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.
© 1992 Radcliffe College
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.
Reprocessed: July 1992
By: Bert Hartry
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. THIS COLLECTION IS ONLY AVAILABLE ON MICROFILM. WHEN REQUESTING MICROFILM
MATERIAL YOU MUST USE THE MICROFILM NUMBER AND THE REEL NUMBER. THIS INFORMATION CAN
BE FOUND IN THE BINDER, "SL/UPA POLITICS PROJECT REEL GUIDE M-136."
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.
- 1920s-early 1930s
- Neighborhood canvassing, ringing doorbells, organizing women
- Appointed vice-chair of the Republican Citizens Finance Committee
- Organized motorcades to campaign for Alfred M. Landon
- Member of Advisory Committee of National Federation of Women's Republican Clubs
- Vice-chair of Monroe County Republican Committee
- Monroe County delegate to Republican Educational League Council of N.Y.
- Member of Committee of 48, which notified Wendell Willkie of his nomination
- Delegate-at-large from N.Y. to Republican National Convention
- President of National Federation of Women's Republican Clubs, addressed meetings in
- ca. 1940
- Became a member of state Republican Executive Committee
- Republican National Committeewoman from N.Y.
- Delegate, and vice-chair of N.Y. delegation, to Republican National Convention
- Associate manager of the Thomas Dewey/
Earl Warren campaign
- Delegate, and vice-chair of N.Y. delegation, to Republican National Convention; seconded
- Member of Republican National Committee's Executive Committee
- Delegate, and vice-chair of N.Y. delegation, to the Republican National Convention;
member of caucus that selected vice-presidential candidate
- Appointed by President Eisenhower to Advisory Committee of Federal Civil Defense Administration
- Named a U.S. delegate to Tenth Assembly of Inter-American Commission of Women (unable
- Appointed to Committee on Arrangements and chair of Sub-committee on  Convention
- Subject of Arlene Francis NBC Home Show television series
- Delegate, and vice-chair of N.Y. delegation, to Republican National Convention
- Husband, Charles W. Weis, Jr., dies
- Elected to U.S. House of Representatives
- Assigned to House Committee on Science and Astronautics
- Ill, does not run for third term
- Dies May 1 in Rochester, N.Y.
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:
- I. Personal and biographical, #1-13
- II. Non-party activities, #14-20
- III. Republican Party, #21-97
- IV. House of Representatives, #98-427
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
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.
- SERIES I. PERSONAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL
- 1-3: Personal correspondence
- 1. ALS, TLS to JW from son (Charles), mother (Jessie Martin Newhall), 1941, 1952.
- 2. In praise of JW, most to JMN, 1941, 1944, n.y.
- 3. Miscellaneous, 1942-1958 (scattered), n.d.
- 5. Clippings, including obituary, 1937-1963, n.d.
- 11. Ink and watercolor drawing of JW, n.d.
- 12-13: Financial correspondence
- 12. Re: household, mortgage; includes checkbook, receipts, insurance policy, 1922, 1951-1958,
- 13. Re: stocks (printed), 1951-1960
- SERIES II. NON-PARTY ACTIVITIES
- 14. American Cancer Society: correspondence, 1953
- 15. American Red Cross: correspondence, fundraising quota lists, reports, citation, etc.,
See also #16.
- 16. Federal Civil Defense Administration: corres-pondence, lists, security questionnaire,
agenda, newsletter, 1953-1958, n.d.
- 17. Inter-American Commission of Women: correspondence, report, 1953-1955
- 18. League of Women Voters: expense receipts, Blue Book for Jurors, 1925, 1941
- 19. National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs: list of officers,
- 20. New York State Sesquicentennial Commission: correspondence, report, 1953-1955
- SERIES III. REPUBLICAN PARTY
- 22-27: Political correspondence
- 22-24: General, including Republican National Committee
- 23. 1954 - Feb. 1957; includes TLS from National Woman's Party re: Equal Rights Amendment.
- 24. Mar. 1957 - 1958, n.d.; includes notes, memos.
- 25-27: Re: patronage, including appointment of women to government and party positions, résumés.
- 27. 1954-1958, n.d.; includes list, "Top Women Appointments in the Eisenhower Administration."
- 28-77: Presidential campaigns
- 28-31v: 1936
- 29. Tickets, song sheet, Franklin D. Roosevelt parody, invitations, agenda
- 30m. Ribbon, badges, etc.
- 31v. Program: N.Y. State Republican Convention
- 32-37: 1940
- 32. Handbook, calendar, etc., 1939-1940
- 33-35: Correspondence
- 33-34: Re: nomination of Wendell L. Willkie (WLW)
- 35. Re: convention, 1940-1941
- 36. Convention: JW credentials, songs, etc.
- 38-39: 1944
- 38. Correspondence; includes JW notes, Thomas E. Dewey (TED) song.
- 39. Printed, including TED itinerary
- 40-53: 1948
- 40-46: Correspondence; includes office memos, other to other.
- 40. Jan.-July; includes letters from others to JW's mother, husband, and from sister to
- 43. Sept. 1-17; includes publicity staff meeting minutes.
- 46. Women's Club of America chain letter re: a woman for president
- 47. N.Y. Women's Committee for Dewey for President: convention report
- 48. Women's Division, Republican National Committee: Lists: press and radio women luncheon
meeting, city and state Republican women, "Women Senatorial and Congressional Candidates"
[Republican and Democrat]; Expense reports; Brochures
- 49. List of N.Y. delegates to convention, TED campaign material
- 50-51: National Republican Congressional Committee: state-by-state list of primary candidates
of all parties
- 50. Arizona - North Carolina
- 52-53: Republican National Committee material
- 52. Research Division reports, press releases, brochures, etc.; includes excerpts from
- 53. "Summary of Chief Political Polls," Sept. 26 - Oct. 21
- 54-64: 1952
- 54-62: Correspondence, most urging JW to vote for Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE) at convention
- 62. Post convention, July 1952 - 1953
- 63. Inauguration: invitation, program, etc., 1953
- 64. Miscellaneous: George L. Murphy convention recommendations, DDE pamphlet, article
and report re: Texas delegation, polling instructions, etc.
- 65-77: 1956
- 65-69: Correspondence (JW member of Arrangements Committee, chair of Sub-committee on Convention
Program Planning), including other to other
- 66-69: 1956
- 66. Jan. - Mar. 20; includes JW report (Jan. 30).
- 70. "Work and Win!," handbook for women
- 71-72: Arrangements Committee: agendas, reports, resolutions, schedule, lists, etc.
- 73. Republican Women's National Conference: program, badge, newsletter, etc.
- 74. Press releases, 1955-1956
- 75. "G.O.P. Fact Sheet," Jan.-Feb. 1956
- 76. Convention "Directory"
- 77. Invitations to inaugural events, 1957
- 78-95o: Other party organizations and activities
- 78-83f+: Monroe County (N.Y.) Republican Committee
- 78. Correspondence, minutes, delegate certificates, etc., 1934-1941, n.d.
- 79-83f+: Removed from 1953 scrapbook, most re: testimonial dinner for JW
- 81f. Telegrams, clippings, TED speech, JW biographical information
- 84-87: Re: Republican National Committee
See also #22-24, 28-77.
- 84-86: Correspondence
- 84. 1938, 1949-1958; includes JW letter to "Becky," assessing Republican situation state
by state (1949?).
- 85. Re: Republican Women in Industry and Professions, 1954-1956
- 86. Re: Colgate University (Hamilton, N.Y.) Conference on American Foreign Policy, 1955
- 87. Membership lists, minutes, press releases, 1952-1961, n.d.
- 88-95o: Federation of Women's Republican Clubs, including N.Y. State federation.
See also #22-24.
- 88. Programs, reports, lists, constitution, reference manual, 1938-1955 (scattered), n.d.
- 89-93f: Correspondence, most re: May-June 1941 nationwide tour
- 91-93f: Removed from scrapbook; includes empty envelopes.
- 91. To JW from her mother (JMN), two postcards from JW to JMN
- 93f. Correspondence, itinerary, programs, clippings, etc.
- 94. Correspondence, 1953-1954, n.d.
- 95o. Certificate of appreciation from N.Y. federation, 1963
- 96. Correspondence re: women's program at N.Y. State Fair, 1953
- 97. Correspondence re: legal case involving a Rochester, N.Y., postal employee, 1954
- SERIES IV. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 1958-1962
- 98. "Organizational Analysis and Vote History: New York," 1958
- 99-412: Correspondence
- 99. Office of Doorkeeper to JW, 1958
- 100-287: General correspondence: JW letters and telegrams, most to constituents, some to fellow
members of Congress, government agencies, consulates, non-government organizations,
Republican Party (ts. cc.)
- 138-184: 1960
- 169-171: R
- 171. Republican committees: county, state, national
- 172-177: S
- 177. Lists: "same [letters] to all"
- 309-315: Re: immigration and naturalization, 1960-1962.
Scope and Content: Only a sample has been retained. Arranged alphabetically by last name of subject.
See also #100-287, #366-406.
- 334-365: Re: legislation, including printed material; arranged alphabetically by subject.
See also #366-412.
- 334-335. Agriculture, 1959-1961, n.d.
- 338. "Backdoor spending," 1961
- 339. Berlin, 1961
See also #364.
- 341. China, 1960-1961, n.d.
- 344. Depressed areas, 1959-1961
- 345. Economic growth, 1960-1961
- 346-359: Education, most re: federal aid to private and parochial schools
- 346-355: Correspondence
- 346. 1960 - Mar. 11, 1961
- 356. Office analysis of the issue and of above correspondence; speech (by JW?).
