University of Texas Arlington

George W. Armstrong Papers:

A Guide



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Armstrong, George Washington, 1866-.
Title: George W. Armstrong Papers
Dates: 1886-1976
1914-1954
Abstract: George W. Armstrong was a businessman, lawyer, and politician. He served as a Tarrant County judge, 1894-1899. Papers include his business and personal papers, 1914-1954; the papers of his wife Mary C. Armstrong, 1949-1975; the papers of George Van Horn Moseley, 1947-1954; Armstrong's collection of publications and pamphlets, 1909-1976; and posters, newspapers, and scrapbooks, 1886-1961. Armstrong's business correspondence pertains primarily to the Texas Steel Company, the Texas Chamber of Commerce, the Southern Tariff Association, and agriculture in Oklahoma and Mississippi, including the Homochitto River Drainage Project. Armstrong's political correspondence reflects his activities with the Judge Armstrong Foundation and the Texas Educational Association, and his relationship with right-wing exponents including the Ku Klux Klan and leaders of the American anti-Semitic movement of the period, such as Gerald L. K. Smith and Elizabeth Dilling. Mary Armstrong's Papers are comprised of correspondence with friends and family, business managers, and some of her husband's political correspondents, as well as genealogical information on the Armstrong family. The papers of George Van Horn Moseley, who headed the Judge Armstrong Foundation, 1949-1954, consist of his correspondence with Armstrong and others during this time and other records pertaining to the business of the foundation and the Texas Educational Association. The Armstrong publication and pamphlet collection includes writings by Armstrong and others, research material, and correspondence.
Identification: AR335
Extent: 200 boxes (104 linear ft.)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries

Historical Note

George W. Armstrong was a businessman, lawyer, and politician. He served as Tarrant County judge, 1894-1899, founded the Texas Steel Company and the Fort Worth Gas Company, helped establish the Southern Tariff Association and the Texas Chamber of Commerce, and had farming and ranching enterprises in Oklahoma (Horseshoe Ranch) and Mississippi (Woodstock Plantation). He espoused right wing political beliefs, including endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan and anti-Semitic groups, and established the Judge Armstrong Foundation to promote his political and economic philosophy. During the 1930s, he ran for the offices of governor and senator as a Democrat.

A notable correspondent of Armstrong's was George Van Horn Moseley (1874-1960), a retired general of the U.S. Army who served as president of the Judge Armstrong Foundation from 1949 to 1954. Moseley graduated from West Point in 1899, and served with the cavalry in the Philippines and the southwestern United States. He was one of Pershing's staff officers during World War I, and achieved the final rank of Major General. Douglas MacArthur selected him as deputy chief of staff for the United States Armed Forces, a position he held until 1933. His last command was the Fourth Corps Area and the Third Army, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. After his retirement in 1938, Moseley attacked the Roosevelt Administration and the New Deal, and made a series of speeches promoting "Americanism" which attacked communists and Jews. Sources: New York Times, Nov. 8, 1960; National Cyclopedia of American Biography, G: 177.


Scope and Contents

Papers include his business and personal papers, 1914-1954; the papers of his wife, Mary C. Armstrong, 1949-1975; the George Van Horn Moseley Papers, 1947-1954; a collection of Armstrong publications and pamphlets, 1909-1976; and posters, newspapers, and scrapbooks, 1886-1961. Armstrong's business correspondence pertains primarily to the Texas Steel Company; agriculture in Oklahoma and Mississippi, including the Homochitto River Drainage Project; the Texas Chamber of Commerce; and the Southern Tariff Association. Sons George, Jr., and Allen Armstrong and nephews Y. Q. McCammon and B. V. Thompson assisted in operating Armstrong's enterprises and are prominent in the papers. Armstrong's political correspondence reflects his activities with the Judge Armstrong Foundation and the Texas Educational Association, and his relationship with right-wing exponents including the Ku Klux Klan and leaders of the American anti-Semitic movement of the period, such as Gerald L. K. Smith and Elizabeth Dilling. Mary Armstrong's Papers are comprised of correspondence with friends and family, business managers, and some of her husband's political correspondents, as well as genealogical information on the Armstrong family. The papers of George Van Horn Moseley, who headed the Judge Armstrong Foundation, 1949-1954, consist of his correspondence with Armstrong and others during this time and other records pertaining to the business of the foundation and the Texas Educational Association. The Armstrong publication and pamphlet collection includes writings by Armstrong and others, research material, and correspondence. The last series contains notebooks, clippings, and flyers related to Armstrong's early political and business activities in Tarrant County, clippings of articles by Armstrong, ledgers from the Mississippi plantations, and includes newpapers, political posters, books, and pamphlets which reflect Armstrong's political philosophy.

The George W. Armstrong Papers date from 1886 to 1976, and consist of 94 linear feet of correspondence in manuscript boxes and 10 linear feet of books, pamphlets, scrapbooks, ledgers, broadsides and other material. In addition to Judge Armstrong's personal, business, and political papers, the papers also include the papers of his second wife Mary C. Armstrong, the papers of General George Van Horn Moseley Papers, and Armstrong's collection of publications, books, and pamphlets, posters, broadsides, and newspapers.

Armstrong's personal, business, and political correspondence reflects almost every major political movement of the first half of the twentieth century. Armstrong corresponded with Progressives and New Dealers, as well as the most extreme reactionaries, including such groups as the Ku Klux Klan and Gerald L.K. Smith's Christian Nationalist Party. While most of this material comes from the 20th century, Armstrong corresponded with many people whose antecedents reach back to the Populist crusades of the 1880s and 1890s. Other documents in the collection cover Armstrong's business and political activities from the mid-1880s to 1914.

The business correspondence is equally interesting and equally broad in scope. These papers contain a virtually complete history of Texas Steel, from its beginnings in the 1890s to the mid 1950s. Other business correspondence relates to ranching in Oklahoma, farming and ranching in Mississippi, and the oil and gas industry in Texas. Armstrong also helped create the Texas Chamber of Commerce, and served as one of its first presidents.

Also included within this series is correspondence and legal documents pertaining to lawsuits filed by Armstrong. A lawyer himself, Armstrong liked to prepare and present his own cases. Armstrong sued most frequently over excessive freight rates charged by railroads and for violations of interstate commerce laws by his competition in the steel industry. He argued cases before the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Texas Railroad Commission, and the Texas Supreme Court. He carried at least one case all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

The Mary Cozby Armstrong Papers consist of the personal correspondence of Mary C. Armstrong, George W. Armstrong's second wife. Most of this material is correspondence with friends and family. There is some business correspondence relating to Texas Steel, as Mrs. Armstrong inherited stock in that company from her husband. She also owned and operated her own business, the Magnolia Inn, located in Natchez, Mississippi. The Magnolia Inn was a restored plantation the Armstrongs acquired in the 1940s and converted into a resort hotel. Mrs. Armstrong continued to operate the Inn on her own after her husband's death.

Mrs. Armstrong's papers also contain some political correspondence. Mrs. Armstrong shared her husband's political interest and continued to support and correspond with many of Judge Armstrong's former friends and associates, most notably George Van Horn Moseley and Gerald L. K. Smith.

Mrs. Armstrong was an avid genealogist, and belonged to the Mary Isham Keith Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, in Fort Worth, Texas. She compiled genealogical and historical data on both the Armstrong and Cozby families. These papers are contained in this series. She also edited and published Judge Armstrong's autobiography, Memoirs of George W. Armstrong. This volume was published in 1958. The Armstrong Papers contain correspondence relating to the writing and publication of the Memoirs as well as the publication itself.

The George Van Horn Moseley Papers consist of the correspondence Moseley carried on with Armstrong and others during his tenure as head of the Judge Armstrong Foundation, a copy of Mosely's service record, and other records pertaining to the daily business of the foundation. Moseley and Armstrong began corresponding in 1947, and Armstrong selected Moseley to head his foundation in 1948.

Armstrong's book and pamphlet collection includes material written by Armstrong and other publications he collected. Between 1909 and 1953, Armstrong wrote dozens of articles for newspapers and magazines, as well as fifteen books and pamphlets he published at his own expense. The collections holds some of his original manuscripts and research material.

In addition to works by American right-wing authors, this collection contains material by English, European, and South African fascists of the 1920s and 1930s. There are even a few items from New Zealand and Australia. Armstrong corresponded with many of these writers.


Organization

The George W. Armstrong Papers consist of materials arranged in 5 series across 196 manuscript boxes and 4 oversized boxes:
Series I. George W. Armstrong Correspondence and Papers, 1914-1954 (177 manuscript boxes)
Series II. Mary C. Armstrong Papers, 1949-1975 (7 boxes)
Series III. George Van Horn Moseley Papers, 1949-1954 (3 boxes)
Series IV. Armstrong Publication and Pamphlet Collection, 1909-1954 (7 boxes)
Series V. Posters, Broadsides and Newspapers, 1886-1976 (6 boxes)

Restrictions

Access

Open for research.


Index Terms

These materials are indexed under the following headings in the catalog of The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Persons
Armstrong, George Washington, 1866---Archives.
Armstrong, Mary C. (Mary Cozby), 1898-1988--Archives.
Moseley, George Van Horn, 1874-1960--Archives.
Organizations
Southern Tariff Association--Records and correspondence.
Texas Steel Company--Records and correspondence.
Texas Chamber of Commerce--Records and correspondence.
Judge Armstrong Foundation--Records and correspondence.
Texas Educational Association--Records and correspondence.
Fort Worth Gas Company--Records and correspondence.
Ku Klux Klan (1915-)--History--Sources.
Christian Nationalist Party (U.S.)--History--Sources.
Subjects
Businessmen--Texas--Fort Worth--Biography--Sources.
Businessmen--Mississippi--Biography--Sources.
Lawyers--Texas--Biography--Sources.
Rich people--Texas--Biography--Sources.
Right-wing extremists--United States----Biography--Sources.
Ranches--Oklahoma--Murray County--History--Sources.
Plantations--Mississippi--Natchez--History--Sources.
Places
Tarrant County (Tex.)--Politics and government--History--Sources.
Alternate Titles
Historical Manuscripts

Related Material


Separated Material


Administrative Information

Provenance

The George W. Armstrong Collection is on permanent loan to the Special Collections Division of The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. The papers were received by Gerald Saxon, Director of the Special Collections Division, from Thomas K. Armstrong, on March 11, 1988. The papers were originally stored at Woodstock Plantation, the Armstrong family's residence near Natchez, Mississippi. Legal title, copyrights, and literary property rights are retained by the donor.

Citation

George W. Armstrong Papers, AR335, Box Number, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.

Processing Information

The papers arrived with the original order still essentially intact, although there were substantial sections that required reorganization and integration into the rest of the collection. Prior to 1920, the correspondence appears to have been arranged alphabetically, and rather haphazardly by subject. Separate files were kept for each of Armstrong's enterprises: one for the Oklahoma ranch business, another for Fort Worth businesses, and so on. This order is maintained in the collection's arrangement.

Beginning in 1920, Armstrong consolidated the various enterprises into a single entity, the George W. Armstrong Company, and filed all business and political correspondence together. Also beginning in 1920, his secretary (and future wife), Mary Cozby, took over his files and maintained them until his death in 1954. Cozby arranged most of the correspondence chronologically, and thereunder in alphabetical order. The correspondence for each year was filed on a bimonthly or quarterly basis, and placed in wood and cardboard letter boxes for storage at the end of each year. The correspondence for January-February, for example, would be in a single box, in separate folders for each letter of the alphabet. This arrangement was altered slightly, in order to avoid redundancy. As the papers were moved to records boxes, folders for each letter were kept together, in chronological order. For example: if you were looking for a letter from A. J. Arnold, in March, 1925, you would pull the March file from the box containing files under the letter "A." Most of these papers are in fair to good condition, although there was significant water and insect damage to some sections. Considerable correspondence consists of carbon copies on very brittle and fragile paper.


Note to the Researcher

Researchers interested in business history are advised to consult the "A" files in the post-1920 material in Series I. Armstrong's businesses were essentially family enterprises. All important business decisions were made by Armstrong and carried out by his sons, either George W. Armstrong, Jr., or Allen Armstrong. Consequently, almost all of the most important business correspondence can be found in these files. Other important business correspondence can be found in the "M" files as the accounting firm of Y. Q. McCammon, Armstrong's nephew, handled Armstrong's taxes and important financial affairs, including annual audits for Texas Steel. Beginning in the late 1940s, attention should also be given to the correspondence of Beverly Thompson, Jr., Armstrong's grandson, under "TUV." Thompson was an officer of Texas Steel as well as an official of the Armstrong Foundation. A careful survey of these files will also serve as a guide to the relevant business correspondence in the rest of the collection. Correspondence prior to 1920 is almost all business and is between Armstrong, his sons, his nephew Y. Q. McCammon, a few employees, and business associates.

The finding aid describes the correspondence for each year and prefaces the year with a list of primary correspondents and a brief synopsis of that year's events, along with highlights of the most important correspondence. The date and name of correspondents are followed by a short summary of each letter's content. When several letters cover the same subject, they are summarized in a single citation.

The researcher should also remember that Armstrong corresponded with many of the authors of the books and pamphlets that he collected.


Administrative Information

Grant Support

The retrospective updating and conversion of this finding aid was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Special Collections "Documenting Democracy: Access to Historical Records" project, 2014-2015.


