Everett Sanders Papers

Before he succeeded C. Bascom Slemp as one of President Coolidge's private secretaries on March 4, 1925, early in the president's second term, Everett Sanders (1882-1950) had served as Republican Congressman from Indiana. He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1924, and instead became director of the Speakers' Bureau of the Republican National Committee. Subsequently, he accepted the job of presidential secretary, which combined personal and professional assignments of a highly delicate and demanding nature, requiring great skill and discretion. Sanders was so highly regarded that, after Coolidge's second term, President Hoover appointed him to chair the Republican National Committee.

Although the Library of Congress finding aid to the Calvin Coolidge Papers refers to the Sanders set of 59 presidential speeches as "reading copies," historians speculate that they probably are not the copies of the speeches from which Coolidge actually read. Rather, Coolidge usually spoke from a small, three-ringed notebook of typescript speeches that show speaking emphases and hand-written revisions of one kind and another. The so-called "reading copies" were probably issued in a limited edition of approximately half a dozen for the occasion of the particular speech, from one of which Coolidge read, while the other were perhaps given away as gifts to special friends or associates, as in the case, indeed, of Sanders.

Coolidge composed his own speeches. I thought Lawrence Wikander told me this, but an article about Coolidge by H.L. Mencken, reproduced in A Carnival of Buncombe, p. 128-29, 131, strongly implies that Judson Welliver, and then his successor, were charged with composing not only Coolidge's letters, but also his speeches. What is the case ?? ] The speeches were printed singly, at time of delivery, by the Government Printing Office. Very few of the addresses from Coolidge's second term are now available in that or any other form, however. Only a rather small number of the speeches that Sanders preserved are included among the Coolidge addresses published in 1926 in The Foundations of the Republic (not included in this collection).

Those preserved by Sanders were delivered between June 22, 1925 and February 22, 1929 of Coolidge's second term. Coolidge is estimated to have given a total of 80 speeches, or approximately 20 formal speeches a year at that time, of which the Sanders set thus contains roughly three quarters.

A special subset of the Sanders "reading copies" consists of eight speeches President Coolidge delivered at the Business Organization of the Government meetings, held twice a year, on the subjects of government efficiency and economy and the progress of the federal budget. (DETAIL NOTE Business Organization of the Government)

Although the reading copies in the Sanders Papers consist of eleven volumes, with four to six speeches in each volume, in the Coolidge-Consumerism collection, each of the 59 speeches is accessed through a separate bibliographic record, enhancing the word-searchability of the texts. In addition, there is a separate bibliographic record for the Sanders set "Index," which functions as a table of contents, listing the title, date and occasion (and volume number in the original) of each speech.

In addition to the Coolidge speeches, the Everett Sanders Papers contain an extraordinarily cordial exchange of letters between Sanders and Coolidge, written mainly just after Coolidge left office (not included in this collection), as well as some anecdotal Coolidge character sketches by Sanders, in typescript (not included in this collection). These probably served as the basis for The Saturday Evening Post articles Sanders published on Coolidge in the early 1930s, which are also included in the Sanders Papers (but not in the Coolidge-Consumerism collection). The December 6, 1930 Saturday Evening Post article reprises the well-known anecdote about the president's decision not to run for reelection in 1928.

Readers of the Coolidge-Consumerism collection can, by accessing the Coolidge Announcement that He Will Not Run for President in 1928, see an electronic facsimile, from the original in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, of the scrap of paper, shown to the newspaper correspondents, on which Coolidge wrote down his decision not to seek reelection.



Selections from the Manuscript Division