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Manuscript Group 287
AGNES JAMES SPRY COLLECTION OF ARTHUR JAMES MEMORABILIA
1938, 1955-1959, 1967, 1969
.5 cu. ft.


Arthur H. James (b. 1883 - d. 1973) was governor of Pennsylvania, 1939-1943. Born in Luzerne County in 1883, James graduated from the law school of Dickinson College, was admitted to the bar and began to practice law in Plymouth, Pa. in 1904. In 1912, he married Ada Morris, who died in 1935. In 1941 he married Emily Radcliffe Case. He was elected District Attorney of Luzerne County in 1920 and reelected in 1923. From 1926 to 1930, he was Lieutenant Governor of the state and also served as Judge of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania from 1932 to 1939, when he became Governor of Pennsylvania. As governor, he created the state's Department of Commerce and the Anthracite Emergency Commission, extended the Pennsylvania Turnpike, strengthened the civil service, and reinforced liquor control laws. Mobilizing the state's efforts during World War II, he created the State Council of Defense and the Selective Service Board, set up the Pennsylvania Reserve Defense Corps for home defense, and organized the Citizens' Defense Corps. James left office in 1943 and returned to his private law practice.

The collection consists of both handwritten and typed copies of a biography of Governor James, written by his sister, Mrs. Agnes James Spry, in the mid to late 1950s. Also present are typed and handwritten speeches given by her brother, including his inaugural address, his campaign keynote speech, and others concerning taxes and the New Deal. One speech was given on December 10, 1941 following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Miscellaneous items include a photograph of James, a newspaper clipping of his 1941 wedding to Mrs. Emily Radcliffe Case, and a 1938 campaign brochure from when James was a Superior Court judge.



PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Finding Aids for Collections Land Records