Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Thompson, Frank, Jr., 1918-1989
Frank Thompson Papers
Public Policy Papers
Permanent URL:
1955-1980 (mostly 1955-1970)
411 boxes
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpph): Boxes 1-3; 5-412


Frank Thompson was a New Jersey politician. He was elected congressman from the Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey in 1955 and was assigned to the Education, Labor, and Administration committees. The papers in this collection reflect his special interests in federal aid to education and the arts.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The Thompson Papers consist of the files maintained by Frank Thompson's offices throughout his political career, beginning with his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1955. They include speeches, statements, correspondence, copies of replies to constituents, records relating to congressional committees, agencies, and cases, government publications, photographs, and other printed materials.

The collection contains information on foreign relations, civil rights, social security and Medicare, public utilities, and New Jersey state matters. The Thompson papers also reflect Thompson's strong support of education, music, the arts, libraries, and other cultural institutions.


The order of materials at the time of their transfer has been maintained.

Collection Creator Biography:

Thompson, Frank, Jr., 1918-1989

Born in Trenton, New Jersey on July 26, 1918, Frank Thompson, Jr. was the son of newspaperman Frank Thompson and the former Beatrice Jamieson. His maternal uncles were Frank Jamieson, an advisor to New York's Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, and Crawford Jamieson, state senator and Mercer County Democratic leader. Thompson was educated in public and private schools in the Trenton area and entered Wake Forest College and Law School in North Carolina, receiving his LL.B. in 1941.

After leaving Wake Forest, Thompson served in the Navy for seven years, which included service in World War II. He was elected to the New Jersey House of Assembly in November 1949 and served until war broke out in Korea. During the war, he served for 17 months as commanding officer of Naval Reserve Battalion 4-22.

Thompson was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1954 and initially assigned to the committees on Education, Labor, and Administration. Over the course of his Congressional career, he chaired the House Administration Committee, the Subcommittee on Labor and Management Relations, the Joint Committee on Printing, as well as the National Voters Registration Committee. Thompson placed an emphasis on education, music and the arts. Among legislation he introduced or cosponsored were bills to grant federal aid to college students, to support historic preservation, and to ease the tariff laws on art, among others. Thompson also fought to uphold and expand civil rights. He voted for the civil rights bills of 1956 and 1957. In 1956, he defended the right of a Princeton University campus society to invite Alger Hiss for a speaking engagement. In addition, Thompson took an active interest in matters of international relations. He favored a three-year reciprocal trade renewal bill, the Eisenhower Middle East Doctrine, and increasing of United States subscriptions to the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. On military matters he supported the Dept. of Defense Reorganization Act and an extension of the draft. A close political ally of the Kennedy family, Thompson ran John F. Kennedy's voter registration drive in 1960.

He voted against the Powell amendment to the school construction bill which prohibited federal funds to any state that does not comply with Supreme Court decisions. He was also opposed to killing the school construction bill of July 1957. Other domestic issues which he supported include policies to increase Congressional salaries to $25,000, restore rigid farm price supports, liberalize the Social Security Act, raise the minimum wage to $1 an hour, build 45,000 public housing units, construct the Colorado River storage project, grant statehood to Alaska and Hawaii, and authorize the Tennessee Valley Authority to issue $750 billion of revenue bonds to finance new power facilities.

Thompson's political career came to an end following his 1980 Abscam indictment and conviction. He served two years in prison near Lexington, Kentucky and moved to his home in Alexandria, VA . Thompson died in Johns Hopkins Hospital after an operation for throat cancer on July 23, 1989 at the age of 71.

Collection History


Gift of Frank Thompson, Jr. in December, 1969 . According to available information, there were at least five accruals of Thompson's papers received during the 1970s .


Box numbers that do not appear on this checklist have, after being evaluated by the archivists, been discarded. There is no indication that any other material has been separated from this collection.

Processing Information

This is an unprocessed collection. The contents list provided is a preliminary inventory.

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:

Frank Thompson Papers; Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpph): Boxes 1-3; 5-412