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Cyrus R. and Grace Sloane Vance papers

 Collection
Call Number: MS 1664

Scope and Contents

The Cyrus R. Vance and Grace Sloane Vance Papers primarily document Cyrus R. Vance's professional and personal activities beginning in 1957. Of particular significance are the materials related to his governmental service. Background materials, correspondence, position papers, and handwritten meeting notes from his tenure as secretary of state document SALT II negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union, the Camp David Summit with Israel and Egypt and the signing of the Middle East Peace Treaty, diplomatic relations with the Far East, especially China, and negotiations to release the American hostages in Iran. Proposals, reports, handwritten notes, and correspondence provide insight into Vance's important work in the Johnson administration as the president's special representative to settle the dispute between Greece and Turkey over Cyprus in 1967, to provide federal recovery assistance to Detroit after the riot in the Summer of 1967, and to negotiate for a cease-fire at the Peace Talks on Vietnam in 1968.

Governmental statements and commentaries, draft bills, and Senate committee background materials from 1958 document Vance's involvement in the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA). Extensive files of position papers, project proposals, meeting minutes, reports, publications, and handwritten notes document Vance's involvement in various organizations, including the Aspen Institute, the Center for National Policy, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Palme Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues, and the Williamsburg Conferences. Vance's papers also contain manuscript drafts and research notes used for Hard Choices: Critical Years in America's Foreign Policy.

Grace Sloane Vance's papers document her trip with First Lady Rosalynn Carter to Latin America in 1977 through briefings files and her own notes. Her work throughout the 1960s with Widening Horizons, a Washington D.C. public schools Urban Service Corps project designed to introduce children to professional life, culture, and career opportunities, can be traced through correspondence, working papers, minutes, and notes.

Photographs, scrapbooks, and audio-tapes document many domestic and international events related to Vance's governmental service. Newspaper clippings kept throughout Vance's political career supply general information about key events and initiatives which characterize the Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter presidential administrations. Vance's correspondence files contain exchanges with prominent governmental figures and foreign heads of state, and his collection of diplomatic gifts, mementos, citations, and commemorative plaques reflect his legacy of diplomatic service.

Dates

  • 1919 - 2005

Creator

Language

English

Conditions Governing Access

Classified documents from Series I-V (boxes 83-87)are restricted pending review by the National Archives and Records Administration. Yale University files located in boxes 65-74 of Accession 1996-M-152 are restricted until January 1, 2039 due to University policy set by the Yale Corporation. Correspondence located in box 64 of Accession 1996-M-152 is closed to researchers as it is undergoing declassification review by the federal government. Boxes 19 and 20 of Accession 1998-M-122 are closed until January 1, 2019 per agreement with the donor. Box 21 of Accession 1998-M-122 is closed until January 1, 2046 as established by Yale Corporation regulations.. Boxes 8, 9, and 29 of Accession 2008-M-080 are closed until January 1, 2019. Boxes 10-11 of Accession 2008-M-080 are closed until January 1, 2036. Series VII, Scrapbooks, 1961-1980 and Series IX, Objects and Memorabilia, 1964-1988 may be viewed only under the supervision of a senior staff member. Original audiovisual materials, as well as preservation and duplicating masters, may not be played. Researchers must consult use copies, or if none exist must pay for a use copy, which is retained by the repository. Researchers wishing to obtain an additional copy for their personal use should consult Copying Services information on the Manuscripts and Archives web site. Copies of commercially produced audiovisual materials contained in this collection cannot be made for researcher use outside of the repository.

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 Cyrus R. and Grace Sloane Vance, 1993, 1995-1998, 2002. Gift of Camilla Vance, Elsie Nicoll Vance, Grace Roberts Vance, and Cyrus Roberts Vance, Jr., 2008.

Arrangement

Arranged in ten series and six additions: I. Government Service Papers (Kennedy and Johnson Presidential Administrations), 1960-1977. II. Government Service Papers (Carter Presidential Administration), 1976-1981. III. Papers on Professional and Personal Activities, 1957-1992. IV. Grace Sloane Vance Papers, 1957-1989. V. Personal and Routine Correspondence, 1960-1990. VI. Photographs, 1958-1988. VII. Scrapbooks, 1961-1980. VIII. Clippings, 1958-1990. IX. Objects and Memorabilia, 1964-1980. X. Audio and Video Tapes, 1963-1980.

