˜

 

The University of Toledo Archives
Manuscript Collection

 

Finding Aid

Randolph C. Downes Papers, 1930s to 1971

UM-61

Size: 23 linear feet


Provenance: Unknown

Access: Open

Related Collections:  

Processing Note: The notecards included in this collection are extremely fragile

Condition: Good to Poor

Copyright: The literary rights to this collection are assumed to rest with the person(s) responsible for the production of the particular items within the collection, or with their heirs or assigns.  Researchers bear full legal responsibility for the acquisition to publish from any part of said collection per Title 17, United States Code.  The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections may reserve the right to intervene as intermediary at its own discretion.

Completed by: Tana Mosier Porter, December 1992; Savannah Xaver, February, 2016

Historical/Biographical Sketch

Noted historian Dr. Randolph Chandler Downes taught at the University of Toledo for 25 years from 1946 to 1971. Born in South Norwalk, Connecticut, on July 26th, 1901, he was the son of Charles and Sarah Downes. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1923, and earned an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin the following year.


He married Marie McKitrick in 1925 and began his teaching career that year at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio, remaining there until 1927, when he took a position at The Ohio State University and began work on his Ph.D. Ohio State awarded him his doctorate in 1929 and he joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh. During his years at Pittsburgh, he served as a fellow of the Social Science Research Council and a research associate with the historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. He won promotion to associate professor in 1932. Downes left Pittsburgh in 1936 to take a position at Centenary Junior College in Hackettstown, New Jersey. A year later, he went to Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York, where he taught until 1940.


During the early 1940s, Dr. Downes worked for the Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration in Akron and Cincinnati, and as a state research supervisor in Columbus. He lectured at Smith College from 1943 until 1946, when he joined the University of Toledo.


From 1947 until 1960, Downes served in a dual capacity as University of Toledo faculty member and director of the Historical Society of Northwest Ohio (now Maumee Valley Historical Society) and editor if its journal, the Northwest Ohio Quarterly. He continued as editor of the journal until shortly before his death.


During his career, Downes published more than 45 articles and 13 books. He specialized first in Native American and frontier Ohio history and later in Northwest Ohio and the Maumee Valley, before turning to the study of Warren G. Harding in the mid-1950s. His books include: Frontier Ohio (1934), Guidebook of Historic Sites in Western Pennsylvania (1938), Council Fires on the Upper Ohio: A Narrative of Indian Affairs in the Upper Ohio Valley until 1795 (1940), Ashland’s Eternity Acres (1942), The Conquest, Beginning to 1812 (1948), Canal Days, 1812-1850 (1949), Lake Port, 1850-1875 (1950), the 3 volume History of Lake Shore Ohio (1952), Industrial Beginnings, 1875-1900 (1954), The Maumee Valley, U.S.A. (1955), The Evolution of Ohio County Boundaries (1970), and The Rise of Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1865-1920 (1970). In 1946 he published his “Preliminary Report on the Navajo” for the New York Association on American Indian Affairs, resulting in his employment as a consultant, revising a ten-year plan for the Navajo Indians for the Secretary of the Interior.


From the mid-1950s through 1970, Downes concentrated his research on the life of Warren G. Harding. Largely through his efforts, the Harding Papers, previously kept inaccessible by the Harding Memorial Association, were opened to researchers as part of the collection of the Ohio Historical Society. Downes was among the first scholars to study the Harding Papers. The Ohio State University Press published his 700 page book in 1970. Downes was angered by what he believed to be censorship, when several Harding family members were allowed to edit the work prior to publication. Dr. George Harding III, nephew to the former president, claimed the family had the right to edit based on the doctrine of literary rights, and Weldon A. Kefauver, editor of the OSU Press, agreed. Downes was further angered by what he perceived as deliberate efforts to delay publication. However, because he was anxious to see the book published and was discouraged by a lack of interest by other publishers, he agreed to the editing. The book received generally positive reviews, and was recognized as a complete and detailed account of Harding’s career up until his presidential election. Downes was lauded for his scholarly and thorough methodology and for his largely unbiased interpretations, but some criticized the book’s length and overly detailed narratives.
Downes retired from the University of Toledo in 1971. The Association of Ohio Historical Societies gave him its Award of Achievement for “his painstaking research of many aspects of Ohio History, the authorship of many books and other publications, and his diligent efforts as editor of the Northwest Ohio Quarterly”. In the same year, the Ohio Academy of History honored him with its Distinguished Service Award for his “outstanding lifelong contributions to the field of history”. The University of Toledo awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree in 1974. He held lifetime honorary memberships in the Ohio Historical Society, Phi Alpha Theta history honorary, and the Maumee Valley Historical Society which named him Editor Emeritus of the Northwest Ohio Quarterly. He also belonged to Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the Ohioana Library Association.


