LaRue. Papers, 1890-1969: Finding Aid.
Harvard Law School Library
Cambridge, MA 02138
Harvard Law School
© 2003 The
President and Fellows of Harvard College
Repository: Harvard Law School
Library, Harvard University
Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: HOLLIS 601613
Herman LaRue, 1883-1969
Quantity: 23 boxes
Abstract: Papers relating to Brown's work on behalf
of civil liberties, legal services for the poor, and various
political causes, his service as U.S. Assistant Attorney General,
1917-1919, and in other capacities for Massachusetts and the Federal
Government during World War II, his education at Phillips Exeter
Academy, Harvard College, and Harvard Law School, and his interest in
Erika Chadbourn and John J. Feeney, Jr.,
The papers of
[Herman] LaRue Brown were presented to the Harvard Law School Library
as a gift in 1970 and 1974, respectively, by his widow, Dorothy
Access to these
papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Harvard Law
School Library. This collection is open to the public, but is housed
off-site at Harvard Depository and requires 2 business-day advance
notice for retrieval. Consult the Special Collections staff for
Copyright for these papers has not passed into the public domain;
this includes the transcript of the taped oral history interview of
Larue Brown's reminiscences. Permission to publish is required.
The 2800 items in the papers of
LaRue Brown (1883-1969) span the years 1890 to 1969.
collection includes correspondence (both
letters received and carbons of letters sent), reports,
memoranda, minutes of meetings,
legal documents, charts,
statistical tables, newspaper clippings
and other printed items, drafts, legislative documents,
lists, photographs, and memorabilia.
The papers related to many facets of LaRue Brown's life and
career: his association with educational institutions which he
attended and his continued interest in them throughout his life; his
professional career as an attorney; his commitment to his vision of
equal justice for the poor, and to his staunch defense of civil
LaRue Brown was one of the founders of the
Voluntary Defenders Committee in
Boston, Mass., and his papers reflect his work
with that Committee (1935-1969) and also his work with the
Massachusetts Defenders Committee which he
helped establish (1960-1969).
Another important group of
papers relates to Brown's association with various civil liberties
organizations and committees such as the American Civil Liberties
Union, the Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts,
and the Massachusetts Attorney General's
Advisory Committee on Civil Rights-Civil Liberties. Papers
relating to these activities, and his involvement in specific cases,
cover the period 1937 to 1969. Related to this group are the papers
he retained while serving as president of the Boston Bar
Association's Bill of Rights Committee (1956-1968).
Other activities of LaRue Brown as represented in his papers were
his involvement with A.D.A., with political campaigns, civic
institutions, and his service in various capacities during WWI and
WWII and the post-war periods.
Biographical items are from his
years at Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard
College and Harvard Law School, and of his alumni activities. Of
particular interest is a typescript of his taped reminiscences, in
fourteen segments, covering the span of his lifetime.
Correspondence is of a professional-personal nature. The only
extended correspondence series is his correspondence with Charles C.
Burlingham. There are scattered letters of James MacGregor Burns,
Edward Duggan, Felix Frankfurter, Erwin N. Griswold, Manley O.
Hudson, John F. Kennedy, William B. McAdoo, Elliot L. Richardson,
John L. Saltonstall, Jr., Arthur M. Schlesinger, Upton Sinclair, John
A. Volpe, and Raymond S. Wilkins.
Small segments of Mr.
Brown's papers, particularly those relating to the suffrage movement,
are included in the papers of his widow, Dorothy Kirchwey
Brown, which are at the Schlesinger Library for
the History of Women in America, at Radcliffe College.
Mrs. Dorothy Kirchwey Brown died in 1981.
- Series I. Voluntary Defenders Committee
To give practical effect to his vision of equal justice for
the poor, LaRue Brown, in June 1935, organized the
Voluntary Defenders Committee with six other
distinguished members of the Boston bar, Raynor Gardiner,
Henry Channing, Jacob
Kaplan, Daniel Lyne, Herbert Parsons, and Samuel Vaughan.
He was elected president and continued in that office
until his death.
