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Series Part IV, I: Correspondence, 1953-1958

Call Number: MS 628, Series Part IV, I

Scope and Contents

Part IV, Series I. is arranged alphabetically by name of the correspondent. The researcher will find this correspondence particularly full and candid, including exchanges with American and foreign government officials as well as with American and Indian friends and "fans". Since there are literally hundreds of correspondents listed in the register that follows, it is useful here to describe the correspondence by the subjects of Bowles' concern during this period.

For a good overview of Bowles' activities during this period, one should consult the Jean Joyce correspondence. Since Joyce, a long time associate, was in India at the time, the correspondence is particularly detailed and frank. Bowles also had a particularly close relationship with several staff members and friends who helped him with almost every phase of his work and who advised him on important decisions. These include: Abraham Chayes, Harris Wofford, James C. Thomson, Jr., Thomas L. Hughes, Edward Logue, Douglas Bennet, Sr., and James G. Rogers, Jr.

For correspondence on the Democratic party one should consult the folders of party leaders such as Hubert Humphrey, Mike Mansfield, and Lyndon Johnson as well as the folders for the Democratic National Committee and the Committee's advisory council on which Bowles served. For the Stevenson campaign in particular, see correspondence with: Dean Acheson, Archibald Alexander, Harry Ashmore, William Blair, Jr., Benjamin Cohen, Thomas, Finletter, Averell Harriman, Newton Minnow, Paul Nitze, Eugene Rostow, Walt Rostow, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Adlai Stevenson, Willard Wirtz, and Wilson Wyatt.

Leigh Dannenberg's correspondence provides an overview of the Connecticut political situation in 1954, 1956, and 1958. The correspondence of John Bailey, the Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee and Thomas, Dodd is fairly limited. But for the campaign of 1958, there is much in the correspondence with William Benton, Richard Lee, John Golden, Mitchell Sviridoff, Eugene Rostow, Philip Coombs, and others. For organizers of Bowles' own campaign, see correspondence with Johan Smertenko, Ken Wynne, Harry Howroyd, Eric Stevenson, Robert Sussler, Peter Jones and the National Committee for an Effective Congress, as well as the friends and aides listed above.

Other correspondence of particular interest includes that with Frances Williams on civil rights, James Patton and G. Mennen Williams on national politics and domestic issues, Stanislas Ostrorog on Asian affairs, and with the Rockefeller Brothers Fund on their ambitious project to define the "national purpose."

At the end of the correspondence is a small section labelled multiple recipient mailings. This section is composed of important memoranda and position papers which Bowles intended for more than one person. It includes papers on such topics as agricultural surpluses and Democratic foreign policy as well as letters to family and friends from his trips abroad with Mrs. Bowles.

After this section there are three folders labelled "Letters from Indian Students in the U.S., 1953." When Bowles left India he wrote letters to Indian students studying in American universities to solicit their impressions of life in the U.S., their response to American foreign policy, and their ideas on how Indo-American relations could be improved. He said that he planned to use these letters in the book he was writing, i.e. Ambassador's Report. About 50 letters were received in response. The letters contain interesting observations on American family life, racial discrimation, social life, and the Korean War as well as suggestions for bettering American understanding of Indians and the policies of the Indian government. The letters are arranged alphabetically by name of the sender. Copies of Bowles' letters to the Indian students will be found in Part III ( U.S. and International General Correspondence, folder 223, "Indian Students,").

At the very end of the correspondence there are several folders of invitations received by Bowles with his reply. These invitations are arranged alphabetically by name of institution or committee chairperson. These invitations are generally those which were declined, and thus represents only a fragment of the invitations Bowles received during this period. Many more will be found in the General Correspondence, where most invitations that were accepted, together with all correspondence concerning the planning for an event, are filed.


  • 1953-1958

Physical Description

(52 boxes)

Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection: Boxes 220-223, which contain constituent correspondence, are restricted until 2035 Jan 1.

The transcript of the oral history interview with Douglas Bennet, Jr. in Box 399b is closed until the deed of gift is secured from Bennet.

Box 408, which contains restricted personal and financial papers is closed until 2025 Jan 1.

Box 409, which contains audio tapes of oral history interviews with Bowles's associates, is not open to researchers.

Original audiotapes, videotapes, and motion picture films, as well as preservation and duplicating masters, may not be played. Researchers must consult use copies, or pay for the creation of a use copy, retained by the repository, if none exist.

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
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Sterling Memorial Library
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