Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Minton mss., 1934-1965, consist of letters, speeches, photographs, and printed materials relating to the political and judicial career of Sherman Minton, 1890-1965, U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Sherman Minton was born in Georgetown, Indiana, studied law at Indiana and Yale universities, and practiced law in Florida and Indiana. In 1934, Minton became the Indiana Democratic Party nominee for the U.S. Senate and joined the New Deal freshman class of senators that included Harry S Truman of Missouri. Minton was Democratic Whip, 1940-1941, and chaired the Committee on Pensions in the 76th Congress. After losing his Senate seat to a Wendell Willkie Republican in 1940, Minton served as one of President Franklin Roosevelt's administrative assistants until named to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, where he served from 1941 until 1949. Following the death of Justice Walter Treanor, Minton was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by his friend and former Senate colleague, President Harry S Truman. He served as an associate justice from 1949 to 1956, when he resigned because of ill health.� Minton returned to New Albany, Indiana, where he lived until his death in 1965.

Correspondents in the collection are primarily Minton's colleagues in the U.S. Congress, on Franklin Roosevelt's staff, and on the Supreme Court of the United States. These include: Alben William Barkley, Hugo Lafayette Black, Homer Truett Bone, Harold Hitz Burton, James Francis Byrnes, Tom Campbell Clark, Thomas Terry Connally, Homer Stille Cummings, William Orville Douglas, James Aloysius Farley, Felix Frankfurter, John Marshall Harlan, Carl Atwood Hatch, Lister Hill, Robert Houghwout Jackson, Walter Carey Lindley, William Gibbs McAdoo, James Earl Major, Francis Thomas Maloney, Claude Denson Pepper, Stanley Forman Reed, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lewis Baxter Schwellenbach, Arthur Thomas Stewart, Harry S Truman, and Earl Warren.

The collection also includes speeches, radio addresses, press releases and some ephemeral materials from Minton's 1934 election campaign; other speeches and addresses made by him while U.S. Senator and federal judge; a few speeches by other people about Sherman Minton; photographs, both formal and informal; and printed materials that include files on Supreme Court activities and decisions, statements from the Congressional Record, and newspaper clippings. A scrapbook of clippings, etc., dating from Minton's oath taking as U.S. Senator in 1935 through his retirement from the Supreme Court in 1956, completes the collection.

An inventory is available.

Gift. 1994, 2007

Collection size: 2,100 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.