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William T. Pheiffer Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: LD
Date: 3 Aug 1988

Biographical History

William T. Pheiffer (1898-1986) was an American lawyer and legislator. He served in the United States Army during World War I and then received his law degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1919. He was elected as a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York, serving from 1941 to 1943. He served in the military again during World War II (1943-1944), after which he was appointed counsel to the Petroleum Administration for War, a position he held until 1945. President Eisenhower appointed Pheiffer U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic in 1953, where he served until 1957.

The Julius Garfinckel who appears in the correspondence was Pheiffer's maternal uncle, and a successful merchant and philanthropist from Syracuse, New York.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The William T. Pheiffer Papers contains correspondence, articles, clippings, legislative records, photographs, and speeches related to Pheiffer's legal career and legislative term, the Republican National Committee, the Eisenhower campaign, and the Dominican Republic.

The collection is subdivided chronologically, according to phases in Pheiffer's career. Private life, early career and personal contains family correspondence and material relating to Pheiffer's years as a practicing lawyer in Texas. Public service career (I) material relates to Pheiffer's congressional service as a representative from New York, from 1941-1943, including elections, fundraising, bills and other items. Private life, transition period refers to Pheiffer's work as a member of the Petroleum Administration for War and then as an attorney in private practice; included here is material relating to the Eisenhower campaign. Public service career (II) is almost entirely concerned with his years as Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, inluding correspondence, clippings, speeches and other items. Material in Private life, later career reflects Pheiffer's return to private practice of law.

Memorabilia contains election posters and photographs.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is subdivided roughly chronologically, beginning with Pheiffer's early private life, followed by his first public service phase, his private life, transitional phase, his second stint in public service (including his Ambassadorship), and finally his later private life. Within each series, material does not appear to be in any particular order, and may still be in original order.


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


Pheiffer, William T. (William Townsend), 1898-

Corporate Bodies

Republican National Committee (U.S.)
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )


Ambassadors -- United States.
Lawyers -- United States.
Legislators -- United States.
Political campaigns.
Politicians -- United States.


Dominican Republic -- Foreign relations -- United States.
United States -- Diplomatic and consular service -- Dominican Republic.
United States -- Foreign relations -- Dominican Republic.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1933-1945.

Genres and Forms

Bills (legislative records)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Speeches (documents)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

William T. Pheiffer Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of William T. Pheiffer, 1964.

Gift of William T. Pheiffer Estate, 1986.

Table of Contents

Private life, early career and personal

Public service career (I)

Private life, transition period

Public service career (II)

Private life, later career