Guide to the John Downey Works Papers, 1911-1928

Processed by Thompson Tombaugh; machine-readable finding aid created by Patricia White
Department of Special Collections
Green Library
Stanford University Libraries
Stanford, CA 94305-6004
Repository email:
© 1997
The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Guide to the John Downey Works Papers, 1911-1928

Collection number: M031

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University Libraries

Stanford, California

Contact Information

  • Department of Special Collections
  • Green Library
  • Stanford University Libraries
  • Stanford, CA 94305-6004
  • Phone: (650) 725-1022
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
Thompson Tombaugh
Date Completed:
June 1961
Encoded by:
Patricia White
© 1997 The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: John Downey Works Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1911-1928
Collection number: Special Collections M031
Creator: Works, John Downey
Extent: 2 linear ft.
Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions:


Publication Rights:

Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.


Gift of Lewis R. Works, 1930-31.

Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item] John Downey Works Papers, M031, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


John Downey Works was born March 29, 1847 on a farm in Ohio County, Indiana. Educated in the common schools of the state until 1861, he then served eighteen months with the U. S. Volunteers in the Civil War. In 1868, he married Alice Banta, was admitted to the bar, and began a law practice in Vevay, Indiana which lasted for fifteen years. In 1879, he was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives for one term. Forced to leave Indiana in l883 due to ill health, Works and his family journeyed West and settled in southern California where, from 1886-87, he served as Judge of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Los Angeles. In 1888, he was appointed to fill a vacancy as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of California and shortly thereafter, was elected to fill out the term. Works returned to a private legal partnership in 1891 and remained so engaged until 1910 when he served for a brief time as President of the City Council of Los Angeles. In 1911, he was nominated by the Progressive Republicans of the Lincoln-Roosevelt League for the position of U. S. Senator, was subsequently elected, and served in Congress until 1917 when he returned once again to private life and practice. Works died on June 6, 1928.
Among Works' publications are:

Indiana Pleading and Practice (1883)

Water and Water Rights (1890)

Courts and their Jurisdiction (1894)

What's Wrong With the World (1922)

Man's Duty to Man (1923)

Juridical Reform (1924)


The Works Papers include the correspondence of John Downey Works dated from 1911 to 1928, the bulk of which was written between 1916 and 1926. In addition, the collection contains a typescript copy of Works' memoirs concerning, especially, his years in the U. S. Senate, several typescripts of articles and speeches, and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings by or about Works from 1906-1911. Also included are printed copies of many of Works' Senate speeches.
Of primary interest in the Papers is the correspondence concerning Works' election to the U. S. Senate in 1911, publication of his several books, and his relationship with the Church of Christ Scientist.
For additional information consult the Works Collection in the Bancroft Library, University of California (see correspondence to Works from J. C. Rowell, Librarian). Also helpful for general reference is Irene Lucile Way's The Political Career of John Downey Works, a thesis written 1929-30 at Stanford University for the degree of Master of Arts.


Blight, Reynold E.
Christian Science Monitor
Hargraves, John W.
La Follette., Robert M.
Neale Publishing Co.
Patton, Charles 0.
Stratford Co.
Taft, William H.
Rowell, Chester H.


Box 1

Correspondence: Letters of John Downey Works, Jan. 1911 to May 1928


Arranged chronologically
Box 2

Correspondence: Letters to John Downey Works.

Scope and Content Note

Also includes letters about Works and extensive cross-references.


Arranged alphabetically by signer or author and chronologically under each signer
Box 3


Scope and Content Note

Memoirs of John Downey Works, typescripts of some speeches and articles, formal photographs, and scrapbook of newspaper clippings by or about Works.
Box 4

Speeches, 1911-1919

Scope and Content Note

Printed copies of U. S. Senate and miscellaneous speeches by John Downey Works.



Correspondence: Letters of John Downey Works

Box 1, Folder 1

Jan. 14, 1911-Jan. 17, 1911

Box 1, Folder 2

Jan. 18, 1911-Feb. 1, 1911

Box 1, Folder 3

July 5, 1916-Nov. 13, 1916

Box 1, Folder 4

March 5. 1917-Nov. 19, 1917

Box 1, Folder 5:

Feb. 6. l9l8-Dec. 27, 1918

Box 1, Folder 6

Jan. 8, 1919-Dec. 30, 1919

Box 1, Folder 7

Jan. 15, 1920-Dec. 27., 1920

Box 1, Folder 8

March 24, 1921-Dec. 30., 1921

Box 1, Folder 9

Jan. 16, 1922-Dec. 19, 1922

Box 1, Folder 10

Jan. 2, 1923-Dec. 19, 1923

Box 1, Folder 11

Jan. 3, 1924-Nov. 7, 1924

Box 1, Folder 12

Jan. 8, 1925-Nov. 13, 1925

Box 1, Folder 13

Feb. 8, 1926-Dec. 10, 1926

Box 1, Folder 14

Jan. 31, 1927-Dec. 7, 1927

Box 1, Folder 15

Jan. 27, 1928-May 31, 1928


Correspondence: Letters to John Downey Works

Box 2, Folder 16


Box 2, Folder 17


Box 2, Folder 18


Box 2, Folder 19


Box 2, Folder 20


Box 2, Folder 21


Box 2, Folder 22


Box 2, Folder 23

National-Neale (Dec. 1918)

Box 2, Folder 24

Neale (Jan. 1919-Dec. 1919)

Box 2, Folder 25:

Neale (Jan. 1920)-Norton

Box 2, Folder 26

Obrien-Putnam's Sons

Box 2, Folder 27


Box 2, Folder 28


Box 2, Folder 29


Box 2, Folder 30

Miscellaneous unidentified- 1911


Correspondence: Letters about Works

Box 2, Folder 31




Box 3, Folder 32:

Some of my Experiences in Political and Official Life - the memoirs of John Downey Works.

Box 3, Folder 33:

Typescript copies of several speeches and articles by John Downey Works.

Box 3, Folder 34:

26 formal photographs of John Downey Works as U. S. Senator.

shelf On shelf

Scrapbook (labeled) of newspaper clippings by or about John Downey Works, 1906-11.



Box 4

Printed copies of Senate Speeches (U.S.) by John Downey Works


Initiative, Referendum and Recall, April 20, 1911

Physical Description: 5 copies

Proposed Department of Health, July 6, 1911

Physical Description: 8 copies

To Establish an Independent Health Service, April 29, 30, 1912

Physical Description: 2 copies

The Presidential Term, Dec. 9, 10, 1912

Physical Description: 13 copies

Clean and Reliable Journalism, Apr. 17, 1913

Physical Description: 5 copies

Trusts and Combinations, May 5, 1913

Physical Description: 8 copies

An Amendment ot the Constitution Prohibiting the Sale, Manufacture and Importation of Distilled Liquor, June 21, 1913

Physical Description: 5 copies

Tariff on California Products, July 24, 25, 1913

Physical Description: 4 copies

San Francisco Water Supply, Dec. 2, 3, 1913

Physical Description: 4 copies

Bill to Repeal Hetch Hetchy Grant, Dec. 20, 1913

Physical Description: 3 copies

Patronage, Jan. 26, 914

Physical Description: 5 copies

Cooperative Agricultural Extension Work, Jan. 30, 1914

Physical Description: 5 copies

One Year of Democratic Rule, Mar. 6, 1914

Physical Description: 8 copies

Treaty Relations with Great Britain and Panama Canal Tolls, Apr. 7, 8, 1914

Physical Description: 1 copy

Affairs in Mexico, Apr. 21, 1914

Physical Description: 5 copies

Trust Legislation, July 17, 1914

Physical Description: 5 copies

Development of Water Power, Feb. 2, 1915

Physical Description: 2 copies

Preparedness for National Defense, Dec. 16, 1915

Physical Description: 5 copies

Preparedness for Peace, Mar. 23, 1916

Physical Description: 5 copies

National Preparedness - Judges in Politics, Apr. 12, 1916

Physical Description: 5 copies

Good Roads - Misappropriation of Public Funds, Apr. 21, 1916

Physical Description: 5 copies

Americanism and Preparedness for National Defense, Jun. 26, 1916

Physical Description: 5 copies

The Asiatic Problem, July 14, 1916

Physical Description: 4 copies

Naval Appropriations, July 17, 1916

Physical Description: 5 copies

Downward Tendencies of Government and Citizenship, Jan. 4,5, 1917

Physical Description: 7 copies

Our Relations with Germany, Feb. 7, 1917

Physical Description: 5 copies

On Authorizing the President to Arm Merchant Ships, Mar. 4, 1917

Physical Description: 1 copy

Miscellaneous speeches and articles


Health address of Works to the National League for Medical Freedom, Nov. 24, 1911

Physical Description: 3 copies

Expense of Public Health and Medical Service - letter from secretary of Treasury, Jan. 6, 1913

Physical Description: 1 copy

"War, Business and Peace," - Address to Commercial Law League of America, Aug. 5, 1915

Physical Description: 1 copy

"Works defends war stand," - article in The New American Woman, July 1917

Physical Description: 2 copies

Review of Work's book on Juridical Reform - by Roscoe Pound in Harvard Law Review, Dec. 1919

Physical Description: 1 copy