Ted Astley papers, 1920-1994  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Astley, Ted, 1920-1994
Title
Ted Astley papers
Dates
1920-1994
Quantity
1.42 cubic feet, including 3 photographs (2 boxes)
Collection Number
5077 (Accession No. 5077-001)
Summary
Papers of a University of Washington graduate student and staff member in the Veterans Affairs Office, who was dismissed at the time of the Canwell Committee on un-American activities hearings.
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

The papers are open to all users.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Theodore Raymond Astley was born in 1920 in Atlanta, Georgia, and spent most of his childhood years in Pontiac, Michigan. Upon obtaining a bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Michigan in 1943, Astley joined the U.S. Army as a classification specialist and personnel clerk. He advanced to the rank of technical sergeant. During World War II, he was initially stationed in Fort Richardson, Alaska. In 1945 he was sent to Seattle, Washington, to assist in administering an Army program that provided correspondence courses for overseas personnel. Two weeks after receiving his honorable discharge in 1946, Astley obtained a job at the University of Washington as a career counselor for veterans.

In June 1948 Astley was served a warrant to appear before the Washington Legislature’s Joint Fact Finding Committee on Un-American Activities, which was dubbed the "Canwell Committee" after its chairperson, Albert F. Canwell. Astley appeared before the Canwell Committee and refused to answer any of its questions regarding whether or not he was a communist or had communist affiliations. At one point in the hearings, his refusals to answer the committee's queries became so adamant that he was forcibly ejected for shouting on the stand. Some who were present characterized the reason for his dismissal as the fact that he was not answering the committee's questions but simply making speeches. He was not cited for contempt.

In August 1948 Astley, who had become a part-time employee at the university in order to pursue his graduate studies in psychology and economics, was fired from his counseling position. The cause of his dismissal is controversial. The university claimed that there was no correlation between his refusal to cooperate with the committee a month earlier and his dismissal from his job. Astley maintained that his Canwell Committee experience was a direct cause of his firing, along with the fact that he participated in student organizations that were critical of the committee. In addition to protesting the committee’s hearings, these organizations also criticized the University of Washington’s dismissal of Astley and three other professors who were also suspected of having communist affiliations.

In June 1954 Astley, who was now working as a sawmill "dogger," was called in front of another committee, the House Un-American Activities Committee. These hearings were held in Seattle and were called the Velde Hearings after committee chairperson Harold H. Velde. Once again, Astley refused to answer any queries regarding communist affiliations, but his behavior was more restrained. Instead of shouting at the committee, he simply cited the Fifth Amendment as the reason for his refusal to answer their questions.

In 1962 Astley was awarded a teaching certificate and became a teacher. He worked in education until his retirement, usually teaching social studies and English at the secondary level in the Seattle area. Having been a union member and supporter ever since he worked for General Motors in Pontiac, Astley was active in various education unions, such as the Washington Education Association and the Seattle Teachers' Association.