Randolph Downes died on July 14th, 1975.

Scope and Content Note

The Randolph C. Downes Papers care divided into six series: Personal and Professional, University of Toledo, Historical Society, Harding, Local History, and Black History. Each series relates to a major subject area in the collection.

Series are arranged either chronologically or in the order donated. Each series also has a miscellaneous file that contains material that would not fit with other files in series.

Series List

S1

Personal and Professional
Includes material on Downes’ life and his professional activities (other than those documented in the other five series). Personal materials include information on his family, finances, and correspondence with friends. Professional materials, including considerable correspondence and several speeches and papers, document proposed and complete works, publication of his 3 volume History of Lake Shore Ohio and various organizations

S2

University of Toledo
Documents his career as a faculty member at UT, committee work as well as class lecture notes and student correspondence. A grade book dating 1949-1950 is restricted under federal laws protecting the confidentiality of student academic information.

S3

Historical Society

 

 Pertains to Downes’ tenure as director of the Historical Society of Northwest Ohio (now the Maumee Valley Historical Society), much of it related to the Society’s publications, the Northwest Ohio Quarterly, and Ohio Cues. Files from 1960 document Downes’ ouster as director of the Society.

S4

Warren G. Harding

 

The most extensive series in the collection. It documents Downe’s research on President Warren G. Harding and the writing of his book, The Rise of Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1865-1920. Research correspondence includes letters to and from noted historian Ray Allen Billington, Francis Russel, and Kenneth Duckett. The Duckett correspondence relates to the controversial acquisition of the Harding Papers by the Ohio Historical Society. Correspondence with the Harding Memorial Association includes letters from members of the Harding family about access to the papers, especially controversial letters from Harding’s Marion mistress. Correspondence is also included from Nan Britton, who claimed to be the mother of Harding’s child. The remainder of the series consists of research materials and several drafts of the book. Boxes 14-18 contain Downes’ handwritten research notes. The notes are on highly acidic paper and are often written in pencil. They are deteriorating, fragile, and difficult to read.

S5

Local History

 

Consists of research notes, apparently for Industrial Beginnings and two folders of citations, possibly for the next book in the Lucas County series.

S6

Black History

 

Documents Downes’ final project, uncompleted at his death. It includes proposals and correspondence and two boxes of notes.

  

Folder List

Box

Folder

Item Description

 

 

S1. Personal and Professional

 

 

Personal

1

1

Family Background

1

2

Family correspondence

 

 

Financial Matters

1

3

Paul

1

4

Home

1

5

Automotive

1

6

Miscellaneous

 

 

Correspondence

1

7

Friends

1

8

Postcards

1

9

Haupt Correspondence

1

10

Get Well Cards, Feb. 1969

1

11

Miscellaneous

 

 

Professional

 

 

Proposed Work

1

12

Ohio Government

1

13-14

Summit County Government

1

15-16

County Government

1

17

Lucas County Government

1

18

Financial Support Requests

1

19

Misc. Proposals

1

20

Social Science Research Council Project

1

21

Publishing Information

1

22

Historian

 

 

Completed Work

1

23

American Democracy

1

24

Maumee Valley History

1

25

Education

1

26

Charles Foster

1

27

Ohio Centennial

1

28

William Oliver

1

29

Ohio History

1

30

Follett Publishing Company

1

31

Think Magazine

1

32

Journal Articles, Council Files

1

34

Short Papers

1

35

Book Reviews

1

36

Lucas County

1

37

Toledo Politics

1

38

Master’s Thesis

 

 

Rural Directories

1

39

Correspondence

1

40

Notes and Questionnaires

1

41

Allen County

1

42

Ashtabula County

1

43

Auglaize County

1

44

Butler County

1

45

Darke County

1

46

Defiance County

1

47

Fayette County

1

48

Fulton County

1

49

Greene County

1

50

Hancock County

1

51

Hardin County

1

52

Henry County

1

53

Lake County

1

54

Logan County

1

55

Muskingum County

1

56

Ottawa County

1

57

Paulding County

1

58

Portage County

1

59

Putnam County

1

60

Sandusky County

1

61

Shelby County

1

62

Trumbull County

1

63

Tuscarawas County

1

64

Van Wert County

1

65

Wood County

1

66

Michigan

 

 

Lake Shore Ohio

1

67

Business Arrangements

1

68

Table of Contents

1

69

Correspondence, 1950

1

70

Correspondence, 1951

1

71

Correspondence, 1952

1

72

Correspondence, 1953

1

73

Correspondence, 1954-56

1

74

BGSU Summer Course

 

 

Ohio History Test

1

75

Exam Booklets, 1948-1963

1

76

1964 exam

1

77

1965 exam

 

 

Speeches

1

78

Toledo Plan for Local history, Williamsburg

1

79

Ohio Constitution, League of Women Voters

1

80

Miscellaneous

1

81

Uncle Galahad, Unitarian Fellowship, Lima OH

1

82

Uncle Galahad, notes

1

83

Your City Reports, WSPD-TV

1

84

Ohio and Birth of a Nation, Lakeside, OH

1

85

Newspapers Make History, Sigma Delta Chi

 

 

Correspondence

1

86

Information

1

87

Complaints

1

88

W.N. Woods

1

89

Miscellaneous

1

90

Organizations, A

1

91

Organizations, B-D

1

92

Maumee Valley Historic Highway Association

1

93

Organizations, M-U

1

94

Ohio Historical Society, Archives

1

95

Ohio Historical Society, Constitution

1

96

Ohio Historical Society, Ohio Academy of History

1

97

Ohio Historical Society, miscellaneous

1

98

High School Fraternity-Sorority Issue

1

99

Employment Search

1

100

Smith College

1

101

Miscellaneous

 

 

Let’s Talk Radio, WSPD Radio, 1953-1954

1

102-112

Lecture Notes

2

1-6

Lecture Notes

 

 

Maumee Valley, U.S.A.

2

7

Speech

2

8-19

Draft Copies

 

 

Ohio, Mother of Presidents

2

20

Correspondence and Draft Copies

 

 

S2. University of Toledo

 

 

Personal

 

 

Status and Salary

2

21

Faculty Status

2

22

Professional Activities

2

23

Salary

2

24

Research Assistance

 

 

Retirement

2

25

Emeritus Status

2

26

Retirement Status

2

27

Honorary Degree

2

28

Obituary

2

29

Mrs. Downes Fund

2

30

Memorial

 

 

Faculty

2

31

History Department Correspondence

2

32

Student Grade Correspondence

 

 

Friends’ Correspondence

2

33

Miscellaneous

2

34

E. Douglas Branch

2

35

Miscellaneous

2

36

Julian Bulley

 

 

Committees

 

 

History Department Graduate Programs

2

37

History Ph.D.

2

38

Graduate Materials Committee

2

39

National Archives Microfilm

2

40

Periodicals Purchase, A-J

2

41

Periodicals Purchase, M-V

2

43

University Archives

 

 

Ad Hoc Committee for the Study of Grades

2

44

Guide

2

45

Honor Graduates

2

46

Grade Distribution

2

47-48

Questionnaire

2

49

College of Education Grading Survey

2

50

Questionnaire Tallies

2

51

Distribution of Grades

2

52

Aptitude Test

2

53

Distribution of grades by colleges

2

54

Chemistry Grade Study

2

55

Grade Distribution Stats

2

56

Summary Remarks and Proposals

2

57

Current Grading Practices

2

58

Summary Findings

2

59

Grading Survey Manuscripts

2

60

Report to Faculty

2

61

Conference Committees

2

62

Contennial Committees

 

 

Students

2

63

Phi Alpha Theta

2

64

Independent Student Association

2

65

Campus Collegian

2

66

Art Credit Transfer Correspondence

 

 

Correspondence

2

67

Miscellaneous

2

68

Student Work

2

69

Letters of Recommendation

2

70

Walter Bonkowski

2

71

Gordon Bruno

2

72

William Gibson

2

73

Ken Osthimer

2

74

Walter Shreffler

2

75

Howard Warner

2

76

Dave Wilson

 

 

John Morgan Correspondence

2

77

1950

2

78

1951

2

79

1952

 

 

