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COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS 601659

Clarence Clyde Ferguson papers


Papers include background material for Ferguson's Seminar on Human Rights; material relating to his mission to Biafra, his ambassadorship to Uganda; material relating to Overseas Development Council, U.N. Assembly.


  • 1955 - 1984

Conditions Governing Access

Due to the nature of the collection, many folders in Series VIII and X are closed for 50 or 80 years according to University policy to protect student and institutional privacy. Access to these papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Harvard Law School Library. This collection is open to the public, but is housed off-site at Harvard Depository and requires 2 business days' advance notice for retrieval. Consult the Special Collections staff for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Harvard Law School Library holds copyright on some, but not all, of the material in our collections. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be directed to the Special Collections staff. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Harvard Law School Library are also responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations who hold copyright.


28 boxes
The papers of Clarence Clyde Ferguson (1924-1983), attorney, educator, diplomat, civil servant, and humanitarian, cover the years 1955 to 1984; there is also a considerable amount of undated material.

The collection contains correspondence (both letters received and carbons of letters sent), agenda of meetings, memoranda, reports, research and lecture note, outlines, examination papers, drafts, manuscripts of unpublished writings, bibliographies, newspaper clippings, other printed items, official press releases, and telegrams.

Ambassador Ferguson's papers document his service with the U.S. Department of State and with the United Nations in the late 1960's and early 1970's, and his teaching career at the Harvard Law School, from 1975 until his death. The main theme running through all of these papers is Professor Ferguson's concern with human rights violations and his human rights advocacy. This advocacy is reflected in the international assignments that he accepted, in his writings, and in the courses he taught at the Harvard Law School.

Historical/Biographical Information

Ferguson, Clarence Clyde, Jr., diplomat, educator, humanitarian.

b. Wilmington, North Carolina, 1924.

s. Clarence Clyde and Georgeva (Owens) Ferguson.

A.B., Ohio State University, 1951.

LL.B., Harvard University, 1951.

D.I.L., Academia Interamericana de Derecho, Havana, 1952.

LL.D., Rutgers University, 1966; Williams College, 1975.

m. Delores Zimmerman, February 14, 1954; children: Claire Oberone Garcia, Hope Elizabeth, Eve Maria.

Admitted to Massachusetts Bar, 1951; New York Bar, 1953.

Teaching Fellow, Harvard Law School and Harvard College, 1951-1952.

Counsel to Firm of Baltimore, Paulson and Canudo, 1952-1954.

Assistant U.S. Attorney, Southern District, New York, 1954-1955.

Professor of Law, Rutgers University, 1955-1962.

General Counsel, United States Commission on Civil Rights, 1961-1963.

Dean, Howard Law School, 1963-1969.

Distinguished Professor of Law, Rutgers University, 1969.

Visiting Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, 1975-1977.

Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, 1977-1980; Henry L. Stimson Professor of Law, 1980-1983.

President, American Society of International Law, 1978-1983.

U.S. Representative to UNESCO Meeting in Havana, 1952.

Special Legal Advisor to U.S. Mission to the United Nations, 1954.

U.S. Expert to United Nations Subcommittee on Race Discrimination, 1964.

Principal Drafter of UNESCO Statement on Race, 1967.

Special Coordinator of Relief to civilian victims of the Nigerian Civil War, 1969-1970.

United States Ambassador to Uganda, 1970-1972.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, 1972-1973.

U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, 1973-1975.

Served with AUS, 1942-1946; decorated with Bronze Star

Named Outstanding Young Man in New Jersey by New Jersey Junior Chamber of Commerce, 1956.

Accorded personal rank of Ambassador, 1973.

d. Boston, Mass., 1983.

  1. Desegregation and the Law: The Meaning and Effect of the School Segregation Cases (with Albert P. Blaustein), 1957.
  2. Materials on Trial Presentations, 1957.
  3. Enforcement and Collection of Judgments and Liens, 1961.
  4. " South Africa: What Is To Be Done, " (with W.R. Cotter) Foreign Affairs, 1978.
  5. Redressing Global Injustices: The Role of Law, Rutgers Law Review, 1981.
  6. Also additional articles in legal andother professional journals.

