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Register of the John Lord O'Brian Papers, 1916-1962
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Biography
  • Biographical Note

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: John Lord O'Brian Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1916-1962
    Collection number: 70001
    Creator: O'Brian, John Lord, 1874-
    Collection Size: 4 manuscript boxes, 3 microfilm reels (2 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Correspondence, memoranda, affidavits, clippings, printed matter, and speeches and writings, relating to the administration of the War Emergency Division of the Department of Justice, registration of enemy aliens, civil liberties in time of war, and domestic subversion in the United States during World War I.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], John Lord O'Brian Papers, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1970.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Access Points

    United States. Dept. of Justice. War Emergency Division.
    Aliens--United States.
    Civil rights--United States.
    Subversive activities--United States.
    World War, 1914-1918.
    World War, 1914-1918--United States.
    United States--Politics and government.


    American lawyer; head of the War Emergency Division, United States Department of Justice, 1917-1919

    Biographical Note

    1874 October 14 Born, Buffalo, New York
    1896 A.B., Harvard
    1898 graduated, University of Buffalo Law School
    1902 married, Alma E. White
    1903-1929 Trustee, University of Buffalo
    1907-1909 Member, New York State Assembly
    1909-1914 U.S. Attorney for Western District of New York
    1913 Candidate for Mayor of Buffalo, New York
    1915 Delegate-at-large at New York State Constitutional Convention
    1916 Delegate (for Hughes), National Republican Convention in Chicago
    1917 Chairman, Draft Board Appeals, Western New York
    1917-1919 Head of War Emergency Division, Department of Justice
    1920 opposed expulsion of Socialists elected to New York State Legislature
    1920 Permanent Chairman, Republican State Convention, New York City
    1921-1930 Buffalo Trustee, Albright Knox Art Gallery
    1925-1926 Vice Chairman, New York State Reorganization Committee
    1929-1933 Assistant to Attorney General, Antitrust Division, Department of Justice
    1931-1947 Regent, University of State of New York
    1935-1939 Special Counsel, Tennessee Valley Authority, Argued Ashwander vs. T.V.A.
    1938 Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate from New York
    1939-1945 Overseer, Harvard University
    1940 nominated Thomas Dewey for President at Republican National Convention in Philadelphia
    1941-1944 General Counsel, War Production Board
    1944 joined Covington, Burling, Rublee, Acheson & Shorb, Washington, D. C.
    1945 President, Harvard Alumni Association
    1947 Chairman, Flying Pay Board
    1948 Chairman, Oak Ridge Labor Dispute
    1950-1957 Chairman for Endowment of Harvard Divinity School
    1951 elected Washington Literary Society
    1951 appointed to National Advisory Board on Mobilization Policy
    1955 John Lord O'Brian Chair Established at Harvard Divinity School
    1957 participated in Youth Forum Broadcast sponsored by the New York Times.
    1962 honored by Chief Justice Earl Warren on 50th Anniversary of Admission to the Bar of the Court
    1963 member of Lawyer's Committee on Civil Rights (appointed by President Kennedy)
    1968, April 13 death of Mrs. John Lord O'Brian in Buffalo
    1972 new law building at SUNY at Buffalo, named after O'Brian by State University Board of Trustees
    1973, April 10 died at Washington, D. C.