Container List

Series I. George W. Armstrong Papers (177 boxes), 1914-1954

Box
1 1914-1916
Financial records, monthly reports and balance sheets relating to Armstrong's Fort Worth and Oklahoma business enterprises. Aside from a deed for the Texas Rolling Mills Co. property located in Box 196, these are the earliest business records in the collection.
1-15 April 1914-May 1916
Fort Worth Gas Co. balance sheets. One to five legal size pages each folder. Armstrong founded the Fort Worth Gas Co.(1)
16-32 December 1915-August 1915
Texas Rolling Mills Co. reports and balance sheets. One to five legal size pages each folder.
33-51 April 1914-December 1915
Trader's Investment Co. balance sheets. Trader's Investment Co. was a small real estate firm Armstrong owned in Fort Worth.
52 December 1914
Horseshoe Ranch Co. Sixty pages of financial statements, audits and inventories of equipment and stock for 1914.(2)
53 1914
Adabel Oil Co. & Dorthea Oil Co. Financial reports for two small oil companies Armstrong owned in partnership with Fred H Wickett.(3)
54 December 1914
Audit and profit and loss statement for John K Breeden & Co., an oil production company. Armstrong's exact relation to this company is not clear. He might have been an investor.
55 June 1914
Audit for Mission Cotton Oil Co., located in Mission, Texas. Mission Cotton Oil Co. was owned by Hubble, Slack & Co., of which Armstrong was a partner.(4)
Box
2 1915
Horseshoe Ranch business correspondence. Correspondence with Allen Armstrong (Judge Armstrong's oldest son) and M. B. Armstrong (one of Armstrong's nephews and the ranch bookkeeper) relating to Horseshoe Ranch business.
Other correspondence relates to Hubble, Slack & Co. and Armstrong's involvement in war contracts with the Allied Powers in Europe. A letter from D. F. Pennefether, a London businessman, discusses the problems of Belgian refugees and English feeling about the war. A letter from Armstrong to his partner A. B. Slack indicates that Armstrong did some trading with Germany, which eventually alienated Pennefether and terminated their business relationship. Another interesting letter from Slack discusses the war situation in Europe. Slack traveled across central Europe and reported on conditions in Germany and Italy.
Box
3-4 1915-1916
Telegrams relating to Hubble, Slack & Co. war contracts with the French government. Armstrong and his partners contracted with the French to supply horses and hay. The effort was plagued with trouble from the beginning, finally ending in disaster when the ships carrying the horses and hay were lost at sea in a storm. Box 3 contains a 1915 financial statement for Hubble, Slack & Co., and telegrams relating to the loss of the ships and the frantic efforts of the partners to salvage their business. Box 4 contains photocopy duplicates of the telegrams. The originals are very fragile and should not be used by researchers.(5)
Box
5-6 1916
Box 5. General correspondence. January 28 letter from A. J. Bullock, on a January 4 assassination attempt against Armstrong, blamed on socialists. Other correspondence relates to a rate controversy between Armstrong's Fort Worth Gas Co. and the city of Fort Worth.(6)
Box 6. Business correspondence. Correspondence relating to the railroad strike of 1916. Armstrong wrote a series of articles and letters to the editor regarding this strike and sent them to several newspapers. These files contain copies of these articles and a mailing list of the newspapers to which he sent them.
Box
7-10 1917
Box 7. Correspondence with Y. Q. McCammon and Allen Armstrong on Horseshoe Ranch business. Correspondence on Armstrong's plan to sell his property in Oklahoma and move his stock to his recently purchased Mississippi plantations.
Box 8. Correspondence with George Carden relating to the continuing problems with the war contracting business of 1915-1916, and the problems of Steger & Co. Carden was a partner with Armstrong and Col. E. D. Steger in Steger & Co.(7)
Box 9. General business correspondence relating to farming and ranching in Mississippi and Oklahoma Other correspondence relates to Texas Rolling Mills Co. in Fort Worth and Armstrong's oil and gas interests in Texas and Oklahoma
Box 10. Correspondence relating to the iron mill in Rusk, Texas. This mill was owned by the state of Texas and worked with convict labor. The correspondence discusses the history of the mill. Armstrong was interested in buying the plant and transforming it into a modern steel mill. He was unable to carry out this plan.
Box
11 1918
Correspondence with Allen Armstrong and Y. Q. McCammon on Armstrong's farming and ranching businesses in Mississippi and Oklahoma.
Box
12-13 1919
These files contain material on the Associated Industries of Texas and the Texas Chamber of Commerce. Armstrong belonged to the Associated Industries of Texas and helped establish the Texas Chamber of Commerce. This correspondence relates to Armstrong's role in establishing the Chamber of Commerce.
There is extensive correspondence in these files on the post-war readjustment period and its effects on Texas industry and agriculture. Topics discussed include: labor relations; state and federal regulations and their effects on business; a readjustment conference held in Houston; and the Cox Bill for the regulation of natural gas production and rates. Armstrong was a co-author of the Cox Bill.(8)
These papers also include correspondence with Texas state representatives and Texas congressmen.
Box
14 1919
Correspondence with Allen Armstrong and Y. Q. McCammon on farming and ranching operations in Oklahoma and Mississippi. Armstrong was closing down the last of his Oklahoma ranching properties and completing the move to Mississippi began during the war. The business correspondence in this section indicates that Armstrong was beginning to experience the financial decline that would culminate in his 1923 bankruptcy. In spite of his problems he continues to work to expand his steel business.
Other correspondence relates to the complex series of lawsuits resulting from the losses suffered in the war contracting venture of 1915-1916.
Box
15-18 1920
Correspondents: Arnold, J. A.; Bai ley, Senator Joseph Weldon; Boaz, Bishop H. A.; Cullinan, J. S.; Ferguson, Govenor James; Hobby, Governor W. P.; Hogg, Will; Kirby, John H.; Lindenthal, Dr. Gustav; Nelson, John M.
The correspondence in this section reflects the anxiety of the business community over the deepening financial crisis known as the "Panic of '20." Armstrong became increasingly preoccupied with the "money question" and the policies of the Federal Reserve Board as his own financial fortunes declined. Much of the correspondence in this section deals with Armstrong's investigation of the origins of the Federal Reserve system.
Armstrong helped Kirby and Arnold establish the Southern Protective Tariff Association and the American Cotton Association The Southern Protective Tariff Association was dedicated to raising tariff barriers against foreign imports. The American Cotton Association promoted the interest of Southern and Southwestern cotton farmers. Armstrong was especially interested in protecting his own markets from cheap European steel. Armstrong also collaborated with Kirby and Arnold in organizing the Southwestern Open Shop Association. The aim of this organization was to prevent labor unions from effectively organizing in the Southwest. All of these organizations had political sections that engaged in lobbying. various state legislatures and the Congress in Washington.
Box
19 1920
Correspondents: Anderson, F. A.; Armstrong, M. B.; Armstrong, R. C.; Beveridge M. E.; Cullinan, J. S.; Darden, Ida M.; First Farmer's and Mechanic's National Bank; Horseshoe Ranch Co.; Jones, C. H.; Kirby, John Henry; Manufacturers' Record (Richard Edmonds, ed.); A. Norden & Co.; Smith, Barny; Texas Chamber of Commerce; Wortham, Louis
These papers were stored in a letter box, separate from the rest of the 1920 material. Business correspondence in this section reflects the financial troubles Armstrong faced due to the panic of 1920. Armstrong experienced difficulty in making his loan payments to several banks. Other business correspondence includes material on Horseshoe Ranch, Texas Steel, and the Texas Chamber of Commerce.
John H. Kirby approached Armstrong for help in organizing the Southern Protective Tariff Association (see above).
Selected Correspondence 1920
January-December 1920
Armstrong, M. B.; Armstrong, R. C.
Business correspondence with Judge Armstrong's brother, R. C. Armstrong, and cousin, M. B. Armstrong, on Horseshoe Ranch Co. and other Oklahoma business ventures.
Beveridge, M. E. November 2
Letter from Beveridge, a cotton merchant, suggesting the U. S. develop better trade relations with the Soviet Union, in order to create new markets for American cotton and thereby relieve the distress of American cotton farmers. Remarkably sympathetic to the Soviet Union, which Beveridge describes as a "cooperative commonwealth."
Cullinan, J. S. November 12, 16
Correspondence with Cullinan on a November 20 organizational meeting with John Kirby for the Southern Tariff Association.
Darden, Ida M. November
Ida M. Darden was the secretary for the Southern Tariff Association and assisted Kirby and A. J. Arnold with other lobbying efforts. Correspondence on organizing the Southern Tariff Association.(9)
First Farmers' and Mechanics' National Bank December 28
Correspondence on Armstrong's financial problems.
Horseshoe Ranch Co.; Jones, C. A.
Correspondence with Jones on daily operations of Armstrong's Oklahoma farming and ranching property.
Kirby, John H. November 13, 16
Correspondence with Kirby on organizing Southern Tariff Association. Nov. 16 letter from Kirby invites Armstrong to participate in organizing the Association.
McCammon, Y. Q. February 10
Correspondence on Horseshoe Ranch business; on shipping cattle from Oklahoma to Mississippi.
Manufacturers' Record (Richard Edmonds, ed.) November 8-11
Correspondence on an article on the Federal Reserve Board Armstrong published in the Nov. 11 issue of the Manufacturers' Record. Edmonds suggests Armstrong have the article reprinted and distributed to Congress.
A. Norden & Co November 11 - 15
Correspondence with Norden & Co. on Armstrong's financial difficulties: "Your method of ignoring our margin calls has been a surprise to us." Armstrong replied that "This cussed financial situation [the crash of 1920] has me tied up temporarily."
Smith, Barny
Correspondence on Texas Steel business
Texas Chamber of Commerce November 2-6
Correspondence with officers of the Texas Chamber of Commerce, with clippings from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The Star-Telegram criticized the Chamber for favoring Dallas business over the rest of the state.
Wortham, Louis August 17
From Wortham, replying to Armstrong's criticism of Star-Telegram editorial policies.
Box
20-21 1920
Correspondents: Arnold, J. A.; Carden, George; Kirby, John H.; Smith, Barny; Southern Protective Tariff Association; Texas Republican Counsel
This material was filed separately from the other 1920 correspondence, and seems to have been kept for a specific purpose--probably having to do with Armstrong's financial worries. The correspondence with Arnold shows Armstrong's growing tendency to tie his business problems to political factors. Using his links with the Southern Protective Tariff Association and the American Cotton Association, he urged the Republicans in congress to pass stronger tariffs. Armstrong's associate A. J. Arnold was also on the Texas Republican Council.
Armstrong's correspondence with Barny Smith, his General Manager at Texas Steel, discusses the efforts of "radicals" to organize a union.
June-July
Armstrong, Allen July 13
To Allen Armstrong. Allen has recently moved to Mexico to work in the oil industry. Armstrong Sr. expresses the belief that he can continue to expand both Texas Steel and his Mississippi plantations in spite of the financial panic and his own money problems.
Arnold, J. A.
Correspondence with Arnold on organizing a protective tariff conference for Southern businessmen.
Smith, Barny July
Correspondence with Smith, Armstrong's general manager at Texas Steel. General business correspondence. July 1 letter discusses labor problems at Texas Steel.
Trentman Company
Correspondence with Trentman Company on business matters in Fort Worth, Texas.
July-September
Arnold, J. A. Sept. 12-13
Arnold is writing on behalf of the Texas Republican Council. Armstrong and Arnold discuss: pushing a strong tariff; Arnold's lobbying efforts before Congress; other correspondence on tariff matters.
Carden, George
Carden and Armstrong exchange letters over money owed Carden by Armstrong, apparently from their partnership in the war contracting venture.
Kirby, John H.
Correspondence with Kirby on tariff matters, along much the same lines as with Arnold above.
Smith, Barny July 31
From Smith to Armstrong on labor problems at Texas Steel. A strike is threatened, Smith blames "radicals." Smith believes that "seventy-five percent of our men would be back to work within a week."
Box
22-26 1921
Correspondents: Bailey, Joseph W.; Cameron, W. J.; Gompers, Samuel; Harding, W. P. G.; Hay, John; Henry, Congressman R. L.; Cullinan, J. S.; Lanham, Congressman Fritz; Mellon, Andrew; Meyer, Eugene; Senter, E. G.; Sheppard, Senator Morris; Woodman, C. W.
By 1921, Armstrong realized that he was in serious financial trouble. Armstrong believed he had discovered the causes of the financial crisis of 1920. Desiring to put his ideas before the public, he wrote the Crime of '20, his first book. In gathering material for this book he corresponded with Senator Sheppard and Representatives Lanham and Henry about the Federal Reserve law. He also corresponded with W. P. G. Harding, president of the Federal Reserve Board; Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon; and Eugene Meyer, Chairman of the War Finance Corporation, about the origin of the Federal Reserve system.
Armstrong tried to interest labor leaders in his economic theories. He sent letters and articles to Samuel Gompers of the AFL; John Hay, the last Grand Master of the Knights of Labor; and Texas Labor leader C. W. Woodman.
While working on Crime of '20, Armstrong began a 20 year correspondence with Erasmus Gilbert Senter. Senter was a lawyer and the editor and publisher of several magazines and newspapers in North Texas. He was general manager for the Fort Worth Gazette, and later helped start the Evening Telegram, which later became the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Senter supported the Populist wing of the Democratic party and was an avid partisan of William Jennings Bryan. Senter was a leader in the Populist-inspired reform wing of the Texas Democratic party. He served in the Texas State Legislature from 1906 to 1910, and was responsible for the passage of much reform legislation. In the 1920s Senter helped organize the struggle against the KKK. Ironically, his friend Armstrong was an avid klan supporter. Senter helped Armstrong edit and publish Crime of 20 and several other books.(10)
Selected Correspondence 1921
January-March
Bailey, William J. Feb. 21-22
Letters from William J. Bailey and Nelson Cowley commenting on Armstrong's recent letters-to-the-editor and newspaper articles on the Federal Reserve and other political topics.
Hay, John February. 12
Letter from John W. Hay, Grand Master of the Knights of Labor. The Knights journal, National Labor Digest, published one of Armstrong's articles.
April-May
Cameron, W. J. May 24
Letter to W. J. Cameron, editor of Henry Ford's Dearborn Independent. Armstrong offered an article for publication and expressed an interest in the "Jewish question" and Ford's anti-Semitic publications.(11)
Carter, Amon May 26
Correspondence with Amon Carter, involving a controversy arising from the fact that Carter did not use Texas Steel products in the construction of the new Fort Worth Star Telegram building.
Hay, John May 9
Another letter from John Hay, soliciting another article for the National Labor Digest.
June-July
Harding, W. P. G. June 15
Correspondence with W. P. G. Harding Governor of the Federal Reserve Board. Armstrong believed that the Federal Reserve Board was responsible for the financial panic of 1920.
Lanham, Fritz June 27
Letter to Congressman Fritz Lanham asking for information on the Federal Reserve Board, to use in writing Crime of '20.
Mellon, Andrew June 25
Correspondence with Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon, and Eugene Meyer, of the War Finance Corporation, requesting an emergency agricultural loan for Armstrong's Mississippi property.
Owen, Senator Robert June 24
Letter to Senator Robert Owen asking for a copy of the Owen-Glass bill, and for information on the role of financier Paul Warburg in creating the Federal Reserve banking system.
Senter, E. G. June 27
Begins correspondence with E. G Senter, and forms partnership with Senter to publish Crime of '20 in serial form in Dixie, a journal published by Senter in Arlington, Texas.
Sheppard, Senator Morris June 28
Letter to Morris Sheppard requesting information on the Federal Reserve Board.
Cullinan, J. S. June 8
Letter to J. S. Cullinan on Governor W. P. G. Harding's visit to Texas. Beginning of an interesting exchange of letters between Armstrong, Senter, and Cullinan on Harding's proposed June 15 visit and how to present the grievances of Texas' businessmen against the Federal Reserve Board. (Includes copy of a Sept. 12, 1913 letter indicating that Armstrong once sought a position as director on the Dallas Federal Reserve Board.)
Dearborn Independent June 10-22
Exchange of letters with the editors of the Dearborn Independent on the "Jewish question" and requesting a copy of the International Jew.
Gompers, Samuel June 6
Letter from Gompers rejecting an article by Armstrong on the "money question."
Henry, R. L. July 29
Letter from Congressman Henry on Paul Warburg, Samuel Untermeyer, and William McAdoo and the role they played during the Wilson Administration increasing the Federal Reserve system.
Henry, R. L. July 15
Letter to Congressman Henry requesting information on Paul Warburg and Samuel Untermeyer, whom Armstrong believed responsible for the Federal Reserve law.
Jones, T. N. June 1
Letter from Jones, and Armstrong's reply. Discussion of a co-operative marketing scheme.
Meyer, Eugene June 11
Correspondence with Eugene Meyer and Samuel Untermeyer on the history of the Federal Reserve system.
August-September
Bailey, Senator Joseph Weldon August 27
From J. W. Bailey, thanking Armstrong for a copy of "Coin" Harvy's pamphlet Common Sense, and commenting that Harvy's system would not work.
Cullinan, J. S. October 6
Armstrong to J. S. Cullinan, about his new book Crime of '20 predicting it will sell a million copies. Speaks of plans to run for Senate.
Edmonds, Richard October 12
Armstrong to Edmonds, editor of the Baltimore-based Manufacturers' Record, on Crime of '20, enclosing copy of letter from Bernard Baruch; refers to the presence of the "Jewish" Baruch on the board.
Fort Worth State Bank September 3 & 12
From Ft. Worth State Bank, informing Armstrong that his paper has been reclassified as "doubtful"; a first hint of approaching bankruptcy.
Ku Klux Klan October 19
Letter to A. R. Crawford, a local Klan official. Armstrong is "honored" by Crawford's invitation to join the Klan, but declines because he "does not believe in secret societies."
Kirby, John H. November 5
Letter to Kirby acknowledging that he is facing bankruptcy. Armstrong accuses his former business partners A. B. Slack and William Weatherford (also his brother-in-law) of trying to humiliate him when he asked for help.(12)
Senter, E. G. October 19
From Senter. Senter reminisces about his early days and his job with the Ft. Worth Gazette.
November-December
Armstrong, Allen November 4
To Allen Armstrong. Judge Armstrong informs Allen that "My book (Crime of '20) is finished and will be out in a few days."
Claborne, Charles November 29, December 1&2
Correspondence regarding Armstrong's plans to testify before the Senate Ways and Means Committee and the National Republican Committee on the financial crisis of 1920. Letters to Claborne and H. J. Galloway; copies of Claborne's correspondence with Boise Penrose; press release by Penrose.
Williams, John Skelton November 8
Correspondence with Williams on monetary policy and the Federal Reserve Board. Williams was a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and had held several other Federal offices. A note from Williams thanking Armstrong for a copy of Crime of '20; copy of a November 1 press release by Williams on the Federal Reserve system; other correspondence critical of the Federal Reserve Board.
Box
27-33 1922
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George Jr.; Baruch, Bernard; Boaz, H. A.; Creager, R. B.; Davis, "Cyclone"; Edmonds, Richard H.; Farmers' Educational Cooperative Union; Ferguson, Governor Jim; Frewen, Merton; Glass, Senator Carter; Gompers, Samuel; Harding, W. P. G.; Harvey, W. H. "Coin"; Heflin, Senator. J. Thomas; Hogg, Will; Hopkins, John H.; Kirby, John H.; Kitson, Arthur; LaFollette, Robert; Loucks, H. L.; Panton, S. P.; Tobias, Glen C.; Van Zandt, R. L.; Vincent, Henry; Wannamaker, J.S.; Watson, Tom; Williams, John Skelton; Woodruff, M. T.
Armstrong spent 1922 trying to avoid bankruptcy, promoting his recently published book Crime of '20, and working on Truth, a new book on monetary reform. His search for solutions to his financial problems and his interest in monetary policy drew him into the political arena. He maintained a firm foothold within the Democratic party but developed contacts within the Republican party by cultivating a good relationship with R. B. Creager, a leading Texas Republican. Armstrong also corresponded with Progressives such as Robert LaFollette and old Populist leaders such as W. H. "Coin" Harvey, H. L. Loucks, and Henry Vincent. He was briefly affiliated with the Liberal party, a small leftist group made up primarily of Progressives and some old Populists. The Liberal party also drew support from intellectuals such as Will Durrant and John Dewey.(13) Armstrong was attracted to the party because they promoted the inflationary monetary policies of the old Populist party. One faction of the Liberal party actively sought to attract the support of Henry Ford, who Armstrong greatly admired. The Liberal party never embraced or promoted anti-Semitism, but there seems to have been an obvious strain of anti-Semitism within a faction of the party. Neither Henry Vincent nor H. L. Loucks objected to the anti-Semitism in Armstrong's books. Harvey and a few others expressed reservations about Armstrong's obvious racial and religious prejudice, but none of them were moved to disassociate themselves from him. Other factions within the party were more or less socialistic and called for the nationalization of major industries. Armstrong found this disturbing and eventually severed his ties with the Liberals.(14)
For material on Armstrong's financial and business affairs, the researcher may refer to the correspondence with John H. Kirby and Glen C. Tobias. Tobias was a consultant Armstrong hired to help re-finance and reorganize Texas Steel. Kirby, an East Texas oil and timber magnate, was an old friend of Armstrong's and would eventually help him recover from bankruptcy. This correspondence reflects Armstrong's growing desperation as he realized that he was facing bankruptcy.
Selected Correspondence 1922
January-February
Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr. January 16
Armstrong to his sons on his difficult financial situation. Armstrong blames his financial problems on his tendency to be over generous towards his friends. He advises his sons to avoid this fault.
Ford, Henry January 16
Two letters to Henry Ford, one asking Ford to invest in his steel mill, another praising Ford for publishing the International Jew and exposing "sinister Jewish activities." Armstrong enclosed a complementary copy of Crime of '20.
Kirby, John H. January 17
Armstrong to Kirby outlining his financial problems and explaining what Kirby can do to help.
Baruch, Bernard February 7; January 23
Letters to Baruch, enclosing a copy of Crime of '20 and asking Baruch to review it and make any "comments or corrections" he thinks necessary.
Ferwen, Merton January 24
Letter to Merton Frewen, an English monetary theorist, asking for a review of Crime of '20.
Ferwen, Merton January 30
Letter from the editor of Governor Jim Ferguson's newspaper, the Ferguson Form, thanking Armstrong for a complimentary copy of Crime of '20. Armstrong sometimes published articles in the Forum.
Edmonds, Richard October 7, 1921 (Filed in Jan.)
Letter from Edmonds suggesting Armstrong send copies of Crime of '20 to Arther Kitson and Merton Ferwen, two English writers on monetary theory who held views similar to Armstrong's.(15)
Gompers, Samuel January 20-21
Exchange of letters with Gompers on Crime of '20.
Harvey, W. H. "Coin" January 23
Letter to Harvey requesting a review of Crime of '20; the beginning of Armstrong's correspondence with Harvey.
Hoover, Herbert January 23
Letter to Hoover, then Secretary of Commerce, requesting a review of Crime of '20.
Kirby, John H. January 24 & 26
Correspondence with Kirby on Armstrong's problems with his creditors, especially his brother-in-law Weatherford.(16)
Senter, E. G. January 23-31
Correspondence with Senter on the National Farmers Conference held on Jan. 23 in Washington, D. C. Senter reports on a speech by William Jennings Bryan, and expresses the opinion that the conference was called to "give the farmers an opiate."
Wannamaker, J. S. December 19, 1921-January, 31 1922
Correspondence with J. S. Wannamaker, President of the American Cotton Association, on the problems of American cotton farmers caused by the financial crisis of 1920. Wannamaker proposes a cooperative marketing scheme. Copies of letters from Wannamaker to Senator Duncan Fletcher, Richard Edmonds, and President Warren G. Harding enclosed. Wannamaker urges Armstrong to distribute his book at the Farmers Conference.
Watson, Tom February 4
Letter to Tom Watson requesting a review of Crime of '20.
February
Arnold, J. A. February 9
From Arnold on the Southern Tariff Association, enclosing clippings on John H. Kirby's role in the Southern Tariff Association.
February 10-27
Armstrong wrote several letters to Ford, attempting to interest Ford in investing in Texas Steel and asking Ford to read Crime of '20.
Kirby, John H. February 25
Letter from Kirby on the progress of the tariff issue in the Democratic party: discussion of a third party to promote a more conservative economic policy. A circular from the Southern Tariff Association calling for a meeting in Ft. Worth March 15.
Kirby, John H. February 17-20
Exchange of letters between Armstrong and Kirby on upcoming Senate race, which each man considered making. They also discussed organizing a pro tariff movement in the Democratic party and Armstrong's financial problems.
Strong, Sterling P. February 11
Interesting letter from Strong reminiscing about the Greenback party the Free Silver movement, and William Jennings Bryan.
Vincent, Henry Liberal Magazine February 14-25
Correspondence with Henry Vincent on the Liberal magazine monetary policy, Armstrong's books and third party politics. Vincent was an old Populist organizer and propagandist who played a major role in the creation of the Populist movement and the dissemination of Populist ideas through the Reform Press Association, which he helped create. This material also includes correspondence with M. T. Woodruff, an editor of Ford's Dearborn Independent, on the Crime of '20. Woodruff agreed to help advertise and distribute Crime of '20.(17)
February-March
Edmonds, Richard February 23-March 4
Correspondence with Edmonds on the Federal Reserve Board, the "money question", and other issues. Copy of a letter from Stuyvesant Fish to Edmonds asking about Armstrong, and Edmonds' reply. Long letter from Edmonds on economic theory, quoting extensively from Swedish economist Gustav Cassel.(18)
Fish, Stuvesant February 27
From Fish, replying to Armstrong's request for a review of Crime of '20.
Kitson, Arthur March 17
Letter to Kitson asking permission to quote a letter from Kitson to Armstrong. S. P. Panton introduced Armstrong to Kitson and his pamphlets on monetary policy.
Panton, S. P. March 5
From S. P. Panton, on Kitson's writings and opinions on "the Jews" and their role in international finance.
Vincent, Henry March 13
Letter from Vincent praising Armstrong's "Incomparable book". Vincent Introduced Crime of '20 to W. H. "Coin" Harvey and M. T. Woodruff of the Dearborn Independent. Harvey thought Crime "a great book to push". The book was also favorably reviewed by LaFollettes' Magazine according to Vincent.
Woodruff, M. T. March 14 & 18
Exchange of letters with Woodruff on Armstrong's ideas on monetary policy.
Watson, Tom February 11
Letter from Watson thanking Armstrong for a copy of Crime of '20. Watson promised to mention the book in a Senate speech.
Wallace, Henry C. February-March
Copies of letters exchanged by Wallace and Wannamaker on agricultural policy, sent by Wannamaker to Armstrong.
March-April
Davis, James H. "Cyclone" March 29
To Davis, enclosing a copy of Crime of '20.
Davis, James H. "Cyclone" April 10
From Davis, thanking Armstrong for the book.
Edmonds, Richard March 14-17
Exchange of letters with Edmonds. Copies of Edmonds correspondence with Senator Duncan Fletcher on the Federal Reserve system.
Grece, Edward S. March 24 & 29
Exchange of letters with Grece on the anti-Semitism in Armstrong's writings. Grece, an old Populist crusader, urged Armstrong to drop the anti-Semitic material from Crime of '20. Armstrong agreed but later changed his mind.
Loucks, H. L. March 22
From Loucks mentioning "my old friend `Cyclone Davis'". Loucks was a national leader in the Populist movement, an organizer for the Farmer's Alliance and a writer on reform politics.(19)
Panton, S. P. April 2
From Panton, on the effects of deflation and "tight money" on economic conditions in the West.
Senter, E. G. March 25
From Senter on Texas politics. He believes that "the state is ripe for an independent movement."
Williams, Longbourne March 8
Williams sends Armstrong a chart published by his brother John Skelton Williams showing the effects of the "deflation of 1920".
April-May
(Contains some March correspondence)
Creager, R. B. May 6
Letter to Creager discussing the conditions under which Armstrong would be willing to run for Senate.
Harvey, W. H. "Coin" May 1
From Harvey thanking Armstrong for a copy of Crime of '20 and offering to help promote Armstrtong's book.
Harvey, W. H. "Coin" May 20
Long letter from Harvey--a critical review of Crime of '20.
Loucks, H. L. March 28
Long letter from Loucks on the Soldier Bonus movement. Enclosed is correspondence with J. T. Taylor, Lemual Bolles, and C. H English, officials of the American Legion, and Sen. Thomas Heflin.
Panton, S. P. March 29-May 8
Correspondence with Panton on monetary policy and their mutual correspondence with English monetary theorist Arthur Kitson. Panton introduced Armstrong to Kitson's writings on monetary policy and currency reform.
Vincent, Henry April 21-May 5
Correspondence with Vincent on promoting Crime of '20. Vincent was an editor of the Liberal, the official journal of the Liberal party. Vincent discusses conflicts among Liberal. staffers over questions of editorial policy, ownership, and political line. Vincent considered resigning and urges Armstrong to consider taking a position on the journal's board of directors.
May-June
Edison, Thomas May 25
Letter to Edison asking for an endorsement for Truth, Armstrong's latest book. Armstrong also asked Edison to write an introduction.
Harvey, W. H. "Coin" May 8
From Harvey, about promoting Armstrong's books through advertisements in Harvey's publications.
Kitson, Arthur April 3-June 9
Correspondence with Kitson on monetary theory in the United States and England. Armstrong sent Kitson a copy of his new book Truth and asked for copies of Kitson's books Credit Power and Democracy and Economic Democracy. Kitson's letter discusses his theory that a conspiracy of international bankers was attempting to rule the world through manipulation of the world's currencies.
Simpson, John A. May 27 & June 6
From Simpson, of the Farmer's Educational Cooperative Union, praising Crime of '20 and offering to advertise the book in the Union's publications.
Senter, E. G. May 24
From Senter, stating that "the Klan is about to get control in Dallas."
Sheppard, Senator Morris April 4
From Senator Morris Sheppard, enclosing a list of senators interested in reading Crime of '20.
Vincent, Henry April 29 & May 20
From Vincent hinting that Armstrong would be a likely running mate with Ford should Ford decide to run for president. Vincent also praised Armstrong's new book.
June-July
Committee of '48 July 5
From Armstrong to John H. Hopkins, chairman of the Committee of '48 and editor of the Liberal magazine. The Committee of '48 was the organizing committee of the Liberal party. Hopkins was also chairman of the Liberal party. Armstrong pledged $ 10 per month to support the party. Armstrong met with Vincent in late June or early July in Detroit to discuss plans for an independent political movement.
Edison, Thomas June 8
Letter from Edison's assistant, expressing Edison's regrets that he has been unable to read Armstrong's books.
Ford, Henry May 25
Letter to Ford urging him to run for president.
Hutchins, E. A. July 1
Interesting letter from Hutchins, an amateur economic theorist and Edward Bellamy fan. An eight page letter outlining a reform scheme based on Bellamy's Looking Backward.
Harvey, W. H. "Coin" June 30
Copy of letter from Harvey to Vincent. Harvey hopes Vincent will end his association with J. H. Hopkins. Harvey expresses doubts about Hopkins' loyalty to the "money question".
Harvey, W. H. "Coin" July 8
Letter from Harvey, urging Armstrong to help Vincent with Hopkins.
Vincent, Henry June 25
Letter from Vincent asking Armstrong to send a monthly contribution to the Liberal party.
July-August
Armstrong, Allen July 15
To Allen Armstrong about Judge Armstrong's plans for the future, his business prospects, his writing, and his plans to start a third party movement. Armstrong expressed bitterness toward both political parties, blaming them for the economic conditions causing his financial problems.
Ferguson, Governor James July 26
Letter from Jim Furgeson, thanking Armstrong for his support.
Loucks, H. L. July 14
Long letter from Loucks outlining his plan for promoting books by himself and Armstrong. Loucks discussed Ford and the "Jew proposition" and the importance of "getting the ear of Ford." He reminisces about his days with the Farmer's Alliance and the Populist party.
Loucks, H. L. July 25
Another letter from Loucks similar in content to July 14.
Vincent, Henry July 11-28
Exchange of letters between Vincent and Armstrong, discussing Armstrong's prospects for running for the Senate, progress of book sales, and the conditions of the Liberal party and the Liberal magazine. Vincent warns Armstrong that "spies" may be watching him because of his criticism of the Federal Reserve system. Armstrong begins to express reservations about the Liberal party.
Williams, John Skelton July 28
From Williams, on opposing the re-appointment of W. P. G. Harding to the Federal Reserve Board. Copy of a letter from Senator Heflin to President Harding enclosed.
August
Armstrong, Allen August 18
From Allen Armstrong, on his plans to re-marry.
Creager, R. B. August 2
From Creager, chairman of the Texas Republican party. Expresses surprise at Armstrong's interest in becoming a member of the Federal Reserve Board. Creager proposed an alliance between the "better elements" of the Democratic and Republican parties.
Creager, R. B. September 2
From Creager, similar to above.
Grece, Edward S. August 4
Letter from Grece, a longtime Populist. Grece reminisces about the Greenback party and Populist movement. Grece served on the National Committees of both parties, and knew many prominent Populists, including Ignatius Donnelly, Marion Butler and James B. Weaver.
Heflin, Sen. J. Thomas August 24
To Alabama Senator Heflin, on the issues of the 1922 elections. Armstrong told Heflin that he was not a Wilsonian and did not believe in "modern progressive democracy." Armstrong had solicited Heflin's aid in gaining a position on the Federal Reserve Board.
Hopkins, John H. August 9, 30
Letters from Hopkins, chairman of the Liberal party. Hopkins sends Armstrong a party card and urges Armstrong to organize for the party in Texas, Hopkins also appoints Armstrong to the liberal party's Executive Committee and encloses a copy of the minutes of the August 28 Executive Committee meeting.
Kirby, John H. August 7, 8 & 28
Correspondence with Kirby on Kirby's brief campaign for Senate. Kirby entered the race early in August and withdrew by the 28th.
Creager, R. B. September 28
A copy of this letter from Armstrong to Creager was included in the correspondence with Kirby. Armstrong discussed the approaching election, and the controversy over Ku Klux Klan involvement in Texas politics.
Senter, E. G. September 4
Letter to Senter on Texas politics; on Armstrong's decision not to run for Senate; on the Klan as an issue in the 1922 campaign.
Tobias, Glen C. August 10-August 24
Exchange of letters and telegrams with Tobias on sales problems with a bond issue Armstrong hired Tobias to promote. Tobias was attempting to sell the bonds in Houston and encountering serious problems.
Van Zandt, R. L. August 12
From Van Zandt on the bond scheme promoted by Tobias.
Van Zandt, R. L. August 31
Letter from Van Zandt on the reasons for the failure of the bond issue promoted by Tobias.
September-October
Clark, A. E. September 7
Clark, an old Populist crusader, discusses monetary policy and warns Armstrong against blaming racial and religious minorities for the nation's problems, rather than the "special privilege" enjoyed by the wealthy. Clark enclosed an essay outlining his own monetary theories.
Houghton-Mifflin Co. September 22
Armstrong submitted his manuscript Truth for publication. Houghton-Miflin replied expressing serious doubts about the manuscript.
Houghton-Mifflin Co. October 5
Armstrong replied to Houghton-Mifflin editors suggesting his willingness to leave out material on "the Jewish question".
Kirby, John H. September 23
Correspondence with Kirby on Armstrong's debt problems. Kirby offers to underwrite Armstrong's debts and help in bond issue. This begins an important series of letters on the business and personal relationship between Armstrong and Kirby.
Kirby, John H. October 2
To Kirby. Armstrong informs Kirby that his bond issue has failed to go through, and that he is ready to admit defeat. "It begins to look like after all I am not going to pull through."
Loucks, H. L. August 25
From Loucks, about an Atlantic Monthly article that mentions his monetary theories, and Loucks' reply.
Tobias, Glen C. September 23 & 25
From Tobias, on his efforts to push Armstrong's bond issue in Houston and sell stock in the Fort Worth steel mill.
Van Zandt, R. L. September 14
From Van Zandt. A very critical assessment of Tobias' efforts in Houston.
November-December
Boaz, H. A. October 24
Interesting letter from Bishop Boaz, who was at this time a Methodist missionary stationed in Korea includes an account of conditions in Asia, fleeing the Reds in Vladivostok, and related subjects.
J. M. Edel & Co. November 4
From Edel & Co., informing Armstrong that they will meet him at the Texas Hotel in Fort Worth to discuss Armstrong's financial problems.(20)
Houghton-Mifflin November 3
Houghton-Mifflin returns Armstrong's manuscript for Truth with rejection slip.
Box
34 1919-1926
Correspondence of George W. Armstrong and Allen Armstrong.
1-6 Personal and business correspondence of Allen Amrstrong.
These papers were found in one large letter bow with some of Judge Armstrong's 1926 correspondence. (See below) Much of this correspondence is between Alien Armstrong and his father regarding family and business matters. These papers cover Alien's tenure as manager of his father's properties in Mississippi, his years in Mexico working for American oil companies, and his eventual return to the United States to work for his father. Other material in these papers include Allen's personal correspondence with friends; correspondence relating to his divorce in 1923; and correspondence with oil companies operating in Mexico.
The material in these files was arranged in a rough chronological order rather than alphabetically. This original order was retained. Allen's correspondence with his friends in Mexico, and with business associates working in Mexico, reflects the attitudes of American oil company executives toward political and economic conditions in Mexico.
7-17 Correspondence of George W Armstrong.
Papers relating to Armstrong's freight rate cases; correspondence with various steel companies, the Texas Railroad Commission, the Texas Industrial League, and various politicians, judges and lawyers involved in the cases. These files include extensive statistical data Armstrong carefully gathered to prove his case. This material was filed in a folder labeled "Exhibits". Texas Steel Company lawyers and executives prepared an "Intervening Petition" and printed it as a pamphlet for the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Box
35 1921-1922
Crime of '20 Research Files
George W. Armstrong's research files used in writing Crime of '20. These files consist mainly of clippings, magazine articles, correspondence and other material relating to the history of the Federal Reserve Board.
1-2 Newspaper clippings on the Federal Reserve.
3-5 Selections from the Congressional Record and other government publications relating to the Federal Reserve system with margin notes by Armstrong.
5 Correspondence with William McAdoo, Senator R. L. Henry, Cato Sells, Senator Morris Sheppard, Senator Robert Owen, a letter to Woodrow Wilson, and a copy of the bill that created the Federal Reserve Board.
The correspondence in this folder seems to have been collected from older files. These letters date from 1912-1913, making them the earliest correspondence in the collection. The other papers prior to 1915 apparently did not survive.
6 Copy of a speech by W. P. G. Harding, Governor of the Federal Reserve Board, December 13, 1921.
7 Copy of a press release by the Comptroller of the Treasury: "Function of the Federal Reserve Board", August 1, 1921.
8 Correspondence with W. P. G. Harding on the Federal Reserve Board, 1920.
9 Clippings from Manufacturers' Record.
10 Copy of a statement given by Armstrong to the Texas Economic League on bankers and banking.
This document reflects Armstrong's low opinion of bankers.
11 Copy of a suit Armstrong filed against the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Texas.
Box
36 1921-1922
Crime of '20 Correspondence
Correspondents: Baruch, Bernard; Bryan, William Jennings; Crissinger, D. R., Comptroller of the Currency; Coolidge, Calvin; Clark, E. T., Secretary to Vice President Coolidge; Ferwin, Merton; Glass, Senator Carter; Harding, W. P. G.; Harvey, W. H. "Coin"; Mellon, Andrew; Owen, Senator Robert; Panton, S. P.; Seeligman, Prof. E. R. A., of Columbia University; Untermeyer, Samuel; Wallace, Henry C., Secretary of Agriculture; Warburg, Paul.
This material is a continuation of Armstrong's effort to gather research material for Crime of '20. He sent a manuscript copy of the book to the correspondents listed above, asking for their comments and criticism. He incorporated their responses into his final draft. The most interesting correspondence is with Carter Glass, Paul Warburg and Samuel Untermyer, the men Armstrong held most responsible for the creation of the Federal Reserve system and the "crime of '20." Glass took the time to both read and criticize Armstrong's book and to defend the Federal Reserve Board and his role in its creation. Warburg ignored him, while Untermeyer sent him a brief reply ridiculing both Armstrong and his political mentor, Henry Ford.
The correspondence with Kitson is also of great interest. Kitson discusses his early years in America and his involvement in the Bryan campaigns of the 1890s. His growing anti-Semitism and admiration for the emerging Fascist movements in Europe are also in evidence.
Crime of '20 Correspondence
1921-1922
Baruch, Bernard February 14
Letter to Baruch, enclosing a copy of Crime of '20. Armstrong denies any "racial and religious bigotry" and stated that he wanted "to be fair to your race…I have the highest regard for you personally…I believe that you are an honest, able and sincere man."
Bryan, William Jennings February 1
From Bryan, on the history of the Federal Reserve Board. Bryan states that he told President Wilson that he "could not support the bill" creating the Federal Reserve Board as it was then written. Bryan says he supported the bill only after Wilson accepted certain changes he suggested. Interesting letter.
Crissinger, D. R. March 8-April 14
Exchange of letters with Crissinger, Comptroller of the Treasury. Crissinger responded to Armstrong's inquiries about U. S. monetary policy and the volume of currency in circulation.
Crawford, A. R. October 19
From Crawford, editor of the Normangee Star, on the KKK. Crawford expresses sympathy for the organization. Crawford also comments on the plight of American farmers.
Clark, Edward T. February 3
From Clark, Vice President Coolidge's secretary, acknowledging receipt of Crime of '20.
Ferwen, Merton February 16
Handwritten letter from Ferwen on U. S. monetary policy. Ferwen was an associate of Arthur Kitson, H. H. Beamish and other early British Fascists. See also correspondence with S. P. Panton, who corresponded with both Ferwen and Kitson.
Glass, Senator Carter January-February
Interesting exchange of letters with Carter Glass on the origin of the Federal Reserve Law. This file includes copies of Glass' correspondence with Woodrow Wilson and William G. McAdoo that Glass sent Armstrong. Glass initially responded sympathetically to Armstrong's inquiries, but quickly became irritated with him when Glass realized that Armstrong was questioning his integrity. Glass informed Armstrong that his understanding of the Federal Reserve Law was "pitiably wrong", and told Armstrong that he and his friend Paul Warburg "laughed…over the preposterous stuff in the Dearborn Independent, much of which you seem to have transferred to your book."
Harding, W. P. G. January-February
Correspondence with Harding. Armstrong sent him a manuscript copy of Crime and urged him to reply to criticism of the Federal Reserve. "I do not care," Harding replied, "to avail myself of your invitation." He informed Armstrong that Crime "abounds in erroneous statements."
Harvey, W. H. "Coin" December 2
Harvey offers to help Armstrong distribute Crime and asks Armstrong to help distribute Harvey's book Common Sense in Texas.
Kitson, Arthur February 20
From Kitson. Kitson discusses his years in the United States and his involvement with the Bryan campaigns in the 1890s. When he returned to England Kitson wrote books and articles promoting the inflationary Populist monetary theories he learned in America. This file includes copies of Kitson's correspondence with S. P. Panton, who introduced Armstrong and Kitson. "Lloyd George," Kitson wrote Panton, "has surrounded himself with international Jewish financiers" and that "the Government is in the hands of the Jews."
Mellon, Andrew February 13
From Mellon, a critique of Crime of '20, defending the Federal Reserve Board and its policies.
Owen, Senator Robert March 28
Owen responds to Crime. He attributes the depression of 1920 to a "collapse of commodities prices due to diminished purchasing power of people impoverished by war."
Panton, S. P. February 23
Panton discusses his relations with Kitson and Ferwen, and expounds on monetary theory.
Seeligman, E. R. A. January-April
A remarkable exchange of letters with Seeligman, a Columbia University economics professor, on the origins of the Federal Reserve Law. Seeligman was a friend of Warburg and was familiar with the history of the Federal Reserve system. Seeligman gives a summary of the origins of the Federal Reserve and comments that Armstrong's account "Abounds in misstatements…of all kinds" and represents a "distorted view of the whole situation." Seeligman, a Jew, commented on the absurdity of anti-Semitism and pointed out to Armstrong that "most of the Jews in the United States are proletarians." Seeligman worried that while "your book will have no influence on men of brains" it would unfortunately "exert an influence on the other class." An interesting and compassionate response to Armstrong.
Untermeyer, Samuel February 22
From Untermeyer, an acidic response to Armstrong's Crime of '20. Untermeyer denounces the "racial and religious bigotry" in the book. "Your suggestion that the Federal Reserve Act was of Jewish origin is absurd and evidences a depth of ignorance on the subject that is quite consistent with the mass of misstatements contained in other parts of the document."
Wallace, Henry C. January 20-February 11
Exchange of letters with Wallace, Secretary of Agriculture, on the Federal Reserve Board's policy towards agricultural loans.
Warburg, Paul January 28
From Warburg, declining to review or comment on Crime of '20.
Box
37-42 1923
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W.(Jr.); Bailey, Senator Joseph Weldon; Cameron, W. J., editor of the Dearborn Independent; Evans, H. W., a national leader of the Ku Klux Klan; Harrop, Roy M., founder of the American Economic League; Hopkins, John, national chairman of the Liberal Party; Harwood, Brown, a Klan leader; Harvey, W. H. "Coin"; Kitson, Arthur; Kline, Henry; Knapp, R. D.; LaFollette, Senator Robert; Loucks, H. L.; Mayfield, Col. Billy, editor of Billy Mayfield's Weekly, a pro Klan Texas newspaper; National Farmer-Labor Union; National Stock Yards National Bank; Panton, S. P.; Ratcliff & Kennedy, law firm representing Armstrong; Senter, E, G.; Williams, John Skelton; Vincent, Henry.
Armstrong started 1923 by filing for bankruptcy and spent the rest of the year trying to lay the foundation for what he hoped would be a speedy recovery. With the help of his friend John H. Kirby, Armstrong was able to re-establish his various business enterprises. He reorganized his Mississippi properties and started an ambitious program of expansion at Texas Steel in Fort Worth. R. D. Knapp, a consulting engineer, helped Armstrong plan this expansion project and drew up plans for the initialization of electric furnaces and the general renovation of the largely antiquated plant.(21)
Allen Armstrong remained in Mexico with his new wife, while George W. Armstrong, Jr. managed his father's ranches in Mississippi. Later in the year, George Jr. would marry and move to Baltimore to work for a steel mill.
Armstrong continued to be politically active. He broke with the Liberal Party but continued his association with Henry Vincent, H. L. Loucks, W. H. "Coin" Harvey and other old Populists. He was briefly involved with a coalition of some Mid-Westerners who proposed to run Henry Ford as an independent on a "progressive" platform. Armstrong also joined the American Economic League founded by Roy Harrop, a Ford booster. Like most of the Judge's political associates, Harrop combined racism--especially the brand of anti-Semitism espoused by Ford with pro-working class issues and rhetoric borrowed from Populists and Progressives. Armstrong attended the convention of the Peoples' Progressive Party in Omaha, Nebraska, the site of many historic Populist gatherings in the 1890s. This convention was called to boost the "Ford For President" campaign. Armstrong was also a Klan supporter and carried on an extensive correspondence with H. W. Evans and Brown Harwood, national leaders of the KKK.
Judge Armstrong established Truth Publishing Co. to promote and distribute his self-published books and pamphlets. This was largely a "letterhead" organization and only existed for a couple of years. Armstrong created a separate file for the company's correspondence and records.
Selected Correspondence 1923
December 1922-January 1923
Harvey, W. H. "Coin" December 12
To Harvey, asking for advice on distributing his publications.
Hopkins, John H. December 1
From Hopkins, replying to Armstrong's November 25, 1922 letter attacking the Liberal Party's "socialistic" platform.
National Stockyards National Bank December 2-4
Armstrong begins legal action against National Stockyard National Bank, one of his principal creditors in his bankruptcy. Armstrong sues the bank for charging usurious interest rates.
Senter, E. G. January 10
From Senter, on Armstrong's suit against the Dallas Federal Reserve Board, on the grounds that the Federal Reserve system deliberately planned the deflation of 1920 that caused Armstrong's bankruptcy.
Senter, E. G. January 19
From Armstrong to Senter. Armstrong decides to drop his suit against the Federal Reserve Board "at the urgent request of Senator Bailey."(22)
January-February
Fort Worth Record January 31
Letter to the Fort Worth Record. Armstrong chides the Record for refusing to print his "Story of My Bankruptcy", and informs the editors that the Dearborn Independent plans to Issue the essay in pamphlet form and distribute it nationally.
Vincent, Henry January 27-31
Exchange of letters with Vincent. Vincent complains of his problems with Hopkins over editorial policy for the Liberal magazine. Armstrong invites Vincent to come work for him and help set up their own publishing business.
February-March
Harrop, Roy M. February 15-17
Exchange of letters with Harrop. Armstrong joins Harrop's American Economic League.
Harrop, Roy M. February 20
Harrop informs Armstrong of a proposed "Progressives for Ford" organization.
Loucks, H. L. March 4
From Loucks, containing some biographical anecdotes on his early days in South Dakota among settlers who "brought their families out in box cars with their stock and furniture, and lived in sod shanties."
Vincent, Henry March 20
Armstrong to Vincent. Armstrong tells Vincent that the Ku Klux Klan will help distribute his books. Armstrong is now an active supporter of the Klan, although he is not officially a member.
April-May
Harrop, Roy M. April 3
From Harrop, on the East-West factional split in the ranks of the Progressive movement. Harrop invites Armstrong to the Omaha conference of the National Economic League.
Senter, E. G. April 4
From Senter, attacking the Ku Klux Klan for "defending thieves."
Senter, E. G. April 12
Letter to Senter, defending the Klan and attacking the "Catholic, Jew and money trust."
May
Harwood, Brown May 28
From Imperial Klanzik Brown Harwood, complimenting Armstrong on Truth, his most recent book.
Vincent, Henry May 21
From Vincent, commenting on the "fearful racial and religious prejudice" in Armstrong's books, which Vincent seems to have found disturbing.
June
Harvey, W. H. "Coin" June 18
A short note from Harvey critical of the "religious opinions" Armstrong expressed in Truth.
July
Cameron, W. J. July 15
To Cameron, asking if the Dearborn Independent will promote Truth, and offering to help in Henry Ford's presidential campaign if he should run.
Eastlake, Wilber July 31-August 23
Correspondence with Eastlake on the Federal Reserve system and the monetary theories discussed in Crime of '20 and Truth.
Kline, Henry H. July 20
From Kline, a Jewish writer of anti-Semitic propaganda. Armstrong used Kline's book Dynastic America as a source. Kline complained that Armstrong's racism was too extreme.
Kline, Henry H. July 31
Armstrong to Kline, defending his anti-Semitic statements.
Vincent, Henry July 12
Vincent writes that "Coin" Harvey disapproves of the racism expressed in Armstrong's books, and Vincent also expresses reservations. Both Vincent and Harvey seemed willing to overlook Armstrong's racism because he was "sound on the Money Question."
August-September
Panton, S. P. August 3
From Panton. Panton is living in Casper, Wyoming at this time and discusses local politics and Armstrong's book Truth, which he is circulating among his friends. Enclosed are copies of several letters Panton wrote to others, and a review of Truth written at Armstrong's request. Like most of Panton's correspondence, these letters are actually short essays on monetary theory. One letter addresses the Soldier Bonus Bill, an issue that would hold Armstrong's interest for the next ten years. A note by Armstrong on one of the letters refers to Panton as "a monetary expert and political economist of Wyoming." A letter in this file dated July 23 contains some biographical data on Panton.
October
Brennon, John October
Exchange of letters with Brennon, an old Populist. Brennon attacks Armstrong's racism and ridicules the Ku Klux Klan.
Harrop, Roy M. October 17
From Harrop, setting date for Ford-Progressive convention for November 21-23, to be held in association with the National Farmer's Union.
November
Bok Peace Plan November
Correspondence relating to the Bok Peace Plan, a contest designed to come up with a scheme to ensure world peace. Armstrong submitted a plan based on his inflationary monetary theories. Armstrong sent copies of his essay to newspapers, magazines and prominent people. Copy of Armstrong's entry enclosed in this file.(23)
Kitson, Arthur November 6
To Kitson, explaining his peace plan and enclosing a copy of it.
Ku Klux Klan November 5
To Dr. Evans, informing him that the Dallas News "is conducting a very active campaign on behalf of the Jews."
December
(This file includes some material from January 1924)
Carden, George December '23-January '24
Extensive correspondence between Armstrong and his former business partner, relating to their war contracting venture of 1915-1916. This correspondence discusses the complicated law suits resulting from the failure of that enterprise. These papers provide a useful review of that incident.
Kirby, John H. January 9, 1924
To Kirby. Armstrong outlines his plans for the reorganization of his business enterprises.
LaFollette, Senator Robert January 21, 1924
To LaFollette. Armstrong asks for the Senator's support for a railroad bill he favors.
Vincent, Henry December 7
To Vincent. Armstrong expresses his impatience with reform politics and "the book business." His books have not been moving as well as he hoped.
Box
43 May-September & November 1923
Records of Truth Publishing Co.
In 1923 Armstrong established Truth Publishing Co. to market his books and pamphlets. The actual printing was contracted out to various printers, mostly in Fort Worth. Armstrong sent copies of Crime of '20 and Truth to prospective buyers and asked them to buy the book, or if they did not want it to send it on to someone else or return it. He used a mailing list provided by Henry Vincent and "Coin" Harvey, who also assisted in publicizing and distributing Armstrong's material.
The November files contain correspondence with bankers, lawyers, and some of Armstrong's business associates. The response from this group was almost entirely negative. Those that responded felt that the inflationary money theories Armstrong borrowed from Populism were dangerously radical, if not actually socialistic. Many of them refused to acknowledge receiving anything from Armstrong. The May-September files contain correspondence with farmers and small businessmen, shopkeepers, and working people who were economically dependent on the nation's increasingly troubled agrarian economy. These people on the whole responded positively to Armstrong's books. Many of these people responded by sending Armstrong their own ideas about contemporary economic and political issues. Some of the older people discuss their experiences as young Westerners in the 1880s and 1890s. This section of correspondence is therefore uniquely valuable in that it reflects the social and economic anxieties of ordinary people in the West and Mid-West. Anyone interested in the complexities of race and class during the twilight of Populism will find this material useful.
Selected Correspondence 1923 Truth Publishing Co.
Clark, A. E. August 5
From Clark, an old Populist, with a scheme to publicize and circulate books on the money question by Harvey, Loucks, and Armstrong.
Epstine, Ira August 9
Armstrong sent a copy of Truth to be reviewed by Epstine, an official of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Jim Jam Jems August 9
From Wallace Campbell. Jim Jam Jems was a journal apparently devoted to monetary theory and politics published in Bismark, North Dakota by Wallace Campbell and Sam H. Clark. Campbell and Clark also published the Federal Reserve Monster, a book attacking the Federal Reserve Board along much the same lines as Armstrong's books. Armstrong was introduced to Jim Jam Jems by Henry Vincent (see below). This letter comments favorably on Truth.(24)
Massey, R. L. September 11
From Massey, responding to Truth Massey offers his own analysis of the money question.
Maxwell, A. C. August 21
From Maxwell, a Field Secretary (traveling organizer) for the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Maxwell was in charge of organizing the Sunday School and Baptist Young Peoples Union. He was eager to circulate Armstrong's books to the Sunday Schools he visited. Maxwell shared Armstrong's anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic and anti -foreign sentiments. An interesting example of bigotry in a mainstream organization.
Pavitt, Henry September 12
From Pavitt, who presided over an organization known as the Dionysian College of the Unicorn (Servants of the Most High God). Pavitt orders some books. An example of some of the more bizarre correspondence Armstrong frequently received.
Vincent, Henry September 9
From Vincent. "Am hearing often of your book being received over the country…" Vincent also discusses floggings by the Ku Klux Klan and wonders "what are the aggravating causes behind them?" Vincent mentions the latest issue of "the Sentinel, Tom Watson's old paper" which contains a Federal Reserve story "in which are many quotations from you also from [Federal Reserve] Monster." (Vincent has also been promoting the Monster.) Armstrong also received a favorable notice in the Vineland Independent, "the lone survivor from the old Populist days."(25)
Box
44 1917-1924
These papers were found in a single letter box at the end of the 1923 material. Although they span an eight year period, they were apparently collected from their original files sometime in 1924 or early 1925 for some special purpose. That is, these files were not created in 1917 and terminated in 1924. They were probably gathered from their original files for some purpose relating to the reorganization and refinancing of Armstrong's business enterprises that took place after his 1923 bankruptcy.
1 Montgomery Ward correspondence.
Montgomery Ward planned to locate a store in Fort Worth. Armstrong tried to interest them in building on land he owned near Texas Steel Co. The store was eventually built on West 7th St.
2 John C. Vance & Co. correspondence.
Correspondence relating to a proposal to sell Texas Steel to Vance & Co.
3 Peabody-Houghteling & Co.
Before his bankruptcy, Armstrong attempted to refinance the steel mill through a bond issue. This file contains financial statements and a history of Texas Rolling Mills Co. (Texas Steel) through 1921.
4-16 Correspondence with R. D. Knapp, 1921-1924
Reports, technical data and other material relating to the modernization of Texas Steel. Includes plans to overhaul the plant and install new electric furnaces.
17 E. D. Bloxom correspondence.
Bloxom was John H. Kirby's personal secretary. This file also contains correspondence with Kirby on plans to help Armstrong save his properties after bankruptcy.
18-21 Texas Steel finances and operations, 1923
Files relating to the refinancing and reorganization of Texas Steel after bankruptcy.
22-33 Texas Steel, general correspondence, 1922-1923
Arranged alphabetically. General correspondence relating to daily operations at Texas Steel during and after bankruptcy.
Box
45 1917-1925
National Stock Yards National Bank & Weatherford, Slack & Co. Correspondence.
These papers came from a single letter box containing two large folders. One was labeled "Weatherford, Slack & Co.", the other was unmarked and contained correspondence with the National Stock Yards National Bank. Both folders were dated "1920-1925" although both contain correspondence dating back to 1917. Aside from this, these papers were in no particular order. They were rearranged in chronological order.
Armstrong collected these papers from his files during and after his bankruptcy proceedings of 1922-23. They were used to help prepare law suits against the National Stock Yards National Bank and his former business associates A. B. Slack and William Weatherford, (Weatherford was also his brother-in-law.)
The roots of this litigation go back to 1915-1917, during World War I, when Armstrong and his partners ventured into the war contracting business. This rather complex series of events culminated in Armstrong's 1923 bankruptcy. In 1915, Armstrong, George Carden, and Col. E. D. Steger formed a partnership to supply the French government with horses and hay. At the same time, Armstrong was a partner with Weatherford, Slack, and R. E. Goree in Hubble-Slack & Co., a prosperous cotton merchants firm. When the war contracting business failed, Armstrong sold his interest in Hubble, Slack & Co. to cover his loses. Weatherford, Slack and Goree went on to make very comfortable profits. Armstrong, meanwhile, took out a large loan from the National Stock Yards National Bank, using his cattle as collateral. He invested this money in land in Mississippi, shut down his ranching operations in Oklahoma, and moved everything to his new Mississippi plantations. His intention was to combine farming and ranching to produce food for America's war effort. He also invested heavily in improvements to his Fort Worth steel mill. The Mississippi operation ended in disaster. He lost most of his cattle to theft and disease. The war ended before he was able to produce enough to take advantage of the booming wartime markets. Finally, he was hit by the post war price deflation of 1920. His properties could not produce enough profit to meet his loan payments to National Stock Yards.
If he had been able to hold on to his Hubble-Slack stock, by 1920 Armstrong would have been wealthy and retired, instead of struggling to avoid bankruptcy. As his fortunes declined from 1919 to 1920, Armstrong felt increasingly bitter towards his former partners who were prospering, it seemed, at his expense and due to his losses. He felt that his friends were letting him down. When he turned to Weatherford and Slack for help, they treated him somewhat condescendingly and offered their aid on terms Armstrong found insulting, taking unfair advantage of his weakened financial condition. When they threatened to foreclose on debts he already owed them, he brought suit against Weatherford, Slack & Co.
His debt to National Stock Yards, meanwhile, had nearly doubled due to accumulated interest charged due to Armstrong's inability to pay the principal, and the bank was threatening foreclosure. To prevent this, Armstrong sued, accusing National Stock Yards of usury.(26)
The first two folders contain documents that help explain the nature of the material in this box. Folder 1 contains a letter to Armstrong's lawyer explaining the National Stock Yards material. Interestingly, Armstrong refers to a fire in a store he owned in Mississippi that apparently destroyed some of his files and might explain the absence of material predating 1915 in this collection. Folder 2 contains a copy of the Weatherford-Slack suit.
1 Letter explaining the National Stock Yards National Bank correspondence.
2 Brief for Weatherford, Slack & Co. suit.
3 Financial data relating to Armstrong's cattle paper held by the National Stock Yards National Bank.
4 Correspondence on Armstrong's original cattle loan with the National Stock Yards National Bank. 1917
5 National Stock Yards correspondence. 1920. April-June
6 National Stock Yards National Bank correspondence 1920. July
7 National Stock Yards National Bank correspondence. 1920. August
8 National Stock Yards National Bank correspondence. 1920. September-October
9 National Stock Yards National Bank correspondence. 1920. November-December
10 National Stock Yards National Bank correspondence. 1921. January
11 National Stock Yards National Bank. Correspondence with Writ Wright, President of National Stock Yards. 1921. February
12 National Stock Yards National Bank. Correspondence with Writ Wright. 1921. March-May
13 National Stock Yards National Bank. Correspondence with Writ Wright. 1921. June-August
14 National Stock Yards National Bank. Correspondence with Writ Wright. 1921. September-December
15 National Stock Yards National Bank. Correspondence with Writ Wright. 1922
16 Weatherford, Slack correspondence. 1919. January-March
17 Weatherford, Slack correspondence. 1919. April-May
18 Weatherford, Slack correspondence. 1919. June-July
19 Weatherford, Slack correspondence. 1920
20 Weatherford, Slack correspondence. 1921
21 Weatherford, Slack correspondence. 1922. January-February
22 Weatherford, Slack correspondence. 1922. September-December
23 Weatherford, Slack correspondence. 1923. January-February
24 Weatherford, Slack correspondence. 1923. March-May
25 Weatherford, Slack correspondence. 1923. June-August
26 Weatherford, Slack correspondence. 1923. September-October
27 Weatherford, Slack correspondence. 1923. October-December
28 Weatherford, Slack correspondence. 1924
29 Weatherford, Slack correspondence. 1925
Box
46-50 1924
Correspondents: Anderson, F. A., a Louisiana lumber producer; Armstrong, Allen; Bailey, Senator Joseph Weldon; Barnhill, J. B., editor of Humanity First, a Populist-Progressive journal; Bright, Marcus, a Fort Worth businessman; Bullington, Orvil; Creager, R. B., a prominent Texas Republican politician; Elgin, J. E.; Elrod, Milton, editor of the Klansman, the official Klan paper; Evans, W. H.; Ferguson, James E.; Foster, J. F., Vice President and General Manager of Texas Steel; Hanger, William A., a Tarrant County State Senator and local leader of the Klan; Hudspeth, C. B., a Mississippi congressman; Kendrick, Senator John B.; Knapp, R. D., a Philadelphia engineer and Vice President of Texas Steel; LaFollette, Senator Robert M.; LaFollette, Robert M. Jr.; Love, Thomas; Marvin, Z. E., Dallas Klan leader; Mayfield, Earl B.; Panton, S. P.
Business and politics kept Armstrong very busy in 1924. His financial condition did not improve, but he managed to survive. As for politics, this was probably his most active year until 1932-1933.
Allen Armstrong returned to the United States with his new wife and settled on his father's Woodstock Plantation in Mississippi, where he managed Judge Armstrong's farming and ranching business. Judge Armstrong continued his efforts to recover from bankruptcy and re-establish his fortune, but experienced only limited success. Texas Steel could not do enough business to finance the improvements that Armstrong wanted. The plans for a second electric furnace were canceled, and the plant suffered from many expensive and frustrating breakdowns that caused costly production delays. The company managed to hold its own in spite of these problems.
Armstrong tried repeatedly to eliminate his debts by selling the timber on his Mississippi land. These plans were constantly frustrated by ever-falling timber prices in the depressed lumber market. Nevertheless, Armstrong pressed ahead with his ambitious Homochitto River drainage project, in order to drain the Homochitto swamps and make the timber more accessible and marketable.
Armstrong made some interestingly eclectic political alliances in 1924, some of which seem to be almost self-contradictory. He broke with the Democratic party and joined Senator Robert LaFollette's Progressive movement. Armstrong was very active in LaFollette's presidential campaign in Texas. At the same time he was active in the Ku Klux Klan, and contemplated running for governor with Klan support. He tried to persuade the LaFollette forces to purge the socialists from their ranks and make an alliance with the Klan. Armstrong's political activities worried his friend John H. Kirby, who despised LaFollette. At Kirby's urging he withdrew from active politics before the 1924 election, but continued to quietly support LaFollette.
Although he opposed Jim Ferguson because of his anti-Klan policies, and opposed "Ma" Ferguson's campaign for governor, Armstrong's personal relations with "Ma and Pa" seem to have remained cordial. Ferguson continued to publish Armstrong's articles and letters in the Ferguson Forum as long as he avoided the issue of the Klan.
Given his racial and religious opinions, Armstrong's attraction to the Klan is not surprising. His attraction to LaFollette and the Progressives, however, is less obvious. The Progressive ranks were filled with socialists, union activists and other "liberals" who often provoked the Judge's wrath. A critical examination of the political correspondence discussed below will clarify the Judge's seemingly contradictory political alliances. Throughout his life--like many of his generation--Armstrong was obsessed with the "Money Question." Both the Klan and the Progressives embraced a more-or-less Populist notion of the American financial system. Both attacked big business and Wall Street, but their similarities did not go much farther than a common political vocabulary. Progressives developed a critique of the methods of corporate capitalism, while the Klan concocted elaborate conspiracy theories involving Jews, Catholics, and other "foreigners." But the detestation of Wall Street, the political style of Tammany Hall, and Eastern elitism that the rank and file of both movements shared seems to have created some interesting political warps in the 1920s. In the correspondence below, for example, we find a Klan official boasting that most of the Klan's strength in the Mid West comes from Republicans, once the party of Free Soilers and abolitionists. In Texas Armstrong attempted to lead Democratic Klansmen into fusion with "black and tan" Republicans, LaFollette Progressives, and even socialists, to defeat "Ma" Ferguson and Tammany Hall. The common denomination for this diverse coalition was a preoccupation with the money question.
