Charles E. Potter Papers: 1947-1958
Summary Information
Title: Charles E. Potter Papers
Creator: Potter, Charles E. (Charles Edward), 1916-1979
Dates: 1947-1958
Extent: 10 linear feet, 2 oversize folders, 11 oversize volumes, 1 film reels, 1.73 GB
Abstract:
Republican U. S. Congressman from Lapeer, Michigan, 1946-1952; U.S. Senator, 1952-1959. Scrapbooks containing clippings, press releases, speeches, newsletters, and photographs; senatorial campaign files, 1952 and 1958; statements about state and national issues; files relating to legislation which he introduced; Potter's voting record in Congress; and photographs and motion pictures.
Call number: 85444 AC, Aa 2, UAm, Ac
Language: The materials are in English.
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid prepared by: Thomas E. Powers, 2002

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was donated by Mary Elizabeth Potter (Mrs. Charles E. Potter, donor no. 6437) in 1980.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

The collection contains audio tapes from which digital copies have been made. Source tapes are for staff use only. Audio files are only available in the Bentley Historical Library reading room on designated Bentley Library computers.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Mrs. Potter has transferred any applicable copyright in her husband's papers to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Processing Information:

In preparing digital material for long-term preservation and access, the Bentley Historical Library adheres to professional best practices and standards to ensure that content will retain its authenticity and integrity. For more information on procedures for the ingest and processing of digital materials, please see Bentley Historical Library Digital Processing Note. Access to digital material may be provided either as a direct link to an individual file or as a downloadable package of files bundled in a zip file.

Alternate Format:

Digitization: The Library has undertaken the digitization of a number of sound recordings within this collection. The resulting audio files are available for playback only in the Bentley Library Reading Room. Links to item images and additional information are available within this finding aid. Original sound recordings are only available for staff use.

Preferred Citation:

item, folder title, box no., Charles E. Potter Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Biography

Charles E. Potter was born October 30, 1916 in Lapeer, Michigan. After graduating from Eastern Michigan University in 1938, he served as administrator of the Bureau of Social Aid for Cheboygan County. He enlisted in the army in 1942 and was seriously wounded in France in 1945 where he lost both lower limbs. After his discharge from the service in 1946, Potter was engaged as a vocational rehabilitation representative for the Retraining and Reemployment Administration. He resigned in 1947 following his election as a Republican to the United States Congress from the 11th District to the Eightieth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Frederick V. Bradley. Potter was twice reelected, to the Eighty-first and Eighty-second. While in the House, he served on the Un-American Activities Committee and gained a measure of notoriety for his role in reopening hearings on alleged communist influence in Hollywood. He also called for a separate investigation into alleged communist involvement in Michigan's labor organizations.

Potter resigned from the House in 1952 when he was elected to the United States Senate defeating Democratic appointee Blair Moody who had been selected following the death of Arthur H. Vandenberg. Potter was elected for the remaining two months of Vandenberg's term and won a full six-year term in the same election. As a senator, Potter as a member of the committee chaired by Joseph McCarthy began to inquire into allegations of impropriety by the Wisconsin senator and his staff. Potter also questioned the propriety of the relationship between Eisenhower advisor Sherman Adams and Boston industrialist Bernard Goldfine. Adams eventually resigned but some believe that Eisenhower was not fully supportive of Potter in his reelection bid in 1958 when he was defeated by Philip A. Hart. Potter spent the remainder of his career running a consulting firm for American and foreign companies. He died November 23, 1979.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Potter collection, except for a copy of his 1965 account of the Army-McCarthy controversy, Days of Shame, begins with his first term in Congress following his election in 1947 and concludes with his defeat for reelection to the Senate in 1958. The collection includes a small series of Biographical/personal information followed by several files detailing his senate election campaigns in 1952 and 1958. Other series in the collection include Congressional Papers; Scrapbooks and Clippings; and Visual Materials.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • Great Lakes.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1837-1950.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1946-1960.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1951-
  • Old age.
  • Shipping -- Great Lakes.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1953-1961.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1945-1953.
  • Veterans -- United States.
  • Broadcasting.
  • Handicapped persons.
  • Music.
  • Political elections -- 1956.
  • Political elections -- 1958.
  • Saint Lawrence Seaway.
  • Motion pictures.
  • Photographs.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Potter, Charles E. (Charles Edward), 1916-1979.
  • Republican Party (Mich.)
  • United States. Congress -- Elections, 1952.
  • United States. Congress -- Elections, 1958.
  • United States. Congress. House.
  • United States. Congress. Senate.
  • Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969.
  • McCarthy, Joseph, 1908-1957.
  • Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994.
  • Potter, Charles E. (Charles Edward), 1916-1979.
  • Republican Party (Mich.)
  • Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Biographical/personal [series]
Box   1  
Book: Days of Shame 1965
Box   1  
Biographical material
Box   1  
Awards and citations (military, political and civic)

(also in oversize folder Ac)

Box   1  
Articles (miscellaneous)
 
Election Campaigns [series]
 
Election of 1952 [subseries]
Box   1  
Campaign advertisements, cards and ephemera
Box   1  
Campaign program
Box   1  
Campaign speeches undated, May-November 1952 (6 folders)
Box   1  
Campaign press releases April-November 1952 (3 folders)
Box   1  
Issues (veterans' legislation) correspondence
Box   1  
Issues (miscellaneous) correspondence
Box   1  
Ethnic groups
Box   1  
Petitions
Box   1  
Campaign material and election certificates (7 items)

(in oversize folder Ac)

 
Election of 1958 [subseries]
Box   1  
Campaign press releases August-November 1958 (2 folders)
 
Topical files
Box   1  
Advertising and ephemera
Box   1  
Contributors (2 folders)
Box   1  
Election-challengers
Box   1  
Mailing lists
Box   1  
National Federation of Republican Women
Box   1  
Newspapers and radio campaign
Box   1  
Organization
Box   1  
Republican National Committee
Box   1  
Republican State Central Committee
Box   1  
Republican State Central Committee (violation of corrupt practices act)
Box   1  
Republican publications
Box   1  
State operating fund
Box   1  
Vote analyses 1956-1958
Box   1  
Votes cost (primary)
Box   1  
Notebook containing lists and information about county Republican workers
 
Congressional Papers [series]

Congressional Papers is the largest series in the collection and is comprised in part of Potter's public statements. These include news releases, radio and television broadcasts, and various speeches. This series also include legislative files that pertaining to specific pieces of legislation that Potter worked on or took an interest in while serving in the House and the Senate. This series concludes with files and volumes documenting Potter's voting record.

 
Public statements and related [subseries]
Box   1  
News releases 1953-June 1956 (5 folders)
Box   2  
News releases July 1956-August 1958 (12 folders)
Box   2  
Congressional Record tear-sheets 1958
Box   2  
Radio and television broadcasts 1950-1957 (4 folders)
Box   2  
Statements 1953-1957 (6 folders)

(largely statements, speeches and correspondence about state and national issues)

Box   2  
Letters of appreciation from constituents and others 1952-1958 (11 folders)
Box   2  
Audio-tapes (3 reels)
Box   2  
Senator Potter's Reports 1957-1958
 
Audiotapes [subseries]
Box   2  
College news conference 1958 June 15 (Audio Reel-to-Reel, 7 inch, 7 ½ ips)
  Online  
[Part 1] ([85444-SR-1-1])
(Ruth Hagy interviews G. Mennen Williams for College News Conference. Williams is questioned on politics and Charles E. Potter.) [access item]
Box   2  
Senator Potter Quartette 1958 March 25 (Audio Reel-to-Reel, 5 inch, ??)
  Online  
[Part 1] ([85444-SR-2-1])
(The Senator Potter Quartette sings three songs.) [access item]
Box   2  
Reception, Occidental Hotel [Undated] (Audio Reel-to-Reel, 5 inch, ??)
  Online  
[Part 1] ([85444-SR-3-1])
(Senator Potter answers questions from constituents about unemployment, farm bills, the status of the Republican party.) [access item]
 
Legislative files (bills arranged by Congress, Session, and Number) [subseries]
Box   3  
80th Congress: H. R. 5758: Armed Forces Leave Act of 1946
 
81st Congress
Box   3  
H. R. 961, etc.: Upper Peninsula Fish Hatchery
Box   3  
H. R. 5346: Long-range Shipping Bill
 
82nd Congress:
Box   3  
H. R. J. 159: St. Lawrence Seaway
Box   3  
H. R. J. 242: Special National Election
Box   3  
H. R. 261: Bonus for Combat Troops
Box   3  
H. R. 1898: Authorization for Secretary of Commerce to compile statistical data relating to travel
Box   3  
H. R. 2995: To amend joint resolution regarding Great Lakes sea lampreys
Box   3  
H. R. 3180: Establish Federal Education Agency
Box   3  
H. R. 6500: To amend joint resolution regarding Great Lakes sea lampreys
 
83rd Congress
Box   3  
Senate Congressional Resolution 40: To place inscription "United States of America" on export containers
Box   3  
S. J. Res. 95: John J. Pershing memorial
Box   3  
S. 1442: Federal Power Act
Box   3  
S. 2150: St. Lawrence Seaway
Box   3  
S. 3596: Federal Trade Commission Act
 
84th Congress
Box   3  
S. 17: Repeal of manufacturers' excise tax on automobiles, etc.
Box   3  
S. Con. Res. 18: re. mental illness
Box   3  
S. J. Res.177: sale of certain war-built tankers
Box   3  
S. 693: Establishment of the United States Commission on the Aging and Aged (3 folders)
Box   3  
S. 771: Communications Act of 1934
Box   3  
S. 1032: Great Lakes connecting channels above Lake Erie
Box   3  
S. 1381: To incorporate the Society of the 28th Division
Box   3  
S. 2707: To establish Technological laboratory under Fish and Wildlife Service to serve Great Lakes region
Box   3  
S. 3108: To encourage construction of modern Great Lakes bulk cargo vessels
Box   3  
S. 3447: To give effect to convention on Great Lakes Fisheries
Box   3  
S. 3617: re. prescribing criminal penalties for subversive activities
Box   3  
S. 4159: re. discrimination against ports on Great Lakes
Box   3  
S. 4174: re. excise tax on passenger automobiles
 
85th Congress
Box   3  
S. Res. 17: re. section 2, rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate
Box   3  
S. J. Res. 93: Sale of war-built vessels for servicing ports on Great Lakes
Box   3  
S. J. Res. 106: Commission to investigate utilization of radio and television frequencies (5 folders)
Box   4  
S. Res. 251: Opposing television broadcasting charges
Box   4  
S. 258: To establish a commission on the Aged and Aging
Box   4  
S. 534: To amend Merchant Marine Act 1936
Box   4  
S. 551: To repeal manufacturers excise tax on autos and trucks
Box   4  
S. 901: To amend Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938
Box   4  
S. 902: To transfer certain lands to state of Michigan
Box   4  
S. 1223: National Cemetery at Fort Custer, Michigan
Box   4  
S. 1285: To incorporate Military Order of Purple Heart
Box   4  
S. 1440: To incorporate veterans of World War I
Box   4  
S. 1514: To amend Commodity Exchange Act to prohibit trading in onion futures
Box   4  
S. 1577: To repeal section of Communications Act of 1934
Box   4  
S. 1598: re. restrictions on importation of hardwood plywood
Box   4  
S. 1695: To amend Internal Revenue Code of (tax revision for small business) (deductions for teachers) 1954
Box   4  
S. 1820: Tax relief for small business
Box   4  
S. 2624: Designation of the Wiley-Dondero lock
Box   4  
S. 2998: To amend Internal Revenue Code of (import tax on copper) 1954
Box   4  
S. 3337: To amend Medals of Honor Act (acts of heroism on inland waterways vessels)
Box   4  
S. 3865: Distribution of automobiles in interstate commerce (3 folders)
Box   4  
S. 4177: Acquisition of site for Federal Building in Detroit
Box   4  
S. 4220: To provide for conveyance of certain lands to the state of Michigan
Box   4  
S. 4293: re. distribution and sale of complex mechanical products through small business
Box   4  
H. R. 8381: To amend Internal Revenue Code of 1954
Box   4  
H. R. 13382: To amend Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (tax revision for small business)
 
Miscellaneous subject files [subseries]
Box   4  
Lapeer dinner 1955
Box   4  
Correspondence with Ernest R. Breech (and enclosures) concerning Congressional investigating committees 1955
Box   4  
Subcommittee on Korean War Atrocities 1953
Box   4  
Special Subcommittee on Investigation 1954
Box   4  
Notebook re. hearings on status and development of UHF-TV channels
Box   4  
Michigan Minute Men for Eisenhower
Box   4  
Papers re. alleged members of Communist Party in Michigan
 
Speeches [subseries]
Box   5  
"Eisenhower the Man," October 1, 1953
Box   5  
"How Can We Make America Invulnerable," October 5, 1953
Box   5  
Mutual Security (Harry Dexter White) July 30, 1954
Box   5  
Miscellaneous
 
Voting record and form responses [subseries]
Box   5  
Voting record notebooks (arranged by subject) 1953-1958
Box   5  
Voting record (correspondence and other materials concerning Senate voting record) 1952-1958 (6 folders)
Box   5  
Voting record (miscellaneous) (3 folders)
Box   5  
Form responses to constituent correspondence (partially indexed)
Box   6  
Voting Record 1941-1958
 
Scrapbooks and newspaper clippings [series]

Scrapbooks and newspaper clippings is a series that includes volumes of chronologically arranged newspaper accounts of Potter and his activities, and other volumes containing copies of press releases, speeches, newsletters, and radio and television broadcasts.

Box   7  
Scrapbooks containing copies of press releases, speeches, radio and television broadcasts, and newsletters 1949-1957
Box   8  
Scrapbooks containing copies of press releases, speeches, radio and television broadcasts, and newsletters 1957-1958
Box   8  
Scrapbook containing Congressional Record excerpts 1948-1950, 1957-1958
 
Scrapbooks containing clippings, etc
Oversize Volume   1  
Vol. 1 1947-1948
Oversize Volume   2  
Vol. 2 1949-1950
Oversize Volume   3  
Vol. 3 1951-1952
Oversize Volume   4  
Vol. 4 1952
Oversize Volume   5  
Vol. 5 1953-1954
Oversize Volume   6  
Vol. 6 December 1952-November 1954
Oversize Volume   7  
Vol. 7 1955-1956
Oversize Volume   8  
Vol. 8 1955-1956
Oversize Volume   9  
Vol. 9 1957-1958
Oversize Volume   10  
Vol. 10 1957
Oversize Volume   11  
Vol. 11 January-March 1958
 
Newspaper clippings
Box   9  
1952 (4 folders)
Box   9  
1958 (4 folders)
Box   9  
March 1958

(outstate)

Box   9  
April 1958
Box   9  
Apr.1958 (outstate)
Box   9  
May 1958

(outstate)

Box   9  
June 1958
Box   9  
June 1958 (2 folders)

(outstate)

Box   10  
July 1958
Box   10  
July 1958 (2 folders)

(outstate)

Box   10  
August 1958
Box   10  
August 1958

(outstate)

Box   10  
September-October 1958
Box   10  
Miscellaneous; loose clippings from scrapbooks
 
Visual materials [series]

The final series - Visual Materials - includes both photographs and motion pictures. These materials related primarily to Potter's political career, including photos of Joseph McCarthy's investigating committee, photos and campaign commercials from the 1956 and 1958 elections, photos and a film relating to physically handicapped people, and a film of a singing group promoting the St. Lawrence Seaway.

 
Photographs [subseries]

(also in oversize folder UAm)

 
Chronological
Box   10  
1947-1952
Box   10  
1953
Box   10  
1954
Box   10  
1955
 
1956
Box   10  
Lewis E. Berry swearing-in
Box   10  
Eisenhower reelection campaign
Box   10  
Presentation of silver star, etc
Box   10  
Miscellaneous
Box   10  
1957
 
1958
Box   10  
Mackinac Bridge dedication
Box   10  
Reelection campaign (Life Magazine photos)
Box   10  
Miscellaneous
 
Topical
Box   10  
Campaign and publicity photos undated
Box   10  
Groups undated (3 folders)
Box   10  
McCarthy hearings (television photos)
Box   10  
Mrs. Potter
Box   10  
Portraits
Box   10  
Portraits of others
Box   10  
Presidents Truman and Eisenhower
Box   10  
Vice President Nixon
Box   10  
Negatives
 
Films [subseries] (all films are 16mm black and white sound)
 
Campaign commercials 1958
Box   10  
"Barber shop" (20 seconds)
Box   10  
"Congressional record" (60 seconds)
Box   10  
"I stand on my record" (8 seconds)
Box   10  
"Lorraine Potter" (20 seconds)
Box   10  
"Lorraine Potter" (60 seconds)
Box   10  
"Man in the street"
Box   10  
"Spot the question mark"
Box   10  
Eisenhower press conference October 1, 1958
Box   10  
Quarternotes sing for the St. Lawrence Seaway, with Sen. Potter's remarks March 7, 1958
Film Reel   1  
"First Federal Presents..." (Sen. Potter and Sen. Green discussing aid for the handicapped) June 1, 1958