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COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS 8044002

George A. Eddy papers

The Papers of George A. Eddy consist of materials related to Eddy's life and career, the security cases of Alger Hiss and Henry Dexter White, his own security case in 1954-1955, and a great deal of material related to the Red Scare of the Cold War era in general.

Dates

  • 1925 - 1997

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Harvard Law School Library. Open to the public without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright for these papers has not passed into the public domain. Permission to publish is required.

Extent

58 boxes

The Papers of George A. Eddy consist of materials related to Eddy's life and career, the security cases of Alger Hiss and Henry Dexter White, his own security case in 1954-1955, and a great deal of material related to the Red Scare of the Cold War era in general.

After the conclusion of his own hearing, in which he was cleared of any suspicion, Eddy began collecting extensive research materials for a book he wanted to write on the testimony of Elizabeth Bentley and Whittaker Chambers in the Hiss and White cases. Eddy never finished his book, but Series I of this collection contains chapter drafts and other writings by him. Series II and III both contain correspondence, notes, clippings and publications, and other miscellaneous materials collected or written by Eddy as part of his research. Series IV contains biographical information on Eddy, primarily from the years leading up to and during his security trial and those of his associates at the Treasury.

This collection contains a great deal of material useful to scholars of government-sponsored anti-communism during the Cold War in the United States. For related materials, please consult the Papers of Elinor Ferry and the Case Files of William H. Taylor.

Historical/Biographical Information

George Eddy was born in New Jersey on June 15, 1907. From 1921 to 1924 he attended Phillips Academy in Andover, MA, and he received his BA from Yale in 1928 (where he was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa). During the years 1930-1933 Eddy attended graduate school at Harvard, where he earned an MBA. During his time at Harvard his chief interest was macroeconomic policies, specifically U.S. deficits and how to achieve prosperity with stable prices.

By December of 1933 Eddy worked as the Assistant to the Economist and Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. From 1934 to 1936 he worked as a Research Analyst for the Division of Research and Statistics at the U.S. Treasury, and then from 1936 to 1939 he was back at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to work in their Research Department, first on matters related to the Far East and later on domestic finance and business issues. After a brief time as a columnist and reporter for the Journal of Commerce in New York City, Eddy returned to the Treasury in 1939 as a Senior Economic Analyst in the Division of Monetary Research. There Eddy worked under accused communist Harry Dexter White, who was the Director of the Division of Monetary Research at that time.

In 1941 Eddy married his wife Eileen. During World War II he was a lieutenant in the Navy, and remained in the Navy as a Reservist. Upon his return from the war he continued his work for the U.S. Treasury.

In 1954 Eddy was suspended from the Treasury as a security risk. At the time, a great many employees from the Treasury, including Secretary Henry Morgenthau, were being accused of communist sympathies. Miss Elizabeth Bentley, a former communist who became a government informer, was the government's primary source of information on the communist activities of many Treasury employees. Eddy's suspension was based on his associations with and open support of publicly identified communists, including Lauchlin B. Currie, Harry Dexter White, V. Frank Coe, Robert C. Barnard, Emile Despres, William Ludwig Ullman, Harold Glasser, Solomon Adler, and William Henry Taylor. According to the Treasury, these associations showed a lack of good judgment and discretion, and cast serious doubts about Eddy's own trustworthiness.

During Eddy's hearing his lawyer attacked the credibility of Elizabeth Bentley and the evidence against many of those named above, and Eddy mentioned to the Security Board that he also doubted the guilt of Alger Hiss. In late 1955, after his hearing, Eddy received full clearance and back pay, but soon resigned from his position at the Treasury. He then began working on a book about the accusations of Elizabeth Bentley and Whittaker Chambers against Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White, a project he continued until 1962. He returned to economic work until the late 1980's, after the death of his wife, at which time he returned to his work on the Hiss-White case.

George A. Eddy died on April 13, 1998.

Series List

  1. Series I: Writings by George A. Eddy,1937-1971

    Includes some correspondence, comments and analysis.

  2. Series II: Hiss/White Correspondence.

    The archivist retained the original title for this series, although there is a significant amount of material in addition to correspondence. This material, filed alphabetically, contains background and research information on the Communist Era, blacklisted and accused persons, notes on various visits and interviews conducted by Eddy, and more. Correspondence seems mostly related to his investigations related to the research for his book.

  3. Series III: Research Material

    This series consists of a wide variety of materials collected by Eddy during his research of the Hiss-White case. Materials include correspondence, notes, clippings, and publications. The series is divided into four subseries: Personal Names, Topic, Clippings, and Miscellaneous.

  4. Series IV: Personal/Biographical Material

    This series consists of personal and biographical material related to George A. Eddy. This includes materials related to Eddy's 1954-1955 security case, the Treasury, and the gold standard, a copy of Eddy's FBI file, and personal correspondence.

  5. Series V: Miscellaneous Materials

    This series consists of miscellaneous materials that were damaged by mold and required cleaning. These boxes are open for research.

Within each series and/or subseries individual items or folders are identified by box and folder number. For example, the number 5-12 corresponds to box 5, folder 12.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

In September 1998, Bruce Craig gave the Law School Library a collection of materials he acquired while writing his dissertation (American University) on Harry Dexter White, a high-ranking Treasury Department official accused of being a Soviet spy. These materials, accumulated by George A. Eddy, comprised three separate collections: the research papers of Elinor Ferry -given to Eddy by Ferry's son James in 1992-the William Henry Taylor case files -given to Eddy by Bryan Scott in October 1973-and the papers of George A. Eddy himself. Although a single gift, these three collections have been processed and inventoried as distinct collections.

Processing Information

Processed by Anne Lozier, 2002-2003; organized by Erica Bicchieri, 2003.
Link to catalog
Title
Eddy, George A. Papers, 1925-1997: Finding Aid
Author
Harvard Law School LibraryCambridge, MA 02138
EAD ID
law00135

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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