Contents and Arrangement

Series 1: Correspondence, 1893-1978

66 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent and chronologically within each file. It consists primarily of material relating to Hamilton Fish Armstrong's work as editor of Foreign Affairs and is extremely comprehensive. The nature of the correspondence varies widely, and includes editorial correspondence, letters debating current political issues, business letters relating to the Century Club and Armstrong's other personal interests, and personal correspondence. There is also some correspondence relating to several of Armstrong's books. As editor of Foreign Affairs, Armstrong was responsible for recruiting prominent political figures to write articles for the publication; this frequently involved domestic and foreign travel. The correspondence is comprised of 66 boxes of material.

The most notable portion of Armstrong's correspondence is with Archibald Cary Coolidge, the first editor of Foreign Affairs, 1922-1928. Coolidge had taken the position as editor on the understanding that he could remain at Harvard while Armstrong served as Managing Editor, running the New York office and taking care of the daily routine. While the correspondence generally remained on a professional level, the two were good friends and corresponded daily for more than five years. The papers include the originals of both sides of the Armstrong-Coolidge exchange as well as other Coolidge correspondence with important Council figures. There is also a small section of general correspondence belonging to Coolidge that does not relate to the Council. How these Coolidge materials came into Armstrong's hands is uncertain.

Armstrong originally learned of the position at Foreign Affairs in the early 1920's from Edwin F. Gay, who had recently become editor of The Evening Post. Gay served on a Council on Foreign Relations committee that sought to establish a journal that would address foreign policy matters. Much of Armstrong's early correspondence with Gay focuses on the creation and organization of Foreign Affairs, while the later correspondence deals primarily with maintaining and improving the financial success of the journal.

There is a significant amount of correspondence with Foreign Affairs staff members, especially Assistant Editor Byron Dexter and Managing Editor Philip W. Quigg. Both kept Armstrong up to date on Foreign Affairs matters, such as upcoming issues, possible articles, and finances when he was abroad. Essential to the routine correspondence was Armstrong's long-time secretary Mary H. Stevens, who kept things running at the office when Armstrong was away or out of the country.

One of the privileges of Armstrong's position at Foreign Affairs was the opportunity to meet influential leaders such as Dwight Eisenhower, Adolf Hitler, John F. Kennedy and Adlai E. Stevenson. An idea of the range of people with whom Armstrong corresponded on a regular basis include Dean Acheson, Frank Altschul, Newton D. Baker, Hanson Baldwin, Edvard Benes, Isaiah Berlin, General Tasker H. Bliss, Chester Bowles, Karl Brandt, Isaiah Bowman, McGeorge Bundy, William P. Bundy, Cass Canfield, Vladimir Dedijer (Yugoslav dissident), Allen W. Dulles, John Foster Dulles, Anthony Eden, Herbert Feis, Konstantin Fotitch, Felix Frankfurter, John Gunther, Bruce C. Hopper, Colonel Edward M. House, Joachim Joester, George F. Kennan, Henry Kissinger, Wolf Ladijinsky, William L. Langer, Russell C. Leffingwell, Walter Lippmann, John J. McCloy, Archibald MacLeish, Walter H. Mallory, Thomas Mann, George S. Messersmith, Francis P. Miller, J. Pierrepont Moffat, Philip E. Mosely, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Peter II (King of Yugoslavia), James B. Reston, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Bernadotte E. Schmitt, Charles Seymour, Carlo Sforza, Vincent Sheean, Harold E. Stassen, Henry L. Stimson, Dorothy Thompson, Josip Broz Tito, Jacob Viner, and Wendell L. Willkie. Please consult the container listing for a full enumeration of correspondents.

Armstrong's most prolific correspondences, however, were with public servants, academics, and journalists, discussing issues of the day, Foreign Affairs articles, and occasionally personal matters. His detailed correspondence with Madame Mabel S. Grouitch is among the more substantial correspondences of the series. Grouitch, who is best known for her work with the Serbian Aid Fund, the American Home for Yugoslav Children, and the American Yugoslav Society (files in the Organizations and Committees series), met Armstrong in 1912 after she presented a speech at Princeton University. The two became friends and corresponded regularly for over fifty years. During that time, Armstrong wrote many articles and letters in support of Grouitch's activities in Yugoslavia. Conversely, Grouitch encouraged Armstrong's endeavors with Foreign Affairs and elected him to the Executive Committee of the Serbian Aid Fund.

Each correspondent's principal interests are reflected in his/her correspondence with Armstrong. In fact, Armstrong had many of them write articles in these fields for Foreign Affairs. For example, Jay Allen discussed the Spanish Refugees who were flooding into France in many of his letters. Allen and Armstrong suggested and edited articles for each other on this topic. This exchange of ideas also worked on a personal level. For instance, Felix Frankfurter and Armstrong shared thoughts about Council dinners, Foreign Affairs articles, government policies, and international events.