The Committee was funded by private
contributions, Community Fund and other charitable agencies, and in
1953 received a grant from the Fund For The Republic.
1950's L.B. proposed and supported legislation for a statewide
defender system financed by the Commonwealth, and in 1960 legislation
creating the Massachusetts Defenders Committee
was enacted. L.B. served as its first chairman and was an
active member until his death. The Voluntary Defenders
Committee continued to function, but stopped taking
indigent cases after 1960; some parts of its grants it turned over to
the Massachusetts Defenders Committee.
In the files beginning with 1960, records for both Committees were
interfiled by Mr. Brown, and no attempt has been made to separate
The files in this Series consist mainly of
annual reports of the operations of the two
respective Committees, of financial reports, surveys, statements of
the president, statistical charts, correspondence,
drafts, clippings, exhibits, and
material relating to specific cases and meetings. Dates covered by
these files are 1935 to
- Series II. Civil Liberties
Series consists of minutes of committee
meetings, clippings, printed material, drafts
of legislation, memoranda and correspondence.
This Series relates to L.B.'s activities in the civil
liberties crusade during the 1950's and 1960's. Much of the material
deals with incidents arising out of the activities of
Joseph McCarthy's Senate Committee on Government
Included are letters to L.B. from former
Massachusetts senators John F. Kennedy and Leverett
Saltonstall. Included also are papers dealing with L.B.'s
activities in the Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union
and the Attorney General's Advisory Committee on
Civil Rights, 1958 - 1960.
Arrangement is in
approximately chronological sequence, except for the Civil Liberties
Union of Massachusetts material which was filed as one chronological
- Series III. Bill of Rights Committee
This Series includes correspondence;
pleadings; drafts and printed copies of legislative
bills; resolutions; memoranda; committee reports
and miscellaneous printed matter.
LaRue Brown was
president of the Bill of Rights Committee of the Boston Bar
Association from 1956 to 1968.
- Series IV. Other Activities
Series consists of correspondence, printed
matter, holographic notes, typed speeches, minutes
of board meetings. Among Brown's important correspondents
were Herbert Lehman, Arthur Schlesinger, and
The material relates to
Brown's activities in the Massachusetts Chapter of the
Americans for Democratic Action and the
Massachusetts Minimum Wage Committee on Jewelry
Manufacturing Industry both of which he served as
chairman, as well as his duties as Assistant U.S. Attorney in 1918,
1919 and 1946, his duties as a member of the Massachusetts
Commission on Minimum Wage Boards in 1912, 15, 26, and his
activities as a member of the Boston Bar
- Series V. Correspondence
LaRue Brown's important correspondents were Upton Sinclair, Felix
Frankfurter, Manley O. Hudson, Arthur M. Schlesinger and Charles C.
The correspondence in these files ranges from
1890 to 1969. A
large portion of it relates to World Wars I and II. The
correspondence relating to the Ratcliffe Fund
indicates clearly Brown's humane and generous
- Series VI. Biographical Miscellany
The material in this series consists of clippings,
correspondence, printed matter,
holographic notes, typescripts, diplomas and
The material covers the years
1897 to 1969. A
large number of the files pertain to L.B.'s years as a student at
Phillips Exeter and Harvard and his subsequent alumni activities with
Exeter, Harvard College, and the
Harvard Law School. In addition, there is a set
of transcripts of taped reminiscences of L.B.
- Series VII. Addenda: Correspondence, Miscellany
- Series VIII. Paige Boxes
this Series consists of printed briefs, records, arguments, and of
material written by LaRue Brown alone or jointly, also hard-bound
books (so - called "association copies") and a file of 3x5 index
cards. Dates covered are
1909 - 1951.
Brown, [Herman] LaRue, lawyer and public
- December 17, 1883
- b. Louisville, Kentucky. s. George Herman and Nelly (LaRue)
- A.B. Harvard College; classmate and lifelong
friend of Franklin D. Roosevelt
- LL.B. Harvard Law School, cum
- November 23, 1915
- m. Dorothy Browning Kirchwey; 1 daughter, Eleanor LaRue
(dec.); Freda Kirchwey, sister of Dorothy, long-time editor of
- 1906 - 1969
- Member, Brown, Field & McCarthy, Boston, [originally
Brown, Field, & Murray]
- Assistant reporter of decisions,
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
- Chairman, Massachusetts Minimum Wage
- Special Counsel for the United States in Shoe Machinery and
other Sherman Act and Clayton Act cases
- Assistant Attorney General of
the United States
- General Solicitor, U.S. Railroad
- Special Counsel for U.S. Railroad
- Counsel, truck division, National Automobile Chamber of
- Counsel to the federal and state authorities in prosecution of
- Chairman, Laundry and Retail stores Minimum Wage
Minimum Wage Boards
- Member, Hotel and Restaurant Boards
- Member, Jewelry Industry
Commission, Wages and Hours Act
- Consultant, Office of Defense
- Special representative of the Attorney General of the United
States and Special Assistant to the Ambassador, U.S. Embassy, London,
England. LB worked out an agreement between the U.S. and Great
Britain known as the "waiver," or "knock for knock"
- ca. 1944-1948
- Member, Power Committee of the Power Survey of the Twentieth
- Vice-chairman, Regional Loyalty Boards
- LB joined with other liberals in
support of Al Smith's campaign for Presidency. Out of this campaign
- (a) Jefferson Society; LB
first president. Society disbanded.
Massachusetts Independent Voters Association, LB
- Dorothy and LB attended organizing convention of the
Americans for Democratic Action, in Washington, D.C. LB was
influential in the decision of Massachusetts Independent Voters
Association to affiliate with and become Massachusetts Chapter of
A.D.A. Early Chairmen: Helen Rotsch, Arthur Schlesinger; LB wrote
statement of Principles for Massachusetts A.D.A.
- LB consented to become State
Chairman of A.D.A., at height of McCarthyism. Also became member of
national board of A.D.A., served until his death
- A.D.A.'s first annual Roosevelt
Day; award presented simultaneously to LB and the late Professor
- April 3,
member of American Civil Liberties Union and Civil Liberties Union of
- President, Voluntary Defender's Committee,
- Chairman, Massachusetts Defender's Committee,
- Chairman, Friends of Framingham
- Member, Attorney General's
Advisory Committee on Civil Rights, 1958-1962.
Boston Bar Association Bill of Rights Committee,
- Labor Injunctions in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics, Labor Bulletin No. 70,
- "Massachusetts and the Minimum Wage," in
The Cost of Living,
ed. by the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences,
1913. (First published in
of the Academy, November, 1913.)
- "Bankers and
The New Republic,
25 November 1925.
- "Citizens and the Law:" The
Wellesley Lectures of 1925.
- Also the author of other
articles, speeches and editorials, most of which were published in
local or national professional, political or general
The following catalog entries
represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this
collection. An entry for each appears in the Harvard On Line Library
Information System (HOLLIS) and other automated bibliographic
databases. THIS IS NOT AN INDEX.
Brown, Herman LaRue,
Burlingham, Charles Culp,
Burns, James MacGregor.
Griswold, Erwin N. (Erwin Nathaniel),
Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886-
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963.
McAdoo, William Gibbs, 1863-1941.
Richardson, Elliot L., 1920-
Saltonstall, John L.
Arthur Meier, 1888-1965.
Volpe, John A.
Wilkins, Raymond S.
American Civil Liberties Union.
Massachusetts -Social policy.
United States -History -1933-1945.
- Series I. VOLUNTARY DEFENDERS COMMITTEE
Date: 1935: Notice of foundation of
Voluntary Defenders Committee
- 1-12 to 1-13
- 1-16 to 1-18
- 2-1 to 2-8
- 2-9 to 2-17
- 3-11 to 4-9
- 3-11 to 3-12: in one group
- 3-13 to 4-3: in one group
- 4-4 to 4-5: in one group
- 4-8 to 4-9: in one group
- 4-10 to 4-14
- 5-2 to 5-4 Miscellany
Miscellaneous Defenders material; notice of founding of Committee,
1935; miscellaneous annual reports; speeches, articles, etc.