Series List

  1. Contingent I.
  2. ___Series I. Nigeria/BiafraThis Series covers the period from January 1969 to October 1974,with major emphasis on the years 1969 to 1970 when Professor Fergusonserved as special coordinator of relief to civilian victims of theNigerian civil war. It includes source materials, e.g., Dr. Karl A.Western's medical report on Biafra; a report by Ingvar Berg, head ofthe Scandinavian relief agency Nordchuchaid, of their operation inBiafra; Sate Department and White House memoranda; and a backgroundpaper on the politics of relief. The Series deals with problems ofairlifting food and medical supplies into war zones, and documentshow much negotiation and diplomacy were required before reliefefforts to the war-ravaged areas of Nigeria/Biafra could get underway. Post-1970 materials contain summary reports and papers onNigeria and Biafra.
  3. ___Series II. Miscellaneous InternationalMaterialsThis Series relates to human rightsviolations and economic and political problems in some of the otherunderdeveloped countries in Africa, Asia, and South America, andcovers the years 1968 to 1983. Specific countries surveyed are SouthAfrica, Uganda, and Chile. Other issues range from labor problems atthe Bougainville copper mines to patent suits involving BurnelliAvionics Corporation to Cointelpro, a United States Governmentoperation against Black revolutionary groups in America. Four foldersinclude the papers presented at the "Seminar on National and RegionalArrangements for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in theAsian Region," held in Sri Lanka in 1982, in which AmbassadorFerguson participated. Fourteen experts representing ten countriessubmitted papers at this Seminar. One of Professor Ferguson'sinterest was the concept of the "New International Economic Order,"and this Series contains his writings on the role seen for ThirdWorld countries in world economics, and his notes on United Nationsresolutions concerning the New International Economic Order. Othermaterials deal with a UNESCO conference in 1983 on the protection ofworld cultural and national heritage. There is also a group ofchronologically arranged press releases and statements (1973-1975) byAmbassador Ferguson while he was a member of the United StatesMission to the United Nations.
  4. ___Series III. Human RightsMaterials in this series span the years 1969 to 1983 and arearranged chronologically. Essentially this group of papers containsUnited Nations reports, agenda of conferences on human rights issues(San Juan; Nairobi), legislative documents, transcripts of interviewswith leading human rights activists, drafts of proposals, manuscriptsof speeches, and outlines. Ambassador Ferguson retained aconsiderable amount of material on the Strasbourg Conference on theHuman Rights Aspects of the Helsinki Final Act, held in Strasbourg,France, in June, 1977, including press releases and correspondencepredating the conference. This group of papers reflects thefrustrations encountered in legislating on behalf of human rights andenforcing such legislation.
  5. ___Series IV. Teaching Notes and Materials, CourseOutlines, Research Notes, Etc.Materials inthis series cover the years 1978 to 1983, for courses and seminarsgiven by Professor Ferguson at the Harvard Law School. Subjectsrepresented in this group are Professor Ferguson's courses in CivilProcedure and his seminars on Human Rights and on the NewInternational Economic Order; there is a small amount of materials oncourses he taught occasionally, e.g., Federal Jurisdiction, andUnited Nations Law. Materials retained by Professor Ferguson areholograph and typed notes, outlines, class assignments,bibliographies, syllabi, examination questions, problems, andresearch materials, e.g. articles, observations, and other printeditems. For the most part, these items are photocopies. The NIEO andHuman Rights seminars draw on sources included in the SeriesMiscellaneous International Materials, and Human Rights. ProfessorFerguson's notes are detailed, and document how his courses evolvedover the years.
  6. ___Series V. Writings, Statements, etc. ofClarence Clyde Ferguson, Jr.This Seriesconsists of unpublished writings, both titled and untitled;testimonials and statements before official bodies such as the U.S.Senate; outlines and drafts of papers; reports; and two bibliographicitems. Writings document Ferguson's major interests: human rights,American diplomacy, and the demands of the changing economicconditions around the world. Human rights violations examinedoccurred in this country and abroad. Papers span the years 1968 to1983. Writings on human rights should be used in conjunction with theSeries Human Rights, and also with Professor Ferguson's teachingnotes. Writings are in handwritten and typed form.