Extent

136.75 Linear Feet (210 boxes)

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.1664

Overview

The Vance papers primarily document Cyrus R. Vance's professional and personal activities. Of particular significance are background materials, correspondence, position papers, and handwritten meeting notes relating to SALT II negotiation between the United States and the Soviet Union; the Camp David Summit and the signing of the Middle East Peace Treaty; diplomatic relations with the Far East, especially China; and negotiations to release the American hostages in Iran. Proposals, reports, handwritten notes, and correspondence provide insight into the dispute between Greece and Turkey over Cyprus in 1967, federal recovery assistance to Detroit after the riot of 1967, and the Paris Peace Talks on Vietnam in 1968. Governmental statements and commentaries, draft bills, and Senate committee background materials from 1958 document Vance's involvement in the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA). Extensive files of position papers, project proposals, meeting minutes, reports, publications, and handwritten notes document Vance's involvement with various events and prestigious organizations, following his resignation from the Carter administration. The collection also contains manuscript drafts used for Vance's book Hard Choices: Critical Years in America's Foreign Policy. Grace Sloane Vance's papers document her trip with Rosalynn Carter to Latin America in 1977. Her work throughout the 1960s with Widening Horizons can be traced through correspondence, working papers, minutes, and notes.

Biographical / Historical

Cyrus Roberts Vance was born 27 March 1917, in Clarksburg, West Virginia, to John Carl and Amy (Roberts) Vance. A year later, the family moved to Bronxville, New York, where they resided until 1922 when Vance's father unexpectedly died of pneumonia. Both Vance brothers, Cyrus and John, spent the following year in Switzerland attending private school at the Institut Sillig. Vance also spent time with his uncle John W. Davis, who was President Wilson's ambassador to the Court of St. James, and then the Democrat candidate for president in 1924.

From 1930 to 1935, Vance prepared at the Kent School, Kent, Connecticut. He then attended Yale University, graduating in 1939 with a B.A. in Economics. While an undergraduate, he was a member of Scroll and Key, the Torch Honor Society, the hockey team, and the Fence Club. He continued his studies at the Yale Law School and earned an LL.B. with honors in 1942. Later that year, he joined the military, serving as a World War II naval gunnery officer in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He left the Navy in 1946 with the rank of lieutenant senior grade .

In 1947, Vance worked as an assistant to the president of the Mead Corporation and passed the New York State Bar. He then joined the law firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, and specialized in civil litigation. In addition to legal work, he began governmental service in 1957 as associate counsel to the Senate Armed Forces Preparedness Investigation Subcommittee, serving alongside Texas Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson. In 1958, Vance was appointed consulting counsel to the Senate Committee on Space and Aeronautics and helped to draft the National Space Act of 1958, which led to the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Vance general counsel for the Defense Department. He provided important assistance to Kennedy in shaping Cuban policy after the Bay of Pigs incident. The President promoted him to secretary of the army the following year. Journalists reported that Kennedy had also intended to promote Vance to deputy secretary of defense, but President Johnson was actually the one to issue the promotion in January 1964, after President Kennedy was assassinated. Reporting to Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, Vance negotiated and calmed political crises in the Dominican Republic and in the Panama Canal zone. In 1967, Vance resigned his post.

President Johnson continued to engage Vance's diplomatic expertise, even after his resignation. Vance secured federal recovery assistance for Detroit after the July 1967 riot. In November, he negotiated between Greece and Turkey to avert war in Cyprus. In 1968, Johnson made him an emissary to Korea and then to Washington D.C. during the riot following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. In April, the President appointed him co-negotiator with Ambassador W. Averell Harriman for the Paris Peace Talks on Vietnam, at which Vance attempted to negotiate a cease-fire. He resigned from this position in 1969, after President Richard Nixon took office.

Vance returned to Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett in 1969 and worked extensively in the private and public sectors. From 1970 to 1972, he was a member of the Commission to Investigate Alleged Police Corruption in New York City. In the early 1970s, he served as chairman of the UNA (United Nations Association) - USA Policy Studies Committee, and from 1974 to 1976 he served as New York State Bar President.

In December 1976, President-elect James E. (Jimmy) Carter designated Vance the next secretary of state. Once in office, Vance worked to improve United States - Soviet relations, which led to the signing of the SALT II agreement in 1979. He also negotiated and coordinated Middle East peace efforts alongside Carter, which led to the Camp David Summit in 1978 and the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty signing in 1979. When Americans were taken hostage in Iran on 4 November 1979, Vance focused on negotiating their release. On 28 April 1980, Vance unexpectedly resigned. Mainly, he was opposed to the ill-fated hostage rescue attempt in Iran and he sensed that the extensive use of force would make the United States dangerously vulnerable to further acts of hostility. Chronicling his work in the Carter administration, Vance, in 1983, wrote Hard Choices: Critical Years in America's Foreign Policy, which he explained as "...a story of our country and those who led it during four critical and turbulent years [1977-1980]."

Vance resumed working in the private and public sectors after his resignation. He became active in the Council on Foreign Relations, the Center for National Policy, the Palme Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues, and the Williamsburg Conferences, which address economic issues in the Asia-Pacific region. He and Lord David Owen served in 1993 as United Nations special envoys to the former Yugoslavia to advise on peace-making efforts.

In recognition of his achievements and distinguished national service, Vance has received many awards. Yale University gave him an honorary degree in 1968 and elected him to the Yale Corporation. In 1969, he was awarded the Medal of Freedom. During the 1970s and 1980s, he received honorary degrees from Salem College, Brandeis University, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Amherst College, General Theological Seminary, Colgate University, Harvard University, Williams College, University of Notre Dame, Mount Holyoke College, University of Haifa, Davidson College, and Brown University. In 1994, Vance was knighted to the British court.

Grace Sloane Vance was born 2 June 1918 in New York City. Her father was J. W. Sloane of the W. And J. Sloane Company, a furniture business. She attended Bryn Mawr College and the Parsons School of Design before marrying Cyrus Vance on 15 February 1947. During the 1960s, she was vice-chairman of the Tom Sawyer Project, which, in association with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, selected children from around the country to create and to paint large panels representing their home states. She was also director of Widening Horizons, a project of the D.C. public schools Urban Service Corps, which allowed teenagers to experience governmental and business professions, cultural events, and educational opportunities first hand through job fairs, summer camps, and field trips. During the Carter presidency, she attended foreign and domestic diplomatic events, and, in 1977, traveled to Latin America with First Lady Rosalynn Carter to relate the administration's policies and to foster good will. During the 1980s, she was active in the work of the Foreign Policy Association. Vance died on March 22, 2008.

The Vances have five children: Elsie Nicoll, Amy Sloane, Grace Roberts, Camilla, and Cyrus Roberts.

Cyrus Vance died on January 12, 2002.

Career Outline of Cyrus R. Vance

1917 March 27
Born, Clarksburg, West Virginia to John Carl and Amy (Roberts) Vance
1930-1935
Attended Kent School, Kent, Connecticut
1935-1939
Attended Yale College, B.A., Economics major. Member of Scroll and Key, the hockey team, Torch Honor Society, and the Fence Club
1939-1942
Attended Yale Law School, LL.B. with honors
1942-1946
United States Navy: Gunnery Officer-Destroyer service aboard the U.S.S. Hale, achieved lieutenant senior grade
1946-1947
Served as assistant to the president of the Mead Corporation
1947
Admitted to the New York State Bar Association. Joined the law firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, in New York, and specialized in civil litigation
1947 Feb 15
Married Grace Elsie Sloane
1957-1958
Served as associate counsel to the Senate Armed Forces Preparedness Investigation Subcommittee and began acquaintanceship with Lyndon Baines Johnson
1958
Served as consulting counsel to the Senate Committee on Space and Aeronautics. Helped to draft the National Space Act of 1958, which led to the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
1961 January 29
Sworn in as general counsel to the Defense Department in the Kennedy Administration under Secretary Robert S. McNamara, active in formulating United States policy toward Cuba following the Bay of Pigs invasion
1962 July 5
Promoted to secretary of the army
1964
Appointed as deputy secretary of defense in the Johnson administration
1965 April -May
Served as special representative to help calm the crisis in the Dominican Republic
1967 May - June
Served as Defense Department representative on the Control Committee dealing with the Middle East crisis
1967 June10
Resigned as deputy secretary of defense
1967 July - Aug
Served as President Johnson's emissary to the Detroit riot
1967 November
Appointed as special representative to mediate between Greece and Turkey over Cyprus
1968 February
Appointed as President Johnson's emissary to Korea
1968 April
Served on President Johnson's behalf to help calm the Washington D.C. riot, which followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
1968
Elected fellow of the Yale Corporation, Yale University
1968-1969
Served as United States negotiator with W. Averell Harriman at the Paris Peace Talks on Vietnam
1969January
Awarded the Medal of Freedom
1969
Declined post of assistant secretary of state to the Nixon administration under Secretary of State William P. Rogers
1970-1972
Served on the Commission to Investigate Alleged Police Corruption in New York City
1974-1976
Served as president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York
1976 December 3
Designated as secretary of state by President-Elect Carter
1977January
Sworn in as the 59th Secretary of State
1979 March 16
Peace agreement between Egypt and Israel signed following the Camp David accords
1979 June 18
SALT II agreement signed
1979November 4
Americans taken hostage in Iran
1980 April 28
Resigned as secretary of state
1980-1989
Participated in the Palme Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues
1981-1986
Participated in the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies
1981-
Williamsburg Conferences participation
1982
Co-authored the Vance-Owen letter to NATO foreign ministers on creating nuclear-free zones at the East-West frontier
1983
Hard Choices published
1987 Jan 14
Delivered policy statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the Iran/Contra Arms Deal Hearings
1993
Appointed as United Nations special envoy with Lord David Owen to the former Yugoslavia
2002January 12
Cyrus Vance died in New York.
Title
Guide to the Cyrus R. and Grace Sloane Vance Papers
Author
compiled by Mark Bailey and Staff of Manuscripts and Archives
Date
March 1995
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • January 2015: Finding aid revision description not supplied.

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
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