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PITTS-STEVENSON COLLECTION

The collection contains typed letters signed from by politician Adlai E. Stevenson to campaign supporter Theta Juanita Pitts, copies of correspondence from Stevenson to Pitts, and lettersfrom Stevenson's staff to Pitts. The bulk of the correspondence was written surrounding Stevenson's two presidential campaigns in 1952 and 1956 while he was governor of Illinois. The majority of the letters are thanking Pitts for messages and gifts she had sent.

The collection also contains printed items including clippings from local North Carolina newspapers. Pitts, a staunch political supporter of Stevenson, lived for a time in Southern Pines, North Carolina, a place Stevenson visited often because his sister, Elizabeth "Buffie" Ives, lived in the area. The newsclippings pertain to Stevenson's political career, concentrating on his second presidential campaign in 1956, and also follow Ives' involvement in the campaigns.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES:

Adlai Ewing Stevenson (1900-1965) was elected governor of Illinois in 1948. Four years later, after he had announced he would seek reelection, President Truman asked him to seek the presidential nomination. Stevenson refused but was drafted by the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and gained the presidential nomination in 1952. He was defeated by wartime hero General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Stevenson then prepared for the next presidential election by traveling abroad and maintaining a central position in the Democratic party. In 1956 he again won the Democratic nomination and was again defeated by Eisenhower. Some of the issues central to the campaign had been placing limits on nuclear testing, easing tension in relations with the Soviet Union, increasing foreign economic aid, and improving race relations. In the 1960 election, Stevenson campaigned for John F. Kennedy who, after his victory, appointed Stevenson Ambassador to the United Nations. He remained at this post until his death in 1965.

Elizabeth "Buffie" Ives (Mrs. Ernest L. Ives) (1897-1994), sister of Adlai E. Stevenson, lived with her husband at Paint Hill Farm, near Southern Pines, North Carolina in a log cabin home which became Stevenson's headquarters during his numerous visits to the Sandhills area. Ives was close to her brother and often joined him on the campaign trail. There was discussion of Ives becoming the country's First Lady in the event of a Stevenson victory in the presidential election. She authored the book My Brother Adlai.

Theta Juanita Pitts, a staunch political supporter of Adlai E. Stevenson, lived in Atlanta, Georgia in 1952 and then Southern Pines, North Carolina from 1956-1965.

[Biographical Source: Dictionary of American Biography, Supplement 7: 1961-1965. American Council of Learned Societies, 1981.]

ACCESSION DATA:

Status: Open

Photocopying: Permitted

Provenance: Donated by Sandhills Community College, Boyd Library, Pinehurst, North Carolina to the Georgetown University Library Special Collections Division in November 2001.

Processed by Heidi Fetzer, July 2003.

BULK DATES: 1952 - 1958
SPAN DATES: 1952 - 1965

EXTENT: 2 boxes (2.25 l.f.)

SERIES


SERIES: 1. Correspondence


SERIES DESCRIPTION: Contains correspondence received by Theta Juanita Pitts mostly from Adlai Stevenson and his staff. Also contains one photograph of Stevenson supporters. Arranged chronologically.

SERIES: 2. Newspaper Clippings


SERIES DESCRIPTION: Contains newspaper clippings from local North Carolina newspapers pertaining to Adlai Stevenson's political career. The clippings focus on his second presidential campaign in 1956, and also follow Elizabeth Ives' involvement in the campaigns. The clippings were presumably saved by Theta Juanita Pitts. Arranged chronologically.

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