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Political material collection

Identifier: L219

Scope and Contents

This collection includes letters, political party platforms, campaign flyers, brochures, bumper stickers, buttons, pins, pencils, pens, ribbons, sample ballots, appeals for donations, newspaper clippings, and magazine articles from local, state and national politicians in Indiana and elsewhere ranging from 1752 to 2016 regarding elective office in Indiana and Washington, D.C.

Oversize materials include political material for Robert Kennedy, Richard Roudebush, and Richard Lugar created between 1961 and 1971, a ballot, and a statement from the United Irishmen of Charleston, South Carolina, undated (OB099).


  • 1752-2016, undated

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.

Historical Note

American Independent Party

The American Independent Party was founded in 1967 in Bakersfield, California. Its party platform was published in San Francisco, California on October 13, 1968 and its candidates for the Presidency and Vice Presidency of the United States were George C. Wallace and Curtis E. LeMay. The party was still active in 2008.


"History of the American Independent Party." American Independent Party. Accessed April 25, 2016.

"American Independent Party Platform of 1968." American Presidency Project. Accessed April 25, 2016.

American Party

The American Party was one of the names of state affiliates of the George Wallace campaign. After the 1972 election, the different state affiliates divided into two parties, usually called the American and American Independent Parties but with state affiliates sometimes using different names. The American Party candidates for president and vice president last appeared on the ballot in 1996 although they held national conventions in 2000, 2004, and 2008.


"American." Our Campaigns. Accessed April 25, 2016.

Communist Party USA

Communist Party USA (CPUSA) is a communist political party in the United States. Established in 1919, it has a long, complex history that is closely related to the U.S. labor movement and the histories of similar communist parties worldwide. During World War II, it advocated militant, if sometimes bureaucratic, trade unionism while opposing strike actions at all costs. The leadership of the CPUSA was among the most vocal pro-war voices in the United States, advocating unity against fascism, supporting the prosecution of leaders of the Socialist Workers Party under the newly enacted Smith Act. After World War II, in line with other Communist parties worldwide, the CPUSA also swung to the left and, as a result, experienced a brief period in which a number of internal critics argued for a more leftist stance than the leadership was willing to countenance.


"Communist Party USA." Wikipedia. Accessed April 25, 2016.

Constitutional Union Party

Constitutional Union Party was a U.S. political party that sought in the pre-Civil War election of 1860 to rally support for the Union and the Constitution without regard to sectional issues. It was formed in 1859 by former Whigs and members of the Know-Nothing Party, the party nominated John Bell for president and Edward Everett for vice president. In attempting to ignore the slavery issue, its platform particularly appealed to border states, in which the party won 39 electoral votes. A by-product of the same ideological and sectional antipathies that had led to the formation of the Republican Party in 1856 and the splitting of the Democratic Party in 1860, the Constitutional Union Party was a short-lived vehicle for moderates that collapsed by the start of the Civil War. It succeeded only in helping to disperse the 1860 vote sufficiently to ensure the election of the Republican candidate, Abraham Lincoln.


"Constitutional Union Party." Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Accessed April 25, 2016.

Democratic Party

The Democratic Party is the oldest political party in the United States and among the oldest political parties in the world. It traces its roots to 1792, when followers of Thomas Jefferson adopted the name Republican to emphasize their antimonarchical views. The Democratic-Republican Party was founded in 1792 from a coalition of Antifederalists and other state's rights advocates. The Republican Party, also known as the Jeffersonian Republicans, advocated a decentralized government with limited powers....Despite tracing its roots to Thomas Jefferson — who advocated a less - powerful, more - decentralized federal government — the modern Democratic Party generally supports a strong federal government with powers to regulate business and industry in the public interest; federally financed social services and benefits for the poor, the unemployed, the aged, and other groups; and the protection of civil rights. Most Democrats also endorse a strong separation of church and state, and they generally oppose government regulation of the private, noneconomic lives of citizens.


"Democratic Party." Accessed April 27, 2016.

"Democratic Party." Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Accessed April 27, 2016.

