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Henry Lewis Stimson papers

 Collection
Call Number: MS 465

Scope and Contents

The papers consist of correspondence, letter books, speeches, articles, letters to the editor, statements prepared for presentation to Congress and substantial subject files with clippings, printed matter, reports, memoranda and photographs related to Henry Stimson's various public offices. While the official records of Stimson's service (as Secretary of War under President Taft, Secretary of State under Herbert Hoover and as Secretary of War in the cabinets of Presidents Roosevelt and Truman) are all in the National Archives, the substantial correspondence, as well as other papers, in this collection provide important records of his activities as a private citizen and in office and on special missions. His work in Latin America in helping to settle a dispute between Chile and Peru in 1926, and as the United States representative seeking to bring an end to a civil war in Nicaragua in 1927 is shown in the papers with first-hand reports and background material.

His service as Secretary of State under Hoover (1929-1933) is particularly well documented with memoranda of conversations with foreign diplomatic representatives, and briefing books presenting background information on foreign affairs for the period. Of major importance are Stimson's diaries which span the years 1904-1945, covering the entire period of his public career and including references to the early stages of the development of the atom bomb.

Extensive family papers include the correspondence (1846-1966) of Stimson's parents, sister, and other relatives. In his father's papers are a series of diaries (1864-1916). There is also a collection of letters by Stimson to his wife and to other family members.

Dates

  • 1846-1966

Creator

Language

English

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Series I-IX and Series XIV are available on microfilm. Patrons must use FILM HM 51 instead of Series XIV and FILM HM 52 instead of Series I-IX.

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Copyright has been transferred to Yale University for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection.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 Henry L. Stimson, 1948. Gift of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, 2009. Gift of Marcia Lahner-Lafemina, 2019.

Arrangement

Arranged in fourteen series and two additions: I. Correspondence. II. Memoranda, Minutes of Meetings. III. Speeches, Writings, Statements. IV. Special Subjects. V. Family Papers. VI. Selected Documents of the State Department. VII. Trips to Europe. VIII. Correspondence, Speeches, and Writings of Others. IX. Office of the Secretary of War. X. Printed Matter. XI. Newspaper Clippings. XII. Business, Financial, and Legal Papers. XIII. Photographs. XIV. Diaries.

Extent

148.75 Linear Feet (368 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.0465

Overview

The papers consist of correspondence, letter books, speeches, articles, letters to the editor, statements prepared for presentation to Congress and substantial subject files with clippings, printed matter, reports, memoranda and photographs related to Henry Stimson's various public offices. While the official records of Stimson's service (as Secretary of War under President Taft, Secretary of State under Herbert Hoover and as Secretary of War in the cabinets of Presidents Roosevelt and Truman) are all in the National Archives, the substantial correspondence, as well as other papers, in this collection provide important records of his activities as a private citizen and in office and on special missions. His work in Latin America in helping to settle a dispute between Chile and Peru in 1926, and as the United States representative seeking to bring an end to a civil war in Nicaragua in 1927 is shown in the papers with first-hand reports and background material.
His service as Secretary of State under Hoover (1929-1933) is particularly well documented with memoranda of conversations with foreign diplomatic representatives, and briefing books presenting background information on foreign affairs for the period. Of major importance are Stimson's diaries which span the years 1904-1945, covering the entire period of his public career and including references to the early stages of the development of the atom bomb.
Extensive family papers include the correspondence (1846-1966) of Stimson's parents, sister, and other relatives. In his father's papers are a series of diaries (1864-1916). There is also a collection of letters by Stimson to his wife and to other family members.

Biographical / Historical

Henry L. Stimson was the first child of Candace Wheeler and Lewis Atterbury Stimson. Lewis Stimson, a graduate of Yale, served in the Union Army in the Civil War and then joined his father's banking firm in New York. He married “Cannie” Wheeler in Paris in 1866 and Henry, nicknamed Harry or Hal, was born on September 21, 1867. Two years later a sister Candace, called Nan, was born.

In 1871 Lewis A. Stimson moved his wife and young family to Berlin, Zurich, and then to Paris where he commenced studying medicine. In Paris the family enjoyed the friendships of James Russell Lowell and George Eliot. In 1873 the family returned to New York to allow Lewis to obtain a medical degree at the Bellevue Hospital Medical School.

In June, 1876, Candace W. Stimson died. Overwhelmed by the loss of his wife Lewis Stimson absorbed himself in his surgical practice and teaching, leaving the children at the home of his parents in the care of his sister Mary Stimson, "Aunt Minnie.” The family was extremely close, and Stimson grew up surrounded by a wide circle of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and a great-grandmother who told him stories of her childhood talks with George Washington. His uncle, Henry A. Stimson, was a well-known clergyman and founder of Carlton College in Minnesota and his grandmother, Candace Thurber Wheeler, gained recognition as a poet, artist, and skilled craftswoman. Visits to Grandmother Wheeler were frequent and it was through her that young Harry developed his love of nature and the wilderness.

Until he was thirteen Stimson attended New York schools and was tutored by his father. Then, dissatisfied with the conditions of life in the city, his father entered him in Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. In later years Stimson grew to appreciate fully the experience at Andover, noting in his autobiography, “It opened a new world of effort and competition. It also opened to me a new world of democracy and of companionship with boys from all portions of the United States.”2 In 1905 Stimson was elected a member of Andover’s board of trustees and subsequently served as president of the board until 1947.

Stimson graduated from Andover in 1883 at the age of fifteen, too young to be admitted to Yale. He did a year's additional preparation at Andover and entered Yale’s class of ‘88 in the fall of 1884. Stimson later criticized Yale’s academic program, its system of rote learning and the lack of opportunity for individual thinking but praised the school for its "potent democratic spirit". The friendships he formed there were lasting ones and included Amos Alonzo Stagg, Fred Solly, Irving Fisher, Morison Waite, and Gifford Pinchot. Stimson won many prizes for oratory and literary work, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, was tapped for Skull and Bones, and graduated third in his class of 124.

At one time Stimson had seriously considered studying for the ministry but decided on a legal career instead. In the fall of 1888 he entered Harvard Law School The training received at Harvard with its stress on individual thinking and a broad philosophical outlook offered a remarkable contrast to Yale. “Harvard Law School,” Stimson said, "created a greater revolution in my power of thinking” while the faith in mankind that I learned on the campus at New Haven was greater and stronger than any such faith I achieved at Harvard.”3

He left Harvard in the spring of 1890 with a Master of Arts degree. In the fall he returned to New York City to serve a clerkship in the office of Sherman Evarts, a prerequisite to taking the bar examination. After passing the examination in June, 1891, Stimson was eager for challenging work. Through his father’s Yale classmates he was introduced to Elihu Root and was offered a clerkship in his firm. After a year with Root and Clarke, Stimson accepted a junior partnership. He was admitted to the firm on January 1, 1893, together with Bronson Winthrop who was to become his lifelong partner.

In 1893 Stimson married Mabel Wellington White, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles White of New Haven and a direct descendant of Roger Sherman. Although Stimson had proposed to Miss White during his senior year at Yale, his father made the couple promise to wait until Henry was established in his profession before announcing the engagement. Five years after graduating from Yale Stimson was earning $2,000 a year. The wedding on July 6, 1894, began fifty-seven years of what he later called "perfect companionship."

His experience during the decade of the 1890's was important for the future of Stimson's career. The most important influence was Elihu Root himself from whom Stimson learned politics as well as law. Stimson appeared in court with Root and learned the evolving legal practices relating to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act from America's leading corporation lawyer.

In the mid-1890's Stimson, with other civic-minded citizens had joined in the formation of Good Government Clubs to arouse the public conscience to problems of corruption in government. Though successful in increasing the public awareness these groups found themselves powerless to change the entrenched political system. In 1892 Stimson had voted as a Cleveland Democrat though he had no use for Tammany Hall. He thought the local Republican organization was not much better, but since change had to be effected through the existing party system, Stimson decided to follow Root’s example and join the Republican party. Stimson worked first in his own assembly district to register Republicans and make sure that they voted on election day. Stimson’s efforts in the party between 1895 and 1901 brought him state prominence and notice from Theodore Roosevelt.

The Spanish-American War also changed Stimson’s thinking. When war broke out in April, 1898, Stimson, though without military training, enlisted in Squadron A of the New York National Guard, but did not see service outside of the United States. The memory of America ‘s unpreparedness for this war in later years made Stimson an advocate of universal military training and an early supporter of United States preparation for combat in World Wars I and II.

In 1899 President McKinley made Elihu Root secretary of war in his new cabinet. When Root went to Washington he left his lucrative law practice in the hands of Winthrop and Stimson. By 1903 Stimson was able to afford a country residence, which he established in West Hills, Long Island, and called Highhold. By the end of 1905 Stimson’s annual earnings from his law firm amounted to $20,000.

In 1906 President Roosevelt offered Stimson the position of United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. Roosevelt was out to make war on corporate transgressions and bust the trusts. The New York Southern Judicial District as the seat of much corporate activity needed a competent, intelligent, loyal man for the job. Even though it meant a 50 percent loss in income Stimson was ready to serve. In reorganizing his office so as to try all important cases himself, he drafted young talent and numbered Felix Frankfurter, Thomas D. Thacher, Henry A. Wise, and Goldthwaite Dorr among his protégés. In his term of service from 1906-1909 he prosecuted the New York Central Railroad for rebating, the American Sugar Refining Company for weighing frauds, Charles W. Morse for misappropriating funds from the Bank of North America, and James Gordon Bennett of the Herald for indecency in his personal columns. He had tried to indict Joseph Pulitzer for criminal libel at Roosevelt’s request, and had defended the president’s action in connection with the dishonorable discharge of black soldiers after the Brownsville incident. Speaking extemporaneously at a Yale reunion in 1908 Stimson said of this work, "The profession of the law has never been thoroughly satisfactory to me, simply because the life of an ordinary New York lawyer is primarily one essentially devoted to making money." Referring specifically to the job of a United States attorney he continued, “There has been an ethical side of it which has been more of an interest to me, and I have felt that I could get a good deal closer to the problems of life than I ever did before, and felt that the work was a good deal more worth while.” After resigning from the United States attorney's office in 1909 Stimson returned to his law practice. In 1909 he was given serious consideration as a possible candidate on the fusion ticket for mayor of New York. At this same time, as a friend of Gifford Pinchot, Stimson was drawn into the Ballinger-Pinchot controversy, a dispute dividing progressives from Taft Republicans.

In 1910, as the choice of Theodore Roosevelt and the progressive element of the Republican party, Stimson ran unsuccessfully for governor of New York against John A. Dix. Stimson did not have a politician's zest for campaigning, and the press referred to him as a "human icicle." The importance of the 1910 campaign for Stimson’s career was that he did not win. He never ran for a major elective office again, but the campaign marked him as Roosevelt’s man.

In the spring of 1911 when President Taft was searching for a new secretary of war henry Stimson made a promising candidate. In order to unify the Republican party Taft wanted an appointee who would be acceptable to Roosevelt. Stimson fitted that description and was, in fact, encouraged by Roosevelt to accept the post. On entering office Stimson found himself in the midst of a power struggle between Chief of Staff Leonard Wood and Adjutant General Fred Ainsworth. Stimson was eventually compelled to defend the prestige of the chief of staff against the adjutant general’s insubordination. In February, 1912, he forced the resignation of the politically powerful Ainsworth. Subsequent Congressional backlash against Wood and Stimson's support for him cemented a lasting bond of friendship between the two. As secretary of war, Stimson also accomplished a reorganization of the nation's small military force, oversaw the construction of the Panama Canal, and familiarized himself with the administration of colonial possessions, including the Philippines.

Unfortunately, in the election of 1912 Stimson was caught in the middle of the rift between Roosevelt and Taft. Balancing his friendship and debt to Roosevelt against loyalty to Taft and the Republican party, Stimson chose to support Taft. Roosevelt did not soon forgive him, and it was not until the United States was threatened by war in Europe that the two men spoke to each other again.

After leaving the cabinet in March, 1913, Stimson returned to New York and Winthrop and Stimson. He remained active in the New York Republican party, trying to keep progressive ideals alive and at the same time engineer a partial reconciliation between Bull Moosers and Taft-Root Republicans. In 1914 he was elected as a delegate-at-large to the New York Constitutional Convention of 1915 and again left his law practice in April of 1915 to participate in the proceedings at Albany. Stimson’s plan for reorganization of the state government revealed his own brand of progressivism which called for a powerful, efficient, centralized system headed by a strong executive. His program showed less concern for social reform. One can see in his support for such measures as the shortened slate of elective offices and the lengthened list of gubernatorial appointees his belief in a strong executive and, perhaps, too, his distrust of the mass of voters. Root, as president of the convention, had appointed Stimson to chair the Committee on State Finances and serve on the Committees on State Officers and on Judiciary. Proposals from these three committees embraced many of Stimson's ideas on "responsible government” and included an amendment outlining an executive budget plan. Though the new constitution was rejected by the voters of New York, many of Stimson's ideas were implemented later.

All through 1915 Stimson had stressed preparedness in speeches for the National Security League, convinced that the United States would soon be forced to enter the war in Europe. Following his own advice, in the fall of 1916, he enrolled for training under Leonard Wood at Plattsburgh Training Camp and was pronounced fit for service. After the United States’ declaration of war Stimson accepted a commission in the Reserve as a judge advocate, but in September, 1917, was appointed a lieutenant colonel in the 305th Regiment, Feld Artillery of which he was second in command. In December he went overseas, spending nine months in France, most of it at the American General Staff College in Langres. He returned to the United States in August, 1918, and was discharged in December. The title "Colonel" continued to be used by his friends.

Although his law practice was his primary concern between 1918 and 1926, Stimson retained his interest in public affairs. He was vocal in his objections to some features of Wilson's peace plan and the League of Nations, but urged Republican senators to vote for the treaty. He supported Leonard Wood for the Republican presidential nomination in 1920. He continued to lobby for the executive budget, opposed the veterans' bonus, protested when the New York Assembly refused to seat duly elected Socialist members, and served with Charles Evans Hughes in 1925 on a commission to advise Governor Alfred Smith on the reorganization of state departments.

In 1926 the perennial dispute between Chile and Peru over the provinces of Tacna and Arica re-emerged. In an attempt to resolve the dispute Secretary of State Kellogg sought out Stimson as someone with a "detached mind” to provide an analysis of the situation. Stimson’s actual contribution to the settlement of this issue was minor but his advisory brief brought him recognition from the Coolidge administration.

Later in 1926 Stimson traveled as a semiofficial representative of the president to the Philippines where he was the guest of his old friends Governor General and Mrs. Leonard Wood. Wood had aroused antagonism among the Filipino leaders and his administration had been experiencing difficulties. During his stay Stimson talked with Manuel Quezon and Sergio Osmena and culminated his visit by presenting a memorandum of a plan to achieve better relations between branches of the Philippine government. The plan recognized the need for effective executive authority but combined it with responsible cabinet government. On his return he reported directly to President Coolidge.

In the spring of 1927 Coolidge appointed Stimson a special emissary to Nicaragua and granted him power to act for the government in seeking a solution to the civil war in that country between liberals and conservatives. In April Stimson sailed for Managua. He conducted talks with President Diaz and other conservatives and with General Moncada, the liberal leader. Eventually a settlement providing for a national election under American supervision was agreed to, known as the Peace of Tipitapa. By the time he left Nicaragua in May Stimson had succeeded in restoring a general peace. Stimson believed that a major lesson had been learned from these negotiations, that friendly, frank discussions and an attitude of impartiality toward all participants could achieve constructive results in Latin American relations. He recorded his impressions of his work later in 1927 in American Policy in Nicaragua.

When Governor General Leonard Wood died in the summer of 1927 Quezon and Osmena urged President Coolidge to appoint Stimson in his place. Guaranteed the support of these two leaders, Stimson accepted and sailed for Manila in February, 1928, for his "last short adventure before old age." Stimson's program included the clarification of the position of governor general in the executive department, establishment of a working relationship with the legislature, and progress in industrial and economic development by attracting foreign capital. These policies especially the last, were not unanimously supported by all Filipinos. Stimson asserted that individual freedom and self-government would come more quickly for the Philippines if they had a more highly developed commerce and industry. Filipino leaders continued to fear that independence would not be granted and the extensive foreign investment would lead to economic dependence and exploitation.

The Stimsons found life agreeable in the Philippines-living in the Malacanan Palace, traveling through the islands, and enjoying the viceregal privileges of the office of governor general. But, Hoover, on being elected president, offered Stimson a cabinet post, and Stimson agreed to accept the portfolio of the State Department. The Stimsons returned to Washington, and Stimson took the oath of office on March 28, 1929.

One of Stimson "s first tasks was finding a place to live in Washington. In midsummer the Stimsons finally settled on a large and lavish Southern colonial style mansion in the heart of northwest Washington called Woodley. The grounds were extensive and in later years Cordell Hull found them to be ideal for his croquet matches.

Stimson entered his new office as a recognized believer in international cooperation. In October, 1929, British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald met with Hoover and Stimson at Rapidan in the Virginia mountains, a meeting which opened the way to a general conference of major naval powers on limiting fleet strengths. Representatives of the United Kingdom, United States, France, Italy, and Japan met in London in January, 1930, with Stimson as head of the United States delegation. The final results of this conference were disappointing and the build-up of naval armaments continued.

The Hoover administration also made new overtures of good will toward Latin American nations and raised once again the hopes for American participation in the World Court. In 1929 a serious conflict between the Soviet Union and China was averted. Stimson later looked back at his first two years in office as a period of peace and trust.

Almost overnight, however, the weaknesses of the post-World War I economic and political arrangements became startlingly apparent. By the spring of 1931 an international economic depression had produced a major political crisis. In May the Credit Anstalt, the largest bank in Austria, collapsed and financial panic swept Europe. Continuing monetary chaos in Central Europe meant that a political upheaval was certain along with the repudiation of all foreign debts. To meet this crisis Hoover proposed a one year moratorium on all intergovernmental debts, including German reparations payments to the Allied powers and all war debts owed by the Allies to the United States. After the moratorium was announced Stimson departed for Europe to meet with leaders and attend the conference on intergovernmental debts.

In September, 1931, when Stimson was still deeply concerned over the world financial crisis, cables from the Far East indicated that Japan had invaded Manchuria in flagrant violation of the Kellogg Pact, the Nine Power Treaty, and the Covenant of the League of Nations. For three months Stimson continued to communicate with Kijuro Shidehara, Japan's foreign secretary. He hoped that the Japanese government could control the leaders of its armed forces, but Japanese aggression continued. By January 3, 1932, all of Manchuria was in Japanese hands. In reaction, Stimson decided to use moral sanctions. In a note to both China and Japan on January 7 he invoked the nonrecognition doctrine which was designed to reinforce the Kellogg Pact. If the fruits of aggression were recognized, Stimson believed, war would again be sanctioned as a legitimate instrument of national policy.

But this message did not deter the Japanese, who proceeded to attack Shanghai. Stimson, voicing United States policy, insisted on the maintenance of China’s independence and territorial integrity. The Japanese refused to concur in the definition of China as an "organized people” and continued their advance. Stimson saw a sharp difference between the views of the East and West on these matters and predicted that if the friction between them continued it would be almost impossible to prevent an armed clash.

In the spring of 1932 Stimson attended the disarmament conference held in Geneva. In the summer he campaigned for the re-election of Hoover. After Hoover’s defeat Stimson met with President--elect Roosevelt and Cordell Hull to discuss problems in foreign affairs, meanwhile preparing the way for conversations which he hoped to arrange between Roosevelt and the bitter Herbert Hoover, a plan which was never consummated.

In the interval between 1933 and 1940 Stimson divided his time between Washington and New York. Almost every summer he vacationed in Scotland. In 1936 he published a book about Japanese aggression titled The Far Eastern Crisis. In 1937 he was elected to serve a two-year term as president of the New York City Bar Association. He supported Roosevelt's basic views of foreign policy but was deeply skeptical of New Deal domestic legislation and vigorously denounced the administration's attempt to reorganize the Supreme Court. Stimson kept a watchful eye on the developing drama in foreign affairs. He wrote letters to the New York Times demanding action against Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia, deploring the Ludlow amendment, and favoring an embargo on arms to Spain and Japan. Stimson made himself a champion of China's cause and favored a "get tough" policy toward the Japanese. When the American Committee for Non-Participation in Japanese Aggression was formed in the summer of 1938 Stimson agreed to serve as its honorary chairman.

Stimson had continued to visit Roosevelt at the White House through October, 1934. Then, a misunderstanding occurred and though they corresponded occasionally Stimson's direct access to the president was gone. Stimson was greatly surprised, therefore, when Roosevelt offered him the post of Secretary of War in June, 1940. Stimson accepted, seeing the invitation as a call to duty. Stimson's frequent outspoken remarks about the need for United States aid to help Europe fight fascism had no doubt impressed the president. But, the appointment was also a political stroke. Roosevelt on the eve of his campaign for a third term had hoped to confound his critics by creating a "cabinet of national unity." When the announcement was made at the Republican National Convention then meeting in Philadelphia, Stimson and the new Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, another Republican, were both read out of the party. His nomination confirmed by the Senate, Stimson was sworn in on July 10.

