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Creator: Hope, Clifford R., 1893-1970

Date: 1920-1970 (bulk 1927-1957)

Level of Description: Coll./Record Group

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: Ms. Coll. 50

Unit ID: 40050

Biographical sketch: U.S. representative (Republican) from Kansas, 1927-1957; of Garden City. ǂb Full name: Clifford Ragsdale Hope.

Abstract: Congressional, campaign, and personal correspondence and speeches. Congressional correspondence includes exchanges of letters with federal departments, correspondence about legislation, general correspondence, and office correspondence; included are records and correspondence of the Republican Agriculture Policy Study Committee, 1939-51, and the Farm Division of the Republication National Committee, 1940. Agriculture and agricultural policy is a major focus of the collection. The campaign correspondence includes individual voting records, 1927-1956.

Space Required/Quantity: 117 ft. (269 boxes)

Title (Main title): Papers

Titles (Other):

  • Clifford R. Hope papers


Biog. Sketch (Full):

Born at Birmingham, Iowa, in 1893, Clifford Ragsdale Hope was thirteen years old when he moved to Garden City, Kansas, with his parents. He received a degree from Washburn University's Law School in Topeka, Kansas, in 1917 and was admitted to the Bar. The United States had just entered the war in Europe. Instead of starting his law practice, Hope volunteered for military service. After his discharge in 1919, Hope returned to Garden City to practice law. The following year, he was elected to the State legislature and in 1925 became the youngest man ever chosen to serve as speaker of the House of Representatives. In 1926 Hope was elected to the United States House of Representatives. During the next thirty years, he became a recognized leader of the Republican Party in Congress and was very influential as Republican minority leader and chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture in the passage of much farm legislation, especially during the post-World War II era.

Although he cooperated with and was supportive of much of Franklin D. Roosevelt's domestic policy, he was an early backer of Governor Alf Landon for president. "It seems to me in the end the biggest issue next year is going to be the matter of wasteful spending on the part of the presen[t] administration," wrote Hope on 20 November 1935. "If that is true, Landon is a candidate made to order, because his record in Kansas shows what can be done in the way of economy, even in times like these. . . . Just now thoughtful people all over the country are beginning to wonder where we are going with this unlimited spending." Subsequently Hope was an important player in the Eisenhower for President organization, though he never was obsessed with the desire for "higher" office for himself. Twice, in 1948 and 1952, he seemed close to an appointment to the office of United States secretary of agriculture, a job he surely would have taken but it was not to be.

Congressman Hope chose not to seek reelection in 1956, retiring to Garden City where he died on May 16, 1970. During these last years of life, Hope devoted much time to issues pertaining to western Kansas agricultural and to writing a weekly column for publication in the Hutchinson News and the Salina Journal. The editor of the former on 6 September 1964, introduced the former congressman to the News' readers saying that "Over a span of 37 years, he [Hope] carved out one of the most distinguished careers of public service in the history of Kansas politics." He also served as president of the Kansas Historical Society.

Scope and Content

Contents: Finder file, 1939-1956 (boxes 1-28) -- general correspondence, 1920-1958 (bulk 1927-1957) (boxes 29-231) -- campaign correspondence, 1930-1956 (boxes 232-46) -- speech file, 1943-1969 (boxes 247-53) -- personal correspondence, 1943-1970 (boxes 254-63) -- Richard Nixon campaign, clippings ; Bob Dole correspondence ; George McGovern correspondence ; agricultural and food topics, 1945-1970 (boxes 264-65) -- Constitutional Commission ; agricultural topics ; income tax ; Kansas 4H Foundation ; a 1995 biography entitled Quiet courage by Clifford Hope Jr., 1944-1995 (bulk: 1944-1960) (boxes 266-69).

Specific Contents Identified:

Headings or descriptors assigned to subsections of the material, for example labels on a particular box or group of boxes.

  • 1944-1995 (bulk: 1944-1960): Constitutional Commission, agricultural topics, income tax, Kansas 4H Foundation, a 1995 biography entitled Quiet Courage by Clifford Hope Jr.
  • 1945-1970: Richard Nixon campaign, clippings, Bob Dole correspondence, George McGovern correspondence, agricultural and food topics
  • Manuscripts Collection 50

Related Records or Collections

Associated materials: Associated materials in the Photographs collections.

Finding Aids: Folder list available in paper format from the Kansas Historical Society (Topeka) and in PDF format on the Internet at http://www.kshs.org/research/collections/documents/personalpapers/findingaids/hope_clifford_r_finding_aid.pdf

Indexes: The Finder file (ser. 1) contains copies of letters sent filed alphabetically with file notations.

Index Terms


    United States. Congress. House
    Republican Agriculture Policy Study Committee
    Republican National Committee (U.S.). Farm Division
    Speeches, addresses, etc., American
    Dole, Robert J., 1923-
    Hope, Clifford R., 1893-1970
    McGovern, George S. (George Stanley), 1922-
    Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994.
    Legislators -- Kansas
    Legislators -- United States
    Agriculture -- Kansas
    Agriculture -- United States
    Agriculture and state -- United States
    Political campaigns -- Kansas
    Speeches, addresses, etc., American -- Kansas

Creators and Contributors

Additional Information for Researchers

Use and reproduction: Information on copyright available from the Kansas Historical Society (Topeka).