David Newton Henderson papers, 1930-1976
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- Henderson, David Newton, 1921-
- Correspondence, reports, speeches, drafts of bills, notes, newsletters, printed material, clippings, and other papers, relating to Henderson's service as representative from the 3rd Congressional district of North Carolina, including material relating to his work on the Post Office, Civil Service, and Public Works committees, and to civil rights, minimum wage, federal aid to education, the Vietnam Conflict, anti-poverty programs, foreign aid, tobacco, Watergate, the energy crisis of the early 1970s, and local affairs and projects in eastern North Carolina.
- 218 Linear Feet
- Collection ID:
- Scope and content:
The David Newton Henderson Papers contain the office files of Congressman Henderson when he was the U.S. Representative for the Third District of North Carolina. The papers span from 1930 to 1976, but the bulk of the papers covers Henderson's years in office, 1961-1976. Henderson's predecessor, Congressman Graham A. Barden, left Henderson many papers on ongoing business, especially local projects.
The Henderson Papers contain correspondence, printed material, speeches, invitations, newspaper clippings, photographs, newsletters, financial statements, legislative reports and notes, and drafts of bills. The great majority of this collection is correspondence which Henderson's office exchanged with constituents, legislative officials, and officials of federal and state agencies.
The papers are divided into the following fifteen series:
Correspondence: Answer Copies
County Project Files
Federal and State Agencies
Military Academy Files
Newsletters and News Releases
Post Office Files
The largest series are Committee Files, County Project Files, Federal and State Agencies, Legislation, and Subject Files. The Committee Files contain material relating to Henderson's various committee and subcommittee memberships and reflect the actual creation of legislation. The Legislation Series contains drafts of specific bills and legislative reports and notes. Subject Files contain mostly constituent mail on legislation, current issues, and various subjects. County Project Files concern projects and local affairs in the Third District. The Federal and State Agencies Series reflects Henderson's role as an intermediary between constituents' problems and requests and the appropriate governmental agency which could deal with their problems.
There is some overlap among series. For example, using the broad subject Agriculture, a constituent's letter supporting an agricultural price-support bill would appear under Subject Files. Agriculture. Drafts of that specific bill might be under Legislation. Material on an agricultural cooperative project in the Third District would be in the County Project Files. A constituent's request for exemption from certain federal regulations regarding crop measurement would be under Federal and State Agencies. Agriculture, Department of. For more information summarizing the contents of each category see the introductions at the beginning of each section in the inventory.
The papers reflect many types of public opinion: organized and repetitive pressure mail, professional lobbying activities of national interest groups, letters ranging from semi-literate constituents to well-known local and national leaders. The papers show a definite paper spiral during the 1960s and 1970s with the volume of Henderson's files increasing yearly.
The Henderson Papers illustrate many national trends of the 1960s and 1970s. Henderson's work on the Post Office and Civil Service and the Public Works committees made him instrumental in matters of national importance and brought him correspondence from around the nation. These papers particularly reveal trends in federal employment practices in the 1960s and 1970s. The papers contain much material about the reorganization of the Post Office Department into the Postal Service in 1969-1970. The papers reveal public opinion and legislative trends on such issues as civil rights, the Vietnamese War, the energy crisis of the early 1970s, and the Watergate affair. Henderson illustrates well the position of a conservative southern Democratic congressman voting against all civil rights legislation, opposing extension and raising of the minimum wage, federal aid to education, the War Against Poverty, and foreign aid. He consistently supported the presidents' positions on Vietnam, "right-to-Work" laws, and agricultural price supports.
The Henderson Papers contain rich information on local interests, affairs, and personalities in the Third District of North Carolina. Henderson vigorously supported local interests in Congress. He vehemently opposed restrictions on tobacco advertising and other "anti-tobacco" legislation. Henderson's correspondence and campaign material reveal the network of the Democratic political machinery in eastern North Carolina and his relationship with the local power structure.
Specific subjects are discussed in more detail in the inventory.
- Biographical / historical:
Chronology Date Event 1921 Born, April 16, on a farm near Hubert, Onslow County, North Carolina. 1942 Graduated with B.S. degree from Davidson College; married Mary Wellons Knowles of Wallace, North Carolina, December 11; their three sons are David Bruce, Wiley Bryant, and Wimbric Boney. 1942-1946 Commissioned as second lieutenant in Army Air Corps, served overseas in India, China, and Okinawa, discharged as major in Air Force. 1949 Graduated with LL.B. from University of North Carolina Law School, Chapel Hill. 1949-1950 Practiced law in Wallace. 1951-1952 Served as Assistant General Counsel to the Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives. 1952-1954 Practiced law in Wallace. 1954-1958 Elected and served as solicitor of the Duplin County General Court. 1958-1960 Elected and served as judge of the same court. 1960-1976 Elected to the 87th Congress as Representative for the Third District of North Carolina, November 8, 1960; served continuously until retirement in 1976.
Committee Assignments:87th Congress 1961-1962
88th Congress 1963-1964
- Post Office and Civil Service Committee, Subcommittees on Census and Government Statistics, Manpower Utilization
89th Congress 1965-1966
- Post Office and Civil Service Committee, Subcommittee on Manpower Utilization (Chairman); Public Works Committee, Subcommittees on Public Buildings and Grounds, Rivers and Harbors
90th Congress 1967-1968
- Post Office and Civil Service Committee, Subcommittees on Manpower Utilization (Chairman), Postal Operations; Public Works Committee, Subcommittees on Flood Control, Public Buildings and Grounds, Rivers and Harbors, Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Appalachia
91st Congress 1969-1970
- Post Office and Civil Service Committee, Subcommittees on Manpower and Civil Service (Chairman), Position Classification, Retirement Insurance and Health Benefits; Public Works Committee, Subcommittees on Flood Control, Public Buildings and Grounds, Rivers and Harbors, Special Subcommittees on Economic Development Programs, Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Appalachia
92nd Congress 1971-1972
- Post Office and Civil Service Committee, Subcommittees on Manpower and Civil Service (Chairman), Retirement Insurance and Health Benefits; Public Works Committee, Subcommittees on Flood Control, Rivers and Harbors, Roads, Special Subcommittee on Economic Development Programs, Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Appalachia
93rd Congress 1973-1974
- Post Office and Civil Service Committee, Subcommittees on Manpower and Civil Service (Chairman), Postal Facilities; Public Works Committee, Subcommittees on Flood Control and Internal Development, Rivers and Harbors, Roads, Special Subcommittee on Economic Development Programs
94th Congress 1975-1976
- Post Office and Civil Service Committee, Subcommittees on Manpower and Civil Service (Chairman), Investigations; Public Works Committee, Subcommittees on Water Resources, Transportation, Economic Development, Investigations and Reviews, Energy
- Post Office and Civil Service Committee, (Chairman), Subcommittee on Manpower and Civil Service (Chairman); Public Works Committee, Subcommittees on Aviation, Economic Development, Public Buildings and Grounds
- Acquisition information:
- The Henderson Papers were presented to Duke University by Congressman Henderson upon his retirement from Congress in 1976.
- Processing information:
Processed by: Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library Staff
Completed June 30, 1981
Encoded by Stephen D. Miller
The arrangement of this collection has generally followed the system of organization used by Henderson's office. For Federal and State Agencies, Subject Files, and Committee Files, Henderson's staff started a new file each year. In each case these yearly files were consolidated into a comprehensive alphabetical file for the whole period, 1961-1976. Folder headings were left as they were given by Henderson's office except when clarification or more detail was necessary.
Certain material in the original collection was discarded such as routine requests for publications, general information, autographs, pictures, flags, tickets to the White House, etc. Samples of orchestrated pressure mail and Henderson's responses were retained along with a count of the letters received, but repetitive copies were discarded. Case Files only for the letter "C" were retained. In the Military Academy Files, confidential files for individual applicants and appointees were destroyed. For the Post Office Files, samples were retained only for county seats and Morehead City.
Photographs are scattered throughout the papers. Many are located in the Subject Files under the heading Photographs. Most of these are undated and were left in order as Henderson arranged them. They roughly correspond to years.
When papers were in fairly good order, non-dated Items have been left in sequence where they appeared. In some instances where papers were so disarranged that sequence gave no clue to the dates of such Items, they were placed at the beginning of the folder.
Dates on the folder headings indicate the period of the working papers, but these papers might contain printed material written at an earlier date. Dated printed material was left with the papers in the context in which it was used. This material is often background information, copies of older bills, laws, and regulations.
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
- Civil rights -- United States -- Codification
Watergate Affair, 1972-1974
Federal aid to education
Civil service -- United States
Minimum wage -- Law and legislation -- United States
Tobacco -- Law and legislation -- United States
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975
Legislators -- United States -- Correspondence
Public welfare -- Law and legislation -- United States
Postal service -- Law and legislation -- United States
- Henderson, David Newton, 1921-
- United States -- Foreign economic relations
United States -- Politics and government -- 20th century
North Carolina -- Politics and government
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[Identification of item], The David Newton Henderson Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.