Democratic Republican Party

Democratic Republican Party was formally established in 1792 and was called the Republican Party from 1792-1798. During Jackson’s presidency (1829–1837) they dropped the Republican label and called themselves simply Democrats or Jacksonian Democrats. The name Democratic Party was formally adopted in 1844. However, the term was used during the candidacy of Franklin Pierce for President and William R. King for Vice-President in 1852.


"Democratic Republican Party." Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Accessed April 25, 2016.

Greenback Party

Greenback Party was active between 1874 and 1889. It promoted currency expansion and had an anti-monopoly ideology. It was originally an agrarian organization but added industrial reforms to its agenda. It produced a document in 1960, demanding changes in wealth distribution and an anti-monopoly agenda, and its candidate for President was Whitley H. Slocomb.


USC Digital Library. "Candidate for Greenback Party for President, 1960," Accessed April 25, 2016.

"Greenback Party". infoplease. Accessed April 25, 2016.

"Greenback Party". Wikipedia. Accessed April 25, 2016.

Hoosiers for a Democratic Alternative

Hoosiers for a Democratic Alternative was founded in January of 1968. By February, 80 groups had formed within Indiana. The organization intended to back either Sen. Vance Hartke, D-IN or Sen. Eugene McCarthy, D-MN for the 1968 presidential campaign. James Bogle, a political science professor at the University of Notre Dame, was elected president of the Indiana delegation. At the March 15-16, 1968 convention, the organization voted a McCarthy endorsement.


Information found within the collection.

"Bogle, HDA stick with McCarthy." The Observer, March 18, 1968, p. 1. Accessed April 25, 2016.

Liberal Republican Party

Liberal Republican Party was an insurgent reform wing of the U.S. Republican Party, organized in May of 1972. It challenged what it considered the corruption of President Ulysses S. Grant’s administration by nominating a rival slate of candidates in the national election of November 1872. Led by such prominent Americans as senators Charles Sumner and Carl Schurz and editor Horace Greeley, the dissidents resisted Grant’s renomination for the presidency, claiming that his first term in office was corrupt and inefficient. Meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, in May 1872, the Liberal Republicans nominated Greeley for president and won the support of the Democratic Party by adopting a platform advocating governmental reform, particularly in the areas of civil service, lower tariffs, and a more conciliatory Reconstruction policy toward the South. Despite Democratic support, the Liberals were easily defeated by the regular Republican ticket in a climate of post-Civil War complacency and business prosperity. Grant was goaded, however, into advocating several of their proposals during his second term...The Liberal Republican Party vanished immediately after the election. However, historians suggest that, by loosening the allegiance of liberal elements to the Republican Party, the Liberal Republicans made it possible for many of these leaders to move to the Democratic Party. The others returned to the GOP.


"Liberal Republican Party." Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Accessed April 25, 2016.

"Liberal Republican Party." Wikipedia. Accessed April 25, 2016.

Liberty Party

Liberty Party was a minor political party in the United States in the 1930s, based on the economic theories of W.H. "Coin" Harvey (1851–1936) (found mainly in his book, The Book). Harvey was initially its 1932 presidential candidate, and they held their convention at his resort, Monte Ne. However, the Liberty Party ended up merging with the Jobless Party, and Harvey ran for president as an independent. He came in 5th, receiving about 53,000 votes. Ward B. Hiner was the candidate for Governor of Indiana in 1932. They ran on a platform of "meeting the needs of humankind and the end of usury and taxes".


Information found within the collection.

"Liberty Party (1932)." Wikipedia. Accessed April 25, 2016.,_1932).

National States Rights Party

National States Rights Party was formed in July, 1958 in Knoxville, Tennessee. A report by the FBI in 1970 suggested it had members in 13 states, including Indiana. It was based on racism and bigotry and a number of members also held membership in the Ku Klux Klan. Edward Reed Fields was its National Director and Jesse Benjamin Stoner was the National Chairman. Nationally, it was anti-black and anti-Jewish in ideology, with regional prejudices against Mexican-Americans and Asian-Americans. It also insisted that the Federal Government stop infringing on states' rights through statutes, administrative decrees and judicial decisions.


"National States Rights Party." Federal Bureau of Investigation. Accessed April 25, 2016.

