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William Preston Lane papers

Abstract

Title:
William Preston Lane papers
Author/Creator:
Lane, William Preston
Collection number:
79-8
Size:
27.00 linear feet
Bulk dates:
1946-1950
Inclusive dates:
1925-1966
Collection Area:
State of Maryland and Historical Collections
Repository:
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email: askhornbake@umd.edu
Abstract:

William Preston Lane (1892-1967) was a lawyer, newspaper publisher, Attorney General for Maryland, and governor of Maryland from 1947 to 1951. The bulk of Lane's papers consists of correspondence and speeches, and concentrates on his gubernatorial campaigns of 1946 and 1950. Other topics include the construction of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Washington County's industrial and economic development during the early 1960's.

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

This collection is open for research.

Preferred citation:

William Preston Lane papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/1249
Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

William Preston Lane, Jr. was born May 12, 1892, the second son of William Preston Lane and Virginia Cartwright Lane. His ancestors were among the earliest and most prominent settlers of the state; one was a proprietary Governor of Maryland (1676-1681). In 1922, he was married to Dorothy Byron. They had two daughters, Dorothy and Jean. Lane received his bachelor's degree in law in 1915 and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1916. He immediately entered into partnership with the law firm of Keedy and Lane in Hagerstown, and later, in 1919, became a partner in the firm of Lane, Bushong, and Byron..

Appointed captain in the 1st Maryland Infantry National Guard in 1915, Lane saw service on the Mexican border in 1916. During World War I, he fought with the 115th Infantry and was awarded the Silver Star. Lane was promoted to major and Assistant Division Adjutant of the 29th Division after the war. During World War II, he was involved in the organization of the Maryland State Guard and Maryland Minute Men and served as lieutenant colonel in command of the 8th Battalion.

In 1922, William Preston Lane became president of the Herald-Mail Company, which published two Hagerstown newspapers, the Morning Herald and the Daily Mail. He became vice-president of the Hagerstown Trust Company in 1933, later succeeding his father as president. He also served as director of the W. D. Byron and Sons Tannery, Hagerstown Shoe and Legging Company, and the Washington County Railroad Company.

Lane's political career began in 1928 upon his election to the Board of Education of Washington County. Two years later, during Governor Ritchie's term of office, he was appointed Attorney General for Maryland and while in this position gained a reputation for outspokenness and courage. He won national recognition in 1933 for his anti-lynching campaign, although this caused him to lose favor in the Maryland Democratic organization.

While in temporary retirement, Lane was senior partner in the law firm of Lane and Mish. Also at this time he became a director of the Washington and Berkeley Bridge Company and the Fairchild Aircraft Corp. He served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention from 1928-1948 and, from 1940 to 1950, was the Democratic National Committeeman for Maryland. In 1944, Lane managed Roosevelt's fourth presidential campaign in Maryland, pitting himself against his political rival U. S. Senator Millard E. Tydings. When Lane, in 1946, sought the nomination for governor, Tydings supported his rival J. Millard Tawes. After a very costly and hard-fought preliminary campaign, he was victorious of Tawes and easily defeated the Republican candidate for governor, Theodore R. McKeldin. Governor Lane then served as chairman of the Southern Governor's Conference in 1947 and 1948.

During his term the original Bay Bridge was begun and completed, and great strides were taken in improving the state's school and hospital systems. Governor Lane also instituted the first state sales tax in spite of bitter opposition. Although this cost him a second term of office, he was vindicated when Maryland ended its next budget year in the strongest fiscal condition it had ever enjoyed.

After retiring from public life in 1951, he continued his various business endeavors. William Preston Lane, Jr. died suddenly of a heart attack on February 7, 1967.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers of William Preston Lane, Jr. represent Lane's political career from 1925 to 1966. The bulk of the collection, which consists primarily of correspondences and speeches, concentrates on the gubernatorial campaigns of 1946 and 1950, although some personal items date back to 1898. Topics of interest include the construction of the Bay Bridge, Lane's gubernatorial campaigns, and Washington County industrial and economic development in the early 1960s. Particular items of interest are the numerous scrapbooks kept by Lane throughout his career, which have collated his various, and far-flung endeavors.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The Lane family donated the papers of William Preston Lane, Jr. to the University of Maryland Libraries in July 1979. The Libraries purchased correspondence dated from 1928 to 1941 from Spring Mount Collectibles in March 1992.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Janet Strickland, June 1985. Edited by Leslie P. May, March 1986. Revised by Jennie A. Levine, August 2003.

