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A-153; M-136

Weis, Jessica, 1901-1963. Papers, 1922-1963: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America


The collection was reprocessed and microfilmed as part of a Schlesinger Library/University Publications of America project.
Radcliffe College
July 1992

© 1992 Radcliffe College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: A-153; M-136
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: Jessica Weis, 1901-1963
Title: Papers, 1922-1963
Quantity: 7 cartons, 1/2 file box, 4 folio folders, 1 folio+ folder, 1 oversize folder
Abstract: Correspondence, speeches, articles, etc., of Jessica McCullough Weis, active in the Republican party on the county, state and national levels.

Processing Information:

Reprocessed: July 1992
By: Bert Hartry

Acquisition Information:

Accession numbers: 831, 1328, 74-343
These papers were given to the Schlesinger Library in 1964 by the estate of Jessica Weis, in 1968 by the University of Rochester Library, and in 1974 by Charles M. Weis, JW's son.

Access Restrictions:


Preferred citation for publication:

Jessica Weis Papers, 1922-1963; item description, dates. A-153, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Jessica ("Judy") Weis, Republican Party activist and member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was born July 8, 1901, in Chicago, Ill., the daughter of Jessie (Martin) and Charles H. McCullough, Jr. After attending elementary school in Buffalo, N.Y., she went to Miss Wright's School in Bryn Mawr, Pa., and Madame Rieffel's School in New York City. In 1921 she married Charles W. Weis, Jr., and moved to Rochester, N.Y., where she raised three children, joined the Junior League and various other charitable organizations, started the Chatterbox Club (amateur theatricals), and became increasingly active in the Republican Party. JW always encouraged women to be active in politics, as party workers and as candidates for public office. She supported the Equal Rights Amendment and often participated in the annual Rochester celebration honoring Susan B. Anthony. Her busy political life is reflected in the following chronology.


More biographical information is available in this collection. See also Who Was Who in America (1961-1968), and A Minority of Members: Women in the U.S. Congress, by Hope Chamberlin (New York: Praeger, 1973).


The Jessica Weis papers have been divided into four series:
These papers yield almost no information about JW's family or her personal life (childhood, adolescence, education, husband and children). There are, however, several letters to and from her mother, Jessie Martin Newhall (JMN), and some to or from other family members (see #1-2, 22, 40, 45, 62, 90-91). There is only a small amount of material about JW's activities outside the Republican Party.
The papers do provide information about JW's involvement in politics and the Republican Party. They document conventions and campaigns (1936-1956), the participation of women, requests for patronage, and her two terms in Congress. The congressional papers reveal JW's and her constituents' stands on a variety of issues, and give some idea of the volume of mail and subjects dealt with by a congressional office.
Series I, Personal and biographical (#1-13), includes the following in the order listed: personal correspondence, calendars, clippings, photographs, and financial correspondence.
Series II, Non-party activities (#14-20), contains correspondence, lists, reports, publications, and other papers of some of the organizations to which JW belonged and agencies to which she was appointed. Non-partisan political appointments are included in this series. The series is arranged alphabetically by name of organization or agency.
Series III, Republican Party (#21-97), is divided into four sections: JW speeches and articles, political correspondence, presidential campaigns, and other party functions and organizations. The first and third sections are arranged chronologically, the second and fourth by subject or organization, and chronologically within most of these categories. The series includes correspondence, memorabilia, songs, printed material, reports, lists, press releases, programs, invitations, etc.
JW often participated in campaigns simultaneously with other political activities. Researchers interested in a particular period should therefore look in all four sections and in Series IV.
Series IV, House of Representatives (#98-427), makes up the bulk of the collection and consists mainly of correspondence. The processor assumed that the arrangement was that of JW's congressional office and has preserved it as much as possible.
The series is divided into five sections. The first consists of JW's letters (carbon copies) to constituents, other members of Congress, government departments, consulates, non-governmental organizations, and the Republican Party. The arrangement is chronological by year, and alphabetical by name of recipient within each year.
Section two includes correspondence about military academy appointments, immigration and naturalization problems, and requests for employment assistance. The arrangement is alphabetical by name of applicant in each category.
The third section is correspondence with the executive branch and is arranged alphabetically by name of department.
Section four concerns legislation and includes the following in the order listed: correspondence, arranged alphabetically by legislative issue; Congressional bills and related correspondence, arranged mainly by date of legislative filing (correspondence on a subject may precede the actual bill); JW's voting record in 1961, arranged chronologically; JW's remarks about Susan B. Anthony for the Congressional Record; House Committee on the District of Columbia resolution about JW; and some office records, including a visitors' book, supply records, and telephone bills.
Many prominent politicians and a variety of organizations wrote to JW. Not all are included in the added catalog entries; researchers should therefore refer to the index in the printed guide. Letters found grouped by subject or by individual were kept together and placed chronologically on the basis of the earliest item in each group, even though not all letters on a particular subject or with an individual were filed in this way by JW's staff.
In the case of government and organizational publications that did not contain information about or by JW, only the covers and/or title pages were retained and microfilmed.
Most clippings were discarded after microfilming.


Additional catalog entries

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.
Adkins, Bertha Sheppard, 1906-1983
Blyley, Katherine Gillette, -1961
Bolton, Frances Payne Bingham, 1885-1977
Brownell, Herbert, 1904-
Colgate University
Dewey, Thomas E. (Thomas Edmund), 1902-1971
Dulles, John Foster, 1888-1959
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969
Eisenhower, Mamie Doud, 1896-
Gannett, Frank E. (Frank Ernest), 1876-1957
Hobby, Oveta Culp, 1905-
Howard, Katherine Graham, 1898-
Keating, Kenneth B. (Kenneth Barnard), 1900-1975
Le Boutillier, Cornelia Geer, 1896-
Murphy, George Lloyd, 1902-
National Federation of Republican Women
National Woman's Party
Newhall, Jessie Martin
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-
Priest, Ivy Baker, 1905-1975
Republican National Committee (U.S.)
Republican Party (N.Y.). State Committee
Scranton, Marion Margery Warren, 1884-1960
Smith, Margaret Chase, 1897-
Todd, Jane Hedges
Warren, Nina Palmquist
Wheaton, Anne Williams, 1892-1977
Williams, Sadye Johnson Carter
Willkie, Wendell L. (Wendell Lewis), 1892-1944
Women's National Republican Club
Bills, Legislative--United States
Campaign songs
Elected officials--New York (State)
Electioneering--United States
Emigration and immigration--Government policy
Federal aid to education--United States
Legislators--United States
Military education--United States
New York (State)--Politics and government
Patronage, Political--United States
Politics, Practical--United States
Presidents--United States--Election
Republican Party (N.Y.)
Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- )
United States--Politics and government--20th century
Unites States. Congress--Constituent communication
United States. Congress--Private bills
Women in politics--United States