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Subseries A: Subjects



From the Series: This series documents topics related to capital punishment and criminal justice. It also documents individual opponents and supporters of capital punishment as well as other prominent individuals. Researchers should be aware that there is some overlap between this series and Series 1. Sparse correspondence with some individuals documented Subseries B. can also be found in Series 1 under the appropriate state. Although correspondence and publications generated by the American League to Abolish Capital Punishment and the Massachusetts Council for the Abolition of the Death Penalty are concentrated in Series 4, a small amount can be found in this series and in Series 1.

Subseries A documents capital punishment, efforts to abolish it, and other related topics. Topics of special interest include: cartoons, crime, criminal justice, death row, executions and executioners, innocence, kidnapping, legislation and legislators, lifers, prisons and prisoners, religious organizations, the Sacco and Vanzetti case, and crime statistics. In addition there are files on organizations opposed to capital punishment such as the Anti-Capital Punishment League, Citizens Against Legalized Murder, and the United Prison Association (later renamed Massachusetts Correctional Association, but filed under United Prison Association). Researchers should be aware that information on some of these organizations may also be found in Series 1 under the appropriate state. There are also two audiocassettes and one videotape concerning the Sacco and Vanzetti case in Series 6. The Norfolk Lifers Group is found in Series 1 under Massachusetts (box 2, folder 71 and box 3, folders 1-2). There are also seven audiocassettes related to the Norfolk Lifers Group and two audiocassettes related to Radio Free Norfolk in Series 6.

Subseries B consists of folders on individuals, which contain correspondence and/or collected information such as articles, editorials and newspaper clippings. The individuals documented in this series include: state and federal officials, proponents and opponents of capital punishment, and other prominent individuals. Also included are contributors, members, and officers of the American League to Abolish Capital Punishment and of the Massachusetts Council for the Abolition of the Death Penalty. Some of the more well-known individuals include: Hugo Bedau, Herbert Cobin, Clarence Darrow, Crosby Forbes, Victor Friend, Arthur Garfield Hays, Sumner Kaplan, Lewis Lawes, Donal MacNamara, Herbert Parsons, Vivian Pierce, Thorsten Sellen, and Miriam van Waters. Sparse correspondence and collected information exists on a number of prominent individuals, notably: James M. Curley, Michael Dukakis, Henry Ford, Felix Frankfurter, William Randolph Hearst, J. Edgar Hoover, and Karl Menninger.

Subseries C consists of newspaper clippings mainly from Boston- area newspapers organized into three broad topics: capital punishment, murder cases, and other subjects. The bulk of this material relates to Massachusetts.


  • 1849-1991 (bulk 1925-1980)

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is unrestricted.


From the Collection: 43.80 cubic feet (49 containers, 7 flat file folders)


From the Collection: English


Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Snell Library
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US