Finding Aid to the John Francis Neylan Papers, circa 1911-1960

Finding Aid written by Bancroft Library staff; revised by Alison E. Bridger in 2006.
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
© 2006
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Finding Aid to the John Francis Neylan Papers, circa 1911-1960

Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 881

The Bancroft Library



University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California
Finding Aid Written By:
Bancroft Library staff; revised by Alison E. Bridger in 2006.
Date Completed:
June 2006
© 2006 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: John Francis Neylan papers
Date (inclusive): circa 1911-1960
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 881
Creators : Neylan, John Francis, 1885-1960
Extent: Number of containers: 202 boxes, 2 volumes, 12 cartons and 4 oversize folders Linear feet: 96.4
Repository: The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Abstract: Contains correspondence, memoranda, reports, speeches, articles, clippings, scrapbooks and printed material relating to: his work as chairman of the California State Board of Control during Hiram Johnson's administration; as publisher of the San Francisco Call; Neylan's work on the Board of Regents for the University of California, including the Loyalty Oath Controversy, the Committee on Atomic Energy Commission Projects, and the Committee on Finance; his association and handling of the business affairs of William Randolph Hearst; his involvement in the Charlotte Anita Whitney case; his involvement in the Baugh and Abbott vs. Examiner Printing Co. cases; his interest in political matters and economic problems; his support of patriotic organizations and encouragement of the study of American history; his views on major domestic and international issues; his speaking engagements; and his important friendships.
Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.

Information for Researchers

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or reproduce must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John Francis Neylan Papers, BANC MSS C-B 881, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Alternate Forms Available

Upton Sinclair correspondence is available on microfilm, (BANC FILM X-X Film 5).

Separated Material

Some of the printed materials have been transferred to the book collection of The Bancroft Library.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Neylan, John Francis, 1885-1960--Archives
Hearst, William Randolph, 1863-1951
Whitney, Anita, 1867-1955--Trials, litigation, etc.
California. State Board of Control
University of California (System), Regents
University of California (System), Regents, Committee on Atomic Energy Commission Projects
University of California (System), Regents, Finance Committee
Hearst Corporation
San Francisco Call (Firm)
San Francisco Examiner (Firm)
San Francisco Examiner (Firm)--Trials, litigation, etc
International Monetary Fund
Loyalty oaths--California
Journalism--California
History--Study and teaching
Patriotic societies
Lawyers--California
Nuclear energy--Research--California
California--Politics and government
Addresses
Scrapbooks
Clippings
Memoirs

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The John Francis Neylan Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Gertrude Neylan, wife of John Francis Neylan, in June 1963.

Accruals

No additions are expected.

Processing Information

Processed by Bancroft Library staff.

Biographical Information

John Francis Neylan, lawyer, journalist, political and educational figure, was born in New York City on November 6, 1885. After graduation from Seton Hall College in New Jersey in 1903, he came West. California was his destination, but he stopped off in Arizona and worked there for several years as a teamster, bank teller and reporter. The desire for a newspaper career brought him to San Francisco and, eventually, a job with the Bulletin. One of his first assignments was to cover Hiram Johnson's first gubernatorial campaign. Johnson was impressed with the young reporter, and after he was elected, appointed Neylan Chairman of the newly created State Board of Control. The Board installed an accounting system and drew up the state's first budget, and was so successful in regulating the state's finances, that the $2,000,000 deficit, which was Johnson's inheritance, was converted into an $8,000,000 surplus at the end of six years.
In his spare time in Sacramento, Neylan studied law, and he passed the bar examination in 1916. After Governor Johnson went to Washington as U.S. Senator, Neylan moved to San Francisco to practice law, and he became one of the best known and important lawyers in the state. His talents attracted the attention of William Randolph Hearst, and in 1919 Neylan negotiated Hearst's purchase of the Call newspaper and became its publisher. By 1925 the lawyer was Hearst's trusted advisor and became general counsel for all his enterprises. Although their professional relationship ended in 1937, the two remained good friends.
In 1928 Governor Clement C. Young appointed Neylan to the Board of Regents of the University of California, where he served for 27 years. Neylan was an influential member of the Board's Finance Committee and was in great measure responsible for the University's role in the development of atomic research. In 1949-1950 he was a central figure in the bitter controversy over the loyalty oath. He resigned his regency in October 1955. Shortly thereafter he went into semi-retirement. He removed his law practice from San Francisco to Palo Alto, to be nearer to his ranch, Corte Madera, and planned to write his memoirs. He died on August 19, 1960.

Scope and Content of Collection

Contains correspondence, memoranda, reports, speeches, articles, clippings, scrapbooks and printed material relating to: his work as chairman of the California State Board of Control during Hiram Johnson's administration; as publisher of the San Francisco Call; Neylan's work on the Board of Regents for the University of California, including the Loyalty Oath Controversy, the Committee on Atomic Energy Commission Projects, and the Committee on Finance; his association and handling of the business affairs of William Randolph Hearst; his involvement in the Charlotte Anita Whitney case; his involvement in the Baugh and Abbott vs. Examiner Printing Co. cases; his interest in political matters and economic problems; his support of patriotic organizations and encouragement of the study of American history; his views on major domestic and international issues; his speaking engagements; and his important friendships.
Neylan's files were kept in groups as they were found in his office and home. The only materials that needed arrangement were those of the State Board of Control, which had been in storage. When Neylan was planning to write his memoirs, he removed many papers from their original locations and created a separate file for his convenience. No attempt was made to return these papers to their original locations.
The collection consists of 23 Series: California State Board of Control; Personal and General Files; Historical Files; Memoirs; William Randolph Hearst General Correspondence Files; General Subject Files; Speeches; Bretton Woods Agreement; American History Interests; Politics and Campaigns; Patriotic Interests; Charlotte Anita Whitney Case; Baugh and Abbott vs. Examiner Printing Co. cases; Miscellaneous; Scrapbooks; Miscellaneous publications and clippings; University of California Regents and Committee on Finance Meeting Minutes; University of California General Files; University of California Regents' Committee on Atomic Energy Commission Projects; University of California Loyalty Oath Controversy; University of California Publications; Hearst Consolidated Publications Stockholders' Suit; William Randolph Hearst's Business and Financial Affairs Records.