Editorial correspondence was of two types–within the framework of a larger correspondence or related to a single article with no further development. Most of Armstrong's correspondence with heads of state falls under the latter category. Occasionally detailed letters regarding the editing of an article were exchanged, and these have been retained. There are very few manuscripts in the collection, and the ones that are tend to be in foreign languages. Armstrong apparently discarded the manuscript articles once they were published.

Box 5 and boxes 9-11 of the series contain correspondence related to Armstrong's articles and books. Included are notes, sources, letters with publishers, reviews, promotional materials, selected entries from Armstrong's journal, acknowledgements and contracts.

This series also contains a limited quantity of personal correspondence between members of the Armstrong family, but it is fragmentary at best, and mostly relates to Armstrong's earlier years. Armstrong pulled together most of this family correspondence while writing Those Days. Especially notable is the lack of correspondence or materials relating to Armstrong's later personal life.

Almost all social correspondence has been discarded, unless it was included in an otherwise important letter. Many telegrams were discarded because their content was either trivial or repeated elsewhere. Most published matter was also excluded; it consisted primarily of clippings from the New York Times. When notable published items were found, they were given citations on their accompanying correspondence.


(arranged alphabetically)

Collection History


No appraisal information is available.


These papers were processed with the generous support of Christa (Mrs. Hamilton Fish) Armstrong.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Laurie Alexander, Paula Jabloner, Melissa A. Johnson, Olivia Kew, Alison McCuaig, Ben Primer, Gene Pope, Monica Ruscil, Morgan Russo, and Nanci Young in 1992 and 1993. Finding aid written by Laurie Alexander, Paula Jabloner, Melissa A. Johnson, Olivia Kew, Alison McCuaig, Ben Primer, Gene Pope, Monica Ruscil, Morgan Russo, and Nanci Young in 1992 and 1993.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Series 1: Correspondence; Hamilton Fish Armstrong Papers, MC002, Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 1-66

Find More

Century Club (New York, N.Y.)
Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Nations (1st: 1961: Belgrade, Serbia).
Council on foreign relations
American Home for Jugoslav Children (Selce, Croatia)
Woodrow Wilson Foundation
United Nations Conference on International Organization 1945 San Francisco, Calif.
United States. Department of State. Advisory Committee on Postwar Foreign Policies
United States. President's Advisory Committee on Political Refugees
Serbian Aid Fund
Serbian War Mission to the United States
International House (New York, N.Y.)
New York society library
Acheson, Dean, 1893-1971.
Allen, Jay, 1900-1972
Altschul, Frank, 1887-1981
Baker, Newton Diehl, 1871-1937
Baldwin, Hanson Weightman, 1903-1991
Beneš, Edvard, 1884-1948
Berlin, Isaiah, 1909-1997.
Bliss, Tasker Howard, 1853-1930
Bowles, Chester, 1901-1986.
Bowman, Isaiah, 1878-1950
Brandt, Karl, 1923-
Bundy, McGeorge
Bundy, William P. (1917-2000)
Canfield, Cass, 1897-1986
Coolidge, Archibald Cary, 1866-1928
Dedijer, Vladimir
Dexter, Byron, 1900-1973
Dulles, Allen, 1893-1969
Dulles, John Foster (1888-1959)
Eden, Anthony, Earl of Avon, 1897-1977
Feis, Herbert
Fotitch, Constantin
Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965
Gay, Edwin F. (Edwin Francis), 1867-1946
Grouitch, Mabel S., d. 1956
Gunther, John, 1901-1970.
Hopper, Bruce C. (Bruce Campbell), 1892-1973
House, Edward Mandell, 1858-1938
Joesten, Joachim, 1907-1975
Kennan, George F. (George Frost), 1904-2005
Kissinger, Henry, 1923-
Ladejinsky, Wolf Isaac
Langer, William L. (William Leonard), 1896-1977
Leffingwell, R. C. (Russell Cornell), 1883-1960
Lippmann, Walter, 1889-1974
MacLeish, Archibald, 1892-1982
Mallory, Walter H. (Walter Hampton), 1892-1980
Mann, Thomas, 1875-1955.
McCloy, John J. (John Jay), 1895-1989
Messersmith, George S.
Miller, Francis Pickens, 1895-1978
Moffat, Jay Pierrepont, 1896-1943
Mosely, Philip E. (Philip Edward), 1905-1972
Nasser, Gamal Abdel,‏ 1918-1970
Petar II Karađorđević, King of Yugoslavia, 1923-1970
Quigg, Philip W.
Reston, James, 1909-1995
Salvemini, Gaetano
Schlesinger, Arthur M., Jr. (Arthur Meier), 1917-2010
Schmitt, Bernadotte E. (Bernadotte Everly), 1886-1969
Seymour, Charles, 1885-1963
Sforza, Carlo, conte, 1872-1952
Sheean, Vincent, 1899-1975
Stassen, Harold Edward, 1907 -
Stevens, Mary H.
Stimson, Henry L.
Tito, Josip Broz, 1892-1980
Viner, Jacob, 1892-1970
Wilkie, Wendell L. (Wendell Lewis), 1892-1944