The political correspondence in this section could raise some interesting questions about the Progressive movement. The label of "Progressive" was casually embraced by Klan supporters like Armstrong, Ferguson supporters, and the traditional liberals we most often associate with the Progressive era. "Progressive", like "Populist," seems to have lost any precise meaning it might once have had.
Armstrong believed that he could bring the Klan into the LaFollette camp, and this might have been wishful thinking. It is interesting to note, however, that the LaFollettes were neither shocked or offended by Armstrong's suggestion that they use the Klan to expand their political base. They did not seem to be disturbed by his obvious anti-Semitism. And LaFollette supporters in Texas agreed with Armstrong when he suggested that socialists be expelled from their movement.
Selected Correspondence 1924
January-February
Cameron, W. J. February 22
Armstrong to Cameron. Armstrong urges Cameron to boost Fort Worth as a site for a Ford assembly plant.
Cameron, W. J. January 28
From Cameron, commenting on Ford's withdrawal from the 1924 presidential race and an analysis of the political situation.
Elrod, Milton January 28
To Elrod, editor of the Klan paper. Armstrong offers to write articles on the money question for Klan publications. The nation's problems are blamed on "the Jews, Catholics and bootleggers." Armstrong declines to become a member of the Klan arguing that he is more useful "outside." This letter also discusses his rift with his friend J. S. Cullinan over the issue of the Klan in Texas politics. Cullinan was adamantly anti-Klan.(27)
Foster, J. F. January 26
From Foster, a Vice President of Texas Steel. Foster summarizes Texas Steel's financial condition during its first few months of operation after reorganization.
Panton, S. P. February 10
From Panton. Panton discusses mining, water management, and economic conditions in the West.
Smith, Jule G. February 18
From Smith, of the Fort Worth Elevator Company complaining of the short-sightedness of Fort Worth bankers for failing to finance Smith's new grain elevator or Armstrong's steel mill.
February-March
Gillispie, C. B. March 12
To Gillispie, editor of the Houston Chronicle. Armstrong writes a short autobiography for Gillispie.
Ku Klux Klan-Evans, H. W. February 18
To Evans, national Klan leader. Armstrong worries that the Klan is becoming a "political machine" and informs Evans he is no longer interested in running for governor on a Klan platform. Armstrong changed his plans at the request of his friend John H. Kirby,. who was growing alarmed with Armstrong's political associates.
Knapp, R. D. March 7
From Knapp, regarding Armstrong's production plans. Knapp doubts that "there is a reliable market for that volume of [iron] bars in Texas.
Knapp, R. D. February 25
From Knapp. A pessimistic estimate of production costs with an outline of a possible solution.
Knapp, R. D. March 14
Armstrong to Knapp. Armstrong's reply to Knapp's Feb. 25 letter, with a more optimistic and aggressive marketing plan. Armstrong argues for increasing production capacity and diversifying products.
Mayfield, Billie February 18
To Mayfield, editor of a Klan paper. Armstrong discusses Klan internal politics and his correspondence with other Klan leaders. Armstrong expresses the belief that the Klan stands for "good government" and "law enforcement."
March-April
Anderson, F. A. March-April
Extensive correspondence with Anderson on the Homochitto drainage project, and plans to improve farmland and build roads.
Armstrong, Allen March 18, 28
From Allen, who has recently returned from Mexico with his new wife Melody and is working at Texas Steel. Allen reminisces about his father's involvement in the oil business around Wichita Falls, and complains that Foster, the manager, "does not keep me informed about mill business."
Barnhill, J. B. April 6
From Barnhill, a letter indicating that Armstrong's books are being distributed in England, probably through the efforts of Arthur Kitson.
Coolidge, Calvin April 14
Letter to Coolidge, on the Agricultural Credits Act. Armstrong asks the President's help in getting a committee of stockmen before congress to push for credit relief for livestock producers.
Hudspath, C. B. March 29-April 14
Correspondence with Hudspath on the depression afflicting the cattle industry and the difficulty in getting credit.
Jackson, Thomas J. March 12
From Jackson, representing the Peoples' Progressive Party asking for samples of Amstrong's literature.
Kendrick, Senator John B. March 24-April 14
Correspondence with Wyoming Senator Kendrick on the Agricultural Credit Act.
LaFollette, Senator Robert March 24
To LaFollette. Armstrong endorses LaFollette for president and advises him on his campaign. Armstrong defends the Ku Klux Klan and offers to work to swing the Klan into the Lafollette camp.
LaFollette, Senator Robert April 15
A letter to LaFollette, enclosing copies of his correspondence with Senator Kendrick (see above). Armstrong expresses his admiration for LaFollette and his hopes for "the pleasure of renewing [their] acquaintanceship." Apparently the two men had met before.
Kidder, Samuel March 15
From Kidder. An interesting letter discussing squabbles in the reform movement. Roy Harrop's Peoples' Progressive Party and John Hopkins' Liberal party are arguing over the relevance of the money question.
Mayfield, Earl B. April 15 & 16
Armstrong and Mayfield discuss plans to meet in Washington. Correspondence discusses plans to reform the Democratic party. Armstrong asserts that "I am not a Democrat if Oscar Underwood, Al Smith, Murphey and Brennan and their tribe are."
Panton, S. P. March 12
From Panton, lamenting the waning of the Money Crusade, and Henry Ford's apparent withdrawal from politics.
Whaley, Porter March 24
From Whaley, commenting on the decline of the Texas Chamber of Commerce and J. S. Cullinan's role in it.
April-May
Armstrong, Allen May 13
Uncharacteristically pessimistic letter to Allen, expressing fear and depression over the future of Texas Steel, although he still hopes that a deal on his timber will eventually bail him out. [From this point, Armstrong begins to adopt a more conservative attitude toward his expansion plans for Texas Steel, apparently deciding to follow the advice of Allen, Mr. Kirby, his manager Foster and various Fort Worth bankers.]
Foster, J. F. May 1
From Texas Steel Co. general manager Foster. Another pessimistic assessment of Texas Steel's prospects. "I have tried at various times to keep you from being too optimistic."
LaFollette, Robert Jr. April 28
From Senator LaFollette's son Robert thanking Armstrong for his May 24 "splendid letter" of support. Robert does not comment on Armstrong's praise of the Klan.
May-June
Cameron, W. J. May-June
Correspondence with Cameron, editor of the Dearborn Independent. Armstrong asks Cameron's help in publishing his new pamphlet, The Iniquitous Daws Scheme.
LaFollette, Robert Jr. June 2-18
Exchange of letters with LaFollette on a planned Conference on Progressive Political Action. Armstrong promises to organize Texas for LaFollette. [One wonders what Armstrong must have thought about the presence of Samuel Untermeyer's name on LaFollette's Progressive Party letterhead as a member of the party's organizing committee-or what LaFollette thought of Armstrong's outspoken anti-Semitism.]
June-July
Bloxom, E. D. June 30
From Bloxom, John H. Kirby's assistant. Bloxom informs Armstrong that Mr. Kirby is disturbed by Armstrong's political activities and would prefer that he not attend the Progressive convention.
Butler, W. P. May 26
From Butler, an old Populist. A handwritten letter discussing James G. Blaine's remark that the Democratic Party stood for "Rum, Romanism and Rebellion". Butler advanced a conspiracy theory to explain the "Crime of '73" and the panic of 1893.
Harwood, Brown July 7
To Harwood, a Ku Klux Klan official. Armstrong is still flirting with the idea of joining the Klan.
LaFollette, Senator Robert June 21
From LaFollette, inviting Armstrong to attend the Progressive convention.
Love, Thomas B. June 28
To Tom Love, a Texas congressman and the manager for William McAdoo's presidential campaign in Texas. Armstrong suggests McAdoo and LaFollette form an independent party, or make the Democratic party a "Liberal party…representative of the masses" and free from "Catholic-Jewish controlled Tammany."
Nelson, John N. July 26
To Nelson, a LaFollette activist in Texas. Armstrong discusses LaFollette's strategy for Texas and mentions the "Black and Tan" faction of the Texas Republican party as a possible ally.
Vincent, Henry July 12
From Vincent. Vincent boasts of being "in good graces with the Klan."
August
Bullington, Orville August 30
From Bullington, a conservative Republican politician responding to Armstrong's suggestion of fusion of Black and Tan Republicans with the LaFollette forces. Bullington rejects the idea as absurd and denounces LaFollette as an "anarchist and a Bolshevist-socialist."
Butler, W. P. July 29
From Butler. Butler shared Armstrong's belief that the LaFollette movement could throw the election into the House.
Creager, R. B. August 23
To Creager, on fusion with Black and Tan Republicans. It is interesting that at this point in his political career Armstrong was willing to associate with Blacks, although he would later repudiate them.
Evans, H. W. August 24
To Evans, national leader of the Ku Klux Klan, with the interesting suggestion that the Klan join forces with Creager and the Black and Tan Republicans in order to defeat the Fergusons.
Elgin, J. E. August 25
To Elgin, an official of the LaFollette campaign committee in Texas. Discussion of factional strife in the LaFollette ranks in Texas. Armstrong objects to the presence of socialists on the LaFollette campaign committee and threatens to withdraw his support. "The ticket as it now stands is a socialist ticket."
Ferguson, Governor James July 14-August 17
Interesting exchange of letters with Jim Ferguson. Ferguson refused to print any of Armstrong's articles defending the Ku Klux Klan in his Ferguson Forum. The two seem to have been on good terms otherwise.
Mayfield, Billie August 26
From Mayfield, expressing interest in the idea of a Klan-Republican fusion.
Mayfield, Billie August 28
To Mayfield, editor of a pro-Klan paper. Armstrong urges him to consider making a deal with the Black and Tans in order to defeat the Fergusons. Elgin has offered Armstrong a slot as Governor on a LaFollette-independent ticket.
Moor, Warren August 14
From Moor, a member of the Texas LaFollette campaign committee. Moor discusses a possible purge of the socialists at the state convention.
August-September
Curtis, R. E. September 3
To Curtis, a LaFollette campaign official. Armstrong once again objects to the presence of socialists in the LaFollette camp. "I cannot harmonize with your Socialist member, W. Clifford Edwards." Armstrong resigns from the LaFollette committee.
Harwood, Brown September 2
From Harwood. Interestingly, Harwood endorses Ferguson and emphatically rejects the suggestion of fusion with LaFollette or Black and Tans.
October-November
Kirby, John H. October 19
Long letter to Kirby discussing business and politics. Armstrong tells Kirby that "Your friend Coolidge will win" the 1924 election. "I think Coolidge's election will be largely due to Klan support in the middle west and west."
Mayfield, Billie October 15
From Mayfield. Armstrong and Mayfield discuss the possibility of gaining control of the Austin Statesman.
November-December
Kitson, Arthur October 6
From Kitson. Kitson discussed the political and economic situation in England and speaks of his "old friend" Ramsy McDonnald.
LaFollette, Senator Robert November 7
To LaFollette. Argues that the Ku Klux Klan is a truly progressive organization and urges LaFollette to expel labor and socialist elements.
Ku Klux Klan October 31
To Klan Local 101. Armstrong finally withdraws his application for membership.
Box
51-56 1925
Correspondents: Arnold, J. A.; Armstrong, Allen; Colp, D. E., Chairman of the Texas State Park Board; Edmonds, Richard; Forester, Henry A., a writer and commentator on economic issues; Kirby, John H.; Kitson, Arthur; Mayfield, Billie; Panton, S. P.; Woodward, M. I., an editor of the Dearborn Independent; Wannamaker, J. S.
Business concerns demanded most of Armstrong's energies in 1925, although he managed to devote some time to politics. Armstrong continued to experience serious financial problems throughout the year. The extensive correspondence with Allen Armstrong in these files indicate that the Mississippi farming and ranching operations were still operating in the red. Conditions at Texas Steel were improving, but not dramatically, and any gains the mill did make were quickly canceled by losses in Mississippi. Armstrong's benefactor, John H. Kirby, was himself experiencing severe financial problems. Kirby found carrying Armstrong's were becoming an intolerable burden. Kirby once again insisted that Armstrong make an effort to sell Texas Steel and relieve both men of their debts. Armstrong reluctantly agreed, but nothing came of these plans.
In spite of these and other commitments Armstrong pressed ahead with the Homochitto River drainage project. Armstrong still believed that a big enough timber deal would solve his financial problems, and the only way to make that timber accessible was to drain the swamps caused by the silt and log jams that blocked the mouth of the Homochitto River. The land would have to be drained and clear cut eventually anyway, to make it useful for farming and ranching.(28)
Most of Armstrong's political activities at this time were closely connected with his financial problems. He lobbied for high tariffs to protect Texas Steel's market. He carried on an extensive correspondence with owners and managers of steel mills throughout the country, urging them to work for higher tariffs to protect their markets from foreign competition. He helped his friend John H. Kirby's campaign to revise Texas' insurance laws. (Kirby owned an insurance company.) Armstrong tried to enhance the value of some of his real estate by donating land to the Texas State Park Department, hoping that the expansion of the State Park system would increase the recreational value of property he still owned around the parks, and stimulate road building to make the parks accessible. He corresponded with E. D. Colp, chairman of the State Parks Board, on these and related matters.
Armstrong continued his correspondence on politics and the money question with his friends S. P. Panton and Arthur Kitson. Kitson helped him distribute his pamphlets in England and Europe. Armstrong also wrote letters to the leaders of the governments of France, the United Kingdom and the United States, urging them to convene an international monetary conference.
The correspondence with J. S. Wannamaker is of special interest. Wannamaker's letters illustrate the decline of the agricultural economy, and the political alternatives these hard-pressed agrarians were inclined to embrace in the post Populist era.
Selected Correspondence 1925
January
Kirby, John H. January 4
To Kirby. Details of Armstrong's plan to increase his real estate values by donating some land to the Texas State Park Board. Since Kirby had underwritten some of Armstrong's real estate investments, both men stood to profit from this plan.
Kirby, John H. January 14
To Kirby. Armstrong discusses his appeal to the State Park Board to help develop some of his land; the insurance bill Kirby is pushing; and improving conditions at Texas Steel.
Kirby, John H. January 15
From Kirby. Kirby outlines his plans for changing the Robertson Act. Kirby solicits Armstrong's help and suggests he work with Amon Carter on this matter.
Hall, J. W. January 22
To Hall, concerning the Robertson Act, a law regulating Texas insurance companies. Armstrong and Kirby wanted to modify the law.
Hall, J. W. January 23
Armstrong to Kirby, agreeing to help with the Robertson Law. Armstrong remarks that the modification of the law Kirby advocates would increase the value of Kirby's bonds.
February-March
Colp, E. D. March 9
From Colp, chairman of the Texas State Park Board, on Armstrong's proposal to develop his land with the cooperation of the Park Board. "If we can get it passed," Colp said, "it will be fine business…"
Foster, Henry A. March 14
From Foster, a writer for the Manufacturers' Record, enclosing an article on monetary policy.
February
Baldwin, Stanly February 21
To Baldwin, Prime Minister of England, urging him to call an international monetary conference. Copies sent to Clemente, the French Minister of Finance, and President Coolidge.
March-April
Kitson, Arthur March 26
From Kitson, a letter discussing the history of the gold standard.
Kitson, Arthur April 3
From Kitson. Kitson is planning a lecture tour of the United States on the money question. Kitson discussed conditions in Germany: "There is reason to believe that Germany is preparing for another war…" Kitson also comments on the problem of deflation and the decline of the English economy.
April-May
American Federation of Labor May 6
Letter addressed to "Mr. Green, President AFL" soliciting labor support for Armstrong's protectionist campaign.
Armstrong, Allen; Arnold, J. A. April-May
Extensive correspondence with Allen and Arnold. J. A. Arnold was a Mississippi businessman who collaborated with Armstrong on the Homochitto project. This file contains data on the progress of the Homochitto project and on conditions on Armstrong's Mississippi plantations. Includes financial statements and balance sheets.
Davis, W. P. May 7
To W. P. Davis, enclosing a list of individuals and publications Armstrong approached with his tariff proposal.
Edmonds, Richard April 25
Letter to Edmonds, proposing Kirby as a candidate for Governor of Texas or even president.
Edmonds, Richard May 7
To Edmonds informing him that Kirby has rejected the idea of running for political office.
Panton, S. P. May 11
From Panton. Another of Panton's long commentaries on the money question; discussion of the banking system worked out by Armstrong and Kitson. Panton enclosed a copy of a 1913 editorial on banking Panton wrote for the Vancouver, B. C. World.
Panton, S. P. April 29
From Panton, enclosing copies of Panton's correspondence with the Treasury Department.
Wannamaker, J. S. May 4, 5, 8 & 9
Exchange of letters with Wannamaker, president of the American Cotton Association. Wannamaker was a prominent Southern cotton grower, businessman and banker whose fortune was nearly wiped out by the decline of the agrarian economy in the 1920s. These letters reflect both Wannamaker's own misfortunes and the devastation suffered by the agricultural classes in general. Wannamaker speculates at length on how these conditions came about. Armstrong suggests that the only solution is an "independent political movement" designed to defeat the "money power."
June
Kirby, John H. June 2
Copy of a letter from Kirby to Scot Woodward, a former state representative, extolling the virtues of Texas Steel and its importance to the economy of Fort Worth and Texas.
Panton, S. P. June 15
From Panton. Panton discusses the history of the monetary reform movement in Canada.
Wannamaker, J. S. June 2 & 9
From Wannamaker, enclosing a copy of the "Monetary Reform Plan" by former Senator John L. McLaurin. McLaurin's plan was derived from old Populist and Greenback monetary theories. He attacks the Federal Reserve Board, which he believed was controlled by Jews. In the June 9 letter, Wannamaker gives an account of the "deflation of '20" based on interviews he claims to have had with W. P. G. Harding, Governor of the Federal Reserve Board.
September-October
Allen, W. A. September 19
To W. A. Allen, manager of Sheffield Steel Co. Armstrong discusses plans to sell Texas Steel. Kirby is beginning to feel burdened by carrying Armstrong's debts and urges him to liquidate his holdings as quickly as possible.
Kitson, Arthur September 3
From Kitson. Kitson discusses economic problems in England, and informs Armstrong that his pamphlet on the Daws plan is being circulated in Germany by the Freiwirtschafliche Zeitung. Kitson asks about conditions in the U. S., and worries that "there is really serious trouble" brewing behind the facade of American prosperity.
November-December
Allen, W. A. November 25
To Allen, on conditions in Fort Worth. Armstrong has recently announced a wage cut and is facing a strike.
Kirby, John H. October 23
To Kirby, about labor problems at Texas Steel Co. "The men have refused to accept a reduction in wages…"
December
Clark, E. V. December 15
To Clark, an assistant to Kirby. Armstrong informs Clark that the union has capitulated and the workers have gone back to work on Armstrong's terms.
Panton, S. P. December 2
From Panton. Panton discusses the situation in Germany. Mentions a letter received from Kitson about the "awful conditions in England."
Box
57-61 1926
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Bailey, Senator Joseph Weldon; Clark, E. V., Kirby's personal secretary; Colp, E. D.; Coyle, John A., manager and consulting engineer for Texas Steel Co. in 1926; Evans, H. W., a national officer of the Ku Klux Klan; Homochitto Land and Drainage District; Kirby, John H.; Massey, Russell, a banker who wrote tracts on monetary reform; Halbower, R. D., and Hughes, H. E., Montgomery Ward officials; Mississippi River Commission; Panton, S. P.; Tillman, R. L., an organizer for the National Farmers Union.
After a series of business reversals in 1926, Armstrong once again found himself facing bankruptcy. The stress caused by these problems led to a mild breakdown in April of 1926.
Kirby and Armstrong were by now both desperate to sell off as much of Armstrong's property as possible in order to relieve themselves of their huge debts. These efforts were constantly frustrated. The Montgomery Ward company backed out of a deal to buy a substantial amount of Armstrong's Fort Worth real estate. Kirby failed in his efforts to sell off Armstrong's Mississippi timber. Texas Steel, meanwhile, continued to suffer from mechanical failure, red ink, and a frustrated and demoralized management.(29)
These problems were compounded by a bitter strike caused by wage cuts and layoffs imposed by Armstrong to reduce costs at Texas Steel. Armstrong eventually succeeded in breaking the strike. He fired the strikers and abolished the closed shop union. The newly hired workers were organized on an open shop basis. Armstrong won, but the lost production during the strike and the decline in production following the introduction of an inexperienced crew cost the company dearly at a time it could ill afford added expenses.
Texas Steel rarely showed a profit in 1926. Such profits as the company did make were quickly eaten by Armstrong's massive debt burden.
The volume of political correspondence is small but nevertheless interesting. Armstrong continued his correspondence with Kitson and Panton. These files also contain letters from R. L. Massey, a banker and amateur monetary theorist who liked to send Armstrong his latest reform schemes. Massey also corresponded with Kitson and Panton. Other correspondence relates to Armstrong's in the controversy involving the famous evangelist, J. Frank Norris.
The political correspondence reflects the decline of interest in the money question as other issues began to capture public interest. By the mid-1920s, only a handful of aging Populists still believed that the Money Question was the fundamental issue.
Selected Correspondence 1926
January
Clark, E. V. January 6
From Clark, John Kirby's executive officer. Congratulates Armstrong on his recent victory over the union and his switch to unorganized labor.
Drane, H. B. January 16-17
Correspondence with Drane, a Mississippi State Representative from Adams County. Exchange of letters on the controversy over bonds issued by the Homochitto Land and Drainage District, an agency Armstrong helped create. Drane discusses legislation affecting the District's charter.
Kirby, John H. January 5
From Kirby. Kirby indicates that the financial support he has given Armstrong has damaged him.
Kirby, John H. January 7
Armstrong to Kirby. Armstrong assures Kirby that he is still burdened by the strike and other problems but is making every effort to sell Texas Steel.
Tillman, R. L. January 5, 30
Correspondence with Tillman, who solicits Armstrong's aid in organizing farmers. Tillman comments on the controversies surrounding evangelist J. Frank Norris.
Walker, Paul A. October 8
(In January file) From Walker, office of Corporation Commission of Oklahoma. Walker sends Armstrong transcript of the testimony of William J. Hagenah in a rate structure investigation involving the Federal Reserve Law.
Walker, Paul A. October 13
(In January file) Armstrong to Walker commenting on Hagenah's testimony.
February
Colp, E. D. February 12
Copy of a letter from E. D. Colp, chairman of the Texas State Park Board, to W. G. Turner. Outlines a plan for improving the Texas State Park system.
Tillman, R. L. February 20
From Tillman, a letter attacking the World Court, which he apparently believes threatens segregation. "Social equality [for blacks] is the curse of the South." Tillman goes on to express his ambition to "live in a city where the labor and farm vote has elected [the] officials."
March
Mississippi River Commission March
Extensive correspondence with the Mississippi River Commission on the Homochitto River project.
Montgomery Ward February 10
To R. J. Ramey, a Vice President of Montgomery Ward. Armstrong encourages Ramey to locate a Ward's store in Fort Worth. Discusses potential problems with city services, taxes, and so on.
Panton, S. P. March 17
From Panton, enclosing a copy of a letter from C. L. Locke on "world menace of Catholicism." Locke blames Catholics for the world's problems while exonerating Jews and denouncing anti-Semitism.
Panton, S. P. March 29
Armstrong's staunchly anti-Semitic reply to Locke.
April
Armstrong, Allen April 8
To Allen Armstrong. Armstrong has given up trying to sell Texas Steel.
Kirby, John H. April
Correspondence with Kirby on an episode of amnesia Armstrong suffered on April 19. This was apparently a breakdown brought on by ill-health and the stress caused by his financial situation.
Tillman, R. L. April 5
From Tillman, trying to interest Armstrong in supporting a cooperative marketing scheme that seems to have been influenced by Populism.
May
Flanary, A. B. May 7
To Flanary, accusing bankers of "punishing Mr. Kirby for my sins." Armstrong believed that the Federal Reserve Board was persecuting Kirby because of Armstrong's anti-Federal Reserve polemics.
Jones, John T. May 25
To Jones, discussing his efforts to persuade Montgomery Ward to locate store on or near his property in Fort Worth. Armstrong clearly believed that this deal would solve his financial problems and enable him to pay his debts to Kirby.
May-June
Knapp, R. D. June 5
To R. D. Knapp. Armstrong informs Knapp that he is retiring as an active officer of Texas Steel. John A. Coyle, an engineer and former steel plant manager, is selected by Kirby to manage Texas Steel.(30)
Knapp, R. D. June 8
Armstrong to Knapp. Armstrong discusses the results of his recent victory over the strikers, and the advantages of an open shop. "I think within 90 days time we will have developed a good non-union working organization, partly American and partly Mexican."
June-July
Flanary, A. B. June 25
From Flanary, an attorney, discussing possible legal problems with Armstrong's proposal to provide tax-free city services for Montgomery Ward as an incentive to locate in Fort Worth.
Halbower, R. D. June 20 & 21
To Halbower, a Montgomery Ward official, proposing different ways to acquire city services at lower rates. Armstrong suggests incorporating into a town, like Niles City in the Stockyards area.
Kirby, John H. July 18-23
Correspondence with Kirby on an audit of Texas Steel Co. that seemed to raise questions about Armstrong's integrity. The audit implied that he used money from Kirby's loans intended for Texas Steel Co. for personal expenses, a charge Armstrong vehemently denied. Armstrong sent Kirby a copy of a letter from his attorney Joseph Weldon Bailey explaining that the audit's contained accounting errors and poor wording.
Evans, H. W. July 27 & 31
Correspondence with Evans of the Ku Klux Klan on the controversial evangelist J. Frank Norris. The Klan seems to have been sympathetic to Norris.
Montgomery Ward August 18
From H. E. Hughes, a Ward's executive, informing Armstrong that the company has "indefinitely postponed our building plans" for Fort Worth.
Meacham, H. C. July 26
From Meacham, mayor of Fort Worth, discussing the controversy surrounding J. Frank Norris. Meacham worries that public support of Norris by the Ku Klux Klan would further damage the city's reputation.
Panton, S. P. July 26
From Panton, comparing economic conditions in the U. S., Canada and Europe.
September-October
Kirby, John H. September 9
From Kirby. Kirby's financial situation is increasingly desperate. "I am being put to it to meet my maturing bills&"
Massey, R. L. August 30
A long letter from Massey on the money question.
Panton, S. P. September 8
From Panton, enclosing a copy of a letter to Massey with a critique of Massey's theories. Also enclosed is an article by Panton for the Manufacturers' Record called "Gold and Psychology."
October-November
Kirby, John H. October 20 & 21
Armstrong and Kirby are being pressured by the State National Bank of Denison to settle their notes.
Kirby, John H. October 20
From Kirby. "This effort to save your property and help you, is giving me the severest punishment of my life."
Box
62-63 1926
Texas Steel Co. correspondence relating to the 1926 reorganization. These papers were filed separately from the other 1926 material and relate primarily to internal affairs at Texas Steel Co. Most of these records were created by the managers brought in at the request of John H. Kirby following Armstrong's April breakdown.(31)
Armstrong, Allen January-December
Correspondence between George W. Armstrong and Allen on the reorganization of Texas Steel. Four folders.
Armstrong, Allen December 16
To Allen Armstrong, a letter discussing Kirby's declining health. "Mr. Kirby collapsed in his chair a few days ago&" Armstrong also refers to a recurrence of his own problems, noting that he had had "another attack [of amnesia] a few days ago."
Armstrong, Allen December 13
From Dr. J. S. Terrill, discussing Armstrong's attack of amnesia.(32)
Armstrong, Allen July 18 & 21
Exchange of letters between John A. Coyle, the accounting firm of Hutchinson & Smith, and Armstrong relating to the 1926 audit prepared by Hutchinson & Smith. Armstrong disagreed with the audit's findings.
Bailey, Senator Joseph Weldon January-December
Correspondence with Bailey relating to the 1926 audit by Hutchinson & Smith, and problems Texas Steel Co. experienced with the installation of a new electric furnace purchased from the Pittsburgh Electric Furnace Company.
Bethlehem Steel Company October 18
From Bethlehem Steel Co., asking for information about Texas Steel Co.'s financial standing.
Bethlehem Steel Company October 26
Reply to Bethlehem Steel, enclosing an account of the current financial status of the Texas Steel Co.
Coyle, John A. August-December
Correspondence of John A. Coyle, the manager appointed by Kirby to reorganize Texas Steel Co., J. K. Remson, a Texas Steel executive, and John H. Kirby. This correspondence discusses the conditions at Texas Steel Co. that prompted Kirby to pressure Armstrong to step aside and accept a change in management.
Coyle, John A. August 20
Coyle to Kirby, with an assessment of conditions at Texas Steel: "The plant is in much more deplorable condition mechanically than I ever imagined."
Coyle, John A. August 16, 19, 20
Correspondence of Coyle and others relating to constant breakdowns due to faulty electrical transformers for the electric furnace.
Coyle, John A. November 2
Coyle to Remson. A long letter detailing shutdowns due to faulty transformer.
July September
Inter office correspondence, meeting agendas, minutes, and memos from Texas Steel Co.
September 8
Transcript of a meeting of Texas Steel Co. executives.
September 13
Supplement to the agenda for a meeting of Texas Steel executives.
June-August
Payroll reports for Texas Steel Co.
Remsen, J. K. October-December
Correspondence of J. K. Remsen, a Texas Steel Co. executive, with John H. Kirby and E. V. Clark, Kirby's secretary and executive assistant, on conditions at Texas Steel.
Remsen, J. K. December 23
Remsen to Kirby. Remson discusses Texas Steel Co.'s marketing problems and complains of "competition with foreign steel imported and peddled by our Jewish friends in Houston and Galveston."
Remsen, J. K. December 30, 31
Remsen to Kirby. Two letters critical of Coyle, questioning his electrical knowledge and overall handling of the company's problems.
Box
64 1926-1927
Correspondents: Anderson, F. A.; Babbit, J. W.; Drane, H. B.; the Homochitto Drainage District; Kirby, John H.; National People's Savings Bank; Texas Highway Department.
This section of correspondence was filed separately in a single letter box. This correspondence deals primarily with Armstrong's attempts to recover from bankruptcy and his continuing efforts to complete his Homochitto River project.
Most of the Texas Steel Co. correspondence reflects Armstrong's efforts to solicit new business for Texas Steel and expand his market. Armstrong was an avid booster of highway construction, and put a lot of effort in lobbying the Texas State Highway Department for business. Texas Steel manufactured concrete reinforcing bars, and highway construction was a natural market.
The file on John H. Kirby contains the essential records of the agreement Armstrong worked out with Kirby to underweight Armstrong's debts and save his property from bankruptcy. This file includes balance sheets and a detailed statement of every loan Kirby made Armstrong between 1923 and 1927. Armstrong apparently gathered these documents from other files to use for quick reference.
The files on the Homochitto Drainage District contains records of work completed, work in progress, financial records, minutes of meetings, a description of work accomplished, and ten 4″×5″ photos of the canal.
1 John H. Kirby File.
This file is a record of the arrangements Kirby made with Armstrong to rescue Armstrong's property from bankruptcy. It includes balance sheets and detailed statements of Kirby's loans to Armstong.
2 Correspondence with the State Highway Department on road construction contracts.
Includes a list of county engineers for many Texas counties.
3 Letters to various Texas county engineers soliciting business for Texas Steel Co.
4-8 More correspondence soliciting business for Texas Steel Co. Correspondence with other steel companies; the Texas & Pacific Railroad; the Thomas Publishing Co.; Tiffin Electric Co.; the Texas General Contractors Association; correspondence with other potential customers.
9-20 Homochitto Drainage District Correspondence, A-V 1926-1927
Anderson, F. A.
Correspondence with Anderson on the progress of the Homochitto project. Anderson was a neighbor of Armstrong's and the manager of the Gloster Lumber Co.
Babbit, J. W.
Correspondence with Babbit, a civil engineer based in Natchez, Miss. who worked on the Homochitto project. This file includes 10 photographs of the drainage ditch as it looked in 1926, with a written explanation of what the photos show. Babbit also wrote notes on the back of each picture.
Drane, H. B.
Correspondence with Drane on the Homochitto project. Drane was at this time on the Adams County Mississippi Board of Supervisors, and later served in the Mississippi State Legislature and the U. S. Congress.
Homochitto Swampland Drainage District
Correspondence, legal documents, financial statements, minutes of board meetings, and other documents relating to the business of the Homochitto Swampland Drainage District (also known as the Homochitto Drainage District).
Kennedy, L. T.
Correspondence with Armstrong's lawyer, L. T. Kennedy. Kennedy took care of the Drainage District's business as well as Armstrong's.
Box
65-68 1927
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, Anne Thompson; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Armstrong, M. B.; Clark, E. D.; Colp, D. E.; Grece, Edward S., an old Populist and associate of Henry Vincent; Kirby, John H.; Mayfield, Earl B.; Panton, S. P.; Remsen, J. K.; Thompson, B. V., Anne Armstrong's husband; Vincent, Henry; Wickett, E. H., Chairman of the Pan American Oil Co.; Yeary, M. B., an old Populist and monetary reform advocate.
This was another difficult year for Armstrong for both his private and business life. His daughter Anne's marriage ended in divorce, and Armstrong's relations with his own wife were deteriorating. (33)His Texas Steel Co. seemed to be once again drifting towards bankruptcy. Texas Steel's failure to turn a profit threatened his friend John H. Kirby, whose own financial fortunes were in decline.
Armstrong's primary objective in 1927 was the rehabilitation of Texas Steel Co. As soon as he regained control of the mill he removed the management Kirby had brought in the previous year to run the plant while Armstrong recovered from his breakdown of April 1926. The company had lost thousands in his absence, and Armstrong felt that drastic measures were necessary. He took steps to reduce labor cost and to streamline production. He moved against his competition by suing them for violation of the Interstate Commerce Act. He sued the railroads for charging excessive freight rates. Armstrong wanted to convince a skeptical Kirby that Texas Steel could be saved, and vigorously defended his management style and his plans for expanding the mill.(34)
In addition to the development of his Mississippi property, Armstrong continued to speculate in land in Oklahoma in partnership with his cousin M. B. Armstrong. He was also showing a renewed interest in oil exploration in both Oklahoma and Mississippi.
Armstrong had little time for politics at this time, but he kept in touch with Henry Vincent, E. D. Grece, S. P. Panton and other old friends. He continued to campaign against the Federal Reserve Board and attacked Senator Earl Mayfield and anyone else who supported the Federal Reserve system.
Selected Correspondence 1927
January-February
Colp, E. D. January 15
Armstrong to Colp, urging him to press for the new state park plan which calls for an expansion of the park system. Armstrong believes that there is a "much more favorable sentiment" to parks in the new legislature. (John H. Kirby was a representative from Harris County in this session of the Legislature.)
February-April
Armstrong, Allen February 19
From Allen Armstrong in Mexico. Allen describes the conflict between the Mexican Government and foreign oil companies doing business in Mexico.
Kirby, John H. March 23
From Kirby. Kirby complains of "the terrible burden I am carrying for you" which by this time amounts to "well toward $700,000."
April-May
Lees, S. S. June 28
From Lees. Papers relating to Armstrong's push for oil exploration on his Mississippi property.
Mayfield, Earl B. April 4
To Senator Mayfield, criticizing him and "other Southern senators" for supporting the McFadden bill, which extended the life of the Federal Reserve Board. Armstrong threatened to leave the Democratic party.
Vincent, Henry June 13, 17
Two letters from Vincent. June 13 encloses a copy of a speech Vincent gave to the Gainsville, Georgia, Kiwanis Club on December 31, 1926. June 17 mentions an article Vincent published in the Manufacturers' Record.
July-August
Hancock, Mrs. N. M. August 6
To Mrs. Hancock, Vice President of the Dixie Oil Co. Armstrong mentions the recent discovery of a large gas field near his property in Mississippi.
Yeary, M. B. June 29
From Yeary, inviting Armstrong to attend a convention of the Farmers Marketing Association. The convention's objective was to help farmers gain control of their markets.
Yeary M. B. July 7
From Yeary, expressing his regret that Armstrong was unable to attend the Farmers Marketing Association convention. Yeary mentions the presence of Cyclone Davis and several other old Populists.
August-September
Dickson, John A. August 15
From Dickson, on the "Money Power." Dickson wrote books on the money question similar to Armstrong's. Dickson asserted in this letter that Fort Worth is "one of the worst union labor towns."
Panton, S. P. August 17
From Panton. Panton informs Armstrong that their mutual friend R. L. Massey has turned socialist or is leaning that way. Armstrong's friend Arthur Kitson, meanwhile, has received an invitation to meet with Mussolini.
September-October
Armstrong, George W. Jr. September 20
From George Armstrong, Jr. Armstrong Sr. is about to resume control of Texas Steel Co. George Jr. suggests J. K. Remson and Amon Carter as possible members of the new Texas Steel board of directors. George cautions his father against being too extreme in his plans to purge the old board of directors and institute drastic wage cuts.
October-November
Black Hardware Co. November 25
To Black Hardware Co. Armstrong sues Black Hardware for the illegal importation of foreign steel. This begins Armstrong's legal crusade to restore Texas Steel's base of profits by driving competition out of his market territory.
Bryce, William October 15
To Bryce, mayor of Fort Worth. Armstrong appeals for a tax break for Texas Steel Co.
Byars, Edward P. October 21, 22
Correspondence with Byars of the Fort Worth Freight Rate Bureau, about gathering data for his freight rate case.
Kirby, John H. October-November
Extensive correspondence with Kirby, various Texas Steel executives, and others on conditions at Texas Steel when Armstrong resumed control of the company.
November-December
Grece, Edward S. January 28, 1928
Interesting letter Grece, an old Populist, on the "false prosperity" proclaimed by bankers in the face of two million mortgage foreclosures.
Iron Age November 30
Clipping from Iron Age, an article on European steel prices and the practice of "dumping" cheap imported steel on the American market. Armstrong was extremely concerned with this problem.
Box
69-72 1928
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Bullington, Orville, prominent Wichita Falls businessman and Texas Republican leader; Collins, V. A, a state senator; Colquitt, O. B., a former Texas Governor; Cranfill, J. B., a Baptist minister, newspaper publisher and prohibition leader; Creager, R. B., a prominent Texas Republican; Johnson, Cone, a Texas Democrat who advised President Wilson on foreign policy; Kirby, John H.; Kindric, Senator John B.; Lanham, Congressman Fritz; LaFollette, Senator Robert Jr.; Love, Thomas B; Moody, A. S., chairman of the "Hoover Democrats"; Pryor, Ike; Senter, E. G.; Tillman, R. L.; Webb, Atticus, chairman of the Anti-Saloon League.
This was stressful and sometimes frantic activity for Armstrong. In Mississippi, he fought for a flood control bill that would help advance his Homochitto project. In Texas, he continued his efforts to save the Texas Steel Co. and struggle against foreign competition. Armstrong sued the railroads for excessive freight rates and his competitors for anti-trust violations. While Armstrong managed to barely survive, Kirby's fortunes continued to decline.
The presidential race of 1928 rekindled Armstrong's interest in politics. Armstrong still hoped for the emergence of a third party consisting of southern "anti-Smith" Democrats and western Republicans. When this third party once again failed to materialize Armstrong opted to support the "Hoover Democrats". Prohibition was once again an issue. Armstrong somewhat half-heartedly supported prohibition because he believed that the temperance advocates would support the inflationary monetary policies and high tariffs he wanted enforced. These files also contain correspondence on the 1928 National Democratic Convention held in Houston.
Selected Correspondence 1928
January-March
Armstrong, Allen January 24
To Allen Armstrong, discussing Kirby's financial problems. Kirby has lost "between two and three million" in his West Coast lumber operations.
Brookhart, Senator Smith W. February 14
To Senator Brookhart, on the Mississippi flood control bill. Armstrong also expounds on the need for "progressive" Republicans and Democrats in the west and south to form a united front.
Farmer's Exchange Cooperative Tillman, R. L. January 14
From Tillman, asking Armstrong's support for the Farmer's Exchange Cooperative.
Farmers Marketing Association Yeary, M. B. February 20
Yeary requests Armstrong's help with the Farmers Marketing Association. Both of these organizations seem to have been cooperative marketing schemes based on the cooperatives of the Farmer's Alliance of the 1880s and 1890s.
Interstate Trust and Banking Co. January 30
To P. H. Sitges, an officer of Interstate Trust and Banking Co., on the sale of some of Armstrong's Fort Worth real estate. The sale of this property helped pay some of Armstrong's debt to Kirby.
Kirby, John H. March 3
From Kirby. Kirby disapproved of some of Armstrong's political associates. In this letter he expresses his contempt for the Western supporters of LaFollette, who he believed to be "socialist and bolshevist."
LaFollette, Senator Robert February 11
To Robert LaFollette, Jr. Armstrong would like the Democratic presidential nomination to go to Senator Kindric or some other Southern or Western protectionist. Armstrong discusses his plan for a third party or reformed Democratic party based on an alliance of Southerners and Westerners.
Pryor, Ike February 25
To Pryor, on possible choices for the Democratic nomination. Armstrong advocates Senator Kindric and objects to Senator Reed because he suspects that Reed is not a protectionist and supports the Federal Reserve Board.
Pryor, Ike March 18
From Pryor, advising Armstrong that Kindric may not be the best choice for president. Pryor endorses Senator Reed.
Texas State Railroad Commission January-March
Correspondence with the Railroad Commission on Armstrong's freight rate cases.
January-March
Correspondence with the Treasury Department, the U. S. Customs Collector at Galveston, The Texas State Railroad Commission, and others on alleged tariff violations by importers of foreign steel.
Thompson, B. V. March 28
To son-in-law Thompson, on bootlegging and other affairs. "Our bootlegger is in trouble, but I got five gallons for you&He seemed to be uneasy about taking checks so I paid him cash for it."
March-April
Cranfill, J. B. April 17
From Cranfill. Cranfill attacks the Southern Democratic party's ties to New York and the Tammany Hall wing of the Democratic Party.
Cranfill, J. B. March 21
From Cranfill. Cranfill shares Kirby's opinion of LaFollette, calling him a "near socialist."
Cranfill, J. B. March 21
An interesting letter from Cranfill commenting on Texas politics, Governor Dan Moody, relations between the Southern and Northern wings of the Democratic party, and other topics.
Hoover, Herbert April 11
To Hoover, soliciting his help with the flood control bill before congress, and promising to help carry the South for the Republicans if Al Smith wins the Democratic nomination.
Johnson, Cone March 19
To Johnson, on the need to free the Democratic party from the control of Tammany Hall.
Kirby, John H. April 14
To Kirby, urging him to oppose Governor Moody's appointment to the Democratic National Committee.
Kirby, John H. March 19
To Kirby. Armstrong suggests they can advance their political interest by making an alliance with the Prohibition forces. Armstrong's primary objection to Smith is "because of his economic principles."
Kindric, Senator John B. March 5
To Wyoming Senator John B. Kindric, expressing disappointment that "you will not permit your friends in Texas to propose you as a candidate" for President.
Kindric, Senator John B. March 9
Long and friendly reply from Kindric, discussing his stand on the protective tariff, the flood control bill, and other matters.
Pryor, Ike March 19
To Pryor. Armstrong wants Kirby appointed to the Democratic Party Platform Committee. Kirby will "accept it if it is tendered to him." Armstrong also discusses the protective tariff and quotes Kindric's letter of March 9.
April-May
Armstrong, Allen May 1
To Allen, discussing the Mississippi flood control bill. Armstrong has written an amendment that has been added to the bill.
Cranfill, J. B. April 30, May 15
From Cranfill, on Democratic party politics and the 1928 election. Cranfill expressed dislike for Texas Governor Dan Moody but was willing to support him nevertheless.
Cranfill, J. B. April 23, June 14
From Texas State Senator V. A. Collins, on the agenda of the Texas delegation to the Democratic Convention in Houston, and the conflict between the Harmony faction, which was pro-Smith and wet, and the Constitutional faction, which was dry and anti-Smith.
Cranfill, J. B. April 28
To Collins, criticizing him for "harmonizing with Harmony Democrats." Armstrong was a Hoover Democrat.
Dallas Open Shop Association Jay, C. A. April 21
From Jay, of the Dallas Open Shop Association. Jay argues that the open shop is essential for economic growth. He enclosed an open shop pamphlet and a clipping of a letter to the editor from former Populist orator Cyclone Davis.
Senter, E. G. May 14
To Senter, his former associate and publisher. Armstrong chides Senter for using his "confidential remarks" in a newspaper story and misrepresenting facts. Senter implied that Armstrong was wet when in fact Armstrong claimed to have been "a lifelong dry."
Senter, E. G. May 17
From Senter, replying to Armstrong's letter of May 14. Senter defends the accuracy of his story and Al Smith. Senter condemns the Ku Klux Klan for its anti-Catholic attacks against Smith. "I would prefer any type of government," Senter declares, "to Klan government."
June-July-August
Bullington, Orville July 2
Interesting letter from Texas Republican leader Bullington, proposing an alliance of Democratic and Republican drys to oppose "Smith and Tammany."
Cranfill, J. B. July 9-July 23
Correspondence with Cranfill, V. A. Collins, and R. B. Creager on organizing the Hoover Democrats in Texas.
Dallas Morning News July 7
Armstrong outlines his political views in a letter to the editor of the Morning News: high tariff, restrictions on immigration, small government, and strict enforcement of the 18th Amendment.
Johnson, Cone July 6
To Johnson, on the need to free the Democratic party from the "foreign borne, Catholic crowd."
Kirby, John H. June 19
Interesting letter from Kirby, defending Al Smith, the Democratic party, and local option prohibition. Kirby was against national prohibition.
August-October
Kirby, John H. October 10
From Kirby, who is serving as Director of Finance for the National Democratic Committee, commending Armstrong for his decision to stay out of direct involvement in the campaign. Kirby refers to the anti-Smith forces as "defamers and deserters."
Progressive League For Al Smith September 18
From the Progressive League, defending Smith's record as a progressive and suggesting that backers of LaFollette and Wheeler should unite behind Smith.
October-December
Colquitt, Oscar Branch November 27
From former Texas Governor Colquitt, on the nature of the Democratic party, "Made up of half a dozen factions."
Evans, H. W. December 4
To Evans, an official of the Ku Klux Klan. Armstrong sends Evans information on the Hoover Democrats and discusses Klan involvement in Republican politics in the 1920s.
Southern Tariff Association October-December
Correspondence with A. J. Arnold on the activities of the Southern Tariff Association.
Box
73-77 1929
The financial problems and political interest that occupied Armstrong in 1928 continued to trouble him in 1929, making '29 almost a replay of the previous year. Texas Steel Co. continued to struggle along. Armstrong continued to work for the Anti-Tammany Democrats, although he was becoming somewhat disillusioned with Hoover. His most overwhelming political interest was the Hawley Tariff law. Armstrong was certain that a strictly enforced, high tariff was essential for his company's survival.
George W. Armstrong, Jr. was now General Manager of Texas Steel and kept his father abreast of affairs with frequent detailed reports. Armstrong Sr., meanwhile, immersed himself in his campaign for high tariffs.
Armstrong continued to correspond with S. P. Panton and other aging Populist and monetary reform crusaders.
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Armstrong, M. B.; Connally, Senator Tom; Clark, E. V.; Cranfill, J. B.; Garner, John Nance; Grace, E. G., president of Bethlehem Steel Co.; Greenwood, E. P.; Hardy, J. V., of the Anti Al Smith Democrats; Heflin, Senator Thomas J.; Harvey, W. H. "Coin"; Kirby, John H.; Lanham, Congressman Fritz; Lee, Thomas B., a banker and amateur monetary theorist; Lightfoot, M. D., Chairman of the National Constitutional Democrats Committee; McGiffin, Norton, editor of the Southern Advocate; Moodey, A. S., an official of the Texas Anti-Al Smith Democrats; Panton, S. P.; Sandefer, J. D., President of Simmons University; Senter, E. G.; Sheppard, Senator Morris; Tillman, R. L.
Selected Correspondence 1929
December 28-January '29
Garner, John Nance December 22
To Garner, asking for his aid in helping Armstrong to be allowed to testify before the House Ways and Means Committee on pending tariff legislation.
Garner, John Nance December 26
From Garner, with instructions on filing to appear as a witness before the House Ways and Means Committee.
Grace, E. G. January 4
To Grace, President of Bethlehem Steel Co., urging him to attend the tariff conference in Washington, D. C.
Lee, Thomas B. January 8
Correspondence with Lee, a retired banker and convert to "Coxey's 25 year Non-Interest Bearing Bond Plan." Includes one of Coxey's pamphlets.(35).
Lightfoot, M. D. December 5
To Lightfoot, an official on the National Constitutional Democratic Committee, the anti-Smith faction in the Democratic party. Armstrong submits his proposals for the agenda for the Constitutional Democrats.
Tillman, R. L. January 19
From Tillman, on the decline of the money crusade as the aging leaders pass from the scene. "One by one," Tillman laments, "they are falling out of the ranks…H. L. Loucks has passed and ["Coin"] Harvey is feeble…"
January-February
Arnold, J. A. January 29
From Arnold, a long letter on the tariff issue. Includes a copy of a letter from John H. Kirby. These files also include propaganda from the Southern Tariff Association and the American Tariff League.
Greenwood, E. P. March 7-11
Correspondence with H. L. Seay, president of the Southland Life Insurance Co., and E. P. Greenwood of the Great Southern Life Insurance Co., on Texas insurance law. Armstrong wanted the law revised to make insurance company capital avalible for investment in small, struggling industries like Texas Steel.
Harvey, W. H. "Coin" January 16-24
Interesting correspondence with Harvey, who is launching another crusade, the Pyramid Association. Harvey proposes to build an indestructible pyramid to house the records of the monetary reform movement. He believes that Western civilization will collapse due to its failure to resolve the money question.(36)
Lee, Thomas B. January
Exchange of letters with Lee, president of the Sterling Radio Company, on monetary reform. Lee sent Armstrong a copy of a letter he had sent to Calvin Coolidge, offering Coolidge a five thousand dollar "reward" for a workable monetary reform bill.
Thompson & Knight February 16
From Armstrong's lawyers representing him in his anti-trust suit against Sheffield Steel Co. Includes documents relating to the case.
Tillman, R. L. January 19-February 16
Exchange of letters with Tillman, who wants Armstrong to support him in his efforts to carry on "the work" of monetary reform. Tillman expresses concern over the declining health of "Coin" Harvey, who, he says, "is not strong."
February-April
Hardy, J. V. March 1, March 20
From Hardy, chairman of the Anti-Al Smith Democrats. Harvey is soliciting funds to keep the organization alive for the 1930 and 1932 elections. Discusses strategy and various political topics, including running Thomas B. Love for governor.
Panton, S. P. April 11
From Panton. Panton discusses a book by Arthur Kitson, which Kitson published in 1894 "during his twenty year residence in this country." Kitson participated in the Populist movement and the Bryan campaigns. Panton quotes from Kitson's "16 Conclusions" about monetary reform. Kitson was clearly influenced by Greenback and Populist monetary theories.(37)
May-June
Connally, Senator Thomas Terry May 16
Armstrong ask Connally's advice on appearing before the Senate Finance Committee, of which Connally was a member. Armstrong expresses his disillusionment with Hoover, who he now believes represents "banker rule."
Connally, Senator Thomas Terry July 1
To Tom Connally, on Armstrong's appearance before the Senate Finance Committee.
Southern Tariff Association Arnold, J. A. June 28
From Arnold, on behalf of the Southern Tariff Association, on the pending Hawley Tariff Bill. Includes a clipping from the Manufacturers Record.
Sheppard, Senator Morris May 24
From Sheppard, who upset Armstrong by refusing to support the tariff bill. This is a letter defending his position.
June-August
Armstrong, Allen August 5
From Allen, who is working for an American oil company in Mexico. A fascinating account of the politics of oil in Mexico. Allen discusses efforts to manipulate the Mexican government.
Connally, Senator Thomas Terry August 10
To Tom Connally. Armstrong discusses his interest in raising tariff duties on imported steel.
August-September
Colquitt, Oscar. Branch October 24
From Colquitt, on behalf of the Anti-Tammany Democrats. Colquitt discusses strategy for the Texas Anti-Tammany Democrats.
Cranfill, J. B. September 28
From Cranfill. An interesting account of a meeting of Texas Anti-Tammany Democrats. Many prominent Texas Democrats attended. A list of names is included.
Hardy, J. V. October 23
From Hardy, chairman of the Texas Anti-Tammany Democrats. Hardy attacks Senator Morris Sheppard's position on the tariff issue. The letter gives an account of a 1913 conflict between Hardy and Sheppard over tariff legislation.
Moody, Alvin S. September 19, 25
Exchange of letters with Moody. Discusses Moody's call for a meeting of Texas "Hoovercrats" to form an independent anti-Tammany ticket.
McGiffin, Norten August 26
From McGiffin, editor of the Southern Advance. A very interesting letter discussing Armstrong's attempt to interest James V. Nutt, of Cleveland, in buying the Fort Wort Star-Telegram in order to use the paper as a vehicle of the Republican party during the 1928 election. Nutt was the Treasurer of the Republican National Committee.
McGiffin, Norten August 31
To Norton McGiffin. Further discussion of plans to buy the Star-Telegram as a Republican organ, again with the aid of James V. Nutt. Armstrong describes Nutt as "an old friend and business associate."
Senter, E. G. August 26-September 4
Correspondence with Senter on the financial crisis afflicting the agrarian sector of the economy. Senter advances a plan to bring relief to hard-pressed cotton farmers.
October-December
Arnold, J. A. November 21
To J. A. Arnold. Arnold is under investigation by the Caraway Committee because of his lobbying activities in Washington on behalf of high tariffs. Armstrong assures Arnold he believes this investigation is politically motivated.
Kirby, John H. November 27
Copy of a letter from Kirby to J. C. Holton, of Jackson, Miss., defending J. A. Arnold. Kirby argues in favor of protective tariffs. Kirby reviews American economic policy since 1913, and includes an account of the history of the Southern Tariff Association. He defends Arnold against accusations that Arnold favored "socially elevating the negro" because he planed to nominate a Northern Negro Democrat to congress. This was apparently a ploy to scare "Hoovercrats" back into the fold. Kirby condemned "any plan that socially exalts the negro." Kirby argued that the attack on Arnold was the result of a feud between himself and John Nance Garner.
Box
78-81 1930
As one would expect, the stock market crash and the ensuing economic crisis that became the Great Depression provide the major themes for this section of correspondence. The declining economy is the principal subject of Armstrong's political and business correspondence. John H. Kirby's letters become increasingly desperate as the decline of his financial empire is accelerated by the coming of the Depression. Armstrong dug in his heels and managed to hold on.
The Depression caused some rapid and radical changes of political priorities. The Prohibition movement was an early casualty of hard times. The Hoovercrats--originally a coalition of prohibitionist and conservative business interest--pushed the "liquor question" aside in favor of economic issues.
With the help of E. R. Millis, editor of the Houston Chronicle, Armstrong took control of the Southern Advocate and changed its name to the Independent Democrat. Norton McGiffin, A. S. Moody and other Hoovercrats were involved in the paper with Armstrong and Millis. Armstrong used the paper as a platform to attack the Federal Reserve Board and promote his campaign for a high tariff and monetary reform. Armstrong also used the paper to organize a Fort Worth conference of prominent Texas Hoovercrats and Republicans.
Request for copies of Armstrong's books and pamphlets begin to reappear in this section of correspondence. The renewed interest was no doubt due to the financial crisis.
Armstrong's business strategy involved pushing for high tariffs and low freight rates, and fighting his competition through anti-trust litigation.
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Armstrong, R. C.; Bailey, Senator William J.; Bailey, William Jr.; Cranfill, J. B.; Creager, R. B.; Connally, Senator Thomas Terry; Crawford, A. R.; Ferguson, Governor James; Hardy, J. V.; King, Thomas B.; McGiffin, Norton; Moody, Alvin S.; Millis, E. R.; Patterson, Rosco; Panton, S. P.; Poteet, Gibbons; Sarten, B. D., a Wichita Falls lawyer and congressional candidate; Sheppard, Senator Morris; Strong, Sterling; Tilley, R. M., Assistant Attorney General of Texas; Webb, Atticus, chairman of the Texas Anti-Saloon league; Yeary, M. B. Secretary of the Farmer's Mercantile Association.
Selected Correspondence 1930
January
Cranfill, J. B. January 16
From Cranfill, editor of the Southern Advance. Mentions the "general depression" after "fluctuations in the stock market."
Moody, Alvin S. January 9
From Moody, president of the Southern Advance. Moody appeals to the values of the "Bryan Democracy" as opposed to the "Tammanyocracy of the wet east."
Smith, E. H. January 9
Interesting letter from Smith, a resident of Chicago, responding to a letter Armstrong sent to the editor of the Dallas Morning News. Smith attacks the high tariff, and blames Republicans for "hard times under Hoover" and "millions of unemployed."
February
Arnold, J. A. February
Correspondence with Arnold on efforts to amend the tariff law to cover steel mills, and a Birmingham, Alabama meeting of steel producers to promote a protective tariff.
Bullington, Orville February 14
To Bullington, on Norton McGiffin's request that Bullington give "substantial" support to the Southern Advance. Armstrong advocates an independent ticket of Hoovercrats.
Bullington, Orville February 20
From Bullington, on financing the advance. Bullington is against an independent ticket.
Creager, R. B. Feruary 24
From Creager, a Republican National Committeeman from Texas. Creager suggests nominating a Hoovercrat for governor, and repeats Bullington's advice against an independent ticket.
Kirby, John H. February
Correspondence with Kirby on business, focusing on Kirby's worsening financial condition and his continuing involvement in Armstrong's business affairs.
Kirby, John H. February 19
Interesting letter to Kirby with an account of a run on Fort Worth's First National Bank and the "unsettled, panicky feeling" caused by the event.
Moody, Alvin S. February 12, 20
From Moody, chairman of the Texas Hoover Democrats, on organizing. Moody calls for a February 28 meeting of the Hoovercrats in Fort Worth.
McGiffin, Norten February 11, 17
From McGiffin, on a proposed meeting of Hoover Democrats and Republican leaders; discussion of the political situation in Texas in 1930; a potential fusion of the Hoovercrats with the Republican party; financing the Southern Advocate.
March
Arnold, J. A. March
Correspondence with Arnold and W. L. Allen on the Birmingham tariff conference. File includes telegrams and letters.
Bullington, Orville March 5
From Bullington on the need for a two party system in Texas; prospects for the Texas Hoover Democrats
Cranfill, J. B. March 1
From Cranfill, on the disintegration of the Texas Hoover Democrats under the leadership of Thomas B. Love. (38) Cranfill also discusses the financial problems of the Southern Advance.
King, Judge Thomas B. March 10
An interesting letter from King, a small town real estate broker, pecan grower and monetary theorist on monetary reform and the Hoover Democrats. King's elaborate letterhead advertises his businesses and gives an abbreviated autobiography. King obviously had some connection with the Populist movement.
Millis, E. R. March 4
From Millis, urging Armstrong to support the Southern Advance and the Independent Democratic coalition of prohibitionist and conservative businessmen.
Sheppard, Senator Morris March 5
From Senator Sheppard, on the tariff issue.
Tilley, Rice March
Correspondence with Tilley, Assistant Attorney General of Texas, on Armstrong's anti-trust suit against Sheffield Steel Co.
April-May
Connally, Senator Thomas Terry December 13, 29
From Tom Connally, on the protective tariff issue. Connally adamantly refuses to alter his position and support a high protective tariff.
Foster, G. B. April 22
Interesting letter from Foster, condemning the Democratic party for being a hotbed of "rum, Rome, liberalism and Satan." Foster denounces the founders of the party for being "largely atheist, agnostics, liberal or Roman."
Kirby, John H. April 19, May 9
From Kirby, expressing despair over his financial situation and the additional burden imposed by Armstrong's debts. Kirby cautions Armstrong against doing or saying anything that would expose Kirby's true condition. "I am actually sweating blood."
Millis, E. R. May 6
From Millis, on the split in the ranks of the Democratic party caused by Thomas B. Love's decision to run for governor.
Senter, E. G. April 2-8
Correspondence with Senter. Senter denounces Herbert Hoover as "the incarnation of the monopolistic system." Armstrong blames Kirby's problems on the Federal Reserve Board; Senter expresses the belief that the Depression was caused by a conspiracy of bankers; a rather vindictive, gloating letter on the death of W. P. G. Harding, former governor of the Federal Reserve Board who both Armstrong and Senter held responsible for the financial panic of 1920.
June-July
City Bank and Trust Co., Natchez, Miss. July 26
From City Bank and Trust Co., indicating that Armstrong has made very little progress in paying of his bankruptcy debts since 1923.
Tilley, Rice June-July
Correspondence with Tilley on Armstrong's various anti-trust and freight rate cases.
August-September
Creager, R. B. September 29
To Creager, on plans to take over publication of the Southern Advance and change its name to the Independent Democrat. Armstrong also considers running for Senate.
Clark, E. V. August-September
Heavy correspondence with Kirby's secretary and treasurer Clark on Kirby's increasingly desperate financial situation and Armstrong's debts.
Dallas Morning News August 25
In this letter to the editor Armstrong attributes the popularity of the Fergusons to the poor economy and offers a conspiracy theory to explain the crash.
Ferguson, Governor James August-September
Correspondence with former governor Ferguson. Armstrong submitted articles to the Ferguson Forum, and offered to buy the paper. Ferguson declined to sell.
Millis, E. R. September 20-29
Correspondence with Millis on publishing the Independent Democrat, and various political topics.
Panton, S. P. August 4-27
Correspondence with Panton, including copies of Arthur Kitson's correspondence with Panton. Kitson's correspondence includes an anti-Semitic attack on British policies in Palestine, denouncing the Balfore Declaration. Kitson discusses revolts against English rule in India, Egypt and Ireland, and bemoans the decline of the British Empire, "the greatest Empire the world has ever known."
October-November
King, Judge Thomas B. October 29
Another interesting letter from King on the money question.
Kirby, John H. October-November
Correspondence with Kirby, whose situation is becoming increasingly desperate and more difficult to cover up.
Poteet, Gibbons September 5
From Poteet, speculating on the causes of the Depression and the "struggle of the millions." Poteet is obviously influenced by Populism and attacks big business.
Webb, Atticus October
Correspondence with Webb, of the Anti-Saloon League of Texas. Webb and Armstrong discuss Prohibition's chances for survival, given the rapid decline of the issue's popularity in the face of the economic crisis.
November-December
Crawford, A. R. December 7
From Crawford, editor of the Normangee Star, on the Depression and monetary policy. Like other former Greenbackers and Populists, Crawford embraced the anti-Semitic politics propagated by Henry Ford in the 1920s.
Cranfill, J. B. November 3
From Cranfill, on a split in the Hoovercrat ranks over the prohibition issue. Armstrong and his associates believe that the economic crisis should take precedence over prohibition, while Cranfill's wing wishes to concentrate all their energy on the "liquor question."
Poteet, Gibbons December 18
From Poteet, with a Keynesian economic scheme to end the Depression based on deficit spending.
Sartin, B. D. November 26-29
Correspondence with Sartin, a Wichita Falls congressional candidate, on the 18th Amendment.
Strong, Sterling P. November 12
From Strong, on support for the 18th Amendment, and against the notion of a third party. Strong endorses Sartin for congress.
Box
82 1929-1932
This box contains advertising pamphlets and brochures collected by Armstrong during his overhaul and modernization of the Texas Steel Co. plant. These flyers advertise all sorts of equipment designed for use in steel mills, from electric furnaces to floor fans.
1 Archer & Baldwin Co., electric and steam machines. Price list and folder.
2 Bachrach Industrial Instrument Co. Advertising Bulletin #2, June 1926.
3 Black & Decker Electric Grinders and Buffers. Catalogue #10, 1926.
4 S. F. Bowser & Co., Inc. Pump and tank manufacturers, Ft. Wayne, Ind. Undated advertising circular.
5 Edger E. Brosious, Contracting Engineer, Pittsburgh Pa. Brosious Horizontal Charging Machine Bulletin #32. Undated advertising circular.
6 Buffalo Forge Co., Breezo Division., Buffalo, N. Y. Undated advertising circular for industrial floor fans.
7 Bureau of Business Conditions Bulletin, (New York: Alexander Hamilton Institute, July-August 1926) Trade bulletin.
8 Busch-Sulzer Bros. Diesel Engine Co., New York, St. Louis, San Francisco. Advertising circular. Reprint of article by J. S. LeClercq, president of Dallas Oil and Refining Co., February 26, 1927.
9 Busch-Sulzer Diesel Engine Co. Reprint from Bulletin of the American Bureau of Shipping, by Joseph Heckin. Undated advertising circular, possibly 1926
10 Busch-Sulzer Bro. Diesel Engine Co. Undated catalogue, possibly 1926. 96 pages.
11 Busch-Sulzer Bro. Diesel Engine Co. Blueprint of Busch-Sulzer engine Texas Steel considered buying. Includes August 26 cover letter to John A Coyle.
12 Burt Manufacturing Co., Akron, Ohio. Undated. Advertisement for ventilation equipment.
13 Pittsburgh Lectromelt Furnace Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa. Undated advertising circular, including photographs of electric furnaces.
14 Siver Reports, vol. 11 & 13 November 15, 1926. Advertising bulletin.
15 Sun Machine Co., Inc. Newark, New Jersey. Undated advertising flyer for machine tools.
16 Thomas Publishing Co., New York, 1926. Advertisement for 1926 edition of the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers.
17 Toledo Seal Co., Toledo, Ohio. Undated advertising flyer.
18 Toledo Seal Co. Undated advertising flyer.
19 Tool Steel Gear & Pinion Co., Cincinnati, Ohio. Undated advertising flyer.
20 Toncan Metal Culvert Association, Canton, Ohio. Undated advertising flyer.
21 Traffic World, Chicago Ill. 1926. Advertising circular for Traffic World, a transportation industry journal.
22 Advanced Construction Reports, Dallas: Texas Contractors, July 1926. A bulletin listing public works projects across Texas open for bid.
23 Texas Lines Tariff, Dallas: A. C. Fonda, agent. Bulletin showing tariff rates for Texas ports and railroads. 1926.
Box
83-85 1931
The deepening world-wide depression made 1931 a stressful year for Armstrong and his associates. John H. Kirby was now facing bankruptcy. Armstrong, however, managed to survive and once again refinanced Texas Steel Co. by issuing $300,000 worth of new stock. His friend and business associate Marcus Bright, a Fort Worth banker, helped sell the new stock issue throughout Texas. Armstrong continued to use all legal and economic means at his disposal against his competition. He campaigned for higher tariffs, sued railroad companies for excessive freight rates, and continued his anti-trust battles against Sheffield Steel Co. and other competitors. When his former business partner R. D. Knapp attempted to establish a new steel mill in Dallas, Armstrong convinced Knapp's backers it was a bad deal and persuaded them to pull out. Armstrong also lobbied against the proposed Trinity Canal, fearing that a canal would bring cheap imported steel into his market.
