Finding aid for the Jamie L. Whitten Collection

MUM00732

Access Restrictions

Open for research. This 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.

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PURL

http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00732/

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Summary Information

Repository
University of Mississippi Libraries
Creator
Whitten, Jamie L.
Title
Jamie L. Whitten Collection
ID
MUM00732
Date [inclusive]
1927-1995
Extent
2000 Linear feet
Location:
Library Annex
Abstract:
Jamie L. Whitten represented Mississippi in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1941 to 1995 and chaired the powerful Committee on Appropriations from 1979 through 1992.

Preferred Citation

Jamie L. Whitten Collection, Archives and Special Collections, J.D. Williams Library, University of Mississippi

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Biographical Note

Jamie L. Whitten was born in the community of Cascilla in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi on 18 April 1910. After attending public schools, he studied literature and law at the University of Mississippi. In 1930-31, Whitten served as principal of Cascilla School, and voters sent him to the Mississippi Legislature for a two-year term in 1931. Admitted to the state Bar in 1932, the young lawyer opened a practice in Charleston, Mississippi and served as District Attorney for the state's 17th District from 1933 to 1941.

A Democrat Jamie Whitten won a special election to fill a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1941, and he remained in that chamber of Congress until his retirement on 3 January 1995. Only John Dingell of Michigan holds a longer record of service in the House.

During his reelections, Whitten rarely faced any serious opposition except for two notable exceptions. The 1960 census resulted in the loss of a Mississippi congressional district, and the resulting reapportionment forced a battle with fellow incumbent Frank Smith that Whitten won. Four years later, civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer attempted to challenge Whitten for his congressional seat. Although her name did not appear on the ballot, Hamer and other members of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party filed a formal challenge with Congress protesting the seating of the state’s five white congressmen in the U.S. House of Representatives on the basis that whites had excluded African Americans from participating in the primary and general election. A southern-dominated House Administration Committee dismissed the complaint, arguing that the recent passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 had made the issue moot. On 17 September 1965, the full House voted 228 to 143 to support the committee.

For a brief period in 1941-42, Whitten served on the House Post Office & Post Roads Committee. However, by 1943 he received an appointment to the powerful Appropriations Committee. Whitten became chair of its Agriculture Subcommittee in 1950, and as the decades passed the Mississippi legislator became known as the "permanent Secretary of Agriculture." In 1979, he rose via seniority to chair the entire Appropriations Committee, and his colleagues voted him "the most effective chairman in the U.S. Congress." Whitten maintained that post until 1992 when the Democratic Caucus replaced the eighty-two-year-old with William Huston Natcher.

Other committee memberships during Whitten's career include the Joint Committee on Study Budget Control (1972-74), Joint Committee on Reduction of Federal Expenditures (1970-74), and the House Budget Committee (1974-75).

Throughout his career, Whitten promoted both the protection and the development of natural resources in Mississippi and across the nation. He initiated legislation for the National Watershed and Flood Prevention Program and championed public works projects like the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. His book, That We May Live (1966) defended the benefits of agricultural pesticides in response to Rachel Carson's environmental bestseller  Silent Spring.

After declining to run for a 28th term, Whitten retired to his home in Oxford, Mississippi, where he died on 9 September 1995. He was survived by his wife Rebecca Thompson Whitten of Saltillo, Mississippi and his two children: Jamie L. Whitten and Beverly Whitten Merritt. A few months before his death, Congress named the main building of the Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC the "Jamie L. Whitten Building."

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Scope and Content Note

The collection is divided into the following series (see container list for more details):

Series 1: Congressional Records

Series 2: Corps of Engineers

Series 3: Daily Memos

Series 4: Departments & Agencies

Series 5: Federal Assistance & Grants

Series 6: Green Sheets

Series 7: Guest Books

Series 8: Invitations

Series 9: Logs of Assistance

Series 10: Office Administration

Series 11: Personal Series

Series 12: Photographs

Series 13: Politics

Series 14: Post Office

Series 15: Public Relations

Series 16: Published Writings

Series 17: Recordings

Series 18: School Desegregation

Series 19: Scrapbooks

Series 20: Special Interest Files

Series 21: Special Letters Scrapbooks

Series 22: Speeches

Series 23: That We May Live

Series 24: Trips

Series 25: University of Mississippi

Series 26: Voting Records

Series 27: Whitten’s Notes

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Mississippi Libraries

Access Restrictions

A 2010 IMLS grant permitted the archive to digitize most of the original recordings in the collection, and they are accessible to researchers as a digital collection. Although anyone on the internet may view the descriptions for all of the recordings, copyright may limit access to some of the material. Researchers may view restricted recordings via onsite computers in the J.D. Williams Library.