Processing note:

The material was in fairly good order when received, and this order was maintained with very little rearrangement. For the most part, the series derive from Lane's filing system. The correspondence has been kept in two separate components by county and by date of reply as in the original order. Speeches were roughly chronological, if dated at all. Undated speeches were left as they occurred in the original order. Duplicate speeches were discarded, as were report folders. The papers were placed in acid-free folders, labeled and boxed. In 2003, early Lane letters, dated 1928-1941 were removed from the Maryland Political Letters collection and placed into Series I: Correspondence.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Henry Allen, June 2004.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Correspondence, 1945-1950 (3 linear feet)

The bulk of this series consists of letters from constituents in support of Lane's candidacy or in sympathy for the loss of the 1950 election. Also included are early letters to Lane in his capacity as a partner in the Keedy and Lane; the firm of Lane, Bushong, and Byron; and the in firm of Lane and Mish, in Hagerstown, Maryland, as well as his tenure as vice-president and president of the Hagerstown Trust Company. A small amount of correspondence exists from Lane's years as Attorney General. Correspondents include Millard E. Tydings and Albert C. Ritchie. The constituent correspondence is arranged alphabetically by county; followed by chronological general correspondence.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Constituent Mail -- Allegany County, 1950 series 1box 1folder 1
Constituent Mail -- Allegany County, 1950 series 1box 1folder 2
Constituent Mail -- Allegany County, 1950 series 1box 1folder 3
Constituent Mail -- Anne Arundel County, 1950 series 1box 1folder 4
Constituent Mail -- Anne Arundel County, 1950 series 1box 1folder 5
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 1folder 6
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 1folder 7
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 1folder 8
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 1folder 9
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 1folder 10
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 1folder 11
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 1folder 12
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 2folder 1
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 2folder 2
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 2folder 3
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 2folder 4
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 2folder 5
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 2folder 6
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 2folder 7
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 2folder 8
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 2folder 9
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 3folder 1
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 3folder 2
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 3folder 3
Constituent Mail -- Baltimore City, 1950 series 1box 3folder 4
Constituent Mail -- Charles County, 1950 series 1box 4folder 1
Constituent Mail -- Dorchester County, 1950 series 1box 4folder 2
Constituent Mail -- Dorchester County, 1950 series 1box 4folder 3
Constituent Mail -- Dorchester County, 1950 series 1box 4folder 4
Constituent Mail -- Frederick County, 1950 series 1box 4folder 5
Constituent Mail -- Frederick County, 1950 series 1box 4folder 6
Constituent Mail -- Garrett County, 1950 series 1box 4folder 7
Constituent Mail -- Harford County, 1950 series 1box 4folder 8
Constituent Mail -- Howard County, 1950 series 1box 4folder 9
Constituent Mail -- Kent County, 1950 series 1box 4folder 10
Constituent Mail -- Montgomery County, 1950 series 1box 4folder 11
Constituent Mail -- Montgomery County, 1950 series 1box 4folder 12
Constituent Mail -- Prince George's County, 1950 series 1box 4folder 13
Constituent Mail -- Prince George's County, 1950 series 1box 4folder 14
Constituent Mail -- Queen Anne's County, 1950 series 1box 4folder 15
Constituent Mail -- St. Mary's County, 1950 series 1box 5folder 1
Constituent Mail -- Somerset County, 1950 series 1box 5folder 2
Constituent Mail -- Talbot County, 1950 series 1box 5folder 3
Constituent Mail -- Washington County, 1950 series 1box 5folder 4
Constituent Mail -- Washington County, 1950 series 1box 5folder 5
Constituent Mail -- Wicomico County, 1950 series 1box 5folder 6
Constituent Mail -- Worchester County, 1950 series 1box 5folder 7
Correspondence, 1925-1941 series 1box 5folder 8
Correspondence, September-October 1945 series 1box 6folder 1
Correspondence, January-October 1949 series 1box 6folder 2
Correspondence, January-July 1950 series 1box 6folder 3
Correspondence, September 1950 series 1box 6folder 4
Correspondence, October 1950 series 1box 6folder 5
Correspondence, November 1950 series 1box 6folder 6
Correspondence, November 1950 series 1box 6folder 7
Correspondence, November 1950 series 1box 6folder 8
Correspondence, November 1950 series 1box 6folder 9
Correspondence, November 1950 series 1box 6folder 10
Correspondence, November 1950 series 1box 6folder 11
Correspondence, November 1950 series 1box 6folder 12
Correspondence, November 1950 series 1box 6folder 13
Correspondence, November 1950 series 1box 6folder 14
Correspondence, November 1950 series 1box 6folder 15
Correspondence -- Letters to Mrs. Lane, November 1950 series 1box 7folder 1
Correspondence, December 1950 series 1box 7folder 2
Correspondence, December 1950 series 1box 7folder 3
Correspondence, December 1950 series 1box 7folder 4
Correspondence, January-June 1951 series 1box 7folder 5

