Skip to main content

Harold Phelps Stokes papers

Call Number: MS 645

Scope and Contents

As a newspaperman, Stokes had a wide variety of interests. His papers span more than half a century and touch on many topics. One of Stokes' greatest concerns was the government of New York City and State. His work brought him into contact with political figures from throughout the state. As a reporter and editorial writer he was involved in many disputes on zoning, conservation, voter representation, patronage, and other political issues.

In addition to these topics, Stokes' correspondence and papers are concerned with subjects like foreign policy, parole and prison reform, public utilities, civil service reform, and the Alger Hiss case. The Stokes Papers also provide some insight into the policies and personalities behind theNew York Evening Post.There is, however, very little material on Stokes' association with Herbert Hoover.

SERIES I. CORRESPONDENCE, contains letters from many prominent American politicians, newspapermen, and public servants. Among them are: Dean Gooderham Acheson (6 items), Norman H. Davis (7 items), John Huston Finley (5 items), John Palmer Gavit (14 items), Edwin F, Gay (12 items), Henry Hazlitt (5 items), Herbert Clark Hoover (13 items), Allen Trafford Klots (10 items), Arthur Krock (18 items), David Lawrence (5 items), George McAneny (16 items), Andrew William Mellon (2 items), Charles Merz (16 items), Robert Moses (67 items), Adolph S. Ochs (6 items), Frances Perkins (18 items), Alfred Emanuel Smith (12 items), Henry Lewis Stimson (12 items), Anson Phelps Stokes (1874-1958) (55 items), Simeon Strusky (37 items), Arthur Hays Sulzberger (36 items), Edward Livingstone Trudeau (15 items), Oswald Garrison Villard (18 items), and Robert Ferdinand Wagner (13 items).

SERIES II. DIARIES, MEMORANDA, NOTES AND WRITINGS contains manuscripts of material written by Stokes. This includes articles by Stokes, a diary of his trip around the world in 1910, and a diary of some events surrounding the conference for the limitation of armaments in 1921. Also in this series are numbers of memoranda and notes written by Stokes on various topics. The series includes a copy of Stokes'Dispatches 1919-1921and a copy of his introductory essay forSimeon Strunsky's America.Letters to the editor, book reviews, and some newspaper-stories (clippings) are also filed in this section.

SERIES III. the NEWSPAPER FILE, consists of twenty-three bound volumes of newspaper clippings. The volumes cover December, 1913 to May, 1917; January, 1919 to March 1922; and January, 1923 to April, 1924. The two volumes for April to December, 1922 were not found with the collection and appear to be lost. The twenty-three volumes contain articles by Stokes and other newspapermen on domestic politics and foreign affairs. They are completely indexed on file cards. These volumes probably served Stokes as a reference and research tool in his work.

SERIES IV. the SUBJECT FILE, contains a variety of material on subjects of interest to Stokes. This material includes magazine articles, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, and other informational materials. Of particular interest is a large section of newspaper and magazine clippings on Alger Hiss. Also included is material used by Stokes in preparing his bookSimeon Strunsky's America.A large amount of printed material on Robert Moses has been removed from this series and placed with the Robert Moses Papers, in Manuscripts and Archives, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University.


  • 1908-1969


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Existence and Location of Copies

Newspaper clippings file is available on microfilm (7,040 frames on 7 reels, 35mm.) from Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, at cost. Order no. HM108.

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

Gifts from members of the family, 1969-1977.


Arranged in four series and additions: I. Correspondence. II. Diaries, Memoranda, Notes, and Writings. III. Newspaper File. IV. Subject File.


12.75 Linear Feet (24 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, diaries, memoranda, notes, writings, clippings, and subject files documenting the personal life and professional career of Harold Phelps Stokes. His interests in United States foreign policy and domestic politics, the Alger Hiss case, the Paris Peace Conference, New York City politics and government, prison reform, and journalism are documented. Stokes corresponded with many prominent American political and social figures.

Biographical / Historical

Harold Phelps Stokes, the son of banker Anson Phelps Stokes and Helen Louisa (Phelps) Stokes, was born in New York City on January 10, 1887. He attended Groton and entered Yale University in 1905, where he studied Oriental history. Stokes graduated in 1909. He spent the following year travelling around the world with his classmate Allen Klots.

Returning to America in 1911, Stokes joined the staff of Oswald Garrison Villard's New York Evening Post. In 1913 he became the Post's Albany correspondent. He left this job in 1917 to serve with the 77th Division of the AEF. In 1919, Stokes rejoined the staff of the Post in Paris and reported the Peace Conference. Later that year, Stokes succeeded David Lawrence as head of the Post's Washington bureau. There he covered many important stories, including the debate on the Treaty of Versailles in the Senate and the conference for the limitation of armaments. In 1920, Stokes married Elizabeth Miner King, who was also a reporter.

After thirteen years with the New York Evening Post, Stokes resigned in 1923. For a while he wrote a syndicated column entitled "The A.B.C. of National Affairs." In 1924 he became secretary to Herbert Hoover, then Secretary of Commerce.

In 1926 Stokes joined the editorial staff of The New York Times. At the Times he specialized in writing about government in New York and about parole and prisons, traffic problems, and mass transit. He also was a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine. In 1937, ill health forced Stokes to resign from the Times. He lived in the West for a while before settling in Washington, D.C. He continued to do some free-lance writing and maintained an active interest in national and world affairs. He died in 1970 at the age of 83.

Guide to the Harold Phelps Stokes Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Andrew M. Patterson
September 1973
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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


Sterling Memorial Library
Room 147
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours