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James W. Clise papers

Identifier: Coll 114

Scope and Contents note

The James W. Clise Papers consists of one series of correspondence and subject files arranged alphabetically by individuals or organizations. There are a few personal and business files at the end of the collection, as well as some of Clise's speeches, articles, and published letters.

Mr. Clise corresponded regularly with the leaders of the American conservative movement and his letters detail the philosophy which he and others developed in the post-war period. As a contributor of financial and philosophical assistance, Clise's correspondence is vital to the student of the conservative movement.


  • 1932-1961


Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical/Historical note

James W. Clise was born in Seattle, Washington, on September 1, 1900. He graduated from Yale in 1922 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He was marries twice, once to Eunice Padelford with whom he had four children, and once to Dagny Wulf. His professional life centered in Seattle, as did the coordination of his libertarian political activities. Clise held executive positions in Asbestos Supply Companies, 1923-1951, and several vermiculite companies. He was also a member of numerous professional, civic, and recreational organizations.

By maintaining several mailing lists, Clise acted as an unofficial hub of conservative and libertarian political interchange. He coordinated distribution of letters, statements, speeches, pamphlets, books and movies, and radio shows to selected businessmen, local government officials, congressmen, and other interested parties. He worked in numerous organizations which advocated libertarian principles of personal freedom of choice, individual responsibility, limitation of government spending, taxation and decentralization of power. These organizations included For America, America' s Future, the Campaign for the 48 States, the Church League of America, Foundation for Economic Education, International Survives of Information Foundation, Intercollegiate Society of Individuals, and Youth for Goldwater.

In order to locate some of the causes of friction between economic groups and to facilitate better understanding, Clise conducted public opinion polls in labor halls, service clubs, civic executive meetings, women's clubs, church organizations, and college and high school groups. Clise also worked hard to coordinate support within these groups for the 23rd amendment, or the Bricker amendment.

In addition to keeping lines of communication open between political groups, Clise corresponded extensively with a number of conservative and libertarian individuals, such as: T. Coleman Andrews, Frederick E. Baker. Faldy A Harper, Henry Hazlitt, James C. Ingebretsen, Robert LeFevre, Lawrence Timbers, and William C. Mullendore. Clise also supported conservative authors such as Bryton Barron, Ludwig von Mises and Elwood Smith. Close continued many of these activities until his death in 1961.


15 linear feet (10 containers)

Language of Materials



James W. Clise (1900-1961) held executive positions in Asbestos Supply Companies and several vermiculite companies and was involved in libertarian political activities. The collection includes correspondence, subject files, personal and business files, speeches, articles, and published letters.

Arrangement note

Collection is organized into the following series:

Series: Correspondence and Subject Files

Series: Personal and Business Files

Series: Clise Speeches, Articles, Published Letters, etc.

Other Finding Aids

See the Collective Name Index to the Research Collection of Conservative and Libertarian Studies for a cross-referenced index to names of correspondents in this collection, if any, and 37 related University of Oregon collections, including dates of correspondence. See index instructions on use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of James W. Clise in 1961.

General Physical Description note

10 containers

Processing Information note

Collection processed by processing staff, October 2006.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the James W. Clise Papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by processing staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA