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John J. McCloy (AC 1916) Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MA.00035

Scope and Contents

The John J. McCloy Papers span the years 1897-1989, with the bulk of the material falling into the period 1940-1979. The roughly 74 linear feet of material cover the breadth of McCloy's activities, from lawyer to banker to government official to negotiator to behind-the-scenes adviser. The papers include working papers, correspondence and memoranda, speeches, scrapbooks, photographs, legal documents, printed material, and memorabilia. The collection includes very little personal or family-related material.

The first 6 series consist of materials, grouped by topic or type, that span much or all of McCloy's public career: Personal Affairs, Diaries, Scrapbooks, Speeches, Awards, and Photographs. The next 25 series consist of "working papers," divided according to McCloy's various positions, roles, and areas of influence. Series 32 consists of printed material of a general nature. (Printed material related to a given position is included in the relevant series.) Series 33: Correspondence and Series 34: Retrospectives contain unofficial correspondence and biographical material, which arrived as part of the second installment to the Papers.

More detailed description can be found at the series level. Series-level scope and content notes include: historical and biographical information; series and sub-series arrangement; subject matters and formats, and a box/folder listing.

Dates

  • 1897-1989
  • Majority of material found within 1940-1979

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

In general, there is no restriction on access to the John J. McCloy Papers for research use. Selected items may be restricted to protect the privacy rights of individuals or for other legal reasons. Particularly fragile items may have been replaced with copies. Material from other collections, which may be found in the McCloy Papers, cannot be duplicated.

Conditions Governing Use

All copyrights held by John J. McCloy or his heirs were transferred to Amherst College along with the papers. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of other copyrights. Requests for permission to publish material from the papers should be directed to the Archivist of the College.

Biographical / Historical

John J. McCloy (1895-1989) has been described as a "minister without portfolio" and "the most influential private citizen in America" (Harper's, Feb 1983). It was said that he held the record for the most Cabinet positions offered and refused. Among the positions that he did hold were: Assistant Secretary of War during World War II, High Commissioner of Germany after the war, President of the World Bank, Chairman of the Chase Manhattan Bank, Chairman of the General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament. In addition, he served official or unofficial advisor to every US president from Roosevelt through Reagan; his advice and assistance were sought by political and business leaders in the US and around the world.

McCloy was known as a skilled mediator and facilitator. What has been debated is the extent of his role in making policy, as opposed to articulating it. During his career, he was involved in some of the biggest--and most controversial--American policy decisions of his day. Among the issues with which he was involved and which are represented in the papers are: the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II; the shaping of Germany's post-war economy; civilian vs. military control of early atomic energy development; the Cuban missile crisis; numerous arms control and disarmament treaties; negotiations with OPEC on behalf of the major oil companies; and efforts to gain asylum in the US for the deposed Shah of Iran.

McCloy had strong ties to Amherst College; he graduated cum laude with the Class of 1916 and served on the Board of Trustees from 1947-1989. He thought of himself as a public servant and in his speeches often emphasized the importance of public service.

He died in 1989 at the age of 93.

Extent

59.5 Linear feet (52 records cartons, 28 flat boxes, 1 scroll box, 2 map case drawers)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The John J. McCloy Papers span the years 1897-1989, with the bulk of the material falling into the period 1940-1979. The roughly 60 linear feet of material cover the breadth of McCloy's activities, from lawyer to banker to government official to negotiator to behind-the-scenes adviser. The papers include working papers, correspondence, memoranda, speeches, scrapbooks, photographs, legal documents, printed material, and memorabilia. The collection includes very little personal or family-related material.