Courses

2

80-102

Lecture Notes I

2

103-120

Lecture Notes II

3

1-22

Lecture Notes II continued

3

23-33

Lecture Notes, Representative Famous Americans

3

34-68

Lecture Notes, Representative Famous Americans II

3

69-76

Lecture Notes, Miscellaneous and incomplete

3

77-81

Lecture Notes III

4

1-3

Lecture Notes IV

4

4-8

Exams

4

9-21

Reading Lists and Outlines

4

22-36

Student Papers

4

37

Grade Book, 1949-50 (Restricted)

 

 

UT Telestudy

4

38-45

Lecture Manuscripts

4

46-54

Lecture Outlines

4

55-66

Lecture Notes, TV Talk

4

67-74

Lecture Notes, Maumee Valley Story

5

1-2

Lecture Notes, Maumee Valley Story

5

3-7

Study Guides

5

8-11

Reports

5

12

Correspondence

5

13-16

Miscellaneous

 

 

S3. Historical Society

 

 

Society Business

5

7

Society Licenses and Taxes

5

18

Society Withholding Tax Information

5

19

Downes Withholding Tax Forms

5

20

Downes Salary and tax information

5

21

Society Expenses

5

22

Society Support from County

5

23

Annual Report, 1957

5

24

Annual Report, 1960

 

 

Meetings and Membership

5

25

Annual Meeting, 1960

5

26

Constitution, Historical Society of NW Ohio

5

27

Miscellaneous

 

 

Downes ouster as Director, 1960

5

28

Report on the President

5

29

Announcement, Special Meeting

5

30

Mary Morris Progress Report

5

31

Downes Defense

5

32

Correspondence with Mary Morris

5

33

Downes Additional Defense

5

34

Miscellaneous

 

 

Societal Activities

5

35

Lucas County History Contest

5

36

Junior Constitutional Convention

5

37

Lucas County Authors’ Night

5

38

Waterville School Children, Sale of Columbian House

5

39

North End Bridge Naming Contest

5

40

Tours and Field Trips

5

41

Oral History Proposal

5

42

Neighborhood Renewal

5

43

Correspondence

 

 

Society Publications

5

44-45

Books

 

 

Northwest Ohio Quarterly

5

46

Copyright Information

5

47

Copyright Correspondence

5

48

Copyright Certificates

5

49

Artwork

5

50

President’s Page

5

51

Society and Museum Papers

5

52

Misc. Typescripts

5

53

Misc. Manuscripts

5

54

Printing Information

5

55

Correspondence, publications exchange

5

56

Correspondence, miscellaneous

5

57-59

Correspondence, articles

 

 

Ohio Junior Cues

5

60

Writing Schedule

5

61

Correspondence

5

62

Correspondence, writers

5

63

Costs

 

 

Unpublished Manuscripts- Quarterly and Cues

5

64

Roland Baumann

5

65

M. Joseph Becker

5

66

Harry S. Blaine

5

67

Mrs. Calkins

5

68

Leon C.W. Kettering

5

69

Cutting Marsh Papers

5

70

John M. Morgan

5

71

Vernon Pack

5

72

Clifford Snider

5

73

Kenneth R. Walker

5

74-76

Anonymous

 

 

S4. Harding

 

 

Publication

 

 

Correspondence

5

77

Ohio State University Press

5

78

Other Publishers, Financial Assistance

5

79

Ray Allen Billington

5

80

Kenneth Duckett

5

81

Francis Russell

5

82

Harding Memorial Association

5

83

Ohio Historical Society

5

84

State Historical Society of Wisconsin

5

85

Miscellaneous

 

 

Book Reviews

5

86

Reviews of Downes Book

5

87-88

Review of other Harding Books

 

 

 New Stories

5

89

Downes Related

5

90

Harding Love Letters/ Phillips Letters

5

91

Nan Britton

5

92

Harding Papers

5

93-100

Papers and Speeches

 

 

Research Correspondence

 

 

Government Institutions

5

101

Library Of Congress

5

102

National Archives

5

103

United Nations

5

104

Smithsonian Institution

5

105

State Department

 

 

Libraries

5

106

Public Libraries

5

107

Blumhaven Library and Gallery

 

 

Historical Societies

5

108

Miscellaneous

5

109

Ohio Historical Society

5

110

Western Reserve Historical Society

 

 

Universities

5

111

University Libraries

5

112

Columbia University Oral History Project

5

113

University Professors

5

114

Students and Theses

 