- 5-9 American Bar Association,
- 5-10 Bail Conference,
- 5-11 Cippolone case,
- 5-13 to 5-15 New England Defender Conference
A conference sponsored by the
New England Law Institute, October 31 to November
2, 1963; corr., program, memoranda, etc.
- 5-16 Pugliese case,
Date: 1941, 1942, 1943
Date: 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950
- 6-12 Hollingsworth, Wilbur G.
Date: 1956 - 1964
This folder is CLOSED
- 6-13 Miscellany
Date: 1938 - 1955
- Series II. CIVIL LIBERTIES
- 6-14 American Civil Liberties Union
Date: 1937 - 1938
- 6-15 Loyalty review boards
Date: 1946 - 1951
- 6-16 Loyalty and civil rights:
Struick Defense Committee and miscellaneous
Date: 1947 - 1953
- 7-1 to 7-9 Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts
Date: 1954 - 1957: general
Date: 1954 - 1957: censorship and anti-communist
Date: 1958 - 1960: general
- 7-5 Bill of Rights Committee,
Date: March 1958 - December 1959: corr.,
- 7-6 Bill of Rights Committee,
Date: March 1958 - December 1959:
- 7-10 to 7-11 Civil liberties, loyalty, etc.
Date: 1954, 1955, 1956: clippings
- 7-12 Massachusetts Commission on Communism: clippings
Date: 1955 - 1957
- 7-13 Sprague Coolidge matter
This involved the denial of S.C.'s appointment as advisor to the
Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation in the
Library of Congress because of S.C.'s alleged
association with organizations on the governments subversive list.
Correspondence includes letters from
Leverett Saltonstall and John F. Kennedy,
senators from Massachusetts, addressed to L.B.
- 8-2 Miscellany
Date: 1940's, 1950's, 1960's
- Series III. BILL OF RIGHTS COMMITTEE
Includes letter from Governor John Volpe of Massachusetts, 16 June,
1965, to which is attached a xeroxed letter of
President Lyndon B. Johnson to Volpe re deaths of
civil rights workers
Rev. James Reeb and
- Series IV. OTHER ACTIVITIES
- 9-1 Suffrage
Date: 1907 - 1912 [Summary]
La Rue Brown's folder on women's suffrage has been transferred to the
Schlesinger Library. The material was in such
fragile shape that it was deemed wise not to make photo copies of
folder included printed items pro and con women suffrage, pages in
Brown's handwriting summarizing the arguments for and against
woman suffrage, a
carbon copy of a letter L.B. sent to
Mr. Benjamin E. Carter of
Phillips Exeter Academy, 29 March 1912 giving
reasons why Massachusetts should vote favorably on woman suffrage,
20-page transcript of hearings at the
Massachusetts State House, Boston, 23
1910, at which proponents and opponents were heard.
- 9-2 Masonic Order
Date: 1908 - 1919
- 9-4 Public Franchise League
Date: 1909 - 1911
- 9-7 Neutrality
- 9-10 International Seaman's Union
- 9-11 Assistant Attorney General of the United States: clippings re
formal appointment, etc.,
- 9-12 to 9-13 Assistant Attorney General of the United States
Correspondence, semi-official papers, clippings, etc. mainly relating
to LB's work while attached to the "American Mission to Negotiate Peace".
Includes itinerary and report on Albert & Daily Mail case.
- 9-14 Public utilities and electric power miscellany
Date: 1928 - 1929
- 10-1 Home Owner's Loan Corporation
Date: 1935 - 1936
- 10-3 Boston City Club
- 10-4 Re Wartime (World War II) appointments
- 10-5 to 10-6 Bretton Woods and British loan,
Date: 1945 - 1946
Mostly newspaper clippings, printed and mimeographed material.
Includes three pages of typed "notes", unidentified, probably by LB.