Series 1 through 27 are now open to the public, although researchers are cautioned that additional material and files may be added to these series in the future as related items are discovered in currently unprocessed portions of the collection. The following series remain closed to researchers while processing continues: Appropriations Committee, Clippings, General Files, Legislation, and Memorabilia.

Due to the terms of the donor’s gift, until 2025 all researchers must sign a form agreeing to quote non-government or corporate letters anonymously unless permission is obtained from the individuals involved. This restriction does not apply to any documents written by an officer or agent of the federal, state, or local government (including Whitten and his congressional staff).

This collection is stored at an off-site facility. Researchers interested in reviewing it must contact the Archives and Special Collections at least two business days in advance of their planned visit with a box request.

Copyright 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.

Additions

No further additions are expected to this collection.

Acquisition Information

Jamie Whitten donated his congressional papers to the University of Mississippi on 16 August 1994. In 2000, the Committee on Appropriations contributed a box of Whitten's remarks on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2007, the Tutwiler Public Library donated one box of files and two boxes of publications that Whitten had previously transferred to the library.

Processing Information

Most of the collection's recordings are processed and available to researchers. University of Mississippi’s Media & Documentary Projects digitized the original recordings. Political Papers Archivist Leigh McWhite reviewed the recordings to compile content descriptions and wrote the introductory fields for the finding aid. Digital Initiatives Librarian Jason Kovari encoded the first version of the finding aid and created the digital collection.

The digitization and preservation of the recordings in this collection are the result of a project supported in part by a 2010 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. After work began on organizing the collection’s paper files, three more boxes of original recordings in various formats surfaced. They remain unprocessed at this time until funding becomes available.

The Modern Political Archives began processing the manuscript files in January 2015. Leigh McWhite (Political Papers Archivist) directed the effort with the assistance of Senior Library Assistant Tara Pawley and Library Specialist Lauren Rogers and the following student workers: Katrina Sims, Alicia Dixon, Alicia Bacon, Hannah Rogers, Sarah Brettin, and Rachel McLemore. Series 1 through 27 opened to researchers in January 2016.

Work continues on the following series: Appropriations Committee, Clippings, General Files, Legislation, and Memorabilia.

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Related Materials

Related Material

Manuscript Collections in the Archives and Special Collections.

For other politically-related holdings at the Archives & Special Collections, see the Politics & Government Subject Guide.

Thomas G. Abernethy Collection. 1924-1975. Abernethy represented Mississippi in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1943 and 1973. The papers includes correspondence with Whitten. Finding aid available online at http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00001/.  Note: Patrons should provide notice at least two business days prior to prospective visits so that staff may transfer requested boxes from the Library Annex (an off-site facility) to the Special Collection Reading Room.

Buildings and Grounds Collection. 1907-2002. Includes a file on the Jamie L. Whitten National Center for Physical Acoustics building at the University of Mississippi. Finding aid available online at http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00525/.

James O. Eastland Collection. 1930-1978. James O. Eastland represented Mississippi in the U.S. Senate in 1941 and from 1943 to 1978. The papers include correspondence with Whitten. Finding aid available online at http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00117/.

Sidney Graves Collection. 1936-2008. Includes 1973 correspondence with Whitten. Finding aid available online at http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM01723/.

R. Malcolm Guess Collection. 1922-1961. Includes two folders with Whitten correspondence (Box 1, Folders 9 & 16). Finding aid available online at http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00566/.

Fannie Lou Hamer Collection. 1965-1978. In 1964-1965, civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer filed a formal challenge in the U.S. House of Representatives against the seating of Whitten. Finding aid available online at http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00215/.

Ed King Collection. 1939-1983. Includes Fannie Lou Hamer’s testimony before Congress on the 1964-1965 contested election of Whitten (Box 1, Folder 8 and Box 2, Folder 14). Finding aid available online at http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00251/.

George McLean Collection. 1947-1982. Includes notes of a speech on Whitten (Box 5) and a 1980 letter from Whitten (Box 10, Folder 24). Finding aid available online at http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00291/.