- 357-358: Reports, studies
- 358. June-Oct. 1961, n.d.
- 359. Clippings, 1961, n.d.
Discarded after filming.
- 360. Electoral College, 1960-1961
- 361. Federal employees retirement policies, 1961
- 365. Miscellaneous correspondence, 1959-1962
- 366-412: Congressional bills and related correspondence, 1955-1963.
Scope and Content: Most arranged by date of legislative filing, with two exceptions: all bills for the
relief of an individual are placed together, as are two or more bills on the same
subject filed the same year.
- 366-406: Filed by JW
- 366-379: 1959
- 366. H.J. Res. 126, Dedication Day [Nov. 19]
- 367. H.R. 1993, Civil Service Retirement Act amendment
- 368. H.R. 2716, for relief of E. Hollander
- 369. H.R. 2717, for relief of Eber Bros. Wine and Liquor Corp.
- 370. H.R. 2808, Social Security Act amendment
- 371. H.J. Res. 28, H.J. Res. 250, Equal Rights Amendment
- 372. H.R. 3869, re: equal pay for women
- 373. H.R. 4611, line item veto power on appropriation bills
- 374. H.R. 5163, for relief of Rochester Iron and Metal Co.
- 375. H.R. 6121, H.R. 10242 (1962), for relief of P. Pecoraro
- 376. H.R. 7424, for relief of B. Makoul
- 377. H.R. 7425, for relief of H. Ross
- 378. H.R. 8055, for relief of M. Dedetsinas
- 379. H.R. 8840, re: health benefits for government retirees
- 380-389: 1960
- 380. H.R. 9481, H.R. 1597 (1961), for relief of M. Espenscheid
- 381. H.R. 9522, H.R. 9941, Social Security Act amendments
- 382. H.R. 10073, re: postal rates
- 383. H.R. 10161, Congressional Medal of Honor for Dr. Thomas Dooley
- 384. H.R. 10704, Sugar Act amendment
- 385. H.R. 11661, re: health insurance for elderly
- 386. H.R. 12482, re: American Association of University Women tax exemption
- 387. H.R. 13074, Railroad Retirement Act amendment
- 388. H.R. 13235, H.R. 1596 (1961), for relief of A. Folliero
- 389. H.R. 13276, re: tax status of volunteer fire companies
- 390-401: 1961
- 390. H. Res. 64, re: Constitutional amendments and method of presidential elections; includes
JW's statement in support of resolution.
- 391. H.J. Res. 80, Equal Rights Amendment
- 392. H.R. 165, equal pay for women
- 393. H.R. 167, Internal Revenue Code amendment
- 394. H.R. 169, Social Security Act amendment
- 395. H.R. 170, Railroad Retirement Act amendment
- 396. H.R. 1595, H.R. 5734, for relief of Tseng family
- 397. H.R. 4969, for relief of M. Santillo
- 398. H.R. 5733, for relief of B. Heroux
- 399. H.R. 6550, Civil Service Retirement Act amendment
- 400. H.R. 6742, for relief of A. Chiusa
- 401. H.R. 8694, re: Italian-American War Veterans of the U.S.
- 402-405: 1962
- 402. H.R. 10225, re: Georgetown (Washington, D.C.) waterfront
- 403. H.R. 10243, H.R. 13022, for relief of S.C. Shaiou
- 404. H.R. 10349, re: pensions of Congressional Medal of Honor winners
- 405. H.R. 10680, re: tax-exempt status of Inter-national Hod Carriers local
- 406. Filed by JW: bills only, 1959-1962
- 407-412: Filed by others
- 407. S. 2723, 1955, H.R. 1472, 1957: for relief of A.L. De Angelis [Mrs. R. Bohrer]
- 408. H.R. 1011, Federal Airport Act, 1959
- 409-412: 1961
- 409. H.R. 3556, re: humane treatment of animals used in research
- 410. H.R. 5023, Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act amendment
- 411-412: H.R. 6400, re: farm prices and income
- 413-422: JW's voting record: statements, press releases, etc.
- 413. 86th and 87th Congress, 1959-1962 (3x5" cards)
- 414-422: By subject of bill, 1961, arranged chronologically
- 414. Appropriations for House Un-American Activities Committee
- 415. Rules Committee membership
- 418. Unemployment compensation
- 420. Emergency feed grain
- 423. Remarks of JW re: Susan B. Anthony for Congressional Record, Feb. 15, 1962
- 424f. House Committee on the District of Columbia: resolution re: JW, 1962
- 425v-427: Congressional office records
- 425v. Visitors' book, 1959-1962
- 426-427: 1962
- 426. Stationery and supplies: orders, invoices
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-
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
Elected officials--New York (State)
Emigration and immigration--Government policy
Federal aid to education--United States
Military education--United States
New York (State)--Politics and government
Patronage, Political--United States
Politics, Practical--United States
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