Armstrong was completely disillusioned with Herbert Hoover by 1931. He ended his connection with the Independent Democrat when its editors refused to print his anti-Hoover letters and articles. Armstrong shifted his support first to William McAdoo, and later to Oklahoma's eccentric governor William "Alfalfa Bill" Murray. Armstrong wrote a new political tract called the Calamity of '30. This was his analysis of the causes of the depression, and was largely a rehash of the Crime of '20, mixing inflationary monetary policy with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. He also began writing a new pamphlet called A State Currency System-To Hell With Wall Street. Armstrong's state banking scheme would decentralize the American banking system and abolish the Federal Reserve Board. A State Banking System was essentially an elaboration of the inflationary money schemes he had embraced in his earlier books. Armstrong would base his 1932 governor's campaign, and the platform of the new political party he attempted to launch, on the reform program outlined in A State Banking System. In December of 1931, Armstrong acquired a copy of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. Armstrong took this infamous forgery seriously and based most of his subsequent anti-Semitic writings on it.
Armstrong continued his correspondence with Arthur Kitson, S. P. Panton, "Coin" Harvey, "Cyclone" Davis and other monetary reform crusaders. He also renewed his association with Arlington lawyer and publisher E. G. Senter. He also became involved in the so-called Soldier Bonus movement, believing that the early payment of the bonus to the World War I vets would give a much-needed inflationary boost to the economy.
Allen Armstrong was still in Mexico representing several American oil companies as a kind of lobbyist to the Mexican government. Allen's correspondence discusses his experiences in Mexico, as well as political conditions in that country.
Correspondents: Allred, James, attorney general of Texas; Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Armstrong, M. B.; Bright, Marcus; Clem, Charles M., an old Populist activist; Crick, Walter, an English monetary reformer and associate of Arthur Kitson; Davis, James H. "Cyclone"; Fitzwater, W. W., president of the National Farmer Labor Union; Harvey, W. H. "Coin"; Knapp, R. D.; Kirby, John H.; King, Thomas B.; McAdoo, William G.; McClelland, assistant secretary of the Federal Reserve Board; Millis, E. R., editor of the Houston Chronicle; McGiffin, Norton; MacKindric, Col. W. G., Canadian monetary reformer, and anti-Semite; Neff, Pat, former Texas governor; North, J. M., editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Overholser, W. L.; Panton, S. P.; Patman, Wright, a Texas Congressman; Poteet, Gibbons, a Roxton, Texas banker and monetary reformer; Sartin, Judge B. D.; Senter, E. G.
Selected Correspondence 1931
January-February
Armstrong, George W. Long, Huey September 23
(Filed in January) a letter in praise of Louisiana Governor Huey Long, supporting his plan to hike cotton prices from five cents to fifteen to twenty cents. Armstrong sent a copy of this letter to the editors of 17 newspapers and journals.
Brookhart, Smith W. January 29
To Congressmen Brookhart and Wright Patman, on their co-sponsorship of the Soldier Bonus Bill.
Bright, Marcus January 20
From Bright, on his efforts to promote the new Texas Steel Co. stock issue.
Clem, Charles E. February 18
Interesting letter from Clem, an old Populist, criticizing Armstrong's books. Clem denounces racism, prohibition, and the tariff as fake issues used to "distract the people."
Davis, James H. "Cyclone" January 2-5
Correspondence with Davis. Davis praises Armstrong's recent newspaper articles and letters-to-the-editor on banking and other economic issues. These letters also discuss Patman's Soldier Bonus bill and the inadequacies of Herbert Hoover.
Farmer, Clarence E. February 16
From Farmer, a member of the Texas State Legislature, denouncing the proposed Trinity River Canal bill pending before the House, and soliciting Armstrong's support to oppose it.
Harvey, W. H. "Coin" December 27; January 5-February
Harvey solicits Armstrong's aid in promoting The Book, Harvey's latest publication. The Book is essentially a recap of Harvey's theories on monetary reform, culled from his writings over the last 40 years. Harvey also asked Armstrong's help in promoting a new political party.
Millis, E. R. January-February
Correspondence with Millis on Democratic party politics in 1931. Armstrong expresses his disillusionment with Herbert Hoover and resolves to break with the Hoovercrats. Armstrong also severs his connection with the Independent Democrat because of the journal's pro-Hoover editorial policy.
Mussolini, Benito January 8
To Italian dictator Mussolini, praising one of his recent speeches.
Patman, Congressman Wright January
Correspondence with Texas Congressman Patman. Patman praised Armstrong's books and his "great service to the American people on [the money] question." Armstrong in turn endorsed Patman's economic recovery program.
Poteet, Gibbons January 4
A letter from Poteet discussing the causes of the depression. A reflection of what the "common man" thought about the country's economic problems.
Senter, E. G. October 6
(In January file). To Senter on prospective candidates for the 1932 election. Armstrong wants Oklahoma Governor Murray, Will Rogers, or William G. McAdoo to run for president, and contemplates running for vice president himself.
Sartin, B. D. January
Correspondence with Judge Sartin of Wichita Falls on Texas politics, the Hoovercrats, and the Prohibition movement.
February-March
Allred, James V. March
Correspondence with Allred, at this time Attorney General of Texas. Exchange of letters on Armstrong's freight rate cases.
Harvey, W. H. "Coin" February 21
From Harvey. Harvey is promoting a third party, as yet un-named; Armstrong agrees to serve on its National Committee.
Neff, Pat March 7, 21, 24
Correspondence with Neff on cases Armstrong has pending before the Railroad Commission.
April-May
Bright, Marcus May
Correspondence with Bright on Bright's promotional campaign to sell Texas Steel Co. stock around the state.
Clem, Charles E. April 27
Interesting letter from Clem, an old Populist crusader, calling for "economic democracy."
Farmer, C. E. May 4
Another letter from State Representative Farmer, asking Armstrong's help in defeating the Trinity River Canal project.
King, Judge Thomas B. April 29
From King, on the Prohibition movement and the struggle between the Wets and Drys in the Democratic party.
King, Judge Thomas B. May 4
Armstrong appeals to King and warns him of the "waning prohibitionist sentiment" within the Democratic party.
Love, Thomas B. April 25
To Tom Love on the 1932 presidential election. Armstrong--in spite of his advice to King-advocates supporting McAdoo and "dry progressives". Armstrong detests both Smith and Roosevelt but believes that "Roosevelt will carry Texas by a substantial majority."
McAdoo, William G. May
Exchange of letters and telegrams with McAdoo. Armstrong urges McAdoo to seek the Democratic nomination.
Poteet, Gibbons April 27
From Poteet, on the causes of the Depression. Poteet praises McAdoo's record as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture.
May 5
A form letter in opposition to the Trinity River Canal project sent to several Texas State Senators.
June-July
Armstrong, Allen July 23
To Allen, on the continuing financial problems of Kirby and Armstrong as they struggle through the deepening Depression. Kirby is now operating only three of his sixteen mills.
Kirby, John H. July 23
To Kirby. Armstrong discusses his anxiety regarding Laclede Steel Co.'s invasion of his market. (Laclede is one of the steel companies Armstrong is suing for interstate commerce violations.)
McAdoo, William G. June 8
From McAdoo, on his ideas for a plan for economic recovery. Enclosed is a copy of a speech by McAdoo critical of "American Individualism."
McAdoo, William G. June 5
To McAdoo. Armstrong's critique of McAdoo's June 5 speech. Armstrong calls the Hoover administration "one of boards and commissions" and complains of "too much government interference in the economy."
Wood, W. A. E. June 18
To Wood, president of Lacleade Steel Co. Armstrong believed that Wood and his company were conspiring to destroy Texas Steel Co. through price cutting and other unfair practices.
Worms, John H. June 11
An interesting and colorful letter from Worms, an Idaho attorney, expressing intense dislike for William McAdoo.
August-September-October
Armstrong, Allen July 30
On the effects of the Depression on the oil industry in Mexico.
Davis, James H. "Cyclone" September
Correspondence, clippings, and handbills relating to the activities of Davis.
Federal Reserve Board McClelland, E. M. September 16
From McClelland, assistant secretary of the Federal Reserve Board. Answering an inquiry by Armstrong on fluctuations in value of the French franc, 1913-1928.
Grant, R. O. August 2
(In September). From Grant, an essay on the money question. Grant was an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist who wrote and published a pamphlet similar to Armstrong's Crime of '20. Grant believed that "the same mind [controlling bankers and communists] is responsible for the Third International."
McGiffin, Norten September 24, 28
Correspondence with McGiffin on the Independent Democrat, Hoover Democrats, Prohibition, and the fate of the Democratic party.
Overholser, Willis September 11-21
Correspondence with Overholser on "Coin" Harvey's The Book and Harvey's plan to form a new party. Overholser also requested a supply of Armstrong's books and pamphlets.
Poteet, Gibbons September
Correspondence with Roxton, Texas banker Poteet on the causes of the Depression and the monetary reform issue.
Sartin, B. D. August 13
From Judge Sartin. Interesting letter-Sartin calls for the revival of "the Bryan program of 1896."
November-December
Bumpas, Ed R. December 11
To Bumpas on presidential politics. Armstrong has decided to support Gov. Murray of Oklahoma instead of McAdoo.
Disney, Wesley E. December
Extensive correspondence with Disney, an Oklahoma Congressman and member of the House Banking Committee. Disney expressed great admiration for Armstrong's Calamity of '30.
Fitzwater, W. W. December 15
From Fitzwater, president of the National Farmer Labor Union of America. Fitzwater praises Calamity of '30 and urges Armstrong to run for Congress.
Fitzwater, W. W. December 23
To Fitzwater. Armstrong sends a copy of Fitzwater's Dec. 15 letter to E. G. Senter, and contemplates running for Congress on a platform of banking and currency reform based on his new pamphlet, A State Currency System-To Hell With Wall Street.
Grant, R. O. December 13
From Grant. Grant sends Armstrong a copy of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
Kitson, Arthur December 30
A long letter from Kitson on monetary reform movements in England, with a comentary on Clamity of '30.
Mackendric, Col. W. G. December 13, 20, 27
Correspondence with Col. Mackendric, an anti-Semitic propagandist and currency reform enthusiast. Mackendric believes the gold standard is a Jewish plot to control the world, and argues that the Anglo-Saxon race has a "glorious future." Mackendric also embraced an odd brand of pyramid mysticism based on Davidson's book. Includes a copy of a letter from W. J. Cameron, editor of Ford's Dearborn Independent on the "Prophet Davidson." Armstrong was beginning to hear from cranks and quasi-mystics like Davidson with increasing frequency.
Senter, E. G. December
Correspondence with Senter on currency reform, politics, Armstrong's plans to run for governor, and Senter's plans for launching a new publication. In a Nov. 23 letter Senter speaks of his work with the old Fort Worth Gazette.
Box
86 1931
These files contain legal documents from Armstrong's suits against his competitors for violation of interstate commerce and anti-trust laws. Briefs, appeals, and other papers relating to Texas Steel Co. vs. McDonald Construction Co. and Texas Steel Co. vs Sheffield Steel Co.
Box
87 1930-1931
Armstrong vs. Skelley Oil Co. Armstrong sued Skelley Oil Co. over controversies growing out of Skelley's activities while drilling on Armstrong's Oklahoma oil leases.
Box
88-94 1932
This an extremely interesting segment of this collection, since the election of Franklin Roosevelt and the beginning of the New Deal in 1932 marks a significant turning point in American history. Armstrong took a very active interest in these events, and the correspondence in these files reflects the profound political and social changes in progress. In 1931 Armstrong had published A State Currency System-To Hell with Wall Street. During 1932 he launched a campaign for the adoption of his monetary reform program by the state of Texas. Armstrong publicized his ideas by sending complimentary copies of his book to bankers throughout the state. He also bought time on radio stations to give lectures on currency reform and to boost his books. The response he received, as reflected in this correspondence, was on the whole positive.
Armstrong established a good working relationship with his one-time enemy, the controversial radio evangelist J. Frank Norris, and used Norris' radio station for his political broadcasts. Armstrong also reestablished his relationship with his old friend and partner, E. G. Senter. Senter and Armstrong collaborated in creating the Tax Payers Association, an organization devoted to monetary reform. They hoped to use the Tax Payers Association for the bias of a third party movement, and Senter at one point urged Armstrong to run for governor.
Armstrong had been interested in the Soldier Bonus movement since at least the mid or late 1920s. His renewed interest in running for office led Armstrong to consider the Bonus movement as a means to expand the political base of the new party he and Senter were planning. He began a correspondence with Charles P. Smith, a veteran and the Texas leader of the Bonus movement. The correspondence with Smith documents the development of the Bonus movement and other issues relating to veterans.
The increasingly bitter competition between railroad companies and the new trucking industry also interested Armstrong, who had his own problems with railroad freight rates. Truckers relied on increased state spending on road building for the continued growth of their industry. Armstrong was attracted by the lower rates charged by truckers, as well as the much needed business created by highway construction.
Armstrong decided to run for governor in February of 1932. Armstrong, Senter and a few other associates hastily organized the Good Government party in a Fort Worth hotel room, and nominated a slate of candidates. Charles P. Smith was their choice for Lt. Governor. Shortly after this impromptu convention the Good Government party changed its name to the Jacksonian Democratic party. His campaign manager was Marcus Bright, who had been in charge of sales for the new Texas Steel Co. bond issue. E. G. Senter also helped with the campaign. The rest of his staff consisted of his secretary, Mary Cozby, and his daughter, Anne Thompson. Anne served as his driver, while Miss Cozby handled his appointments and correspondence.
Armstrong quickly realized that radio was the surest way to reach a mass audience with the Jacksonian Democrat's severely limited budget. Armstrong therefor bought radio time all across the state. These files contain correspondence with various Texas radio stations and transcripts of Armstrong's broadcasts.
"Coin" Harvey created his own third party and conducted his last political crusade in 1932. Harvey was the presidential candidate for his Liberal party--no relation to the Liberal party of Hopkins and Vincent--and polled 800 votes. Harvey died in 1936.(39)
There is also extensive correspondence of the efforts of the faltering Prohibitionist movement's last ditch efforts to save the 18th Amendment.
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Bailey, Senator William J.; Bright, Marcus; Biggers, Don H., a former Populist political figure; Creager, R. B.; Cassel, Gustave, a Swedish economist; Clem, Charles S.; Cranfill, J. B.; Collins, V. A.; Cullinan, J. S.; Davis, James H.; "Cyclone"; Evans, H. W.; Eastridge, E. H., chairman of "Coin" Harvey's Liberal party; Field, A. N., a New Zealand anti-Semite and monetary reformer; Fitzwater, W. W., representing the Farmer Labor Party; Harvey, William Hope "Coin"; Henshaw, George A., secretary of Oklahoma governor William Murray; Harrop, Roy; Jones, D. M.; Kitson, Arthur; Kirby, John H.; Love, Thomas B.; Murray; William H. "Alfalfa Bill", governor of Oklahoma; McAdoo, William G.; Moody, Alvin S.; Moore, C. E., a Klan official; Norris, J. Frank; Overholser, Willis; Panton, S. P.; Poteet, Gibbons; Patman, Congressman Wright; Peckim, R. W., president of the Truck Operators Alliance; Senter, E. G.; Smith, Charles P.; Sartin, B. D.; Strong, Sterling P.; Sterling, Ross; Weaver, Charles; Webb, Atticus, president of the Anti-Saloon League.
Selected Correspondence 1932
Cassel, Gustave January 27
Armstrong sends Swedish economist Cassel a copy of A State Currency System. Includes a copy of an October 1931 letter from Cassel thanking Armstrong for a copy of Calamity of '30.
Davis, James H. "Cyclone" January 30
From "Cyclone" Davis, on the causes of the Depression and monetary policy. The letterhead contains a brief summary of Davis' political philosophy.
Hagerlin, C. J. Murray, William H. "Alfalfa Bill" December 1931-January 1932
Correspondence with Hagerlin, William Murray's campaign chairman. Armstrong urges Murray to conduct an "anti-Tammany" campaign. This correspondence begins Armstrong's correspondence with Murray.
Murray, William H. "Alfalfa Bill" January 25
Armstrong sends a copy of A State Currency System to Oklahoma Governor Murray.
McAdoo, William G. January 22
To McAdoo, on state and national politics, and McAdoo's presidential prospects.
Panton, S. P. January 12
From Panton, with a copy of a letter from Arthur Kitson. Panton describes demonstrations by the hungry and unemployed where "communist placards" were displayed.
Senter, E. G. January 29
From Senter, urging Amrstrong to run for governor. Senter is running for Congress.
Senter, E. G. January
Correspondence with Senter on Texas politics, on the future of the Prohibition movement, and the Texas Tax Payer's Association.
February
Armstrong, Allen February 3
To Allen. Armstrong discusses his plans to run for governor, and informs Allen that John H. Kirby has filed for bankruptcy.
Bright, Marcus January-February
Correspondence with Marcus Bright, who is now promoting Armstrong's A State Currency System on a tour across the state, and boosting Armstrong as a candidate for governor. Bright talks about his travels and the mood of the voters.
Cranfill, J. B. February 22
From Canfill, on Democratic party politics, the wet-dry conflict, the fate of the 18th Amendment, and Governor Murray's presidential chances.
Cullinan, J. S. February 1
A long, interesting letter from oilman Cullinan, responding to Armstrong's A State Currency System. Includes copies of Cullinan's correspondence with Wright Patman and Cullinan's own schemes for financial and monetary reform.
Field, A. N. January 5
An interesting letter from Field, an anti-Semitic monetary theorist from New Zealand. Field had recently written a book on monetary reform.
Field, A. N. February 10
Armstrong's reply to Field's letter of Jan. 5.
Henshaw, George H. Murray, William H. "Alfalfa Bill" February
Exchange of letters with Henshaw, the chairman of Murray's presidential campaign committee.
Jones, D. M. February 3
To Jones, president of the Tax Payer's Association. On factional squabbles between E. G. Senter and other members of the organization. (See Senter's January Correspondence above.)
Hartwick, Tolly February 12
From Tolly Hartwick, a Montana money crank. An interesting letter-Hartwick had collected a vast amount of literature on the money question. The letter includes a bibliography of monetary literature and an anti Hoover poem: Hoover is my shepherd, I am in want.He maketh me to lie down on park benches,He leadeth me beside still factories…
Kitson, Arthur February 11
From Kitson, urging Armstrong to circulate his books in England.
Love, Thomas B. February
Correspondence with Tom Love on Texas politics.
Kirby, John H. February
Correspondence with Kirby on Armstrong's political activities, which caused Kirby a great deal of anxiety. Kirby disapproved of Armstrong's inflationary monetary theories and his decision to run for governor.
Murray, William H. "Alfalfa Bill" February
Correspondence with Oklahoma Governor Murray on Murray's presidential campaign.
Moore, C. E. January 25
To Moore, editor of a Ku Klux Klan paper in Atlanta, Georgia. Armstrong expressed his conviction that the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion is an authentic document.
Norris, J. Frank February
Correspondence with Norris on plans to buy air time on Norris' radio station to make political broadcast for Armstrong's governors campaign. Armstrong also discusses plans to attack John Nance Garner's political record.
Poteet, Gibbons February 3
From Poteet. An interesting letter from Poteet, a self described "country banker", attacking bankers, capitalists, and monopoly using the political vocabulary of Populism.
Patman, Congressman Wright February 15
Correspondence with Patman on the economy and the money question.
Senter, E. G. February
Correspondence with Senter on monetary policy, Armstrong's race for governor. They discussed both Murray and Garner as possible presidential contenders.
Smith, Charles P. February 3, 4, 6
Armstrong begins corresponding with Smith, the leader of the Pay Bonus Now movement in Texas. Smith would eventually run for Lieutenant Governor on Armstrong's third party ticket.
Weaver, Claud B.
Correspondence with Weaver, Governor Murray's secretary, on Murray's presidential campaign.
March
Bright, Marcus March
Correspondence with Bright, on Bright's campaign to promote Armstrong's books. Bright is also "talking up" Armstrong as a candidate for governor.
Biggers, Don H. March
Correspondence with Biggers, a self-described "old Populist", on a broad range of political and economic issues, commenting on Texas politics and politicians.
Clem, Charles March
Correspondence with Clem, another "old Populist."
Cullinan, J. S. February
Correspondence with Cullinan on Texas politics.
Davis, James H. "Cyclone" March
Correspondence with Davis on Texas politics and the economic situation.
Harrop, Roy M. March
Correspondence with Roy Harrop of the Nebraska based National Farmer Labor Party, on third party politics and economic problems. Armstrong began corresponding with Harrop in 1923.
Jones, D. M. March
Correspondence with Jones, president of the Tax Payer's Association, on Armstrong's proposal to call a special session of the legislature to adopt his state currency system.
Love, Thomas B. March
Correspondence with Tom Love on the possibility of forming an "anti-Tammany" third party using the maintenance of prohibition as the main issue.
Overholser, Willis March 9, 13
Correspondence with Overholser, an Illinois monetary theorist and reformer. Overholser had published several books on monetary reform. Armstrong and Overholser exchange views on monetary theory, state currency systems, and related topics.
Patman, Congressman Wright February
Correspondence with Patman on the Depression, monetary reform, and related topics.
Smith, Charles P. March
Correspondence with Smith. Interesting exchange of letters with Smith on Texas politics. Smith describes in-fighting among Democratic party leaders, and attacks Moody, Tom Love and other die-hard dry Hoovercrat leaders. The movement to promote John Nance Garner as the Democratic presidential nominee is also discussed. Other correspondence relates to veterans issues and the Soldier Bonus movement.
April
Armstrong, Allen March 29
From Allen, commenting on his fathers political fortunes, and discussing political and economic conditions in Mexico.
Biggers, Don H. April
Correspondence with Biggers, an anti-Tammany Democrat. Topics discussed include the Texas governor's race, and the prospects of the various candidates; gossip about the Texas State Highway Commission, which Biggers believed to be hopelessly corrupt; and the internal affairs of the Tax Payer's Association.
Davis, James H. "Cyclone" April
Correspondence with Davis on the money question and other economic and political topics. Davis believes that the Depression was caused by a "world wide conspiracy [of bankers] to control the money supply of the world" directed by England.
Fitzwater, W. W. April 14
From Fitzwater, president of the Farmer Labor Union. Fitzwater also advances a conspiracy theory with the English as villains to explain the Depression: the coinage of silver was subverted by a cabal of English bankers. (This was an old Populist myth.) Fitzwater admired McAdoo and endorsed "Coin" Harvey's Liberal party.
Grant, R. O. April
Correspondence with Grant. Interestingly, Grant denounces wall Street as "one of the toads of Communist Russia." Grant endorses Wright Patman's Soldier Bonus Bill
Love, Thomas B. April
More correspondence with Love on the possibilities of a third party.
Moody, Alvin S. April 28
A form letter to Moody and 25 other anti-Tammany Democrats. Armstrong discusses his campaign for governor and independent politics.
Murray, William H. "Alfalfa Bill" April
Correspondence with Murray on his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Patman, Congressman Wright April
Extensive correspondence with Patman on the Patman sponsored Soldier Bonus Bill, and Armstrong's plans to testify before Congress in support of the Soldier Bonus.
Senter, E. G. April
Correspondence with Senter, including copies of articles and speeches by Senter on the Federal Reserve System, monetary policy, currency reform, the Depression, and related topics. The influence of Populism is evident in the strongly Populist rhetoric used in these articles. Senter talks of organizing an independent political movement.
Smith, Charles P. April
Correspondence with Smith, on the progress of the Patman Soldier Bonus bill and other topics. One curious letter from Smith asserts that Herbert Hoover is actually a British subject and thus unfit to be president. Smith enclosed a copy of a fan letter he wrote to Huey Long, and mentions listening to Fr. Coughlin.
May
Armstrong, Allen May 14
To Allen, announcing the formal opening of his campaign for governor of Texas on May 18, 1932. His daughter Anne will serve as his driver, Marcus Bright will be advance man to arrange speaking engagements, and his secretary, Mary Cozby, will handle office work.
Clem, Charles May 23
Clem sends Armstrong a copy of a letter he as written to Huey Long.
Eastridge, H. G. May 9
From Eastridge, on Armstrong's campaign for governor. Includes a copy of a letter from "Coin" Harvey to Eastridge, endorsing Armstrong for governor of Texas.
Harvey, W. H. "Coin" May 19
From Harvey, urging Armstrong to run for governor on the Liberal Party ticket.
Harvey, W. H. "Coin" May 23
From Armstrong to Harvey. For the time being, Armstrong chooses to remain with the Democratic party.
Panton, S. P. April-May
Correspondence with Panton on Panton's failing eyesight, the Depression, John Nance Garner, failing banks, Patman and the Patman Soldier Bonus Bill, and related topics.
Smith, Charles P. May-June
Correspondence with Smith on the governor's race. Includes clippings relating to Armstrong's campaign; a long letter containing biographical data on Smith; material relating to the bonus movement; a flyer urging veterans to vote for Armstrong.
Senter, E. G. May
Correspondence with Senter on the governor's race. Senter predicts Ma Ferguson will win.
June
Cranfill, J. B. June 29
From Cranfill, predicting a Democratic victory, with Ferguson winning the Governor' race in Texas.
Fitzwater, F. N. May 24
To Fitzwater, on creating a campaign biography for Armstrong's governors campaign. The letter contains biographical data on Armstrong and his grandfather.
Murray, William H. "Alfalfa Bill" May-June
Correspondence with Murray on forming an new party and its potential political base: inflationist, prohibitionist, and "bonus veterans."
Norris, J. Frank June
Correspondence with Norris on politics, including a letter from Norris endorsing Armstrong for governor.
Panton, S. P. June
Correspondence with Panton on monetary policy and other economic and political issues. Several articles by Panton are included in this correspondence.
Smith, Charles P. June
Correspondence with Smith, including copies of articles by Smith, copies of Smith's correspondence with others, clippings, and related material. Subjects discussed are the Texas governor's race national politics, and veterans issues. Smith campaigned among "veterans, farmers, and the unemployed."
Whitney Central Bank & Trust June 5
To Whitney Central Bank & Trust. Armstrong discusses his governor's campaign and his fear that Ferguson would "use the gasoline tax to pay the general expenses of the State [and] would stop all road work and put us [Texas Steel] out of business."
July
Armstrong, George W. Jr. July 10
From George Jr., a summary of the rather bleak outlook for Texas Steel Co. in the summer of 1932. The letter includes statistics, accounts of costs, and other financial data.
Biggers, Don H. July 6
From Biggers, commenting on Armstrong's decision to run for governor as an independent. The bonus marchers, whose movement Armstrong had followed and supported, had recently been driven from their camp in Washington, D. C.
August
Bullington, Orville August
Correspondence with Bullington, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, on a proposal by Armstrong to fuse Independent Democrats and "Coin" Harvey's Liberal party with Republicans to defeat the Fergusons. Bullington dismisses the idea as "out of the question."
Creager, R. B. August
Correspondence with Creager on the fusion ticket Armstrong had proposed to Bullington. Creager says fusion with Harvey is "unthinkable."
Griswell, J. K. August 10
From Griswell, a Texarkana banker. Griswell discussed the rise of Huey Long and echo's Roosevelt's call for a "New Deal." Griswell suggest it is time to "Take the cream off the top."
Love, Thomas B. August
Correspondence with Tom Love on Texas politics and the 1932 campaigns.
Peckham, R. W. August
Correspondence with Peckham on the need for Armstrong to appeal to black Republican voters.
Senter, E. G. August
Correspondence predicts sweeping victories for Democrats but defeat for the Prohibition movement.
Smith, Charles P. August
Correspondence with Smith on the fate of the bonus march, the treatment of the marchers at the hands of the Washington officials, and the future of the veterans movement.
September
Clem, Charles E. September
Correspondence with Clem on Texas politics.
Davis, James H. "Cyclone" September
Correspondence with Davis on Texas and national politics and monetary reform.
Smith, Charles P. September
Correspondence with Smith on the governors race and his campaign for lieutenant governor. Smith had prepared a one page campaign biography, which he includes in this correspondence.
Sartin, B. D. September
Correspondence with Sartin, a Wichita Falls judge running for congress on a neo-Populist platform.
Natural Development Association of Utah September 16
From the Natural Development Association, a small organization promoting monetary reform, on a state currency scheme apparently in effect in Utah associated in some way with the Mormon Church.
September-October
In September and October of 1932 Armstrong and several of his friends and associates launched what they hoped would become an new political party. Documents relating the Good Government/Jacksonian
Democratic party can be found in boxes 95 and 97. Box 95 contains transcripts of Armstrong's radio addresses. Box 97 contains some of the petitions Armstrong needed to have his name placed on the ballot, clippings, campaign literature, and related material. For more detailed description, see below.
Evans, H. W. October
Correspondence with Evans, an officer of the Ku Klux Klan, on Armstrong's campaign for governor of Texas. Armstrong claims he has the support of most Prohibitionists and Klansmen, and complains that the Republican candidate Bullington is attempting to "corral the negro vote."
Keeling, H. M. October 30
To Keeling, on an apparent attempt to bribe Armstrong to withdraw from the governor's race. Murray Hughes, a Ferguson aid, allegedly made Armstrong an offer.
Love, Thomas B. September 20
From Tom Love, defending his decision to split from the Democrats and support Bullington.
Norris, J. Frank September-October
Correspondence with Norris on buying radio time, and other matters related to Armstrong's governors campaign.
Panton, S. P. September 8
From Panton, on how the Depression has revived the barter system and caused some impoverished communities to create their own local currency systems. Panton also discusses the progress of Harvey's Liberal party.
Smith, Charles P. October
Correspondence with Smith on the governors race and other political matters.
November-December
Armstrong's bid for the office of governor failed. He finished a poor third behind Republican Orville, Bullington. His fledgling third party did not survive his campaign. "I made an active, ernest campaign," Armstrong commented, `but fate decreed that I should not be Governor of Texas."(40)
Armstrong, George W. Jr. December 17
To George Jr., on pay roll and personnel cutbacks at Texas Steel Co. necessary to "save the plant."
Armstrong, Allen December 31
To Allen, in Mexico. Armstrong complains of poor business conditions in the U. S. and wonders about the possibility of marketing steel in Mexico. Armstrong is also negotiating with ARMCO on drilling for gas and oil on his Sligo plantation in Mississippi.
Kirby, John H. November-December
Correspondence with Kirby on financial matters.
Manufacturers' Finance Co. November-December
Correspondence with J. Blanc and R. T. Hamelton of Manufacturers' finance on Texas Steel's successful re organization and reduction of its debt by 50%.
Patman, Congressman Wright November-December
Correspondence with Patman on Patman's bill to increse the volume of currency in circulation and thereby "restore prosperity." Includes a question-and-answer sheet on Patman's Veteran's Adjusted Compensation Bill.
Senter, E. G. December 23
From Senter, on the effects of the Depression in Dallas: "There are at least 40,000 people in Dallas today…in immanent danger of starvation."
Smith, Charles P. December
Correspondence with Smith on politics.
Box
95 1932
Documents relating to Armstrong's 1932 governors campaign, including papers on the founding of the Good Government/Jacksonian Democratic party, and transcripts of Armstrong's radio addresses.
1 Correspondence and documents relating to the founding of the Good Government/Jacksonian Democratic party, Including the party platform, minuets of meetings, presidential electors, Armstrong's campaign schedule, a copy of the Republican party platform, and prohibition party literature.
2 Press releases for Armstrong's 1932 governors campaign.
3 First radio address, February 28, 1932; opening campaign speech, May 18, 1932.
4 Second radio address, March 6, 1932.
5 Third radio address, March 13, 1932
Extent (Two drafts)
6 Fourth radio address, March 27, 1932.
7 Fifth radio address, April 3, 1932.
8 Sixth radio address, April 10, 1932.
9 Seventh radio address, April 10, 1932.
10 Eighth radio address, April 24, 1932.
11 Radio addresses for March, 1932.
12 Ninth radio address, May 1, 1932.
13 Tenth radio address, used for two different stations: May 1, 1932, KTAT Radio, and May 3, 1932, WBAP Radio.
14 Eleventh radio address, used on two stations: May 8, 1932, KTAT, and May 32, 1932, WBAP.
15 Twelfth radio address, June 13, 1932.
16 Radio addresses April-May 1932.
17 Fourteenth radio address, June 19, 1932.
18 Radio addresses, July 1932.
19 Radio addresses for August, 1932.
20 Radio addresses, September 1932.
21 Radio addresses, October 1932.
22 Radio addresses, November 1932.
23 Radio addresses, November - December 1932.
Box
96 1932
Petitions to place Armstrong on the ballot, and other material relating to the 1932 governors race.
1 Petitions to place Armstrong's name on the ballot.
2 Campaign literature, pamphlets, flyers, clippings, and correspondence relating to Armstrong's 1932 governor's campaign.
3 Clippings, letters-to-the -editor, drafts of speeches, and other material on Armstrong's 1932 governors race, including a reprint of a 1929 article by Armstrong for the Manufacturers' Record on the causes of the stock market crash and the need for a protective tariff.
Box
97 1932
Two ledgers containing sales records for Armstrong's books and pamphlets for 1932. Armstrong used his publications for campaign literature. These include Crime of '20, Calamity of '30, and A State Currency System-To Hell With Wall Street. A State Currency System outlined the monetary reform program that was the centerpiece of his campaign platform in the 1932 governor's race.
Box
98
Correspondence relating to M. B. Armstrong's financial and legal problems in 1932. M. B. Armstrong was a cousin of Armstrong's who lived in Oklahoma at this time. Judge Armstrong and M. B. Armstrong invested in land and oil leased in Oklahoma, and these interests became entangled in serious legal and financial problems. These problems seemed due primarily to the short supply of credit and cash caused by adverse economic conditions. Five folders.
1 Correspondence with M. B. Armstrong. January-August, 1932
2 Correspondence with M. B. Armstrong. July-November, 1932
3 Correspondence with H. M. Byrd relating to M. B. Armstrong's financial troubles. March-April, 1932
4 Correspondence with Okley F. Dodd relating to M. B. Armstrong's financial problems. March-April, 1932
5 Correspondence with W. P. Germany on M. B. Armstrong's financial problems in Oklahoma. March, 1932
Box
99-102 1933
In spite of the deepening depression, Armstrong was able to make significant progress in stabilizing his business affairs in 1933. Armstrong felt financially secure enough to finally marry Mary Cozby, his secretary, a step he had been contemplating for some time. Armstrong was sixty-seven at the time of his second marriage, and reported that he was "in splendid health and optimistic" Although there would be difficulties ahead, he had for all practical purposes recovered from his 1923 bankruptcy. With the exception of the death of his father in August, 1933 was a good year for Armstrong.(41)
Armstrong's new found prosperity also enabled him to continue to indulge in his political interests. He continued his association with Charles P. Smith and the veterans groups associated with the Bonus March. Still hoping that the bonus movement would provide a political base for a third party, Smith and his associates started an organization called the League of War Veteran Guardians, a paramilitary organization with racist and fascistic leanings. Armstrong also remained on friendly terms with the Klan. Armstrong was becoming increasingly suspicious of Roosevelt and the New Deal. His fear of conspiracies by Jews and other "foreign elements" began to take precedence over monetary reform as his primary political concern.
Curiously, in spite of his associations on the extreme right, Armstrong became involved with the Farmers' Holiday Association, an organization with a leftward tilt led by agrarian firebrand Milo Reno. The Farmers' Holiday Association organized farmers to protest evictions and foreclosures. Like most agrarian protest movements, the Farm Holiday Association advocated easy credit and inflationary monetary policies, and this no doubt attracted Armstrong. Armstrong helped organize the Texas chapter of the organization and served as its president.
Armstrong continued to advocate monetary reform, and wrote President Roosevelt several letters lecturing him on the need for inflation. He also submitted written testimony on currency and banking reform to the Senate Committee on Finance. Armstrong also corresponded with several Senators and Congressmen, trying to influence them to embrace his monetary reform theories.
Much of the correspondence in this section documents the effects of the early New Deal legislation. Armstrong and his business associates reacted to Roosevelt's innovations with nervous hostility. The NRA eagle begins to appear frequently on letterheads, and much anxiety is expressed over the effects of the new government regulations and intervention in the economy. Other correspondence relates to the repeal of prohibition.
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Armstrong, M. B.; Biggers, Don H.; Clark, Frank W., President of the War Veterans Guardians; Cranfill, J. B.; Connally, Senator Thomas Terry; Corbin, Bruce B., an anti-Semitic Methodist minister; Davis, James H. "Cyclone"; Evans, H. W., Greathouse, Congressman Joseph F.; Farmers' Holiday Association; Howe, Louie, President Roosevelt's secretary; Humphry, W. D., of the Oklahoma Tax Commission; Newsom, J. T.; an officer of the Farmers' Holiday Association; Keeling, H. M., an official of the Farm Holiday association; LaFollette, Senator Robert Jr.; Louenstine, Herman; Long, Senator Huey; Norris, George W.; Patman, Congressman Wright; Poteet, Gibbons; Reno, Milo, president of the Farmers' Holiday Association; Senter, E. G.; Sheppard, Senator Morris; Smith, Charles P.; Whitney National Bank.
Selected Correspondence, 1933
Armstrong, Allen January
Correspondence with Allen, George Jr., and M. B. Armstrong on the Texas Steel Co. and other business matters.
Busby, Jeff January
Correspondence with Busby on monetary legislation and monetary theory, including the transcript of a speech by Busby.
Biggers, Don H. January 31
From Biggers, on Texas and National politics.
Clark, Frank W. January
Correspondence with Clark, president of the War Veterans Guardians. The War Veterans Guardians was an organization of ex-Bonus Marchers whose platform was an odd mixture of Populism and fascism. They denied membership to Jews and lawyers, denounced Wall Street, and vowed to fight farm foreclosures. Clark endorsed Wright Patman's currency reform legislation. Clark claimed to have been one of the principal organizers of the Bonus March, and stated that the objective of the Bonus Movement had been, among other things, "to destroy any chance of Mr. Hoover winning re-election."
Long, Huey January-February
Correspondence with Long on monetary reform. Long's replies to Armstrong's letters seem to be from letters.
Patman, Congressman Wright January-February
Correspondence with Wright Patman on Armstrong's proposed testimony on the Glass Bill before the House Committee on Banking and Currency.
Sheppard, Senator Morris January-February
Correspondence with Senator Sheppard on Texas and national politics.
Senter, E. G. January-February
Correspondence with Senter on monetary reform, organizing a new party, and "throwing the bankers in jail."
Smith, Charles P. January-February
Correspondence with Smith on the Depression, the effects of the repeal of Prohibition, and fears that Roosevelt's cabinet will be dominated by "catholics and Jews."
March-April
Armstrong, George W. March-April
Copy of Armstrong's statement to the Senate Committee on Finance, and papers relating to the Farmers' Holiday Association. Armstrong denounces. farm foreclosures but is very critical on New Deal legislation.
Cranfill, J. B. March-April
Correspondence with Cranfill on Prohibition and the prospects of a revived Prohibition party, and Armstrong's position as president of the Texas chapter of the Farmers' Holiday Association.
Davis, James H. "Cyclone" March 30
From Davis, on Texas politics.
Evans, H. W. April 15
To Evans, Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Armstrong informs Evans that "Wall Street, Tammany Hall, the Jews and the Catholics appear to be in complete control of the government."
Evans, H. W. Undated
Papers relating to the Farm Holiday Association: a Declaration of Principles, Constitution, and by-laws. These documents reflect the ideology of the Populist era and the Free Silver movement.
Greathouse, Joseph March-April
Correspondence with Greathouse on economic and political issues
Gough, Judge L. March-April
Correspondence with Gough on the Farmers' Holiday Association.
Senter, E. G. March-April
Correspondence with Senter, speculating on Roosevelt's intentions,
Smith, Charles P. March-April
Correspondence with Charles P. Smith. Smith and Armstrong discuss Huey Long and Roosevelt.
Sheppard, Senator Morris March-April
Correspondence with Morris Sheppard.
May
Armstrong, Allen May
Correspondence with Allen, George W. Armstrong, Jr., and M. B. Armstrong regarding business.
Adams, S. W. May 1
From Adams, a critical letter analyzing Armstrong's books and monetary theories. Adams pointes out contradictions in Armstrong's political and economic ideas, and suggests that a better alternative would be a general redistribution of wealth-including Armstrong's Mississippi property.
Connally, Senator Thomas Terry May
Correspondence with Senator Connally on monetary policy.
Evans, H. W. April 28
From Evans, on the Jewish ancestry of Henry Morganthau.
Kirby, John H. May
Correspondence with Kirby on Kirby's financial problems and impending bankruptcy.
LaFollette, Senator Robert May
Correspondence with Robert LaFollette, Jr.
Norris, Senator George W. May
Correspondence on pending New Deal public works projects Armstrong was interested in, especially highway construction.
Reno, Milo May
Correspondence with Milo Reno, president of the National Farmers' Holiday Association. Armstrong and Reno discuss the progress of the Roosevelt administration, and Roosevelt's conference with Minnesota Governor Olson.
Sheppard, Senator Morris May 30
To Sheppard and several other senators on using Reconstruction Finance Corporation funds for low interest loans to small businesses like Texas Steel.
Senter, E. G. May
Political correspondence with Senter.
Smith, Charles P. April May
Correspondence with Smith on politics in America and Europe. Smith is "heartily in sympathy" with Hitler's escalating attacks on "thieving, crooked Jews."
June-July
Armstrong, Allen June-July
Correspondence with Allen, George Jr., and M. B. Armstrong regarding business.
Connally, Senator Thomas Terry June-July
Correspondence with Tom Connally.
Gough, Judge L. June-July
Correspondence with Amarillo Judge Gough on the Farmers' Holiday Association.
Reno, Milo June-July
Correspondence with Reno on the Farmers' Holiday Association and veteran issues.
Senter, E. G. June 28
From Senter, analyzing the collapse of the Prohibition movement.
August
Armstrong, Allen August
Correspondence with Allen, and George Jr. regarding business.
Clem, Charles E. July 18
From Clem, enclosing a copy of a letter Clem wrote to Huey Long.
Harding, R. E. June-August
Correspondence with Harding, president of the Fort Worth National Bank, on the reorganization of Armstrong's debts.
Roosevelt, Franklin D. August 5
To Roosevelt, urging him to adopt an inflationary monetary policy.
Reno, Milo August
Correspondence with Reno speculating on Roosevelt's intentions.
Smith, Charles P. August
Correspondence with Smith on Smith's declining financial fortunes.
September
Armstrong, Allen September
Correspondence with M. B., George Jr., and Allen Armstrong.
Corbin, Bruce B. September 23
An interesting letter from Corbin, a Methodist minister, who shared Armstrong's intense anti-Semitism. Corbin discusses the Jewish "worldwide plot" to control the world directed by Bernard Baruch, among others. Corbin outlines a plan for an anti-Jewish crusade.
Evans, H. W. September
Correspondence with Evans, Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan on their mutual fear that Jews are now running the government in Washington.
Kirby, John H. September
Correspondence with Kirby on Kirby's bankruptcy.
Morgenthau, Henry September 21
Armstrong writes Morgenthau on the difficulty he is experiencing in acquiring a farm loan.
Roosevelt, Franklin D. September 25
To Roosevelt, on the need to increase the volume of money in circulation, and on monetary policy.
Thompson, Anne Armstrong September
Correspondence with Anne, Armstrong's daughter.
October
Armstrong, Allen October
Business correspondence with Allen, George Jr., and M. B. Armstrong.
Corbin, Bruce B. October 9, 27
From Corbin, on the "Jewish plot", the authenticity of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion and related topics.
Patman, Congressman Wright October 24
From Patman, commenting on Armstrong's recent speech in Mississippi on monetary reform.
Poteet, Gibbons October
Correspondence with Poteet on the Depression, monetary reform and other issues.
Reno, Milo October
Correspondence with Reno on the Farmers' Holiday Association; on a meeting of farmers with Roosevelt and Morgenthau; plans to halt farm foreclosures.
Roosevelt, Franklin D. October 27
Another letter to Roosevelt on monetary policy. Roosevelt's secretary Louie Howe responded to Armstrong's letters, generally with brief thank you notes.
Thompson, Anne Armstrong October 3
From Anne Thompson, on her problems and personal affairs.
November-December
Armstrong, Allen November-December
Correspondence with Allen, George Jr., and M. B. Armstrong regarding business.
Bradfield, W. D. November 16
From Bradfield, a Methodist minister and Armstrong family friend, on the recent death of Armstrong's father, R. C. Armstrong.
Corbin, Bruce B. December 20
From Bruce Corbin, on the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
Campbell, Homer Orpheus November-December
Correspondence with Campbell, author of Socialized Money. Campbell discusses currency reform and compares the theories they each have advanced in their writings. Campbell's book can be found in the book collection in Series IV, Box 195.(42)
Overholser, Willis November-December
Correspondence with Overholser, on distributing Armstrong's books through advertisements in the National Tax Paper, which Overholser edited.(43)
Reno, Milo November-December
Correspondence with Reno on the 1933 Governors' Conference.
Smith, Charles P. December 9
From Smith, now jobless and struggling and more or less at the end of his rope.
Box
103-105 1934
Armstrong was thoroughly disillusioned with Roosevelt and the New Deal by 1934. He was especially upset with the Wagner Labor Relations Bill and complained bitterly about the activities of union organizers in his Texas Steel Co. plant. In spite of his anger over most aspects of the New Deal, Armstrong moved quickly to take advantage of New Deal programs that benifitted his various enterprises. He applied for loans from the Federal Land Bank, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, and the Federal Farm Loan program.
Other important business correspondence relates to Armstrong's continuing Homochitto drainage project the beginnings of the oil and gas exploration on his Mississippi property that would lay the foundation for the wealth he acquired in the late 40s and early 50s. George Armstrong, Jr. is now in charge of Texas Steel Co., while Allen Armstrong is still in Mexico working for American oil companies.
Armstrong continued to support the Bonus movement, the Farmers' Holiday Association, and other neo-Populist and liberal causes. At the same time, his political correspondence indicates that his growing obsession with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories was beginning to dominate his political views. Eventually, Armstrong's political life would be defined by anti-Semitism, anti-communism and hatred for Roosevelt and the New Deal.
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Andrews, W. P., of the Dallas Reconstruction Finance Corporation office; Connally, Senator Thomas Terry; Corbin, Bruce B.; Farm Credit Administration; Federal Land Bank; Gill, J. H., of the Farm Credit Administration; Harrison, Senator Pat, of Mississippi; Jones, Jesse. Chairman of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation; Kirby, John H.; Kitson, Arthur; Patman, Congressman Wright; Reno, Milo; Smith, Charles P.; Thompson, Anne Armstrong; Williams, Charles W., Federal Land Bank appraiser.
Selected Correspondence 1934
January-March
Armstrong, George W. Jr. March 24
Interesting letter from George Jr. on the problems Texas Steel Co. is experiencing trying to adhere to NRA steel codes.
Armstrong, Allen December 22, 1933
From Allen, on politics and business conditions in Mexico.
Borah, Senator William E. March 26
To Senator Borah, objecting to the Waggoner Labor Relations Act and complaining that "outside pressures and influences" are causing labor problems at Texas Steel Co.
Corbin, Bruce B. January-March
More correspondence with Corbin on a proposed campaign against the "Jewish Plot."
Farm Credit Administration October-December
Extensive correspondence with the Farm Credit Administration on loans for the Homochitto project and Armstrong's Mississippi farming enterprises. Includes application for Civil Works Project.
Harrison, Senator Pat January-March
Correspondence with Senator Harrison on a bill to expand the power of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation.
Kitson, Arthur January-March
Correspondence with Kitson on politics and monetary policy. Kitson mentions "my friend Sir Oswald Moseley" and the British Union of Fascists. Kitson believes the Jews are "plotting the overthrow of Christian civilization."
Nef, R. W. January 30
To Nef, chief engineer of the Mississippi Civil Works Administration. An updated history of the Homochitto Drainage District project.
Patman, Congressman Wright March 24
To Patman, supporting the Soldier Bonus Bill and denouncing Jews and "college professors."
Reno, Milo January-March
Correspondence with Reno on the Patman bill, the Wallace program, and the Farmers' Holiday Association.
Smith, Charles P. March 13
From Smith, on the Bonus movement. Smith denounces Jews and calls for a "farmer-labor veterans Party."
Thompson, Anne Armstrong January-March
Correspondence with Anne on personal matters.
April-May
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. April-May
Correspondence with George and Allen on business and family matters.
Barkley, Senator W. A. April 12
To Senator Barkley, in praise of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Armstrong had applied for an RFC loan.
Connally, Senator Thomas Terry May
Correspondence with Senator Connally on the RFC and the Glass Bill to renew the charter of the Federal Reserve Board.
Jones, Jesse April
Correspondence with Jesse Jones, Chairman of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, on Armstrong's efforts to secure a loan.
Kirby, John H. April-May
Correspondence with Kirby on Armstrong's efforts to help Kirby to keep his Peach Tree Village homestead after Kirby's bankruptcy.(44)
Reno, Milo April-May
Correspondence with Reno on the RFC, the Glass bill, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Farmers' Holiday Association. Armstrong denounced Roosevelt as a "deflationist" and condemned the New Deal as "subversive of constitutional government."
June-July
Wheeler, Burton K. April-May
Correspondence with Wheeler on the RFC.
June-July
Andrews W. P. July 17
To Andrews, manager of the Dallas Reconstruction Finance Corporation office on securing an RFC loan, and related topics.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. June-July
Correspondence with George and Allen regarding business.
Corbin, Bruce B. June-July
Correspondence with Corbin on the progress of Corbin's anti-Semitic crusade.
Federal Land Bank of New Orleans June-July
Correspondence with the Federal Land Bank on securing loans and related topics.
Jones, Jesse June-July
Correspondence with Jones on Armstrong's application for an RFC loan.
[Correspondence for August through October is missing.]
November-December
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November-December
Correspondence with Allen and George regarding business.
Corbin, Bruce B. November 9
From Corbin, asking Armstrong's help in forming an Anti-Semitic "American Party."
Box
106-108 1935
Although he had recovered from his 1923 bankruptcy, Armstrong still faced serious problems. The continuing economic uncertainty of the Depression was a constant threat to Armstrong's financial gains. Nevertheless, he felt confident enough to take his wife on an extended vacation and tour of the United States by car. He also made expensive repairs and improvements on his Mississippi properties. He also extended some much needed financial aid to his bankrupt friend and mentor, John H. Kirby.
Armstrong kept a low profile politically, choosing to spent his time and energy on family and business matters. He did keep an eye on political developments, maintaining old contacts and cultivating new ones. He joined the National Monetary Conference, an umbrella organization for monetary reformers of all persuasions. Armstrong also promoted his political agenda through correspondence with several senators and congressmen, urging them to support banking and currency reform, the Soldier Bonus bill and other inflationary initiatives. The National Monetary Conference was so eclectic that its membership included the fascist Father Coughlin and the socialistic editors of the Progressive magazine.
Correspondents. Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George Jr.; Armstrong, M. B.; Harrison, Senator Pat; Harrop, Roy, chairman of the National Farmer Labor Party; Lempke, Senator William; Massingale, Senator Sam; McGehee, Congressman Dan: Owen, Senator Robert, President of the National Monetary Conference; Patman, Senator Wright; Poteet, Gibbons; Pierson, E. H., of the American Legion; Rankin, Congressman John H.; Reno, Milo; Senter, E. G.; Sheppard, Senator Morris; Thomas, Senator Elmer; Thompson, Anne Armstrong; White, E. H., an officer of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration in Mississippi.
Selected Correspondence 1935
January-March
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. Armstrong, M. B. January-March
Extensive correspondence with Allen, George and M. B. relating to business. Correspondence with George Jr. covers conditions at Texas Steel Co. Allen writes about economic and political conditions in Mexico.
Fletcher, Senator Duncan March 8
To Senator Fletcher, a letter attacking HR 5357, a banking and currency bill Armstrong strongly opposed. Armstrong sent this seven page letter to several other senators and congressmen. A mailing list is included.
Harrison, Senator Pat January-March
Correspondence with Senator Harrison on banking and currency legislation and other economic and political issues.
Howe, Louis January-March
Correspondence with Howe, Roosevelt's personal secretary.
Lemke, William January-March
Correspondence with Lemke on the Bank of North Dakota, which Lemke helped establish, and on banking and currency reform.
Massingale, Senator Sam January-March
Correspondence with Senator Massingale on currency and banking legislation, especially on HR 5357.
McGehee, Congressman Dan January-March
Correspondence with McGhee on banking and currency reform, and HR 5357. McGhee was a Mississippi congressman and a personal friend of Armstrong's.
Owen, Senator Robert National Monetary Conference February 7
From Senator Owen, on behalf of the National Monetary Conference, inviting Armstrong to join.
National Monetary Conference Brogham, H. Bruce March 12
From Brogham, president of the National Monetary Conference, thanking Armstrong for his decision to join and his twenty-five dollar contribution.
Patman, Congressman Wright January 1
To Patman, endorsing the Soldier Bonus Bill but condemning the "lies and deceptions" of the New Deal.
Patman, Congressman Wright February 2
To Patman, objecting to Patman's proposal for a central bank. Armstrong favored a decentralized banking system.
Poteet, Gibbons January-March
Correspondence with Poteet on currency reform and other political and economic issues.
Pierson, E. H. February 22, March 7
Exchange of letters with Pierson, an officer of the American Legion, on using the Legion as the nucleus of what was apparently to be a paramilitary Fascist-like political organization.
Rankin, John January-March
Correspondence with Rankin on monetary policy, currency reform and banking.
Sheppard, Senator Morris January-March
Correspondence with Sheppard. Armstrong is critical of Sheppard's support for Roosevelt's veto of the Soldier Bonus Bill.
Thomas, Senator Elmer January-March
Correspondence with Senator Thomas on veterans issues and relief programs proposed by Thomas.
White, E. H. January-March
Correspondence with White, assistant Manager of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration in Mississippi, on Armstrong's contracts with tenants regulated by the AAA. Interesting documentation of the effects of New Deal legislation on southern tenant farming.
April-May
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. April-May
Business correspondence with Allen and George Armstrong, Jr.
Kirby, John H. April-May
Business and personal correspondence with Kirby.
Reno, Milo April 16
An interesting letter from Milo Reno, on plans to exclude communists from the Farmers' Holiday Association.
Sheppard, Senator Morris April-May
Political correspondence with Senator Sheppard.
Strahan, L. C. April-May
Correspondence with Natchez County Agent Strahan on AAA regulations. Correspondence includes a list of Armstrong's tenants.
June-July-August
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. June-August
Correspondence with George and Allen on Texas Steel Co., Allen's activities in Mexico and various family matters.
Carden, George June-August
Correspondence with Carden on Bernard Baruch, Carden's suit against the government over unsettled claims from his World War I contracting business, and the plans and projects of R. David Knapp. Knapp was a former business associate of Armstrong's.
Kirby, John H. June-August
Correspondence with Kirby. Kirby is working for the Southern Committee to Uphold the Constitution, an anti-Roosevelt organization he helped establish. The committee was housed in the Kirby building, and the bulk of the members were from Texas.
McGehee, Congressman Dan June-August
Correspondence with Congressman McGehee on the Homochitto Drainage District project.
Thompson, Anne Armstrong June-August
Correspondence with Anne on personal and family matters.
September-October
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. September-October
Correspondence with George and Allen Armstrong, on business conditions at Texas Steel Co. and Allen's life in Mexico.
Kirby, John H. September-October
Correspondence with Kirby on Peach Tree Village.
November-December
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November-December
Correspondence with George and Allen relating to business at Texas Steel Co., and Allen's affairs in Mexico.
Armstrong, George W. Jr. December 8
To George Jr. on oil exploration on Armstrong's Mississippi property.
Harrop, Roy M. November 7
From Harrop on behalf of the National Farmer Labor Party on the possibility of state owned banking systems, and proposals for starting a third party.
Kirby, John H. January 2
From Kirby, on Peach Tree Village. Kirby also discusses the Southern Committee to Uphold the Constitution, and a meeting of Jeffersonian Democrats to be held in Macon, Georgia. Kirby hopes to "rescue the Democracy from the hands of the Socialist."
Box
109-111 1936
This was a relatively quiet period in Armstrong's life. His Texas Steel Co. and other business interest were no longer operating in a state of perpetual crisis. Oil money was beginning to flow from the Oklahoma and Mississippi property. Finally, Armstrong won his long-fought lawsuit against his competitors.(45)
His improved financial condition enabled Armstrong to buy Peach Tree Village, John H. Kirby's beloved family homestead, and present it to his old friend as a gift. Kirby responded by throwing a huge testimonial barbecue in honor of his friend. Armstrong took his wife on another vacation, and became involved in a project to restore his grandparents' ancestral estate in Jasper County.
Aside from some anti-Roosevelt activities, Armstrong was not politically active. He continued to write some anti-Semitic propaganda of his own. He kept informed on the anti-Semitic movement through his correspondence with Methodist minister Bruce Corbin and Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard H. W. Evans.
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr. Corbin, Bruce B.; Cranfill, J. B.; De Witt, W. E., of the Monetary Reform League; Evans, H. W.; Federal Land Bank; Kirby, John H.; Overholser, Willis, of the National Monetary Conference; Senter, E. G.; Smith, Fannie; Smith, Walter P.; Thompson, Anne Armstrong; Umbenhour, J. T.; Weldon, C. E.
Selected Correspondence 1936
January-February
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January-February
Business correspondence with George and Allen Armstrong.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. February 11, 15
Armstrong informs his sons that he is sending John H Kirby $10,000 as a down-payment for Peach Tree Village.
Evans, H. W. February 9
To Evans. Armstrong is concerned that the Ku Klux Klan has narrowed its purpose to the "preservation of the White race" when the main danger is from "Jews and Catholics."
Kirby, John H. January-February
Correspondence with Kirby on the Peach Tree Village estate.
Sheppard, Senator Morris January-February
Correspondence with Senator Sheppard discussing politics.
Umbenhour, J. T. January-February
Papers relating to Texas Steel Co. stockholders' meetings, including by-laws, minutes, and related documents.
Thompson, Anne Armstrong January-February
Correspondence with Anne on personal and family matters.
February-March
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. February-March
Correspondence with George and Allen Armstrong on business. Interesting correspondence with Allen on oil and politics in Mexico.
Corbin, Bruce B. March(date unclear)
From Corbin, proposing a coup-de-etat to seize power and save the country from Roosevelt, the Jews, etc., and so on.
Corbin, Bruce B. February 25
From Corbin. Corbin claims his ministry is now being supported by "a wealthy woman." Corbin has left the Methodist church to work full time on his anti-Semitic crusade.
Corbin, Bruce B. March 1
To Corbin. Armstrong discusses a new anti-Semitic book he is writing about the "Jew Deal" under the pseudo name of "Richard Roe." Armstrong asks Corbin to handle printing and distribution.
Kirby, John H. March
Correspondence with Kirby on Peach Tree Village and other matters.
Overholser, Willis March 6
From Overholser, who is running for Senate in Illinois.
Senter, E. G. February 27
From Senter on the 1936 election. Senter predicts Roosevelt will win. He describes the Republican party as an "empty shell."
April-May
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. April-May
Correspondence with Allen, George and other family members.
Kirby, John H. April-May
Correspondence with Kirby on Peach Tree Village.
Senter, E. G. April-May
Correspondence with Senter on the 1936 political campaigns.
June-August
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. June-August
Business and family correspondence with George and Allen.
Armstrong, Allen June 4
From Allen, an interesting analysis of the political situation in Mexico.
Frank, D. A. June 10
From Frank, a lawyer representing the steel companies Armstrong sued. Armstrong paid himself $40,000 for legal fees out of the settlement with Lacleed Steel Co. and Sheffield Steel Co., arguing that the fee was justified because he had represented himself. The Federal courts attempted to set aside this fee on the grounds that it was excessive. Frank wrote Armstrong this letter supporting his claims.(46)
Federal Land Bank June-July
Correspondence with Natchez, Mississippi attorney M. McGhee Stokes on the Federal Land Bank and related topics.
September-October
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr September-October
Correspondence with Allen and George on Texas Steel Co.'s improving financial prospects, and oil and gas exploration in Oklahoma and Mississippi; correspondence on Allen's activities in Mexico.
Judge, C. C. September 19
To Judge, of Marshalltown, Iowa, on alleged Jewish control of both parties: "Neither Roosevelt or Landon can break the stranglehold of the Jews…"
Smith, Walter P. October 26, November 1
Correspondence with Smith, a relative of Armstrong's. Smith is facing bankruptcy, and asks Armstrong's advice. Armstrong gives Smith advice on dealing with creditors in a bankruptcy situation.
November-December
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November-December
Correspondence with Allen and George relating business and family matters.
Cranfill, J. B. November-December
Correspondence with Cranfill on plans for a barbecue honoring Kirby, and other matters.
DeWitt, W. E. November-December
Correspondence with DeWitt, of the Monetary Reform League. DeWitt was interested in acquiring some of Armstrong's books.
Kirby, John H. November-December
Correspondence with Kirby on Peach Tree Village.
Kirby, John H. November 2
From Kirby, on Roosevelt: "Mr. Roosevelt is without doubt the most conscienceless and cunning demagogue America has ever produced…[he will be re-elected] with the help of the Jews and their colossal fortunes."
Smith, Fannie November-December
Correspondence with Fannie Smith on Armstrong family history and plans for a memorial.
Smith, Walter P. November-December
Correspondence with Smith on Armstrong family history, and George Washington Smyth, Armstrong's great-grandfather and a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence; on the dedication of a monument in the family cemetery in Jasper County; and on Smith's financial problems.
Walden, C. E. November-December
Correspondence with Walden, another relative, on George W. Smyth monument and other matters pertaining to Armstrong-Smith family history.
Box
112 1934-1936
These papers were found in a letter box labeled "Composition and Settlement." These papers consist of correspondence with Kirby and others relating to Kirby's bankruptcy and the final settlement of Armstorng's debts to Kirby; Peach Tree Village; and the trust fund Armstrong established for Kirby. A separate file has material on Armstrong's 1923 bankruptcy.
1-7 January 1934-May 1936
Correspondence relating to John H. Kirby's bankruptcy and Armstrong's efforts to save Kirby's Peach Tree Village estate.
8 The Creditor's Petition from Armstrong's 1923 bankruptcy, listing his assets and liabilities.
9 Correspondence with F. D. Brown, 1928-1932.
This correspondence reflects Armstrong's attempts to settle some of the debts still outstanding from his 1923 bankruptcy.
Box
113 1905-1936
Oil, Gas and real estate records.
This material was found in a single letter box labeled "Coal Co., Oklahoma." Only about half of the material actually relates to Oklahoma. The first four folders contain papers relating to Armstrong's speculation in Fort Worth and Tarrant County oil and gas leases and real estate developments from 1905 to 1923. Five more folders deal exclusively with Coal County, Oklahoma oil and gas leases. These files could be viewed as an "investment portfolio", and reflect Armstrong's fondness for speculative sidelines.
1-4 Assorted real estate records, 1905-1923.
Most of this material deals with real estate speculation in Fort Worth. There is also some material on oil and gas leases in Tarrant and other North Texas counties.
5 Correspondence with M. B. Armstrong on Coal County, Oklahoma oil leases, 1935-1936.
6-9 Correspondence with Patsy Greenan on Cola County, Oklahoma oil and gas leases, 1935-1936.
Box
114 1925-1926
Freight rate cases.
Beginning in about 1925, Armstrong launched a protracted struggle against the Sheffield and Lacleed steel companies for anti trust violations, and several Texas railroads for excessive freight rates. This litigation dragged on for almost ten years. Armstrong was successful in the anti-trust suits, but failed with the railroads.
This correspondence was gathered from the 1925-1926 files to help prepare briefs that Armstrong wrote between 1930 and 1936. The briefs are stored in Box 115. Both the correspondence and briefs were originally stored in letter boxes and folders dated 1936.
1 Exhibits and other documents relating to freight rate cases, found in a folder labeled "Exhibits."
2 Correspondence relating to freight rate cases. 1925-1926
3 Correspondence on the freight rate cases. 1925-1926
4 Correspondence on freight rate cases. 1925-1926
5 Papers relating to Armstrong's freight rate cases. 1925-1926
6 Papers relating to Armstrong's freight rate cases. 1925-1926
7 Correspondence on freight rate cases. 1925-1926
8 Correspondence on freight rate cases. 1925-1926
9 Correspondence on freight rate cases. 1925-1926
10 Correspondence on freight rate cases. 1925-1926
Box
115 1930-1936
Rate case briefs and appeals.
These documents were created for a series of lawsuits Armstrong initiated in the 1920s and actively prosecuted until 1936. This litigation was part of an effort to make Texas Steel Co. more competitive by excluding competition from his market and lowering freight rates. Armstrong acted as his own attorney, so most of these briefs, appeals and other legal documents were prepared by Armstrong himself.
1 Armstrong, George W.
In the Court of Civil Appeals for the Second Supreme Judicial District of Texas, Texas Steel Co. Appellant vs. Fort Worth & Denver City Railroad Company et. al., Appellants. Appealed From the District Court of Tarrant County, Texas 67th Judicial District. Brief for Appellant (Fort Worth: Fort Worth Printing Co., 193-?).
2 Armstrong, George W.; Hornsby, John W.
In the Court of Civil Appeals for the Third Supreme Judicial District of Texas. Railroad Commission of Texas, et al., Appellant, vs. Texas Steel Co., Appellant. From the District Court of Travis County, Texas. Brief For the Appellee Texas Steel Co. (Fort Worth: Fort Worth Brief Printing Co., 193-?).
