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Morgenthau family papers

Document | Accession Number: 2015.255.1

The Morgenthau family collection documents the interpersonal relationships between members of the family of Henry Jr. and Elinor Morgenthau and their children, Henry III, Robert, and Joan.

Series 1, a chronological series, includes family documents, miscellaneous correspondence, clippings, school papers, publications, invitations, calling cards, business materials, photographs, and other ephemera collected by members of the family throughout the 20th century. Henry Morgenthau III is the nexus of the collection; therefore many of the documents from the 1930s relate to his schooling, the 1940s relate to his wartime military service, and post-war folders to his business ventures and work with public radio and television. The 1930s include his diary written on a trip to Europe, including references to meetings with Ambassadors Steinhardt and Bullit, and conversations with Martha Dodd. The folders related to Princeton University include an anonymous anti-Semitic note sent to Henry III, and the folders related to the late 1930s include correspondence from Herbert Lehman, governor of New York, to his niece, Elinor Morgenthau, about sponsoring German relatives seeking to immigrate from Nazi Germany.

Series 2 contains personal correspondence between members of the family. This series includes love letters between Henry Morgenthau Jr. and Elinor Fatman prior to their marriage, including letters sent from Henry while visiting his father while Henry Sr. was stationed in Constantinople (now Istanbul). The correspondence clearly shows how close the family remained, even after the children in college and serving in the military. Letters between Henry Morgenthau Sr. and Henry Morgenthau, Jr. in 1933-1936 include personal business discussions, as well as materials sent to father and son, including correspondence from people in Germany seeking assistance with immigration. In 1944-1945, Henry Morgenthau Jr. dictated letters to his sons about projects at the Treasury Department, including War Bonds, Bretton Woods, and the Morgenthau Plan for post-war Germany. As Elinor Morgenthau was hospitalized in Florida from March-May 1945, Henry’s correspondence to her and to his children document his personal feelings about the end of the war, the death of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and his resignation from the Treasury Department in July 1945.

Series 3 includes invitations and parking instructions sent to Henry Morgenthau III for White House functions and dinners, most of them informal. This series also includes tickets to inaugural events for Franklin Roosevelt and for Herbert Lehman, as well as original and copies of correspondence between the Roosevelts and Morgenthaus, dating from 1914-1963.

Series 4 contains materials collected or created by Henry Morgenthau, III, while researching his manuscript, “Mostly Morgenthaus.” The collection includes transcripts of oral histories conducted by Morgenthau with members of his extended family, with Treasury Department staff members, and with family friends. This series also includes original correspondence and documents related to these individuals.

Series 5 relates to the actual research, writing, and publication of “Mostly Morgenthaus,” written by Henry Morgenthau III, which was published by Ticknor and Fields in 1991. Subseries 1, the research series, includes extensive family research, correspondence, clippings, articles, photocopies of archival documents, handwritten and typed notes, and other material gathered prior to writing the text of the book. Subseries 2 includes drafts of various chapters and of the manuscript as a whole. Subseries 3 relates to the actual editing, publication, and publicity surrounding the book.

Series 6 includes a series Colliers magazine articles written by Henry Morgenthau, Jr. in 1947, a New York Times magazine article written by Henry Morgenthau, Jr. in 1949, and a “Mostly Morgenthaus” galley.

Series 7, consisting of digital copies of typed memoirs written by Henry Morgenthau III, is restricted.

Series 8 through 11 consist of photographic materials, albums, and scrapbooks documenting the Morgenthau family and their personal and professional lives. There is a great deal of overlap among these series in terms of subjects, individuals, and events.

Series 8 contains personal and official photographs of members of the Morgenthau family, friends, and colleagues and significant locations in Morgenthau family history. Individuals include Henry Morgenthau, Sr.; Henry Morgenthau, Jr.; Henry Morgenthau III; Lazarus, Josephine, Alma, Elinor, Robert, Joan, and Ruth Morgenthau; Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt; John F. Kennedy; Treasury Department officials; and Marlene Dietrich. Locations include Krumbach, Germany, Goodhart family home, Fishkill Farms, and Hupfel House.

Series 9 includes miscellaneous photographs, negatives, and corresponding materials. They depict some of the people in Series 8 and document Princeton summer camp, Deerfield Academy, and travel to Luxembourg, Greece, Germany, the United Kingdom, Athens, Munich, United Kingdom, Martha’s Vineyard, Jamaica, France, and Sri Lanka.

Series 10 contains oversize photographs, photograph albums, and scrapbooks including photographs and newspaper clippings documenting many of the people in Series 8 and Series 9 as well as Morris and Lisette Fatman, Msgr John Patrick Carroll-Abbing, the Mayer Lehman family, Harriet Haas, and Roosevelt’s cabinet members. Photographs also depict a November 1945 dinner honoring Henry Morgenthau, Jr. and travel to Israel, Arizona, Greece, Cleveland, Canada, and Alaska.

inclusive:  1860-2005
bulk:  1930-1950
61 boxes
15 oversize boxes
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Henry Morgenthau III
Record last modified: 2021-11-09 11:47:48
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