- 10-8 to 10-10 Americans for Democratic Action
Date: 1948, 1950's, 1960's
- 10-11 Boston Bar Association: general and committee
Date: 1952 - 1954
- 10-12 to 11-2 Tennessee Valley Authority
Date: 1953 - 1968
- 11-3 Boston Common Garage
- 11-4 Burns, James MacGregor: campaign miscellany including
- 11-5 Saltonstall, John L., Jr.: campaign miscellany including
- 11-6 Brandeis University
Date: 1959 - 1961
- 11-7 Local politics and
Massachusetts House of Representatives' meeting
Date: 1960 - 1961
- 11-8 Brandeis Papers Commission
LB was member of Commission. Folder includes minutes of meeting, 7
April 1968; several letters all dated 1968; and a copy of a
on the Brandeis Papers project by Assistant Professor
William M. Goldsmith of
Brandeis University, the acting director of
project at that time. Other committee members included Professors
Alexander Bickel and
Paul A. Freund and
Judge Charles E. Wyzanski, Jr.
- Series V. CORRESPONDENCE
- 12-9 to 12-10 Early letters of L.B. to his father
Date: 1890 - 1903
- 12-11 Early correspondence
Date: 1907 - 1914
- 12-13 Miscellaneous Correspondence
Includes letter of
Herbert Croly of The New Republic 27 October 1925,
regarding LB's article on the New England Oil Corp. case; for Ms. see V,
SPEECHES, LECTURES AND WRITINGS
- 12-14 William B. McAdoo
Date: 1921 - 1924
- 12-15 Kelley, Florence
Date: 1922 - 1924
Xerox copies of the original letters which were transferred to the
Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- 12-16 The Nation correspondence
Date: 1922 - 1927
- 12-17 Correspondence
- 13-1 Correspondence
Date: 1940 - 1944
- 13-2 Correspondence
Date: 1945 - 1951
- 13-3 Miscellaneous correspondence
Date: 1952 - 1969
- 13-4 to 13-5 S.K. Ratcliffe Fund
S.K. Ratcliffe was a British writer, critic and
lecturer. At the age of 87 he was in failing health and financial distress.
LaRue Brown along with C.C. Burlingham and Felix Frankfurter mounted a campaign
to solicit contributions from Ratcliffe's American friends in order to make him
a Christmas gift that would mitigate his financial distress.
- 13-6 Charles C. Burlingham.
- Series VI. BIOGRAPHICAL MISCELLANY
- 13-7 to 13-9 Phillips Exeter Academy
Date: 1897 - 1900
- 14-1 to 14-3 Harvard University
Date: 1900 - 1914
- 14-5 Clippings: Exeter, Harvard, World War I
- 14-6 to 14-7 Official appointments
- 14-7 Additional diplomas, legal memorabilia. Included in this
folder is L.B.'s personal list of the cases he argued before the
U.S. Supreme Court as Assistant Attorney General
of the United States in
Date: 1917 - 1918.
- 14-8 25th reunion,
Harvard College, Class of
Date: 1904, 1929
- 14-9 Dinners and events,
Date: 1930's and
- 15-1 Miscellanies
Date: 1930 - 1960
- 15-2 Phillips Exeter Alumni Activities,
Date: 1950's and
- 15-3 55th reunion,
Harvard College, Class of
Date: 1904, 1959
- 15-4 60th reunion,
Harvard College, Class of
Date: 1904, 1964
- 15-5 Harvard College, Class of
Date: 1904, alumni miscellany
- 15-6 to 15-7 Harvard Law School alumni activities
- 15-8 Miscellanies,
Date: 1920 - 1969
- 15-9 Photos of L.B. and family members
- 16-1 to 16-14 Transcripts of taped reminiscences of L.B.
- 16-1 Introduction. New Haven case. Appointment as Assistant
Attorney General during World War I.
- 16-2 Continuation of work as Assistant Attorney General, including
trip to Europe,
- 16-3 Travel - California trip, etc.
- 16-4 Regional Loyalty Board; Voluntary Defenders,
Date: 1938 - 1962; Bar Association, A.D.A.,
Friends of Framingham, etc.