3 Armstrong, George W.
Supreme Court of the United States. October Term, 1931 No. 906. Texas Steel Co., Petitioner, vs. Railroad Commission of Texas et al., Respondents Petition For Writ Certiorari to the Court of Civil Appeals, Third Supreme Judicial District, State of Texas And Brief in Support Thereof.
4 Armstrong, George W.
Supreme Court of the United States October Term, 1934. No. 308 Texas Steel Co., Petitioner, vs. Missouri-Kansas, Texas Railroad Company et al. Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Court of Civil Appeals, Second Supreme Judicial District, State of Texas, And Brief in Support Thereof.
5 Armstrong, George W.; Leffingwell, Frank A.
Before the Interstate Commerce Commission. Railroad Commission of Texas, Texas Steel Co. Complainant, vs Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company of Texas, et. al., Defendants Amended Original Complaint (Dallas: Warlick Law Printing Co., Inc., 1936).
6 Reed, A. L.
Before the Interstate Commerce Commission Docket 27277; Before the Railroad Commission of Texas Docket 3426-r Texas Steel Co., Complainant, vs Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company et al. Defendants Brief for the Texas Structural Steel Institute and the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, Intervenors (Dallas: 1936).
7 Wallace, Fred C.
Supreme Court of the United States October Term 1934 No. 308 Texas Steel Co., Petitioner, vs Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company of Texas, et al. Respondents Brief for Respondents in Opposition to the Petition For Writ of Certioruri to the Court of Civil Appeals, Second Supreme Judicial District, State of Texas (1934).
8 Armstrong, George W.
In the Supreme Court of Texas Texas Steel Company, Plaintiff in Error, vs Fort Worth & Denver Light Railway Company et al, Defendants in Error. Petition For Writ of Error. (Fort Worth: Fort Worth Brief Printing Co. 1330).
9 Armstrong, George W.; Hornsby, John W.
In the Supreme Court of Texas. Texas Steel Co. Plaintiff in Error vs. Railroad Commission of Texas, et al., Defendants in Error Petition For Writ of Error (Fort Worth: Fort Worth Brief Printing Co., 1931).
10 Armstrong, George W.
Supreme Court of the United States, October Term, 1931 No. 906. Texas Steel Co., Petitioner vs Railroad Commission of Texas, et al; Respondents Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Court of Civil Appeals, Third Supreme Judicial District, State of Texas, and Brief in Support Thereof (Fort Worth, 1931).
11 Armstrong, George W.
Transcript of Record Supreme Court of the United States October Term 1931. Texas Steel Co. Petitioner vs Railroad Commission of Texas et al. On Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the Court of Civil Appeals, Third Supreme Judicial District of Texas (Washington, D. C.: Judd & Detweiler, 1932).
12 Fonda, A. C.
Before the Railroad Commission of Texas. Petition of the Texas Carriers for Adoption of Rates Rules and Regulations With Respect to Intrastate Traffic Between Points in Texas that Have Been Published to Apply on Interstate Traffic within Southwestern Territories Following the Reports and Orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission in Consolidated Southwestern Cases ICC Docket No. 139, ICC 535, and other Related Cases (A. C Fonda's Application No. 945.) (Austin: Von Beckmann-Jones Co. 1928).
13 Interstate Commerce Commission Rules, of Practice Before the Commission in Proceedings Under the Interstate Commerce Act And Related Acts With Approved Forms Revised to September 1, 1932.
14 Interstate Commerce Commission, Amendments and Supplements to Rules of Practice before the Commission In Proceedings Under the Interstate Commerce Act And Related Acts With Approved Forms. Approved August 1, 1934 Effective September 1, 1934 (Washington, D. C. U. S. Government Printing Office, 1934).
15 Ferguson, Garland.
Practice of the Steel Industry Under the Code Letter From the Chairman of the Federal Frade Commission Transmitting In Response to Senate Resolution No. 166. A Report On the Steel Industry and the "Code of Fair Competition" Relation to that Industry (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1934).
16 March, Charles H., Chairman.
Annual Report of the Federal Trade Commission for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1936 (Washington, D. C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1936).
17 Interstate Commerce Commission, Interstate Commerce Act (Washington, D, C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1923).
Box
116 1930-1936
Briefs for Armstrong's legal disputes with the Alliance Trust Company and G. W. Wooley. Papers relating to Armstrong's suits against Sheffield Steel Co. and Lacleed Steel Co.
The Alliance Trust Co. suit grew out of Armstrong's 1923 bankruptcy problems. Alliance loaned Armstrong money to refinance his enterprises. He fell behind in his payments but continued to pay substantial amounts of interest. When the interest paid equaled the principle he had borrowed, Armstrong sued the Alliance Trust Co. for usury.(47)
The suit against G. W. Wooley involved property Armstrong bought in a foreclosure sale. The property was held originally by the bankrupt Briton-Koontz Bank of Natchez, Mississippi. Wooley was the receiver. A dispute developed about the final price, and Armstrong brought suit against him.
Armstrong was determined to lower freight rates for domestic shippers and raise tariffs and freight rates on cheap imported steel that he believed competed unfairly in his market. His suits against Laclede Steel Co. and Sheffield Steel Co. were over price cutting and other forms of competition he considered unfair. Armstrong went so far as to accuse Laclede Steel Co. of conducting a "conspiracy" to destroy Texas Steel Co.(48)
1 Armstrong, George W.
United States Circuit Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit No. 8223-In Equity. George W Armstrong vs Alliance Trust Co. Ltd. et al, Appellees. Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Western Division of the Southern District of Mississippi. Brief of Appellant (Fort Worth: Fort Worth Brief Printing Co., 1935).
2 Armstrong, George W.
United States Circuit Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit No. 8223. George W. Armstrong, Appellant vs Alliance Trust Co., Ltd., et al., Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Western Division of the Southern District of Mississippi. Appellant's Reply Argument) Fort Worth: Fort Worth Brief Printing Office, 1936).
3 Armstrong, George W.
In the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit No. 8223-In Equity George W. Armstrong, Appellant vs Alliance Trust Co., Ltd., et al. Appellees. Appeal From the District Court of the United States for the Western Division of the Southern District of Mississippi. Appellants Petition for a Rehearing (Fort Worth: Fort Worth Brief Printing Co. 1937).
4 Percy, W. A.
United States Circuit Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit No. 8223. George W. Armstrong, Appellant vs Alliance Trust Co. Ltd. et al., Appellees. Motion to Dismiss Appellant's Appeal and Brief in Support of Appellees' Motion to Dismiss Appellants Appeal (1936).
5 Percy, W. A.
United States Circuit Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit No. 8223-In Equity George W. Armstrong, Appellant vs Alliance Trust Co. Ltd. et al., Appellees Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Western Division of the Southern District of Mississippi. Brief For Appellees (1937).
6 Armstrong, George W.
Transcript of Record United States Circuit Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit No. 8304 George W Armstrong vs. G. W. Wooley, Receiver, Appellee. Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of Mississippi (New Orleans: E. S. Upton Printing Co., 1937).
7 Armstrong, George W.
United States Circuit Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit No. 8304-In Equity George W. Armstrong, Appellant vs G. L. Wooley, Receiver, Appellee. Appeal From the District Court of the United States for Southern District of Mississippi. Brief of Appellant (Fort Worth: Fort Worth Printing Co., 1937).
8-13 Briefs and other legal documents relating to Armstrong's suit against Laclede Steel Co. and Sheffield Steel Co.
Box
117-119 1937
This was a comparatively uneventful year for Armstrong. Texas Steel did well in 1937, and Armstrong and his wife were able to take a long planed European vacation. Armstrong was also able to set up a trust fund for his family and friends. Allen Armstrong returned from Mexico and went to work at Texas Steel.
Armstrong wrote Reign of the Elders, an anti-Semitic book based on the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. Reign attacks Roosevelt as a tool of the Jews and portrays the New Deal as part of an international Jewish-Communist plot to conquer the world.
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen and George; Connally, Senator Thomas Terry; Kirby, John H.; McCammon, Y. Q.; Panton, S. P.; Poteet, Gibbons; Patman, Congressman Wright; Sheppard, Senator Morris; Shannon, O. K.; Smith, Walter P.; Senter, E. G.
Selected Correspondence 1937
January-February
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. January-February
Business and family correspondence with Allen and George.
Kirby, John H. January-February
Correspondence with Kirby. In spite of his bankruptcy, Kirby was able to retire to his Peach Tree Village estate and lead the life of a gentleman farmer.
Panton, S. P. November 5, 26
Exchange of letters with Panton. Armstrong brings Panton up to date on his activities over the past four years. Panton tells Armstrong that he is in poor health and 88 years old.
Shannon, O. K. January-February
Correspondence with Shannon, a nephew of Armstrong's and partner in the law firm of Walker, Smith and Shannon. Correspondence on Armstrong's suit against Sheffield Steel Co and Laclede Steel Co.
Sheppard, Senator Morris January-February
Correspondence with Senator Sheppard, protesting the exportation of scrap steel to Germany, Japan, and Italy, which Armstrong argued caused domestic scrap steel prices to rise. (Scrap steel was one of Texas Steel Co.'s primary sources for raw material.) Armstrong also discusses his methods of tenant farming. Apparently he charged much less interest for "advances" than other landlords.
March-April
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. March-April
Correspondence with Allen and George Jr. on Texas Steel business and related topics. Armstrong announces he is planning a trip to Europe in an April 26 letter.
Armstrong, Allen April 21
Allen has resigned from his job in Mexico and is preparing to return to the United States to work at Texas Steel.
Armstrong, Allen March 10
To Allen Armstrong. Armstrong tells Allen he is once again thinking of selling Texas Steel Co.
Armstrong, George W. Jr. April 21
From George Jr., with enclosures: letters to senators and congressmen relating to bills pending to curb exportation of scrap steel.
Armstrong, Allen March 6
From Allen, complaining of the "vicious principle" of collective bargaining.
Connally, Senator Thomas Terry April-May
Correspondence with Connally on Texas and national politics.
Shannon, O. K. March-April
Correspondence with Shannon on the suits against Laclede Steel Co. and Sheffield Steel Co.
May-June
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. May-June
Correspondence with George and Allen on business.
Armstrong, Allen June 27
To Allen, on oil and gas exploration on Armstrong's Mississippi property.
Armstrong, George W. Jr. June 19
From George Jr. A summary of Texas Steel Co. operations for June. Includes a copy of a letter to Senator Morris Sheppard objecting to the Black-Conners bill, a pro union bill pending before the Senate.
Armstrong, George W. Jr. May 15
To George Jr. Armstrong has decided against selling Texas Steel Co.
McCammon, Y. Q. May-June
Correspondence with MCammon, Armstrong's nephew and tax accountant. Correspondence on Armstrong's intention to set up the George W. and Mary C. Armstrong Trust, a trust fund for his friends and family, and to establish what would ultimately become thee Judge Armstrong Foundation.(49)
Panton, S. P. June 9
From Panton, on the gold standard, the currency question, and the usual topics involving monetary policy.
Shannon, O. K. May-June
Correspondence with Shannon on the Alliance Trust Co. suit, and the Laclede Steel Co. and Sheffield Steel Co. suit.
Sheppard, Senator Morris April 26
From Senator Sheppard, on a bill to prevent the exportation of American scrap iron.
Smith, Walter P. May-June
Correspondence with Smith on Armstrong-Smith family history, and a monument planned for Jasper County.
August-October
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. August-October
Correspondence with Allen and George on business and family matters. Judge Armstrong and his wife are touring Europe. Allen has returned from Mexico and is working at Texas Steel. Armstrong kept an eye on his business interests even while vacationing. He received frequent, detailed reports from Fort Worth and Mississippi.
Poteet, Gibbons July 3
From Poteet, on the money question, the Crime of '20 and the Brussels Conference.
November-December
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November-December
Correspondence with George and Allen on business matters.
McCammon, Y. Q. November-December
Correspondence with McCammon on the George W. and Mary C. Armstrong Trust, taxes, and other family business.
Panton, S. P. September 12
From Panton, an interesting letter attacking Roosevelt, Morgenthau, and the monetary policies of the New Deal.
Panton, S. P. December 24
From Panton, thanking Armstrong for a copy of his new book, Reign of the Elders. Panton mentions receiving some "anti-Jewish documents from Germany."
Patman, Congressman Wright November 29
To Patman, criticizing the Farm Act, which Armstrong believes "regiments the farmer and deprives him of his freedom." Armstrong claims he never belonged to a "farm organization", although he was president of the Farmers' Holiday Association in Texas.
Shannon, O. K. November-December
Correspondence with Shannon on suits against Laclede Steel Co. and Sheffield Steel Co.
Senter, E. G. December 11
To Senter. Armstrong asks Senter to review Reign of the Elders.
Smith, Walter P. December 15
Armstrong ask Smith if he would like a copy of Reign.
Box
120-122 1938
This was another good year for Judge Armstrong. He was now permanently settled on his Woodstock Plantation estate near Natchez, Mississippi. Allen and George Jr. managed Texas Steel Co., but Armstrong remained very much in control. He received weekly, sometimes daily, reports from George and Allen. No major decisions were made without his consent. Armstrong was now able to at least simi-retire from business. He and his wife Mary were now able to spend time remodeling Woodstock, taking leisurely vacations to New Mexico, Colorado, and the Texas Gulf Coast. The only thing that marred Armstrong's retirement was his daughter Anne's descent into alcoholism.
Armstrong anonymously published Reign of the Elders a vitriolic anti-Semitic and anti-New Deal tract he had written during the previous year. He sent copies to dozens of state representatives, members of congress, and senators. Some sent him letters praising the book, others appear to have ignored it, but few commented on or condemned his anti-Semitism. Interestingly, the only correspondent to reject Armstrong's anti-Semitism was the old Populist and prohibitionist crusader J. B. Cranfill.
After the publication of Reign, Armstrong began a heavy correspondence with the nationalistic and anti-Semitic wing of the isolationist political movement developing in the late 1930s. This network helped Armstrong distribute his books, while Armstrong supported their organizations and publications.
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George Jr.; American Gentile Protective Association; Carden, George; Clark, Frank W.; Connally, Senator Thomas Terry; Corbin, Bruce B.; Cranfill, J. B.; Crick, Walter; Economic Reform Club of England; Field, A. N., a New Zealand anti-Semite and monetary theorist; Jung, Harry A, editor of the American Vigilant Intelligence Federation, an anti-Semitic news letter; Honest Money Founders; Kirby, John H.; Klot, J. J. of Colombia College in Debuque, Iowa; Kositsin, V. N., a White Russian anti-Semitic propagandist; McCammon, Y. Q.; Massingale, Senator Sam; Panton, S. P.; Poteet, Gibbons; Stafford Lowden Co., printers; Schmalz, Fredrick H., an anti-Semitic propagandist; Smith, Walter P.; Thompson, Anne Armstrong; True, James, publisher of an anti-Semitic newsletter; Thomas, Elmer.
Selected Correspondence 1938
January-February
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January-February
Correspondence on family and business matters with George Jr. and Allen.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January 27
To Allen. Armstrong is convinced that his daughter Anne is an alcoholic and requires medical attention, although he has "little faith" in any available treatments.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January 27
To Allen, on his new book, Reign of the Elders; and on his belief that the Federal Reserve Board deliberately caused the 1937-1938 recession.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January 24
From Allen, praising Reign but suggesting some editorial changes.
Corbin, Bruce B. January-February
Armstrong renews his correspondence with this anti-Semitic Methodist minister. Corbin advises Armstrong on publishing Reign. Corbin has been very busy, having left the ministry and taken his anti-Semitic crusade from Denver to Spokane and across the West and Southwest.
Fisk, Dr. J. C. January 7
From Dr. Fisk, Anne Armstrong Thompson's New York doctor. Fisk has diagnosed Anne's alcoholism and recommended hospitalization.
Fish, Dr. J. C. January 11
Armstrong angrily replies to Fisk that he is "completely disgusted with here and am through with her." In fact, Armstrong never actually abandoned his daughter and eventually witnessed her recovery through the Alcoholics Anonymous program.
Panton, S. P. January-February
Correspondence with Panton, including copies of letters Panton sent to the editors of Fortune magazine. Armstrong tells Panton that he intends to send a copy of Reign of the Elders to Sir Oswald Moseley in England and asks Panton if he knows of anyone in France or Germany who would be interested.
Stafford Lowden Co. January-February
Correspondence with Stafford Lowden Co., printers, on publishing Armstrong's book.
Stafford Lowden Co. January 25
To Stafford Lowden Co., stressing that "the name of the author should remain unknown" and that "nothing appear to show where the book was published."
March-April
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. March-April
Family and business correspondence with George and Allen. Armstrong plans to send copies of Reign of the Elders to senators, congressmen and other officials.
Corbin, Bruce B. April-May
Correspondence with Corbin. Corbin advises Armstrong to get in touch with the anti-Semitic radio evangelist Gerald Winrod.
Carden, George April 6
From Carden. Carden rejects Armstrong's anti-Semitic views.
Connally, Senator Thomas Terry March 6
To Senator Connally, congratulating him on his efforts in helping to defeat the "anti-lynching bill."
Frank E. Gannett National Committee to Uphold Constitutional Government April 6
To Frank Gannett, offering 300 free copies of Reign to help Gannett's campaign.
Economic Reform Club March-April
Two issues of the English Economic Reform Club newsletter. The October 1937 bulletin announces the death of Arthur Kitson, a long time correspondent of Armstrong's. Kitson was one of the Economic Reform Club's vice-presidents. These papers include an obituary, a short biography and a eulogy far Kitson. Kitson was a businessmen, and an independent inventor. He had been an associate of Thomas Edison and Alexander Ghaham Bell.
Green, William April 18
From Green, president of the American Federation of Labor, thanking Armstrong for a copy of Reign of the Elders and promising to read it "at the earliest opportunity."
Kirby, John H. April 15
From Kirby in praise of Reign and complimenting Armstrong on the "wholesomeness of your political philosophy."
Kirby, John H. April 25
Armstrong sends 20 copies of Reign to Kirby for Kirby to share with his friends.
Kirby, John H. March 28
To Kirby, on the need to organize Texas to defeat the New Deal.
Klot, J. J. March-April
Correspondence with Klot, of Columbia College in Debuque, Iowa. Armstrong wanted Klot to distribute Reign.
Klot J. J. April 23
To Klot, on the Democratic party: "the Democratic party is now the negro party.
McCammon. Y. Q. March-April
Correspondence with McCammon on taxes, legal matters and family business.
Poteet, Gibbons April 14
From Poteet, a letter praising Reign.
Panton, S. P. February 6, 24
From Panton, an essay on the money question.
Panton, S. P. March 14
From Panton. Panton warns Armstrong that he might be in danger from "the interest that caused the assassination of Lincoln and later of Huey Long.
Scott, John G. April 27
From Scott, representing an organization called Unite and Demand the Power to Consume, a Social Credit front. Scott offers his perspective on Armstrong's anti-Semitism, which he believes is "considerably more moderate" than most.
Schmalz, Frederick H. March-April
Interesting correspondence with Schmaltz, an advertising executive who attended the 1938 Small Businessmen Conference and distributed Reign of the Elders to some of the delegates.
Smith, Walter P. March 21,
From Smith. Smith writes that reading Reign has convinced him that the Jews have a "plan to rule the world."
True, James April 19
From True, editor of the anti-Semitic Industrial Control Reports newsletter. True criticizes Armstrong for not realizing that "the Republican party has been taken over by Jews."
True, James April 25
From True. An interesting letter. True claims that "a friend" spent several hours with former President Hoover discussing the subject of "Jewish control." True claimed that Hoover was "thoroughly wise to all of its [the Jewish conspiracy] phases."
Thomas, Elmer April 8
From Congressman Thomas, calling Reign of the Elders "one of the most effective explanations of the money question that I have ever seen."
May-June
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. May-June
Correspondence with George Jr. and Allen on family and business matters.
Brown, William May 20
From Brown, a British monetary reform enthusiast, praising Armstrong's new book, Reign of the Elders.
Clark, Frank W. June 15
From Clark, who had worked with Armstrong and Charles P. Smith on the Soldier Bonus campaign of 1928-1932. Clark tries to interest Armstrong in his new political party, the intensely anti-Semitic National Liberty Party, which has "declared war" on "international Jew bankers."
Cranfill, J. B. May 26
From Cranfill, responding to Reign. Cranfill finds himself "out of harmony" with Armstrong on the "question of the Jews. I think those ancient Israelites who have come down to us through oceans of blood ought to be left alone."
Davis, Charles F. May 23
An interesting letter from Davis with some biographical information on Arthur Kitson.
Field, A. N. May 24
From Field, a New Zealand monetary crank and anti-Semite who corresponded occasionally with Armstrong. Field informs Armstrong that the Jesuits are involved in the "Jewish conspiracy" but that other Catholics are merely misguided. "The main job is to make people realize the trouble is Jewish."
Hudson, Charles B. June 4
From Hudson, editor of America In Danger!, an anti-Semitic newsletter. This initiates a long correspondence between Armstrong and Hudson.
Heath, Herbert H. May 13
From Heath, editor of the Hot Springs, New Mexico Herald. An anti-semitic tirade against Roosevelt and "international bankers."
Kositsin, V. N. May-June
Correspondence with Kositsin, a White Russian emigre and anti-Semitic propagandist. Kositsin advises Armstrong on distributing Reign.
McCammon. Y. Q. May-June
Correspondence with McCammon on family business.
Massingale, Senator Sam April 16
Massingale helped distribute Reign of the Elders to his colleagues in the House and Senate. List of Senators and Congressmen who received the book accompanies the letter.
Panton, S. P. June 15
From Panton, passing on some anti-Semitic literature he had received from Arthur Kitson in 1934.
Schmalz, Frederick H. May-June
Correspondence with Schmalz, on monetary reform literature by Fr. Coughlin and others.
Schmalz, Frederick H. May 18
From Schmalz, advising Armstrong that a man in Oregon has requested "$10 worth of those books Reign to distribute among friends."
Schalmz, Frederick H. May 6
From Schmalz, enclosing an interesting letter from a friend who had read Reign, attacking Armstrong's anti-Semitism.
July-August
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. July-August
Correspondence with Allen and George on family and business matters. Armstrong is now leading a more relaxed life, spending his time at Woodstock Plantation in Mississippi, or traveling. He spent the summer of 1938 visiting Taos, Santa Fe, and other places in New Mexico.
O'Daniel, W. Lee August 14
From Armstrong, a letter to the editor of the Dallas News and other papers attacking "Pappy" O'Daniel.
Dies, Martin August 29
To Senator Dies, requesting a copy of the Dies Committee's investigation of Communist and Nazi activities in the U. S. Armstrong asks to be put on Dies' mailing list.
Honest Money Founders, Inc. Biston, James E. July 6-18
Correspondence with Biston, president of the Honest Money Founders, Inc. Like many other "money cranks", Biston is an anti-Semite. This correspondence covers several conspiracy theories involving alleged Jewish plots to rule the world. Includes an anti-Semitic pamphlet that blames the Jews for Fascism, Nazism, Communism, and an alleged English plot to conquer the world. The Honest Money Founders helped Armstrong distribute his books.
Tucker, Clay August 30
To Clay Tucker, the District Attorney of Woodville, Mississippi. Armstrong demands punishment for a white man who murdered one of his black tenant farmers. An interesting vignette of rural racial violence in the deep South.
World Service July 28
From World Service, foreign propaganda branch of the German Nazi government. Armstrong sent a complimentary copy of Reign of the Elders to Hitler. The German Foreign Office sent Armstrong some literature.
September-October
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. September-October
Correspondence with Allen and George on Texas Steel business. Allen was in charge of Texas Steel Co.'s Oil Well Supply Department, and was attempting to expand their business into the West Texas oil fields. These papers provide an interesting account of the oil industry in Texas.
Carden, George October 6
From Carden, Armstrong's former partner in the war contracting business. Carden is now bankrupt, having been ruined by the Depression. He is soliciting a loan from Armstrong.
November-December
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November-December
Correspondence with George and Allen on business and family matters.
American Gentile Protective Association November 28
From Lois de Lafayette Washburn, a founder of the American Gentile Protective Association, inviting Armstrong to join and soliciting financial support. This organization was affiliated with Frank W. Clark's right-wing veterans organization, and the anti-Semitic National Liberty Party.
Carden, George November-December
Correspondence with Carden, who is bankrupt, in ill health, and in need of money.
Shannon, O.K. November-December
Correspondence with Shannon on family and business matters.
Schmalz, Frederick November-December
Correspondence with Schmalz, on the anti-Semitic movement in the United States.
Box
123-125 1939
Armstrong's political activity increased significantly in 1939, as the United States drifted towards war with the Axis powers. Armstrong was a fervent nationalist and an isolationist, and affiliated himself with the extreme right wing of the Isolationist movement. He did not disguise his admiration for Hitler. His contacts with other American anti-Semites multiplied, and the volume of his political correspondence consequently increased. He even contacted foreign anti-Semitic propagandists in Germany, England, Ireland, and New Zealand.
He wrote dozens of Senators and and Congressmen demanding that the U. S. maintain its arms embargo against the Allies. He frequently sent copies of Reign of the Elders, which he claimed exposed an alleged Jewish plot to rule the world, to politicians and business leaders, hoping to influence public policy.
Dr. Ulrich Marquardt, one of Armstrong's correspondents, sent a copy of Reign to General George Van Horn Moseley, at that time perhaps the most well known leader of the anti-Semitic extremist right. The two men were eventually introduced and began corresponding, and Moseley eventually took charge of the Judge Armstrong Foundation
Armstrong's business interests continued to flourish. Oil exploration on his Mississippi land was well under way and showed great promise. Oil discoveries on this Mississippi property would eventually make Armstrong an extremely wealthy man. Texas Steel Co. was now well established and continued to expand, especially the Oil Well Supply Department under Allen Armstrong.
Armstrong's former wife, Jennie May Allen Armstrong, died in 1939. His brother, R. C. Armstrong, died as the result of a fall this same year.
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Binderup, Congressman Charles G.; Carden, George; Corbin, Bruce B.; Connally, Senator Thomas Terry; Crick, Walter; Edmondson, Robert E., publisher of an anti-Semitic newsletter; Field, A. N., a New Zealand anti-Semite; Fleishhauer, Col. Ulrich, editor of the World Service Newsletter, a Nazi publication; Federal Land Bank of New Orleans; Geisenberger, W. A., Armstrong's Natchez lawyer; Howell, James Irving; Hudson, Charles B., publisher of America In Danger!, an anti-Semitic newsletter; Kirby, John H.; Kostitsin, N. V.; Marquardt, Dr. Ulrich, an anti-Semitic propagandist; McCammon, Y. Q.; Pelley Publications, the propaganda organ for William Dudley Pelley's Silver Shirt fascist party; Poteet, Gibbons; Shannon, O. K.; Sheppard, Senator Morris; Thomas, Elmer; True, James, editor of the anti-Semitic newsletter Industrial Control Reports.
January-February
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January-February
Correspondence with George and Allen on business and family matters.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January 10, 22
Exchange of letters with Allen and George. Armstrong is considering resuming full control of Texas Steel Co. Also, his daughter Anne is having problems once again and may require hospitalization.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January 24
Copies of an exchange of letters between Anna, and her brothers George and Allen. Anne claims she is doing better, having recently moved to Florida and secured a job.
Binderup, Congressman Charles G. February 10
To Nebraska Congressman Binderup, on the causes of the Depression. Armstrong tells Binderup that the Depression was brought about deliberately by Jewish manipulation of the currency.
Binderup, Congressman Charles G. February 17
From Congressman Binderup, inviting Armstrong to Join in his monetary reform legislation. Binderup has also written a book on monetary reform.
Field, A. N. January-February
An undated letter from Field, with favorable comments on Armstrong's Reign of the Elders. Field describes the Balfor Declaration as "treason."
Fleishhauer, Col. Ulrich January 11
To Nazi propaganda minister Col. Fleishhauer requesting a pamphlet entitled "Jewish World Conspiracies."
Edmondson, Robert E. March-April [Filed in January-February]
Correspondence with Edmondson, an anti-Semitic propagandist, on Reign of the Elders and related topics.
Howard, James Irving January-February
Correspondence with James Howard, who describes himself as "an economist lecturer dealing with today's problems." Howard was a monetary reform crusader and a conspiracy theorist.
Howard, James Irving January 24
To Howard on W. H. "Coin" Harvey's death. Armstrong says that Harvey's Coin's Financial School was "the first book I ever read on the money question."
Howard, James Irving January 16
From Howard. Howard introduces Armstrong to James True Associates, Robert Edmondson, the American Vigilant Intelligence Federation, and the National Workers Party of England. Edmondson and True published anti-Semitic news-letters. The American Vigilant Intelligence Federation and the National Workers party were small proto-Fascist political organizations.
McGehee, Congressman Dan January-February
Correspondence with Mississippi Congressman McGehee. McGehee helped Armstrong obtain federal funds for the Homochitto Drainage District project.
Marquardt, Dr. Ulrich January 10
To Dr. Marquardt, asking Marquardt if he could get Fr. Coughlin to help distribute Reign.
Shannon, O. K. January-February
Correspondence with Shannon on business and legal matters.
Thompson, Anne Armstrong January-February
Armstrong is at this point refusing to communicate with his daughter, but Anne still keeps in touch with her stepmother, Mary Armstrong. Anne complains that she is too broke to afford Christmas cards.
March-April
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. March-April
Correspondence with Allen and George on business and family matters. The Armstrong's are closely watching the American Federation of Labor's strike against Southern States Steel Co. in Dallas.
Binderup, Congressman Charles January 30
From Binderup, on the money question. Binderup got Armstrong's name from Armstrong's old friend S. P. Panton.
Defenders of the Christian Faith April 22
A note from Defenders acknowledging receipt of Reign of the Elders Armstrong sent Defenders editor and founder Gerald B. Winrod a copy of Reign.(50)
Pelley Publications April 10
Armstrong writes William Dudley Pelley's publishing house for literature.(51)
Panton, S. P. February 17
Interesting letter from Panton reminiscing about "stirring times on the Yellowstone" from about 1881 to 1885. Panton spent some time with one of the Hayden Surveys.
Shannon, O. K. March-April
Correspondence with O. K. Shannon on family business.
True, James March-April
Correspondence with James True, editor of the anti-Semitic newsletter Industrial Control Reports.
True, James April 21
From James True. True informs Armstrong that he is "forming a committee for publishing" right-wing, anti-Semitic literature with the help of Edmondson and George Deatherage.
True, James April 24
From True. True claims to have helped "purge" the Republican party of Jews through the distribution of anti-Semitic literature among key party leaders.
True, James May 1
From True, on lobbying congressmen and senators. "We send everything of the kind (sic) directly to their homes where Jewish secretaries do not have the opportunity to destroy enlightening [anti-Semitic] literature."
True, James June 24
From True, on the growing demand for copies of Reign of the Elders, and on the German American Bund.
Thomas, Elmer May 14
To Senator Thomas, attacking the Federal Reserve and offering advice on monetary reform.
Winrod, Gerald April 3
To Winrod, enclosing a complimentary copy of Reign.
May-June
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. May-June
Correspondence with Allen and George on family and business.
Carden, George May 15
From Carden, who is now bankrupt and desperate for money, reminding Armstrong of a $6,000 debt Armstrong owed Carden from their war contracting business.
Cranfill, J. B. May 20
Armstrong sends Cranfill a copy of Reign of the Elders.
Corbin, Bruce B. May 20
Armstrong sends complimentary copy of Reign to Corbin.
Corbin, Bruce B. May 23
From Corbin. Corbin describes a series of lectures he has prepared on "True Americanism."
Coughlin, Charles E. May 19
Armstrong sends Fr. Coughlin a complimentary copy of Reign.
Davis, Charles F. June 7
From Davis, a monetary reformer and associate of Arthur Kitson and his circle. Davis describes Kitson's attendance at a Nazi congress shortly before his death.
Kirby, John H. May 22
From Kirby. An interesting letter discussing Kirby's intense dislike for Franklin Roosevelt, "that invalid in the White House." Kirby despises Roosevelt so much that he fears "it may imperil my hope of salvation."
Marquardt, Dr. Ulrich June 20
From Dr. Marquardt, enclosing a copy of a letter from Gen. George Van Horn Moseley to Col. Eugene N. Sanctuary. Moseley had recently received a copy of Armstrong's Reign of the Elders. Armstrong would correspond extensively with both Moseley and Sanctuary, and Moseley would eventually become president of the Judge Armstrong Foundation.
Marquardt, Dr. Ulrich June 5
From Marquardt, enclosing a copy of "The Talmud Unmasked", which Marquardt told Armstrong would "open the eyes of many good Christians."
Marquardt, Dr. Ulrich June 9
Armstrong to Marquardt. Armstrong has begun to worry that some of his political activities might cause him trouble with the government, and that he and other anti-Semites might "eventually come under investigation." He urges Marquardt to destroy all previous correspondence with him.
Marquardt, Dr. Ulrich May 24
From Marquardt. Marquardt mentions sending Reign to Gen. Moseley, and advises Armstrong to publish Reign in Germany and Italy.
Merrell, Charles G. May 29
From Merrell, chairman of Merrell Pharmaceuticals, Cincinnati, expressing his admiration for Armstrong's Reign of the Elders.
Poteet, Gibbons June 6
From Poteet, praising Reign and enclosing a list of Poteet's friends who were interested in reading the book.
Panton, S. P. May-June
Correspondence with Panton on monetary issues. Panton praises Armstrong for exposing the "awful conditions inflicted (sic) by the Hebrews." A May 27 letter from Panton contains an anti-Semitic flyer attacking Francis Perkins, Roosevelt Secretary of Labor. Another letter included samples of Nazi propaganda from World Service.(52)
Pelley Publications May 22, 24
Armstrong writes Pelley Publications, the propaganda organ for William Dudley Pelley's Silver Shirts, enclosing a complimentary copy of Reign.
True, James May-June
Correspondence with True, editor and publisher of Industrial Control Reports. True offered to help distribute Armstrong's anti-Semitic writings in the Congress.
True, James June 9
Armstrong also asked True to destroy their correspondence. (See June 9 letter to Dr. Marquardt, above.)
July-August
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. July-August
Correspondence with George and Allen on business and family matters.
Bruggen, Baron N. E. August 14
A long, interesting letter from Baron Bruggen, an aristocratic Swedish anti-Semite. Armstrong sent Bruggen a complementary copy of Reign of the Elders. The Baron discusses the status of the international anti-Semitic movement, and the relation between the "Jewish question" and the "money question." Bruggen approved of Reign but criticized Armstrong for using the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, which he correctly believed to be a forgery.
Crick, Walter June 29
From Crick, a British Fascist. Crick advises Armstrong to get in touch with the Imperial Fascist League, based in London.(53)
Field, A. N. June 24
From A. N. Field, a New Zealand Fascist. Field discusses Father Coughlin's attacks on Jews, and the response by the B' Nai Brith. [This relates to a letter from Fr. Fahey, an anti-Semitic Irish Catholic priest and author of Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World. See Fahey letter, April 25 1939.] Field requests clarification of Coughlin's "facts."
Hudson, Charles B. July-August
Correspondence with Hudson, publisher of America in Danger I, an anti-Semitic newsletter, on distributing Reign. General Moseley is discussed in a July 28 letter.
Kositsin, V. N. July-August
Correspondence with Kositsin, an anti-Semitic White Russian immigrant.
Marquardt, Dr. Ulrich July-August
Correspondence with Dr. Marquardt, including a copy of a letter from Col. Sanctuary to Marquardt, and a review of The Talmud Unmasked, which Sanctuary published. Marquardt and Armstrong also discuss distributing Reign.
Smith, Walter P. July 24
From Smith, who expresses his admiration for Reign, and calls the crucifixion of Christ "the most colossal crime in history."
True, James July-August
Correspondence with True. August 5 letter from True accuses Charles Hudson of treachery. Hudson apparently attacked William Dudly Pelley for some reason, and True took offense. A copy of a letter from True to Hudson is included.
September-October
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. September-October
Family and business correspondence with George and Allen.
Connally, Senator Thomas Terry September-October
Correspondence with Senator Connally. Armstrong urged Connally to keep America neutral and oppose the repeal of the embargo on the sale of arms to the Western Allies.
Carden, George September-October
Carden's fortunes continue to decline.
Lanham, Congressman Fritz October 21
To Lanham, a letter opposing the repeal of the arms embargo. Armstrong believed the move to repeal the embargo was a plot by "World Jewey."
Lanham, Congressman Fritz October 24
Lanham replies, and rejects Armstrong's evidence for a Jewish conspiracy as an anti-Semitic forgery. (Armstrong based his claims on a forged letter outlining a Jewish-English conspiracy to control America. The letter was attributed to Col. E. M. House, an aide to former President Woodrow Wilson.)
King, John P. September-October
Correspondence with King, owner of King's Candy Company, on business.
Kirby, John H. September-October
Correspondence with Kirby on various personal and business matters.
McCammon, Y. Q. September-October
Correspondence with McCammon on family and business matters.
Sheppard, Senator Morris October 29
From Senator Sheppard, declaring himself in favor of neutrality and requesting a copy of Reign of the Elders. Armstrong sent him a copy on October 30.
Sheppard, Senator Morris September 28
From Senator Sheppard. Sheppard now favors repeal of the arms embargo but still considers himself an isolationist.
Sheppard, Senator Morris September 24
To Senator Sheppard: "the President and his Jewish advisers want to take part in this war…"
November-December
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November-December
Family and business correspondence with George and Allen. Armstrong's former wife, Jennie May Armstrong, died on November 2, of a heart attack.
Connally, Senator Thomas Terry November 2
From Connally, responding to Armstrong's opposition to lifting the arms embargo. Connally favored lifting the embargo. Armstrong was busy writing various legislators about the "Col. E. M. House Letter", a document allegedly written by the former advisor to Woodrow Wilson, Col. E. M. House. (See October 24 letter from Connally.) This document supposedly exposed an Anglo-Jewish plot to return America to the status of a British colony. Rep. Jacob Thorkelson, the most outspoken anti-Semite in the U. S. Congress, had enter the House Letter into the Congressional Record. Connally had already dismissed the document as an obvious forgery. Armstrong nevertheless continued to accept its authenticity without question, quoting it extensively in his book High Treason, published in 1944. Armstrong claimed that the Jews were "the actual secret rulers of the nations of the world."(54)
Federal Land Bank of New Orleans November-December
Correspondence with the Federal Land Bank on securing loans for Armstrong's Mississippi property.
Geisenberger, W. A. November-December
Correspondence with Geisenberger, Armstrong's Natchez attorney, on Armstrong's often complex legal problems. Geisenberger had been Armstrong's lawyer since 1934.
Thorkelson, Congressman Jacob October 21
To Thorkelson, on the Col. E. M. House letter, which Armstrong speculates may have been written by Bernard Baruch. Armstrong asks Thorkelson for information that would provide an "imprint of authenticity" for the document, as he intends to use it "in a future publication." (See November-December correspondence Senator Connally.) Armstrong sends Thorkelson a copy of Reign.
Box
126-128 1940
Armstrong spent 1940 concentrating on his Mississippi properties. He was especially anxious to complete the twenty year old Homochitto Drainage District project. `Allen and George Jr., continued to work on the development and expansion of Texas Steel Co. Allen expanded the Oil Well Supply Department. As the government increased defense spending to prepare for possible involvement in the European war, George worked at soliciting war contracts for the manufacture of shell casings.
Armstrong kept abreast of politics and current events but was not deeply involved in politics in 1940. He flirted with the America First movement and corresponded with William Lemke, the North Dakota congressman who had been the presidential candidate for the isolationist Union party in 1936.(55) Armstrong devoted most of his political energies to composing The Rothschild Money Tract, yet another anti-Semitic tract.
John H Kirby, Armstrong's lifelong friend and benefactor, died on November 9 of this year. Armstrong established a trust fund for Kirby's widow.
Correspondents: Anderson, F. A.; Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr; Crick, Walter; Geisenberger, W. W.; Kirby, John H.; Lemke, Congressman William; Lanham, Congressman Fritz; McCammon, Y. Q.; McGehee, Congressman Dan; Panton, S. P.; Shannon, O. K.; Thompson, B. V. Sr.; Thompson, B. V. Jr.
Selected Correspondence 1940
January
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January-February
Family and business correspondence with Allen and George Jr.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January 18
To Allen Armstrong, on how to deal with Anne's recurring problem with alcohol.
Crick, Walter January-February
Correspondence with Crick, a British monetary reformer and anti-Semite. Crick was an associate of the late Arthur Kitson.
Geisenberger, W. A. January-February
Correspondence with Geisenberger on Armstrong's legal affairs.
Lanham, Congressman Fritz January-February
Correspondence with Lanham on the Frazer-Lemke bill, and on the activities of the Dies Committee.
Lemke, William January-February
Correspondence with Lemke on the Frazer-Lemke amended bankruptcy bill.
Maloney, Dr. J. M. A. January 18
To Dr. Maloney, asking for information on the authenticity of the Col. E. M. House letter.
McCammon, Y. Q. January-February
Correspondence with McCammon on legal affairs.
McGehee, Congressman Dan January February
Correspondence with McGehee on the Frazer-Lemke bill and other matters.
Sheppard, Senator Morris January-February
Correspondence with Sheppard on the Frazer-Lemke bankruptcy bill.
Sumners, Congressman Hatton W. January-February
Correspondence with Sumners on the Frazer-Lemke Bankruptcy Act.
Shannon, O. K. February 23
From Shannon, discussing Armstrong's plan to establish a trust fund to distribute his books after his death.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. February 9
Interesting letter from Armstrong's nephew Beverly Thompson Jr. (Anne Armstrong Thomson's son.) Beverly was in Fort Worth looking for work. The letter indicates that Armstrong was trying to convert Thompson to his anti-Semitic political philosophy.
March-April
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. March-April
Correspondence with Allen and George on business. Texas Steel was engaged in a price war with competing oil well supply companies.
Geisenberger, W. A. March-April
Correspondence with Geisenberger on legal matters.
Lemke, William March-April
Correspondence with Lemke on the progress of the Frazer-Lemke Bankruptcy Act.
McGehee, Congressman Dan March-April
Correspondence with McGehee on the Frazer-Lemke Bankruptcy Act.
Shannon, O. K. March-April
Correspondence with Shannon on Armstrong's legal battles against price cutting by his competitors.
Sumners, Congressman Hatton W. March-April
Exchange of letters with Sumners on the Frazer-Lemke Bankruptcy Act, including a copy of the bill.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. May 30
To Thompson, who is now working at Texas Steel.
May-June
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. May-June
Correspondence with George and Allen. Texas Steel Co. is suing some of its competitors over price cutting. These files contain documents and statistical data relating to these cases.
Geisenberger, W. A. May-June
Correspondence with Geisenberger on Armstrong's legal affairs in Mississippi.
Panton, S. P. May 2
From Panton, a historical essay on the history of the "Money Question", discussing the monetary battles of the 1870s, '80s, '90s, and the "Crime of '73."
July-August
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. July-August
Correspondence with George and Allen relating to family and business matters. Texas Steel Co. was at this time actively seeking defense contracts.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. July 8
Interesting letter from Allen, discussing Gen. Moseley and Armstrong's latest anti-Semitic book. Allen asked his father to delay publishing the book because of concerns for "Your personal safety and the possible effects on your business and ours." Allen feared that the government might hesitate to award defense contracts to a company owned by someone who wrote books advocating political opinions that were arguably pro-Axis.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. August 27
To Allen, on Armstrong's plans to involve Texas Steel Co. in the nation's expanding war industry. Armstrong hopes to win Army and Navy contracts to manufacture 60mm shells.
Kirby, John H. July-August
Correspondence with Kirby on some recent fire damage to Kirby's Peach Tree Village property.
September-October
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. September-October
Correspondence with Allen and George on Texas Steel Co. business. The oil well supply company continues to expand, adding new buildings and equipment; they continue to seek 60mm shell contracts from the Ordinance Department. Texas Steel Co. continues to press its price cutting suit against its competition.
Shannon, O. K. September-October
Correspondence with Shannon on suits against Armstrong's competition over price cutting.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. September 24
From Beverly Thompson. Beverly makes the interesting remark that he once contemplated joining the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. He is currently planning to join the Air Force, because he believes that America' entry into the war is imminent.
November-December
Anderson, F. A. November-December
Correspondence with Anderson on the Homochitto Drainage District project.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. September-October
Correspondence with George and Allen on war contracts; correspondence relating to the reorganization of Texas Steel Co., and related subjects.
Bailey, Senator William J. November 11
From Bailey, on John H. Kirby's death on November 9. Bailey reflects on Kirby's life and career.
Box
129 1937-1940
Records relating to Mary C. Armstrong's real estate investments in Natchez, Mississippi.
1-8 Starting in 1937, Armstrong's wife Mary began investing in real estate in and around Natchez. These files contain correspondence and other documents relating to Mrs. Armstrong's properties and her dealings with her tenants.
Box
130 1940-1945
Records relating to the Magnolia Inn.
In 1940, Mrs. Armstrong purchased the Magnolia Inn, an historic but badly decayed Natchez plantation house. She renovated the building and turned it into a bed-and-breakfast establishment. The Magnolia Inn was a popular stop on the annual Natchez Pilgrimage, a tour of Natchez' historic Anti-bellum homes and public buildings.
1 Magnolia Inn records-city and state tax certificates and operating licences.
2 Magnolia Inn furniture and linen inventories.
3 Correspondence with the Monroe Furniture Company on furnishing Magnolia Inn.
4 Financial statements.
4 Tax records and correspondence with the IRS.
6 Correspondence with Y. Q. McCammon on Magnolia Inn taxes.
7 Correspondence relating to the Natchez Pilgrimage.
8 Correspondence with the Pilgrimage Garden Club, a sponsor of the Natchez Pilgrimage.
9 Correspondence on Magnolia Inn room rental rates.
10 General correspondence relating to Magnolia Inn.
Box
131 1940-1954
Plantation records-correspondence of John L. Berryhill.
John L. Berryhill was Armstrong's plantation foreman, and was responsible for general operations on all of his Mississippi properties. These files consist of Berryhill's correspondence with Armstrong and others on the daily business of the plantations. Berryhill was very meticulous, and kept careful records of all his activities, and made sure that Armstrong was kept well informed. These files also contain records relating to Armstrong's tenants, and include drawings and maps showing the locations of the various tenants farms.
The papers are arranged in alphabetical order.
Box
132-135 1941
America's involvement in the Second World War had profound effects on Armstrong's family, friends, and business. This section of correspondence reflects the drastic changes America's entry into the war caused in American society.
Texas Steel Co.'s rapid expansion was accelerated by the coming of the war. Armstrong and his sons initiated a crash program to build a new plant in Port Arthur devoted to defense production. The bulk of the correspondence in these files concerns defense contracts and the construction of the Port Arthur plant.(56)
Political correspondence is conspicuously absent. Armstrong was too busy to indulge in political activity. Also, he seems to have been concerned that his extreme right-wing views might be construed as pro-Axis by liberal New Dealers, and this would not enhance his chances in winning defense contracts or funds for his new plant in Port Arthur. However, he continued to anonymously publish anti-Semitic material.
Armstrong's correspondence with his nephew B. V. Thompson is interesting. Armstrong had become quite fond of his nephew and kept up a regular correspondence with him. Thompson had recently become an Army Air Force officer and a bomber pilot.
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Barker, Charles D., of the Beaumont Industrial Bureau; Blanton, R. B., of the Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce; Connelly, Senator Thomas Terry; McCammon, Y. Q.; O'Daniel. W. Lee; Panton, S. P.; Shannon, O. K.; Thompson, Anne Armstrong; Thompson, B. V. Sr.; Thompson, B. V. Jr.
Selected Correspondence 1941
January-February
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January-February
Correspondence with Allen and George on expanding Texas Steel Co.; negotiations on war contracts with Gen. Wesson; correspondence discussing talks on war contracts with Sen. Morris Sheppard; Dr. Walter S. Tower, of the National Defense Council; and Maj. R. J. Hogan of the Ordinance Department. Extensive correspondence on the Port Arthur Texas Steel plant.
McCammon, Y. Q. January-February
Correspondence with McCammon on legal and personal matters.
Natchez Democrat February 19
Letter to the editor of the Natchez Democrat endorsing taxes for farm to market roads in Mississippi.
Panton, S. P. April 9
From Panton, with some personal and biographical data. Panton reflects on the "awful bombing of London."
Shannon, O. K. January-February
Correspondence with Shannon on the price cutting suit and other legal matters.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. January 22
To B. V. Jr., a letter of advice and moral instruction.
March-May
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. March-April
Extensive correspondence with George and Allen on war contracts and the construction of the Port Arthur plant.
Barker, Charles D. March-May
Correspondence with Barker, of the Beaumont Industrial Bureau, on Texas Steel Co.'s plans to build a plant in Port Arthur.
Blanton, R. B. March-May
Correspondence with Blanton relating to the Port Arthur plant. Blanton represented the Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce.
O'Daniel, W. Lee April 7, 10
Correspondence with Texas governor "Pappy" O'Daniel on the importance of "right to work" laws. Armstrong also supported the passage of a bill that would allow the maximum truck load on Texas highways to be increased from 7,000 pounds to 28,000 ponds.
Thompson, B. V. Thompson, B. V. Jr. March-May
Correspondence with B. V. Sr. and B. V. Jr. B. V. Jr. joins the Air Force in March and goes to Palo Alto for training.
June-July
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. June-July
Correspondence with George and Allen on war contracts and the continued expansion of the Fort Worth plant. Correspondence on the Port Arthur project involves very detailed and extensive discussions of technical questions relating to plant construction.
Rossen, Frank June 27, 28
Exchange of letters with Frank Rossen, a friend of Anne Armstrong Thompson, on Anne's worsening alcoholism.
Social Justice July 27
Armstrong subscribes to Coughlin's Social Justice magazine.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. June 12
From B. V. Jr. Thompson is now in pilot training, preparing for officers school, and contemplating marriage. He does not believe that America should enter the war although he believes that it is inevitable.
August-September
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. August-September
Correspondence with George and Allen on the Port Arthur project, and on war contracts and related business. Judge Armstrong has begun an extensive road building project on his Mississippi plantations. Texas Steel Co. is negotiating a contract with the CIO.
Much of the correspondence in these files pertains to these negotiations and other problems with labor. These files include minutes of contract negotiations.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. August 1
From George, on the CIO's organizing activities and contract negotiations with their union.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. August 5
From George. Texas Steel workers reject the CIO and vote for an "independent" union and a 10% pay increase.
Daniel, W. Lee September-August
Correspondence with Senator O'Daniel.
Shannon, O. K. August-September
Correspondence with Shannon on corporate legal affairs.
Thompson, Anne Armstrong August-September
Correspondence with Anne, who is currently undergoing treatment for alcoholism in Galveston.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. August-September
Correspondence with Thompson on his experience in the military. B. V., has almost completed his pilot training.
October-November
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. October-November
Correspondence with Allen and George on plant expansion projects in Fort Worth and on the progress of the new plant in Port Arthur.
Thompson, B. V. October 28
From B. V. Thompson, informing Armstrong that B. V. Thompson Jr. has graduated from flight school.
November-December
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November-December
Correspondence with Allen and George on Texas Steel Co. and other business.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. December 10
From Armstrong, discussing the progress of the Port Arthur plant and America's entrance into the war on December 7. From this point on the business correspondence reflects the contingencies of war.
Connelly, Senator Thomas Terry December 29
Correspondence with Connelly on problems with the new plant in Port Arthur.
Carnegie, Dale November 15-24
Exchange of letters with Carnegie on a column Carnegie wrote about Armstrong's career.
Shannon, O. K. November-December
Correspondence with Shannon on legal matters, especially on Armstrong's concern that his estate should be in order for his heirs. Armstrong wished to leave "a family fortune for my descendents."
Thompson, Anne Armstrong November-December
Correspondence with Anne, who has recently joined Alcoholics Anonymous and begun the process of recovery. Anne is living in Houston and working in a clothing store.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. December 11
Thompson's first letter after Pearl Harbor. He is now a pilot and is flying new bombers from the factories to designated air fields throughout the country.
Box
136-138 1942
Gibbons Poteet, an old Populist and a longtime correspondent of Armstrong's, died in January of 1942. S. P. Panton, however, still carried on at the ripe age of ninety-four. Most of Armstrong's older political associates from the 1920s had succumbed to old age and death. This did not prevent Armstrong from finding new friends and allies on the extreme right. He had established ties with Elizabeth Dilling, William Dudley Pelley, Gerold Winrod and George Van Horn Moseley. Nevertheless, there is very little political correspondence in these files. There is some evidence that Armstrong destroyed any correspondence that could have been politically embarrassing. (See the letter to Dr. Ulrich Marquadt, June 9, 1939.) Armstrong was not completely intimidated by the war-time atmosphere, and continued to write and publish anti-Semitic literature. In 1942 he anonymously published a new anti-Semitic tract, The Rothschild Money Trust.(57)
The ambitious Port Arthur project ended in failure because of contract disputes with the Army and Navy, and problems controlling cost. War caused the steel industry to boom, so Texas Steel Co. made money in spite of the failure in Port Arthur. In any event, fresh oil discoveries on his Mississippi plantations more than compensated Armstrong for any losses in Port Arthur.
Armstrong's nephew B. V. Thompson Jr. was now a 2nd lieutenant in the Air Force and busy flying taxi missions from factories to air fields. Allen Armstrong volunteered his services to the diplomatic corps.
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Dilling, Elizabeth; McCammon, Y. Q.; Mississippi River Commission; O'Daniel, W. Lee; Panton, S. P.; Poteet, Gibbons; Rankin, John.; Shannon, O. K.; Thompson, Anne Armstrong; Thompson, B. V.; Thompson, B. V. Jr.
Selected Correspondence 1942
January-February
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January-February
Correspondence with George and Allen on war production and the Port Arthur plant.
McCammon, Y. Q. January-February
Correspondence with McCammon on Texas Steel Co. business.
Poteet, Gibbons-death of January 17
From J. P. Poteet, on the death of his brother Gibbons.
Shannon, O. K. January-February
Correspondence with Shannon on Texas Steel Co., the Armstrong family trust fund and other family business.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. January-February
Correspondence with Thompson on his experiences in the Air Force. Thompson plans to marry in June.
Thompson, Anne Armstrong January-February
Correspondence with Anne on personal and family matters.
March-April
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. March April
Correspondence with George and Allen on labor problems, war production at Texas Steel Co. and related topics. Mary C. Armstrong's Magnolia Inn business in Natchez is also discussed.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. April 29
From Allen, on the need to "weed out" AFL organizers and members active at the Texas Steel Co. plant.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. March 9
From Allen, a letter indicating he suspected sabotage was at the root of persistent problems with the Port Arthur project.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. March 18
To the American Automobile Association requesting a listing for the Magnolia Inn in AAA publications.
Jones, Jesse February 26
To Jones, Federal Loan Administration officer, alleging that the Port Arthur project was undermined by "alien conspirators who sought to hinder and delay the building of the plant, and to obtain control of it."
Shannon, O. K. March-April
Correspondence with Shannon on business and legal matters.
Shannon, O. K. April 19, 20
Shannon discusses legal measures to block union organizing at Texas Steel.
Thompson, Anne Armstrong March-April
Anne continues to suffer from recurrent bouts of alcoholism.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. March 2
B. V. gets married in San Francisco.
May-June
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. May-June
Correspondence with George and Allen on business and family matters. Correspondence relating to the Port Arthur project indicates that the deal has gone sour and the Armstrong's are in danger of losing control of the plant.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. June 20
From Allen. Allen has decided to enter the diplomatic corps, reasoning that "our [Texas Steel Co.] relations with the government will probably improve should I enter the service." Allen also wrote a June 20 letter to Senator Connally, thanking the Senator for help in getting into the service. Allen hoped for a post in Mexico.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. June 15
A letter expressing Allen's interest in the military intelligence or the diplomatic corps. This file includes correspondence with Fritz Lanham, Senator Tom Connally, Nelson Rockefeller and other politicians and diplomats.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. May 29
To Allen and George, on continuing labor troubles and suggestions for defeating the union.
Shannon, O. K. April 25
From Shannon, with data on labor problems at Texas Steel Co., and Armstrong's plans to curtail union membership at the plant.
July-September
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. July-September
Correspondence with George and Allen on the Port Arthur plant and on labor problems at the Fort Worth plant. The Port Arthur deal has finally fallen through and the Armstrong's have decided to pull out. A July 2 letter from Allen discusses negotiations with the union at the Fort Worth plant.
Dilling, Elizabeth August 8, 29
Exchange of letters with Dilling, an anti-Semitic author at extreme right wing books and pamphlets in the 30s and 40s. Dilling was one of thirty defendants recently indicted for treason under the Smith Act, for allegedly advocating the overthrow of the U. S. government and its replacement with a fascist state. Dilling asks Armstrong for financial support and discusses her arrest for sedition. She encloses a copy of her newsletter. Armstrong sent her $100. Armstrong became acquainted with other defendants and took an interest in the trial throughout its long and convoluted course. Dilling and Armstrong carried on a rather extensive correspondence. Dilling sent Armstrong her newsletter and frequent updates on the course of the trial.(58)
O'Daniel, W. Lee July-September
Correspondence with Senator O'Daniel, on various bills of interest to Armstrong. Armstrong sent O'Daniel a $100 contribution and supported him in frequent letters-to-the-editor.
Sanderson, S. O. July 8
Postcard from S. O. Sanderson, an organizer for the Greenback Party of Minnesota, requesting copies of Crime of '20.
Sanderson, S. O. June (undated)
From Social Justice Publishing Co., Social Justice magazine has been labeled "seditious" by Attorney General Biddle, and has suspended publication.
October-November
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. October-November
Correspondence with Allen and George. Allen has left Texas Steel Co. to serve in the diplomatic corps. Texas Steel Co. has abandoned the Port Arthur plant.
Dilling, Elizabeth August 9
From Dilling, thanking Armstrong for his contribution.
Hoffman, Congressman Clare November 17
To Hoffman, complimenting him for anti-New Deal politics. Armstrong calls for Southern opposition to Negro equality, and urges that the poll tax be used to prevent Black people from voting.
McCammon, Y. Q. October-November
Correspondence with McCammon on business and legal matters.
Mississippi Valley River Commission October-November
Correspondence on flood control projects and other matters relating to the Mississippi river and the Homochitto Drainage District project. Map of St. Catherine Creek is included.
O'Daniel, W. Lee October 17
From Senator O'Daniel, thanking Armstrong for his support.
Panton, S. P. October-November
Correspondence with Panton, updating Armstrong on his activities. Includes copies of letters Panton has been sending economists on the money question. Panton rails against the "Teutonic-Semitic bankers" and says that World War II is a "war against silver", that is, against silver money and inflationary monetary theory.
Panton, S. P. December 22
To Panton. Armstrong is being investigated by the FBI in connection to his new anti-Semitic book, The Rothschild Money Trust.(59)
Rankin, John November 20
From Rankin, thanking Armstrong for his support in the fight against the repeal of the poll tax. Rankin attributes the move to repeal the poll tax to "communistic crackpots."
Shannon, O. K. October-December
Correspondence with Shannon on family and business matters.
Box
139-141 1943
This was an eventful year. More lucrative oil sites were discovered on Armstrong's Mississippi property. Texas Steel considered maintaining a small plant in Port Arthur, but had essentially abandoned the original concept of a large defense plant. Allen returned to America from Mexico, where he had been serving with the diplomatic corps. Judge Armstrong spent most of his business related energies on lobbying against excess profits tax legislation.
Armstrong renewed his political activity. He published Corruption of America, another anti-Semitic tract exposing "Jewish conspiracies." He began an extensive correspondence with Elizabeth Dilling, who was at that time under indictment for sedition. (See above, August 8 & 29 correspondence with Dilling.) Armstrong wanted Dilling to help him distribute Corruption in Congress. Armstrong also contributed generously to Dilling's defence fund. This correspondence discusses the indictments against Dilling and her co-defendants', and gives interesting accounts of the trial from the defendants point of view. Dilling sent Armstrong copies of pamphlets and newsletters from her Patriotic Research Bureau. Armstrong renewed his correspondence with James True, who was one of Dilling's co-defendants. Armstrong himself received two visits from the FBI.(60)
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Coughlin, Fr. Charles E.; Dilling, Elizabeth; Dies, Martin; McGehee, Congressman Dan; O'Daniel, Senator W. Lee; Patman, Congressman Wright; Rankin, Congressman John E. Shannon, O. K.; True, James; Thorkelson, Congressman Jacob; Wallace, J. L., a Fort Worth printer who printed some of Armstrong's books.
Selected Correspondence 1943
January-February
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January-February
Correspondence with Allen and George. New oil fields are discovered on Armstrong's Mississippi plantations. The Armstrong's decide to sell their interest in the Port Arthur plant to a Chicago firm.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. February 1
From George Jr., complimenting Armstrong on his most recent oil discoveries.
Donahue Steel Co. January-February
Correspondence with Donahue Steel Co. on disposing of the Port Arthur plant and its equipment.
Dies, Martin January-February
Correspondence with Congressman Dies. Armstrong avidly followed the work of the Dies Committee, and believed that Dies was "saving the country from Bolshevism".
Dilling, Elizabeth December 28
From Dilling, thanking Armstrong for a contribution. Dilling discusses preparations for her approaching sedition trial.
Lanham, Congressman Fritz January-February
Correspondence with Lanham on politics.
McGehee, Congressman Dan January-February
Exchange of letters with Congressman McGehee, primarily attacks against the New Deal.
O'Daniel, W. Lee February 11
To Senator O'Daniel, praising his "educational" work against the New Deal."
Panton, S. P. March-April
From Panton, on the money question. Panton encloses a pamphlet from the Honest Money Founders.
Rankin, John January-February
Exchange of letters with Senator Rankin. Armstrong praised Rankin's anti-New Deal efforts.
Shannon, O. K. January-February
Correspondence with Shannon on business and legal matters.
March-April
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. March April
Correspondence with George and Allen. Correspondence on Texas Steel Co. war contracts. Correspondence with Allen on his activities in Mexico with the diplomatic corps.
Panton, S. P. March-April
Correspondence with Panton on the Federal Reserve Board and the Thomas Bill (HR 678).
Patman, Congressman Wright March 5
To Patman, on aid to small plants involved in war production.
Patman, Congressman Wright March 26
To Patman, defending Texas Steel Co.'s right to government aid.
Rankin, John March 14
To Senator Rankin. Armstrong complains that Negroes have been "corrupted by the New Deal."
Thomas, Elmer March 2
To Senator Thomas, criticizing the Thomas Bill for the reform of the Federal Reserve Board. Armstrong believed the reforms Thomas wanted were not inflationary enough. Armstrong also called for the abolition of various New Deal agencies.
Thomas, Elmer March 18
From Thomas, on his own monetary theories and on proposals to stabilize the dollar after the war.
Thomas, Elmer March 25
From Senator Thomas, defending his Federal Reserve reform bill.
May-June
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. May-June
Correspondence with George and Allen. Correspondence with Allen, who is in Mexico with the diplomatic corps. Other correspondence concerns Texas Steel Co.'s war contracts. Armstrong continues his successful quest for oil on his Mississippi plantations.
Cooley, Congressman Harold D. June 5
To Congressman Cooley, complaining that the Farm Security Administration "is the nucleus of communistic tenant organizations."
Dilling, Elizabeth May-June
Correspondence with Dilling on the sedition trial. Armstrong sends Dilling $300 for her defense fund, and $ 100 for the other defendants. Armstrong fears his mail is being tampered with. He wants to know "if Lord Beverbrook is a Jew." Armstrong asks Dilling to help distribute his books and pamphlets.
