1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY
1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY

Eunice Baird Whittlesey Papers

1924-2001

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Abstract

Eunice Baird Whittlesey was born in Yorkville, New York. She married Joseph I. Whittlesey on August 30, 1947, and had one daughter, Anne Whittlesey Donlan. Mrs. Whittlesey graduated from the University at Albany (then known as the New York State College for Teachers) in 1944. Mrs. Whittlesey began her professional life as an English, Speech and Drama teacher in Connecticut and Massachusetts. She has also held several prominent positions in the New York State and national Republican parties.

Summary

Creator:
Eunice Baird Whittlesey
Date Coverage:
1924-2001
Quantity:
1.88 cubic ft.

Eunice Baird Whittlesey was born in Yorkville, New York. She married Joseph I. Whittlesey on August 30, 1947, and had one daughter, Anne Whittlesey Donlan. Mrs. Whittlesey graduated from the University at Albany (then known as the New York State College for Teachers) in 1944. Mrs. Whittlesey began her professional life as an English, Speech and Drama teacher in Connecticut and Massachusetts. She has also held several prominent positions in the New York State and national Republican parties. She was a staunch supporter of Nelson Rockefeller during both his tenure as Governor of New York and as Vice President of the United States during the Ford administration as well as a faithful supporter of President George H. W. Bush. Her talent for coordinating groups of people has been a great asset throughout her career.

While she worked closely alongside Governor Nelson Rockefeller, campaigned faithfully for several Republican candidates and created programs to raise both political and environmental awareness, little has been written about her efforts in works about the Rockefeller administration or the New York Republican State Committee. However, her name does appear in Who's Who of American Women and Who's Who of Women in World Politics.

Mrs. Whittlesey's first political role was in 1960 when she served as the Schenectady County Chair for the Nixon for President campaign. Following that date, she served as the co-chair for several presidential campaigns including Gerald Ford in 1976 and Ronald Reagan in 1980. In 1967, at the request of Nelson Rockefeller, Mrs. Whittlesey created the Volunteer's Tie Line, a group of volunteers that acted as a link between the state government and the public. Its main purpose was to keep women informed of political information that had direct bearing on them. She also acted as its first chair, holding this position from 1967-1970.

In addition to volunteering for political causes, Mrs. Whittlesey also supported environmental awareness. In 1966, while working as a consultant and program associate for the New York State Environmental Health Services Unit, Pure Waters Division, Eunice Whittlesey created the Ambassadors to Bring about Action Through Environmental Study or ABATES. ABATES was a volunteer group that approached the topic of environmental awareness by gathering groups of informed citizens to study the environmental problems throughout upstate New York. They hoped that this dialog between private citizens and legislators would promote a better environment by providing information about improving and sustaining the quality of upstate New York's land and water resources. Guided by studies produced by the New York Department of Health, the study action groups discussed the progress that members of the private sector were making towards compliance with environmental policies passed during the Rockefeller administration. In 1974, Mrs. Whittlesey organized the "Keep New York State Clean" program. This program was a statewide initiative to organize groups of volunteers in picking up litter. This program provided garbage bags that were stamped with the group's logo in order to promote environmental awareness. Mrs. Whittlesey also worked in support of the Transport Bond Issue that called for the modernization of the Schenectady-Scotia (Gateway) Bridge, the improvement of roadways and to protect the natural beauty of communities along the highways.

In 1970, Mrs. Whittlesey co-chaired Housewives for Rockefeller along with Dorothy McHughes. This group of volunteers campaigned for the election of Nelson Rockefeller as Governor of New York. Acting as regional coordinators, McHughes and Whittlesey recruited county chairs to spread information about Rockefeller's political stances to women and to encourage them to vote.

In addition to her volunteer roles as a supporter and organizer, Mrs. Whittlesey also was active in the New York and national Republican parties. She acted as a national committee member from 1977 to 1994, was a Delegate at Large at the Republican National Convention in 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1992. She was also the Vice Chair for the New York Republican State Committee from 1970-1977.

During her years as a national committee and New York Republican State Committee member, Mrs. Whittlesey was appointed to several committees. In 1980, she served as the chair of the Housing Committee for the Republican National Committee in Detroit. She was appointed Commissioner of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Centennial Commission from 1986 to 1988 by Secretary of Interior Donald Hodel and the New York Statue of Liberty Centennial Commission from 1984 to 1986 by Senator Warren M. Anderson. In 1990, she was chosen by President Bush as one of six delegates to oversee Bulgaria's national elections. She also served as a Presidential Elector in 1972, 1974 and 1980.

In addition to her more politically oriented projects, Mrs. Whittlesey is also a loyal supporter of the University at Albany. Beginning during her undergraduate years, Mrs. Whittlesey has been actively involved with her alma mater. She was a member of Myskania, an oversight committee for all non-academic student events at the University. She has also been an active member of the University at Albany Alumni Association. She played an instrumental part in creating the University at Albany's Veterans Wall of Honor. Noting that many men and women who attended the University at Albany were denied the honor of being recognized for serving their country, Mrs. Whittlesey, with the help of University Archivist Geoffrey Williams, spearheaded a group of alumni that compiled a list of over 3,000 veterans and solicited family members for photographs of their loved ones. The culmination of their efforts is a 36-foot long mural that is housed in the University Library. She is also involved with creating a visual database of notable University at Albany graduates.

The bulk of the Eunice Whittlesey collection consists of documents created by the New York Republican State Committee, the Republican National Committee and several other Republican groups. This series is mostly made up of programs from the New York Republican State Committee Dinners and Republican National Conventions she attended. It also contains the letters she received from members of the New York Republican State Committee and the Republican National Committee, the handbooks used by members of the state and national Republican parties, the New York Republican State Committee's and Republican National Committee's press releases and news clippings and documents created by the Presidential Electors of 1984. This series also contains several miscellaneous Republican newsletters and the correspondence she received from fellow Republicans regarding her services as a supporter of their campaigns and the many invitations from events she attended.

The Projects Series has several large gaps in it. These primarily fall in the Housewives for Rockefeller materials. While the collection includes this organization's financial records, lists of county chairs, and newsletters, it does not include any of the minutes taken or the speeches given by county chairs to recruit new volunteers. This is also the case for the Volunteer's Tie-Line. The documents concerning the Ambassadors to Bring Action Through Environmental Study are extensive.

The collection is organized into the following series:Series 1- Biographical Information 1924-2000, Series 2- New York Republican State Committee and Republican National Committee 1952-1998, Series 3- Projects 1966-1999, Series 4- Alumni Association 1941-2001, Series 5- Memorabilla 1966-1992, Series 6- Photographs 1970-1984.

All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Eunice Baird Whittlesy in 2001 and 2002.

Processed by: Sarah Campbell

Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on

Published: 2017-04-14 10:39:47 -0400

EAD file created, 2014

Encoded in EAD by Conversion and encoding by ArchProteus, 2014

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Copyright Statement

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Eunice Baird Whittlesey Papers, 1924-2001. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Whittlesey Papers).

Contents of Collection

Quantity: 0.18 cubic ft.

Arranged Alphabetically

This series contains information about Eunice Whittlesey's family and professional life. It contains photocopies of scrapbooks containing news clippings about her family and her career and her curriculum vitae.

BoxFolderContentsDate

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1 1Curriculum Vita1944-2000

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1 2Family and Career Scrapbook1962-1989

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1 3Family Scrapbook, Photocopies1924-1980
Quantity: 0.46 cubic ft.

Arranged Alphabetically.

This series contains documents that pertain to Eunice Whittlesey's involvement with the Republican Party at the state and national level. It includes the programs from both State and Republican National Committee dinners, the rooming assignment logs used by Whittlesey during her tenure on the Housing Sub-Committee of the Republican National Convention, the correspondence she received during her tenure as a National Committee member and as Vice Chair of the New York Republican State Committee, miscellaneous New York Republican Party newsletters, lists of the members of both the state and national Republican parties, handbooks from both the state and national committees, and the minutes from her tenure as a Presidential Elector. The series includes invitations to Presidential Inaugurations and events, Gubernatorial Inaugurations and other Republican events. Finally, this series contains documents from the Taft Institute of Government seminar she participated in. This series also contains the many letters and thank you notes that Eunice Whittlesey received from the 1960s to the 1990s. While her letters to the respondents are not attached and the content of her original letters is at times not discussed within the body of the respondents' letters, one gets a sense of her tireless commitment to furthering the Republican cause nationwide from the sheer volume of correspondence and from their complimentary nature. Finally, this series includes political literature and phonographic records pertaining to the careers of Spiro T. Agnew, Nelson A. Rockefeller and Malcolm Wilson.

