Wendell Willkie collection
Date Published: 1941 to 1944
Wendell Lewis Willkie was an American lawyer, corporate executive, and the 1940 Republican nominee for President of the United States. Walter Lippmann believed Willkie's nomination to have been crucial to Britain's survival, "second only to the Battle of Britain, the sudden rise and nomination of Willkie was the decisive event, perhaps providential, which made it possible to rally the free world when [Britain] was almost conquered.
This collection has over 29 items dating from 1941 to 1944, specifically, 15 Typed Letters Signed (TLS) (9 written by Willkie), 2 notes, 1 book, 1 Magazine, 1 pin, and 10+ pieces of ephemera.
15 Typed Letters Signed (TLS):
• TLS to Richard S. Cawley, 2 January 1941, thanking Cawley for his efforts during the campaign, not in vain, received thousands of letters, campaign instilled a deep sense of patriotism throughout the country.
• 7 TLS to George J. Silver, 2 February 1942, 15 May 1942, 9 October 1943, 10 November 1943, 3 December 1943, 15 January 1944, and 19 April 1944;
• 5 TLS to Silver from Willkie’s secretaries (Helen M. Tucker, Lem Jones), 15 February 1942, 11 July 1942, 18 December 1942, 15 September 1944, and 23 September 1944. Re Silver’s proposed campaign slogan, resolution adopted in Chicago at the Republican National Convention, call to Miss Graham, no openings in his office, thanking Silver for his Christmas card, declining invitation to come to the Young Israel party at Parkchester, cares deeply about his political principles, asking friends and others to desist from activity with respect to his nomination in the 1944 election, his opposition to racial and religious discrimination, Willkie having an upset stomach and hospitalization, his inability to increase the pay of British sailors, and reference to Willkie’s writings in newspapers.
• TLS to Private Ken Browne, 9 September 1943, appreciating Browne’s words of confidence and encouragement, delighted that Browne likes One World, sends Browne an autographed photo.
• TL to Dad and Bump from Dick [Richard S. Cawley?], after 8 October 1944, conveying his sadness that Willkie has died.
2 Hand written notes:
• “Our hero is dead - Long live all he stood for - Wendell Willkie – Bo”.
• note in pencil by Mary Dillon, 2 pp., tribute to Willkie, “Lippincott ‘52”, begins “One of the most remarkable men of our time….”
1 Book & 1 Magazine:
• Joe Mitchell Chapple. Willkie and American Unity. New York: Joe Mitchell Chapple Incorporated, 1942. Beige cloth with image of Willkie on the front cover. Signed presentation copy to W.T. Rich, inscription on front free endpaper.
• Willkie. One World by Wendall L. Willkie. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1943. Magazine, 10th edition May 1943. Scuffed, residue of tape on front free endpaper.
10 Ephemera :
• What Every “Buddy” Should Know, flyer issued by the Republican War Veterans on Willkie’s record as a soldier and veteran, 31 August 1940.
• The Function of a Political Party. Released 21 March 1944. 4 pp. Printed text of a talk delivered by Willkie at Ripon, Wisconsin, on 20 March 1944 on the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Republican Party.
• Printed card from Mrs. Wendell L Willkie and Lieutenant Philip H. Willkie, USNR, “deeply appreciate your kind that and expression of sympathy” re Willkie’s death.
• Printed notice of Willkie’s acceptance of the nomination of the Republican Party .
• Founders’ certificate Willkie Memorial Building of Freedom House, issued to Richard S. Cawley, printed document signed by the president and treasurer (the officers of the building fund), circa 1941.
• Meet Wendell Willkie. Campaign leaflet issued by the Willkie Volunteer Committee of Massachusetts. Circa 1940.
• Willkie. An Address to the American People. 1940. Pamphlet. Some pencil and pen markings.
• Newspaper advertisement insert “We the People”, full page, M.S. Stevenson, Boston, Mass.
• Small Willkie campaign pin.
• 16 newspaper and magazine cutouts of Willkie articles and photos.
Collection on consignment with LDRB.