Elizardi, Esther May-June
Correspondence with Esther Elizardi, a friend of Anne Armstrong Thompson's who is helping her in her struggle against alcoholism. Ms. Elizardi was a recovered alcoholic and member of Alcoholics Anonymous who befriended Anne and frequently corresponded with Judge Armstrong. In spite of his occasional assertions that he was "done with" Anne, Armstrong showed deep concern for his daughter and always hoped for her eventual recovery. Anne would eventually overcome her drinking problem, and helped Ether Elizardi start an AA chapter in Fort Worth. Ms. Elizardi writes that Anne "has secured a job at Neiman's."
Panton, S. P. June 23
An anti-semitic tirade from Panton. Panton alleges that he was told by "backers of Bryan in 1896" that Bryan lost because of Jewish control of the press, and that Jews control "almost all" industry.
True, James April 26, May 15
Correspondence with True. Account of Armstrong's encounter with two FBI agents in relation to his publication of Rothschild Money Trust.
July-August-September
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. August-September
Correspondence with Allen, George, and others relating to Texas Steel Co., war contracts and other matters. The Armstrongs have reconsidered their decision to sell off the Port Arthur plant. Oil production in Mississippi is progressing satisfactorily. Judge Armstrong is becoming more politically active.
Coughlin, Charles E. August 2
Armstrong sends Fr. Coughlin a copy of his newest book, Corruption of America.
Dilling, Elizabeth August-September
Correspondence with Dilling on the progress of the conspiracy trial, and on the prospects of distributing Corruption of America to the Congress. Dilling also discusses her personal life, and problems with her husband.
Leach, Mary August-September
Correspondence with Mary Leach, Dilling's secretary, on distributing Corruption to U. S. Congressmen. Dilling and her staff were extravagant in their praise of Corruption. Armstrong sent them 100 copies of the book, plus $100 to help with distribution. A list of right wing leaders to whom Leach sent Corruption is included.
O'Daniel, W. Lee August 9
To O'Daniel, on the possibility of organizing opposition to Roosevelt; Armstrong asks O'Daniel to help distribute his book.
Panton, S. P. July-September
Correspondence with Panton. Panton gives some interesting autobiographical accounts of his early life and travels in the West with the Hayden survey expedition. Other letters are rambling attacks on Roosevelt filled with racist venom. Panton is well into his 90s'.
Rankin, John July 28
To Senator Rankin, asking his help in distributing Corruption. Armstrong also expresses fear of prosecution due to some possibly treasonous statements in Corruption.
True, James September 15
From True, on the progress of the sedition trial. True also speculates on the possible outcome of the war.
Wallace, J. L. July-September
Correspondence with Wallace, a Fort Worth, Texas printer, on printing and distributing Corruption of America.
Wheeler, Senator Burton K. August 2
Armstrong asks Wheeler's help in distributing Corruption.
October-December
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. October-December
Correspondence with Allen, George and others on Texas Steel Co. business, the Port Arthur project, and war contracts. Armstrong was also interested in legislation that would ease the tax burden on small industrial enterprises such as Texas Steel. These files include copies of correspondence relating to taxes with Senator O'Daniel, Senator Connally and others. Other correspondence relates to Armstrong's interest in amending the Federal Reserve Act.
Connally, Senator Thomas Terry October-December
Correspondence with Senator Connelly on amending the tax laws to reduce excess profits tax.
Crawford, Garfield Common Citizen's Radio Committee October-December
Correspondence with Crawford, treasurer of Senator O'Daniel's Common Citizen's Radio Committee. The Committee's purpose was to promote O'Daniel's concept of "Americanism." Correspondence discusses plans to promote O'Daniel's programs through radio and newspaper advertising. Armstrong sent the committee a $100 contribution.
Dilling, Elizabeth October-December
Extensive correspondence with Dilling on Corruption of America and the possibility that its contents could be considered seditious. Several letters from Dilling discuss the details of her trial. Armstrong was very anxious that "my name not be mentioned to anyone" in relation to his financial support for Dilling and some of her co-defendants.
Dilling, Elizabeth November 21
To Dilling, explaining certain revisions he was making to Corruption, notably the second paragraph on the second page.
Dilling, Elizabeth November 24
To Armstrong. Dilling cites "half a dozen" seditious statements in the first half of Corruption. She believes that "it would be foolhardy for anyone" to attempt to distribute it. (Not even Armstrong's friend Congressman Dan McGehee would help distribute the book in congress.)
Dilling, Elizabeth November 16
An interesting document: Dilling sends Armstrong a copy of a postal order informing Dilling that her Patriotic Research Bureau could not send Corruption through the U. S. mails.
Leach, Mary October-December
Correspondence with Mary Leach. Dilling's secretary on plans to distribute Corruption of America to members of congress and Southern governors.
Miller, J. Balfour October-December
Correspondence with Miller on brokering oil leases in Mississippi.
McGehee, Congressman Dan October-December
Correspondence with McGehee on distributing Corruption of America to members of congress.
McCammon, Y. Q. October-December
Correspondence with McCammon on oil production in Mississippi.
O'Daniel, W. Lee October-December
Correspondence with O'Daniel on supporting O'Daniel's anti-New Deal Common Citizen's Radio Committee.
O'Daniel, W. Lee September 29
From O'Daniel. The Senator is rather cool towards the notion of helping Armstrong distribute Corruption to senators and congressmen.
O'Daniel, W. Lee October 8
From Armstrong, attacking the New Deal. Armstrong describes the New Deal as a "Roosevelt-Communistic-Wall Street" coalition.
Panton, S. P. October-December
More news from Lake Moneybegone.
Stevenson, Coke September 27
To Stevenson, urging him to run for president against Roosevelt and praising his "courageous stand" against the New Deal.
True, James October-December
Correspondence with True on distributing anti-Semitic literature. Armstrong sends True a copy of Corruption, which Dilling is afraid to distribute. True is one of Dilling's co-defendants in the sedition trial. Armstrong sends True a $100 "Christmas gift."
True, James September 25
From True, discussing his current problems and plans for the future.
Thorkelson, Congressman Jacob November 18
From Thorkelson's secretary, on the "E. M. House letter", which Armstrong quoted extensively in Corruption and High Treason. Armstrong is promised another copy of the House letter.
Box
142 1942-1943
Triangle Ranch Papers 1942-1943
These papers consist of correspondence with R. C. Armstrong and Y. Q. McCammon about oil and gas development on Triangle Ranch, one of Armstrong's Mississippi plantations. R. C. Armstrong and Y. Q. McCammon were both nephews of Judge Armstrong's.
Three folders contain deeds, lease agreements, maps, and other documents relating to tracts of land on Triangle Ranch slated for oil exploration and development.
These files apparently refer to a particular business venture jointly undertaken by R. C. Armstrong, Y. Q. McCammon, and Judge Armstrong. R. C. Armstrong was at this time also a Vice President and plant manager at Texas Steel Co. in Fort Worth.
The folders containing the deeds, maps and related material are numbered 1-3. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically.
1-3 Deeds, maps and other material relating to oil and gas exploration on Triangle ranch.
Armstrong, R. C.
Correspondence of R. C Armstrong relating to royalty, leases, and other business on Triangle Ranch.
California Oil Co.
Correspondence with the California Co. on oil and natural gas exploration on Triangle Ranch and other plantations owned by Armstrong in Mississippi.
Dixie Geological Survey
Correspondence with the Dixie Geological Survey, a surveying company hired to assist in oil and gas exploration in Mississippi.
Engle & Laub
Correspondence with Engle and Laub, Armstrong's Natchez attorneys, on the activities of the California Co. relating to oil and gas exploration on Triangle Ranch.
Hunt, George D.
Deed of purchase and contract with Hunt.
Laub, S. B.
Correspondence with Laub, a lawyer with the firm Engle and Laub, on Triangle Ranch Business.
McCammon, Y. Q.
Correspondence with McCammon on Triangle Ranch business. Extensive correspondence on oil and gas exploration and related matters.
Box
143-145 1944
This was an interesting year for Armstrong, both politically and financially. Revenues from oil and gas development continued to strengthen his financial position, in spite of the costly failure of the Port Arthur venture. The business correspondence contains extensive material on the controversy between Texas Steel Co. and the War Department that contributed to the failure of the Port Arthur plant.
Correspondence with James True, Elizabeth Dilling, and other defendants provide an account of the sedition trial against American fascists prosecuted by the Justice Department between 1942 and 1944. Armstrong's correspondence gives further details of his own problems with the FBI because of his anonymously published books, High Treason and Corruption of America. (See correspondence with Dilling, August 1942.) Both of these works were intensely anti-Semitic and anti-New Deal, and in the context of America's war against Germany and Japan, might have been interpreted as pro-Axis.
Other political correspondence relates to the beginnings of the Dixiecrat movement, the post-war white supremacist reaction against the civil rights initiatives of the Roosevelt and Truman administrations.
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Bailey, Senator William J.; Dies, Congressman Martin; Dilling, Elizabeth; Kirby, Mrs. John H.; Leach, Mary; McGehee, Congressman Dan; O'Daniel, Senator W. Lee; Panton, S. P. True, James; Thorkelson, Congressman Jacob; Thompson, Anne Armstrong; the Texas Regulars, the Dixiecrat faction of the Texas Democratic party.
Selected Correspondence 1944
January-March
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January-March
Correspondence with Allen and George on Texas Steel Co., defense contracts, the Port Arthur project and related business.
Bailey, Senator William J. January-March
Correspondence with Bailey on some legal problems he was having with some Fort Worth real estate.
Crawford, Garfield Common Citizen's Radio Fund January-February
Correspondence with Crawford on the Draft O'Daniel For President movement. Crawford wanted Armstrong to endorse O'Daniel and help fund an advertising campaign on the radio and in the press.
Dilling, Elizabeth January-March
Correspondence with Dilling on the sedition trial, including some news clippings relating to the trial. Dilling discusses her personal life and her impending divorce from her husband Albert W. Dilling. Albert Dilling was a lawyer who shared his wife's extreme political views and acted as a defense counsel for her and other defendants in the sedition case. Armstrong sent Dilling another $100 contribution.(61)
Muse, Vance Christian American January-March
Correspondence with Muse, editor of the far-right Christian American news letter, which promoted "Americanism" and attacked organized labor.(62)
McGehee, Congressman Dan January-March
Correspondence with Congressman McGehee. McGehee helped Armstrong obtain a copy of the "Col. E. M. House letter" which had been printed in the Congressional Record.
O'Daniel, W. Lee January-March
Correspondence with O'Daniel on "the dangerous condition of the country." Armstrong is making radio speeches attacking the New Deal.
Panton, S. P. January-March
Panton's letters have become somewhat repetitive tirades against "Jewish control of the press." Armstrong discusses his newfound wealth, and mentions a new visit from the FBI.
True, James January-March
Correspondence with True on the sedition trial and on a proposed anti-New Deal crusade. Armstrong sends True a $100 contribution.
Thorkelson, Congressman Jacob January 11
To Thorkelson, requesting a copy of the Col. E. M. House letter. Thorkelson did not reply.
April-May
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. April-May
Correspondence with Allen and George on Texas Steel Co., the Port Arthur plant and related business.
California Company April-May
Correspondence with the California Company on oil leases in Mississippi.
Crawford, Garfield Common Citizen's Radio Committee April-May
Correspondence with Garfield Crawford, treasurer of the Common Citizen's Radio Committee. Includes literature on the purpose of the Committee and on O'Daniel's politics.
Dies, Martin. April-May
Armstrong wrote Dies praising the work of the House Un-American Activities Committee, and urging Dies to run for President.
Dallas Morning News April 18
A letter to the editor on the impending "death of the New Deal."
Goodman, Rep. Virgil May 5
Interesting but cryptic letter from Goodman about an "off brand political philosophy" involving Fort. Worth businessmen William Monnig and E. E. Bowles.
Leach, Mary June 1
From Elizabeth Dilling's secretary, Mary Leach. Leach informs Armstrong that she has received copies of his latest book, High Treason, and sends a list of people she plans to send copies to, including Gerald L. K. Smith. Leach gives a gossipy account of activities on the far right. Other correspondence discusses the progress of the sedition trial. Leach provides Armstrong with information on Lord Northcliffe, whom Armstrong suspected of being a Jew.(63)
McGehee, Congressman Dan April-May
Correspondence with Congressman McGehee. McGehee believes that the New Deal is "worse than rule by Communist." Other correspondence discuss the sedition trial. Armstrong apparently knew James True, one of the defendants, quite well.
Milligan, C. V. April-May
Correspondence with Milligan, a campaign worker for Senator O'Daniel. Milligan solicits Armstrong for financial support for Senator O'Daniel. Armstrong worked with Milligan on several anti-New Deal projects.
O'Daniel, W. Lee April-May
Correspondence with Senator O'Daniel on forming an anti-Roosevelt coalition to attack the New Deal and deny Roosevelt a fourth term.
Panton, S. P. May 24
From Panton informs Armstrong that R. H. Whiting, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, is a fan of Armstrong's Corruption of America.
True, James April -May
Correspondence with True on the growth of the white supremacist, anti-Roosevelt Dixiecrat movement, and Armstrong's involvement in efforts to ensure an anti-Roosevelt delegation to the Democratic convention. True and Armstrong also discuss plans to distribute High Treason, Armstrong's latest book. True discusses the sedition trial and sends Armstrong a copy of an Affidavit of Personal Bias and Prejudice directed against the trial judge. Armstrong sends True a donation of $100.
June-July
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. June-July
Politics rather than business dominates this section of correspondence with George and Allen. Correspondence, documents and clippings relating to the Texas state Democratic convention. Correspondence focuses on Armstrong's efforts to promote the agenda of the anti-New Deal, white supremacist faction within the state and national Democratic party. Armstrong also advocated the repeal of the 14th and 15th amendments to the constitution. Correspondence includes a list of members of congress with Armstrong's notes on congressmen he considered "Jews and left wingers."
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. June-July
Business correspondence with George and Allen.
Butler, George June-July
Correspondence with Butler, chairman of the Texas State Democratic Committee. Armstrong is disturbed by reports that the Texas electors plan to vote for Roosevelt even if the State Convention instructs them not to.
Conner, Mike Sennett June-July
Correspondence with Conner on building an independent Democratic party based on white supremacy.
Dilling, Elizabeth June-July
Correspondence with Dilling on the sedition trial and related matters. Armstrong sent Dilling $250 to be divided among the co-defendants "for their relief."
Leach, Mary June-July
Correspondence with Elizabeth Dilling's secretary, Mary Leach. Correspondence on circulating High Treason and other anti-New Deal activities, and Nationalist politics in general. A March 18 letter from Leasch mentions Gerald L. K. Smith. In a March 22 letter to Leach, Armstrong asks if Eisenhower or General Mark Clark are Jewish. Leach mentions several right-wing Republicans sympathetic to the Nationalist cause.
Leach, Mary June 28
From Leach, an interesting account of a Nationalist convention in Chicago. Gerald L. K. Smith commandeered a ballroom in a Chicago hotel, after being refused all over the city. A fascinating account of Smith in action.
McGehee, Congressman Dan June-July
Correspondence with Congressman McGehee on the impending revolt of Southern Democrats, and on the Democratic convention.
Panton, S. P. June-July
Correspondence with Panton on High Treason. Armstrong discusses his theory that the British are plotting to re-colonize the United States.
Russell, Senator Richard June 21, 27
Correspondence with Senator Russell, in reference to a "communist plot" to appropriate land from white Southerners in order to give it to Negroes.
True, James True, Marguerite June-July
Correspondence with James True and his wife, Margaret, on True's part in the sedition trial. True's case was eventually dismissed. Other correspondence relates to the True's efforts to help Armstrong distribute High Treason and Corruption of America.
August-September
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. August-September
correspondence with Allen and George on Texas Steel Co. business. This correspondence discusses a proposed reorganization plan for Texas Steel. Other correspondence deals with Texas Steel Co.'s continuing controversy with the War Department over the failure of the Port Arthur plant.
Leach, Mary August-September
Correspondence with Mary Leach on Tyler Kent, an employee of the American Embassy in London arrested by the British police for spying for the Germans. Kent became a sort of martyr for the Nationalist movement. Armstrong took a great deal of interest in the case.(64)
Panton, S. P. August-September
Correspondence with Panton. Panton is now 95, and his letters have become repetitious.
True, James August-September
Correspondence with True on efforts to distribute Armstrong's books.
Thorkelson, Congressman Jacob August-September
Correspondence with Congressman Thorkelson on the E. M. House letter. Thorkelson claims to have "more valuable information" on the letter, and Armstrong asks for it. Thorkelson asks Armstrong to send him copies of his books. Armstrong sends Thorkelson 100 copies of Corruption of America and High Treason.
Thompson, Anne Armstrong August-September
Anne is planning to start an Alcoholics Anonymous chapter in Fort Worth.
October-December
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. October-November
Correspondence with Allen and George on the many problems resulting from the failure of the Port Arthur plant.
Dilling, Elizabeth October 14
Armstrong sends Dilling $500 as a contribution to her defense fund.
Kirby, Mrs. John H. December 12
Armstrong informs Mrs. Kirby that he is setting up a trust fund for her in memory of her husband. He encloses a gift of $100.
Kirby, Mrs. John H. December 17
From Mrs. Kirby, thanking Armstrong for the trust fund and "your affectionate regard for my dear husband."
O'Daniel, W. Lee October-December
Correspondence with Senator O'Daniel, bemoaning Roosevelt's recent election to a fourth term. Armstrong congratulates O'Daniel for his "fight against Sovietism."
Panton, S. P. November 2
From Panton. An interesting piece of Greenback-Populist mythology: Panton discusses the popular theory that the post-civil war policy to cut back on silver and paper currency was a British plot to destroy the American economy.
Texas Regulars October-December
Correspondence with the Texas Regulars, the Dixiecrats faction of the Texas Democratic party. Armstrong sends a $500 contribution and denounces "big city bosses" as communists.
Box
146-148 1945
When the war ended, Texas Steel Co. began a sometimes difficult and frustrating transition to peacetime production. Armstrong's correspondence reflects his impatience with this transition, and with the post-war shortages and other economic problems. Texas Steel Co. was also faced with union problems once again. Much of the correspondence with George Jr. and Allen involves negotiations with the local CIO.
Judge Armstrong was also disturbed by an extremely negative government report on Texas Steel Co.'s performance in managing the failed Port Arthur plant. The report was very critical of Judge Armstrong and Allen, but complimented George Jr. George had never been in favor of the Port Arthur venture, and this report caused some tension between father and son. These problems seem to have been resolved by the end of the year, however. Judge Armstrong established the Judge Armstrong Foundation with funds from his ever increasing oil revenues. Armstrong used his foundation to help his friends and relatives (see Dec. 12-14 correspondence with Mrs. Kirby above) and to finance his political activities. He published a new book called March of Bolshevism and continued to support James True, Elizabeth Dilling, and other defendants in the United States V. Winrod sedition trial. Armstrong also became very active in the Texas Regulars, the Dixiecrat faction in the Texas Democratic party, and supported Dixiecrats in the national party as well.
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Bailey, Senator William J.; Dilling, Elizabeth; Gannett, Frank E. of the Gannett newspapers; Gibson, Merritt, Chairman of the Texas Regulars, a faction of the Texas Democratic party; Hudson, Charles B.; Kent, Ann H. P., the mother of Tyler Kent; Kirby, Mrs. John H.; Leach, Mary; McCammon, Y. Q.; McGregor, Senator T. H.; Panton, S. P.; Smiley, Mrs. S. E.; Smith, Gerald L. K.; True, James.
Selected Correspondence 1945
January-March
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. Armstrong, R. C. January-March
Correspondence with Allen, George Jr., and R. C. Armstrong on Texas Steel Co. business. R. C. Armstrong resigns from his position of Vice President and General Manager. Texas Steel Co. continues to have problems with the Navy involving some of its war contracts. Controversies surrounding the failure of the Port Arthur plant continue to cause problems.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. Armstrong, R. C. January 19
Armstrong tells Allen to seek Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn's help with resolving the Port Arthur dispute with the Navy, even though he despises Rayburn as a liberal and a New Dealer.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. Armstrong, R. C. January-March
Armstrong presents a resolution to the Texas Democratic Convention accusing Roosevelt of plotting to "merge us [the united States] with the British Empire under the pretense of preventing future wars."
Conner, Mike Sennett January-March
Correspondence with Conner on business and politics. Armstrong sold Conner some oil leases and worked with him in the Dixiexcrat movement.
Conner, Mike Sennett January 26
To Conner. Armstrong attacks the "communistic" labor movement and the "socialistic arm that seeks academic freedom."
Crowley, Karl A. January 3
To Crowley. Armstrong wants to buy a chain of newspapers to propagate the Dixiecrat gospel.
Gannett, Frank E. January-March
Correspondence with Gannett, owner of the Gannett newspapers, on acquiring a newspaper in Texas to support the Texas Regulars.
Gannett, Frank E. February 27
From Gannett. Gannett complains of wartime paper shortages and fears the war will last at least "two or three years longer." In other correspondence, Gannett proposes acquiring Senator O'Daniels paper, or the Austin Tribune.
Gannett, Frank E. January 17
Gannett proposes a "national coalition party" to fight the New Deal.
Hudson, Charles B. February 9
From Hudson, one of the defendants in the sedition trial. Hudson thanks Armstrong and sends him a pamphlet, Was Jesus Christ A Jew? (Hudson held to the interesting theory that Jesus was not Jewish.) Hudson discusses the trial and sends Armstrong a photocopy of a defense document from the trial.
Kirby, Mrs. John H. January-March
Correspondence with Mrs. Kirby on establishing a John H. Kirby Memorial Park in memory of her husband. Other correspondence deals with the trust fund established for Mrs. Kirby.
McCammon, Y. Q. January-March
Correspondence with McCammon on business and taxes.
McGregor, Senator T. H. January-March
Correspondence with McGregor, a Texas state senator and former associate of Jim Ferguson, on reviving the Austin Tribune as an anti-New Deal paper. McGregor's correspondence provides an interesting narrative of Texas political history from 1906 to 1945. McGregor discusses the Texas Regular movement, the 1944 election, and the history of the Austin Tribune, including a description of the Tribune's physical plant.
Panton, S. P. January-March
Correspondence with Panton on German war atrocities. Panton speculates on what will happen to Germany after the war. Panton mentions that his son was a production manager for the Bechtel Corporation's ship building division.
True, James January-March
Exchange of letters with True on the possibility of a new political party with the Dixiecrats as a base.
March-April
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. March-April
Correspondence with George and Allen. Most of the correspondence in this section concerns the dispute within the Texas Steel Co. management over the failure of the Port Arthur project. Judge Armstrong is involved in a bitter dispute with George Jr. over the failure of the Port Arthur plant. Armstrong threatens to fire George Jr. George Jr. defends his record in a March 20 letter with a carefully worded, detailed account of his actions during the Port Arthur project. The correspondence in this section provides a concise overview of what went wrong with this project. The files include reports giving both the Texas Steel Co. and War Department views on the problems with the plant.
May-June
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. May-June
Correspondence with George and Allen on oil exploration and development in Mississippi. Includes clippings from Oil Weekly on oil exploration in Mississippi. Other correspondence on Texas Steel Co.'s settlement with the Navy in the Port Arthur case.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. May 25
From George Jr., on efforts to organize a union at Texas Steel.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. May 27
To George, on labor problems at the Texas Steel plant in Fort Worth.
Bailey, Senator William J. May 12
To Bailey, thanking him for a copy of Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews. Armstrong tells Bailey that "my bankruptcy in 1923 led me to study the Jewish question."
Bailey, Senator William J. June 15
Bailey sends Armstrong a copy of the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Dilling, Elizabeth June 18
From Dilling, a form letter soliciting funds for "Christian Americanism" and "the coming Nationalist movement."
Hudson, Charles B. May-June
Correspondence with Hudson on plans to distribute "anti-subversive" propaganda, especially in the Congress.
McGehee, Congressman Dan May 18
From McGehee, on Harry Truman. McGehee describes Truman as "a fine fellow…imbued with Southern ideals."
True, James May-June
Armstrong hires True to edit and reproduce manuscript copies of a new book, and oversee its distribution to Congress.
July-August
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. July-August
Correspondence with Allen and George on the problems of adjusting to a post-war economy. Other correspondence relates to the continuing legal battle over the fate of the Port Arthur plant.
Gibson, Merritt H. July-August
Correspondence with Gibson, chairman of the Texas Regulars, on anti-New Deal strategy.
True, James July-August
Correspondence with James True, discussing the possibility of a military take-over of the U. S., with Gen. Douglas MacArthur as a potential "man on a white horse." Other correspondence on distributing Armstrong's latest book, March of Bolshevism. Jewish immigration to Palestine is mentioned. True describes Jews as "vermin".
Thompson, Anne Armstrong July-August
Correspondence with Anne on the possibility of establishing an Alcoholics Anonymous hospital in Fort Worth with grant money from the Armstrong Foundation.
September-October
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. September-October
Correspondence with George and Allen on converting Texas Steel Co. to peace time production. The company is also involved in contract negotiations with the union.
Blessing, William L. September-October
Correspondence with Blessing on March of Bolshevism, Gerald L. K. Smith, and Charles Hudson.
Coughlin, Charles E. September 18
Armstrong sends Fr. Coughlin a complimentary copy of March of Bolshevism.
Crowley, Karl A. September-October
Correspondence with Crowley, of the Texas Regulars, attacking Truman for carrying on and expanding the New Deal in the form of minimum wage laws, unemployment insurance, and civil rights legislation.
Dilling, Elizabeth September-October
Correspondence with Dilling on distributing March of Bolshevism. Dilling also proposed compiling a list of "subversives", perhaps for distribution to congressmen.
Gibson, Merritt H. September-October
Correspondence with Gibson concerning the Texas Regulars.
Gannett, Frank E. September-October
Correspondence with Gannett, of the Gannett Newspapers, on developing anti-New Deal propaganda. Other correspondence on publishing Armstrong's March of Bolshevism.
Hudson, Charles B. September-October
Correspondence with Hudson on circulating March of Bolshevism. Sigmund Livingston, a writer specializing in refuting anti-Semitic propaganda, apparently mentioned Armstrong's Rothschild Money Trust in one of his books.
Kent, Ann H. P. October 4
From Ann Kent, Tyler Kent's mother. Mrs. Kent thanks Armstrong for his support and for a complimentary copy of March of Bolshevism, which she liked. Tyler Kent has recently been released from prison in England and is on his way home. Mrs. Kent expresses a desire to visit Armstrong and thank him personally.
Kister, Frederick Christian Veterans of America September 30
From Kister, chairman of the Christian Veterans of America. Kister and his organization were associated with Gerald L. K. Smith's Christian Nationalist party.
Leach, Mary September-October
Correspondence with Leach on distributing March of Bolshevism. Correspondence on the Tyler Kent case.
Panton, S. P. August 13
Panton attacks "college Economist."
True, James September-October
Correspondence with True on distributing March of Bolshevism; on the danger from "anti-Christians"; on building a Nationalist political movement.
November-December
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November-December
Correspondence with George and Allen on Texas Steel Co. business.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. December 20
George Jr. is considering a deal with the government of the Soviet Union amounting to "several hundred thousand dollars."
Clark, Tom, United States Attorney General October 18
Clark replies to Armstrong's letter of October 15 on the sedition case. Clark informs Armstrong that the case "is being carefully scrutinized in the department."
Dilling, Elizabeth November-December
Correspondence with Dilling, who plans to visit Armstrong in Mississippi.
Greig, Conrad December 6-31
Exchange of letters with Grieb on the Col. E. M. House letter. Grieb informs Armstrong that the letter was not written by House but by a Dr. William J. Maloney, of New York. Grieb characterizes the House letter as a "hoax" and a brilliantly written satire." Armstrong, however, continued to believe in the documents authenticity.
Kister, Fredrick Leach, Mary Christian Veterans of America October-November
Correspondence with Leach and Kister on the Christian Veterans organization.
Smith, Gerald L. K. January 3, 4, 6
First exchange of letters in what would become a long correspondence between Smith and Armstrong. Smith placed Armstrong on his mailing list and sent him a copy of the Christian Nationalist newspaper, the Cross and the Flag.
Smith, Gerald L. K. January 7
Armstrong proposes a meeting with Smith at the Blackstone Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas, to plan anti-New Deal strategy.
Smiley, Mrs. Samuel Ewing November-December
Correspondence with Col. S. E. Smiley's wife. These files include correspondence with James True and others in the anti-Semitic network Armstrong regularly corresponded with. General topics of discussion are James True's declining health, the progress of the anti-Semitic movement, and efforts to distribute March of Bolshevism. In one letter James True states that "the [Munich] pact was based on Christian principle and the crucifixion of it was the greatest crime since they crucified Christ Jesus."
True, James True, Marguerite November-December
Correspondence with James and Marguerite True on True's health problems, and on efforts to distribute Armstrong's literature.
Terminiello, Rev. A. W. October 29
Fr. Treminiello was an anti-Semitic Roman Catholic priest and an associate of Gerald L. K. Smith. Treminiello wrote Armstrong requesting copies of March of Bolshevism.(65)
Box
149-151 1946
Texas Steel Co. continued its post-war drive to complete the transition to peacetime production. The company suffered from shortages and labor problems, but not seriously. The litigation over the Port Arthur plant continued. The correspondence of George and Allen Armstrong and O. K. Shannon discuss these matters in great detail. Oil production on Armstrong's Mississippi plantations easily compensated for losses caused by problems in Port Arthur. Increased oil revenues and improved profits from Texas Steel Co. enabled Armstrong to work out a plan to retire Texas Steel's bond debts and re-finance the company.
The end of the war allowed Armstrong to devote more time and money to politics. Armstrong supported the extreme right wing or the Southern Democratic party, or "Dixiecrats" as they came to be called. Dixiecrats opposed the New Deal, especially New Deal efforts to pass civil rights legislation and end segregation. Armstrong and some of his political associates hoped that the Dixiecrats would eventually form a third party. Armstrong was a partisan at the "Texas Regulars", the Dixiecrat faction within the Texas Democratic party.
Armstrong also continued to support anti-Semitic and Nationalist leaders, such as Gerald L. K. Smith. Smith's views were extreme even by Dixiecrat standards, and Southern anti-New Deal leaders, such as Strom Thurmond, were careful to distance themselves from Nationalist politics. Many of Armstrong's friends in the Democratic party who were staunch segregationists, including many Texas Regulars, were disturbed by his open racism, his call for the repeal of the 14th, 15th, and 16th amendments to the constitution, and his association with anti-Semitic agitators, such as Smith. Armstrong nevertheless continued his support for Smith, sending him substantial contributions and meeting with him in Fort Worth in January of 1947.
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Billings, Grace, editor of the anti-Semitic newsletter Women's Voice; Creager, R. B.; Corbin, Bruce B.; Croxton, P. A., editor of the Texas Dirt Farmer-Stockman; Crowley, Karl; Darden, Ida M., an Austin based right wing journalist and former associate of John H. Kirby; Gannett, Frank E.; Gibson, Merritt; Hudson, Charles B.; Kister, Fredrick; Leese, A. S., an English anti-Semitic propagandist and Fascist political figure; McGehee, Congressman Dan; Panton, S. P.; Rankin, John.; Smith, Gerald L. K.; Smith, John Lee; Shannon, O. K.; Terminiello, Fr. A. W.; True, James; Tillman, R. L.
Selected Correspondence 1946
January-February
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January-February
Correspondence with George and Allen on Texas Steel Co. business and continuing problems involving Port Arthur. The company was still involved with contract negotiations with the union, but the negotiations were "proceeding harmoniously." Other papers and correspondence include financial data.
Croxton, P. A. January-February
Correspondence with Croxton, editor of the Dirt Farmer-Stockman, a right wing farm journal. Armstrong expressed an interest in helping distribute the paper, and offered to finance the printing of 100,000 copies to be used to help the Dixiecrats in the 1946 elections.
Dallas News February 25
Letter to the News denouncing the "Bolshevik Democratic Executive Committee." Armstrong believed that the mainstream Democratic party was controlled by Communists.
Greig, Conrad January 12
From Greig, restating his belief that the Col. E. M. House letter is a fake. (See correspondence with Greig, Dec 6-13, 1945.) Greig nevertheless believes the letter is valuable for the "information" it contains.
Hudson, Charles B. January 12
From Hudson, on the "red tide" of strikes and labor unrest unleashed by the "Jewish press" in the post-war era.
Hudson, Charles B. January 18
Hudson informs Armstrong that the government has decided to drop sedition charges against he and his fellow defendants in United States V. Winrod.
Smith, Gerald L. K. January-February
Correspondence with Smith on the Christian Nationalist movement.
Smith, Gerald L. K. January 10
Smith sends Armstrong a review praising March of Bolshevism.
Smith, Gerald L. K. January 14
To Smith. Armstrong proposes creating a "white man's club" to promote a movement to repeal the 14th and 15th amendments, and promote white supremacy.
Smith, Gerald L. K. January 15
Smith orders fifty copies of March of Bolshevism.
True, James January-February
Correspondence with True on distributing March of Bolshevism and related topics.
True, James January 9
From True. True blames "Jewish communists" for postwar social and economic problems.
March-April
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. March-April
Correspondence with George and Allen on Texas Steel Co. business, and the complex, lengthy litigation the company was involved in due to the closure of the Port Arthur plant.
Babcock Co. March-April
Correspondence with Armstrong and the Babcock Co., a Fort Worth printing company, on printing Armstrong's books and pamphlets.
Crowley, Karl A. March-April
Correspondence with Crowley, an anti-New Deal lawyer, with a copy of a letter Crowley sent to a Southern newspaper editor attacking the New Deal.
Crowley, Karl A. March 22
From Crowley, on supporting right wing candidates in the congressional races of 1946.
Croxton, P. A. Texas Dirt Farmer-Stockman March-April
Correspondence with Croxton on using his magazine as a platform for promoting the Dixiecrat political agenda.
Croxton, P. A. Texas Dirt Farmer-Stockman March 6
From Croxton, a letter attacking Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, and identifying Lyndon Johnson, Hatton Sumners, and Fritz Lanham as "liberals."
Corbin, Bruce B. March 3
Corbin last heard from in 1939, resumes his correspondence with Armstrong. Corbin is suffering from glaucoma but is still running his publishing company and also has a radio show on a station in Enid, Oklahoma. Corbin asks Armstrong for financial assistance.
Corbin, Bruce B. March 7
Armstrong responds, informing Corbin that he is unable to assist him.
Hurlock, Sam Houston March 18
To Hurlock, expressing doubt as to the immortality of the soul.
Leese, Arnold March-April
Correspondence with Leese, an anti-Semitic propagandist and one of the founders of the Imperial Fascist League in England. Leese supplied Armstrong with anti-Semitic pamphlets and periodicals, and a list of anti-Semitic publications available in England and Europe which included material on "Jewish ritual murder."(66)
Smiley, Mrs. Samuel Ewing April 19
From Mrs. Smiley, ordering books. Mrs. Smiley praises Hitler and complains that he was "liquidated by the Jews."
Smith, Gerald L. K. March-April
Correspondence with Smith, on distributing Armstrong's books and pamphlets. Armstrong sends Smith a $100 contribution.
Smith, Gerald L. K. April 9
From Smith. Smith wants to organize a speaking tour of Texas.
Smith, Lieutenant Governor John Lee March-April
Correspondence with Lieutenant Governor Smith. Armstrong wanted Smith to run for governor.
Texas Regulars April 1
Newsletter and other material from the Texas Regulars, including their political program.
True, James March-April
Correspondence with True on distributing March of Bolshevism.
May-June
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. May-June
Correspondence with George and Allen on Texas Steel business. Litigation over the Port Arthur plant continues.
Bridges, Marguerite May-June
Correspondence with Bridges, Armstrong's secretary in charge of distributing his books and handling other political correspondence.
Creager, R. B. May 19
Interesting letter from Creager, questioning the wisdom of Armstrong's proposal to repeal the 14th and 15th amendments.
Creager, R. B. May 26
From Armstrong. Armstrong restates his case for repeal of the 14th and 15th amendments.
Conner, J. E. May 15
From Conner, a retired diplomat who published anti-Semitic pamphlets, such as "Christ Was Not A Jew". Correspondence includes Conner's vita, a bibliography, and the preface to a book Conner proposed to write.
Crowley, Karl A. May-June
Correspondence with Crowley on organizing the Texas Regulars to fight the New Deal.
Gibson, Merritt H. Texas Regulars May-June
Correspondence with Gibson on efforts to "gain control of the Democratic party machine in Texas" for the Texas Regulars.
Gibson, Merritt H. Texas Regulars May 25
To Gibson. Armstrong proposes launching a third party with repeal of the 14th and 15th amendments as part of its platform.
Hopkins, George C. May 23
From Hopkins, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Texas Republican party, on the question of the "Negro vote" and the need to protect private property.
Leese, Arnold May-June
Correspondence with Leese. Leese speculates on "how many Jews and hybrids are now in the House of Commons." Leese also hated Masons.
McGehee, Congressman Dan May-June
Correspondence with McGehee on his bid for reelection and related topics.
Rankin, John May 10
From Rankin denouncing the "communist Russian Jew" Sidney Hillman.
Shannon, O. K. May-June
Correspondence with Shannon regarding business.
Smith, Lieutenant Governor John Lee May-June
Correspondence with Smith on the possibility of Smith's running for governor, and related political topics.
Smith, Gerald L. K. May 7
From Smith on "the Jews attack on our civil liberties", and a letter proposing to visit Armstrong in the summer of 1946.
Terminiello, Rev. A. W. June 14
From Terminiello thanking Armstrong for his contribution.
July-August
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. July-August
Correspondence with Allen and George on Texas Steel Co. business. Heavy correspondence on the legal battles surrounding the Port Arthur project. This correspondence includes photostats of Navy documents and a summation of the history of the project from the Texas Steel Co.'s perspective. (See Notes on Navy Claim, a memo dated June 27, in the A files, June-July 1946.)
Gannett, Frank E. July-August
Correspondence with Gannet on acquiring a newspaper to use as an organ for right-wing political opinion.
Hopkins, George C. July-August
Correspondence with Hopkins on acquiring a Texas newspaper in co-operation with Frank Gannet (see above). Armstrong expresses his disappointment that the Republican party "did not declare for white supremacy." Hopkins said that Republican endorsement of white supremacy would be "political suicide."
Kirby, Mrs. John H. July-August
Correspondence relating to Armstrong's efforts to save Mrs. Kirby's home and create some kind of memorial for the late John H. Kirby. Armstrong considered establishing an Alcoholics Anonymous hospital in Kirby's memory.
Kister, Fredrick Christian Veterans of America July 20
From Kister, thanking Armstrong for a contribution.
Leese, Arnold September 7
From Leese. Leese informs Armstrong that the Masons are actually a "Jewish front."
Panton, S. P. July-August
Correspondence with Panton, who will be 97 in October. Panton is almost blind, and his letters have become rambling and repetitive.
Rankin, John July-August
Correspondence with Rankin. Armstrong sends Rankin a $100 campaign contribution. When Rankin complains of being sued by "a bunch of radicals", Armstrong sends him $200 to help with legal fees.
Smith, Gerald L. K. July-August
Correspondence with Smith on politics.
True, James True, Marguerite August 12, 20
Exchange of letters with James and Marguerite True. Armstrong sends True a manuscript copy of an early version of his Memoirs. True's health continues to deteriorate, but he is encouraged by what he believes is an increase in anti-Semitism among the general population.(67)
True, James True, Marguerite August 22
From True. True describes an anti-Semitic campaign he allegedly conducted on behalf of the Republican party for a local election in a "large county in an Eastern state."
Thompson, Anne Armstrong July 23, 26
Exchange of letters with Anne, who is currently being treated for depression in a Galveston hospital.
September-October
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. September-October
Correspondence with Allen and George on Texas Steel Co. business, and on the litigation over the Port Arthur project.
Crowley, Karl A. September-October
Correspondence with Crowley on defeating the New Deal; on organizing an anti New Deal political movement in Texas. The files include copies of letters to Merritt Gibson on the possibility of attracting wealthy backers to the movement. The Texas Regulars have disbanded, but a new organization called the Jefferson Democratic League is forming to replace them. Armstrong continues his campaign to repeal the 14th and 15th amendments.
Darden, Ida M. September-October
Correspondence with Darden, a former associate of John Henry Kirby. Darden is an independent right wing journalist living in Austin. The correspondence includes a copy of an article attacking Burges Meredith's eulogy of Harry Hopkins.
Flitcraft, Eugene R. September-October
Correspondence with Flitcraft, an anti-Semitic propagandist and publisher of the newsletter Gentile News.
Gibson, Merritt H. Texas Regulars September-October
Correspondence with Gibson on the Texas Regulars. Gibson and Armstrong discuss strategy for the 1948 Democratic convention.
Gibson, Merrit H. Texas Regulars October 4
From Gibson, a letter outlining the history of the Texas Regulars and their activities.
Gibson, Merritt H. Texas Regulars October 10
From Armstrong, on the future of the Texas Regulars. Armstrong wanted the Texas Regulars to become a "Secret Fraternal organization" and later build a national organization to be called the American Regulars.
Kirby, Mrs. John H. September-October
Correspondence with Mrs. Kirby. Armstrong's efforts to organize a "John Henry Kirby Memorial Association" are not successful. Armstrong increases Mrs. Kirby's monthly trust fund payment to $300.
Rankin, John September-October
Correspondence with Rankin on the House Committee on Un-American Activities, including a copy of an address by Rankin reprinted in the Congressional Record. Armstrong sends Rankin $200 to help with legal fees.
Smith, Gerald L. K. September-October
Correspondence with Smith on Armstrong's plan to turn the Texas Regulars into a "secret society" (see correspondence with Merritt Gibson above). Armstrong also wanted Smith to make a lecture tour of Texas. Smith and Armstrong plan to meet in October; Armstrong sends Smith a $100 contribution.
Shannon, O. K. September-October
Correspondence on financing the Judge Armstrong Foundation. Armstrong plans to give the foundation an endowment of $95,000. The correspondence also discusses the future plans for the foundation's activities.
Tillman, R. L. September-October
Tillman is eager to start another money reform crusade, but he does not share Armstrong's enthusiasm for the Ku Klux Klan, nor is he interested in repealing the 14th and 15th amendments.
Tillman, R. L. September 14, 20, 24
Exchange of letters with Tillman, one of Armstrong's old Populists associates from the 1920s. Tillman is still spreading the monetary reform gospel and selling literature by Tom Watson and other old Populist leaders. Tillman sends Armstrong a letter from Tom Watson's old secretary, Mrs. Ed C. Alumbaugh. Tillman worked for Georgia's recently elected governor Gene Talmadge, and mentions the possibility of a patronage job. Tillman sounds frustrated and bitter after twentyfive years in politics: "I was always steamrolled out of organizations I built & honest reword withheld." Armstrong advises him to take the patronage job.
True, James True, Marguerite September-October
Correspondence with Marguerite True. James True dies on October 26.
November-December
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November-December
Correspondence with Allen and George on refinancing Texas Steel Co. by retiring their bonds, and on the Mississippi oil leases.
Billings, Grace November-December
Correspondence with Grace Billings, editor of Women's Voice, an anti-Semitic newspaper.
Smith, Gerald L. K. November-December
Correspondence with Smith on Smith's recent visit to meet Armstrong in Fort Worth. Correspondence concerning Fr. Terminiello, the anti-Semitic Catholic priest.
Smith, Gerald L. K. December 11
From Smith. Smith is touring the West Coast organizing for the West Coast Nationalist Convention planned for December 8-10.
Smith, Gerald L. K. December 23
Smith and Armstrong discuss turning the Columbians, a group affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan, into "a power."(68)
Tillman, R. L. December 13, 16
Correspondence with Tillman. Armstrong wants "the low down on the Columbians" and suggests that Tillman work with Fr. Terminiello to distribute literature.
Box
152-155 1947
Texas Steel Co. lost its legal battle with the Navy over the failure of the ill-fated Port Arthur plant. The company was forced to pay a judgement of $650,000. Before the war such an event would have been catastrophic, but now the Armstrong's easily arranged to borrow the money from their Fort Worth bankers. The company continued to do well in spite of this setback, a fact that is a testament to the strength of the post war economy and the reorganized, modern Texas Steel Co. The Armstrong's were confident that they would quickly pay off this debt from the combined revenues of Texas Steel Co. and their Mississippi oil wells.
Armstrong continued to produce anti-Semitic, right wing books and pamphlets. By this time he had established a close personal and working relationship with Gerald L. K. Smith. Armstrong used Smith's mailing lists and network of right wing associates to distribute his books and pamphlets.
Armstrong established his Judge Armstrong Foundation, originally for charitable purposes, to help some of his friends and relatives, or to donate money to small colleges for scholarships. Eventually he started using it as an instrument to further his favorite political causes. He sent modest to large donations to Gerald L. K. Smith, Elizabeth Dilling and other right wing extremists. He occasionally put some of them on the foundation's payroll. He used this network of right wingers to distribute his "Petition to Congress" calling for the disenfranchisement of Blacks and Jews, the repeal of the 14th, 15th, and 16th amendments, and the "extermination" of Bolsheviks.
Armstrong's legal advisors--his nephews O. K. Shannon and Y. Q. McCammon--worried about the legality of some of these activities being carried out under the auspices of a non-profit charitable foundation. They were concerned that Armstrong's political activities in the foundation's name might threaten its tax-exempt status, or even affect the family's business interests. There are some indications that the foundation's trustees-consisting mainly of Armstrong's family members-"were not sympathetic to its (the foundation) use for the purposes desired by you."
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Boaz, Bishop H. A.; Crowley, Karel; Dilling, Elizabeth; Deatherage, George; Hall, Joseph Washington (Upton Close); Hudson, Charles B.; Kister, Fredrick; McCammon, Y. Q.; Moseley, George Van Horn; Panton, S. P.; Pannin, William; Parson, Adelaide Pelley, William Dudley Pelley's daughter; Rankin, John.; Sanctuary, Col. Eugene N.; Shannon, O. K.; Smith, Gerald L. K.; Tillman, R. L; Waters, Agness.
Selected Correspondence 1947
January-February
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January-February
Correspondence with George and Allen on Texas Steel Co. business. This correspondence also discusses Armstrong's discussion to hire Fr. A. W. Terminiello to distribute March of Bolshevism. Allen inadvertently sent Terminiello too much money, which created problems. (See letters, Jan. 31, Feb. 10, Feb. 14; see also correspondence with Terminiello, below.) Other correspondence relates to oil and gas exploration on Armstrong's Mississippi property.
McCammon, Y. Q. January-February
Correspondence with McCammon on Texas Steel Co. financial statements.
Panton, S. P. January-February
Correspondence with Panton, now 98 years old.
Smith, Gerald L. K. January-February
Correspondence with Smith. Smith is planning what he describes as a "Mammoth Christian Rally" to be held Fort Worth on February 20 at the First Baptist Church.
Smith, Gerald L. K. January 21
From Smith, thanking Armstrong and his family for the lavish treatment accorded him during his visit to Fort Worth. Armstrong entertained Smith and his wife at the Downtown Club and at his country club. Smith praised Armstrong for "doing great things for your country." While in Fort Worth, Smith was interviewed by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and addressed J. Frank Norris' First Baptist Church in Fort Worth.
Smith, Gerald L. K. January 11
Smith, Rev. Terminiello, and Karel Crowley of the Texas Regulars meet with the directors of the Armstrong Foundation.
Terminiello, Rev. A. W. January-February
Correspondence on Terminiello's efforts to distribute March of Bolshevism, including advertising fliers and a history of Terminiello's relationship with the Judge Armstrong Foundation. Also included are handbills from Terminiello's Union of Christian Crusaders and handbills from the Judge Armstrong Foundation advertising March of Bolshevism.
Terminiello, Rev. A. W. March 12
From Terminiello, a letter indicating a serious rift has developed in his relations with the Judge Armstrong Foundation. The problem was Terminiello's use of the money mistakenly sent him by Allen Armstrong.
Tilley, Rice February 13
To Tilley. Armstrong approaches Tilley with his notion of turning the Texas Regulars into a secret organization.
Tilley, Rice February 15
From Tilley, responding to Armstrong's letter about the Texas Regulars.
Tillman, R. L. January 4, 7
Correspondence with Tillman. Tillman's hopes for a political patronage job are dashed by the death of Governor Talmadge.
March-April
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. March-April
Correspondence with Allen and George Armstrong on Texas Steel Co. business and Mississippi oil and gas development. Allen and George are taking a more active role in the affairs of the Judge Armstrong Foundation. Gerald L. K. Smith has replaced Rev. Terminiello as distributor for Armstrong's publications. Allen Armstrong and Y. Q. McCammon attend "Reverend Smith's meeting" in J. Frank Norris' tabernacle. Allen reports that Smith "made a corking good speech."
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. February 19
To Allen. Armstrong instructs Allen to end relations with Rev. Terminiello and admits he "made a mistake in [supporting] the priest."
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. February 20, 21
A depressed steel market temporarily pushes Texas Steel Co. to the brink of closure, but things quickly improve.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. March 25
Texas Steel Co. closes a deal with the French government, as well as a lucrative deal with the John Deer Co.
Boaz, Bishop H. A. March 14, 16
Exchange of letters with Bishop Boaz on the history of Polytechnic College, which eventually became Texas Wesleyan College and finally Texas Wesleyan University.
Close, Upton (Joseph Washington Hall) March 14, 16
Exchange of letters with Hall, a right wing columnist and broadcaster who used the pseudonym Upton Close. Amrstrong wants to help Hall distribute a pamphlet attacking the Anti-Defamation League by Robert Williams, an associate of Hall's.
Dilling, Elizabeth March-April
Correspondence with Dilling, including a long letter attacking Gerald L. K. Smith. According to Dilling, Smith owed her ex-husband Alex Dilling legal fees which he refused to pay and then lied about the debt.
Greig, Conrad March 29
From Grieb, an interesting letter with an account of the trial of Douglas Malcolm Stewart for allegedly taking money from the Germans to spread Nazi propaganda in 1942.
Hudson, Charles B. March-April
Correspondence with Hudson on the sedition trial. This correspondence includes ten pages of copies of Hudson's correspondence with his lawyer and others relating to his role in the case.
Hudson, Charles B. April 2, 7
Exchange of letters with Armstrong, on the possibility of Armstrong's helping with legal expenses of Hudson and some of his associates.
Kister, Fredrick March-April
Correspondence with Kister on distributing World Empire, a new book by Armstrong.
Kister, Fredrick April 15, 18
Exchange of letters with Kister. Armstrong suggested that the Judge Armstrong Foundation employ Kister to help distribute World Empire. Kister declined, citing "a number of important developments in connection with" the Christian Veterans of America. They discussed marketing World Empire via direct mail. (Kister visited Armstrong in Natchez in April.)
Pannill, Judge William (Hiner and Pannill) March-April
Correspondence with lawyer Pannill on Judge Armstrong Foundation business. Armstrong wondered if his books and pamphlets could be classified as "educational material" so that the foundation could maintain its tax exempt status. Other correspondence relates to the Port Arthur litigation.
Smith, Gerald L. K. March-April
Correspondence with Smith on marketing Armstrong's books. Smith informs Armstrong that Kister has been forced to withdraw from the plan to market Armstrong's books by "outside circumstances." Other correspondence relates to the "Southern campaign", a recruiting drive he was conducting throughout the South. Smith and Armstrong discuss Armstrong's problems with Rev. Terminiello. Smith asks Armstrong not to prosecute Terminiello, as such a move would cause problems for Smith.
Smith, Gerald L. K. February 24
Armstrong introduces Smith to other wealthy potential backers.
Smith, Gerald L. K. March 9
To Smith. Armstrong plans to prosecute Terminiello and calls him "a criminal."
Shannon, O. K. March-April
Correspondence with Shannon on using Judge Armstrong Foundation funds for financing the publication of right wing literature.
Tillman, R. L. March-April
Correspondence with Tillman, on distributing Armstrong's books in the Congress.
May-June
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. May-June
Correspondence with Allen and George on Texas Steel business, including negotiations with the union over a new contract. These files include some of Judge Armstrong's correspondence with the emerging anti-communist right. Armstrong subscribed to Fundamental Facts, an anti-communist newsletter.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. May 1
Texas Steel managed to achieve a favorable settlement in the Port Arthur case that offset the damage done by the $650,000 judgement against them.
Bailey, Senator William J. April 11
From Bailey. Bailey gave J. Frank Norris a copy of Armstrong's new book, World Empire. Bailey describes Norris as being "much carried away" with the book.
Close, Upton (Hall, Joseph Washington) June 3
Correspondence with Close and some of his associates. Advice to Armstrong on printing and distributing World Empire. One letter accuses the motion picture Miracle of Morgan's Creek of advocating the "polluting of the Gentile race."
Coughlin, Charles E. May 16
From Coughlin, thanking "dear George" for a complimentary copy of World Empire.
Dilling, Elizabeth May 28
Another letter from Dilling attacking Gerald L. K. Smith, and warning Armstrong against associating with him. Dilling lists Smith's shabby treatment of others in the Nationalist movement, including William Dudley Pelley and Rev. Terminiello. Dilling also asked for a donation.
Deatherage, George May 15, 20
Exchange of letters with Deatherage on World Empire.
Hudson. Charles B. June 3
From Hudson. Hudson proposes launching a campaign to expel Jews from the United States. Hudson suggested using anti-Semitic remarks he had found in the correspondence of Madison and Adams to justify such a program.
Kister, Fredrick May-June
Correspondence with Kister on distributing Armstrong's books. Armstrong tells Kister he has decided to give the job to B. V. Thompson Jr. and R. L. Tillman.
Moseley, George Van Horn May 6
Moseley's first letter to Armstrong. Moseley has recently read World Empire, which he acquired from Charles Hudson. Moseley speculates that 90% of the Jews are communist; Jews control "mongrel nations." America is in danger of becoming such a "mongrel nation", according to Moseley, because "all statistics suggest that we are breeding our people down", that is, tolerating the mixing of the races. Moseley refers to black children as "human scum."
Pannill, Judge William May-June
Correspondence with Judge Pannill on the Port Arthur suits.
Pearson, Adelaide Pelley May 27
From Pelley's daughter. Mrs. Parson writes about Pelley's role in the sedition trial, on his association with Gerald L. K. Smith, and on helping with the distribution of World Empire.(69)
Rankin, John May-June
Correspondence with Rankin. Rankin endorses World Empire and Armstrong's crusade to preserve the "White Man's civilization." Armstrong asks Rankin to help R. L. Tillman distribute World Empire to senators and congressmen.
Sanctuary, Col. Eugene N. May 20
Interesting letter from Sanctuary on his role in United States V. Winrod, and on his relationship with his lawyer, Henry Kline, an anti-Semitic Jew. This correspondence includes a copy of a letter from Sanctuary to Moseley, as well as other correspondence and documents relating to the sedition case. A very useful selection of documents for researchers interested in the sedition trial.
Tillman, R. L. May-June
Correspondence with Tillman on Tillman's efforts to distribute World Empire and Armstrong's "Amended Petition to the President and the Congress of the United States" to senators and congressmen. The "Amended Petition" alleged that the late Franklin Roosevelt conspired to create a "world communist super-government and communize America", and demanded, among other things, the repeal of the 14th and 15th amendments, "banish all communist&and&declare war on the Bolsheviks and exterminate them."(70) Tillman failed to meet the deadline for his task, in spite of a $100 advance and 700 copies of the book and the "Amended Petition." Tillman was reluctant to distribute the material because of the "race issue" and the "Jewish question." Armstrong dispatched an aide to settle matters with Tillman, but Tillman had finally finished the job when the aide arrived.
Williams, Robert May-June
Correspondence with Williams, an associate of Upton Close. Williams advances a plan to combat "Red unionized Hollywood" with book distribution and a radio network.
Wallace, J. L. May-June
Correspondence with Wallace, of the Babcock Co., printers of Armstrong's books.
Waters, Agness June 5
Fascinating letter from Waters, a fanatic anti-Semite and "the only woman candidate for president" based in Washington, D. C. She is an associate of R. L. Tillman. Like Tillman, Waters is engaged in distribution of World Empire for Armstrong. She is far more enthusiastic about her work than Tillman, and goes about it as though "on a rampage" through the halls of congress. She has little use for Tillman, who she contemptuously compares to Lum of "Lum and Abner."
July-August
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. July-August
Correspondence with Allen and George on Texas Steel Co. business, and on oil and gas development in Mississippi. Other correspondence related to the Port Arthur litigation, which continues to drag on. Clippings at the beginning of this file indicate that the Judge Armstrong Foundation is beginning to attracte some negative press and to attract the attention of the Jewish press and some anti-racist organizations. Many of these articles seem to over estimate Armstrong's wealth and power.
Hudson, Charles B. July-August
Correspondence with Hudson. Armstrong sends Hudson a $100 contribution.
Mississippi River Commission Crawford, Gen. R. W. July-August
Correspondence with Crawford and other officials of the Mississippi River Commission on Armstrong's continuing interest in the Homochitto Drainage District.
Pannill, Judge William July-August
Correspondence with Judge Pannill on the litigation over the Port Arthur plant.
Smiley, Mrs. Samuel Ewing July-August
Mrs. Smiley, an elderly widow, helped Armstrong distribute his books. Smiley's letters are full of conspiracy theories shared by many anti-Semites.
Smith, Gerald L. K. July-August
Correspondence with Smith. Armstrong is becoming involved in the MacArthur for president" movement.(71)
Smith, Gerald L. K. June 10
Fred Dyester, of Los Angeles, contracts with Armstrong to publish World Empire on a royalty basis.
Smith, Gerald L. K. June 23
Smith warns Armstrong that Dyster might not be entirely honest. Sales of World Empire appear to be brisk.
Smith, Gerald L. K. June 20
From Armstrong. Armstrong informs Smith that he has lost the Port Arthur suit and is facing a $650,000 judgement.
Smith, Gerald L. K. July 1
From Smith, on a $500 loan from Armstrong to help finance an anti-communist rally in Washington, D. C. using John H Rankin as a main speaker.
Smith, Gerald L. K. July 12
From Smith. Smith informs Armstrong of articles about Armstrong and his foundation that are appearing in the Jewish press, including his association with Smith and his anti-Semitic publications.
Tillman, R. L. July-August
Tillman's political work is now being sponsored by a merchant named Mason. Mason's death leaves Tillman in strained circumstances. The aging crusader sends begging letters to Armstrong, who replies with occasional small donations.
Waters, Agness July-August
Correspondence with Waters on circulating Armstrong's books in Washington. Waters tears the Russians are plotting a "Pearl Harbor" style attack against the U. S. She also fears that the Russians will invade Italy and take the Pope hostage in order to "tie Down the Catholic world."
September-October
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. September-October
Correspondence with Allen and George. Texas Steel Co. is forced to borrow heavily to pay the $650,000 S judgement. The company is able to raise the money, and continue to expand its business. Armstrong receives an ever increasing volume of mail from anti-Semitic righters, right-wing political propagandists and assorted cranks begging for money to publish their books or sponsor their programs and causes.
Crowley, Karl A. September-October
Correspondence with Crowley on Senator O'Daniel and on the possibility of reviving the Texas Regulars and purging the Democratic party of "socialist" (i.e., Liberals). Armstrong financed some of O'Daniel's speeches.
Christian American Muse, Vance, editor September-October
Correspondence with Christian American, a right wing political organization originally set up by John Henry Kirby to fight labor unions. Muse and Armstrong discuss the repeal of the 16th amendment, which Muse describes as "communistic."
Hudson, Charles B. October 16
From Hobson, quoting Madison on the need to exclude "Jews, Turks and Infidels" from citizenship; a copy of a letter from Hobson to Congressman Wright Patman on the sedition trial (United States V. Winrod) attacking Patman's "Racism in America", a report prepared by a committee Patman chaired, and which cited Hudson's writings as an example of racism.
Muse, Vance September-October
Correspondence with Muse, editor of the Christian American, a right wing anti-labor newsletter sponsored by the late John Henry Kirby. Armstrong and Muse discuss the future of the Texas Regulars and the need to combat "radical Labor."
McDonald, J. E. October 21
From McDonald, boosting MacArthur for president. McDonald is also interested in helping B. V. Thompson Jr. and George Van Horn Moseley run Armstrong's foundation. includes a press release with McDonald's endorsement of MacArthur.
Moseley, George Van Horn September-October
Correspondence with Moseley. Armstrong offers Moseley the job of directing his new foundation.
Pearson, Adelaide Pelley October 9
From William Dudley Pelley's daughter. Pelley is still serving time for sedition, and his daughter believes that he has a chance for freedom and "vindication" now that the war is over.
Pannill, William September-October
Correspondence with Pannill on the Port Arthur litigation.
Rankin, John September-October
Correspondence with Rankin. Rankin is running for senate to fill the seat recently vacated by the death of Senator Bilbo. Armstrong sends Rankin a $500 campaign contribution. Rankin, however, is reluctant to allow Armstrong to send World Empire to his friends during the campaign.
Sanctuary, Col. Eugene N. September-October
Correspondence with Sanctuary on Sanctuary's new edition of Talmud Unmasked, an anti-Semitic attack on the Jewish religious classic; on Simon Weishopt's eighteenth century secret organization, the Bavarian Illuminate; and on the possibility of working for Armstrong's foundation. (Armstrong briefly considered Sanctuary as a possible candidate to head the foundation but changed his mind in favor of Moseley.
Smith, Gerald L. K. September-October
Correspondence with Smith. Smith informs Armstrong that he has "taken on the best boys in the Columbians", an organization similar to the Klan that operated in Georgia.
Waters, Agness September-October
Correspondence with Waters on various right wing political topics. From the intensely venomous tone of her letters one might conclude that Waters was a deeply disturbed individual. She portrays herself as a besieged patriot standing virtually alone against hordes of pernicious Jews. She despised the "Jew Eisenhower" and referred to General Mark Clark as "a bloody Jew" who betrayed General Patton. These outbursts are usually followed by requests for money.
November-December
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November-December
Correspondence with Allen and George on Texas Steel business. The company continues to grow in spite of the Port Arthur settlement. The affairs of the Judge Armstrong Foundation are also discussed in these files.
Allen, Marilyn R. November-December
An especially vehement anti-Semitic writer and political agitator based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Allen is currently working on a pamphlet to expose "Hollywood communists."
Crowley, Karl A. November-December
Crowley and Armstrong discuss the future of the Texas Regulars as a political force.(72)
Moseley, George Van Horn November-December
Correspondence with Moseley on the Judge Armstrong Foundation, and on Armstrong's suggestion that Moseley serve as president of the foundation; on Armstrong's new pamphlet attacking the Marshall Plan; on the MacArthur for president movement. (Moseley knew MacArthur and served with him on various occasions during his military career, and referred to him as "my good friend MacArthur.")
Moseley, George Van Horn November 15
From Moseley's, a long and interesting letter on Moseley's relationship with Eisenhower, MacArthur and Marshall during his military career. Includes a copy of a letter of appreciation from MacArthur to Moseley.
Moseley, George Van Horn December 9
From Moseley. Moseley worries that he might be "an embarrassment" to the foundation.
Moseley, George Van Horn December 11
Moseley warns Armstrong that the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League, an anti-racist organization associated with the B'nai B'rith, is investigating him and the foundation.
O'Daniel, W. Lee October 2
From O'Daniel, thanking Armstrong for his help in sponsoring O'Daniel's recent tour of Texas.
Rankin, John November-December
Correspondence with Rankin. Rankin has lost his race for the Senate, and thanks Armstrong for his support. Armstrong and Rank in discuss the perils threatening the future of white supremacy.
Shannon, O. K. November-December
Correspondence with Shannon on problems Shannon faced in defining the purpose of the Judge Armstrong Foundation so he could write an acceptable charter. Texas had no statutes governing a political foundation.
Smith, Gerald L. K. November-December
Correspondence with Smith. Smith is trying to raise money for the legal expenses of his assistant, Don Lohbeck, who was arrested for picketing the Russian embassy.
Waters, Agness November-December
Correspondence with Waters, who is demanding money to help in the "patriotic work" of disseminating anti-Semitic and racist propaganda in Washington, D. C.



