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William Dudley Foulke papers

Identifier: L056

Scope and Contents

The collection includes William Dudley Foulke's correspondence relating to civil service reform, the women's rights movement, Indiana and national Republican Party politics, the Progressive Party in 1912 and 1916, American involvement in the Philippine Islands, and his work on behalf of American preparedness in World War I, and on behalf of the World Court, the League to Enforce Peace, and the League of Nations; copies of his extensive correspondence with Theodore Roosevelt regarding civil service reform and Republican and Progressive Party politics (1890-1917); correspondence and papers relating to Foulke's research on Oliver P. Morton; his articles and speeches on civil service and electoral reform, women's rights, World War I, prohibition, toleration, and other subjects; and minutes of the Indiana Civil Service Reform Association (1885-1890). Also included are papers (1849-1863) of Indiana Civil War governor Oliver P. Morton (1823-1877), including letters from members of the Indiana Congressional delegation regarding a proposed peace conference with the South in the spring of 1861. There is also literature from the National Civil Service Reform League (1885-1929).

The scrapbooks contain mostly clippings of Foulke’s published writings as well as clippings on topics that were of interest to him.

Correspondents include: George Ade, Albert J. Beveridge, Grace Julian Clarke, Charles W. Fairbanks, Emma Goldman, James P. Goodrich, Horace Greeley, Benjamin Harrison, Julia Ward Howe, George W. Julian, John W. Kern, Oliver P. Morton, Meredith Nicholson, Godlove Orth, Samuel Ralston, Theodore Roosevelt, May Wright Sewall, Lucius B. Swift, William Howard Taft, David Turpie, James E. Watson, and Henry Lane Wilson.


  • 1849-1932


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

William Dudley Foulke was born November 20, 1848 in New York City. His father was a minister of the Society of Friends and principal of Friends Seminary in New York City. Foulke attended Friends Seminary and was graduated in 1863. He was graduated from Columbia University in 1869 and from Columbia School of Law in 1871. Foulke married Mary T. Reeves in 1872 and they subsequently had six children. Foulke was an attorney in New York from 1870 to 1876. He and his family moved to Richmond, Indiana, Mary’s home town, in 1876. Richmond remained in his home until his death in 1935.

Foulke was editor and part owner of the Richmond Palladium in the late 1870s; director of the First National Bank of Richmond; a Republican member of the Indiana State Senate (1883-1885); president, American Woman's Suffrage Association (1885-1890); officer, Indiana Civil Service Reform Association (1885-1890); member, U.S. Civil Service Commission (1901-1903); part owner, “Evening Item”, Richmond (1909-1912); president, National Municipal League (1910-1915); member, platform committee, Progressive Party (1912); president, National Civil Service Reform League (1923-1924); and author, some of his works include: Life of Oliver P. Morton (1899), Dorothy Day (1911), A Hoosier Autobiography (1922), and Lucius B. Swift, American Citizen (1930).


Shepard, Rebecca A., et al., eds. A Biographical Directory of the Indiana General Assembly, Vol. 1, 1816-1899. Indianapolis, IN: Select Committee on the Centennial History of the Indiana General Assembly, 1980.


5 Cubic Feet (3 manuscript boxes, 26 volumes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from William D. Foulke in 1932 and Mrs. Morrison, Connecticut, during 1936.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed by Elizabeth M. Wilkinson during July 2005. Finding aid revised by Edythe Huffman on 2015/11/20.
William Dudley Foulke papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.