 

Single Subjects

6

1

Harding Family

6

2

Harding’s Death

6

3

William Culbertson Papers

6

4

Albert Fall Papers

6

5

Federal Mediation, Conciliation Service

6

6

Industrial Association of Cleveland

6

7

Newspapers

6

8

Ohio Northern University Law School

6

9

Carrie Phillips

6

10

Judson Welliver

6

11

Bentley Company

 

 

Other Writers and Publishers

6

12

Miscellanoues

6

13

William Chancellor

6

14

Ray Baker Harris

6

15

Ben Mason

6

16

E. Mont Riley

 

 

Individuals

6

17

George Harris

6

18

Charles M. Hogan

6

19

Marion Residents and Marion Star

6

20

Miscellaneous

6

21

Galion Residents

6

22

Unsolicited

 

 

Nan Britton

6

23

Correspondence

6

24

About

6

25

Secret Service

6

26

Postal Investigation

 

 

Book Drafts

 

 

Manuscripts

6

27-38

The Two Worlds of Warren G. Harding

6

39-54

Small Town America, 1865-1900

6

55-68

The Ohio Man, 1900-

6

69-88

The Worlds of Warren G. Harding, 1865-1915

6

89-98

The Rise of Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1865-1915

7

1-77

Book 2

7

78-90

The Rise of Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1865-1920

 

 

Transcripts

8

1-15

The Two Worlds of Warren G. Harding

8

16-48

Small Town America, 1865-1900

8

49-51

The Ohio Man, 1900-

8

52-70

The Worlds of Warren G. Harding, 1865-1915

9

1-20

The Worlds of Warren G. Harding, 1865-1915

9

21-35

The Rise of Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1865-1915

9

36-48

Book 2

9

49-60

The Rise of Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1865-1920

10

1-10

The Rise of Warren Gamaliel Harding

10

11-13

Book as Published

10

14

Harding- The Washington Years: 1916-1923

 

 

Research Materials

10

15-50

Photocopies, Ohio Historical Society

11

1-80

Photocopies, Ohio Historical Society

12

1-37

Photocopies, Ohio Historical Society

12

38-55

Photocopies

13

1-3

Photocopies

13

4-11

Typescripts

13

12-18

Articles, Booklets, and Reprints

13

19-25

Miscellaneous

13

26-49

Photocopies, Hilles Papers, Yale University

 

 

Notes, Newspapers

14

1-48

Marion Star

15

1-41

Marion Star

16

1-15

Marion Star

16

16-21

New York Times

16

22-30

Other Newspapers

17

1-36

Other Newspapers

 

 

Notes

18

1-3

Harding

18

4-5

Hardy

18

6

Hayes

18

7

Taft

18

8

Other- Henrick, Hilles, Freulinghuysen

18

9

Misc.- Star Cor

 

 

S5. Local History

19

1-35

Research Notes

13

64-65

Newspaper Citations

 

 

S6. Black History

 

16-38

Proposals

 

 

Correspondence

19

39

Friends

19

40

Research

 

 

Notes

20

1-3

Notes, Misc.

20

4

Roots of Black Nationalism

20

5-6

Clippings

20

7

Local History

20

8

Thesis, Blauser (FRAGILE)

21

1

Black History Notes 1

21

2

Black History Notes 2

21

3

Black History Notecards 1

21

4

Black History Notecards 2

21

5

Black History Notecards 3

21

6

Black History Notecards 4

21

7

Black History Notecards 5

21

8

Black History Notecards 6

21

9

Black History Notecards 7

21

10

Black History Notecards 8

22

1

Black History Notecards 9

22

2

Black History Notecards 10

22

3

Black History Notecards 11

22

4

Black History Notecards 12

22

5

Black History Notecards 13

22

6

Black History Notecards 14

22

7

Black History Notecards 15

22

8

Black History Notecards 16

22

9

Black History Notecards 17

22

10

Black History Notecards 18

23

1

Black History Notecards 19

23

2

Black History Notecards 20

23

3

Black History Notecards 21

23

4

Black History Notecards 22

23

5

Black History Notecards 23

23

6

Black History Notecards 24

23

7

Black History Notecards 25

23

8

Black History Notecards 26

23

9

Progressivism in Ohio, Warner

23

10

History of the Underground Railroad

 

 

Last Updated: 6/9/16