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George Adams Graham Papers

The bulk of the collection consists of Graham's subject files from his service on the Committee on Indian Affairs in 1948. The committee was convened as a subcommittee of the Hoover Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government. According to Graham, unlike the other Hoover Commission subcommittees, the Committee on Indian Affairs was formed later in the tenure of the Commission - almost as an afterthought - and Hoover asked Graham to chair the committee, although Graham had no prior special knowledge of Indian affairs. The subject files document Graham's process of apprising himself of the history and current status of American Indians: their social, economic and cultural conditions. To a lesser extent, the files also document how Graham organized the committee's research into Indian affairs: the committee members' field trips; the major topical areas of inquiry; and the various individuals and organizations from whom the committee solicited information. The files are particularly rich in copies of internal communications within the Bureau of Indian Affairs, including a number of confidential reports on the status of various American Indian tribal groups and summaries of the structure, policies, and activities of the Bureau.Almost all the material in the files dates from approximately 1945-1948. This was a critical period in federal relations with American Indians, marking, as it did, the beginnings of the federal government's postwar efforts to end its formal obligations to and management of American Indian tribes. The formation of this policy and its implementation, frequently referred to as “termination,” is significantly documented in Graham's papers. This policy was to remain in effect until the 1960s, when it was generally assessed a failure.The remaining papers consist of Graham's notes, drafts, correspondence, and reports as a member of the Social Science Research Council's Committee on Public Administration, the Committee on Organization of Federal Activity in Education, and the Task Force on Personnel and Civil Service.The Social Science Research Council, a non-governmental organization, was formed in 1923 with a mission to encourage interdisciplinary social science practice within and beyond academia and to foster research for direct policy application of social science research. Much of the Council's activity took place through its many committees. The Committee on Public Administration was active from 1928-1945, and Graham was a member from 1940-1944. Graham's files contain meeting minutes from 1935-1944, however, as he received and retained copies of prior meeting minutes on joining the committee. Topics of concern detailed in these files include public employment, governmental research bureaus, and training for public administration.Herbert Hoover convened the Citizens Federal Committee on Education in 1946 to investigate federal activity in education. In correspondence with the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library's curatorial staff (included in the files), Graham explained that Hoover was displeased with the committee's findings, which did not call for increased federal activity in education, as Hoover had hoped. The report of the committee, entitled The Organization of Federal Activity in Education, discusses curriculum development, the training of Foreign Service officers, R.O.T.C. programs, education in federal prisons, citizenship education, the education of Indians and natives of Alaska, and veterans' educational facilities.The Task Force on Personnel and Civil Service, a sub-group of the second Hoover Commission, was principally concerned with training for civil service. The most popular and influential recommendation from the task force's report was the institution of a Senior Civil Service; Graham's papers contain follow-up on this proposal in the file entitled “The Senior Service and the career system.”