Bill Miles Collection. 1962-2011. An advertising and public relations firm in Tupelo, Mississippi, Bill Miles Associates represented local political candidates including Whitten. The collection includes recordings and client files related to Whitten. Finding aid available online at http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM01782/.  Note: Patrons should provide notice at least two business days prior to prospective visits so that staff may transfer requested boxes from the Library Annex (an off-site facility) to the Special Collection Reading Room.

Mississippi Politics Collection. 1908-2011. Includes a file with material on Whitten. Finding aid available online at http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00316/.  Note: Patrons should provide notice at least two business days prior to prospective visits so that staff may transfer requested boxes from the Library Annex (an off-site facility) to the Special Collection Reading Room.

Franklin E. Moak Collection. 1943-1997. Includes three folders on Whitten (Box 61, Folder 20; Box 70, Folder 19; and Box 95, Folder 58). Finding aid available online at http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00721/.

Willie Morris Collection. Includes a 1990 letter from Whitten to Mississippi author Willie Morris (Box 35, Folder 5). Finding aid available online at http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00321/.

Clarence Pierce Collection. 1946-195. Includes a 1977 letter of congratulations to Pierce, a state legislator and aide to Senator James O. Eastland (Box 1, Folder 15). Finding aid available online at http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00364/.

John C. Satterfield/American Bar Association Collection. 1928-1974. Includes correspondence with Whitten in Box 11, Folder 200.2-5. Finding aid available online at http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00685/.

Small Manuscripts. Oversized Box 1 Broadsheets and Broadsides includes Folder 6 with a broadside “Friends of Frank E. Smith want to ask Jamie Whitten some questions” and Folder 29 with another broadside from Smith on his opponent in that election. Finding aid available online at http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00400/.

Vertical Files. Includes clippings files on “Politician – Whitten, Jamie.” Finding aid available online at http://purl.oclc.org/umarchives/MUM00459/.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • United States -- Politics and government -- 20th century
  • United States. Congress. House. Committee on Appropriations
  • United States. Congress. House

Personal Name(s)

  • Whitten, Jamie L.

Subject(s)

  • Agriculture -- Mississippi
  • Political Campaigns -- Mississippi
  • Politicians -- Mississippi

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Collection Inventory

Series 1: Congressional Record. 

Scope and Content

This series of seven boxes contains excerpts from and indexes of the Congressional Record, the official record of the proceedings and debates of the U.S. Congress.

The first subseries is comprised of excerpts that primarily relate to Representative Jamie Whitten’s floor speeches or other legislative action. Folders are arranged chronologically and preserve the original subject label assigned by the office. Excerpts from the 1940s and early 1950s are sparse as are those after 1991. Indexes for Whitten’s appearance in the Congressional Record are filed in Subseries 2.

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Series 2: Corps of Engineers. 

Scope and Content

The United States Army Corps of Engineers is a military command responsible for public engineering, design, and construction management. Projects include locks and dams, flood control, beach protection, dredging to improve waterway navigation, as well as design and construction of military facilities.

This series of twenty-one boxes is based largely upon the filing system created by Representative Jamie Whitten’s congressional office in the late 1950s and maintained until his retirement in January 1995 (although the archives had added material where appropriate from earlier years dating back to 1945). In addition to correspondence and reports between Whitten and the Corps, this series also includes related material from state and local officials as well as constituents.

The Corps of Engineers series has four subseries. The first contains Mississippi water project files organized alphabetically by the name of the body of water or the name of the project.

Subseries 2 holds general miscellaneous files on the Corps. Material may include non-project specific correspondence as well as documents with information on multiple water projects in Mississippi.

The third subseries possesses subject files on topics such as leased federal land or soil conservation organized alphabetically by topic and then chronologically by year.

Subseries 4 consists of oversized maps. Additional smaller and folded maps will appear throughout the entire series, not just in subseries 4.

Researchers should be aware that other material related to the Corps may be located within the Departments & Agencies series, particularly among folders related to Defense, Transportation, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Soil Conservation Service documents in the Agriculture files.

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Series 3: Daily Memos. 

Scope and Content

From 1958 until 1993, office staff composed daily memoranda for Representative Jamie Whitten listing appointments, committee meetings, telephone messages, and constituent case developments. The five boxes in this series are arranged chronologically.

