Research

New York State Attorney General Correspondence

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence between the State Attorney General's Office and other state agencies, private businesses, federal and local government agencies, various constituent organizations, and other public and private individuals. Records typically consist of expressions of support/opposition to a particular position or piece of legislation; designations of staff duties; commendations to staff; constituent comments and complaints; personal greetings; condolence letters; and acknowledgements of invitations, appointments and resignations, or resumes received.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
639.5 cubic feet (including 1 audiotape)
Inclusive Dates:
1979-2006
Series Number:
18565

Arrangement

18565-94: Chronological by year.

18565-99, 18565-07: Alphabetical by last name of correspondent or chronological by reference number.

18565-07A: Roughly by subject.

Administrative History

Robert Abrams, attorney general of New York from 1979-1993, was born July 4, 1938, and was raised and educated in the Bronx. He was educated in the public schools, Columbia College, and the New York University School of Law. After graduation he was engaged in the private practice of law in New York City.

In 1965 Abrams was elected to the first of three terms in the State Assembly. He served on several committees, including the Judiciary Committee, and sponsored and supported numerous pieces of legislation in the areas of tenant protection, broadening voter registration, election law reform, and education. He authored the first law creating a prison work release program, and his bill to fight child abuse was a landmark measure.

In 1969 Abrams was elected borough president of the Bronx, becoming the youngest person ever elected to that post. As borough president, he was a member of the Board of Estimate, the highest policy-making body of the City of New York. He was a strong advocate of expanding day care programs and giving local communities greater input in municipal decision. He also was an early advocate of bi-lingual education in the public schools. He was reelected in 1973 and 1977.

In 1978 Abrams was elected attorney general of the State of New York. During his tenure, the attorney general's office focused efforts on such issues as environmental pollution, white-collar crime, organized crime, consumer protection, antitrust enforcement, and civil rights.

Scope and Content Note

The last box contains letters announcing the attorney general's departure from office. A chronological file of carbon copies of outgoing correspondence was maintained for the earlier years.

18565-94: This accretion consists of correspondence between Attorney General Robert Abrams and other state agencies, private businesses, federal and local government agencies, various constituent organizations, and other public and private organizations and individuals. Most material is arranged in categories such as congratulations, thank you's, appreciations, general correspondence, correspondence handled by executive assistants, sympathy, legislation, and recommendations.

Records typically consist of expressions of support/opposition to a particular position or piece of legislation; designations of staff duties; commendations to staff; constituent comments and complaints; personal greetings; condolence letters; and acknowledgements of invitations, appointments and resignations, or resumes received.

18565-99: This accretion consists of the office correspondence of Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco. It exists in two parts: letters received (1996-1998) with replies prepared for the attorney general by his press office; and letters received (1994-1998) and forwarded to the office of Assistant Attorney General Donald P. Berens for reply.

Letters with replies prepared for the attorney general by his press office are arranged alphabetically by name of the correspondent. A copy of the reply is usually attached. Letters forwarded to Donald Berens for reply are arranged by year and therein by "reference #". What reference numbers are represented and/or the system by which they were assigned is unknown. However, they generally reflect arrangement according to the date the letter was answered. There are many and wide gaps in the numbering sequence. A copy of the reply is usually attached.

18565-07: This accretion consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence of Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and his staff (1999-2006). Incoming correspondence usually consists of letters from other state agencies, private businesses, federal and local government agencies, various constituent organizations, and other public and private organizations and individuals. Much of the incoming correspondence regards salient topics and legislation of the time such as tobacco, anti-trust laws, gun control, the September 11th attacks, pregnancy centers, gas price gauging, same-sex marriage and illegal immigration.

The outgoing correspondence usually consists of letters from Attorney General Spitzer regarding responses to invitations, holiday greetings, letters of sympathy, and letters and certificates of merit. Most of the correspondence usually contains the original letter sent to the Attorney General's Office, the database entry page with a note for the necessary actions to take place, and a letter from the Attorney General's Office responding to the letter. Some incoming correspondence contains supplements such as CDs, DVDs, and videotapes. The 1999 incoming correspondence is arranged alphabetically. The remainder of the correspondence is arranged by the Reference Number which is usually in chronological order by the date the letter was written and answered.

18565-07A: This accretion consists of correspondence files of Attorney General Eliot Spitzer during his tenure in office. A majority of the correspondence is between the Attorney General and other state agencies, private business, federal and local government agencies, various constituent organizations, and other public and private individuals. The correspondence regards salient topics and legislation of the time such as tobacco, school violence, organized crime, and Internet safety.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

18565-07, 18565-07A, 18565-10: Designated records may contain information that is exempt from disclosure pursuant to state or federal statute or common law. Requests for access to designated records are reviewed by staff of the State Archives and the Office of the Attorney General (Dept. of Law). In certain circumstances, designated records or portions of records may be withheld.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series B1971 Attorney General Eliot Spitzer correspondence index, indexes accretion 18565-07.

Other finding aids

18565-94, 18565-99, 18565-07, 18565-07A, 18565-10: Container list is available at the repository.

18565-94: Partial folder list is available at the repository.

Access Terms

Personal Name(s):
Corporate Name(s):
Geographic Name(s):
Subject(s):
Genre(s):
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