Scope and Content Note

This series documents W. Averell Harriman's campaign for Governor of New York in 1954 and 1958, and for President in 1956. It is divided into five subseries: 1954 New York State Gubernatorial Campaign Files; 1954 General Election Files; 1956 Campaign and Election Files; 1958 Gubernatorial Campaign Files; and 1958 Election Records.

Subseries 1, 1954 New York State Gubernatorial Campaign Files: Contains copies of speeches, addresses, press releases, correspondence, party platforms, and fact sheet binders. Also included are the reference materials used by Milton D. Stewart, who served as Harriman assistant during this campaign and would later serve as the Executive Assistant to the Counsel. The records provided Averell Harriman with information regarding the condition of the state and local governments within New York State, and revealed the key issues to be examined by the future governor. Topics covered include the airy market in New York State, education, and public works projects (particularly highways).

Subseries 2, 1954 General Election Files: Contains records that document the general election of the Democratic Party candidates including Averell Harriman, George DeLuca, Arthur Levitt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., and Adrian P. Burke. Most of the press releases in this subseries were issued by the "Citizens for the Election of Averell Harriman, George B. DeLuca, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., and Adrian P. Burke," the New York State Democratic Committee, and by Harriman's office. The subseries also includes biographical sketches and the 1954 New York State Democratic Party Platform.

Subseries 3, 1956 Campaign and Election Files: Contains correspondence files, promotional flyers and leaflets, speeches, records on the Democratic Party Convention, Christmas card lists, and press releases that document Governor Harriman's presidential campaign, the Democratic Party Convention, and the New York State campaigns. Also included are reference files about President Eisenhower and then-Vice President Nixon. Some files in this accretion were maintained by Joseph M. Jones, a speech writer who worked for Harriman during his 1956 campaign. Jones' files cover topics related to foreign policy. Other topics covered in this accretion include the political leanings of 1956 Democratic Party Convention delegates, reactions to the 1956 primary elections as well as key campaign topics such as agriculture and education.

Subseries 4, 1958 Gubernatorial Campaign Files: Contains subject and county files, speech files, correspondence, memoranda, and files concerning the key topics of Governor Harriman's 1958 gubernatorial campaign. Other records include files from the Special Assistant to the Governor and from the Industrial Commissioner about the campaign. Topics covered by this subseries include the key campaign issues of crime, education, and public health.

Subseries 5, 1958 Election Records: Contains the Democratic Party platform for New York State, newspaper clippings, enrollment and election statistics, fact sheets, campaign-related correspondence, and the 1958 campaign handbook. Other records include the Executive Assistant to the Counsel's political file and the Secretary to the Governor's files relating to state legislation and Democratic Party of the New York State. These materials served as points of reference for the 1958 campaign and relate to topics such as the Women's Division of the State Democratic Committee and press coverage of Governor Harriman.