Additional daily memos from Whitten’s district offices are located in the Office Administration Series.

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Series 4: Departments & Agencies. 

Scope and Content

The sixty-six boxes in this series contain material related to federal government departments, agencies, and commissions. It includes routine communications from these governmental agencies, specific information related to state and local grants and programs, constituent issue correspondence about the agencies, and correspondence on the subject with congressional colleagues.

This series preserves the original filing system of Representative Jamie Whitten, although the archives has removed constituent case files (due to privacy and confidentiality issues) and has added documents and files where appropriate. The earliest files date from 1947 and the latest from 1994. However, the bulk of the files date from 1974 to 1994. Several items moved to larger storage in the Modern Political Archives Map Case are listed at the end.

Researchers should check appropriate department-level folders for material on specific agencies even where files exist for those agencies. Department and agency names changed over the years and this filing system reflects those transformations.

The Corps of Engineers and the Post Office possess their own series within this collection due to the substantial number of the files involved.

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Series 5: Federal Assistance 

Scope and Content

The twenty-two boxes in this series preserve the original files of Representative Jamie Whitten and contain documents related to federal assistance and grants for Mississippi communities and organizations. It consists primarily of notifications from federal departments and agencies of grant announcements as well as typed memoranda by Whitten’s office staff tallying annual grant awards for each county in his district and correspondence from local officials and constituents regarding needs and proposals.

Subseries 1 holds general files arranged chronologically by year with documents related to state-wide project, out-of-district correspondence, and material related to more than one of the counties within Whitten’s district. These files begin in 1950 and conclude in 1994.

Subseries 2 contains files on counties within Whitten’s district. County files are arranged alphabetically and further subdivided into subject categories such as education, employment, energy, food, health care, highways and roads, historic preservation, housing, water and sewage, or specific colleges and universities. If a project incorporates more than one of these areas it will be filed in the county’s general folder.

Note that redistricting occurred several times during Whitten’s tenure in Congress changing the shape of his district. Consequently, the time span covered within certain county files may not encompass the entirety of Whitten’s tenure in office, and researchers may locate additional information on those counties in the general files of Subseries 1 which includes out-of-district projects. A chart on the containder list indicates when all or part of a county resided within the boundaries of Whitten’s congressional districts (Whitten represented the Second District in 1941-1972 and the First District in 1973-1995).

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Series 6: Green Sheets 

Scope and Content

The Green Sheets series represents the original filing system of Representative Jamie Whitten’s office and contains green carbon copies of outgoing office correspondence between 1961 and 1994. Although the information contained within is likely duplicated elsewhere within the collection, researchers seeking information on specific individuals may find this series useful due to its organizational system.

The files in the fifty-nine boxes are arranged chronologically by year. They are further subdivided alphabetically so that a letter of the alphabet holds all communications sent to individuals with surnames or organizations whose name begins with that letter. Other subdivisions may include locales, or categories such as out-of-state, out-of-district, members of Congress, or departments. Archivists removed all documents related to constituent case files and military academy appointments for privacy and confidentiality reasons. The series is missing 1976 files from P to Z.

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Series 7: Guest Books 

Scope and Content

The two boxes in this series hold guest books logging the names, addresses, and dates of visitors to Representative Jamie Whitten’s congressional office and events. Files are arranged chronologically based upon available dates in each guestbook.

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Series 8: Invitations 

Scope and Content

The Invitations Series contains twenty-four boxes of invitations Representative Jamie Whitten received to events and functions between 1959 and 1994, as well as correspondence and other material related to the invitation.

Subseries 1 holds all invitations accepted by Whitten, arranged chronologically by year. Subseries 2 consists of a selection of rejected invitations issued by celebrities, Citizens Councils, members of Congress, Mississippi governors, and the White House (both presidents and vice presidents). The archives removed from the collection all other rejected invitations.

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Series 9: Logs of Assistance 

Scope and Content

Congressional case files are created when constituents and other individuals seek the assistance of members of Congress in negotiating a benefit, ruling, or reimbursement for personal gain from the federal governments (and occasionally from state governments and private businesses). Examples will include individuals having problems with Social Security payments or Veterans benefits, employers wanting visas for workers to enter the country, and farmers wanting loans from the Farmers Home Administration.

