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Charles A. Dewey Papers

Identifier: MsC0103

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Scope and Contents

The papers of Charles A. Dewey contain manuscript material primarily relating to his career on the bench. The collection is described with item level indications, in the format of: Folder / Item Number(s) / Description.

The collection is comprised of correspondence and subject files providing a chronological view of the Iowa legal scene from the 1890s through the early 1950s. It includes more than thirty folders containing Judge Dewey's instructions to various juries. The U.S. District Court Instructions to Juries of Mr. Dewey's are probably unique and do not exist elsewhere. A lawsuit involving Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation is documented in great detail, with over twenty-five folders of records from court proceedings, appeals, and petitions to trial briefs and memoranda. There are copies of Judge Dewey's articles and speeches as well as biographical information. The correspondence files include letters from William F. Riley, John B. Sanborn, Seth Thomas, and Fred M. Vinson.

The primary significance of this collection lies in the correspondence it contains with prominent Iowa and national figures, such as Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Harry S. Truman, Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson, Attorney General Tom C. Clark, Senators Guy M. Gillette and Bourke B. Hickenlooper, Congressman Eugene D. O'Sullivan, and editorial cartoonist Jay N. Darling.


  • Creation: 1888-1954


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.


6.50 Linear Feet (Photographs box 1)

Language of Materials



Judge and lawyer. Papers relating primarily to his career on the bench. Correspondence and subject files, together with biographical material, speeches, and articles make up the collection. Includes jury instructions and a well documented lawsuit involving Union Carbide and Carbon Corp.

Method of Acquisition

The papers of U.S. District Judge Charles Almon Dewey were obtained for the State University of Iowa Library as a result of the efforts, interests, and correspondence initiated by George M. Sheets, 1958. Title to the papers was given and signed by Mrs. Charles A. Dewey at Des Moines, Iowa, March 9, 1959.

Genre / Form




Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)