COLLECTION GUIDES

1909-1971

Offsite Storage Inventory

Restrictions on Access

The bulk of the Robert Fiske Bradford papers are stored offsite and must be requested at least one business day in advance. Contact the Library at library@masshist.org or (617) 536-1608 to request materials. Please discuss your request with the reading room staff before requesting cartons by barcode.

This collection is PARTIALLY PROCESSED and has received a preliminary arrangement only.

There are restrictions on the use of this collection. Users must sign an agreement stating that they understand these restrictions before they will be given access to the collection.


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection consists of the papers of Boston lawyer and governor of Massachusetts (1947-48) Robert F. Bradford, who also served as Middlesex Co. (Mass.) district attorney (1938-45) and Lieut. Gov. of Mass. (1945-46). It includes personal and political correspondence, campaign papers, and phonograph records, as well as scrapbooks of newspaper clippings.

Biographical Sketch

Robert Fiske Bradford was born in 1902, the son of Edith (Fiske) and Dr. Edward H. Bradford. He was ninth in direct descent from William Bradford (1589-1657). His siblings were Elizabeth (Wibbet), Edward H., and Charles H. Bradford was educated at the Browne and Nichols School (now Buckingham, Browne and Nichols) in Cambridge, Mass.; Harvard College (A.B. 1923); and Harvard Law School (L.L.B. 1926). He was associated with Ropes, Gray, Boyden & Perkins and Ely, Bradford, Thompson & Brown prior to being governor, and afterwards was a partner with Palmer and Dodge (Boston). Bradford served as executive secretary to the governor of Massachusetts (1931-35) and held numerous other political offices, principally as two-term district attorney for Middlesex County (1938-45); lieutenant governor (1945-46), and governor (1947-48). In addition, he was affiliated with a number of educational and charitable institutions as a trustee or director, among them Harvard College, Simmons College, Browne & Nichols School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Norfolk House Centre, Massachusetts Hospital School, Greater Boston Council of Social Agencies, and others (see cartons 13-14).

Robert F. Bradford married Rebecca Crowninshield Browne of Salem, Mass., in 1926. The couple had four children: Rebecca C. (Patsy, b. 1927), Ann H. (Puns, b. 1928), Robert H. (b. 1936), and Charles Edward (b. 1941).

After losing his bid for re-election in 1948, Bradford retired from public office and remained a partner with Palmer and Dodge for the rest of his working career. In 1951, he developed Parkinson's Disease. During the 1950s and 1960s, Mr. and Mrs. Bradford traveled extensively both in the United States and abroad (see cartons 5-6). Bradford died in 1983. (See carton 5 for other biographical and genealogical information.)

Collection Description

The collection is divided into eight series: I. Family and Personal Papers; II. General Correspondence and Papers, 1939-1949; III. General Political Papers; IV. 1944 Campaign Papers; V. 1946 Campaign Papers; VI. 1948 Campaign Papers; VII. Scrapbooks; VIII. Other Material. Following is a box list with a brief description at the beginning of each series.

Restrictions on Access

The bulk of the Robert Fiske Bradford papers are stored offsite and must be requested at least one business day in advance. Contact the Library at library@masshist.org or (617) 536-1608 to request materials. Please discuss your request with the reading room staff before requesting cartons by barcode.

This collection is PARTIALLY PROCESSED and has received a preliminary arrangement only.

There are restrictions on the use of this collection. Users must sign an agreement stating that they understand these restrictions before they will be given access to the collection.

Restrictions on Use

The Society cannot give permission to publish or cite documents by individuals for whom it does not hold copyright. Use of these materials does not imply permission to publish. It is the sole responsibility of the researcher to obtain formal permission from the owners of the literary rights (copyright) to publish or quote from documents in this collection.