Due to privacy and confidentiality concerns, the Whitten Collection does not retain the case files of individual constituents. However, the Logs of Assistance Rendered in this series provide a general summary of these activities. Maintained by Whitten’s office between 1953 and 1962, the log books list the names, dates, and requests of the constituents as well as the department contacted to handle the request.

Subseries 1 hold constituent requests between 1955 and 1962. These log books are arranged within by county. Subseries 2 consists of requests from individuals and groups outside of Whitten’s congressional district and date from 1953-1954.

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Series 10: Office Administration 

Scope and Content

The nine boxes in the Office Administration Series contain material related to the personnel, equipment, and management of Representative Jamie Whitten’s congressional office in Washington, DC and his district offices in Mississippi. Subseries 1 contains general files organized by either year or subject. Subseries 2 documents the offices expenses and accounts and preserves the original filing system.

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Series 11: Personal 

Scope and Content

The Personal series is comprised of seven boxes with three subseries. The first contains autobiographical manuscripts. The second subseries consists of files arranged by year that hold a mixture of personal correspondence, documents, and financial records dating from 1924 to 1994. The third subseries covers Whitten’s pre-congressional legal career and includes several legal case files.

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Series 12: Photographs 

Scope and Content

Dating from 1904 to 1994, the images in the eleven boxes of this series include portraits and candid shots of Jamie Whitten and other noteworthy individuals; family; committee meetings and hearings; Mississippi constituents and groups visiting the Washington, DC office; campaign activities; trips; projects funded by federal appropriations; and Whitten addressing and attending various events and functions.

The series contains the following subseries:

• Subseries 1: Portraits of Whitten

• Subseries 2: Whitten Candids

• Subseries 3: Whitten Family

• Subseries 4: Presidents/Vice-Presidents

• Subseries 5: Politicians/Government Officials

• Subseries 6: House Chamber

• Subseries 7: House Committees

• Subseries 8: Whitten Congressional Staff

• Subseries 9: Trips/Events

• Subseries 10: Whitten with Youth(s)

• Subseries 11: Whitten with Individuals

• Subseries 12: Whitten with Groups

• Subseries 13: Groups and Individuals without Whitten

• Subseries 14: Subject Photographs

• Subseries 15: Oversized

• Subseries 16: Scrapbooks and Binder

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Series 13: Politics 

Scope and Content

The Politics series has four subseries held in a total of twenty-four boxes. The first consists of files related to Jamie Whitten’s campaigns for public office, first as district attorney in the 17th Judicial District of Mississippi and then for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Whitten won a special election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1941. Starting in 1942, he ran for reelection every two years until his retirement on 3 January 1995. The following is a list of his campaign opponents for Congress in the Democratic primaries and the general election:

• 1941 L.A. “Red” Pyle (R)

• 1942 unopposed

• 1944 William McDonough (R)

• 1946 unopposed

• 1948 unopposed

• 1950 unopposed

• 1952 unopposed

• 1954 unopposed

• 1956 unopposed

• 1958 unopposed

• 1960 unopposed

• 1962 unopposed

• 1964 unopposed

• 1966 S.B. (Bushy) Wise (R)

• 1968 unopposed

• 1970 Eugene Carter (I)

• 1972 unopposed

• 1974 Jack Benney (I)

• 1976 unopposed

• 1978 T.K. Moffett (R) and Horace E. Hutcheson (I)

• 1980 T.K. Moffett (R)

• 1982 Fran Fawcett (R)

• 1984 John Hargett (I)

• 1986 Larry Cobb (R)

• 1988 Jim Bush (R)

• 1990 Bill Bowlin (R)

• 1992 Clyde E. Whitaker (R)

Subseries 1 is organized chronologically by year (although the elections occurred on even-numbered years, the campaign series does contain files from odd-numbered years). The subseries is further subdivided into counties and other subjects, such as clippings, election results, contributions, reports, returns, and files on opposing candidates. Folders may contain correspondence, records, lists, and memorabilia (bumper stickers, posters, and buttons).

During his reelections, Whitten rarely faced any serious opposition in either Democratic primaries or general elections except for two notable exceptions. The 1960 census resulted in the loss of a Mississippi congressional district, and the resulting reapportionment forced a battle with fellow incumbent Frank Smith that Whitten won. In 1964, civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer attempted to challenge Whitten for his congressional seat. Although her name did not appear on the primary ballot, Hamer and other members of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party filed a formal challenge with Congress protesting the seating of the state’s five white congressmen in the U.S. House of Representatives. This subseries contains files related to the contested election.

