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Charles Evans Hughes Letters

An inventory of his letters at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: Feb 1989

Biographical History

Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948) was an American lawyer and politician who served as Governor of New York, U.S. Secretary of State, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Charles Evans Hughes was born in Glen Falls, New York on April 11, 1862. His parents David Charles Hughes, a Methodist preacher, and Mary Connelly, a Baptist minister's daughter, were deeply religious. An intelligent child, Hughes began attending Madison College (presently Colgate University) at the age of fourteen before transferring to Brown University. He graduated first in his class from Columbia Law School and began practicing law in 1884. While working at the firm Chamberlin, Carter, and Hornblower, Hughes met his future wife, Antoinette Carter, the daughter of Walter S. Carter, a senior partner in the firm.

Hughes established himself politically by leading investigations into corporate corruption and the insurance industry. In 1906 he was elected Governor of New York. Four years later, President William Howard Taft appointed Hughes to the United States Supreme Court. Hughes left his Associate Justice position to run on the Republican nomination for President of the United States in 1916, but lost to Woodrow Wilson. After a few years in private practice, Hughes served as Secretary of State from 1921 to 1925 under Presidents Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge. During his tenure, Hughes focused on various international efforts to avert another great war.

In 1930, President Herbert Hoover named Hughes the eleventh Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The Hughes court faced the Great Depression and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's court-packing plan. While in this position Hughes also oversaw the opening of the Supreme Court building in 1935. He resigned his post in 1941. Hughes died in Cape Cod, Massachusetts on August 27, 1948.

Works Written by Hughes

1909 Conditions of Progress in the Democratic Government
1925 The Pathway of Peace, and Other Addresses
1927 The Supreme Court of the United States
1928 Our Relation with the Nations of the Western Hemisphere
1929 Pan American Peace Plans

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Charles Evans Hughes Letters are a collection of 65 outgoing and two incoming items written between 1894 and 1934. As a lawyer, New York State Governor, Secretary of State under Warren G. Harding, and Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Hughes answered letters from constituents, politicians (Martin H. Glynn, George B. McClellan), editors (Hamilton Holt, Louis Wiley), and clergymen (S. Parkes Cadman, Samuel Cavert, Smith T. Ford, Paul Hickok, Charles MacFarland, Robert E. Speer). Most of the letters are responses to recommendations for various appointments (Joseph Buffington, Joseph Carlino, Edward H. Fallows, McClellan, Wiley) as well as social and speaking invitations (G. Lennox Curtis, Ford, D. W. Hakes, Roy F. Fitzgerald, Winfield Jones, Mrs. J. E. Norcross, Clarence J. Owens, Amasa Parker, D. H. Pierson, Palmer C. Ricketts). In addition to a number of letters of introduction (Princess Bibesco, Diplomatic and Consular Office), there are also several responses to congratulatory messages received upon Lodge's assumption of various appointments (John Barrett, Ford, Lilla Day Monroe, William R. Rose).

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection contains one series, Correspondence, which is arranged chronologically. There is also an alphabetical Index to the Correspondence located at the end of the finding aid.


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.

Subject Headings


Barrett, John, 1866-1938.
Buffington, Joseph, 1855-1947.
Cadman, S. Parkes (Samuel Parkes), 1864-1936.
Cavert, Samuel McCrea, 1888-1976.
Fallows, Edward Huntington, 1865-
Fernald, Bert Manfred, 1858-1926.
Fitzgerald, Roy Gerald, 1875-1962.
Frank, Julius.
Fuller, Robert H. (Robert Higginson), 1865-1927.
Glynn, Martin Henry, 1871-1924.
Hickok, Paul Robinson, 1877-1945.
Holt, Hamilton, 1872-1951.
Hughes, Charles Evans, 1862-1948.
Johnson, Robert Underwood, 1853-1937.
Jones, Winfield, 1874-
King, Horatio C. (Horatio Collins), 1837-1918.
McClellan, George B. (George Brinton), 1865-1940.
Nash, William Alexander, 1840-1922.
Owens, Clarence J. (Clarence Julian)
Paine, Robert Treat, 1835-1910.
Parker, Amasa J. (Amasa Junius), 1807-1890.
Pratt, George Dupont, 1869-
Ricketts, Palmer C. (Palmer Chamberlain), 1856-1934.
Smith, E. Quincy (Edward Quincy), b. 1868.
Speer, Robert E. (Robert Elliott), 1867-1947.
Stimson, Frederic Jesup, 1855-1943.
Vrooman, Charles Elliott.
Walker, Albert Henry, 1844-1915.
Wallace, Henry Cantwell, 1866-1924.
Wickersham, George W. (George Woodward), 1858-1936.
Woodward, Sidney C.


Governors -- New York (State)
Politicians -- United States.


New York (State) -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950.

Genres and Forms




Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Charles Evans Hughes Letters
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents


Index to correspondence


Index to correspondence