Ted Astley died in 1994.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Contains biographical files, correspondence, publications, writings, testimony and other court papers, news releases, petitions, personal documents, photographs, clippings, and ephemera, 1920-1994. Primarily relates to hearings by the Canwell Committee of the Washington State Legislature in 1948 and Astley's testimony before the Velde Committee (HUAC) in 1954. Also includes records regarding Astley's activities in several teachers' unions, circa 1960s to 1980s, his military service during World War II, and his student work.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The creator's literary rights have been transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Personal papers, 1920-1994Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Biographical information
1920-1988
1/2
Incoming letters
1920-1987
1/3
Outgoing letters
1933, 1976-1985
1/4
General correspondence
1974
Subject files on the Canwell investigation
Incoming letters
Box/Folder
1/5
American Veterans Committee, Seattle Chapter #2
1948
1/5
The Colby Echo
1949
1/5
Civil Rights Congress
1949
1/5
Gundlach, Jean
1994
1/5
Hartwich, Ethelyn
1948
1/5
Lupher, Tom
1949
1/5
Rutman, Tom
1949
1/5
United Office and Professional Workers of America, Local 35
1949
1/5
Washington Committee for Academic Freedom
1948
1/6
Unidentified
Box/Folder
1/7
Outgoing letters
1947-1949
1/8
General correspondence
1948-1949
1/9
Subpoena
1948
1/10
Reports
1947
Writings
Box/Folder
1/11
Journal
Contains four entries, one regarding the Canwell hearings.
1994
1/12
Drafts
1947-1949
Box/Folder
1/13
Writings of others regarding Fifth Amendment
1954
1/14
Transcripts of Joseph Harrison at an ASUW (Associated Students of the University of Washington) assembly regarding tenure cases
1949
News releases
Box/Folder
1/15
Ted Astley (et al.)
1948
1/15
Communist Party
1948
1/16
Others
1948-1949
Petitions
Box/Folder
1/17
Notes
1948
1/18
Miscellaneous
1948-1949
1/19
University of Washington Student Organization for Academic Rights meetings
1949
Box/Folder
1/20
Pamphlets
1948
1/21
Court papers - University of the State of New York v. Francis Thompson
This case was a possible precedent for the Canwell hearings.
1947
1/22
Programs and announcements
undated
1/23
Miscellany
1949
1/24
Ephemera
1948
Clippings
Box/Folder
1/25
Concerning Ted Astley
1948
1/26
The Daily
1949
1/27-29
The New World
1948
1/30
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
1948-1949
1/31-36
Concerning hearings in general
1948-1980
Box/Folder
1/37
Subject file on Florence B. James
1988
Box/Folder
1/38
Subject file on the Extended Services Program, an educational reading program
1970-1974
1/39
Subject file on the 1948 elections
1948
Subject files on peace
Box/Folder
1/40
General correspondence
1951-1954
1/41
Outgoing letters
undated
1/42
Resolutions to end the Korean War
1951
1/43
Petitions
1951
1/44
Programs and announcements
1951
1/45
Newsletters
1951
1/46
News releases
1951
1/47
Ephemera
1951
1/48
Clippings
1950-1951
Subject files on politics
Box/Folder
1/49
Incoming letters
1947-1988
1/50
Outgoing letters
1978-1984
1/51
Writings of Ted Astley
1979-1990
1/52
Script for canvassing
1984
1/53
Certificates of election to precinct committee
1976-1988
1/54
Newsletters
1946
1/55
Ephemera
1945-1973
Clippings
Box/Folder
1/56
Concerning Ted Astley
1947
1/57
Miscellaneous
1946
Subject files on the Velde hearing
Box/Folder
1/58
Incoming telegram - Velde, Harold H.
1954
1/59
Summons
1954
1/60
Testimony of Ted Astley
1954
1/61
Legal opinions about the Fifth Amendment
1954
1/62
Notes
1954
1/63
News releases
1954
1/64
Ephemera
1954
2/20
Scrapbook
1954
Clippings
Box/Folder
1/65
Regarding Ted Astley
1954
1/66
Hearing (general)
1954
Box/Folder
1/67
Speeches and writings
1970-1976
1/68-71
Military service records
1943-1946
1/72-77
Student papers
1946-1970
1/78
Personal documents - birth certificates
1920
1/79
Notes on readings
undated
1/80
Payroll records
1940-1982
1/81
Programs and announcements
1953-1969
1/82
Passports
1966-1984
1/83
Photographs of Alaska during World War II
undated
1/84
Certificates
1940-1982
1/85
Drawings
undated
2/1
Pamphlets
1947-1972
2/2
Newsletters
1969-1973
2/3-5
Publications
1944-1958
2/6
Ephemera
undated
2/7
Miscellany
1944-1985
Clippings
Box/Folder
2/8
Ted Astley
1938-1973
2/9
Miscellaneous
1941-1984

Educational associations papers, 1967-1993Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/10
Seattle Education Association
1986-1987
Seattle Teachers' Association
Box/Folder
2/11
Organizational information
1967-1979
2/12
Minutes
1968-1969
2/13
General correspondence
1967-1986
2/14
Clippings
1973-1981
Washington Education Association
Box/Folder
2/15
Organizational information
1973-1992
2/16
Minutes
1969-1974
2/17
General correspondence
1968-1973
2/18
Pamphlets
undated
2/19
Clippings
1972-1993

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Anti-communist movements--Washington (State)--History --20th century
  • College students--Political activity
  • College students--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Communism--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Sawmill workers--Washington (State)--Archives
  • Teachers' unions--Washington (State)
  • Teachers' unions--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Teachers--Political activity
  • Teachers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Universities and colleges--Washington (State)--Seattle--Employees--Archives
  • Universities and colleges--Washington (State)--Seattle--Societies, etc
  • Personal Names :
  • Astley, Ted, 1920-1994--Archives
  • Corporate Names :
  • Seattle Teachers' Association (Seattle, Wash.)
  • United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities
  • United States. Constitution. 5th Amendment
  • Washington (State). Legislature. Joint Legislative Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities
  • Washington Education Association
  • Geographical Names :
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Politics and government--20th century
  • Washington (State)--Politics and government--20th century
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • correspondence
  • Court records
  • ephemera
  • hearings (meetings, events)
  • military records
  • Newsletters
  • Pamphlets
  • Petitions
  • Photographs
  • Press releases
  • Scrapbooks
  • subpoenas
  • testimonies
  • writings

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)