Documentation from the 1956 election is missing from the collection. Files for some of the uncontested elections may be small as well.

Arranged chronologically, Subseries 2 houses files on more general political topics at the state and national level. In particular, this subseries contains correspondence and reports from state, national, and congressional Democratic Party groups as well as White House press releases.

Files in Subseries 3 focus on redistricting, the process by which the state legislature draws new congressional and state legislative district boundaries. Each U.S. Representative is elected by voters from within a particular district. District lines are redrawn every ten years after the completion of the U.S. Census in order to create districts with near equal populations. Whitten represented Mississippi’s Second District from 1941 to 1973 and the First District from 1973 to 1995. The introduction to the Federal Assistance and Grants Series includes a chart depicting Mississippi counties represented by Whitten over the years as redistricting altered his constituency.

Finally, Subseries 4 contains oversized material, primarily signs and newspapers related to Whitten’s campaigns.

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Series 14: Post Office 

Scope and Content

This series holds material about the U.S. Postal Service. The files contain documents related to constituent issues with the service, post office buildings, closures of post offices in rural communities, postal routes, and related legislation. Between 1836 and 1969, the president appointed local postmasters nominated by that 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. Encompassing a substantial amount of information on these political appointments, this series offers researchers insight into local and state politics.

Subseries 1 consists of general files arranged chronologically by year from 1942 to 1994, while Subseries 2 holds files arranged alphabetically by the name of Mississippi communities.

Researchers should note that redistricting altered the shape of Jamie Whitten’s congressional district several times over his tenure, thus community files may not contain material that encompasses the entirety of the congressman’s time in office. The introduction to the Federal Assistance and Grants Series provides a chart tracking the counties that comprised Whitten’s congressional district between 1941 and 1994.

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Series 15: Public Relations 

Scope and Content

The four boxes in the Public Relations series hold correspondence with media outlets, Whitten press releases, and Congressional Records excerpts reproduced by Whitten for distribution. The files are arranged chronologically by year, followed by undated material and printing plates.

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Series 16: Published Writings 

Scope and Content

This series contains articles, letters, and editorials written by Jamie Whitten that appeared in newspapers and journals. Items are arranged chronologically with undated material at the end.

Researchers may find additional material written by Whitten in the Clippings Series. The series That We May Live contains files related to his book by that name.

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Series 17: Recordings 

Scope and Content

Recordings in the Jamie Whitten Collection include government and special interest documentaries, campaign broadcasts and commercials, speeches, television and radio interviews and appearances, public service announcements, coverage of the House floor, and television programs on political issues. The collection has five LP records, six 78rpm records, seventy-five reel-to-reels, thirty-eight cassette tapes, eleven 16mm films, four one-inch quad tapes, fifty-seven Umatic tapes, and ninety-four video cassette tapes.

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 the Jamie Whitten digital collection.

In 2010, the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded a $450,000 grant to the University of Mississippi to preserve and digitize all the recordings in the Modern Political Archives. This grant permitted the archives to digitize a large segment of recordings in the Whitten Collection by May 2011. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Not all of the recordings are accessible on the web due to copyright. Researchers may only review restricted recordings via onsite computer terminals in the J.D. Williams Library. Access status is noted at the end of each recording’s description below.

The list of digital files provides the unique identifier (comprised of a format and numerical/alphabetical sequence); title; date; brief description; time length of recording; and an access statement. More information is available via the metadata provided in the Jamie Whitten digital collection.

A number of physical recordings in the collection are duplicates, and the digital collection only makes available one of these copies.

While processing the rest of the collection in 2014, curators uncovered additional recordings that will remain undigitized until the archives receives sufficient funding to support this project.

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Series 18: School Desegregation 

Scope and Content

Dating from 1966 to 1971, the folders in the three boxes of this series focus on school desegregation. The Subject Files in Subseries 1 document Representative Jamie L. Whitten’s legislative activities, constituent correspondence, and research on the subject. Subseries 2 consists of files on individual school districts with particular regard to their compliance status to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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Series 19: Scrapbooks 

Scope and Content

This series consists of scrapbooks with newspaper clippings and publications documenting Representative Jamie L. Whitten’s career in public office. The time covered spans from 1931 to 1993. Boxes 1 through 13 are arranged sequentially while box 14 comprises a range of dates. The description of each scrapbook includes dates covered, subject matter, and size.