BoxFolderContentsDate

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1 4NYRSC Correspondence1952, 1960-1977

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1 5NYRSC Correspondence1978-1979

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1 6NYRSC Correspondence1979-1983

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1 7NYRSC Correspondence1984-1990

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1 8NYRSC Correspondence1990-1996

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1 9NYRSC, Electoral College Handbook and Minutes1984

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1 10NYRSC Handbooksca 1970-1979

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1 11NYRSC Identification PlacardUndated

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1 12NYRSC Invitations1960-1985

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1 13NYRSC Invitations1985-1998

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2 1NYSRC Newsletters1971-1978, 1988, 1994

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2 2NYSRC Programs, Dinner1966-1971

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2 3NYSRC Programs, Dinner1972-1973

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2 4NYSRC Programs, Dinner1974-1976

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2 5NYSRC Programs, Dinner1977-1979, 1982-1983, 1993

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2 6NYSRC Programs, Miscellaneous1964, 1967, 1972-1974

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2 7NYSRC Programs, Miscellaneous1974, 1976-1978, 1983-1987

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3 1NYRSC and RNC, Awards1973, 1983

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3 2NYRSC and RNC, Lists of Delegates and Members and Organizational Charts1976-1987

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3 3NYRSC and RNC, News Clippings,1968-1990

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3 4NYRSC and RNC, Political Literature1970-1988

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3 5Presidential Inauguration1985

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3 6RNC, Handbook1980

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3 7RNC, Phonograph Records, "Spiro T. Agnew, Speaks Out," "Together a New Beginning," and "Rockin, for Rocky,"1970-1979

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3 8RNC, Programs and Tickets1976, 1980, 1984

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3 9RNC, Republican National Convention, Sub-Committee on Housing1979-1980

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3 10Robert A. Taft Institute of Government Seminar, Reports, Program and Certificate1978

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Oversized 11Presidential Inauguration1973

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Oversized 12Republican National Convention, Program,1968
Quantity: 0.16 cubic ft.

Arranged Alphabetically

This series contains documents pertaining to the many projects that Mrs. Whittlesey was involved in from 1966 to 1991. It contains the documents for Ambassadors to Bring Action Through Environmental Study (ABATES), The Ellis Island Centennial Commission, Housewives for Rockefeller and the Volunteer's Tie-Line. Among the materials in the collection are the guidebook supplied to chairs of ABATES study action groups, the publications and studies developed by the New York State Department of Health that were used to inform ABATES members of the latest environmental news, newsletters from various environmental groups, news clippings, a play entitled Well of the World that discusses the dangers of water pollution, and the informational charts and placards designed by Eunice Whittlesey for ABATES to improve environmental awareness. These materials include key sources that track the environmental health of the Capital District throughout the early 1970s. Among the most interesting elements found within the studies created for ABATES are the charts that show the level of compliance of several factories along the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers. The Ellis Island Centennial Commission was a presidential commission designed to discuss the preservation of the Statue of Liberty and the planning for the re-opening series. These materials include a summary of the proposals and alternatives for the use and development of the southern portion of Ellis Island, the Commission's correspondence to Mrs. Whittlesey, news clippings on the preservation of the Statue of Liberty and informational brochures on the project. Housewives for Rockefeller was a volunteer organization that recruited women to campaign for Governor Nelson Rockefeller. The records include the group's correspondence, newsletters, news clippings and promotional items, the organizational chart, a list of the county chairs, instructions given to the county chairs and financial records. The Volunteer's Tie Line was a political group created during the Rockefeller Administration by Eunice Whittlesey that kept the voting populous informed of the latest political information of note and thus acted as a liaison between the public and the state government. These documents include lists of County Coordinators, the Tie Line's budget reports, the instructions supplied to the Tie-Line members, correspondence between Tie-Line members and Governor Rockefeller, newsletters, news clippings and promotional brochures, and the volunteer handbooks used by the group to coordinate their informational sessions.