Arrangement

The John J. McCloy Papers are arranged in 35 series:
  1. Series 1: Personal Affairs, 1916-1986
  2. Series 2: Diaries, 1941-1963 with gaps
  3. Series 3: Scrapbooks, 1938-1980
  4. Series 4: Speeches, 1941-1985
  5. Series 5: Awards, 1943-1986
  6. Series 6: Photographs, 1916-1986
  7. Series 7: Black Tom, 1924-1946
  8. Series 8: War Department, 1935-1948 (bulk 1941-1945)
  9. Series 9: Atomic Energy, 1946-1964
  10. Series 10: World Bank, 1947-1949
  11. Series 11: Japanese Americans: Relocation and Compensation, 1942-1989
  12. Series 12: Eberstadt Committee, 1945-1949 (bulk 1948)
  13. Series 13A: High Commissioner for Germany (HICOG) - Part 1, 1946-1952
  14. Series 13B: High Commissioner for Germany (HICOG) - Part 2, 1949-1952
  15. Series 14: Germany, 1946-1986
  16. Series 15: Jenner-McCarthy, 1952-1955
  17. Series 16: Ford Foundation, c. 1954-1983 (with gaps)
  18. Series 17: Suez Canal Clearance Operations, 1956-1960, (bulk 1956-1957)
  19. Series 18: Russia and America (Roberts book), 1956-1957
  20. Series 19: Military Assistance Committee, 1958-1959
  21. Series 20: International Oil, 1946-1981 (bulk 1962-1979)
  22. Series 21: Disarmament, 1944-1982 (bulk 1961-1979)
  23. Series 22: Berlin, 1962-1963, 1971
  24. Series 23: Cuban Missile Crisis, 1960-1963 (bulk 1962-1963)
  25. Series 24: Dobrynin Meeting, 1962
  26. Series 25: NATO, 1949-1979 (bulk 1966-1967)
  27. Series 26: International Monetary Fund, 1967
  28. Series 27: Panama Canal Treaties, 1977-1978
  29. Series 28: Shah of Iran, 1979-1981
  30. Series 29: Reagan Transition Team, 1980-1981
  31. Series 30: Warren Commission (Retrospective), 1964-1979,
  32. Series 31: Banking and Finance (Miscellany), 1961-1985
  33. Series 32: Printed Material, 1920-1981
  34. Series 33: Correspondence, 1946-1987
  35. Series 34: Retrospectives, 1897, 1947-1986 (with gaps, bulk 1980s)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The John J. McCloy Papers were given to Amherst College by McCloy through a deed of gift executed in July of 1985. Prior to their physical transfer to the Amherst College Archives, roughly half of the papers underwent a national security review by the Department of State. The bulk of these arrived at the College in May of 1986, with several batches sent later following clearance by the relevant government agency.

Related Materials

Because of John McCloy's longtime connections with the college, the Amherst College Archives has information about him beyond that found in his own papers. Sources include the Biographical Files (Class of 1916), the Photographic Images Collection, the Buildings and Grounds Collection (especially the files on the War Memorial and the Frost Library), and publications such as the Olio (the yearbook), the Amherst Student (the student newspaper), and the alumni magazine. Contact the Amherst College Archives for further information.

Other institutions holding primary source material include: the National Archives, the Presidential libraries, the Ford Foundation, and repositories holding the papers of McCloy's associates.

Chronology

1895 Mar 31
Name at birth: John McCloy (Amherst College records show "Snader" as middle name until approximately 1935 and "Jay" thereafter.)
Born in Philadelphia
Parents:Anna May Snader McCloy and John Jay McCloy
1907-1912
Peddie School
1912-1916
Amherst College
1916-1917, 1919-1921
Harvard Law School
1917 Aug-1919 Aug
US Army
1917
Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant
1918
Promoted to Captain
1918-19
Served with American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in France
1921 Aug- 1924 Nov
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft
1924 Dec-1940 Dec
Cravath, DeGersdorff, Swaine & Wood
1929
Became a partner
1930-1941
Involved in World War I sabotage case known as "Black Tom,"
1930 Apr 25
Married Ellen Zinsser
1937 Nov 5
John J. McCloy II born
1940 Oct-Nov
Expert consultant to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson
1940 Dec-1941 Apr
Special Assistant to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson
1941 Apr-1945 Nov
Assistant Secretary of War
1941 Jul 16
Ellen Z. McCloy born
1946-1947
Milbank, Tweed, Hope & Hadley
Member of Secretary of State's Committee on Atomic Energy (Acheson-Lilienthal Committee)
1947-1949
President of World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development)
1947-1989
Trustee of Amherst College
1956-1969
Chairman of the Corporation
1969-1989
Trustee Emeritus and Honorary Chairman of the Corporation
1948 Jun-1949 May
Member of Committee on the National Security Organization (Eberstadt Committee) of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government (Hoover Commission)
1949 Jul-1952 Jul
US Military Governor and High Commissioner for Germany
1952-1965
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ford Foundation
1953
The Challenge to American Foreign Policy published
1953 Jul
Senate Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws (Jenner Committee) issues report saying that Army was tolerant of Communists in WWII and implying that JJM was responsible
1953-1971
Chairman of Council on Foreign Relations
1953 Jan-1960 Dec
Chairman of the Board, Chase National Bank
1955 Apr
Merged with Bank of Manhattan to become Chase Manhattan Bank
1954 Feb
Joseph McCarthy accuses JJM of having ordered the destruction of Army intelligence files on Communists during World War II (charge retracted two days later)
1956-1957 Nov
Member of United Nations advisory team overseeing Suez Canal clearance operations
1958 Nov-1959
President's Committee to Study the Military Assistance Program (Draper Committee)
1961-1989
Milbank, Tweed, Hope, Hadley & McCloy Represented major oil companies during OPEC negotiations, anti-trust investigations, and divestitures
1961 Jan-1974 May
Coordinator of US disarmament activities
1961 Jan-Oct
Advisor to President Kennedy
1961-1974
Chairman of General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament
1962 Oct-1963
Chairman of Coordinating Committee of the US on Cuban Missile Crisis
1963 Dec-1964
Member of Presidential Commission to Investigate the Assassination of President Kennedy (Warren Commission)
1964-1968
Member of President Johnson's Senior Advisory Group on Vietnam
1965-1975
Chairman of Committee for Modern Courts, Inc.
1966-1967
Head of US delegation to Tripartite Talks (NATO)
1967
Representative of the US Treasury Department on International Monetary Fund missions
1969
The Atlantic Alliance published
1978
Member of the Committee of Americans for the (Panama) Canal Treaties
1979-1981
Member of Special Project Team working to gain asylum in the US for the Shah of Iran
1980-1981
Member of President Reagan's transition team
1989 Mar 11
Died in Stamford, CT

Processing Information

Processing of this portion of the collection began in April 1986 and was completed in April 1990. In June 1990, after McCloy's death, the Archives received a second installment to the Papers. The processing of this addition required item-level attention, as the material had not been reviewed by the State Department. The Archives coordinated reviews by both the State Department and legal counsel. During this process detailed listings and cross-references were created to indicate the specific installment to which material belonged and to facilitate research use.

The papers were received in considerable disarray, with little evidence of their original order. Wherever possible, original groupings of items and folders were retained; however, the current organization of the papers was for the most part imposed during processing.

In 2017, the physical arrangement of the papers was revised. Folders were labelled contiguously and boxes were condensed in order to house the material safely and efficiently. The finding aid was revised to reflect new box and folder numbers and to clearly delineate physical and intellectual arrangement.
Accession Number:
85-099, 86-063, 90-042, 91-003, 97-087
Processed:
1986-1990, 1990-1993
By:
Daria D'Arienzo, Archivist
Cheryl Gracey, Archives Associate
Emily Silverman, Archives Associate
Listing Revised:
1993 Jun-Jul
By:
Daria D'Arienzo, Archivist of the College
Emily Silverman, Archives Associate
Jean W. Zilewicz, Archives Associate
Listing and Finding Aid Revised
Jun-Nov 2017
By:
Chris Barber, Deputy Archivist; Rachel Jirka, College Archivist
Status
Completed
Author
Daria D'Arienzo; revised by Rachel Jirka and Chris Barber
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299