Series 2: Speeches/Statements, 1944-1962 (0.75 linear feet)

This series includes speeches, press statements, and radio/television transcriptions. Highlights are Lane's inaugural and outgoing addresses, speeches given during his term as governor, and the dedication of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Arrangement is chronological.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Correspondence, 1944-September 1947 series 2box 7folder 6
Correspondence, October 1947-May 1962 series 2box 8folder 1

Series 3: Reports, 1948-1967 (1 linear feet)

Series III consists of Chesapeake Bay Bridge reports, and various committee and board reports. Arrangement is alphabetical by report title.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Board of Visitors to the U. S. Naval Academy, 1949 series 3box 9folder 1
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Construction, 1949 series 3box 9folder 2
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Construction -- Traffic and Revenues, May 1948 series 3box 9folder 3
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Construction -- State Roads Commission, May 1948 series 3box 9folder 4
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Construction -- Engineering Report, July 1948 series 3box 9folder 5
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Construction -- Supplemental Engineering Report and Draft Copy, October 1948 series 3box 10folder 1
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Construction -- Chesapeake Bay Crossing, June 1948 series 3box 10folder 2
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Construction -- Storm Damage Report, November 1948 series 3box 10folder 3
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Construction -- Board of Natural Resources Six-Year Conservation Program, November 1946 series 3box 10folder 4
Commission on Racial Relations, 1950 series 3box 10folder 5
State Employment Commissioner's Report, 1950 series 3box 10folder 6
State Roads Commissions Operations, 1947, 1948, 1950 series 3box 10folder 7
Subcommittee on School Buildings, 1956 series 3box 10folder 8

Series 4: Committee/Commission Files, 1937-1966 (0.25 linear feet)

This series includes files of the Constitutional Convention Commission, Washington County Economic Development Commission, and Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Economic Foundation. Arrangement is alphabetical by committee.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Committee on Taxation, Special Session of the General Assembly, December 1946 series 4box 10folder 9
Constitutional Convention Commission, 1965 series 4box 10folder 10
National Committee for the Birthday Bay of the President, 1937 series 4box 10folder 11
Washington County Economic Development Commission - Correspondence File, 1963 series 4box 10folder 12
CHIEF [Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Economic Foundation] -- Applications for Loan and Grant, 1966 series 4box 11folder 1
CHIEF [Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Economic Foundation] -- Various Papers, November 2, 1964-October 11, 1966 series 4box 11folder 2
CHIEF [Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Economic Foundation] -- Various Papers, November 2, 1964-October 11, 1966 series 4box 11folder 3

Series 5: Governor, 1946-1950 (0.75 linear feet)

