New York State Executive Assistant to the Governor Correspondence Files

Held by the New York State Archives

Overview of the Records


New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

This series consists of correspondence files of Governor W. Averell Harriman’s Executive Assistant Charles Van Devander, who served as Harriman's chief liaison with the press. The series includes both incoming and outgoing personal and official correspondence.
2 cubic feet
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Administrative History

Charles Van Devander, the Executive Assistant to Governor W. Averell Harriman, served as the Governor's press secretary. From 1941 to 1950, Van Devander was the chief of the Washington Bureau of the New York Post, and from 1950 to 1952 he was publicity director of the Democratic National Committee. During the 1952 presidential campaign, he served on the White House staff as a special consultant to President Harry Truman, and he handled press relations during Harriman's 1954 gubernatorial campaign.

Van Devander was the Governor's chief liaison with the press. He prepared the Governor's statements to the press and answered questions from the press concerning the Governor's position on various issues. He prepared the press releases issued from the Governor's office. He traveled with Governor Harriman on his speech making tours and helped write many of the Governor's speeches. He also assisted the Governor in making policy decisions.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of letters received and copies of letters sent relating to official and personal matters. There is a separate folder at the beginning of the file containing letters for November and December 1954.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of this material.

Related Information

Other finding aids

Container list is available at the repository.

Custodial History

This series was a gift to Syracuse University from Governor Harriman in 1959, and was later transferred to the New York State Archives in 2006. It was accessioned in February 2011.

Access Terms

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