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Maurice Parmelee papers

 Collection
Call Number: MS 1744

Scope and Contents

The papers consist of correspondence, writings, subject files, legal papers, personal papers, and photographs that document the life and career of Maurice Parmelee, eminent sociologist and economist. Correspondents include Louis Gaspar, Franklin H. Giddings, Russell Knutson, and H. L. Mencken. The completed manuscript of an unpublished biography comprises a particularly substantive portion of the papers.

Dates

  • 1905-1967

Creator

Language

English

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has been transferred to Yale University for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection. Copyright status for other 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 Judith Parmelee Hudson, 1999.

Extent

2.75 Linear Feet

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/mssa.ms.1744

Overview

The papers consist of correspondence, writings, subject files, legal papers, personal papers, and photographs that document the life and career of Maurice Parmelee, eminent sociologist and economist. Correspondents include Louis Gaspar, Franklin H. Giddings, Russell Knutson, and H. L. Mencken. The completed manuscript of an unpublished biography comprises a particularly substantive portion of the papers.

Biographical / Historical

Maurice Parmelee was born on October 20, 1882 in Istanbul, where his parents were Protestant missionaries. The family spent the first twelve years of Maurice's life in the eastern Mediterranean region before returning to the United States and settling in New York state. Parmelee attended finishing school at Oberlin College and received a B.A. in 1904 and an M.A. in 1908 in economics from Yale University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1909. For two years following his graduation from Yale College, he worked through the University Settlement House as a "probation fellow." This position allowed him to closely observe the criminal justice system and led to many articles and books on criminology.

In the years leading up to World War I, Parmelee held academic appointments in the fields of economics and sociology at Syracuse University (summer 1909), University of Kansas (1909-1910), University of Missouri (1910-1913), College of the City of New York (1913-1914 and 1917-1918), and the University of Minnesota (1915-1916). In 1918 he served as a representative of the United States on the War Trade Board in London and he subsequently served the U.S. government as an economist for the Department of State in 1920 and as an economic consul in Berlin from 1920 to 1923.

In 1923, Parmelee resigned from the government and spent twelve years traveling widely, doing research, and writing on a number of topics including economic warfare, poverty, gymnosophy, sexuality, Bolshevism, fascism and world government. During this period, Parmelee published the books Blockade and Sea Power(1924), The New Gymnosophy(1927), Oriental and Occidental Culture, An Interpretation(1928), Bolshevism, Fascism, and the Liberal-Democratic State(1934), and Farewell to Poverty(1935).

Parmelee began working for the government again in 1935 briefly as an economist in the Agricultural Adjustment Administration in the Department of Agriculture. In 1938 he began a number of successive government positions as an economist working in the Bureau of Agricultural Economics of the Department of Agriculture (1938-1939), the Division of Monetary Economics of the Treasury Department (1939-1940), the Department of Interior (1940-1941), the Board of Economic Warfare (1941-1942), and the Railroad Retirement Board (1942-1952). While working for the Board of Economic Warfare, Parmelee was accused of subversion by Congressman Martin Dies. The accusation was based on the content of Parmelee's books on nudism and socialism and led to his dismissal from the Board. While working for the Railroad Retirement Board, Parmelee again came under scrutiny and was investigated by the Kerr Committee, a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. He was not found guilty however, and he continued with the Retirement Board until his retirement in 1952. After retiring, Parmelee resumed his world travels and also finished a book he referred to as his "magnum opus," The History of Modern Culture. He married three times and had one daughter. Maurice Parmelee died in 1969.
Title
Guide to the Maurice Parmelee Papers
Author
compiled by Tom Hyry
Date
May 1999
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
(203) 432-1735
(203) 432-7441 (Fax)