This series consists of correspondence, speeches, and newspaper clippings as well as statistics and convention information. Also included are daily appointment books kept during Lane's term of office. Arrangement is alphabetical by subject.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Campaign -- Correspondence, 1946 series 5box 11folder 4
Campaign -- Speeches and Statements, 1946 series 5box 11folder 5
Campaign -- Speeches and Statements, 1946 series 5box 11folder 6
Campaign -- Speeches and Statements, 1946 series 5box 11folder 7
Campaign -- Speeches and Statements, 1946 series 5box 11folder 8
Campaign -- Speeches and Statements, 1946 series 5box 11folder 9
Campaign -- Speeches and Statements, 1946 series 5box 11folder 10
Campaign -- Speeches and Statements, 1946 series 5box 11folder 11
Democratic Convention -- Statistics, 1950 series 5box 12folder 1
Democratic Convention -- Campaign Contribution Lists, 1946 and 1950 series 5box 12folder 2
Democratic Convention -- Miscellaneous Papers, 1950 series 5box 12folder 3
Democratic Convention -- Speeches and Statements, 1950 series 5box 12folder 4
Democratic Convention -- Speeches and Statements, 1950 series 5box 12folder 5
Democratic Convention -- Speeches and Statements, 1950 series 5box 12folder 6
Democratic Convention -- Speeches and Statements, 1950 series 5box 12folder 7
Democratic Convention -- Speeches and Statements, 1950 series 5box 12folder 8
Democratic Convention -- Speeches and Statements, 1950 series 5box 12folder 9
Democratic Convention -- Speeches and Statements, 1950 series 5box 12folder 10
Executive Yearbooks, 1947-1949 series 5box 12folder 11
Executive Yearbooks, 1947-1949 series 5box 12folder 12
Executive Yearbooks, 1947-1949 series 5box 12folder 13

Series 6: Personal, 1898-1966 (0.5 linear feet)

Series VI consists of biographical and family information and newspaper clippings, including news articles about the MIG incident in 1953. Arrangement is alphabetical by subject.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Biographical Information, 1941-1950 series 6box 13folder 1
Family Information, 1898-1950 series 6box 13folder 2
Newspaper Clippings: MIG Incident, March 1953 series 6box 13folder 3
Newspaper Clippings: Various, 1930-1966 series 6box 13folder 4
Newspaper Clippings: Various, 1930-1966 series 6box 13folder 5
Newspaper Clippings: Various, 1930-1966 series 6box 13folder 6
Newspaper Clippings: Various, 1930-1966 series 6box 13folder 7
Newspaper Clippings: Various, 1930-1966 series 6box 13folder 8

Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1927-1951 (20.25 linear feet)

This series consists of scrapbooks filled with newspaper clippings that follow Lane's political career. Arrangement is chronological.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
[Scrapbooks], 1927-1932 series 7box 14folder 1
[Scrapbooks], 1932-1933 series 7box 15folder 1
[Scrapbooks], 1933-1934 series 7box 16folder 1
[Scrapbooks], October 1944 series 7box 17folder 1
[Scrapbooks], 1945-1946 series 7box 18folder 1
[Scrapbooks], March-June 1946 series 7box 19folder 1
[Scrapbooks], August-December 1946 series 7box 20folder 1
[Scrapbooks], April-December 1947 series 7box 21folder 1
[Scrapbooks], 1948 series 7box 22folder 1
[Scrapbooks], January-May 1949 series 7box 23folder 1
[Scrapbooks], May 1949-March 1950 series 7box 24folder 1
[Scrapbooks], March 1950-January 1951 series 7box 25folder 1

Series 8: Political Cartoons, 1946-1950 (1.25 linear feet)

Series VIII consists of seven original political cartoons featuring Laneby Richard Q. Yardley, dated 1946. These most likely were published in the Baltimore Sun.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Political Cartoons, c. 1945-1947 series 8box 26folder 1

Series 9: Photographs, ca. 1920-1951 (59 items)

Included in the photograph series are personal photos of Lane and family, including an unidentified baby portrait. The bulk of the series consists of black and white 8 x 10 photographs of the construction of the Bay Bridge (between Sandy Point and Kent Island). Also included are campaign photographs for Lane's unsuccessful run for governor in 1950 and photographs from a dinner in honor of President Roosevelt's birthday, 1931 and 1934.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

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