BoxFolderContentsDate

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3 9ABATES, Ambassador's Guides1969

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3 10ABATES, Correspondence1969-1970

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3 11ABATES, Environmental Publications1967-1969

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4 1ABATES, Environmental Publications, Newsletters and News Clippings,1969-1973, Undated

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4 2ABATES, PublicityUndated

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4 3ABATES, Reports on Program Success1969-1970

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4 4ABATES, Spoilers, Environmental Poetry by Margie Lee JohnsonUndated

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4 5Ellis Island Centennial Commission, Correspondence, News Clippings and Brochures1986-1987, 1999

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4 6Housewives for Rockefeller, Administration1970

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4 7Housewives for Rockefeller, Correspondence, News Clippings and Press Releases1966-1994

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1 3Housewives for Rockefeller, Poster,1969

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1 4Housewives for Rockefeller, Press ReleasesUndated

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4 8Housewives for Rockefeller, PublicityUndated

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4 9Housewives for Rockefeller, Women's Unit of the Secretary to Governor Rockefeller, Newsletters and Press Releases1967-1978

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4 10Volunteer's Tie Line, Administration1967

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4 11Volunteer's Tie Line, Correspondence1967-1968

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4 12Volunteer's Tie Line, Handbook and Governor's Conference on Volunteers1960-1969

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4 13Volunteer's Tie Line, Newsletters and PublicityUndated

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4 14Volunteer's Tie Line, Scrapbook1966-1972
Quantity: 0.16 cubic ft.

Arranged Chronologically

This series contains photocopies of material pertaining to Mrs. Whittlesey's activities at the University at Albany. It includes photocopies of photographs of her classmates and their spouses, photocopies of her course cards, her commencement booklet and graduation invitations, and photographs of Mrs. Whittlesey as a member of the Alumni Association.

BoxFolderContentsDate

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4 15Alumni Association, Photographs, Programs, and Other Items Associated with the Class of 1944, Photocopies1941-1944, 2001
Quantity: 0.7 cubic ft.

Arranged by Material

The memorabilia series contains the miscellaneous items that Mrs. Whittlesey collected during her time as a member of the New York Republican State Committee and Republican National Committee, as the chair of the Volunteer's Tie Line and as the co-chair of Housewives for Rockefeller. These items include several political buttons for Rockefeller and other Republican candidates, buttons and identification tags from Mrs. Whittlesey's various political positions and various other Republican-related pins. In addition to the candidate buttons, this series also includes several tote bags from the Republican National Conventions and an apron from Housewives for Rockefeller. Finally, this series contains a group of miscellaneous exhibition catalogs and booklets from National Park sites.

BoxFolderContentsDate

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3 1Buttons1984-1996

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4 16Historical Monuments and Art Exhibit Guides1974-1976, 1991

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2 2Housewives for Rockefeller, Apron1967

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4 17Identification Buttons and Ribbons1972-1991

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3 3Jewelry and Other Miscellaneous ItemsUndated

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3 2Name Tags and Ribbons1966-1992

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2 1Republican National Conventions, New York State Conventions and Presidential Inauguration, Tote Bags1980-1989
Quantity: 0.4 cubic ft.

Arranged Alphabetically

The Photograph series contains photographs documenting several facets of Eunice Whittlesey's political career. It includes a commemorative photo album of photographs taken during her trip to Taiwan in 1986, and photographs of the New York Republican State Committee, New York Presidential Electors, Housewives for Rockefeller and the Volunteer's Tie-Line coordinators. There are also copies of original pictures of Nelson Rockefeller that were signed by the Governor to Eunice.

BoxFolderContentsDate

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1 6Nelson Rockefeller and Campaign1970-1979

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1 7NYRSC Members1972-1973

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1 8Presidential Electors1972, 1980

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1 9Republican Women's Conference, Albany1972

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1 10Volunteer's Tie LineUndated

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1 11Commemorative Album from Trip to Taiwan1984