Box
156-159 1948
Business was so good for Texas Steel Co. in 1948 that the company was able to give its employees a Christmas bonus for the first time in its history. Armstrong continued to profitably exploit his Mississippi oil and gas properties. In spite of the costly failure of the Port Arthur venture, Armstrong continued to toy with the idea of another effort to build a plant in that city.
The material on the 1948 political campaigns is extensive and interesting. Armstrong campaigned vigorously for the anti-New Deal segregationist States Rights party led by Strom Thurmond. Armstrong printed several ads in various Texas newspapers supporting Thurmond, Gerald L. K. Smith and the States Rights party. These ads were so overtly anti-Semitic and racist that Thurmond found it necessary to disassociate himself from them and to publicly denounce both the ads and Smith. Thurmond had assured Armstrong that he was a staunch segregationist. Indeed, the States Rights movement was a reaction to what many Southerners perceived as a threat to end segregation by the liberal wing of the Democratic party. Thurmond and other States Rights leaders preferred to portray themselves as traditional conservatives opposed to undue Federal interference in the affairs of the states. Hence any endorsement from extremists such as Smith and Armstrong was an unwelcome embarrassment.(73)
Armstrong also boosted the candidacy of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, whom he greatly admired. Retired General George Van Horne Moseley was now the president of the Judge Armstrong Foundation and assisted Armstrong in campaigning for MacArthur. The correspondence on the MacArthur movement in this section among Armstrong, Moseley, Gerald Smith and others is a good source of material on the extreme right's fascination with MacArthur--and MacArthur's cautious response. Like Thurmond, MacArthur was not eager to be associated with Gerald Smith or his friends.(74)
Armstrong continued his association with Smith, and helped other right wing propagandists through his foundation. Many propagandists and agitators on the extreme right would compete for Armstrong's money and attention, but Smith was clearly Armstrong's favorite, in spite of Smith's inability to tolerate or cooperate with other individuals and factions that shared his views. Indeed, Smith sometimes denounced other Nationalists as vigorously as he attacked Jews and communists. These files contain material on Smith's feud with Elizabeth Dilling, and on Smith's brief associating with William Dudley Pelley's Silver Shirts.(75)
Correspondents: Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Allen, Marilyn R.; Burke, Emory; Close, Upton; Creager, R. B.; Deatherage, George; Dilling, Elizabeth; MacArthur, Douglas; Eastland, Senator James O.; Hudson, Charles B.; Kister, Fredrick; McGinley, Conde; Moseley, George Van Home; O'Daniel, W. Lee; Panton, S. P.; Pearson, Adelaide Pelley; Rankin, John.; Smith, Gerald L. K.; Stokes, Jeremiah, Elizabeth Dilling's second husband; Thurmond, Strom.
Selected Correspondence 1948
January-February
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January-February
Correspondence with George and Allen on Texas Steel Co. business, which continues to boom.
Allen, Marilyn R. January-February
Correspondence with Marilyn Allen, Salt Lake City-based author and publisher of anti-Semitic books and pamphlets.(76)
Common Sense McGinley, Conde January-February
Correspondence with McGinley, publisher of the anti-Semitic newspaper Common Sense. Armstrong subscribed to the paper and sent McGinley a $30 contribution.
Close, Upton Hall, Joseph Washington December 26, '47
From Hall, suggesting a plan for radio broadcast to spread "the rightist message."
Creager, R. B. November 24
A letter of appreciation from Creager to Armstrong: "I regard you as a patriot who is sincerely devoted to the service of his country."
Daniel, Price Attorney General of Texas January-February
Correspondence with Daniel on chartering the Judge Armstrong Foundation as an "educational and charitable" institution. Daniel feels that the language of the charter is too vague.
Deatherage, George January 12
Correspondence with Deatherage on the scope and purpose of Armstrong's new foundation.
Eastland, Senator James O. February 24
From Senator Eastland, on the possibility of parole for William Dudley Pelley.
Gibson, Merritt H. January-February
Correspondence with Gibson on the possibility of funding a "Jeffersonian" white supremacist party, as a response to fears of a civil rights platform being put forward at the 1948 Democratic convention. Gibson sent Armstrong clippings on civil rights and related topics as well as copies of his correspondence with other Democratic party leaders.
Le Grange, Isak South Africa (Undated)
From Le Grange, a South African anti-Semite, informing Armstrong that he is known in South Africa as an "American Millionaire of Fort Worth, Texas,&sponsoring an anti-Jewish campaign in the United States."
Hobson, Charles B. December 27, '47
From Hobson. Hobson is certain that the Marshall Plan is "communistic."
Moseley, George Van Horne January-February
Correspondence with Moseley on the Judge Armstrong Foundation and its future. Moseley also discusses his 1938 attack on the New Deal which preceded his retirement from the Army, and his 1939 testimony before the Dies Committee (House Committee on Un-American Activities), wherein he asserted that "a Jewish led revolution was about to overwhelm the country" and that Jewish citizens should be denied their civil rights. Moseley also sent Armstrong copies of letters to Charles Hudson, Col. Sanctuary and other right wingers. The correspondence includes a copy of a scurrilous letter attacking the character of Elizabeth Dilling.(77)
Moseley, George Van Horne February 23
From Moseley, on the need to limit suffrage; a copy of Moseley's political agenda for America.
O'Daniel, W. Lee January-February
Correspondence with O'Daniel on their mutual friend, George Van Horne Moseley. They discuss the MacArthur campaign, and Armstrong suggests O'Daniel as a possible Vice Presidential candidate with MacArthur. Includes a press release from O'Daniel on the possibility of running with MacArthur.
O'Daniel, W. Lee February 25
O'Daniel sends Armstrong a copy of a leaflet from the "League of Justice of All Nations". Probably a forgery, the pamphlet advocated "race mixing" and seems to have truly horrified O'Daniel.
Panton, S. P December 22
A rather pathetic note from Panton, who is 99 and now completely blind.
Pearson, Adelaide Pelley December 29, '47
From Pearson, an update on Pelley's efforts to gain parole.
Pearson, Adelaide Pelley February 14
From Pearson, a fund raising letter on behalf on her father. Pearson is still working to free her father from prison.
Rankin, John January-February
Correspondence with Rankin. Rankin believes that Truman's civil rights initiative is a "horrible mistake" promoted by "an alien racial minority."
Smith, Gerald L. K. January-February
Correspondence with Smith.
Smith, Gerald L. K. January 16
From Smith, asking Armstrong to contribute $100,000 to the Christian Nationalist cause.
Smith, Gerald L. K. January 22
Armstrong to Smith. Armstrong regrets that he is unable to afford a $100,000 contribution. Armstrong attacks the character of J. Frank Norris.
Smith, Gerald L. K. January 26
From Smith, a letter denouncing Gerald Winrod and Upton Close for "having turned against me on the Negro question." Smith believed that "the Jew question was too close for them [Winrod and Close] to handle."
Smith, Gerald L. K. February 18
From Smith, on his recent illness. Smith claimed that Jews poisoned him with arsenic to insure that "the truth shall not reach our people."
Smith, Gerald L. K. February 27
From Smith's wife, Elna, thanking Armstrong for a gift. Mrs. Smith discusses the ordeal of Smith's illness and expresses gratitude for "our white Christian housekeeper."
Townsend, Ralph January-February
Interesting correspondence with Townsend, an associate of Carl Mote, a wealthy anti-Semite who had set up a foundation similar in purpose to Armstrong's. Townsend advised Armstrong on setting up his own foundation. Townsend was an active pro-Axis anti-Semitic propagandist in the 1930s and 1940s. Townsend believed that World War II was a "massacre of the most advanced people in both Asia and Europe."
Townsend, Ralph January 5
From Townsend. Townsend asks Armstrong to help with his "pro American" work.
Townsend, Ralph January 9
To Townsend. Armstrong informs Townsend that the new officers of the Judge Armstrong Foundation will be George Van Horne Moseley, J. E. McDonald, and B. V. Thompson Jr.
March-April
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. March-April
Correspondence with Allen and George on Texas Steel Co. business.
Creager, R. B. March-April
Correspondence with Creager on running MacArthur for president. Armstrong favors MacArthur, but Creager is leaning towards Taft.
Crawford, Garfield March 8
From Crawford, special assistant to Senator O'Daniel, on "the communists who wrote the Marshall Plan."
Dilling, Elizabeth March-April
Correspondence with Dilling. Dilling is planning a trip to Natchez to meet with Armstrong.
Grandy, Lloyd H. February 26
From Grandy, a retired U. S. Army officer. Interesting letter on efforts to end segregation in the Army during World War II. Grandy discusses his own struggle to maintain segregation and invites Armstrong to join an organization called the "Caucasians."
Gibson, Merritt H. March-April
Correspondence with Gibson on the "southern rebellion" brewing against Truman's civil rights agenda. A convention of Southern Democrats resulted in an agenda for a "southern plan" to create a Dixiecrat or "Jeffersonian" party of white supremacy.
Moseley, George Van Horne March-April
Correspondence with Moseley on the 1948 presidential race. Armstrong favors MacArthur, but Moseley leans towards Taft as a more viable candidate, although he professes to be "devoted to MacArthur." Moseley is close to General Robert E. Wood, chairman of the Sears company. Wood is a friend of MacArthur and possibly and anti-Semite. In other correspondence Moseley mentions a visit to Tyler Kent "on his farm near Baltimore."
Moseley, George Van Horne March 9
From Moseley, on MacArthur. Moseley speaks of MacArthur's "great personal ambition" which causes him to make "grandiose" pronouncements and avoid issues. Moseley reaffirms his preference for Taft and expresses his fear that MacArthur would "appease certain minority groups" and wants to "offend no one". Moseley mentions MacArthur's suppression of a possibly racist pamphlet on "Americanism" Moseley issued his troops during the 1920s.
McGinley, Conde Common Sense April 6
From McGinley, soliciting money for the defense of Robert Best.
McGinley, Conde Common Sense April 15
From Moseley: "The Jew is far more dangerous than the atomic bomb."
O'Daniel, W. Lee March 20
Copy of a letter from O'Daniel to Horace Wilkinson attacking Eisenhower as "communistic."
Pearson, Adelaide Pelley Pelley, William Dudley April 14
More from Pearson on her father's efforts to gain parole.
Panton, S. P. (Undated)
A pathetic letter from Panton, who is 99. Panton's son has recently died, and his daughter-in-law has placed him in a nursing home.
Rankin, John March-April
Correspondence with Rankin on the 1948 elections.
Rankin, John February 6
From Rankin, a letter attacking Truman's civil rights platform as "communistic."
Theobald, William A. March-April
Correspondence with Theobald, a Chicago anti-Semite.
Theobald, William A. March 12
From Theobald, a letter attacking MacArthur for taking an award from a Jewish organization.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. Simonak, Maria April 27
Thompson forwards Armstrong a translation of a letter in German from Maria Simonak, a German citizen who wanted Armstrong's help in entering the United States. Simonak was familiar with Armstrong's writings, and warns him of "Jewish plots" and a "Jewish fifth column" in America.
May-June
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. May-June
Correspondence with George and Allen on Texas Steel Co. and other business matters.
Allen, Marilyn R. April 24
From Allen. Allen sends Armstrong clippings from a Jewish newspaper linking Armstrong with Arnold Leese and the Imperial Fascist League. (Armstrong corresponded with Leese-see above, p. 287, 289, 291.) Also enclosed is a letter from an Arab organization fighting Jews in Palestine.
Close, Upton Hall, Joseph Washington May 22
From Close, on his anti-communist radio crusade broadcast from a station in Mexico.
Creager, R. B. May-June
Correspondence with Creager on MacArthur as a possible contender for the Republican nomination for president.
Crawford, Garfield May-June
Correspondence with Crawford on W. Lee O'Daniel and the anti-New Deal movement. "I cannot stomach Lyndon Johnson," Crawford writes. Crawford is helping Armstrong distribute his new book, Traitors.
Gibson, Merritt H. May-June
Correspondence with Gibson on the states rights movement and the States Rights Conference in Jackson, Mississippi, and the possibility of MacArthur as a States Rights presidential candidate.
Gibson, Merritt H. April 30
From Gibson, on Truman's nomination and the Democratic party's 1948 civil rights program.
Harris, Robert A. June 7
Armstrong sends Harris a $1,000 contribution for the "MacArthur for President" campaign.
Kline, Henry H. June 14
From Kline, an anti-Semitic Jewish lawyer who defended Col. Sanctuary at the sedition trial. Kline asked Armstrong for financial help; Armstrong refused.(78)
Kister, Fredrick May-June
Exchange of letters with Kister, on his newsletter and other topics. Armstrong sent Kister a $25 donation and asked Kister to advertise his books in his newsletter.
Moseley, George Van Horne May-June
Correspondence with Moseley on the "MacArthur for President" movement. Moseley sends Armstrong copies of his correspondence with MacArthur.
Moseley, George Van Horne April 29
Moseley warns Armstrong against publicly linking MacArthur with white supremacy as "It may throw the negro vote into the anti-MacArthur camp."
Moseley, George Van Horne May 20
To Armstrong, on the Nuemberg trials, which Moseley condemned; also on Taft's presidential aspirations.
O'Daniel, W. Lee May-June
Correspondence with O'Daniel. Armstrong sends O'Daniel a copy of Traitors, which O'Daniel reads and praises.
Rankin, John May 18
From Rankin, on "the Palestine fiasco" and the Marshall Plan.
Smith, Gerald L. K. Mau-June
Correspondence with Smith. Smith is having serious financial problems and sends Armstrong a desperate appeal for money. Armstrong replies that he prefers to treat his contributions as "loans" so that "I can offset it against my income taxes." Armstrong has recently finished work on his new book Traitors and Smith continues to help Armstrong distribute his books. Armstrong sends Smith a copy of a circular he sent out with World Empire alerting businessmen to the dangers of the "organized Jews."
Staplin, L. D. May 1
Staplin sends Armstrong a copy of a bizarre letter he wrote to Marilyn Allen. Staplin outlines the history of "Jewish conspiracies" from 2100 BC to the present.
Turner, Charles May-June
Correspondence with Turner, a British anti-Semite associated with the Imperial Fascist League.
July-August
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. July-August
Correspondence with George and Allen on Texas Steel business.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. July 23
Armstrong places an ad attacking the New Deal in several Texas newspapers, including the Dallas Morning News.
Dilling, Elizabeth August 14
Dilling sends Armstrong a copy of a leaflet attacking Gerald Smith she is circulating among her friends and supporters.
Jurs, Artur July-August
Correspondence with Artur Jurs, an Estonian exile and anti-Semite. Jurs appeals for financial aid for college. Jurs gives Armstrong an anti-Semitic version of recent Baltic history, blaming "Jewish communists" for Estonia's misfortunes. He seems to be especially bitter against American Jews.
Laney, Governor Ben July-August
Correspondence with Arkansas Governor Laney. Armstrong and Laney discuss ways to oppose the Democratic party's civil rights program; on the States Rights movement and Strom Thurmond; and on Laney's role in the 1948 Democratic convention.
MacArthur, Douglas August 21
A copy of a letter from MacArthur to Armstrong, thanking him for his support. (Armstrong removed the original letter from these files.)
Moseley, George Van Horne Smith, Gerald L. K. July-August
Correspondence with Moseley on the 1948 political & campaigns and on the affairs of the Judge Armstrong Foundation.
Moseley, George Van Horne Smith, Gerald L. K. July 2
From Moseley. Moseley has been invited to speak at Gerald Smith's Christian Nationalist party convention.
Moseley, George Van Horne Smith, Gerald L. K. July 6
From Moseley, on the aftermath of the Republican convention and on Moseley's plans to support Dewey as the "lesser evil."
Moseley, George Van Horne Smith, Gerald L. K. July 22
Armstrong to Moseley. Armstrong is planning to make a substantial donation to the Jefferson Military College, a small private school near Natchez, Mississippi.
Moseley, George Van Horne Smith, Gerald L. K. July 27
From the National Council For American Education to Moseley. The NCAE was a right wing interest group devoted to the "eradication of Marxism and collectivism from our schools and colleges." The NCEA was endorsed by the Daughters of the American Revolution, among others, and was apparently worried about its image being tarnished by anti-Semitism. This letter from the NCAE directors informs Moseley that they only oppose "un-American Jews." The NCEA assures Moseley that they endorse him "unanimously" but are concerned by a pamphlet circulated by Gerald Smith praising Moseley and identifying Moseley as a friend and supporter of Smith's.
Moseley, George Van Horne Smith, Gerald L. K. July 30
Moseley to NCAE, a letter endorsing Gerald L. K. Smith and his beliefs, but expressing fear of any association with open anti-Semitism.
Moseley, George Van Horne Smith, Gerald L. K. August 8
From Moseley. Moseley plans to attend a Christian Nationalist party convention in St. Louis organized by Smith.
Moseley, George Van Horne Smith, Gerald L. K. August 24
From Moseley, an account of the Christian Nationalist party convention in St. Louis.(79)
MacFarland, W. Henry July 20
To Armstrong, on organizing right wing and Nationalist support for MacArthur. MacFarland gives an account of a Nationalist rally in support of MacArthur outside of the 1948 Democratic convention in Philadelphia.
McGinley, Conde July-August
Correspondence with McGinley on supporting his propaganda efforts and financing hie anti-Semitic newspaper, Common Sense. Although he would eventually support Common Sense, Armstrong declined on this occasion.
Rankin, John July-August
Correspondence with Rankin on his congressional race.
Smith, Gerald L. K. July-August
Correspondence with Smith on the 1948 political campaigns and related topics.
Smith, Gerald L. K. August 11
From Smith, a letter bitterly attacking Strom Thurmond for his "villainous criticism" of Smith. Smith goes on to deplore "the ease with which Negroes are voting in South Carolina at this very moment." Smith dismisses Thurmond as a "pet of the New York Jew controlled press."(80)
Smith, Gerald L. K. August 22
From Smith, urging Armstrong to aid Emory Burke, a member of the Columbians, a racist organization similar to the Klan based in Atlanta, Georgia. Burke had recently been arrested for his activities. Smith wanted to start a defense fund for Burke: "We must stand by this boy." Both Armstrong and Moseley would become deeply involved with Burke's case.
Thurmond, Strom July 20
Armstrong to Thurmond. Armstrong asks Thurmond about his position on the race issue and his reasons for repudiating Gerald Smith.
Thurmond, Strom July 27
Thurmond replies that he "favors segregation" but prefers to stress "states rights instead of class hatred or racial prejudice."
Thurmond, Strom July 30
Thurmond to Armstrong. Thurmond assures Armstrong that, contrary to a New York Times story, he supported segregation and believed in white supremacy. Thurmond claimed the Times misquoted him.
Turner, Charles July 3
From Turner, an associate of British Fascist Arnold Leese, on "Bolshevik plots" in Berlin.
September-October
Armstrong, George W. Smith, Gerald L. K. September-October
Correspondence, advertisements, addresses, clippings, and handbills relating to the 1948 Democratic convention and Gerald Smith's Christian Nationalist party convention; the text of Moseley's speech to the Christian Nationalist party convention; picture of Smith and Moseley.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. September-October
Correspondence with Allen and George on Texas Steel Co. business, and related matters.
Allen, Marilyn R. September-October
Correspondence with Allen, author of the pamphlet The White Man's Nemesis-Mongrelization. Allen sends Armstrong a letter on the dangers of "race mixing."
Burke, Emory September-October
Correspondence relating to the Emory Burke case. Correspondence of Armstrong, Gerald Smith, George Deatherage and others on Burke's legal problems and how to aide him.
Common Sense McGinley, Conde September 29
From McGinley's secretary Edna Hodges, a copy of Common Sense with an article contributed by Armstrong--an excerpt from his book Traitors.
Dallas Morning News September 8
Copy of an anti-Semitic, anti-communist ad Armstrong placed in the News.
Dilling, Elizabeth September-October
Correspondence with Dilling on the alleged "Jewishness" of the Rockefeller family--they "act Jewish", according to Armstrong. Another letter labels Senator Arthur H. Vandenburg a "stooge of Jewry." Other correspondence relates to the Palestinian question, including a copy of a letter from Dilling to Moseley describing the B'nai B'rith as a "criminal conspiracy against the rights of all non-Jews."
Houston Post September-October
Correspondence with editors of the Post on various political ads Armstrong placed supporting MacArthur and defending white supremacy.
Handcock, Austin October 12
From Handcock, an activist for the States Rights movement, a fund raising letter to raise money to fight "communist minded New Dealers."
Lane, Mrs. Alvin (Undated)
From Mrs. Lane, on her husband's campaign for Governor. Alvin Lane was a Republican running on a States Rights platform.
McGinley, Conde September-October
Correspondence with McGinley on Armstrong's latest writings; including a section of a manuscript from Armstrong entitled "Jews."
McGinley, Conde September 8
From McGinley. "My aunt Bessie helped to raise Amon Carter. He now takes care of her, and has for years."
MacArthur, Douglas August 11, Sept 12
Exchange of letters with MacArthur. A thank you note from MacArthur, thanking Armstrong for his support; a reply from Armstrong.
Moseley, George Van Horne September-October
Correspondence with Moseley on the Judge Armstrong Foundation, the 1948 political campaigns and related topics.
Moseley, George Van Horne September 22
To Armstrong. The MacArthur campaign hopes to throw the 1948 election into the House. Enclosed, a copy of a letter from Dilling attacking Smith, and on Smith's association with William Dudley Pelley and the Silver Shirts.(81)
Moseley, George Van Horne October 4
Moseley informs Armstrong that Mr. Hohensee, a MacArthur campaign director, "fully agrees with your stand on the Jews" but did not want to be openly anti-Semitic.
Moseley, George Van Horne October 15
Copy of a letter from Moseley to Gerald Smith, objecting to Smith's use of his name for promotional purposes, and declining to make a lecture tour of the Midwest on Smith's behalf. Correspondence on the MacArthur campaign, which had come to consider any association with Smith and Armstrong a "political liability", but nevertheless was willing to take Armstrong's money.
Nenoff, Stephen September-October
Correspondence with Nenoff, a right wing commentator and publisher.
Rankin, John August 30
From Rankin: `We have come to a showdown in this war between Yiddish communism and Christian civilization." Armstrong compliments Rankin on the "splendid victory" of Rankin's election to congress.
Stokes, Jeremiah Dilling, Elizabeth September-October
Correspondence with Stokes, Elizabeth Dilling's new husband, on Dilling's continuing quarrel with Gerald Smith.
Smith, Gerald L. K. September-October
Correspondence with Smith on the Emory Burke case; an Smith's problems with Dilling; and Dilling's publication of a "synopsis" of the Talmud. Smith and Armstrong discuss working with Smith's printer in Fort Worth, and Armstrong's interest in buying his own publishing company.
November-December
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November-December
Correspondence with George and Allen on Texas Steel Co. business, and some of Armstrong's political correspondence.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November 1
From Armstrong, a letter to the editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Armstrong tells the editor he is "amazed" by Thurmond's remarks about his recent ad in the Star Telegram. On October 24, Armstrong placed an ad in the Star-Telegram supporting Strom Thurmond and the States Rights party that attacked Jews and called for, among other things, the "disenfranchisement of aliens and negro's." During a visit to Fort Worth, Thurmond denounced the ad, condemned anti-Semitism and denied any association with Gerald L. K. Smith.
Allen, Marilyn R. November 9
From Allen, on the results of the recent election victory of Harry Truman. Like Armstrong and many of his associates, Allen was shocked by Truman's unexpected victory.
Allen, Marilyn R. November 18
From Allen, on the outcome of the 1948 election. Allen fears the implementation of the civil rights proposals of liberal Democrats will mean the "yoke of Jew-Negro-communist slavery."
Dilling, Elizabeth November 12
A long letter from Dilling. She denounces writer Howard Fast as a "Communist Party Jew." The letter also contains much interesting and bizarre anti-Semitic mythology. The Cabala is "the key to the present mystery" and ritual murder and blood rites are "as much apart of Judism (sic) as the Talmud." She also launches another attack against Gerald Smith--most of her letters from this period will contain denunciations of Smith.
Moseley, George Van Horne November 8
Moseley to Armstrong, on Jewish plans for "world revolution."
Moseley, George Van Horne November 20, December 23
Moseley sends Armstrong a copy of a Nov. 29 letter to Hugh Scott, an official of the Republican party, warning him against Jews in the Republican ranks. Scott replies that "your comments and criticism will be welcomed" and welcomes Moseley to the party.
Moseley, George Van Horne November 24
To Armstrong, on the Smith-Dilling feud, advising Armstrong to remain neutral.
McGinley, Conde November-December
Correspondence with McGinley. McGinley wants to buy his own printing plant.
Stokes, Jeremiah November 20
A long letter from Stokes attacking Gerald Smith.
Box
160 1948-1950
Documents and correspondence relating to Armstrong's suit against the Southern Production Company over royalties from oil leases on his Mississippi plantations.
Box
161-163 1949
George W. Armstrong was by this time a very wealthy man. His oil revenues continued to increase, and the Texas Steel Co. could always be counted on to show at least a modest profit. Much of the oil money, however, was still on paper. Substantial oil and gas reserves had been discovered on his Mississippi property, but only a small percentage had been developed. Armstrong's initial endowment to his foundation was only $12,000-far less than he initially had planned. He would be able to make far larger contribution in the near future, when his oil and gas investments reached their full potential.
The Internal Revenue Service challenged the tax exempt status of the Judge Armstrong Foundation, due in part to complaints from the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League and the B'nai B'rith. When the foundation's tax exemption was revoked, Armstrong set up the Texas Educational Association. Although the officers on the TEA were essentially the same as those of the Judge Armstrong Foundation, the TEA did not have an explicit political agenda. Instead, the TEA focused on funding the teaching of free market economics in small colleges and universities.(82)
The event that brought the Judge Armstrong Foundation to the attention of the B'nai B'rith and ultimately the IRS was Armstrong's proposal to donate a substantial portion of his oil revenues to the Jefferson Military College. As a condition for his donation, Armstrong stipulated that the school must exclude Asians, African Americans and Jews from its student body. Armstrong's proposal quickly attracted most unwelcome national media attention when Walter Winchell made it the subject of his October 30 broadcast. This adverse publicity forced Jefferson Military College to decline Armstrong's donation.(83)
Armstrong carried on his anti-Semitic political activities without the direct aid of his foundation. Armstrong entered into a correspondence with G. F. Green, a British anti-Semite and an associate of Arnold Leese, H. H. Beamish, and other British Fascists. Armstrong lent financial support to Green's newsletter. Armstrong continued his support for Gerald L. K. Smith, Conde McGinley and other American anti-Semitic propagandists, advertised his publications in their newspapers, and occasionally wrote articles for them. George Van Horne Moseley continued as director of the Judge Armstrong Foundation, and became the president of the Texas Educational Association when the Judge Armstrong Foundation ceased operations.
Correspondents: Allen, Marilyn R.; Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Burke, Emory; Darden, Ida M; Eastland, James O.; Fort Worth National Bank; Green, G. F.; Gibson, Merritt H.; Hart, Merwin K.; Jefferson Military College Kister, Fredrick; Luce, Llewelyn A.; Moseley, George Van Horne; McGinley, Conde; Panton, S. P.; Justice For Pelley Committee; Pegler, Westbrook; Rankin, John; Smith, Gerald L. K.; Sanctuary, Col. Eugene N.; Thompson, B. V.; Talmadge, Herman; Willis, Doyle; Williams, Robert A. (Upton Close).
January-February
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January-February
Correspondence with George and Allen on Texas Steel Co. and related business topics.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. February 18
From George W. Armstrong Jr., on his father's proposal to make a donation to Jefferson Military College.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. February 29
From Jefferson Military College, explaining its financial problems and asking for a donation.
Dallas Morning News February 12
A letter to the editor attacking the idea of welfare: "People will not work except for love of gain and fear of punishment. God made us that way."
Fort Worth National Bank January 24
Correspondence on Armstrong's plan to leave a substantial bequest to Texas Wesleyan College.
Moseley, George Van Horne January-February
Correspondence with Moseley on the activities of the Judge Armstrong Foundation.
Moseley, George Van Horne January 3
Copy of a letter from B. V. Thompson Jr. to Moseley. Thompson is concerned because "the foundation is under attack from several quarters" due to its anti-Semitic affiliations.
Moseley, George Van Horne January 5
Moseley to Armstrong. Moseley advises Armstrong to tone down the anti-Semitic rhetoric, and to delay publication of his latest anti-Semitic book.
Moseley, George Van Horne January 31
Armstrong to the Board of Directors of Jefferson Military College. As a condition of his gift, Armstrong requires that Jefferson's enrollment be restricted to "white Christian students."
Moseley, George Van Horne February 14
Armstrong to Jefferson Military College, another letter on changes Armstrong wishes to make in the school's charter: the Judge Armstrong Foundation will control appointments to the schools board, and both students and faculty are to be restricted to "white Christians."
Moseley, George Van Horne February 29
Armstrong to Moseley, on his belief that "racial instinct governs the Jew."
McGinley, Conde January 18, 21
From McGinley, a fund raising appeal addressed to Moseley and Armstrong.
Panton, S. P. September 29
From Panton, informing Armstrong that he will be 100 years old on October 29, 1949.
Rankin, John January 11
From Rankin: "The battle is on against Yiddish communism."
Sanctuary, Col. Eugene N. January-February
Correspondence with Sanctuary.
Sanctuary, Col. Eugene N. February 3
From Sanctuary, discussing his relationship with Henry Kline, the anti-Semitic Jewish lawyer that defended him in the sedition trial.
Sanctuary, Col. Eugene N. February 7
From Armstrong. Armstrong cancels Sanctuary's debt to the foundation.
Sanctuary, Col. Eugene N. February 14
A strange letter from Sanctuary, in which he claims a mysterious group of millionaires is financing his anti-Semitic propaganda efforts. "What they aspire to do," he ads cryptically. "comes out of the last [1949] election.
Smith, Gerald L. K. January 26
An hysterical fund raising letter from Smith, claiming to be threatened by "assassination plots" and in desperate need of $1,000,000. Smith tells Armstrong that "92% of this money comes from widows, pensioners, and poor farmers."
March-April
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. March-April
Correspondence with Allen and George on Texas steel business. Other correspondence deals with Armstrong's donation to Jefferson College and his plans for the school's future.
Allen, Marilyn R. February 28
Copy of a letter from Allen to Moseley. Allen fears "a white-negro civil war" and believes that negroes are "taking over the country."
Boaz, Bishop H. A. March 4, 10
Correspondence with Armstrong on the Jefferson Military College donation.
Boaz, Bishop H. A. March 11
From Boaz, on the Jefferson College donation. Boaz hopes that Jefferson will stand for "the highest ideals of democracy, forever banishing communism and all its ideals from it's sacred precincts."
Eastland, Senator James O. April 8
From Eastland. Eastland believes that the Americans For Democratic Action "seems to be at the wheel for the present administration."
Moseley, George Van Horne March-April
Correspondence with Moseley on the affairs on the Judge Armstrong Foundation and related topics.
Moseley, George Van Horne April 25
From Moseley, on the need to "size up" Conde McGinley, whose anti-Semitic publication Common Sense they plan to support financially; and on offering more assistance to Emory Burke for his legal expenses.
Moseley, George Van Horne April 18, 24
Copies of Moseley's correspondence with Marilyn Allen. Allen is seeking help in publishing a recently completed book, Alien Minorities and Mongrelization.
Moseley, George Van Horne March 1, April 15
Exchange of letters with Moseley on the proposed donation to Jefferson Military College.
Moseley, George Van Horne April 3
From Moseley. Moseley commends Armstrong for his support of McGinley and his newspaper. "You were thoughtful, serious and loyal in sending the check to Mr. McGinley."
Moseley, George Van Horne April 12
Copy of a letter from Allen Armstrong to Moseley on the Jefferson College donation.
Moseley, George Van Horne April 18
From Conde McGinley to Moseley, warning him that "Jew world plotters are about to end Christian America."
Moseley, George Van Horne March 9
From Moseley, on Emory Burke and his involvement with the Columbians.
May-June
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. May-June
Correspondence with Allen and George on Texas Steel Co. business, oil exploration in Mississippi, and the financial problems facing the Jefferson Military College.
Green, G. F. May-June
Correspondence with Green, a British anti-Semite and publisher of the Independent Nationalist, an anti-Semitic newspaper. Green was the political heir of H. H. Beamish, one of the founders of the Fascist movement in England.(84)
Green, G. F. May 23
Armstrong subscribes to the Independent Nationalist, and sends Green a $50 contribution.
Green, G. F. June 18
Armstrong sends Green twenty copies of Zionist Wall Street, his latest book, for Green to distribute in England.
Green, G. F. May 27
From Green. Green tells Armstrong that H. H. Beamish introduced him to Armstrong's writings. Green also discusses the letter Herman Goering wrote from his prison cell before he committed suicide. Green offered to sell Armstrong the "rights" to Goering's letter for $500. Green wanted to expose the "Jewish control" of the Nuremberg trials. Armstrong offered him financial assistance, although he declined Green's offer of Georing's letter.
Kister, Fredrick May-June
Correspondence with Kister. Kister informs Armstrong that Armstrong and the Judge Armstrong Foundation have been mentioned in a Anti-Defamation League report.
McGinley, Conde June 18
A long letter from McGinley, with an account of his financial problems and repeated attempts by the Anti-Defamation League to shut his newspaper down.
Moseley, George Van Horne May-June
Correspondence with Moseley on the business of the Judge Armstrong Foundation. Armstrong plans to make Moseley the president of the new Board of Trustees of Jefferson Military College. This section also includes copies of Moseley's correspondence with Col. Sanctuary, involving some rather strange references to the Lindbergh kidnapping case.
Moseley, George Van Horne June 18
From Armstrong. Armstrong informs Moseley that the foundation has lost its tax exempt status.
Moseley, George Van Horne June 18
From Moseley, a report on the progress of the anti-Semitic movement. "The only solution is to settle the problem of the Jews the world over for all time."
Moseley, George Van Horne June 30
From Moseley, a letter attacking "dump protestant ministers" for cooperating with "Jewish schemes."
Justice for Pelley Committee May 3
A fund raising appeal from the committee supporting efforts to win parole for William Dudley Pelley.
Smith, Gerald L. K. May-June
Correspondence with Smith. Armstrong helped Smith with printing bills for Cross and the Flag and other publications.
Smith, Gerald L. K. May 10
A long fund raising letter from Smith on how he first became aware of the Jewish "plot against America." "I realized that all the enemies of Jesus Christ had united to destroy Christian civilization." Smith claimed to have been poisoned by "a negro communist in a restaurant" and begged his supporters to send him money.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. June 1
From Thompson, questioning Smith's fund raising methods and his integrity. Thompson believes that "Smith is a rather wealthy man."(85)
July-August
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. July-August
Correspondence with George and Allen on the oil production in Mississippi, the Texas Steel Co. and the Judge Armstrong Foundation. Copy of a letter from B. V. Thompson which includes a list of right wing individuals and organizations that Armstrong considered supporting.
Allen, Marilyn R. July 25
Another hysteric letter from Allen. Allen claims that Jews in New York are jabbing hypodermic needles in the arms of Gentiles" and "slashing them with knives."
Burke, Emory August 17
From Burke, on his efforts to obtain a pardon from Georgia Governor Talmadge.
Duefs, Arthur B. July 5
From Duefs, a St. Louis manufacturer, rejecting Armstrong's attempt to solicit his support in a crusade to purge Southern Methodist University of "Jews and alien influence." "Christianity does not teach hate," Duefs admonished Armstrong, "it teaches brotherly love."
Green, G. F. July-August
Correspondence with Green on distributing Armstrong's book Zionist Wall Street in England; green sends Armstrong a copy of his pamphlet, The International Jew.
Green, G. F. July 1
Armstrong sends Green a 500 pound donation.
Love, Lewellyn A. July-August
Correspondence with Luce, a Washington lawyer, on efforts to preserve the Judge Armstrong Foundation's tax exemption, including an affidavit from Allen Armstrong on the activities of the foundation.
Moseley, George Van Horne July-August
Correspondence with Moseley on the Emory Burke case, the Judge Armstrong Foundation and related topics.
Moseley, George Van Horne July 13
Moseley to Armstrong: "The Jews love to see Christians devote themselves to brotherly love to the exclusion of everything else so that the plans of the Jews to exterminate Christians can go forward almost undetected."
Moseley, George Van Horne August 1
Copy of an astonishingly hateful letter from Moseley to Dr. Harman W. Caldwell in response to an appeal from the National Council of Christians and Jews. Moseley blames Jews for "communism, the liquor traffic, the white slave traffic, the dope traffic, the black market," and the Crucifixion of Christ.
Moseley, George Van Horne August 1
From Armstrong, a letter discussing his plans for Jefferson Military College.
McGinley, Conde July-August
Correspondence with McGinley, on financing Common Sense and related topics.
McGinley, Conde July 27
From McGinley, who has discovered a "Zionist plot" to create a "World Government" and destroy the United States through "slavery and wholesale slaughter."
McGinley, Conde July 27
From Armstrong, on financing Common Sense and McGinley's efforts to distribute Armstrong's Zionist Wall Street.
Rankin, John July-August
Correspondence with Rankin on the situation in Washington and Armstrong's planned donation to the Jefferson Military College.
Rankin, John July 13
From Rankin, requesting copies of Zionist Wall Street, and commenting on the Alger Hiss case.
Rankin, John July 16
Armstrong to Rankin. Armstrong discusses his donation to Jefferson Military College which he estimates eventually "will exceed $50,000,000 in value." Armstrong asks Rankin to distribute Zionist Wall Street to Congress.
Rankin, John July 22
From Rankin, on the situation in Palestine, Rankin thinks that the "craziest thing we have ever done is recognize the Zionist Government in Palestine."
September-October
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. September-October
Correspondence with George and Allen on business; papers relating to Armstrong's donation to the Jefferson Military College.
Bailey, Senator Joseph Weldon--death of October 13
Armstrong receives a telegram informing him of the death of his old friend Senator Bailey, Armstrong shared a law office with Bailey when he first came to Fort Worth in 1888.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram October 20
Letter to the editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram eulogizing Bailey.
Goree, R. E. September 15
A telegram from his old friend and business partner R. E. Gore informing Armstrong of the death of William Weatherford, a former business partner who had figured in Armstrong's 1923 bankruptcy.(86)
Hart, Merwin K. National Economic Council September-October
Correspondence with Hart on politics.
Hart, Merwin K. National Economic Council September 23
From Hart, inviting Armstrong to participate in a conference for those "fighting to preserve the American way of life."
Hart, Merwin K. National Economic Council October 1
To Hart. Armstrong pledges to support efforts to defeat Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn and Senator Tom Connally.
Langer, Senator William October 5
Correspondence with Senator Langer on efforts to gain parole for William Dudley Pelley. Armstrong also proposes an alliance between Dixiecrats and Republicans of "your sort."
Lemke, William September 19
From Lemke, enclosing a copy of his Peoples' Republican Platform, a sort of Populist alternative to the existing Republican platform.(87)
Lemke, William September 28
From Lemke, more on his platform, an odd combination of states-rights rhetoric and old Populist-inspired farmer-labor politics.
Lemke, William October 7
From Lemke, on the need to win the support of "intelligent labor leaders" in order to save America from Communism.
McGinley, Conde October 19
From McGinley: "American Jewish censors have stopped our fifth printer." McGinley wants to know if a Fort Worth firm would be willing to print Common Sense. Issue #103 of Common Sense, McGinley says, will show that "our defense system and many unions are completely controlled by Jews."
McGinley, Conde October 22
Armstrong recommends some printers to McGinley.
McGinley, Conde October 23
McGinley informs Armstrong that #103 has been successfully printed.
Moseley, George Van Horne September-October
Correspondence with Moseley on The Judge Armstrong Foundation and related topics.
Moseley, George Van Horne September 21
From Moseley, on the Emory Burke case. Moseley has spoken to Governor Talmadge on Burke's behalf and believes Talmadge is willing to help Burke. Burke, meanwhile, is out on bail and on a speaking tour with Gerald Smith. Moseley the discusses creation of an Anglo-Saxon Protective League.
Moseley, George Van Horne October 15
From Moseley, a note attached to a page from the Congressional Record, with an article on "Hate Groups" and a resolution from the American Legion condemning them. The article in the Congressional Record mentions Armstrong and the Judge Armstrong Foundation, Gerald L. K. Smith, Merwin Hart, Fredrick Kister and others. Moseley comments in his note that "Jews and their henchmen write Legion policy."
Moseley, George Van Horne October 27
Moseley to Armstrong on the donation to Jefferson Military College. Moseley expresses the hope that the college in the future will produce leaders that will see to it that "the enemies in our gates are speedily liquidated."
Moseley, George Van Horne October 15, 25
Exchange of letters with Moseley on Jefferson College. The official of the college plan "some sort of celebration" in honor of Armstrong's donation.
Panton, S. P. October 4
From Panton, on the occasion of his one hundredth birthday. The letter includes one of his lectures on monetary policy.
Pearson, Adelaide Pelley Pelley, William Dudley October 12
From Pelley, on her continuing efforts to free her father
Justice for Pelley Committee September-October
Correspondence with the Committee on efforts to free Pelley.
Rankin, John August 29
From Rankin. Rankin proposes to investigate the Anti-Defamation League, "which is carrying on the greatest persecution of white gentiles ever known in America."
Williams, Robert September-October
Correspondence with Williams, one of the anti-Semitic propagandists supported by the Judge Armstrong Foundation, which has pledged $100 per year to support Williams' newsletter. Williams tells Armstrong that Upton Close (Joseph Washington Hall) had a leftist background. Hall had known the Chinese revolutionary leader Sun Yat Sin and had apparently flirted with communism. Williams wants to launch a propaganda campaign against Warren and Eliot Roosevelt.
Willis, Doyle September-October
Correspondence with State Representative Willis, on his efforts to fight labor unions. Willis discusses "my battle against the CIO."
November-December
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November-December
Correspondence with Allen and George on oil exploration and development in Mississippi, and on Texas Steel Co. business. Other correspondence on the Judge Armstrong Foundation and the Jefferson Military College.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November 1
From Allen, on the aftermath of Walter Winchell's radio broadcast attacking Armstrong's donation to the Jefferson Military College. The national press quickly picked up the story from Winchell and Jefferson College quickly backed away from the donation and Armstrong's foundation. Jefferson's Board of Directors, according to Allen, "has simply wilted under attack from the left wing press."
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November 1
To Moseley, from Allen Armstrong, informing Moseley that the Jefferson board has "welshed under fire."
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November 1
From Allen Armstrong to Judge Armstrong. Allen advises his father to look into the possibility of buying Whitworth College in Brookhaven, Miss., under terms similar to those suggested to Jefferson.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. October 31
From Allen Armstrong. Allen suggests creating a Judge Armstrong University, to teach Armstrong's racial and political doctrines. The school's charter, however, would reflect no overt "racial and religious bias."
Allen, Marilyn R. November 17
From Allen, on a letter she has written defending Armstrong against Walter Winchell's attack against Armstrong's donation to the Jefferson Military College.
Allen, Marilyn R. November 21
From Allen. Allen flatters Armstrong and praises his work but threatens to quit writing unless the foundation can provide more money in support of her work. Allen is corresponding with a Florida based Klan group.
Baxter, Fred December
From Baxter a New Orleans anti-Semite, a letter in support of Armstrong's donation to Jefferson Military College.
Blessing, William L. November-December
Correspondence with Blessing, the leader of the interestingly named "House of Prayer For All People", an anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic organization. Blessing is promoting his book "proving Jesus was not a Jew."
Burke, Emory December 15
From Burke, on his gratitude for the support received from Moseley and Armstrong; on his work with Gerald L. K. Smith; on plans to have Moseley help him with his appeal.
Darden, Ida M. October 29
From Darden. Darden tells Armstrong that the negative press surrounding his donation to Jefferson Military College was "part of the Red propaganda campaign." Darden described her plans to start a right wing newspaper to be called the Southern Conservative.(88)
Darden, Ida M. November 3
From Armstrong. Armstrong donates $1,000 to Darden to help start the Southern Conservative.
Darden, Ida M. November 4
Darden plans to publish her paper in Fort Worth.
Darden, Ida M. November 21
From Darden, an editorial written for the Southern Conservative on Armstrong's donation to Jefferson Military College.
Defender, The Winrod, Gerald November 25
A fund raising letter from Defender publisher Gerald Winrod. Winrod needs $5,000 to finance his radio broadcasts.
Defender, The Winrod, Gerald November 28
Armstrong to Winrod. Armstrong declines to donate money but offers to buy into Winrod's enterprise.
Eastland, Senator James O. November-December
Correspondence with Eastland on racial issues. "The Negro should be settled in his own country and permitted to work out his own destiny." "New York City has 300,000 Negroid Puerto Ricans…superbly organized by the socialists and communists, they control our country."
Eastland, Senator James O. November 4
To Eastland and John Stennis, a letter supporting Senate Bill No. 1880, a bill proposing to deport African American's to Liberia. In response to a letter form one "Benjamin Gibbons (Colored), President of the Universal African Nationalist Movement", Armstrong expressed the belief that the migration of blacks and Jews to the cities of the East and West Coast is an "organized communist plot to subvert our government." Armstrong enclosed a copy of his letter to Gibbons with his letter to Eastland and Stennis.
Edmonds, General James E. November-December
Correspondence with Edmonds, a racist journalist with a political agenda similar to Armstrong's.
Edmonds, General James E. November 14
From Armstrong, a proposal to deport Negroes.
Flynn, Adam M. November 4, 9
Exchange of letters with Flynn. Flynn offers to provide Armstrong with a wire recording of Winchell's October 30 broadcast attacking the donation to Jefferson Military College.
Gibson, Merritt H. November-December
Correspondence with Gibson, on a Dixiecrat campaign against Florida Senator Claude Pepper, who the Dixiecrats consider a "communist" because of his willingness to accept civil rights reform.
Green, G. F. November-December
Correspondence with English Fascist Green on the Herman Goering letter, the distribution in England of Armstrong's new book, Zionist Wall Street, and related topics. Armstrong sent Green 50 copies of Zionist Wall Street.
Green, G. F. November 4
From Green. Armstrong's troubles with the donation to Jefferson Military College has made the newspapers in England.
Green, G. F. November 7
From Green, enclosing a copy of Herman Goering's letter to Churchill.
Kister, Fredrick Christian Veteran's Political Council November-December
Correspondence with Kister on the coverage of the Jefferson Military College donation in the national and Jewish, and in Walter Winchell's column.
McCammon, Y.Q. November-December
Correspondence with McCammon on Armstrong's tax problems.
McGinley, Conde November-December
Correspondence with McGinley on distributing Zionist Wall Street; on financial support for McGinley; and on attacks on Drew Pearson and Walter Winchell McGinley is running in Common Sense. McGinley published an article by Armstrong defending his donation to Jefferson Military College.
Moseley, George Van Horne November-December
Correspondence with Moseley on the business of the Judge Armstrong Foundation and related topics. This section contains an interesting essay by Moseley attacking the United World Federalists, an organization devoted to achieving world peace through a world government. Moseley implies that such "traitors" deserve the death penalty. Other correspondence indicates that the foundation's funds are low, and Armstrong is having tax problems. Moseley worries that "the race" (white Americans) is "breeding down" rather than "breeding up." Moseley also sent Armstrong copies of his correspondence with Marilyn Allen.
Mayfield, Billie December 6, 13
Copies of an exchange of letters with Armstrong's old friend Billie Mayfield. (See Armstrong's correspondence with Mayfield in 1924, when both men were supporting the Ku Klux Klan.) Mayfield calls Armstrong "the greatest writer America has ever had." Mayfield asks for funds to start a newspaper to help prevent the South from falling "into a slough of nigger equality."
Mayfield, Billie December 23
From Moseley, on Armstrong's plans to sue Walter Winchell, and a proposed radio broadcast by Moseley to respond to Winchell.
Padden, Thomas J. November-December
Correspondence with Padden, an American anti-Semite doing "research" in Europe. Padden stopped in Zurich to study the records of the libel trial that exposed the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion as a forgery.
Padden, Thomas J. November 6
From Padden, who advances the bizarre theory that the Jewish bankers financed the rise of Hitler and started World War II in order to gain control of Palestine, thus "winning" the war. This scheme was supposedly financed by the New York banker Paul Warburg. Warburg was also a key figure in the conspiracy theory Armstrong outlined in Crime of '20.
Pearson, Melford Justice For Pelley Committee November 4
From Melford Pearson, William Dudley Pelley's son-in-law, on the continuing efforts to win a parole or pardon for Pelley.
Pegler, Westbrook November 14
To Pegler. Armstrong discusses his donation to Jefferson Military College.
Smith, Gerald L. K. November-December
Correspondence with Smith.
Smith, Gerald L. K. November 17
Armstrong turns down Smith's request for a $1,000 loan.
Smith, Gerald L. K. December 5
From Smith. Apparently, Armstrong had received almost 5,000 letters and telegrams in support of his donation to Jefferson Military College. Smith begged Armstrong for a list of the sender's names to ad to his mailing list. Most of Smith's income came from direct mail fund raising, a technique that he pioneered.(89)
Smith, Gerald L. K. December 7
From Smith, a letter begging for financial aid.
Smith, Gerald L. K. December 12
To Smith. Armstrong is considering moving back to Fort worth, where he won't be "surrounded with Negroes and Jews."
Sonderegger, Rene November-December
Sonderegger was a Zurich based Swiss anti-Semite and mentor of Thomas Padden, an American researching the "Jewish question" in Europe. (See Padden above)
Sonderegger, Rene December 21
From Sonderegger. A discussion of the notion that Paul Warburg and other Jewish bankers financed Hitler.
Talmadge, Herman November 22
Armstrong to Talmadge, a letter on behalf of Emory Burke.
Talmadge, Herman November 28
From Talmadge, on the question of granting a pardon to Emory Burke.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. November-December
Correspondence with Thompson on the Judge Armstrong Foundation and related topics.
Thompson, Walker, Smith and Shannon November 7
Armstrong plans to establish the Texas Educational Association to replace the Judge Armstrong Foundation.
Box
164-167 1950
In spite of his advanced years and the fact that he was officially retired, Armstrong continued to play an important role in the affairs of Texas Steel Co. and the development of his oil properties in Mississippi. Armstrong still liked to think of himself as a farmer, but in 1950 he sold off much of his Mississippi farmland in order to concentrate on the property that was richest in oil and gas. With the help of sons Allen and George, Armstrong planned yet another reorganization and expansion of the Texas Steel Co.
Politically, Armstrong maintained the contacts he had made with English anti-Semites in the 1920s. He continued his correspondence with the Britons, and his financial support of C. F. Green. Green used Armstrong's financial aid to re-finance his propaganda operations in England, and made some new European contacts. Green eventually became part of a small but active international anti-Semitic network that eventually included contacts in Europe, South America and South Africa. Green introduced Armstrong to some of his new associates.
The Korean War fueled the conservative reaction against the New Deal and its liberal agenda. Armstrong and his associates were pleased with this, but also felt rather left out. Anti-Semites were shunned by even the most extreme anti-communists such as McCarthy. Nevertheless, many right wing politicians and organizations were willing to take Armstrong's money, although they feared being associated with him publicly. Armstrong and his friends therefore put their hopes in the more overtly racist States Right party. Yet as Armstrong's experience with the States Rights party in the 1948 election campaign showed, even some of the States Rights movements leaders--like Strom Thurmond--were reluctant to be openly associated with Armstrong. (See Armstrong's correspondence with Thurmond and Gerald L. K. Smith in 1948.)
Moseley continued to assist Armstrong with the Judge Armstrong Foundation. Armstrong and Moseley continued to assist Emory Burke in his efforts to obtain a pardon and helped support Burke and his family financially. Armstrong was able to make increasingly generous donations to various right wing political organizations and individual propagandists.
Correspondents: Allen, Marilyn R.; Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Burke, Emory; Corbin, Bruce; Darden, Ida M., editor of the Southern Conservative; Dilling, Elizabeth; Eastland, James; Green, G. F.; Gossett, Rep. Ed.; Hudson, Charles B.; Hart, Merwin K.; Leese, Arnold; Kister, Fredrick; Moseley, George Van Horne; McGinley, Conde; McFarland, Henry; McCarthy, Senator Joe; Pelley, William Dudley; Rankin, John; Robnett, George W. (Church League of America); Slimp, Robert L., a young States Rights Democrat; Schuler, A. C., of the Ku Klux Klan; Smith, Gerald L. K.; Sanctuary, Col Eugene N.; Thompson, B. V.
Selected Correspondence 1950
January-February
Armtrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January-February
Correspondence with George and Allen on the problems of the Judge Armstrong Foundation, on Texas Steel Co. business, Mississippi oil leases, and related topics. Allen Armstrong is slated to make the commencement address for the Jefferson Military College graduation ceremonies. These files also include a copy of a letter from the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League relating to Armstrong's donation to Jefferson.
Allen, Marilyn R. January 30
From Allen on Armstrong's new pamphlet defending his donation to Jefferson Military College. Allen requests more money to support her work and insists that she cannot carry on without Armstrong's help.
Allen, Marilyn R. February 3
Armstrong informs Allen that he cannot help her at the present time.
Baker, Norman December 12, 1949
From Baker, a barely literate anti-Semite and a peddler of quack cancer cures. Baker alleges that a conspiracy of Jewish doctors has "taken millions of lives" by suppressing genuine cures for cancer.
Corbin, Bruce B. October 29, 1949
From Corbin. Corbin has moved to Enid, Oklahoma, where he continues his moderately successful radio program and bookselling business.
Darden, Ida M. January-February
Correspondence with Darden on her new publishing venture, the Southern Conservative.
Darden, Ida M. January 11
From Darden, informing Armstrong that she has received an offer from a group of oilmen and businessmen to help finance her paper if they can control its editorial policy. Darden is tempted but reluctant to relinquish editorial control.
Green, G. F. January-February
Correspondence with English anti-Semitic propagandist Green. Green is collaborating with Marilyn Allen on several projects, and is working to aid "political organization" in South Africa. Green has closed down his newspaper and ended what he calls "direct and costly propaganda for the morons in Britain." Armstrong sends Green a loan of $1,000.
Green, G. F. January 24
From green. Through the efforts of B. V. Thompson Jr., as an agent of the Judge Armstrong Foundation, Green is being rescued from bankruptcy.
Green, G. F. January 30
Armstrong sends Green another $1,750.
Kaiser-Frazer Co. January 23
Armstrong writes the Kaiser-Frazer Co., the sponser of Walter Wenchell's radio program, demanding a chance to reply to Winchell's broadcast attacking his donation to Jefferson Military College.
MacFarland, W. Henry Nationalist Action League January 28
From MacFarland, an interesting letter, on early anti-segregation struggles in Philadelphia, organized by Lincoln University students.
Moseley, George Van Horne January-February
Correspondence with Moseley on the Judge Armstrong Foundation and related topics.
Moseley, George Van Horne February 2
From Moseley, on the Emory Burke case and Gerald Smith's apparent exploitation of Burke for his own ends. Burke apparently received only a fraction of the money Smith raised for his defense.
Moseley, George Van Horne January 11, February 2
From Moseley, on the need to attack the United World Federalists and their plan for world government. Moseley encloses copies of his correspondence with Marilyn Allen.
Moseley, George Van Horne January 6
From Moseley, on Emory Burke's odd behavior: "I am afraid that Burke is a little unstable…"
Moseley, George Van Horne January 9
From Moseley, more on Smith's exploitation of Emory Burke. Moseley encloses a copy of Treason Now, a pamphlet attacking the United World Federalists.
Moseley, George Van Horne January 24, 25
From Moseley, on preventing the World Federalists from introducing their resolution endorsing world government to various state legislatures.
Padden, Thomas J. January-February
To Padden. Armstrong offers Padden a job with the Texas Educational Association.
Rankin, John January 28
Rankin offers to distribute Armstrong's new pamphlet The Truth About My Alleged $50,000,000 Donation, to congress.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. January-February
Correspondence with Thompson on Judge Armstrong Foundation business and related topics.
March-April
Allen, Marilyn R. March-April
Correspondence with Allen on the anti-Semitic Nationalist movement in America, and on her problems financing her various publishing projects. Most of Allen's books and pamphlets were, like Armstrong's, self-published; she was therefore in constant need of money. Allen is disappointed by Armstrong's refusal to finance her latest book project. She complains of the "ever swelling tide of Negro-White miscegenation" which she believes her books effectively combat. Allen sends Armstrong a copy of a chapter from her new book, and a copy of a letter to Senator Lemke complaining that "Marxist spies in the Post Office" tamper with her mail.
Allen, Marilyn R. February 19
Allen sends Armstrong a copy of a letter to the Union Pacific Rail Road Co. protesting having to ride in an integrated car on a recent trip.
Allen, Marilyn R. February 23
From Allen, on her efforts to help Armstrong distribute his latest pamphlet.
Allen, Marilyn R. March 7
From Allen, on her contacts with the Nationalist movement in South Africa.
Allen, Marilyn R. March 22
From Allen, accusing Gerald Smith of profiting from the sales of G. F. Green's book, International Jew, without compensating Green. Allen is working on a pamphlet suggesting that Emma Lazaras' poem be removed from the Statue of Liberty.
Allen, Marilyn R. April 13
From Allen. In another pitch for money, Allen boasts that "no other writer…ties in the niggers, Jews, and Communists as I have done."
Allen, Marilyn R. April 22
From Allen, who is working on a new book, For Christ and Country, which will prove the inferiority of blacks.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W., Jr. March-April
Correspondence with George and Allen on business.
Burke, Emory March-April
Correspondence with Burke, on Burke's legal problems. Armstrong sends Burke a $250 donation for his defense fund, and a copy of his latest book.
Burke, Emory March 9
From Burke, thanking Armstrong for the contribution and the book. Burke also mentions Moseley's efforts on his behalf.
Eastland, Senator James O. February 18, 22
Correspondence with Eastland, on opposing the United States signing the international treaty against genocide, currently before the Congress for approval.
Green, G. F. February 18
From Green, thanking Armstrong for a $2,000 loan, which helped pay Green's debts.
Green, G. F. March 14
From Green, enclosing a copy of a mailing list of European and South African anti-Semites.
Hudson, Charles B. March-April
Correspondence with Hudson, including a couple of his anti-Semitic newsletters.
Heida, Allen February 19
A long and rather crazed letter from Heida, an 18 year old bank clerk from Chicago. Complex racist theories, complete with maps and charts.
Leighton, R. W. Dean of the School of Health and Physical Education at the University of Organ, Eugene April 3
From Leighton, a letter asking Armstrong to fund a research project to prove Leighton's racist theories.
McGinley, Conde February 4
From McGinley, urging Armstrong to oppose the international treaty outlawing genocide because it will "stop all effective opposition to communism" because "communism is Jewish."
Moseley, George Van Horne March-April
Correspondence with Moseley, on the Judge Armstrong Foundation and related topics. Armstrong wishes to support Merwin K. Hart's National Economic Counsel. Moseley opposes this on the grounds that Hart already has wealthy backers in New York.
Moseley, George Van Horne February 6
From Moseley, on the Georgia legislature's decision to drop its endorsement of the United World Federalists proposal for a world government.
Moseley, George Van Horne February 18
Moseley discussed the policies of the Texas Educational Association.
Box
167-167 Moseley, George Van Horne February 18
Copy of a letter from Moseley to Dr. Herbert Winston Smith of Tulane University, outlining Moseley's ideas about the correct social policy. Moseley argues that it is necessary to keep the human family "cleaned up of the [weaklings] and the unfit… too much effort is expended in caring for the unfit in hospitals, asylums, jails, etc."
Box
164-167 Moseley, George Van Horne February 9
From Moseley, on his concern over Gerald Smith's apparent exploitation of Emory Burke. Moseley has decided that Smith "is a little peculiar when it comes to handling money."
Moseley, George Van Horne February 13
From Moseley, on Emory Burke and Gerald Smith; on fighting the United World Federalists.
Moseley, George Van Horne February 27
To Moseley, objecting to "Brotherhood Week" being celebrated at Texas Wesleyen College. "I will not knowingly support any Zionist program."
Moseley, George Van Horne March 4
To Moseley. Armstrong will insist that the Jefferson Military College repay the loans the foundation made up to the time the college finally refused Armstrong's donation. Armstrong expresses an interest in using Marilyn Allen as an instructor at his proposed Armstrong University.
Nationalist Action League MacFarland, W. Henry February 21
Correspondence with MacFarland, including clippings, on MacFarland's opposition to an early desegregation campaign led and organized by the NAACP and students from Lincoln University. Interesting material.
Rankin, John March-April
Political correspondence with Rankin.
Rankin, John February 7
From Rankin, on his efforts to distribute Armstrong's latest book in the Congress.
Rankin, John February 25
From Rankin, with a copy of a speech Rankin made before the Senate attacking Albert Einstine as a "communist fake."
Rankin, John March 7
Armstrong and Rankin discuss having the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League placed on the HCUA list of subversive organizations.
Robnett, George W. Church League of America March-April
Correspondence with Robnett, an anti-Communist crusader who shared Armstrong's anti-Semitic views; on running Martin Dies against Senator Tom Connelly in the 1953 election; clippings on Robnett's lecture tour.(90)
Robnett, George W. Church League of America March 1
From Armstrong. Armstrong is searching for evidence of Jewish ancestry in both Eisenhower and Truman.
Smith, Gerald L. K. March-April
Correspondence with Gerald Smith.
Smith, Gerald L. K. April 12
Smith invites Armstrong to address the 1950 Christian Nationalist convention.
Smith, Gerald L. K. April 28
Armstrong sends Smith 150 copies of Zionist Wall Street, his latest book, for Smith to sell through ads in the Cross and the Flag.
Slimp, Robert L. Young States' Rights Democrats March-April
Correspondence with Slimp on organizing the Young States Rights Democrats.
Slimp, Robert L. Young States' Rights Democrats February 9
Armstrong sends Slimp a $500 donation.
Slimp, Robert L. Young States' Rights Democrats February 15
Slimp discusses the possibility of W. Lee O'Daniel running for Governor.
Slimp, Robert L. Young States' Rights Democrats February 27
Slimp solicits more help from Armstrong.
Theobald, William A. February 18
From Theobald, the editor of an anti-Semitic newsletter, on the Jefferson Military College donation.
May-June
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. May-June
Correspondence with Allen and George on Texas Steel Co. business, on the farm and ranch operations in Mississippi, on the Mississippi oil and gas leases, and on the business of the Armstrong trust fund.
Britains, The Free Britain November 9, 1949
From the Britains, an English anti-Semitic society, a copy of their newsletter Free Britain, with a review of Armstrong's Zionist Wall Street.
Committee For Constitutional Government May-June
Correspondence with the Committee For Constitutional Government, an organization that distributed anti-communist literature, on the Committee's struggle to prevent a congressional investigation of its executive secretary, Edward Rumley.
Dilling, Elizabeth May-June
Correspondence with Dilling. Some of Dilling's letters appear to be missing. Armstrong agrees to help Dilling with a new publishing venture.
Friends of Democracy (Undated)
A photocopy of a fund raising letter from Friends of Democracy, an organization devoted to combatting racism. The letter discusses the Judge Armstrong Foundation and its activities, and outlines ways to attack the fund raising abilities of the radical right, and undercut its financial base.
Green, G. F. June 19
From Green, on setting up a right wing political network in Europe and South Africa, concentrating especially in Germany and Austria. Green gives an estimate of the cost of such an operation, and includes a list of Italian, French, German, and South American rightist journals that subscribe to Green's anti-Semitic news service. Green also discusses the importance of supporting white supremacist movements of England's African colonies.
Green, G. F. May 31
Copy of a letter from Green to Moseley in praise of Gerald L. K. Smith.
Kister, Fredrick American Renaissance Book Club May-June
Correspondence with Kister on circulating Houston Stewart Chamberlin's anti Semitic historical and philosophical writings.
Kister, Fredrick American Renaissance Book Club May 18
Armstrong sends Kister $500 and asks him to help distribute Zionist Wall Street.
Leese, Arnold May 27
From Leese, a list of suggested corrections and revisions for Zionist Wall Street.
Leese, Arnold June 21
Armstrong sends Leese a donation, and mentions that he knew "Col. House quite well in his early life." House was allegedly the author of the "Col. E. M. House Letter", a document Armstrong used as a source for his book High Treason. This is the only reference Armstrong made claiming to have known House personally.(91)
McFarland, W. Henry May 18-23
Correspondence with MacFarland, on his crusade against the United World Federalists and the "half Jewish" mayor of Philadelphia. Armstrong sends MacFarland a $250 donation.
Moseley, George Van Horne May-June
Correspondence with Moseley on the business of the Judge Armstrong Foundation and related topics.
Moseley, George Van Horne May 6, 9
Exchange of letters with Moseley, on the need to disenfranchise Blacks and Jews-"They are a menace to our country." Armstrong has sent a donation of $500 to Senator McCarthy to aid his investigation.
Moseley, George Van Horne May 9
An interesting letter on the rise of Senator Mccarthy. Armstrong and Moseley admired McCarthy and found the post-war reaction against liberalism most encouraging.
Moseley, George Van Horne May 31
A circular letter from Moseley with an update on the Emory Burke case. Burke has finally exhausted his appeals and must report to prison in Georgia to begin serving his sentence.
Moseley, George Van Horne June 2
To Armstrong. Moseley discusses his racial theories.
Moseley, George Van Horne June 5
To Armstrong, warning him against becoming involved with the Ku Klux Klan. Moseley seems to have believed that most Klansmen were low class.
Moseley, George Van Horne June 20
Copy of a letter to Dr. Herbert Winston Smith, of New Orleans, outlining his racial theories. Moseley believed the country needed to "breed better boys."
Pelley, William Dudley May 2
From Pelley, on his prospects for earning parole. Pelley faces a possible extradition to South Carolina to face a 1935 fraud charge. Pelley complains of the "Jewish conspiracy" against his "civil liberties." Pelley blames American Jews for "the current aspects of communism in this country."
Pelley, William Dudley June 9
From Pelley, on his plans for after his release from prison; on his past and present associations with Gerald Smith, Gerald Winrod, and Father Coughlin.
Rankin, John June 2
From Rankin: "To me it seems outrageous to use the American people's money to underwrite the Crucifixion [of Christ] by financing this so-called State of Israel." Rankin is helping distribute Zionist Wall Street.
Robnett, George W. Church League of America May 20, 29
Robnett makes it clear that he does not wish to be associated with overt anti-Semitism.
Shuler, Rev. A. C. Imperial Klokand, Ku Klux Klan June 6
From Shuler, soliciting a $1,000 donation from Armstrong.
Shuler, Rev. A. C. Imperial Klokand, Ku Klux Klan June 1
Armstrong sends Shuler $1,000.
Shuler, Rev. A. C. Imperial Klokand, Ku Klux Klan May 11, 12
From Smith, on the recent States Rights convention. Robert L. Slimp, on the Young States' Rights Democrats, made a "well received" speech to the convention. Smith comments on the growing unpopularity of anti-Semitism even in the most extreme right wing circles. "Those of us who know and speak the truths," Smith writes, "are virtual outcasts in gatherings of our own kind." Smith is advertising Zionist Wall Street in the Cross and the Flag.
Shuler, Rev. A. C. Imperial Klokand, Ku Klux, Klan May 20
From Smith, describing Jews as "devil worshipers."
Shuler, Rev. A. C. Imperial Klokand, Ku Klux Klan June 5
From Smith, on Smith's testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, denouncing "one worlders" as traitors. He also "conferred with the Un-American Activities Committee" and filed a petition to investigate the Anti-Defamation League.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. May-June
correspondence with Thompson on Judge Armstrong Foundation business, and on the distribution of Armstrong's latest book, Zionist Wall Street. Thompson submitted the book to several legitimate publishing houses.
July-August
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. July-August
Correspondence on a proposed reorganization plan for Texas Steel Co.; correspondence on oil and gas development in Mexico. [The Korean War has started.]
Green, G. F. July-August
Correspondence with Green, who has agreed to distribute Zionist Wall Street in Europe.
Gossett, Ed August 2
Gossett was an anti-Semitic Dixiecrat. Gossett boasted of being "blacklisted by B'nai B'rith." Includes a newsletter equating Jews with communists and spies.
Kister, Fredrick American Renaissance Book Club August 25
Kister agrees to sell Armstrong's latest pamphlet, Our Constitution, through his book club.
Moseley, George Van Horne July-August
Armstrong and Moseley are concerned by the "treason" revealed by Senator McCarthy in his hearing. Moseley prints and distributes an essay, "Greetings To All Nationalists At Home And Abroad", which accuses Jews of plotting "to enslave the entire world." Jews are responsible for "the Frankenstein in Russia."
Sanctuary, Col. Eugene N. July 20
Long letter from Sanctuary outlining a kind of conspiratorial pseudo-history of the Jewish people. Sanctuary associates Jews with the Illuminati and other conspiracy theories. Very bizarre material
Shuler, Rev. A. C. June 16
In spite of Moseley's disapproval, Armstrong is supporting Shuler's revived Ku Klux Klan with a $1,000 loan. The Klan newspapers advertise Armstrong's books.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. July-August
Correspondence with Thompson on the distribution of Our Constitution.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. July 15
Thompson sends copies of Our Constitution to Smith, Kister, and others.
September-October
Allen, Marilyn R. September 17
Interesting letter from Allen, commenting on Gerald L. K. Smith's recent visit to Salt Lake City. Allen arranged a meeting between Smith and the Governor of Utah, whom Allen claims "is with us and for us." Allen encloses a copy of a letter from her to Smith.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. September-October
Business correspondence with George and Allen.
Burke, Emory September 30
Telegram and letter from Mrs. Burke, requesting an emergency loan of $100 to cover legal fees.
Burke, Emory October 2
Armstrong sends Mrs. Burke $200.
Darden, Ida M. October 4
From Darden, on her problems with the Southern Conservative. Darden only has 800 subscribes so far and is having some problems with her financial backers. She includes three pages of testimonials complimenting the Southern Conservative.
Darden, Ida M. October 7
Armstrong sends Darden a $500 donation.
Dilling, Elizabeth (Undated)
Copy of a long letter to Charles Hudson, on Dilling's continuing feud with Gerald Smith.
Hart, Merwin K. National Economic Council September 13
From Hart, thanking Armstrong for a $250 contribution.
Hudson, Charles B. September 13
Copy of a letter from Hudson to Moseley, theorizing that Christ was not a Jew, but Judas was.
Lohbeck, Don September 13
From Lohbeck, editor of Gerald L. K. Smith's Cross and the Flag. Lohbeck is publishing his own anti-Semitic newsletter, Attack!, and running for office as a Christian Nationalist party candidate in Missouri. Lohbeck wants Armstrong to help distribute Attack!.
McGinley, Conde October 20
From McGinley, on the possibility of driving a wedge between Catholics and Jews by playing on anti-Semitic elements within the Catholic church.
MacFarland, W. Henry September-October
Correspondence with MacFarland on his campaign to stop the flying of United Nations flags on United Nations Day. (October 24.)
MacFarland, W. Henry October 15
From MacFarland, on his propaganda crusade against the United Nations. The U.N. is presented as a "one World" communist front, and so on. MacFarland encloses a pamphlet condemning displays of the U. N. flag as "treason."
Moseley, George Van Horne September-October
Correspondence with Moseley on the business of the Judge Armstrong Foundation and related topics.
Moseley, George Van Horne September 28
From Moseley, on McCarthy, his anti-communist crusade, and his position on the "Jewish question": "[McCarthy] has attempted to steer clear of the Jews. You and I are political liabilities…"
Moseley, George Van Horne October 19
Moseley expresses his distrust for Shuler and his new version of the Klan. "I'm sorry you sent him additional funds."
Moseley, George Van Horne October 20
Moseley again urges Armstrong to avoid Shuler and any connection with the Ku Klux Klan, and "drop that outfit."
Moseley, George Van Horne September 14
Moseley mentions corresponding with Eisenhower. This correspondence is not in this collection.
McCammon, Y. Q. September 14
To McCammon. Armstrong appears to have grown tired of farming: "I wish to quit farming and give away my land."
McCarthy, Senator Joseph September 20
From McCarthy, thanking Armstrong for a $500 contribution for "our anti-communist fight."
McGinley, Conde October 12
A long, interesting letter from McGinley, on his current activities organizing and agitating in the South. McGinley complained that the Anti-Defamation League is "fooling" Catholics. Catholics "have been oversold on `tolerance'" and `brotherly love' from childhood, so they are suckers for this tolerance racket…" McGinley reports addressing Rotary Clubs, Kiwanas, Holy Name, the Knights of Columbus, Lion's Clubs and other fraternal organizations, and complains of being harassed by Jews in the audience. McGinley discuses his crusade against the ADL and the "situation developing in the South" in reaction to the still embryonic civil rights movement.
Shuler, Rev. A. C. Imperial Klokard of the Ku Klux Klan October 2
From Shuler. The Klokard promises to lift the Klan ban on Catholics in return for Armstrong's continued financial support.
Shuler, Rev. A. C. Imperial Klokard of the Ku Klux Klan October 6
Armstrong sends Shuler $500.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. September-October
Correspondence with Thompson on Judge Armstrong Foundation business, and related topics.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. October 15
Thompson to Armstrong. B. V. Thompson informs Armstrong that the Judge Armstrong Foundation is "gaining recognition" and is now "at the top of the list of `dangerous subversive organizations' of the Anti-Fascist League."
Zoll, Allen National Council for American Education September 18
From Zoll, promoting his work. Zoll's organization distributes anti-Semitic propaganda and promotes "Americanism."(92)
November-December
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November-December
Correspondence with George and Allen on business. The Armstrong's are considering concentrating on the oil business, and discuss setting up their own production company by January 1, 1951.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. October 24
From George, on the need to set up an investment fund to support the Texas Educational Association.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. November 27
From George, on Texas Steel Co.'s financial standing. George is also involved in contract negotiations with the company's union. The issues involve the union's relations with management as well as wages.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. December 13
From George, on Armstrong's desire to unload some of his unproductive Mississippi property.
Allen, Marilyn R. November 15
From Allen, on her role in the defeat of Utah Senator Elbert D. Thomas, "our communist-internationalist collaborator." Allen and her friend Rev. Wesely Smith worked for Thomas' Republican opponent. Apparently Thomas made an issue of his opponents' willingness to collaborate with extremists such as Allen. Allen believes that America "is riddled with treason from within" and that war is imminent. "I think [our cities will be bombed] within the coming months."
Burke, Emory December 18
From Burke, thanking Armstrong for a gift of $100.
Committee For Constitutional Government November-December
Correspondence on the fight to stop the Excess Profits Tax Bill of 1950. Armstrong sent the Committee $500.
Darden, Ida M. Muse, Vance--death of. October 26, 30
Correspondence with Darden on the death of Vance Muse, publisher of the Christian American newsletter, a right wing anti-labor sheet originally financed by John H. Kirby. The newsletter was still published from Kirby's old office in Houston.
Hudson, Charles B. Hart, Merwin K. National Economic Council November-December
Correspondence with Hudson. Hudson sends Armstrong copies of his correspondence with Merwin Hart, whose anti-Semitic National Economic Council is under attack by various Jewish groups.
Hudson, Charles B. Hart, Merwin K. National Economic Council October 31
From Hudson to Hart. An interesting letter, giving a modern twist to the old anti-Semitic myth of Jewish well poisoning. Hudson accuses Jewish doctors of plotting to poison Gentiles through the fluoridation of water and toothpaste.
Malone, William Ray Young States' Rights Democrats October 30
To Armstrong. Malone wants to arrange a meeting with Armstrong. The Young State's Rights Democrats are gaining a position in the Waco Democratic party organization. This group seems to consist mainly of Baylor University students and recent graduates.
McGinley, Conde November 30
From McGinley. McGinley accuses the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League of plotting to "put the Sanhedrin in charge of the U. S. military." The Korean War was the result of a Jewish conspiracy. McGinley is running a series of articles in Common Sense attacking the recently appointed Assistant Secretary of Defense Anna Rosenberg. Rosenberg is "an agent of the Sanhedrin."
McGinley, Conde December 16
From McGinley, a letter "exposing" Anna Rosenberg as a "Zionist Communist".
Moseley, George Van Horne November-December
Correspondence with Moseley on the Emory Burke case. Burke, now in jail, suffers "a setback" when a witness against him refuses to change his testimony.
Smith, Gerald L. K. November-December
Correspondence with Smith. Smith sends out a circular letter attacking Anna Rosenberg and "the Jew campaign to whitewash the Rosenberg woman." Aside from being Jewish, Rosenberg's loyalty is questionable because "she was born in Budapest, Hungary."
Smith, Gerald L. K. November 16
Armstrong sends Smith a photocopy of a Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League fund raising letter which targets Smith, Armstrong and several others as dangerous anti-Semites. Armstrong fears this means "our probable liquidation."
Women's Voice Van Hyning, Lyrl Clark December 18
From Van Hyning, editor of Women's Voice, an anti-Semitic newspaper, thanking Armstrong for a contribution.
Box
168-170 1951
Armstrong's oil investments have made him a comfortably wealthy man. The Korean War brought lucrative defense contracts to Texas Steel Co., further increasing the Armstrong's revenues. His financial security provided Armstrong with the leisure needed to pursue his political interests.
While the controversy over Armstrong's donation to the Jefferson Military College was winding down, Armstrong used his newly created Texas Educational Association to fund small church supported colleges in the South. His support for Piedmont College, a small private school in Georgia, generated almost as much controversy, the episode with Jefferson. In this case, however, Armstrong did not require any changes in Piedmont's policies or charter. When some Piedmont faculty and board members objected to taking money from Armstrong, citing his political extremism, the school's president simply fired the dissidents and continued to take Armstrong's money. the controversy eventually died down.
Armstrong once again became infatuated with the "MacArthur-for President" movement. There is much correspondence between Armstrong and Moseley on MacArthur. Moseley liked to boast of his friendship with MacArthur and Eisenhower, although he professed to privately despise Eisenhower and sometimes referred to him as "Ike the Kike." Moseley and Armstrong followed the developing political situation closely, and speculated Taft's plans for 1952. Armstrong and Moseley continued to support Conde McGinley and other anti-Semitic propagandists.
Armstrong suffered a stroke in 1951, affecting his left side, but seems to have made a satisfactory recovery.
Correspondents: Allen, Marilyn R.; Armstrong, Allen; Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Burke, Emory; Britons, The, an English Fascist organization; Darden, Ida M.; Dilling, Elizabeth; Green, G. F.; Hudson, Charles B.; Kister, Fredrick; Kamp, Joseph; McGinley, Conde; Moseley, George Van Horne; Mayfield, Col. Billie; McCammon, Y. Q.; Rankin, John E.; Slimp, Robert; Shuler, A. C.; Shannon, O. K.; Thompson, B. V. Jr.; Walter, James E.; Zoll, Allen
Selected Correspondence 1951
January-February
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January-February
Correspondence with Allen and George on oil development in Mississippi, and Texas Steel Co. business. Texas Steel Co. is gearing up for new defense contracts for the Korean War.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January 18
From George Armstrong, Jr. on Allen Armstrong's deteriorating health due to heart disease.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January 22
From George W. Armstrong, Jr., on hiring retired military men to represent Texas Steel Co. at contract negotiations in Washington.
Allen, Marilyn R. January 10
From Allen, who has recently completed a new racist pamphlet and needs help getting it published.
Carter, A. Earl (Undated)
From Carter, a racist broadcaster, soliciting Armstrong's help with setting up a series of broadcasts. Carter claims he has the support of Senator McCarthy, Senator Harry Byrd, John H. Rankin, and "Bull" Conner.
Darden, Ida M. January-February
Darden's paper, the Southern Conservative, is supported by H. L. Hunt and several other wealthy Texas businessmen.
Darden, Ida M. January 9
Armstrong sends Darden $750.
McGinley, Conde January 31
Armstrong sends McGinley $1,000 and pledges to send $500 per month. McGinley encloses a copy of a letter from the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League to its supporters. The letter discussed the activities of Gerald Smith and columnist Westbrook Pegler, and the Columbians, the Nazi-Klan group Emory Burke belonged to. The Anti-Nazi League also took an interest in Benjamin Freedman, an anti-Semitic Jewish businessman who was one of McGinley's major financial backers. McGinley and his associates obviously hated and feared the Anti-Defamation League and the Anti-Nazi League, and monitored their correspondence whenever they could.
McGinley, Conde January 23
From McGinley, on Anna Rosenberg's confirmation as an Assistant Secretary of Defense. McGinley despises Rosenberg because she is Jewish and once had lunch with Eleanor Roosevelt.
McGinley, Conde January 25
A long letter from McGinley begging Armstrong to take over the ownership of Common Sense and help save the country from "Jewish plots."
McGinley, Conde January 27
From McGinley. McGinley claims that forty-three American ambassadors subscribe to Common Sense.
Moseley, George Van Horne January 19
From Moseley, regarding Emory Burke's efforts to gain parole.
Moseley, George Van Horne February 2
From Moseley, on his efforts to free Emory Burke.
March-April
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. March-April
Correspondence with George and Allen on a proposal to reorganize Texas Steel Co., and related business. Correspondence includes a memorandum outlining the reorganization plan.
Green, G. F. January 19
Green sends Armstrong a copy of his Independent Nationalist newsletter.
Green, G. F. February 27
From Green, expressing gratitude for Armstrong's financial support. Green discusses his work on behalf of Nazi war criminals and his efforts to help various European "groups who are preparing the emergence of nationalist parties."
Green, G. F. April 7
From Green, on the "malice" towards MacArthur in the European press.
Moseley, George Van Horne March-April
Correspondence with Moseley on the business of the Texas Educational Association, the Judge Armstrong Foundation, and related topics. The TEA has started funding Piedmont College and other small denominational schools in the South. Armstrong is sending Piedmont $500 per month. The March 12 issue of Time ran an article on Armstrong's donations to both Piedmont and Jefferson Military College. Of 210 Piedmont students polled, 106 voted to reject Armstrong's support and called for the resignation of Piedmont president.(93)
Moseley, George Van Horne February 13
From Moseley, on the Emory Burke case. Moseley fails to obtain a full pardon for Burke, but parole is still possible.
Moseley, George Van Horne March 7
To Armstrong. Moseley plans to write a letter complaining of "pinks and communists" infiltrating the Library of Congress to the House Committee on Unamerican Activities.
(Allen, Marilyn R.) March 27
Copy of a letter from Marilyn Allen to Moseley. Allen accuses conservative radio broadcaster Paul Harvey of "using my material…without mentioning me." Allen enclosed a copy of a letter she sent to Newsweek in support of Armstrong's donation to Piedmont and Jefferson.
(Allen, Marilyn R.) April 4
From Moseley. While he approves of the idea of the Klan (see April 13, below), Moseley distrusts Shuler and advises Armstrong not to support him or his faction of the Klan.
(Allen, Marilyn R.) April 11, 27
From Moseley, on MacArthur's firing by Truman and return to the U. S. Moseley expresses shock and outrage, blaming Gen. Marshall and Undersecretary Rosenberg for the "tragedy."
(Allen, Marilyn R.) April 13
From Moseley, on the need to revive the Ku Klux Klan. "The Klan is needed in protecting honest-to-God Christian Americans from communist and skunks of that type. The Klan can perform a real duty if it will take after the un-Americans within our gates."
Mayfield, Billie March-April
Correspondence with Mayfield, Armstrong's old Ku Klux Klan partner from the 1920s. Several nearly incoherent letters attacking Jews. Mayfield claims that anti-Semitism is on the rise again and "aroused Americans will go to much greater extremes than did Hitler."
Rankin, John March 17
From Rankin: "When Harry Truman recognized Israel, he underwrote the Crucifixion."
Rankin, John April 4
From Rankin. "There is an attempt to set up a Zionist world government that would destroy this government… and close every Christian Church in this country…"
Slimp, Robert L. National States Rights Committee April 3
From Slimp, who is now working with the national States Rights movement, on finding candidates to challenge Sam Rayburn and Tom Connally. Slimp discusses his plans for organizing at the local level, and sends Armstrong a "Record of Expenditures Of Funds Received From George W. Armstrong," dated February 17, 1950 through November 4, 1950.
Shuler, Rev. A. C. February 12
From Shuler. The Ku Klux Klan is planning to drop its ban on Catholics. Shuler asks Armstrong for $500 to help start a new racist newspaper.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. March-April
correspondence with Thompson on the Judge Armstrong Foundation and the Texas Educational Association.
Texas Steel Co. February 20
A report on the operations of the Texas Steel Co., plus minutes from a special meeting of the company's board of directors.
May-August
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. May-June
Correspondence with Allen and George on business.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. June 18
From Armstrong, a letter to the editor in support of Douglas MacArthur's candidacy for president.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. May 23
Correspondence on new munitions contracts, and the possibility of once again developing a plant in Port Arthur.
Allen, Marilyn R. June 18
Allen, with her usual flair for the dramatic, informs Armstrong that "we may expect an INVASION ATTEMPT, here in the west, almost any day now."
Butterfield, E. E. May 13
An interesting letter attacking Jews in the sciences and defending "Anglo-Latin continuity in science." Butterfield was an academic who apparently came under fire for defending Nazi race theories.
Darden, Ida M. May-June
Correspondence with Armstrong on financing the Southern Conservative. Darden decides to reject the support of her backers who support Eisenhower rather than MacArthur.
Darden, Ida M. July 30, August 2
Darden and Armstrong discuss their mutual dislike for Eisenhower, and Armstrong takes on more financial responsibility for the Southern Conservative. Armstrong agrees to increase his monthly contribution to $1,000.
Dilling, Elizabeth (Undated)
A newsletter from Dilling, accusing MacArthur of being a willing tool of "Jewish communists." Dilling claims MacArthur "collectivized" Japan on orders from international Jewish bankers. Very bizarre.
Green, C. F. May 9
To Armstrong. Green is writing a new book. Green describes the independence movement in a former British colony as "`self-government' among a gang of Pacific islanders led by corrupt native politicians.
Hudson, Charles B. May 31
Hudson is campaigning to expose the "plot" to poison America's water supply with fluoride, weakening the population so that "Asiatics using Lend Lease ships as an armada" could take over the U. S.
International Advertising Agency Burnes, William G. July 17
To Burnes, of the International Advertising Agency. Armstrong plans to "take an active part in the campaign of 1952" and wants information on the costs of five-to-ten minute radio speeches on XEX Radio in San Antonio. Armstrong is also interested in XEG, a powerful station broadcasting out of Monterey, Mexico, and consequently not regulated by the FCC.
Kister, Fredrick May 1
Kister offers to help distribute Armstrong's new book, and solicits a donation.
Kister, Fredrick May 8
Armstrong sends Kister $100, and asks him to become his agent for distributing his books.
Kister, Fredrick May 11
Kister expresses interest in Armstrong's proposals.
Moseley, George Van Horne May-June
Correspondence with Moseley on the Judge Armstrong Foundation, the Texas Educational Association, and Armstrong's donation to Piedmont College.(94) (Some of the following correspondence includes material from August and July.)
Moseley, George Van Horne April 29
To Armstrong, from Ervin Hohensee, secretary of the MacArthur for President Committee, asking Armstrong for support.
Allen, Marilyn R. May 8
To Moseley, from Marilyn Allen. Allen has joined the Rosicrucians and is helping the order build a temple in Salt Lake City. She asks Moseley and Armstrong to help in "disseminating the ideals and principles of White Christian Americanism." Moseley believes she's "gone round the bend" and urges Armstrong to cut her off.
Allen, Marilyn R. May 12
Copy of a letter from Moseley to Gen. Courtney Whitney, an assistant to Douglas MacArthur, warning MacArthur against the "Jewish menace."
Allen, Marilyn R. May 17
Copy of a letter from Moseley to B. V. Thompson, Jr., discussing the Piedmont College affair.
Allen, Marilyn R. May 25
From Moseley, a reprint of a letter-to-the-editor of the Atlanta Constitution from H. E. Brown attacking Armstrong's donation to Piedmont, and Moseley's reply.
Allen, Marilyn R. June 7
Copy of a letter from the president of Piedmont College, informing Moseley that the board of directors has voted to continue to accept Armstrong's money.
Allen, Marilyn R. June 8
From Moseley, on Piedmont College: "We have licked the enemy thoroughly in the Piedmont College affair." Moseley also mentions a proposed meeting with MacArthur and with Conde McGinley.
Allen, Marilyn R. July 9
From Moseley, on a plan by McGinley to move his headquarters to Fort Worth. Moseley objects to the move.
(Irvin, Major General Frederick A.) July 30
A copy of a letter from Armstrong to General Irvin, on Moseley's conviction that England was plotting to subvert the United States using Rhode's Scholars.
(Irvin, Major General Frederick A.) August 1, 2
From Moseley, on Ida M. Darden and the Southern Conservative; on Conde McGinley's association with Benjamin Freedman, the anti-Semitic Jewish businessman who helped McGinley publish Common Sense. Moseley disliked Freedman. "Freedman," Moseley commented, "is a rich Jew and I believe the investigation will show that he has acted all along in the interest of his tribe."
McGinley, Conde Common Sense April 1
(Filed in July-August) From McGinley, who complains that "the Anti-Defamation League is making a project of Common Sense."
McGinley, Conde Common Sense July 4
To Armstrong, on problems he is having publishing Common Sense
McGinley, Conde Common Sense July 21
From McGinley, who believes he has uncovered a plot "to jail MacArthur and all aggressive opponents of these Marxists traitors."
McGinley, Conde Common Sense August 1
From McGinley, thanking Armstrong for a $1,000 donation. McGinley's son recently visited Armstrong in Fort Worth to discuss financing the paper.
Slimp, Robert L. July 9
An interesting letter from Slimp. Slimp arranges a meeting for Armstrong in Alexandria, Louisiana, to meet "a friend from Arabia, a veteran and an officer of the recent war in Palestine" to discuss "Zionist influence in the Middle East."
Slimp, Robert L. July 30
From Slimp, on a proposed campaign to defend segregation. Slimp was an ardent segregationist and advocated closing schools rather than submit to desegregation. Slimp is also working for the MacArthur campaign, and selling Armstrong's books. Armstrong sends Slimp a $1,000 contribution.
Slimp, Robert L. August 7
From Slimp, who is now running for a seat in the Texas State Legislature.
Smith, Gerald L. K. July 11
Smith asks Armstrong for a $500 contribution.
Shannon, O. K. May-August
Correspondence on Armstrong's suit against the Southern Production Company.
Thompson, B. V. Jr. May-August
Correspondence with Thompson on the business of the Judge Armstrong Foundation and the Texas Educational Association.
Wallace, John Babcock Co. May-August
correspondence with Wallace, Armstrong's Fort Worth printer, on publishing Armstrong's latest pamphlet, the Zionist.
September-October
Armstrong., Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. September-October
Correspondence with George and Allen on Texes Steel Co business, especially on new defense contracts relating to the Korean War. The Armstrong's have submitted a bid to produce 600,000 75mm shells.
Burke, Mrs. Emory October 9
Armstrong sends Mrs. Burke $500 to help with personal and legal expenses while her husband is in jail.
Britains, The August 28
Armstrong receives a copy of The Britons newsletter, which claims to expose the Jewish "world strategy." A large part of the newsletter is devoted to a denunciation of Kerensky, whom they accuse of turning Russia over to Lenin, apparently on orders from the Masons. Strange stuff.(95)
Kamp, Joseph Constitutional Education League October 18
From Kamp, a letter attacking the Anti-Defamation League. Kamp calls the ADL a "Jewish Gestapo". Kamp encloses a copy of a long letter to Morris Kuzensof, a United States Probation Officer, complaining that the governments investigation of Merwin Hart's National Economic Council is part of a "communist conspiracy."(96)
Darden, Ida M. October 25
Darden prints Armstrong's petition to Congress demanding that the United States withdraw from the United Nations.
Moseley, George Van Horne September-October
Correspondence with Moseley on the Judge Armstrong Foundation and the "MacArthur for president" movement.
Moseley, George Van Horne August 22
From Moseley. Emory Burke is paroled.
Moseley, George Van Horne September 11
Once again Moseley urges Armstrong to stay away from the Ku Klux Klan "until it has been thoroughly reorganized and regenerated."
Moseley, George Van Horne September 26
Copy of a letter from Moseley to MacArthur's secretary, Gen. Whitney, complaining of MacArthur's courteous relations with American Jews and the fact that he apparently is not anti-Semitic. Moseley believed that MacArthur would "lose his standing" by attempting to "placate the Jews."
Moseley, George Van Horne October 23
From Moseley, on Senator McCarthy. Aside from not being anti-Semitic, McCarthy was "99% correct."
Moseley, George Van Horne October 22
From Moseley, a copy of a letter to Merwin K. Hart, on Eisenhower, MacArthur, and General Patton. "As to my old friend Patton, it is well known how the Jews feared him. He understood their activities thoroughly and despised them just as I do."
Moseley, George Van Horne October 25
From Moseley, on a visit from Arnold Slimp, who is in town to attend Emory University, a "hotbed of communism", according to Moseley.
McGinley, Conde September 30
McGinley plans to create a Society for the Preservation of Christianity and the Constitution. McGinley wants to establish a small press that will publish Ida M. Darden's Southern Conservative, and Armstrong's books.
McGinley, Conde October 2
From McGinley, on "Jewish control" of liberal Christianity. McGinley, who is Catholic, is willing to work with the Ku Klux Klan in spite of the Klan's anti-Catholic stance.
Rankin, John October 15
From Rankin, on the necessity for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations. "It will bring the ultimate downfall of this republic."
Robinett, Frank A. Chairman, Republican Executive Committee, Amarillo, Texas September 30
Robinett attacks Zionism, New Dealers, communists, atheists, and so on.
Slimp, Robert L. October 29
From Slimp, on his plans to go to college.
Smith, Gerald L. K. September 18
Smith plans to run a series of articles on the Armstrong's, and is politely asked not to do so.
November-December
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. November-December
Correspondence with George and Allen on the Texas Steel Co., defense contracts, and on Armstrong's stroke of November 4.
Green, G. F. December 17
From Green. Green comments on the post-war resurgence of overt anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union. He also discusses his wife's illness and other personal matters.
Moseley, George Van Horne November 1
From Moseley, on Allen Zoll, whom he claims has been "misrepresented" by the Atlanta Constitution.
Moseley, George Van Horne November 3, December 10
From Moseley, on his problems with Robert Slimp, who has given conflicting and false accounts of his activities in Atlanta.
Moseley, George Van Horne November 5
From Moseley, advising Armstrong to stick with Taft if he can be shown to be "sound" on the "Jewish question."
Moseley, George Van Horne November 20
From Moseley, enclosing a copy of a flyer he has prepared attacking the United Nations.
McGinley, Conde December 14
Armstrong sends McGinley a $500 donation.
MacFarland, W. Henry American Flag Committee November 12
From MacFarland, on efforts to promote the use of the American flag and prevent displays of the United Nations flag, as a part of the struggle against "world government."
Smith, Gerald L. K. November-December
Correspondence with Smith, primarily on Armstrong's recovery from his recent stroke.
Walter, James E. President, Piedmont College December 12
From Walter, thanking Armstrong and Moseley for the financial support of "our program of Christian higher education" by the Texas Educational Association.
Zoll, Allen National Council for American Education October 15
From Zoll, expressing his gratitude for "your generous contribution."
Box
171-173 1952
Texas Steel Co. continued to win defense contracts to manufacture shell casings throughout 1952. The oil and gas property in Mississippi continued to produce healthy profits. Although he was still recovering from his stroke, Armstrong continued to attend to his business affairs.
Armstrong and Moseley were pleased by the country's post-war shift to the right. They became active in the movement to enter MacArthur in the 1952 presidential race. When it became clear that MacArthur's presidential bid was hopeless, Moseley, Armstrong, and other right wingers reluctantly agreed to support Eisenhower as the lesser evil. Many right wing extremists believed that Eisenhower himself was a communist or a "communist dupe." Armstrong and Moseley were both avid supporters of Senator McCarthy, but worried that the Senator was not sufficiently well informed on the "Jewish problem." Armstrong sent the MacArthur campaign several substantial contributions.
Pressure from the Anti-Defamation League and the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League forced Armstrong to withdraw or cut back his financial support for many of his favorite right win political organizations. A suit by the ADL resulted in the loss of the Judge Armstrong Foundation's tax exempt status. Armstrong continued to give out-of-pocket support to Gerald Smith, Conde McGinley, and a few others. The Texas Educational Association continued to support Piedmont College and several other small southern church supported schools.
Allen Armstrong died of a heart attack on July 25, 1952.
Correspondents: Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Burke, Emory; Dilling, Elizabeth; Darden, Ida M.; Green. G. F.; Grand, A. V.; Hart, Merwin; Hudson, Charles B.; Lewis, Fulton; Leese, Arnold; Kamp, Joseph; Moseley, George Van Horne; McCammon, Y. Q.; McGinley, Conde; MacFarland, Henry; Pegler, Westbrook; Pelley, William Dudley; Robnett, George W.; Sancturay, E. N.; Shannon, O. K.; Smith, Gerald L. K.; Zweifel, Henry; Zoll, Allen.
Selected Correspondence 1952
January-March
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January-March
Correspondence with George and Allen on Texas Steel Co. and related business.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. January 22
Statement of accounts for tenants on the Armstrong's Mississippi plantations.
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. February 20
To Moseley, from George W. Armstrong Jr., on financial support for Piedmont College.
Allen, Marilyn R. November 24, 1951
From Allen, on supporting MacArthur, and her problems with the Anti-Defamation League which apparently succeeded in pressuring MacArthur campaign officials into preventing Allen's assuming an active role in the campaign.
Burke, Emory December 27
From Burke, thanking Armstrong for a $100 donation, and Moseley for a gift of $350. Burke speaks of working on racist propaganda while in prison.
Dilling, Elizabeth (Undated)
From Dilling, a newsletter containing a violently anti-Semitic prayer calling for the damnation of the Jews, the "Pharisaic Babylonian Red Power." Dilling included a Christmas card thanking Armstrong for his support.
Dilling, Elizabeth February 26
From Dilling. Dilling's second husband, Jeremiah Stokes, has suffered a heart attack.
Dilling, Elizabeth March 10, April 5
From Dilling. Two newsletters, giving an update on Stoke's deteriorating health. Dilling discusses the slander and liable charges brought against Lyrl Van Hyning, editor of the anti-Semitic journal Women's Voice, for her attacks against Jews. Dilling blames Van Hyning's troubles on a "Jewish plot." Dilling laments that the "whole Christian world is absolutely ignorant of the [extent of] the Pharisee conspiracy."
Dilling, Elizabeth April 5
From Dilling, on the Jewish War Veterans success in preventing the publication of several issues of Conde McGinley's Common Sense.
Hart, Merwin K. National Economic Council February 18
From Hart, recommending Armstrong read Iron Curtain Over America, an anti-Semitic book by Southern Methodist University professor John Beaty. Hart urges Armstrong to finance its distribution in Congress.
Hudson, Charles B. January 26
From Hudson, on the crusade against fluoridation.
Lewis, Fulton December 31
From Lewis, thanking Armstrong for a contribution.
MacArthur, Douglas Clipping file (Undated)
A clipping file on MacArthur and his presidential campaign, including a transcript of MacArthur's March 22 address to the Mississippi State Legislature.
Moseley, George Van Horne January 17
Moseley's comments on a speech by Winston Churchill.
Moseley, George Van Horne February 21
From Moseley, to George Armstrong Jr. and B. V. Thompson Jr., urging them to continue supporting Piedmont College.
Moseley, George Van Horne February 25
From Moseley on the MacArthur campaign. Moseley is pleased that "[The Jews] have not been able to accomplish at Piedmont what they did at the Jefferson Military College." Robert Slimp, now a student at Emory University, "confirms the report that Emory is saturated with communists."
Moseley, George Van Horne April 2
Copy of a letter from Moseley to MacArthur's aide, General Courtney Whitney, warning him that Eisenhower is "contorted by the Jews."
McCammon, Y. Q. January-March
Correspondence with Armstrong on financial and legal matters, including inventories of property, incomes, and disbursements.
McGinley, Conde January 24
From McGinley. McGinley has written Senator McCarthy, warning him against the Anti-Defamation League. Ben Freedman, an anti-Semitic Jew and one of McGinley's primary financial backers, visits MacArthur to urge him "to stay away from those [Jewish] devils" or "he will lose all his sincere followers."
McGinley, Conde January 29
From McGinley, on his problems finding vendors to sell him paper. Apparently people are reluctant to do business with him because of the nature of the anti-Semitic slant of Common Sense.
McGinley, Conde February 8
From McGinley. McGinley reports that as a result of Mr. Freedman's visit, MacArthur has "very much `wised up' on the subject of Jews." McGinley has found a source of paper in Canada, and offers to help Ida M. Darden publish her Southern Conservative.
Pegler, Westbrook December 27
Pegler thanks Armstrong for a $500 Christmas gift and calls him "a man of strong moral courage."
Robnett, George W. February 10
Robnett visits Natchez on a speaking tour, and will speak in Fort Worth, Texas, on February 20. Clippings on Robnett's attacks on progressive education are enclosed.
Sanctuary, Col. Eugene N. February 21
From Sanctuary. Sanctuary has composed "Draft MacArthur", a campaign song for MacArthur. Sanctuary condemns Taft as a liberal and denounces the United Nations as a "Jewish plot."
Shannon, O. K. January-March
Correspondence with Shannon on the tax problems faced by the Judge Armstrong Foundation.
Zweifel, Henry January-March
Correspondence with Zweifel on the possibilities of a MacArthur-Taft ticket.
April-June
Armstrong, Allen Armstrong, George W. Jr. April-June
Correspondence with Allen and George on Texas Steel Co business, and on the affairs of the Texas Educational Association. The Armstrong's discuss supporting other school similar to Piedmont College. Allen Armstrong's health continues to deteriorate, due to a heart condition. He will die two months later, on June 25.
Fluoridation April 17
Armstrong sends a letter to the Fort Worth Press and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram attacking fluoridation.
Green, G. F. April 25
Green moves from New Barnet, England due to "harsh economic conditions" and what he calls "the dispersal of our family into compulsory military service."
Hudson, Charles B. April 8, 10
Correspondence with Hudson on the menace of fluoridation.
Leese, Arnold February 22
Leese sends Armstrong a copy of his anti-Semitic newsletter, Gothic Ripples.
McCammon, Y. Q. April-June
Correspondence with McCammon on taxes, Armstrong's business affairs, and the Texas Educational Association.
McGinley, Conde March 25
From McGinley: "MacArthur is the only man who has the courage to fire the Jews out of Washington."
McGinley, Conde April 23
From McGinley. McGinley has recently acquired his own presses to print Common Sense.
McGinley, Conde May 71
Armstrong occasionally writes articles for Common Sense.
Moseley, George Van Horne April 21
From Moseley. A Piedmont College dean resigns in protest over the school's decision to accept money from Armstrong, in spite of his history of anti-Semitism.
Moseley, George Van Horne April 21
From Moseley, enclosing a letter from George Deatherage to Clarence Randall, president of Inland Steel Co., on the 1952 steel strikes. Deatherage compared them to the 1917 strikes that led to the downfall of Karensky and the Bolshevik revolution.
Moseley, George Van Horne May 24
Moseley continues to inspect small southern denominational schools to select possible beneficiaries for the Texas Educational Association.
Pegler, Westbrook March 31
From Pegler, asking to meet with Armstrong to discuss an "important matter."
Shannon, O. K. April-June
Correspondence with Shannon on oil leases with Southern Production Co.
Smith, Gerald L. K. March 31
Smith has produced a "big anniversary issue" of the Cross and the Flag with a picture of Armstrong.
Smith, Gerald L. K. May 31
From Smith, on an article Armstrong has written on Eisenhower for the Cross and the Flag.
July September
Armstrong, Allen-death of Armstrong, George W. Jr. July-September
Correspondence with George on Allen Armstrong's death.
Armstrong, Allen-death of Armstrong, George W. Jr. August 5
From Armstrong, a letter to the Natchez City Council on the evils of the "socialized scheme" of fluoridation.
Common Sense Press Alliance McGinley, Conde (Undated)
flyer from McGinley, attacking both parties as "dupes of Marxist World Government forces…" McGinley announces the establishment of the Constitution party as an alternative.
Darden, Ida M. July-September
Correspondence on her financial problems, and her equal dislike of both Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson.
Grant, A. V. September 3
From Grant. Armstrong has been chosen a presidential elector for MacArthur, representing the Christian Nationalist party.
Hudson, Charles B. August 19
From Hudson, a copy of his newsletter. Hudson is disappointed with the failure of the MacArthur campaign. Hudson encloses a pamphlet claiming that fluoridation is a Jewish conspiracy begun during World War II.
Kamp, Joseph September 10
From Kamp. Kamp has discovered that Armstrong is being investigated by Mario Buzzi, an agent of the Anti-Defamation League. (Buzzi has recently approached Armstrong using the pretense of soliciting a donation to promote the Fascist cause.)
Kamp, Joseph September 12
From Armstrong, claiming that he fears physical violence against him as a result of bad publicity.
Kamp, Joseph September 21
Kamp informs Armstrong that the ADL is planning a libel suit against the Judge Armstrong Foundation.
Kamp, Joseph October 1
Kamp is buying information from an informer within the ADL. These papers include a photostat.
McGinley, Conde August 23
To McGinley, Armstrong places an ad for Liberty Manufacturing Co., a Texas Steel subsidiary, in Common Sense.
McGinley, Conde September 18
From McGinley, on his plans for organizing the Constitution party. McGinley was deeply involved in this but stayed in the background, apparently out of fear of the Anti-Defamation League. Common Sense seems to have been widely read in right wing and nationalist circles, and nationalistic Eastern European exiles. Mrs. Suzanne Stevenson, the national chair of the Minute Women, resigned from the party because she was not comfortable with McGinley's anti-Semitism. McGinley agreed to help "bring in…nationalists leaders…and keep the Jewish question out."(97)
Moseley, George Van Horne July-September
Correspondence with Moseley on the business of the Texas Educational Association and related topics.
Moseley, George Van Horne July 14
From Armstrong to Moseley, complaining that the Republican party nominated "the incompetent, socialistic misfit, Eisenhower."
Moseley, George Van Horne July 14, 17
Exchange of letters on the liquidation of the Judge Armstrong Foundation due to the loss of its tax exemption.
Moseley, George Van Horne July 17
From Moseley. "If we are wise, we will take steps to counteract the rise of the masses, which will eventually lead to mob rule."
Moseley, George Van Horne July 21
From Conde McGinley to Moseley, suggesting a scheme whereby Armstrong can support him and retain his tax exemption. Armstrong would send money to a legitimate charity with which McGinley has connections. The money would then be forwarded to McGinley.
Moseley, George Van Horne July 24
From Moseley. Emory Burke is out of jail and working in Atlanta as a draftsman. Armstrong and Moseley continue to help him financially.
Moseley, George Van Horne August 5
From Moseley. Moseley believes that Gerald Smith has become a political liability, and has harmed the MacArthur campaign with his fund raising efforts on behalf of MacArthur.(98)
Moseley, George Van Horne August 7
Copy of a letter from Moseley to Reader's Digest attacking "the vile Jews" and claiming that "Christ was the greatest anti-Semite."
Moseley, George Van Horne September 3
From Moseley, an account of Moseley's past relations with Eisenhower. (See Moseley's Sept. 6 letter to Eisehhower.) Moseley claims that Eisenhower "has full confidence in me."
Moseley, George Van Horne September 6
From Moseley, copy of a long letter from Moseley to Eisenhower, urging him to avoid Jews and stay out of the United Nations.
Pelley, William Dudley July 18
From Pelley. Pelley defends his post-parole "religious work" on the grounds that a condition of his parole was that he keep quiet about the "Jewish question."
Smith, Gerald L. K. July 23
From Smith, a letter describing the Republican National Convention as a "debauchery of debaucheries."
Smith, Gerald L. K. July 25
To Mrs. Armstrong. "If you and I and the rest of the patriots lose, god will know what we have done. If we win, our victorious accomplishments will be recorded in all the history books."
October-December
Armstrong, George W. Jr. October-December
Correspondence with George on Texas Steel Co. business, and defense contracts for the Korean War.
Armstrong, George W. Jr. December 15, 18
George Jr. resigns from the Wage Stabilization Board, and is elected Vice President of the National Association of Manufactures.
Armstrong, George W. Jr. October 16
From Armstrong, a letter to the Dallas Morning News denouncing Eisenhower as a socialist.
Kirby, Mrs. John H. December 26
A thank you note from Mrs. Kirby. Mrs. Kirby is still receiving money from a trust fund Armstrong established for her after her husband's death.
MacFarland, W. Henry American Flag Committee November-December
A news letter from MacFarland analyzing the 1952 election. MacFarland believes that the Eisenhower administration will continue to carry on the program of the New Deal "one worlders" of the Roosevelt administration.
McGinley, Conde October 31
From McGinley. McGinley believes that the tendency of the extreme right will be to "hold our nose" and vote for Eisenhower.
Moseley, George Van Horne November 1
From Moseley. Moseley believes that efforts should be made to bring MacArthur supporters over to Eisenhower in order to defeat Stevenson, the "greater evil."
Pegler, Westbrook December 18
Pegler writes Armstrong on a "plot" by the Anti-Defamation League to sue Armstrong. Pegler sends Armstrong a copy he has acquired of the Report for the Board of Directors of the Anti-Nazi League for 1951-1952.
Pegler, Westbrook December 21
Armstrong sends Pegler a $500 donation.
Shannon, O. K. November-December
Correspondence with Shannon on Armstrong's attempt to preserve the tax exempt status of the Judge Armstrong Foundation.
Women's Voice Van Hyning, Lyrl Clark December 17, 20
From Van Hyning, editor and publisher of Women's Voice, thanking Armstrong for his financial support.
Zoll, Allen November 3
Fund raising letter from Zoll's right wing political organization.
Box
174-175 1953
Armstrong never abandoned his plan to eventually build a steel mill in Port Arthur. His correspondence with R. B. Blanton, his business agent in Port Arthur, chronicles Armstrong's final attempt to realize this dream.
Armstrong's suit to preserve the Judge Armstrong Foundation's tax exemption failed, and the foundation was finally dissolved. Armstrong continued to support Conde McGinley, Gerald L. K. Smith and a few of his other anti-Semitic political associates. The Texas Educational Association was able to carry on its mission of supporting conservative economic educational programs at several small Southern colleges.
Much of the political correspondence reflects the basic political agenda of the far right during the 1950s: opposition to "one worlders", the United Nations, fluoridation, the civil rights movement, and communism. Most on the radical right, however, had moved to reject anti-Semitism, and most conservatives, whether moderate or radical, disliked being associated with anti-Semites. While they may have differed on the "Jewish question", the radical right shared Armstrong's belief that the United States was threatened by a vast communist conspiracy.
Like most right wingers, Armstrong was an admirer of Senator Joseph McCarthy. The rise and fall of Senator McCarthy figures significantly in the correspondence of 1950-1954. There was a sense on the right that the tide was turning in their favor. When Eisenhower rather than their hero MacArthur became president, many right wingers felt betrayed, believing that Ike was a New Dealer and a communist dupe. The downfall of McCarthy completed their disillusionment.
Correspondents: Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Allen, Marilyn R.; Beaty, John; Benson, George S., president of Harding College in Arkansas; Blanton, R. B.; Dilling, Elizabeth; Gulmon, G. W, a geologist working on Armstrong's Mississippi property; Hart, Merwin K., founder of the National Economic Council; Luce, LLewllyn A.; Lobheck, Don; Kamp, Joseph; McGinley, Conde; Moseley, George Van Horne; MacFarland, Henry; McCammon, Y. Q.
McCarthy, Senator Joseph; Pelley, William Dudley; Robnett, George W.; Smith, Gerald L. K.; Shannon O. K.; Thompson, B. V. Jr.; Williams, Robert W.
Selected Correspondence 1953
January-April
January-April
Correspondence with George Jr. on business; also correspondence relating to the Texas Educational Association's support for Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth.
Dilling, Elizabeth December, 1952
From Dilling, a note thanking Armstrong for a donation.
Luce, LLewllyn A. January 10
From Luce, a Washington attorney who helped Armstrong defend his foundation's tax exemption, advising Armstrong not to appeal.
MacFarland, W. Henry American Flag Committee March 7
From MacFarland. In 1949, one of MacFarland's Dixiecrat support groups was labeled "fascists" by the United States Attorney General's office. MacFarland is attempting to have this reversed. MacFarland discusses his campaign against the United Nations.
McGinley, Conde January 6
From McGinley, announcing that the circulation of Common Sense has reached 125,000.
McGinley, Conde January 16
From McGinley. President Eisenhower is a "front for the international One Worlders and Marxist Jews." John Foster Dulles "intends to use the National Council of Churches to put over World government."
McGinley, Conde April 9
McGinley is being sued by the American Jewish Congress. and Rabbi Perez. He appeals to Armstrong for help.
Moseley, George Van Horne January-April
Correspondence with Moseley on the business of the Texas Educational Association and various political topics. Moseley sends Armstrong copies of letters addressed to Sherman Adams and William Langer attacking John Foster Dulles of working on behalf of "some un-American scheme."
Moseley, George Van Horne January 28
From Moseley, enclosing copies of letters to Gerald Winrod and Gerald L. K. Smith. Moseley sent contributions to both men. The letter to Smith mentions the Rosenberg case.
Moseley, George Van Horne February 10
From Moseley. Moseley advises Armstrong against proceeding with his plans to revive the Port Arthur project. The Texas Educational Association begins supporting Belhaven College in Georgia sending them a monthly contribution of $1,000.
Moseley, George Van Horne April 1
From Moseley, on Emory Burke, who is now living comfortably in an Atlanta suburb.
Moseley, George Van Horne April 21
From Moseley, on his methods of dealing with labor strikes, in this case a strike in Chicago in 1923.
Moseley, George Van Horne March 13, 27, 30
Correspondence on the "Briker Plan" which would protect America from the "the threats of those internationalists who would destroy our freedom."
Pelley, William Dudley April 23
From Pelley, on his efforts to have his conviction for sedition overturned. Pelley is represented by Albert W. Dilling, Elizabeth Dilling's former husband. Pelley has given up politics in favor of an occult brand religion he calls "soulcraft", and has founded a sort of occult church known as the Soulcraft Chapel.
Robnett, George W. Church League of America National Layman's Council January-April
Correspondence with Robnett on his political activities. Robnett was an anti-Semite who managed to put up a respectable facade. Robnett addressed Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, and similar organizations across the country.
Smith, Gerald L. K. Christian Nationalist Conference January 16
Armstrong contributes $500 towards the expenses of Smith's Christian Nationalist Conference.
Smith, Gerald L. K. Christian Nationalist Conference February 7
Smith's newsletter from the San Francisco Conference portrays Soviet anti-Semitism as just another Communist plot: "The Jew propaganda program on the persecution of Jews in Russia is an excuse to scatter one million spies all over the world in the guise of refugees."
Smith, Gerald L. K. Christian Nationalist Conference February 9
From Smith. The Christian Nationalist Conference in San Francisco awards Armstrong the Henry Ford Memorial Plaque.
Smith, Gerald L. K. Christian Nationalist Conference April 12
A rather sensationalistic fund raising circular from Smith. Smith claims that he is "under attack" and that his life is threatened "by gangs of negro's and Jews" who have hired someone to kill him. Smith claims that his headquarters has been vandalized, and that he is being persecuted for his support of Senator McCarthy and his attacks on the United Nations. Smith closes the letter by asking for "the most generous gift of money you have ever made."
Smith, Gerald L. K. Christian Nationalist Conference April 18
From Armstrong to Smith. Armstrong recalls that it was Henry Ford's International Jew that "first revealed to me the traitors who govern us."
Smith, Gerald L. K. Christian Nationalist Conference April 20
Smith awards Armstrong the Henry Ford Memorial Plaque "which you and your loved ones will cherish for ever."
Williams, Robert H. Williams Publications January 9
From Williams. Williams has persuaded Gen. Claire Chennault to serve on his anti-communist Victory Without War committee. Williams ask Armstrong to help finance a new magazine, America This Month, to help spread the right wing message and "quicken pride in race and family."
Williams, Robert H. Williams Publications April 14
Armstrong sends Williams $400 to support his racist publication. Williams believes that the "revival of the Anglo-Saxon race consciousness is at hand."
May-August
Armstrong, George W. Jr. Armstrong, M. B. May-August
Correspondence with George and M. B. relating to business.
Allen, Marilyn R. July 30
From Allen, promoting her new book, Freedom USA, which she describes as a "documented sequel to Alien Minorities and Mongrelization. Allen claims the book "will be virtually a text for the white race." She claims Senator Jack B. Tenney has offered to write a foreward. Allen asks Armstrong for financial help to publish the book.
Blanton, R. B. Bob Blanton & Son, Real Estate May-August
Correspondence with Blanton, who handled Armstrong's Port Arthur property.
Blanton, R. B. Bob Blanton & Son, Real Estate June 12
From Blanton, advising Armstrong to sell land to the Port Arthur Country Club.
Blanton, R. B. Bob Blanton & Son, Real Estate June 12
From Blanton. Blanton is also working to sell Armstrong's steel mill property in Port Arthur.
Dehmel, Rolland F. Spearhead Publications July 29
An interesting letter from Dehmel, a European, who is touting the United States to study matters "relative to [the] functional and organizational methods of American Fascist activities." Dehmel requests a meeting with Armstrong on August 2 "to arouse [sic] mutual interest."
Gulmon, G. W. May-August
Correspondence with Gulmon, a geologist, relating to oil and gas exploration on Armstrong's Mississippi land.
Harding College Benson, George S. September 14
A letter from Harding College, promoting their Freedom Forum, a program that specialized in providing "American education" for businessmen and their employees.
Lohbeck, Don June 4
From Lohbeck, thanking Armstrong for a $100 contribution to his new printing company. When his employer Gerald L. K. Smith left St. Louis, Lohbeck was left on his own, and decided to start his own right wing publishing business.(99)
McCammon, Y. Q. May-August
Correspondence with McCammon on taxes and other business matters.
MacFarland, W. Henry June 19
From MacFarland on his crusade against the United Nations.
McGinley, Conde September 2
From McGinley. McGinley fears that the Anti-Defamation League "has been trying to weave a web around Senator McCarthy."
Moseley, George Van Horne September 14
From Moseley. Moseley has a conference with MacArthur, who predicts that the Democratic party will be taken over by "conservatives" while the Republican party will become "ultra liberal."
Moseley, George Van Horne July 20
From Moseley, a copy of a letter to the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, warning against allowing our manpower to be "bred down", and against "Reds in our churches."
Moseley, George Van Horne March 9
From Moseley, a copy of a letter from Moseley to General Maxime Weygand, Marshal of France. Moseley believes that France "was undermined by the same vicious influences that have infiltrated our country with plans for our destruction." Armstrong defends Marshall Petain's role in Vichey France, as does Weygand in his reply.
Reilly, Lawrence Lutheran Research Society July 14
From Reilly, a fund raising letter. Reilly received his political education from Gerald L. K. Smith.
Shannon, O. K. May-August
Correspondence with Shannon on Amstrong's suit to recover the Armstrong Foundation's tax exemption, and other tax related matters, including the Texas Educational Association.
Smith, Gerald L. K. May 4
From Smith, thanking Armstrong for a $500 contribution.
Smith, Gerald L. K. July 3
From Smith, on the activities of Citizens Congressional Committee. the focus of the committee was the abolition of the United Nations.
September-December
(One folder containing an appraisal of Armstrong's Mississippi property placed at the beginning of the A files.)
Armstrong, George W. Jr. September-December
Correspondence with George on business matters.
Armstrong, George W. Jr. September 21
From George Jr. to Armstrong, on the excess profits tax.
Beaty, John October 20
From Beaty, a Southern Methodist University English professor and author of Iron Curtain Over America, described as "the most anti-Semitic book ever published in America", responding to Armstrong's complimentary letter of October 10. Beaty denounces "leftism" at SMU and attacks Stanley Marcus. Beaty encloses an autographed copy of Iron Curtain.(100)
Blanton, R. B. September-December
Correspondence with Blanton on Armstrong's Port Arthur property.
Hart, Merwin K. National Economic Council October 20
From Merwin Hart, on his recent trip to Germany and the "alleged atrocities against the Jews."
Kamp, Joseph September-December
Correspondence with Kamp on the "conspiracy" against Senator McCarthy. Kamp is organizing a campaign to defend McCarthy.
Moseley, George Van Horne October 5
From Moseley, warning Armstrong not to attempt to use the Texas Educational Association for political ends.
MacFarland, W. Henry American Flag Committee November 28
Armstrong sends MacFarland a $100 gift.
MacFarland, W. Henry American Flag Committee December 1
From MacFarland, a note thanking Armstrong for his contribution. MacFarland's organization has come under attack for anti-Semitism.
McCarthy, Senator Joseph December 22
From McCarthy, a note thanking him for a contribution.
McGinley, Conde October 28
From McGinley. McGinley informs Armstrong that he has "special ways" to arrange for tax exempt contributions, using legitimate charitable organizations as a front. McGinley has concocted a somewhat complex scheme to send copies of Armstrong's books and pamphlets, the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion and other anti-Semitic propaganda to Congress.
McGinley, Conde October 31
Armstrong sends McGinley $500 and asks for his mailing list.
McCammon, Y. Q. September-December
Correspondence with McCammon regarding the Texas Educational Association.
Operation America Kruckman, Arnold November 22
From Kruckman. Operation America is a right wing information clearing house. Armstrong sends a $100 contribution.
National Economic Council Hart, Merwin K. November 4
Hart asks for a contribution of $250 for a trip to Europe. Armstrong sends him $100.
Smith, Gerald L. K. December 16
Another fund raising letter from Smith, claiming that a "Communist takeover is less than three years away."
Box
176-177 1954
Judge Armstrong died October 1, 1954, after an illness of about six weeks. The January-August section of this correspondence reflects Armstrong's usual concerns. He remained quite active until he became ill in late August. He continued to correspond with Moseley on Texas Educational Association business. He followed the career of Senator McCarthy, and continued to correspond with and support Gerald Smith, Conde McGinley, and others.
The files in the September-December section consist primarily of the correspondence of Mary Armstrong. Mrs. Armstrong kept up with her husband's business and political concerns until his death. It is clear that Mrs. Armstrong shared her husband's political views and intended to carry on his work. Other material concerns Armstrong's death and the disposition of his estate.
Correspondents: Armstrong, George W. Jr.; Armstrong, Mary C.; Beaty, John; Blanton, Bob; Darden, Ida M.; Johnson, Senator Lyndon; Hart, Merwin K.; Hendrix, Bill; Kamp, Joseph P.; McCammon, Y. Q.; Moseley, George Van Horne; MaCarthy, Senator Joseph; Smith, Gerald L. K.; Van Hyning, Lyrl Clark; Williams, Robert W.
Selected Correspondence
January-August
Armstrong, George W. Jr. January-August
Correspondence with George Jr. on Texas Steel Co. business and Armstrong's Mississippi oil and gas properties.
Armstrong, George W. Jr. March 18
Texas Steel Co. considers buying Lone Star Steel Co. George Jr. advises against it as Texas Steel is carrying an excessive debt load. Texas Steel's profits continue to grow in spite of its debt.
Beaty, John February 9
From Beaty, enclosing a copy of his reply to articles critical of him and other anti-Semites that had recently appeared in the Southwest Review, an academic journal of Southwestern regional history published by Southern Methodist University. Beaty asks Armstrong for financial assistance in distributing his book, Iron Curtain Over America. From Armstrong. Armstrong regrets that he is unable to help Beaty financially
Beaty, John February 12
From Beaty. Beaty complains that he is "under attack" from the "non-Christian power in Dallas." Beaty encloses clipping's on his censure by the SMU faculty for his anti-Semitic writings.
Blanton, R. B. January-August
Correspondence with Blanton on Armstrong's Port Arthur property.
Johnson, Lyndon Banes January 27
From Johnson. Johnson informs Armstrong that he plans to support the Briker amendment.
Hart, Merwin K. National Economic Council March 22
From Hart, on his recent visit to Baghdad, where his anti-Semitism made a favorable impression.
Hendrix, Bill American Confederate Army June 10
From Hendrix, awarding Armstrong a General's commission in the American Confederate Army, a front for the Ku Klux Klan. Hendrix proposed outlawing tie National Association for the Advancement of Colored People "and other organizations who cause trouble." Armstrong sent Hendrix a $100 contribution.
Kamp, Joseph August 12
From Kamp, on Senator McCarthy's troubles. "Joe McCarthy is taking a terrible beating." Kamp requested funds to help distribute material defending McCarthy.
McCammon, Y. Q. January-August
Correspondence with McCammon on business. Correspondence with Armstrong, George Jr., and Moseley on the Texas Educational Association. The TEA's assets were growing, and they now supported Piedmont College, Harding College, and Texas Wesleyan College. McCammon was the Secretary Treasurer of the TEA.
McCammon, Y. Q. February 15
To Armstrong, Moseley is working to prevent Earl Warren's appointment to the Supreme Court.
Moseley, George Van Horne January 23
From Moseley, on a book attacking Nelson Rockefeller as a tool of "Jewish communists."
Moseley, George Van Horne March 5
Copy of a letter from Moseley to Senator John W. Briker. Moseley held a reception for Briker and his supporters.
Moseley, George Van Horne April 16
From Moseley, to George Armstrong Jr., on his recent visit with Herbert Hoover and Douglas MacArthur in Washington, D. C. Moseley reports that "MacArthur is right up to date on the situation confronting us…" Moseley also discusses "communism in the Army", apparently in reference to the Army-McCarthy hearings.
Moseley, George Van Horne April 24, May 8
Copies of correspondence between Moseley, Admiral O. J. Richardson, and Admiral Robert A. Theobald about a supposed plot by Franklin Roosevelt to force America's entry into World War II by provoking the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor.
Moseley, George Van Horne May 24
From Moseley, to George Armstrong Jr. "We have lost the fight for the Briker amendment…there will be little left of our national sovereignty." Moseley discusses the Army-McCarthy hearings.
McCarthy, Senator Joseph February 23
Armstrong sends the embattled MaCarthy a $500 contribution.
McCarthy, Senator Joseph March 1
From McCarthy, a note thanking Armstrong for his contribution.
Smith, Gerald L. K. March 1
From Smith. Smith is being sued as a result of some of his activities defending Senator McCarthy.
Smith, Gerald L. K. March 11
Armstrong sends Smith a $500 contribution.
September-December
Armstrong, Mary C. Armstrong, George W.-death of September-December
Correspondence of Mary Armstrong relating to Judge Armstrong's death and funeral in October, 1954. Mrs. Armstrong sent copies of an obituary of Judge Armstrong written by Gerald L. K. Smith and published in the Cross and the Flag.
Darden, Ida M. September-December
Correspondence with Darden on Armstrong's funeral, the Southern Conservative, and the "invisible government" allegedly ruling the United States.
Hart, Merwin K. December 15, 20
Mrs. Armstrong continues her husband's support for Hart and his work with a $100 contribution.
McCammon, Y. Q. September-December
Correspondence with McCammon on Armstrong's estate, trust fund, the, and the Texas Educational Association. Other correspondence relating to tenants on some of Armstrong's plantations.
Moseley, George Van Horne September-December
Correspondence with Moseley on Armstrong's death, including clippings of Smith's obituary of Armstrong from the December issue of the Cross and the Flag. Moseley also discusses his racial theories and beliefs.
Smith, Gerald L. K. January 6
From Smith. Smith sends Mrs. Armstrong 50 copies of the issue of the Cross and the Flag. with Armstrong's obituary in it. Smith promises to send Mrs. Armstrong a bound volume of back issues of the Cross and the Flag.
Smith, Gerald L. K. January 8
From Mrs. Armstrong, asking that "Mrs. George W. Armstrong" be inscribed in gold letters on her copy of the bound volume. Mrs. Armstrong proof-read the final version
Women's Voice Van Hyning, Lyrl Clark December 7
Mrs. Armstrong sends Mrs. Van Hyning a contribution of $100. Mrs. Armstrong continued to support Women's Voice.
Williams, Robert H. Williams Intelligence Summary September-December
Correspondence with Williams; Mrs. Armstrong continues her husband's support for Williams.
NOTES



