Manuscript Collections - Ferdinand L. Mayer Papers

Oct 18, 2021

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum is now open to the public for viewing of the permanent galleries on the life and times of Herbert Hoover and the temporary exhibit gallery, Leonardo da Vinci Machines in Motion. 

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1 linear foot, 9 linear inches (4 manuscript boxes)
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library


Ferdinand Lathrop Mayer began working for the Foreign Service in 1916. He was a delegate to the 1921 Conference on Limitation of Armament held in Washington, and served a number of posts during the 1920s including Peking. Mayer was an advisor at the 1933 Disarmament Conference held in Geneva, Counsel of the Berlin Embassy from 1935 to 1937 when he was appointed Ambassador to Haiti, and resigned in 1940. He served in the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. After the war he wrote for Barron’s and the Bennington Banner. Some of his letters on foreign policy were published in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Mayer was active in Republican politics, supporting Robert Taft in 1952 and Barry Goldwater in 1964. He assisted in speechwriting for John Foster Dulles.


The materials held by the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library consist of copies of selected files from his papers which reflect his long standing interest and participation in American foreign policy and diplomacy.

While an advisor in the Geneva Disarmament talks, Mr. Mayer recorded many of the details of what he saw and heard in "daily reports." Written as informal information letters to the State Department in Washington, these reports provide an inside view of the negotiations taking place. Mr. Mayer's correspondence with diplomats James C. Dunn and Hugh R. Wilson gives additional insight into the activities of American diplomats in Europe during the increasingly tense 1930's. Mr. Mayer's service with the O. S. S. during World War II is reflected in two folders of documents and memoranda.

Mayer’s correspondence with Ben Tate and David Ingalls document his support for Taft.

The Mayer papers are a rich source of documentation to the student of American diplomacy of the 1930's and of post‑war American Republican politics.


Box      Contents

1          Barron's, 1951-1952, and undated (Felix Morley, 3 folders)
            Bennington (Vermont) Banner - Editorials, 1954
            C GROUP, 1960‑1973
            Campaigne, Jameson G., 1960‑1967
            Clay, Lucius D., 1965‑1961
            Clippings, 1941
            Conservative Movement, 1959‑1960 (Art Conde, Frank Hanighen, Henry Regnery)
            Crane, Philip, 1977‑1978
            D GROUP, 1937‑1945
            Department of State, 1940‑1960
            Dewey, Thomas E., 1942
            Disarmament Conference (Geneva) – Daily Reports and Correspondence,
                     1932-July 18, 1935 (Pierrepont Moffat, 6 folders)
2          Disarmament Conference – Daily Reports and Correspondence, July 30-Oct 1935
                     (James Dunn)
            Dulles, John Foster, 1941-1958 (6 folders)
            Dunn, James C., 1935-1937, 1941 (3 folders)
            Eisenhower, Dwight D., 1950‑1963
            Goldwater, Barry, 1959-1974 (4 folders)

3          Grew, Joseph C., 1945
            Human Events, 1951 (Frank Hanighen)
            Ingalls, David S., 1951‑1952
            Knowland, William F., 1954‑1958
            MacMurray, John Van A., 1947-1971 (2 folders)
            Morley, Felix, 1950-1975 (3 folders)
            New York Times, 1955-1963 (2 folders)
            Pell, Robert, 1963-1969 (4 folders)
            Smith, Truman, 1955-1970 (2 folders)
            Tate, Ben E., 1949‑1951

4          Tate, Ben E., 1952-1964 (2 folders)
            Thompson, Llewellyn E., Jr. 1952
            Wall Street Journal, 1954-1962 (4 folders)
            Wilson, Hugh R., 1926-1940 (4 folders)
            Wilson, Hugh R., Jr., 1958‑1960
            Woodward, Stanley, 1932‑1940
            World War II, 1944-1945 and undated
            World War II – Post‑War Intelligence Plans, 1945