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Samuel F. Pryor papers

Call Number: MS 1481

Scope and Contents

The Samuel F. Pryor Papers, which date from 1927-1984, consist of personal papers including correspondence, writings, photographs, and printed material, which document Pryor's friendship with Anne and Charles Lindbergh as well as his collecting interests. The papers contain virtually no records relating to Pryor's work with Pan American Airways, the Republican Party, or the Bureau of Narcotics, though these aspects of his career are reflected in printed material about Pryor and in scattered congratulatory letters from prominent individuals in government. Lawrence A. Pryor donated his father's papers to the Yale University Library in 1988.

The bulk of the papers date after 1950 and concern the Lindberghs. The papers include letters from friends and members of the general public, who either knew Lindbergh, admired him, or had visited his burial site on Maui. In addition the papers contain Pryor's collection of photographs, clippings, and other printed material relating to the Lindberghs.


  • 1927-1984
  • Majority of material found within 1950 - 1984


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Lawrence Pryor, 1988.


1 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers consist of correspondence, writings, printed material, newspaper clippings, and photographs documenting the life and career of Samuel F. Pryor and his friendship with Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

Biographical / Historical


Samuel Frazier Pryor, Jr., was born on March 1, 1898, in Ferguson, Missouri. He attended the Taft School in Connecticut and received a Ph.B. from Yale University in 1921. After graduation, Pryor worked for the Remington Cash Register Company and from 1925-1941 was associated with the American Brake Shoe & Foundry Company and its subsidiary, the Southern Wheel Company. Pryor served as eastern treasurer of the Republican National Committee and in the 1940 presidential campaign was vice-chairman of the Republican National Committee and was in charge of Wendell Willkie's eastern headquarters.

In July, 1941, he became vice-president, director, and assistant to the president of Pan American World Airways, a position he held until his retirement in 1965. During World War II he headed Pan American's airport development program and directed the construction of fifty strategic air bases in South America and Africa. For this work President Truman awarded him the Medal of Merit in 1946.

Pryor graduated from the U.S. Treasury Narcotic Agent's School in Washington and served as an agent and advisor for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs in the Justice Department. He represented the government at meetings of Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization.

In 1926 Pryor married Mary Taylor Allerdice. They had five children: Mary Taylor (Mrs. Lowell Thomas, Jr.), Samuel Frazier, Taylor Allerdice, Frances Bailey (Mrs. Robert Hawes), and Lawrence Allerdice. The Pryor household also included many animals, among them a gibbon ape named Kippy. They Pryors lived in Greenwich, Connecticut, but also maintained a ranch on the island of Maui in Hawaii. The Pryors were close friends of Anne and Charles Lindbergh and sold the Lindberghs a portion of their Maui property. Pryor's personal interests included a large collection of dolls and mechanical banks. Pryor published an informal autobiography, All God's Creatures, with John Burnett, in 1982. Samuel Pryor died on September 18, 1985.

Guide to the Samuel F. Pryor Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Diane E. Kaplan
January 1992
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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