At first Stimson had doubts as to the permanence of his position in the Roosevelt cabinet. He thought he might be cast out after the November election. At most he foresaw eighteen months preparing the War Department to cope with its increasing responsibilities. One of Stimson's first urgent tasks was the enlarging of the Army. From two hundred thousand in1940 it eventually reached a peak of eight million. Stimson supported enactment of selective service legislation. When the lottery was begun Stimson was the blindfolded man who drew the first capsule. Stimson also advocated support for Britain and worked for the passage of Lend-Lease. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941, came almost as a relief to Stimson. The uneasy wait between peace and war was over. Mobilization began in earnest and Stimson took part in strategy sessions between the United States and Britain. He always believed that the European front should take precedence over the Pacific theater and he urged an early cross channel invasion of Europe instead of campaigns in the Mediterranean and Middle East.

During the progress of the war Stimson had to fight continual battles over mobilization of industry and the procurement of supplies and manpower, deal with questions affecting black troops, justify the relocation of West Coast Japanese-American citizens, and develop plans for the postwar government of Germany. He made several inspection tours of army bases in the United States, visited Britain in I943, and joined Omar Bradley and George Patton in France after the invasion of Normandy. His devotion to his work won him the deep friendship of General George Marshal.

The work was rigorous for a man Stimson’s age and he continued to amaze the nation with his stamina. His regime called for him to rise at 6:30 for work at the department. After a full day’s work he would return to Woodley for a vigorous game of deck tennis. He continued also to enjoy the pleasures of horseback riding. Social engagements were cut to a minimum; he and Mrs. Stimson would spend quiet evenings at home. Almost every weekend they would escape to Highhold to confront the more enjoyable problems of running that household and farm.

As the war in Europe was coming to a conclusion in the spring of 1945 Stimson was beginning to suffer from coronary heart disease. But when President Roosevelt died suddenly in April and an inexperienced Harry Truman came into office Stimson promised Truman that he would remain on the job until the end of war with Japan was in sight.

In the fall of 1941 Stimson had been named by Roosevelt to a committee along with Vannevar Bush and James B. Conant to advise him on nuclear fission policy. When Truman became president, it was Stimson, as senior advisor on the military employment of atomic energy, who first informed him of the existence of the Manhattan project. News of the successful detonation of an atomic bomb was relayed to Stimson at Potsdam on July 16, 1945, where plans for postwar Europe were being discussed. Stimson conveyed the information to Truman and a decision, since the subject of much debate, was made to use the bomb if Japan refused surrender terms. Stimson selected the targets of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Stimson's last cabinet debate was on the future uses of atomic energy. He insisted that the United States and the Soviets be brought into equal partnership on this subject in an effort to confine the use of atomic energy to peaceful purposes. He felt that for the United States to negotiate with the Soviets with the bomb "on our hip" would "irretrievably embitter,” future relations with Russia. He was voicing once again his faith that the best way to make a person or nation trustworthy was to trust them.

The war officially ended on September 2, and Stimson, then 78, weakened by his heart condition, retired from the War Department three weeks later. The years following retirement were not active ones. Stimson returned to Highhold to recuperate, but was plagued by painful attacks of arthritis. Much of his tune was occupied in writing. He wrote articles defending the decision to drop the bomb, justifying the legality of the Nuremburg war crimes trials, and supporting the Marshall plan. In 1948 be completed his autobiography, written with McGeorge Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War. His last letter to the New York Times was written on March 27, 1950, and decried the attacks by Senator Joseph McCarthy on the State Department. Six months later he died at Highhold.

1. Henry Lewis Stimson and McGeorge Bundy. On Active Service in Peace and War (New York, 1947, 1948), xii. 2. On Active Service, xiii. 3.On Active Service, xv-xvi.

Existence and Location of Copies

Diaries of Henry L. Stimson are available on microfilm (10 reels, 35mm.) from Scholarly Resources, Inc., Wilmington, Delaware.

Papers of Henry Lewis Stimson are available on microfilm (169 reels, 35mm.) from Scholarly Resources, Inc., Wilmington, Delaware.
Title
Guide to the Henry Lewis Stimson Papers
Author
compiled by Diane Kaplan
Date
1973
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • July 2016: Finding aid revision description not supplied.

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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