  7. ___Series VI. Writings and Papers ByOthersThis Series is composed of manuscriptsdealing with legal, economic, race, and human rights issues in theUnited States and abroad. There are seven folders of draft paperswhich resulted from the so-called "1980's Project of the Council onForeign Relations." A number of the papers in this Series werewritten for Professor Ferguson's seminars.
  8. ___Series VII. CorrespondenceThis Series spans the years 1978 through 1983, with a small amountof posthumous material. This Series is arranged chronologically. Thenature of the correspondence is professional, with a few personalitems. Most of the correspondence is incoming mail. Some of ProfessorFerguson's correspondents became his close friends, e.g.,Ex-president G.L. Binaisa of Uganda, and Amadou Mahtar M'Bow,Director General of UNESCO. Ferguson also received numerous pleas forassistance from Third World students wishing to come to the UnitedStates. The Correspondence Series reflects the high esteem in whichProfessor Ferguson was held here and in countries around theworld.
  9. ___Series VIII. Harvard and PersonalMiscellanyThis Series contains a small amountof semi-archival material on the College's Afro-American Studiesprogram, the Harvard Law School Black Alumni Association, the WilliamE.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American research, and the Harvard LawReview; biographical summaries; news clippings about Ferguson;appointment books and pocket diaries; and some materials relating tohis travels.
  10. Contingent II
  11. ___Series IX. Human Rights/International Materials 1969-19831969-1983In thisSeries are speeches, press releases, and statements of AmbassadorFerguson when he served at the United Nations, materials for theAmbassador's course at the U.S. Naval War College on internationallaw, and draft papers on the Uganda coup, apartheid, and the UnitedNations covenant.
  12. ___Series X. Harvard Teaching Materials andResearch Notes 1979-19831979-1983In thisSeries are minutes, memoranda, and correspondence regarding theAfro-American Studies Department at Harvard University. In addition,this Series includes Mr. Ferguson's lecture notes and coursematerials for the courses which he taught at Harvard Law School incivil procedure, as well as annotated materials on bankruptcy.
  13. ___Series XI. Correspondence 1973-19821973-1982In thisSeries are incoming and outgoing personal and professionalcorrespondence of Mr. Ferguson when he served at the United Nationsand when he was a faculty member of the Harvard Law School. TheSeries also contains a typewritten draft paper on the subject ofblack Americans and U.S. foreign affairs dated February 12, 1980 anda typewritten draft paper on the subject of blacks in American legalhistory dated c. 1976. Materials are arranged chronologically.
  14. ___Series XII. Personal Miscellany 1970-19831970-1983In thisSeries are personal correspondence, appointment books, and travel andexpense vouchers of Ambassador Ferguson during his period of serviceat the United Nations. The Series also contains financial and legalrecords of Mr. Ferguson.
  15. ___Series XIII. Addenda 1973-19831973-1983

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers of Clarence Clyde Ferguson (1924-1983), attorney, educator, public servant, diplomat, and humanitarian, were presented to the Harvard Law School Library as a gift by his daughters, Claire Ferguson Garcia, Hope Ferguson, and Eve Ferguson, on February 26, 1985.

Processing Information

Contingent I prepared by Daniel Kaufman and the Staff, August 1995; Contingent II prepared by Ellen V. Delaney, December 1990.
Link to catalog
Ferguson, Clarence Clyde. Papers, 1955-1984: Finding Aid
Harvard Law School LibraryCambridge, MA 02138

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Law School Library, Historical & Special Collections Repository

Harvard Law School Library's Historical & Special Collections (HSC) collects, preserves, and makes available research materials for the study of the law and legal history. HSC holds over 8,000 linear feet of manuscripts, over 100,000 rare books, and more than 70,000 visual images.

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