Alexander P. Butterfield Papers, White House Special Files, 1969-1973


Descriptive Summary

Title: Alexander P. Butterfield Papers, White House Special Files, 1969-1973
Dates: 1969-1973
Collection Number: 6816360
Creator/Collector: Butterfield, Alexander Porter, 1926-
Extent: 4 linear feet, 10 linear inches; 11 boxes
Repository: Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
Abstract: During his years in the White House, Alexander Butterfield served on the staff of H.R. Haldeman and had the title of Deputy Assistant to the President. He was the chief administrative officer in the White House, and in this capacity he coordinated or supervised numerous White House operations. Although Butterfield had oversight responsibility for the installation and operation of the White House taping system, the files do not include information pertaining to it. The files do include references to his other administrative duties. For additional materials see White House Central Files: Staff Member and Office Files: Butterfield.
Language of Material: English


Collection is open for research. Some materials may be unavailable based upon categories of materials exempt from public release established in the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974.

Publication Rights

Most government records are in the public domain, however, this series includes commercial materials, such as newspaper clippings, that may be subject to copyright restrictions. Researchers should contact the copyright holder for information.

Preferred Citation

Alexander P. Butterfield Papers, White House Special Files, 1969-1973. Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Acquisition Information

These materials are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration under the provisions of Title I of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-526, 88 Stat. 1695) and implementing regulations.

Biography/Administrative History

Alexander Porter Butterfield was born in Pensacola, Florida on April 6, 1926. After attending the University of California, Los Angeles for two years, Butterfield left college to join the United States Navy as a seaman recruit. He eventually earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1956 at the University of Maryland and a Master of Science degree in 1967 at George Washington University. He married Charlotte Mary Maguire in 1949. Butterfield joined the Air Force in 1948 and went on to serve as an instructor at a U. S. Air Force base near Las Vegas, Nevada during the early part of the Korean War. Later, he served in Germany. He was Military Assistant to the Special Assistant of the Secretary of Defense in 1965 and 1966. In 1967-1969, Butterfield was the Senior Military Representative of the United States; Representative for Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Forces, Australia. During his time as a student at UCLA, Butterfield had become acquainted with H. R. Haldeman. He contacted Haldeman about job opportunities in the Nixon administration and eventually joined the White House staff as a Deputy Assistant to the President. He served the administration from 1969 until he left to work as an administrator at the Federal Aviation Administration in early 1973. On July 13, 1973, under direct questioning, Butterfield confirmed the existence of a voice-activated recording system in the Oval Office to Senate investigators and testified before the Senate investigation committee three days later. He resigned from the FAA on March 31, 1975. He then worked in the private business sector.

Scope and Content of Collection

The materials of Alexander P. Butterfield cover the years 1969-73. During those years he served as H. R. Haldeman's deputy on the President's personal staff as Deputy Assistant to the President. Butterfield served as a chief administrative officer, having responsibility for final review of all memoranda, briefing papers and correspondence going to the President as well as the conduct of the President's daily non-public activities. After November 1969, the Nixon Administration had no formal Secretary to the Cabinet, and Butterfield assumed those duties informally as Cabinet coordinator. He supervised the operation of the Staff Secretary's Office, the Security Office, the Office of Presidential Papers and Archives, the Office of Special Files, and the work of Presidential Receptionists. He served as liaison for the First Lady's Staff, the White House Social Secretary, the Office of White House Visitors, and the Military Assistant to the President. He also had oversight of internal security, acting as liaison with the United States Secret Service's Presidential Protective Division, Technical Security Division, and the Executive Protective Service. Most of the materials relating to internal security and protection of the President and First Family are closed. Although Butterfield had oversight of the installation and operation of the White House tapes, he did not document these activities. The White House Central Files, Staff Member and Office Files, Confidential Files contain an additional cubic foot of Butterfield materials.

Indexing Terms

Alex Butterfield
Alexander Butterfield, Sr.

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