Scope and Contents of the Collection
The papers document the professional, public service, and personal activities of Dwight W. Morrow (1873-1931). They reflect Morrow's multiple roles and commitments as lawyer, international financier, statesman, public servant, alumnus, board member, and family man. A chronology of his formal activities is available.
The 124 linear feet of materials include: extensive correspondence; memoranda and reports; subject files; meeting minutes; speech transcripts and printed articles; scrapbooks; clippings files; family financial records; photographs; and some artifacts. The material dates from 1877 to 1954, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1900 to 1931. The papers' fullest coverage is of Morrow's work as a partner at J.P. Morgan & Co. (1914-27) and as ambassador to Mexico (1927-30).
Morrow's career in finance and diplomacy brought him into the national and international arena during the first three decades of the twentieth century. His entry into the J.P. Morgan & Co. banking firm in 1914 received national attention. At J.P. Morgan & Co., his assignments included financing loans for the European war, the Cuban government, and New York City; capitalization of the Kennecott Copper Corporation; refinancing the Interborough Rapid Transit Company; the mutualization of the Equitable Life Assuarnce Society; as well as his more routine responsibilities and other projects.
The issues he faced as ambassador to Mexico are also well documented in the papers. These include matters such as agrarian reform and U.S. citizen landownership; Mexican Church-State tensions; American oil claims and other interests; and Mexican government solvency.
Additional responsibilities and activities reflected in the papers include trusteeships at Amherst College, Union Theological Seminary, The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and elsewhere; committee work for the New Jersey Prison Inquiry Commission, the National War Savings Committee for New Jersey, the President's Aircraft Board, and the Regional Plan of New York and its Environs; his position as delegate to the London Naval Conference; and his civic work in Englewood, New Jersey. Some of Morrow's activities are less well represented in the papers. These include his work as delegate at the 1928 Pan American Conference, as U.S. representative with the Allied Maritime Transport Council, and as U.S. Senator from New Jersey. In addition, although there is family-related material in the papers, the bulk of it concerns financial transactions.
Morrow's positions on political and economic questions are easily traced through his speeches and writings; they are also discernable throughout his correspondence. The clippings files and scrapbooks provide chronological and topical access to the public reporting on his career and activities.
The career, civic, political, and personal aspects of his life were closely intertwined. Among the correspondence of significance or magnitude in the papers are letters to and from: Charles T. Burnett (AC 1895), J. Reuben Clark, Jr., C. A. Coffin, Calvin Coolidge (AC 1895), Thomas Cochran, Paul D. Cravath, Charles F. Dawes, Johnston and Robert deForest, T. Coleman du Pont, Walter E. Edge, Martin Egan, S. Parker Gilbert, Daniel and Harry Guggenheim, Will H. Hayes, Thomas W. Lamont, George D. Olds, Sir Arthur Salter, Richard B. Scandrett, Jr. (AC 1911), A. H. Springer, and Frank W. Stearns (AC 1878). There is also extensive correspondence with individuals representing Amherst College; the Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor; Bankers Trust Company; The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; the New Jersey, USA and International Chambers of Commerce; the Daniel Guggenheim Foundation for the Promotion of Aeronautics, Inc.; General Electric Company; the International Committee of Bankers on Mexico; J.P. Morgan & Co.; the New Jersey Prison Inquiry Commission; Reed Simpson & Bartlett; the Russell Sage Foundation; and the Smithsonian Institution.
Morrow's circle of colleagues and associates was extensive, and his responsibilities and interests were varied. A single letter from a business associate might refer to Morrow's work on a civic board, expound on a political topic, and express greetings from a mutual friend; such a letter is most likely to be filed by the name of the correspondent but might instead be filed by the name of the correspondent's business affiliation or by the name of the board or by the topic or by the mutual friend's name. Because of Morrow's overlapping involvement with professional, public service and personal commitments, the researcher should search all possible names and topics when seeking access to any given subject.
This collection is organized into sixteen series: