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Herbert C. Holdridge papers

Identifier: Coll 124

Scope and Contents note

The Herbert C. Holdridge Papers consist of approximately 3000 letters, 1954-1974; background material for speeches; manuscripts, including portions of an autobiography; organizational records for Holdridge's provisional government and other groups founded by Holdridge; legal papers; pamphlets; reel-to-reel tapes; and copies of Holdridge's books Fables of Moronia and How to Gain Freedom from Economic Slavery.

The collection includes five images dated from the 1930s to the 1960s. Four include tribal peoples and are assumed to relate to activism, including picketing the White House in 1959.


  • 1953-1974


Conditions Governing Access

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

Herbert Holdridge was born in Wyandotte, Michigan, in 1892 and educated at the United States Military Academy, West Point, and Columbia University. Holdridge received an appointment as Assistant Professor of History and Social Sciences at West Point and also worked as a history instructor at Columbia University. He served as commandant of the Adjutant General's School, Ft. Washington, Maryland, and retired with the rank of brigadier general in 1944.

After his retirement, Holdridge became interested in fringe causes, conservative politics, the plight of Native Americans, and, in his view, the sinister influence of the Roman Catholic Church. He established the Holdridge Foundation for the Advancement of Social Sciences in 1953, and in 1957 founded another organization called Minute Men for the Constitution. As self-appointed president of this organization, he published two newsletters, News Notes and Reveille.

In 1958 and 1959 Holdridge announced his candidacy for the Presidency of the United States on an "independent, non-partisan platform." Sparse records of this campaign reveal his first attempts to elicit support from African Americans. He promised, if elected, to give $5,000 to each descendent of a slave. Little response came from the black community.

In 1960, Holdridge established the Constitutional Provisional Government of the United States, claiming that the Hopi Indians had never signed a peace treaty with the United States and therefore the Hopi constituted a sovereign nation. Holdridge established a new "legal" government and went through the motions of running it. It was beset with financial difficulties, which had not been overcome by the time of his death in 1974.


9 linear feet (7 containers)

Language of Materials



Herbert C. Holdridge (1892-1974) was an author and presidential candidate, his main interests being conservative politics and fringe causes. The collection includes correspondence, background information for speeches, manuscripts, records for groups Holdridge founded, legal papers, pamphlets, reel-to-reel tapes, and copies of his published books.

Arrangement note

Collection is organized into the following series: Series I. Outgoing correspondenceSeries II. Incoming correspondenceSeries III. ManuscriptsSeries IV. MiscellaneousSeries V. Sound recordingsSeries VI. BooksSeries VII. Photographs

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 Herbert Charles Holdridge in 1965

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Collection includes sound recordings or moving images to which access is restricted. Access to these materials is governed by repository policy and may require the production of listening or viewing copies. Researchers requiring access must notify Special Collections & University Archives in advance and pay fees for reproduction services as necessary.

General Physical Description note

7 containers

Processing Information note

Photogrpahs processed by Megan Dazey.

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 Herbert C. Holdridge Papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by processing staff
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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