Collection Creator: Princeton University. Office of the President..
Dates: Mostly 1936-1956.
Extent: 34 boxes (2 partial)
Materials generated by the office of the president are closed for 40 years from the date of their creation. Some records relating to personnel or students are closed for longer periods of time.
Subseries 15C: Subject Files, 1907-1990 [bulk: 1936-1956], consists of a number of different subjects arranged alphabetically, including the A. P. Smith Manufacturing Case, Harold Dodds's personal correspondence, Margaret Dodds's diaries, the Eugene Higgins Trust, Alger Hiss, the Hoover Commission Task Force, the Madison Memorial Commission, the Princeton Local Government Survey, and World War II. Particulars about these subjects follow.
The A. P. Smith Manufacturing Case evolved from a desire to legitimize unrestricted gifts from businesses to educational institutions. In 1952 the A. P. Smith Manufacturing Company of East Orange, New Jersey gave an unrestricted gift of $1,500 to Princeton University. Stockholders complained that the gift was a misapplication of corporate funds. The State Superior Court ruled that the gift was legal, with Dodds testifying on behalf of Princeton University.
Dodds's personal correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Most letters are from his family, with the majority coming from his brother John Dodds. With regard to his wife Margaret Dodds's diaries, their dates overlap. Topics include the weather, entertaining, engagements, impressions of speeches, health, concerns of family and friends, travel, and references to her husband's schedule.
The Eugene Higgins Trust, a $34,000,000 perpetual trust, was allocated among four universities, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Princeton, in order to enhance their science departments. The Trust was to be controlled by the president of each university.
Alger Hiss, a former State Department official and convicted perjurer, was one of several speakers invited to address the Whig-Cliosophic Society. The president's administrative council, which had not been consulted in advance, cautioned the students about the serious implications of the invitation but did not force them to rescind it. Against the backdrop of the Cold War, both alumni and the general public deluged Dodds's office with letters. Most were passionately against the Hiss lecture, stating that he was a spy and responsible for the deaths of American soldiers. Hiss lectured on April 26, 1956. Father Hugh Halton, chaplain to Princeton University's Roman Catholic students, arranged a lecture about Hiss the preceding night. The lecture featured Willard Edwards, a Chicago Tribune reporter who had followed Hiss's career and trial.
Dodds was chairman of the Hoover Commission Task Force, which was established to investigate and make recommendations about Civil Service and personnel issues in the Federal Government. The material relating to this undertaking consists of reports, bills, and correspondence. Dodds was also chairman of the Madison Memorial Commission, which was formed to establish the Madison Memorial Library, part of the Library of Congress, in Washington, D. C. Folders on this topic contain correspondence regarding the location of the library, its architectural design, office space, and exhibits.
A committee composed of Dodds, Harley Lutz (public finance), and William S. Carpenter (politics) organized the Princeton Local Government Survey on September 1, 1935. Its purpose was to devise a program for the improvement of local government in New Jersey, to explain the program, and to place the program in a form suitable for practical implementation. The Survey, which functioned even during World War II, generated numerous recommendations, as well as reports on its work. One folder contains correspondence with Robert Wood Johnson, who had subscribed to the cost of the Survey and delegated to a lawyer, Russell E. Watson, the task of seeking other subscriptions.
World War II-related topics include the military branches and accelerated training courses. Various conferences, committees, commissions, and associations are represented, and there is material relating to programs such as Books for Men in Service, in which servicemen received three books of their choosing free of charge. Educational matters such as emergency courses in Near Eastern languages and culture, military planning, French for government service, topography and map interpretation, radio communication, marine and air navigation, and Japanese, Russian, and Arabic can also be found. There were also military language courses in French, German, Spanish, and Italian designed for intelligence, censorship, and interpreter services. Of note in the correspondence folder are letters from British Field Marshal Sir John Greer Dill and James V. Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy.
Subseries 15C: Subject Files; 1907-1990 (mostly 1936-1956); Office of the President Records : Jonathan Dickinson to Harold W. Dodds Subgroup, Princeton University Archives, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.