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Collection Number: 01214

Collection Title: W. D. Robinson Papers, 1920-1943

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; this finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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Size 2.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1000 items)
Abstract Confidential files and correspondence of W. D. Robinson (1865-1945), legislative correspondent and roving reporter in Louisiana and Mississippi for New Orleans newspapers. The files contain memoranda in the 1920s and 1930s (chiefly 1930-1935) about the activities of Huey Pierce Long and his associates, mostly in regard to alleged malfeasance. A smaller number of items are concerned with the Ku Klux Klan in Louisiana and Mississippi in the early 1920s, in particular the "Mer Rouge Murders" in Morehouse Parish, La. Correspondence is with leading political figures in Louisiana and Mississippi, concerning opposition to Long and also other political issues. Among those represented are Huey P. Long, Julius T. Long, Pat Harrison, Theodore G. Bilbo, John M. Parker, Louis M. Howe, Stephen Early, John Y. Saunders, J. N. Sandlin, Mike Sennett Connor, Paul N. Cyr, and Hugh White. Also present are broadsides, pamphlets, newspapers, judicial proceedings, and other printed matter about Long or the Klan, and five scrapbooks of clippings about politics in the two states, 1916-1932.
Creator Robinson, W. D., 1865-1945.
Language English
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the W. D. Robinson Papers, #1214, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Gifts 1947-1957
Additional Descriptive Resources
A copy of the original finding aid for this collection is filed in folder 1.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

W. D. Robinson (1865-1945) was a native of Mississippi and a veteran newspaperman. After operating a paper of his own in Mississippi and serving as telegraph editor of the New Orleans Picayune, he was for a long time legislative correspondent and roving reporter covering major events in Mississippi and Louisiana for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the New Orleans Daily States. In the latter capacity Robinson had a wide acquaintance with prominent men and events in both states.

After serving for a time as publicity director for Huey P. Long's campaign for Governor of Louisiana in 1928, Robinson turned against Long and began collecting information about the activities of Long and his associates. The information involved graft and corruption in office, coercion of opponents, use of influence, unconstitutional actions, and corruption in private life. Much of the information from his files Robinson transmitted to Federal Internal Revenue agents between 1931 and 1934. He also transmitted copies of the confidential reports to Louis M. Howe or Stephen Early, assistants to President F. D. Roosevelt. Much of the information collection by Robinson was submitted to the United States Senate in 1933 when ex-governor John M. Parker and other prominent Louisianans petitioned for the investigation and impeachment of Long, then Senator. Notheing had come of either of these investigations at the time Long was assassinated in 1935. Robinson continued to collect information, on a lesser scale, about the successors to Long's organization until about 1939.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Confidential files and correspondence of W. D. Robinson. The files contain memoranda in the 1920s and 1930s (chiefly 1930-1935) about the activities of Huey Pierce Long and his associates, mostly in regard to alleged malfeasance. A smaller number of items are concerned with the Ku Klux Klan in Louisiana and Mississippi in the early 1920s, in particular the "Mer Rouge Murders" in Morehouse Parish, La. Correspondence is with leading political figures in Louisiana and Mississippi, concerning opposition to Long and also other political issues. Among those represented are Huey P. Long, Julius T. Long, Pat Harrison, Theodore G. Bilbo, John M. Parker, Louis M. Howe, Stephen Early, John Y. Saunders, J. N. Sandlin, Mike Sennett Connor, Paul N. Cyr, and Hugh White. Also present are broadsides, pamphlets, newspapers, judicial proceedings, and other printed matter about Long or the Klan, and five scrapbooks of clippings about politics in the two states, 1916-1932.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence and Dated Papers, 1920-1943 and undated.

Papers are chiefly W. D. Robinson's letters from and copies of his letters to his editors and prominent Louisianans about Huey P. Long. There is also correspondnece about the Ku Klux Klan, about other political matters in Mississippi and Louisiana, and miscellaneous papers of other sorts, including drafts of Robinson's newspaper reports. Among the prominent correspondents are Huey P. Long, Julius T. Long, Pat Harrison, Theodore G. Bilbo, John M. Parker, Louis M. Howe, Stephen Early, John Y. Sanders, J. N. Sandlin, Mike Sennett Connor, Paul N. Cyr, and Hugh White.

Folder 1

1920-1921 (original collection finding aid included) #01214, Series: "1. Correspondence and Dated Papers, 1920-1943 and undated." Folder 1

Photostatic copies of Ku Klux Klan reports of meetings in Louisiana and a few other papers of the Klan. Two letters exchanged by Robinson, campaign manager for John M. Parker for governor, and George Campbell, editor of the Hammond Vindicator, about Republicans supporting Parker. A letter from Theodore G. Bilbo about his intention to run for the U.S. Senate "if the race is left to Gov. Vardaman and myself."

