Location: Bowdoin / Library / Special Collections & Archives / Manuscript Collections / Robert Hale Papers

Robert Hale Papers, 1876-1976

8.5 linear feet.

Catalog Number:M80

Series List:


Agency History / Biographical Note:
Robert Hale (Bowdoin 1910) was born in Portland, Maine, on November 29, 1889. A Rhodes Scholar, he received his law degree from Oxford University in 1912. Hale was an attorney in Boston (1914-1916), Portland (1917-1942), and Washington, D.C. (1959-1975). He served in the Maine state legislature (1923-1930) and was a U.S. representative from Maine (1943-1958).

Hale was among the first to perceive socialistic and totalitarian implications in the New Deal. He expounded his views in a series of articles in Harper's Magazine during the winter of 1934: "Myself When Old," "Leftward Ho," and "A City of Habitation." He considered himself a reactionary and was a strong defender of civil rights.

Hale married Agnes Burke of Morristown, N.J.; they had a daughter, Patricia (b. 1926). Hale was related to five other congressmen: his cousin, Frederick Hale, was U. S. senator (1917-1941); his uncle, Eugene, was a U.S. representative (1869-1879) and U.S. senator (1881-1911); Eugene's father-in-law, Zachariah Chandler, and Zachariah's two uncles, John and Thomas Chandler, also served in the U.S. Congress.

Robert Hale served as Bowdoin overseer from 1969-1976. He died on November 30, 1976, in Washington, D.C.

Scope and Content:
The collection contains letters, including many to and from Bowdoin College during Hale's tenure as an overseer; speeches, beginning with Hale's high school salutatory address, but mostly dated from the 1940s, and including campaign speeches; legal case records and briefs; voting records for the sessions when Hale was a member of Congress; and photographs, mostly from visits with constituents. Prominent correspondents include John L. Baxter, Philip C. Beam, James Stacy Coles, Archibald Cox, Roger Howell, Jr., Walter Lippman, Kenneth Roberts, Marvin Sadik, Booth Tarkington, and Harry S. Truman.

Cite as: Robert Hale Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library.

Access Restrictions: None.

George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives · Staff · Hours
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