- 16-5 Legal work; teaching; suffrage movement; WTU League,
- 16-6 Squam Lake Engineering Summer School and West
- 16-7 Miscellania:
Mass. Motor Truck Club; Framingham Gas case; FDR
in Albany; etc.
- 16-9 U.S. Railroad Administration; McAdoo; FDR;
Jefferson Society; etc.
- 16-10 Places and vacations; cruises; etc.
- 16-11 Theatre; opera; etc.; College
- 16-12 Mainly England and the War [World War II]
- 16-13 London and War work [World War II]
- 17-1 Peters, Andrew J., clippings
- 17-2 Committee to Defend America
- 17-3 Boston Committee on Foreign Policy,
Date: 1945 - 1948
- 17-4 to 17-5 Texmass Petrolium,
Date: 1946 - 1948
- 17-6 National Council of American - Soviet Friends,
Date: 1947 - 1948
- 17-7 Rio De Janeiro trip,
- 17-8 Adeli Stevenson Speech,
- 17-9 White River Natural Gas,
Date: 1955 - 1963
- 17-10 Odds and ends,
- Series VII. ADDENDA: CORRESPONDENCE, MISCELLANY
- 18-7 Correspondence T - Z
- 18-8 Letters and mementoes of LaRue Brown's school and college
- 18-9 Miscellaneous correspondence,
Date: 1913-1970, some undated Includes photos, printed
items, invitation to JFK inauguration, misc. newspaper clippings
- 19 Perpetual diaries of LaRue Brown
5 v., not placed in folders
- v. 1 1926-1935
- v. 2 1936-1952
- v. 3 1953-1960
- v. 4 1961-1966
- v. 5 1967 - 9 Feb. 1969
Diaries are engagement calendars rather than "diaries". Entries record
trips, weather, family events.
- The Pean, v. XVI
Phillips Exeter Academy. LaRue Brown member of
senior class. Inscribed on fly-leaf in LB's hand: H. L. Brown
Exeter 1900. LB's
individual class photo on p. 13, with handwritten addition: "Kid",
Exeter-Harvard Debating Team.
- 20 2 Masonic citations for LaRue Brown, one for Third Degree
Mason, one for Royal Arch Mason (A.L. 5907). Boston.
- Series VIII. PAIGE BOXES
- Paige Box # 2
- (1) Miscellaneous briefs and records of cases in which L.B.
- (2) Miscellaneous writings and reports by L.B.,
- (3) 3x5 index card file of cases argued before
U.S. Supreme Court, compiled by
- Paige Box # 3
- LaRue Brown. LABOR INJUNCTIONS IN MASSACHUSETTS. Boxton,
- LaRue Brown. "
Massachusetts and the Minimum Wage", in
THE COST OF LIVING, vol XLVIII (
Date: July, 1913) of
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social
Sciences (Whole No. 137)
- ADKINS v. CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL (District of Columbia Minimum
U.S. Supreme Court, O.T.
Date: 1922; nos. 795 and 796. Briefs for
Felix Frankfurter, of Counsel.
- GAINER v. DOHRMAN (Minimum Wage Cases for women workers)
Supreme Court of California. Brief on Behalf of
Amici Curiae Supporting Respondents' Contention. Felix
Frankfurter, Counsel (no
- Walker D. Hines. WAR HISTORY OF AMERICAN
RAILROADS. New Haven,
Date: 1928. [inside cover: Compliments of Walker D.
Hines, and D. and LB book plate]
- James C. Bonbright. PUBLIC UTILITIES AND THE
NATIONAL POWER POLICIES. New York,
Date: 1940. [On fly lead: To Mr. LaRue Brown with the
cordial good wishes of
James C. Bonbright]
- The Power Survey of the Twentieth Century Fund. THE POWER
INDUSTRY AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST. New York,
Date: 1944. [LaRue Brown member of the
Power Committee of T.C. Fund]
- The Power Survey of the Twentieth Century Fund. ELECTRIC
POWER AND GOVERNMENT POLICY. New York,
Date: 1948. [LaRue Brown member of
The Power Committee].