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Ehrlichman (John) papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Location of Originals
  • Processing Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement Statement
  • Related Collection(s)

  • Title: John Ehrlichman papers
    Date (inclusive): 1941-1999
    Collection Number: 88007
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 74 manuscript boxes, 20 oversize boxes (61.36 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: The John Ehrlichman papers (1941-1999) consists of documents, manuscripts, correspondence, speeches and writings, court cases, handwritten notes, schedules, appointment books, media coverage, manuals, budgets and expenses, sketches, printed materials, clippings, newspapers, photographs, photograph albums, framed oversize material, scrapbooks, audio and video recordings primarily relating to Ehrlichman's roles in Richard Nixon's political campaigns; the Nixon administration including domestic policy, policy relating to the Vietnam War; Watergate, Congressional hearings, court cases, trail proceedings and sentencing; his activities in Santa Fe, New Mexico, including writings and illustrations; and material relating to the books "The Company" (1976), "Witness to Power" (1982) and "The China Card" (1987).
    Creator: Ehrlichman, John
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    Boxes 74, 89-94 may not be used without permission of the Archivist. The remainder of the collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1988, with increments received in later years.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], John Ehrlichman papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Location of Originals

    In part, originals located in: National Archives, Washington, D.C.

    Processing Information

    In March-April 2022 the increments were arranged and described. Appendix A and B original arrangement was retained, and the series were integrated.

    Biographical Note

    John Daniel Ehrlichman (1925-1999) served in the Richard Nixon Administration and was a key figure in the Watergate events. He was convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury and served time in Safford, Arizona. After his release, he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where he was a consultant and writer.
    Born in Tacoma Washington in 1925, Ehrlichman's family moved to southern California in 1931, where, in 1942, he graduated from Santa Monica High School. During this time Ehrlichman attained the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. In 1943 he attended UCLA for a year before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Forces. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in World War II. In 1945 he was discharged as first lieutenant, returned to UCLA, and graduated with a B.A. in pollical science in 1948. Ehrlichman was married Jeanne Fisher from 1950 to 1976. He graduated from Stanford Law School in 1951 and between 1952-1958, along with several associates, established a law firm in Seattle, Washington known as Hullin, Ehrlichman, Roberts and Hodge, specializing in urban land use and zoning.
    Recruited by former UCLA classmate H. R. Haldeman, in 1960 Ehrlichman worked on Richard Nixon's presidential campaign as Advance Man; Nixon's 1962 California gubernatorial election campaign as Scheduler; and as Tour Director and Director of Convention Activities for Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign. After Nixon's 1968 election victory, Ehrlichman was appointed White House Counsel in 1969. In the White House, Ehrlichman formed a group, known as "the Berlin wall," with chief of staff H. R. Haldeman, to insulate the President from the public and other members of the government by filtering information. Between 1969-1973, Ehrlichman was Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs; 1970-1973 he was a member of the Federal Property Review Board; and 1971-1973 a member of the President's Council on International Economic Policy. In 1971, Ehrlichman established a special investigation unit, known as "The Plumbers," that acquired political intelligence to stop information leaks.
    In 1972 the Watergate scandal broke and in 1973 Ehrlichman was forced to resigned from the administration (Nixon resigned in 1974). Ehrlichman testified before the Senate Select Committee in July 1973. In 1974 Ehrlichman was indicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury for his part in the Watergate events. In 1975, following a second trial, he was convicted of four felony counts and sentenced to 2.5 to 8 years in prison. Ehrlichman moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico while appealing his conviction and returned there after his release. He served time at the Swift Trail Federal Prison Camp in Safford, Arizona from October 1976 to April 1978.
    Ehrlichman authored the book "The Company" (1976) and published many articles in newspapers and magazines while in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Additionally, Ehrlichman created sketches, drawings, and illustrations. His sketches relating to the White House were published in the book "Sketches and Notes" (1987). Between 1978-1991 he married Christine "Christy" Peacock McLaurine. In 1979 he published the book "The Whole Truth" followed by the books "Witness to Power: The Nixon Years" (1982), and "The Chine Card: A Novel" (1987). In 1991 he moved to Atlanta, Georgia and was Senior Vice President at the engineering firm Law Environmental. He married Karen Hilliard in 1995 and died in Atlanta in 1999.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The John Ehrlichman papers is comprised of two increments. The first increment comprises Appendix A (in the Nixon Administration series) and Appendix B (in the Audiovisual series) arranged and received from the Archives of Artists of New Mexico and the Southwest. Appendix A primarily consists of meeting notes, schedules, memoranda, correspondence, reports, domestic policy, Cabinet and Executive Department personnel, policy relating to the Vietnam War, material relating to the Watergate affair, the 1972 Presidential election. Appendix B consists of sound recordings of television news programs and interviews relating to Watergate.
    The second increment was received from Ehrlichman's family and arranged in 2022. The labels on folders by Ehrlichman have been transcribed and Ehrlichman's groupings have been retained. The collection consists of documents, manuscripts, correspondence, speeches and writings, court cases, handwritten notes, schedules, appointment books, media coverage, manuals, budgets and expenses, sketches, printed materials, clippings, newspapers, photographs, photograph albums, framed oversize material, scrapbooks, audio and video recordings.
    The series relate to periods of Ehrlichman's life beginning with biographical material dated before Ehrlichman became involved with the political campaigns for Nixon. The Political Campaigns series contains material relating to Nixon's political campaigns including material relating to Ehrlichman's role as Advance Man, correspondence, clippings, schedules, events, travel, and memorabilia. The Nixon Administration series contains material relating to the appointments Ehrlichman served in the Nixon administration and relating to the administration including inaugural events, policies, correspondence, clippings, media coverage, reports, schedules, writings, travels, photographs, and relevant Watergate related material compiled by Ehrlichman in the files dated 1974.
    The Watergate Investigation series comprises court cases Ehrlichman aggregated including related court cases, court cases and trails involving Ehrlichman, the 1973 Senate Select Committee investigation, the Grand Jury trial in 1973, Ehrlichman's trial notes, and clippings.
    The series Safford, Arizona and Santa Fe, New Mexico have intersecting dates between October 1976 - April 1978. The Safford, Arizona series may include the period Ehrlichman moved to Santa Fe while appealing his conviction for his involvement in the Watergate events, between 1975-1976. The series also includes material Ehrlichman compiled related to his incarceration and material dated during his time in Safford, Arizona.
    The period after Ehrlichman's release primarily comprises the Santa, Fe, New Mexico and includes the period he lived in Santa Fe while appealing his conviction. The series contains his writings, book reviews, clippings, material received from the National Archives, material relating to the books "The Company" (1976), "Witness to Power" (1982), "Sketches and Notes" (1987), and "The China Card" (1987), conferences, and photographs. Significant material for articles includes research for the Parade Magazine articles on Russia, poverty, immigration, Native American Indians, memoirs of his time in office and about Nixon. The Audiovisual series consists of sound and video recordings relating to his time in the Nixon administration, the Senate Hearings, television and news program interviews.
    This collection contains creator-supplied folder titles that use harmful and outdated language. Description staff transcribed the titles as they are found on the objects in order to accurately reflect the language used by the collection's creator and represent the context in which the records were created.