Photocopies are for personal use only. Personal use photocopies may not be donated or deposited in other libraries or archives, or made available to other researchers without the written permission of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Acquisition Information

This collection was a gift of Rebecca Crowninshield Browne Bradford. Genealogy provided by Irving H. Chase of Lincoln Centre, Mass.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Family and personal papers, 1943-1971

Family and personal papers includes school papers for both Rebecca C. Browne Bradford and for Robert F. Bradford. The family correspondence includes early letters among Robert F. Bradford, his parents, and siblings, as well as later letters among Robert F. Bradford, Rebecca C. Browne Bradford, their children, and members of the Browne and Chamberlain families (Rebecca C. Browne Bradford's mother and siblings). Letters written by the children's teachers, doctors, and camp counselors are also included. There are travel records of Robert F. Bradford and Rebecca C. Browne Bradford, 1949-71, and diaries of Robert F. Bradford, 1957-1966, mostly the line-a-day variety. There is one diary kept by Arthur H. Williams, kept as director of the Army and Navy Recreation Center, Boston, Mass., 1943. How it came into the collection is not clear.

Robert F. Bradford's school papers

Carton 1SH 114P X
Robert F. Bradford's school notebooks

1 vol. from Browne and Nichols school, 1917-1918

3 vols. from Harvard law school

Carton 1SH 114P X
Robert F. Bradford's school papers kept while at Harvard, 1920-1923
Carton 2SH 114Q Y
Undergraduate and law school, essays and notes, 1921-1925
Carton 2SH 114Q Y
Law school papers, 1924-1925
Carton 2SH 114Q Y
Rebecca Browne's personal correspondence, 1909-1948
Carton 3SH 114R Z
Rebecca Browne's personal correspondence, 1909-1948
Carton 3SH 114R Z
Postcards, ephemera, photographs, school notebooks 1913-1914and papers
Carton 3SH 114R Z
Essays and compositions, 1914-1922
Carton 3SH 114R Z
Family correspondence, 1918-1920
Carton 4SH 114 S -
Family correspondence, 1921-1964
Carton 5SH 114T .
Family biographical and genealogical material; ephemera
Carton 5SH 114T .
Robert F. Bradford and Rebecca C. Browne Bradford personal travel records, n.d., 1949-1959
Carton 6SH 114U
Robert F. Bradford and Rebecca C. Browne Bradford personal travel records, 1960-1971
Carton 6SH 114U
Robert F. Bradford diaries, 1957-1964, 1966
Carton 6SH 114U
Arthur H. Williams diary, 1943 (Army and Navy Recreation Center)

II. General correspondence and papers, 1939-1949

General correspondence and papers includes correspondence arranged alphabetically, covering the years 1939-1949 (with a few letters from the end of 1938). This series was already separately designated when the papers came to the MHS, although there is some overlapping of correspondents among this series and the different campaign series. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by the last name of the correspondent, except in cases when the person is writing solely as the representative of a specific company or organization. When only one or two items appear for a specific person, they are located at the beginning of that letter of the alphabet, under, for instance, "Miscellaneous - E." Cartons 13-14 contain correspondence pertaining to Bradford's interests as trustee or director of various institutions and agencies, arranged alphabetically by name of institution. There is some overlapping among these boxes and the general correspondence as far as individual writers are concerned. For instance, Charles Almy letters appear in the Browne & Nichols files as well as in the file for "Almy, Charles and Elizabeth."

Carton 7SH 114V $
Correspondence, A - Bra
Carton 8SH 114W /
Correspondence, Bre - Cre
Carton 9SH 114X +
Correspondence, Cro - G
Carton 10SH 114Y %
Correspondence, H - L
Carton 11SH 114Z 0
Correspondence, M - Pre
Carton 12SH 1151 A
Correspondence, Pri- V
Carton 13SH 1152 B
Correspondence, W - Z

Foundations, Boards, etc.:

Carton 13SH 1152 B
Boston Council of Social Agencies; Boston Five Cent Savings Bank; Browne and Nichols School; Community Recreation Service of Boston, Inc.; Foundation for Vision, Greater Boston Charitable Trust; Greater Boston Community Council; Greater Boston Community Fund.
Carton 14SH 1153 C
Harvard College Board of Overseers; King's Chapel; Massachusetts Committee of 1000; Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary; Massachusetts Hospital School; Norfolk House Centre; Simmons College; We of Massachusetts; Winsor School.

III. General political papers, 1944-1948

General political papers contains documents relating to Bradford's position as district attorney (carton 15) and to his term as governor of Massachusetts (cartons 15-17), including subject files arranged alphabetically (cartons 15-16), financial statements (carton 16), and political correspondence (cartons 16-17). Ignore folder numbers within the boxes, as they were arbitrarily assigned and have since been re-arranged.

Carton 15SH 1154 D
District Attorney papers: Legal cases, memoranda, and statements; newspaper clippings

Gubernatorial papers:

Carton 15SH 1154 D
Subject files, 1947-48:

Includes files on the the following: Advisory Salary Standardization Board, Attorney General, Community property rights (husband and wife), Conservation Department, Displaced Persons Commission, Dutch elm disease, Emergency war powers (of the Governor), Executive orders, Executive personnel, Fire Prevention Conference (Governor's), Flood control, Forest closing (fires, 1947), Fuel, Inaugural ball, International Bank, Labor, Maps, Mayor's office, Milk strike, Mystic River Bridge Authority.

Carton 16SH 1155 E
Subject files, 1947-48:

Includes files on the following: Pardons, Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Parole Board, Resignations, Truck strike, Vetoes, Washington's birthday reception, 1948.

Carton 16SH 1155 E
Commission on Administration and Finance (Comptroller's Bureau)
Carton 16SH 1155 E
Governor's Statements, Dec. 1946 - Oct. 1948
Carton 16SH 1155 E
General political correspondence, 1947-48
Carton 17SH 1156 F
General political correspondence, 1947-48
Carton 17SH 1156 F
Memoranda, statements, etc., 1945-49

IV. 1944 Campaign papers

Campaign papers for each campaign (1944, 1946, and 1948) are somewhat disordered, so that it is important that the researcher check every box for the campaign in which he or she is interested. Ignore folder numbers within the boxes, as they were arbitrarily assigned and have since been re-arranged.

Carton 18SH 1157 G
Correspondence: Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties
Carton 19SH 1158 H
Correspondence: Middlesex counties
Carton 20SH 1159 I
Correspondence: Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk (A-J) counties
Carton 21SH 115A J
Correspondence: Suffolk (K-R), Worcester counties; campaign miscellany

V. 1946 Campaign papers

Campaign papers for each campaign (1944, 1946, and 1948) are somewhat disordered, so that it is important that the researcher check every box for the campaign in which he or she is interested. Ignore folder numbers within the boxes, as they were arbitrarily assigned and have since been re-arranged.

Carton 22SH 115B K
Tours: Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Worcester counties
Carton 23SH 115C L
Tours: Western counties, miscellaneous counties, Gardner, New Bedford, and general information
Carton 23SH 115C L
Correspondence: Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Worcester counties
Carton 24SH 115D M
Correspondence: Suffolk County; miscellaneous correspondence and other campaign papers. Form letters, lists of potential supporters, memoranda, and other miscellaneous papers.
Carton 25 SH 115E N
Lists of potential supporters, materials on the primary elections
Carton 25 SH 115E N
Engagements (speaking, interviews, appointments, invitations, etc.)
Carton 26SH 115F O
Speeches, addresses, congratulatory letters to other elected officials, contributions, correspondence with Miss Nagle, and other miscellaneous papers
Carton 26SH 115F O
Congratulatory correspondence, Suffolk, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Plymouth counties; congratulatory telegrams; and other miscellaneous papers
Carton 27SH 115G P
Campaign and speech miscellany
Carton 27SH 115G P
Correspondence and memoranda
Carton 28SH 115H Q
Daily schedules, Oct.-Nov. 1946
Carton 28SH 115H Q
Form letters
Carton 28SH 115H Q
Published lists of voters in Braintree and Methuen
Carton 28SH 115H Q
Newspaper clippings, June - August 1946
Carton 29SH 115I R
Newspaper clippings, Sept.-Oct. 1946
Carton 30SH 115J S
Newspaper clippings, Oct.-Nov. 1946(2 card file boxes)
Carton 30SH 115J S
Voter endorsements

VI. 1948 Campaign papers

Campaign papers for each campaign (1944, 1946, and 1948) are somewhat disordered, so that it is important that the researcher check every box for the campaign in which he or she is interested. Ignore folder numbers within the boxes, as they were arbitrarily assigned and have since been re-arranged.

Carton 31SH 115K T
Correspondence and tours: Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Middlesex counties
Carton 32SH 115L U
Correspondence and tours: Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, Worcester counties
Carton 32SH 115L U
Campaign correspondence, A - Z
Carton 33SH 115M V
Nomination papers, lists of potential supporters
Carton 33SH 115M V
Speeches, engagements, and miscellaneous papers
Carton 33SH 115M V
Engagements, Sept. 1948 and appointments to state offices, 1947-48
Carton 34SH 115N W
Engagements, Sept. 1948 and appointments to state offices, 1947- 1948
Carton 34SH 115N W
Engagements July-Nov. 1948
Carton 35SH 115P Y
General correspondence, A - Z
Carton 35SH 115P Y
Subject files, A - M
Carton 36SH 115Q Z
District reports, materials on veterans, and other miscellaneous papers
Carton 36SH 115Q Z
Memoranda, speeches, campaign diary, address book, etc.
Carton 37SH 115R -
Memoranda, form letters, lists of potential supporters
Carton 37SH 115R -
Daily schedules, July-Oct. 1948
Carton 37SH 115R -
John Heselton correspondence
Carton 37SH 115R -
County information files, B - H
Carton 38SH 115S .
County information files, M - W
Carton 38SH 115S .
Consolation letters and thank- you letters
Carton 38SH 115S .
Lists of potential supporters and photograph requests
Carton 39 SH115T
Lists of potential supporters and photograph requests. Miscellaneous correspondence and other campaign papers.
Carton 39 SH115T
Miscellaneous correspondence and other campaign papers.

VII. Scrapbooks, 1945-1949

On microfilm, stored ONSITE at P-480.

33 volumes of newspaper clippings documenting Maurice J. Tobin's term as governor (Vols. I-IV), and Bradford's political career, in rough chronological order.

Due to their deteriorating condition, the volumes have been microfilmed and are available on 13 reels (P-480). The original scrapbooks have been discarded.

Note: This list was revised in March 2007. It does not match the list on Reel 1 of the microfilm set. Three reels were added to the set (Reels 11, 12, 13).

Reel 1
Vol. I; Vol. II, Gov. Maurice J. Tobin, Feb.-Mar. 1945
Reel 1
Vol. III, Gov. Maurice J. Tobin, Apr.-May 1945
Reel 2
Vol. IV, Gov. Maurice J. Tobin, Aug.-Oct. 1945

See Reel 12 for Jan.-Apr. 1946 (Vol. IVA).

Reel 2
Vol. V, Lieut.-Gov. Robert F. Bradford, Apr.-July 1945

See Reel 13 for Jan.-Mar. 1945 (Vol. IVB).

Reel 2
Vol. VI, Lieut.-Gov. Robert F. Bradford, June-Oct. 1946
Reel 3
Vol. VII, Lieut.-Gov. Robert F. Bradford, Oct. 1946
Reel 3
Vol. VIII, Gov. Robert F. Bradford, Dec. 1946-Jan. 1947
Reel 3
Vol. IX, Gov. Bradford, Feb.-Mar. 1947
Reel 4
Vol. X, Gov. Bradford, Apr. 1947
Reel 4
Vol. XI, May 1947
Reel 4
Vol. XII, June-July 1947
Reel 5
Vol. XIII, Gov. Bradford, July 1947
Reel 5
Vol. XIV, Aug. 1947
Reel 5
Vol. XV, Sept. 1947
Reel 6
Vol. XVI, Gov. Bradford, Nov. 1947
Reel 6
Vol. XVII, Nov.-Dec. 1947
Reel 6
Vol. XVIII, Dec. 1947-Jan. 1948
Reel 7
Vol. XIX, Gov. Bradford, Jan. 1948
Reel 7
Vol. XX, Feb. 1948
Reel 7
Vol. XXI, Mar. 1948.
Reel 8
Vol. XXII, Gov. Bradford, Apr. 1948
Reel 8
Vol. XXIII, June 1948
Reel 8
Vol. XXIV, June 1948 (cont.)

See Reel 10 for May 1948 (Vol. XXIX).

Reel 9
Vol. XXV, Gov. Bradford, July 1948
Reel 9
Vol. XXVI, Aug. 1948
Reel 9
Vol. XXVII, Gov. Bradford, Sep. 1948
Reel 10
Vol. XXVIII, Gov. Bradford, Oct. 1948
Reel 10
Vol. XXIX, May 1948
Reel 10
Vol. XXX, Dec. 1948-Jan. 1949
Reel 11
Vol. XXVIIIA, Gov. Bradford, Nov. 1948
Reel 12
Vol. IVA, Gov. Tobin, Jan.-Apr. 1946

Note: Clippings in this scrapbook are not in chronological order.

Reel 13
Vol. IVB, Lieut.-Gov. Bradford, Jan.-Mar. 1945

VIII. Other material

Other material includes miscellaneous printed material, oversize materials, and phonograph records.

Carton 40SH 115U $
Printed material
OS Box 1
Miscellaneous oversized itemsStored ONSITE at Ms. N-47 (OS)
XT Box 1-2
Phonograph records (various sizes)Stored ONSITE at Ms. N-47 (XT)

Materials Removed from the Collection

Printed Material

For a list of printed materials removed from this collection, see Curator of Manuscripts.

Manuscripts

The following manuscripts were removed from the collection and cataloged separately.

16 Jan. 1827. Suffolk County, Mass. Bond, Zachariah Fish of Boston as principal, Thomas Darling and Thomas Johnson as sureties, bound to Michael Riley, constable of Boston.

15 July 1830. Writ of recovery in the case of Gilman Pritchard v. Joseph W. Revere. True Copy. Joseph W. Revere and John W. Ridgway as sureties for James M. Robbins in a case of default. "Augustus H. Fiske Plaintiff's attorney" written on verso.

25 Jan. 1847. Bill of sale for male African-American slave Jemy Cornish to H.L. Whitridge by Hope H. Slatter. Printed form completed in ms.

[July 1784] Joseph Sampson and John Faunce, selectmen of Kingston, to the Justices of the general sessions of the peace for the County of Plymouth, recommendation that Capt. Robert Bradford be licensed to sell "spirtous liquors out of doors." True copy.

Photographs

Two boxes of photographs removed to Photograph Archives.

Preferred Citation

Robert Fiske Bradford papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.

Persons:

Bradford family--Genealogy.
Browne family--Genealogy.
Bradford, Rebecca Crowninshield Browne, 1904- .
Tobin, Maurice J.
Williams, Arthur H.
Bradford family.
Browne family.
Chamberlain family.

Organizations:

Buckingham, Browne & Nichols.
Harvard Law School--Students.
Harvard University--Students.
Massachusetts. Governor (1945-1947 : Tobin)
Massachusetts. Governor (1947-1948 : Bradford)
Massachusetts. Lieutenant Governor (1945-1947 : Bradford)

Subjects:

Family history--1900-1949.
Family history--1950-1999.
Scrapbooks--1945-1949.
Massachusetts--Politics and government--1865-1950.