political figures, Social Security, taxes, transportation, and veterans, as well as various government branches and institutions like the judiciary, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Researchers interested in constituent reaction to specific federal projects within the state of Mississippi should also examine File Series 3, Subseries 4: State/Local. Files are organized alphabetically by general subject followed by year and subcategory if necessary. Undated material appears at the chronological end of the general subject category. Researchers should check a variety of subject terms when searching the file lists. For instance, researchers interested in Mississippi’s water resources might try “Water” as well as “Department of the Interior,” “Natural Resources,” “Corps of Engineers,” “Civil Works,” and “Tennessee Valley Authority.” This subseries also includes files specifically about Eastland, including “Eastland Addresses” (constituent responses to speeches or interviews by Eastland) and “Eastland Profiles.”[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 1 (971 KB)]
File Series 3, Subseries 2: Academy Appointments
Scope: The twenty boxes in this subseries document requests for appointments to military service academies. Files are organized alphabetically by the name of the individual requesting appointment. Folder titles also indicate the specific academy of interest as well as the year. Folders more generally related to an academy or a mix of academies are located at the end of the subseries.To prevent an invasion of privacy, the archives will restrict access to case files for 75 years after the last dated document in each file. With proof of identity, individuals may access their own file prior to that release date. In addition, researchers may request the files of those individuals that are deceased. However, researchers may freely access boxes 18, 19, and 20.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 2 (574 KB)]
File Series 3, Subseries 3: Routine Requests
Scope: This subseries contains fourteen boxes of routine matters involving Senator Eastland’s constituents. These transactions include a variety of requests including those for basic information on government programs, agencies, or policies; biographical information about the senator; autographs; recipes; campaign buttons and bumperstickers; U.S. flags; copies of addresses or speeches made by Eastland; copies of government publications; letters of introduction; assistance with hotel reservations in Washington, DC; campaign memorabilia; and White House tour passes. Also included are routine correspondence between Eastland and his constituents to convey condolences, congratulations, thanks, greetings, get well wishes, and invitations.Files are organized alphabetically by topic and then by year. Undated material appears at the chronological end of the general subject category.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 3 (208 KB)]
File Series 3, Subseries 4: State / Local Files
Scope: The sixty-one boxes in the State & Local Files subseries are arranged in alphabetical order, primarily by community or county name, although bodies of water, organizations, institutions, and topical themes are also represented. Most of the files contain information and correspondence related to federal grants and constituent requests for the same, although the records also include requests for Eastland to intervene in the federal bureaucracy on behalf of a community or group. Consequently, this subseries holds files documenting the senator’s interaction with various branches of the state government.File Series 3, Subseries 4 can provide a rich source of information for state and local historians. Researchers interested in a particular locale should check files under the community name, county name, nearby bodies of water, and scan the list of folders that begin with “Mississippi” for likely candidates. Curators placed documents related to more than one specific locale in a general “Mississippi” folder.To assist researchers interested in a specific topic, records for locales are also subdivided by a fairly standardized set of subcategories, such as Airport, Education, Flood Control, Heath Care, Highways & Roads, Post Office, and Sewage & Water. Locale folders without a subcategory contain information that did not relate specifically to one of the standardized subcategories or that held data on more than one subcategory.Researchers interested in flood control should also examine files related to “Agriculture” for information on watersheds and Soil & Conservation Districts. Other documents on the subject may appear in files on specific bodies of water. A substantial amount of civil rights material also appears in files related to “Education,” and occasionally files on “Hospitals,” “Health Care,” and specific military facilities. Disaster relief researchers may also find relevant information on disaster relief due to weather and flooding in “Agriculture” files.[Click for an in-depth .pdf inventory for Subseries 4 (642 KB)]
File Series 3, Subseries 5: Case Files
Scope: This subseries contains 368 boxes of case files. Congressional offices create case files when constituents and other individuals seek the assistance of congressional members in negotiating a benefit, ruling, or reimbursement for personal gain from the federal government (and occasionally from state governments and private businesses).These files typically contain data such as Social Security numbers, military service records, or detailed medical and financial information. To prevent an invasion of privacy, the archives will restrict access to case files for 75 years after the last dated document in each file. With proof of identity, individuals may access their own file prior to that release date. In addition, researchers may request the files of those individuals that are deceased.Curators are currently processing this subseries. Files are organized alphabetically by the individual seeking assistance. Additional descriptive data on each folder includes the name of the government department or agency involved as well as the time span.

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