    Arrangement Statement

    Appendix A and Appendix B were received and arranged by the Archives of Artists of New Mexico and the Southwest, circa 1999. The files are arranged chronologically. In 2022, dates files were created to group materials together chronologically. Appendix A and B were integrated into the series created in 2022.
    The files are arranged chronologically, by the earliest date of the material, and then by subject. The subjects are arranged chronologically by the date of the activity, if provided, or the earliest date on the material, then alphabetically. Ehrlichman aggerated documents in the subject files that span multiple dates, earlier or later than the date of the activity. For instance, Ehrlichman assembled research related to subjects for his writings with original dates outside of the scope of the activity. For this reason, some subjects may appear out of chronological order since the earliest date of the material is recorded. Additionally, related subjects have been grouped together to maintain consistency or retained as they were received by the creator/donor and may appear out of chronological order.
    Ehrlichman assigned an alphanumeric code, numeric or letter of the alphabet to certain files. It is unknown why Ehrlichman devised this coding system. Where appliable, files have been arranged according to the coding system. Ehrlichman often used symbols in folder labels. The finding aid "John D. Ehrlichman (White House Special Files: Staff member and Office Files) at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum has been consulted to translate symbols in the record titles while the symbol has been transcribed from the folder.

    Related Collection(s)

    John D. Ehrlichman Papers, White House Special Files, 01/20/1969 - 04/30/1973. Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    United States -- Politics and government -- 1969-1974
    Vietnam War, 1961-1975
    Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 1972
    Watergate Affair, 1972-1974
    Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994