New Politics Party

The New Politics Party was formed in 1968 as an alternative to the traditional two party system which was termed inadequate for presenting citizens with a true choice to vote. Some of the party's beliefs were peace in the world and especially in Vietnam, and a later deadline for fall election candidate petitions to be allowed on the ballot. The party apparently supported Senator Eugene McCarthy for President in 1968, but Dick Gregory ran a "write me in" campaign. There was a convention in Indianapolis, IN on Sept. 14 and 15, 1968. The New Politics Party folded after the election.


Information found within the collection

"New Politics Party." Indiana Historical Society. Accessed April 25, 2016.

Progressive Party

Progressive Party was formed in 1912, when former president Theodore Roosevelt, at odds with his old friend, President William Howard Taft, for various personal and political reasons, threw his "hat into the ring" (February 24, 1912). Since the regular Republicans controlled the national convention at Chicago (June) and renominated Taft, the Roosevelt supporters organized the new Progressive party (the Bull Moose party) and nominated, also at Chicago (August), Roosevelt for President and Hiram W. Johnson for Vice President. The Progressive platform called for the direct election of U.S. Senators, the initiative, referendum, and recall, woman suffrage, reduction of the tariff, and many social reforms. As a result of the split in Republican ranks, Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic candidate, won, but Roosevelt, who received 88 electoral votes and over 4 million popular votes, fared better than Taft. The party maintained its organization until 1916, when, after Roosevelt declined another nomination, most Progressives supported the Republican presidential candidate, Charles Evans Hughes.


"Progressive Party." Infoplease. Accessed April 25, 2016.

Republican Party

The Republican Party began in a little schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin, in 1854. A small group of dedicated abolitionists gathered to fight the expansion of slavery, and they gave birth to a Party dedicated to freedom and equal opportunity. The name “Republican” was chosen, alluding to Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party and conveying a commitment to the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The party was formally organized in July 1854 by thousands of anti-slavery activists at a convention in Jackson, Michigan.


"Republican Party." Republican Party. Accessed April 27, 2016.

Socialist Labor Party

The Socialist Labor Party (SLP) is the original party of socialism in America. Organized as the Workingmen's Party in 1876, the Party was renamed in 1877. As the only nationally organized party of socialism in America until 1900, the SLP attracted Socialists of all tendencies to its ranks. However, the Marxist element became dominant by 1890, when the Party was reorganized on a Marxist basis. The SLP has played a prominent role in the economic and political life of the United States. It ran the first socialist presidential campaign in 1892, and fielded national tickets in every presidential campaign through 1976.


"Socialist Labor Party." Socialist Labor Party. Accessed April 25, 2016.

Socialist Workers Party

Socialist Workers Party was formed in 1928 as the Communist League of America, founded by members of the Communist Party USA who were expelled for supporting Russian Communist leader Leon Trotsky against Joseph Stalin. In the 1940s, the organization split nearly in half, with a new entity created, the Workers Party. The candidate for President in 1968, Fred Halstead, visited American GIs in Vietnam. The party entered a presidential candidate in the 2012 race for president.


"Socialist Workers Party." Wikipedia. Accessed April 25, 2016.

Union Party

The Union Party carried the October 1864 election in Indiana.


"Indiana and the Election of 1864." Indiana Magazine of History. Accessed April 25, 2016.


3.05 Cubic Feet (9 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Mrs. Adah Hayes on 1968/02/20; Holly Plotter on 1945; Edward Knight on 1948; Raymond Cline on 1948/06/23; as a purchase from Paul C. Richards on 1962/06/13; as a donation from Marcie Page on 2022/12/09.


No further additions are expected.

Related Archival Material

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

S3130: Birch E. Bayh, Sr. collection

OH141: Vance Hartke oral history

S0606: Vance Hartke letters

L442: Edgar D. Whitcomb collection

OBC086: Birch Bayh oversize collection

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2016/04/29 by Edythe Huffman. EAD finding aid created 2016/04/29 by Edythe Huffman. EAD finding aid updated on 2022/12/16 by Lauren Patton.
Political material collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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