James W. Clise papers , 1932-1961

Overview of the Collection

Clise, James William, 1900-1961
James W. Clise papers
1932-1961 (inclusive)
15 linear feet, (10 containers)
Collection Number
Coll 114
James W. Clise (1900-1961) held executive positions in Asbestos Supply Companies and several vermiculite companies and was involved in libertarian political activities. The collection includes correspondence, subject files, personal and business files, speeches, articles, and published letters.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Additional Reference Guides

See the Collective Name Index to the Research Collection of Conservative and Libertarian Studies for a cross-referenced index to names of correspondents in this collection, if any, and 37 related University of Oregon collections, including dates of correspondence. See index instructions on use.

See the Current Collection Guide for detailed description and requesting options.

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

Historical NoteReturn to Top

James W. Clise was born in Seattle, Washington, on September 1, 1900. He graduated from Yale in 1922 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He was marries twice, once to Eunice Padelford with whom he had four children, and once to Dagny Wulf. His professional life centered in Seattle, as did the coordination of his libertarian political activities. Clise held executive positions in Asbestos Supply Companies, 1923-1951, and several vermiculite companies. He was also a member of numerous professional, civic, and recreational organizations.

By maintaining several mailing lists, Clise acted as an unofficial hub of conservative and libertarian political interchange. He coordinated distribution of letters, statements, speeches, pamphlets, books and movies, and radio shows to selected businessmen, local government officials, congressmen, and other interested parties. He worked in numerous organizations which advocated libertarian principles of personal freedom of choice, individual responsibility, limitation of government spending, taxation and decentralization of power. These organizations included For America, America' s Future, the Campaign for the 48 States, the Church League of America, Foundation for Economic Education, International Survives of Information Foundation, Intercollegiate Society of Individuals, and Youth for Goldwater.

In order to locate some of the causes of friction between economic groups and to facilitate better understanding, Clise conducted public opinion polls in labor halls, service clubs, civic executive meetings, women's clubs, church organizations, and college and high school groups. Clise also worked hard to coordinate support within these groups for the 23rd amendment, or the Bricker amendment.

In addition to keeping lines of communication open between political groups, Clise corresponded extensively with a number of conservative and libertarian individuals, such as: T. Coleman Andrews, Frederick E. Baker. Faldy A Harper, Henry Hazlitt, James C. Ingebretsen, Robert LeFevre, Lawrence Timbers, and William C. Mullendore. Clise also supported conservative authors such as Bryton Barron, Ludwig von Mises and Elwood Smith. Close continued many of these activities until his death in 1961.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The James W. Clise Papers consists of one series of correspondence and subject files arranged alphabetically by individuals or organizations. There are a few personal and business files at the end of the collection, as well as some of Clise's speeches, articles, and published letters.

Mr. Clise corresponded regularly with the leaders of the American conservative movement and his letters detail the philosophy which he and others developed in the post-war period. As a contributor of financial and philosophical assistance, Clise's correspondence is vital to the student of the conservative movement.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Businessmen--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Conservatism
  • Conservative literature--United States
  • Libertarianism--United States
  • Political activists--United States--Correspondence

Personal Names

  • Baker, Frederick E.
  • Harper, F. A. (Floyd Arthur), 1905-1973
  • Hazlitt, Henry, 1894-1993
  • Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964
  • Ingebretsen, James C., 1906-
  • Kohlberg, Alfred, 1887-1960
  • LeFevre, Robert, 1911-
  • Mullendore, William Clinton, 1892-
  • Timbers, Lawrence, 1897-

Corporate Names

  • America's Future (Organization)
  • Church League of America
  • For America (Organization)
  • Foundation for Economic Education, inc.
  • Intercollegiate Society of Individualists
  • International Services of Information Foundation
  • John Birch Society
  • National Economic Council (U.S.)
  • National Education Program (U.S.)