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Series 20: Special Interest 

Scope and Content

Dating from 1932 to 1987, the Special Interest Files comprise two boxes. Whitten’s office applied the name “Special Interest Files” to these folders, and they were likely a permanent assortment of documents retained in the office as a reference source. Many appear related to speeches Whitten gave, published works he wrote, legislation he helped to pass, printed works about him, or topics of specific interest to him.

The archives preserved the integrity of the office file names and content, with only minor changes for clarification with regards to abbreviations, acronyms, and dates.

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Series 21: Special Letters Scrapbooks 

Scope and Content

This series consists of letters and other documents set aside in scrapbooks because Representative Jamie Whitten or his office staff determined them to be “special.” They are a mix of commendations, reports on Whitten, letters from prominent individuals and congressional colleagues, and postal cachets. As a result this series documents highlights of Whitten’s career between 1932 and 1994.

Archivists removed the contents from scrapbooks to improve preservation and access since the adhesive and plastic covers on the album pages prevented review of multi-page documents. Documents are described at the item-level.

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Series 22: Speeches 

Scope and Content

This series contains the speeches Jamie Whitten made on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives as well as addresses within his district and elsewhere. The three subseries preserve the original office filing system. The first, Speech Material, contains general research and speech material organized both chronologically and by subject.

The second subseries consist of folders related to specific speeches arranged sequentially. The files may contain speech drafts, research material, press releases, and Congressional Record excerpts as well as promotional literature and itineraries for specific events. Some files will include copies of earlier addresses on similar topics from which Whitten references statistics or quotes. This subseries also includes introductions of Whitten by other individuals.

Subseries 3 consists of compilations “Contents of Alphabetical Speeches Files” (circa 1950s and 1960s) and “Floor Speeches by Year 1955-1968.”

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Series 23: That We May Live 

Scope and Content

In 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring criticized the indiscriminate use of pesticides and helped to energize the new environmental movement. Four years later, Jamie Whitten countered with  That We May Live which touted the usefulness of pesticides in farming, public health, forestry, and lawn care. The seven boxes in this series contain material directly related to that book. The first subseries, Research Material, preserves Whitten’s original file headings. The Publishing Subseries holds manuscript drafts as well as documents related to the editing and publishing process for the English and foreign language editions. Arranged chronologically, the third subseries contains publicity correspondence and book reviews. Oversized research, publishing, and publicity material are located in the fourth subseries.

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Series 24: Trips 

Scope and Content

Whitten participated in many congressional delegation trips both abroad and domestic. Many of these excursions related to inspecting projects funded by the Appropriation Committee’s Defense and Agriculture subcommittees. Files are arranged chronologically by year and destination, and contents may include research material, itineraries, and diplomatic passports. Oversized material resides in Box 3.

Researchers should note that images from trips are in the collection’s Photographs and Recordings series.

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Series 25: University of Mississippi 

Scope and Content

The contents of this series feature material related to the inception, planning, fundraising, and implementation of two efforts to honor Jamie Whitten at the University of Mississippi: the Law School’s Jamie Lloyd Whitten Chair of Law and Government and the Jamie L. Whitten National Center for Physical Acoustics. Images for related occasions are available in the Photographs and Recordings series.

Researchers should note that all other documents related to the University of Mississippi are held elsewhere in the collection, such as the Grants and Federal Assistance series.

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Series 26: Voting Records 

Scope and Content

The five boxes in the Voting Records series contains lists of Jamie Whitten’s votes on legislation compiled by clerks in the U.S. House of Representatives as well as vote rankings assigned by outside organizations and lobby groups. The series is arranged chronologically by year, although a few folders with multi-year time spans appear at the end.

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Series 27: Whitten's Notes 

Scope and Content

The two boxes in this series contain handwritten notes and drafts by Jamie L. Whitten. The content consists of lists with names and contact information; drafts of correspondence, press releases and speeches; and fragments of text on public policy, legislation, and committee work. Few documents are dated themselves although several original office folder labels provide years for the content for the period 1976 to 1987. Office staff stored Whitten’s notes separately. The archives thus preserved these notes as a series and retained all files with chronological dates. The organization of undated folders reflects archival arrangement.

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