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Felix Frankfurter Letters

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 15 Jul 2011

Biographical History

Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965) was an American lawyer and an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1939 to 1962. He was known for his active support of the principle of judicial restraint, believing that the federal courts and the Supreme Court should by and large refrain from interference in a state's right to govern its own affairs. This frequently put him on the dissenting side of ground-breaking decisions taken by the Warren Court to end discrimination.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Felix Frankfurter Letters consists of twenty-three letters from Felix Frankfurter to Norman Hapgood (American author, newspaperman, editor and critic) and seven carbon copies of letters between Frankfurter and Joseph M. Proskauer (associate justice of the New York State Supreme Court, 1927-1930). Some of the topics discussed include the Sacco and Vanzetti case, Walter Lippman, the Democratic primary of 1932, Alfred E. Smith, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Justice Louis Brandeis. The letters are laid into a quarter blue and crimson cloth drop box.

Arrangement of the Collection



Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has other holdings relating to the Sacco and Vanzetti case in both its manuscript and rare books holdings. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index to search for "sacco" or "vanzetti" in the manuscript collections, and to the Classic Catalog to locate cataloged published items.

Subject Headings


Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965.
Hapgood, Norman, 1868-1937.
Proskauer, Joseph M. (Joseph Meyer), 1877-1971.


Courts -- New York (State)
Sacco-Vanzetti Trial, Dedham, Mass., 1921.
Supreme Court justices.

Genres and Forms




Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Felix Frankfurter Letters,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Marc Siegle Fund, 2011.

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