Folder 2-3

Folder 2

Folder 3

1922 #01214, Series: "1. Correspondence and Dated Papers, 1920-1943 and undated." Folder 2-3

Drafts of Robinson's newspaper stories about the Ku Klux Klan in Louisiana and Mississippi and about the political situation in Louisiana, as well as correspondence with his editors about these stories. Many of these stories, as well as other material, deal with the "Mer Rouge Murders" in Morehouse Parish.

Folder 4

1923 #01214, Series: "1. Correspondence and Dated Papers, 1920-1943 and undated." Folder 4

Letters and other papers about the Klan. A few papers about the Governor's contest between Long and Hewitt Bouanchaud in 1923.

Folder 5

1927-1929 #01214, Series: "1. Correspondence and Dated Papers, 1920-1943 and undated." Folder 5

Robinson's correspondence with Long about Long's campaign in 1927-1928. Some papers about the anti-Long Louisiana Constitutional League.

Folder 6

1930-1931 #01214, Series: "1. Correspondence and Dated Papers, 1920-1943 and undated." Folder 6

A few letters from Paul N. Cyr, John M. Parker about Long politics, a few other papers about Long. A few letters from Mike Sennett Conner about his gubernatorial race in Mississippi.

Folder 7

1932 #01214, Series: "1. Correspondence and Dated Papers, 1920-1943 and undated." Folder 7

Correspondence with Senator Pat Harrison of Mississippi about Long and the Democratic National Convention. Letters from anti-Long informants.

Folder 8-10

Folder 8

Folder 9

Folder 10

1933 #01214, Series: "1. Correspondence and Dated Papers, 1920-1943 and undated." Folder 8-10

Letters about Huey P. Long sent by Robinson to Franklin D. Roosevelt and brief replies of Roosevelt's secretary Louis M. Howe. Extensive correspondence with Julius T. Long, brother of Huey who opposed him. A few letters about the investigation of the Louisiana senatorial race of 1932. Correspondence with prominent Louisianans discussing the petition to the United States Senate to investigate Long, and the lining up of witnesses for the proposed investigation. Some copies of Long's communications to constituents (mass-produced). Other letters about events in Louisiana.

Folder 11

1934 #01214, Series: "1. Correspondence and Dated Papers, 1920-1943 and undated." Folder 11

Correspondence about anti-Long efforts in Louisiana and Washington.

Folder 12

1935 #01214, Series: "1. Correspondence and Dated Papers, 1920-1943 and undated." Folder 12

Correspondence about Long with Louisiana Rep. John N. Sandlin, and to a lesser extent with the White House, Bilbo, and Louisianans. Letters to Governor Hugh White of Mississippi about Long's efforts in Mississippi politics.

Folder 13

1936-1943 #01214, Series: "1. Correspondence and Dated Papers, 1920-1943 and undated." Folder 13

Memoranda and news story drafts made by Robinson about graft in oil deals and other activities in Louisiana in 1939. Correspondence with Bilbo, Harrison, and Rep. W. M. Colmer of Mississippi about political matters.

Folder 14

Undated #01214, Series: "1. Correspondence and Dated Papers, 1920-1943 and undated." Folder 14

Papers about Huey P. Long, John M. Parker, and the Constitutional League of Louisiana

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Huey P. Long File, 1930-1937 and undated.

This series contains two sets of papers: Robinson's personal file of memoranda and the carbon copies of the memoranda he sent to Federal Internal Revenue agents from 1931 to 1934. In many cases the memoranda were identical. Where two sheets with the same information differed in the least detail, a copy of each has been kept. The sheets headed "Confidential" are copies of those used in the Internal Revenue investigation. The memoranda, which consist usually of a page or less, concern Huey P. Long and his associates, and graft, corruption, intimidation, bribery, and other illegal acts in public office. This information Robinson dug up or received from informants. Most of the memoranda have a heading such as "Alice Lee Grosjean and Huey P. Long" and "Huey P. Long and the Standard Oil Trust." Very few of them are dated but most seem to have been made between 1930 and 1935, with only a few referring to earlier or later events. There is no particular arrangement within the seven folders except that Robinson's three-page statement, 27 April 1937, of his connection with the secret internal revenue investigation of Long is in the front of Folder 15. Papers touch upon such Long associates as Oscar K. Allen, Robert Maestri, Seymour Weiss, Richard Leche, John H. Overton, James A. Noe, Alice Lee Grosjean, Dudley J. LeBlanc, Gerald L. K. Smith, and others.

Folder 15-21

Folder 15

Folder 16

Folder 17

Folder 18

Folder 19

Folder 20

Folder 21

Huey P. Long file, 1930-1937 and undated #01214, Series: "2. Huey P. Long File, 1930-1937 and undated." Folder 15-21

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Copies of Documents Filed with the United States Senate, undated

Memoranda and statements filed with the petition of Governor John M. Parker and other prominent Louisianans to the United States Senate to investigate and impeach Huey P. Long in 1933, and other papers pertaining to the petition. These papers duplicate some of the items in the Huey P. Long file, but neither series is completely identical to the other.

Folder 22-24

Folder 22

Folder 23

Folder 24

Documents filed with U.S. Senate #01214, Series: "3. Copies of Documents Filed with the United States Senate, undated" Folder 22-24

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Miscellaneous Papers: Huey P. Long; Ku Klux Klan, undated

Folder 25

"Kidnapped by the Kingfish. By Sam Irby, the Victim. With Intimate Details of theis and Other Crimes of Huey P. Long." #01214, Series: "4. Miscellaneous Papers: Huey P. Long; Ku Klux Klan, undated" Folder 25

Mimeographed copy of the manuscript, 70 pages, 1930.

Folder 26

Judicial proceedings #01214, Series: "4. Miscellaneous Papers: Huey P. Long; Ku Klux Klan, undated" Folder 26

Copies of judicial proceedings relating to Huey P. Long (3 items).

Folder 27

Broadsides and leaflets #01214, Series: "4. Miscellaneous Papers: Huey P. Long; Ku Klux Klan, undated" Folder 27

Material is both pro- and anti-Long.

Folder 28

Press instructions, style books #01214, Series: "4. Miscellaneous Papers: Huey P. Long; Ku Klux Klan, undated" Folder 28

Folder 29

Ku Klux Klan memos, pamphlets, pictures, undated #01214, Series: "4. Miscellaneous Papers: Huey P. Long; Ku Klux Klan, undated" Folder 29

Folder 30

Ku Klux Klan membership lists, Louisiana and Mississippi, 1920s #01214, Series: "4. Miscellaneous Papers: Huey P. Long; Ku Klux Klan, undated" Folder 30

Folder 31

Louisiana Guardian, Volume I, issues 1-7, May-June 1931 #01214, Series: "4. Miscellaneous Papers: Huey P. Long; Ku Klux Klan, undated" Folder 31

The Louisiana Guardian was an anti-Long newspaper.

Folder 49a

Cards #01214, Series: "4. Miscellaneous Papers: Huey P. Long; Ku Klux Klan, undated" Folder 49a

Folder 49b

Pictures (Morehouse Parish) #01214, Series: "4. Miscellaneous Papers: Huey P. Long; Ku Klux Klan, undated" Folder 49b

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Clippings, 1932-1939 and undated

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 6. Printed Material, 1923-1935 and undated

Folder 38

Unavailable #01214, Series: "6. Printed Material, 1923-1935 and undated" Folder 38

Folder 39

"Petition to the Senate of the United States of Hilda Phelps Hammond on behalf of the Women's Committee of Louisiana in the matter of charges against Senator Huey P. Long and Senator John H. Overton." (undated) #01214, Series: "6. Printed Material, 1923-1935 and undated" Folder 39

Folder 40

Pamphlets #01214, Series: "6. Printed Material, 1923-1935 and undated" Folder 40

Including "Kidnapped by the Kingfish. By Samy Irby, the Victim. With Intimate Details of this and Other Crimes of Huey P. Long," "Speech of Ex-United States Senator Leroy Percy Made at the Request of the Protestant Anti-Ku Klux Klan Committee of Washington County, Mississippi, Delivered on April 23, 1923, Peoples Theatre, Greenville, Mississippi," and "Is the Senate Afraid of Huey Long?," Women's Committee of Louisiana

Folder 41

Honest Election League of New Orleans, "This Memorandum Brief is Respectfully Submitted to...members of the Special Senatorial Committee on the Investigation of Campaign Expenditures..." #01214, Series: "6. Printed Material, 1923-1935 and undated" Folder 41

Folder 42

Pamphlets #01214, Series: "6. Printed Material, 1923-1935 and undated" Folder 42

Including Henry Gamble, "Address to the Legislature Convening May 8, 1932, The Strange Case of Louisiana and Huey P. Long," and John Rogers, "The Murders of Mer Rouge: The True Story of an Atrocity Unparalleled in the Annals of Crime.""

Folder 43-48

Folder 43

Folder 44

Folder 45

Folder 46

Folder 47

Folder 48

Real America magazine #01214, Series: "6. Printed Material, 1923-1935 and undated" Folder 43-48

12 issues of 1933 and 1935 with articles by or about Huey P. Long.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 7. Volumes, 1916-1932

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, August 2010

This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

Diacritics and other special characters have been omitted from this finding aid to facilitate keyword searching in web browsers.

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