Series II. Mary C. Armstrong Papers (7 boxes), 1949-1975

The Mary C. Armstrong Papers consist of four manuscript boxes of correspondence and other documents concerning the business and private affairs of Mrs. Armstrong from 1949 to 1975. B. V. Thompson, George W. Armstrong, Jr., Thomas Keer Armstrong, and other Texas Steel Co. officials kept Mrs. Armstrong up to date on the company's affairs, much as they had Judge Armstong. Unlike the Judge, however, Mrs. Armstrong had no executive power within the company. Much of the correspondence is family-related personal correspondence with her Cozby and Armstrong relatives.
There are several major gaps in these papers. The correspondence for 1956-1958, 1960-1961, 1965-1966, 1971 and 1973 are missing. The donor indicated that these documents were inadvertently lost. These papers were not always in order, especially the correspondence from the late 1960s to the 1970s. Unorganized material was arranged to reflect the order of the rest of the collection.
The largest volume of correspondence is with Thomas Keer Armstrong and Lottie Covey. Covey was Mrs. Armstrong's personal secretary based in Fort Worth. Like her husband, Mrs. Armstrong preferred to live in Natchez and conduct her Fort Worth business affairs by correspondence. Covey managed Mrs. Armstrong's sometimes complex financial affairs and kept her very well informed about Texas Steel Co.
Mary Armstrong shared Judge Armstrong's political, economic, and racial opinions. She continued to financially support many of Judge Armstrong's old political associates, such as Gerald L. K. Smith, Charles Hobson, Conde McGinley, and Ida M. Darden. Mrs. Armstrong continued to correspond with George Van Horne Moseley until his death in 1960. She also continued to support Merwin K. Hart's National Economic Council. The NEC survived Hart's death in 1963 and continued to propagate its anti-Semitic, right-wing political agenda well into the 1970s. As the older generation of the far right died or retired, Mrs. Armstrong extended her support to some of their younger, less overtly racist or anti-Semitic successors.
James E. Walter, president of Piedmont College, one of the first schools to receive grants from the Texas Educational Association, corresponded with Mrs. Armstrong for many years. Judge Armstrong's gift to Piedmont caused protest by students and faculty when the nature of Armstrong's political affiliations became known. The protest collapsed when Walter fired the dissident faculty members. Dr. Walter and his wife subsequently became personal friends of the Armstrong's.
These papers are in good condition. Detailed descriptions have been provided only for the more extensive sections of the correspondence, or correspondence that required descriptive notes due to content.
Correspondents: Armstrong, George Jr.; Armstrong, Thomas Keer; Covey, Mrs. H. S. "Lottie"; Cozby, Christopher; Cozby, Loise; Darden, Ida M.; Daughters of the American Revolution, Mary Isham Keith Chapter; Hart, Merwin K.; Kamp, Joseph; Liberty Manufacturing Co.; Liberty Lobby; McGinley, Conde; Moseley, George Van Horne; McCammon, Y. Q.; McFadden, Mrs. Edward K.; National Economic Council; Smith, Gerald L. K.; Thompson, B. V.; Texas Steel Company.
Box
178 1949-1952
Personal correspondence of Mary C. Armstrong with friends and family members. Most of this correspondence relates to everyday events and ordinary concerns: people "keeping in touch", exchanging holiday greetings, accounts of activities such as vacations, children, and grandchildren.
Box
179 1955
Correspondence of Mary C. Armstrong relating to Judge Armstrong's final illness and death. These files also contain correspondence with George Van Horne Moseley and the artist Countess Zichy on a portrait of Judge Armstrong commissioned by Mrs. Armstrong.
June-April
Armstrong, Zella June-April
Correspondence with Zella Armstrong, a genealogist and local historian whose Notable Southern Families contains genealogical data on Judge Armstrong's ancestors. Includes a clipping of an article by Zella Armstrong.
Darden, Ida M. January-April
Correspondence with Darden, on her work as publisher the Southern Conservative and related topics.
Daughters of the American Revolution--Mary Isham Keith Chapter Hester, Mrs. William--Regent January-April
Correspondence with Mrs. Hester, on scholarships in honor of Judge Armstrong which Mrs. Armstrong sponsored for Texas Wesleyan College students.
Kamp, Joseph April 16
From Kamp. Kamp is trying to change his anti-Semitic image. Kamp also solicits a donation from Mrs. Armstrong.
McGinley, Conde May 7
McGinley expresses his gratitude for Judge Armstrong's support for McGinley's "fight against agents of the devil."
Moseley, George Van Horne January-April
Correspondence with Moseley, on Moseley's recent political activities.
Box
180 1958-1960
Correspondence of Mary C. Armstrong on the preparation, publication and distribution of Judge Armstrong's autobiography, Memoirs of George W. Armstrong. Mrs. Armstrong had this volume privately printed and sent copies to many libraries and prominent individuals. Copies were sent to Cooper Kerby Regan; Senator Ralph Yarborough; and H. Bailey Carroll, the director of the Texas State Historical Society.
Armstrong, George W. Jr. Armstrong, Thomas Keer
Correspondence with George W. Armstrong. Jr. and Thomas Keer Armstrong on Texas Steel Co. business. These papers include some financial data.
Bacone College Getz, Roger
Correspondence with Getz on the Texas Educational Association's financial aid to Bacone College in Oklahoma.
Blanton, R. B., Jr.
Correspondence with Blanton on Texas Educational Association investments in Port Arthur.
Carrol, H. Bailey
Correspondence with Carroll on Judge Armstrong's Memoirs, and the Texas State Historical Society. Mrs. Armstrong was a lifetime member of the Historical Society. Carroll sent Mrs. Armstrong a list of prominent Texans he believed would appreciate having a copy of Judge Armstrong's autobiography.
McCammon, Y. Q.
Correspondence with McCammon on business. These files include some financial data.
McGinley, Conde Common Sense
Correspondence with McGinley. Mrs. Armstrong continued her husband's financial aid to McGinley and his paper, Common Sense. McGinley continued to advertise and sell Armstrong's books and pamphlets.
Moseley, George Van Horne Hoover, Herbert December 28, 1958
From Moseley. Moseley brings Mrs. Armstrong up to date on the activities of Emory Burke. Burke is "a good patriot but a very poor provider and protector of his family." Moseley sends Mrs. Armstrong copies of his correspondence with General Albert C. Wedemeyer, in which Moseley attacks his usual enemies: Roosevelt, Jews, and Communists. Moseley also mentions a visit with President Herbert Hoover. Hover and Moseley seem to have been fairly close friends.
Texas Steel Co.