Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


James Robert Coe Papers

Dates: 1912-1990.

Administrator, Manhattan Engineer District, 1943-1945; Researcher, Monsanto Chemical Company, 1945-1948.

The Papers of James Robert Coe consist of affidavits and statements, biographical information, correspondence, financial records, hearing transcripts and background records, a medal, a photograph, printed materials, and Privacy Act and FOIA requests. They relate primarily to a security investigation of James Robert Coe by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 2 linear feet, 2 linear inches (about 4,000 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: Dena Harvey donated to the U.S. government her copyright interest in all writings in this collection. Documents created by U.S. government employees in the course of their official duties are in the public domain. Copyright interest in other documents presumably belongs to the creators of those documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Elizabeth Carrington, David Clark (2011).


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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1904 (September 20)Born, Hartford, Connecticut
1919-1921Attended Hotchkiss School
1921-1923Attended Choate School
1923-1924Attended Harvard College
1924-1931S.B. and Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1924-1927Mill Hand, Analyst, and Assistant to an Electrical Engineer, American Brass Company
1928-1931Researcher, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1931-1942Researcher and Ordnance Developer, National Bureau of Standards
1935 (November 12)Married Fleta Campbell Springer Coe
1942Mechanical Engineer, The Selas Company
1942-1943Researcher, S.A.M. Laboratories, Columbia University
1943-1945Administrator, Manhattan Engineer District
1945-1948Researcher, Clinton Laboratories, Monsanto Chemical Company
1948-1949Disability Leave, Carbide and Carbon Chemical Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
1950 (June 12)Applied for employment and AEC security clearance, Radioactivity Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
1951 (August 8)Personnel Security Board convened for hearing on AEC security clearance
1952 (August 11)-1953 Personnel Security Board held second hearing on AEC security clearance
1962 (April 14)Died

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COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The James Robert Coe Papers are comprised of affidavits and statements, biographical information, correspondence, financial records, hearing transcripts and background records, a medal, a photograph, printed materials, and Privacy Act and FOIA requests. The papers relate to a security investigation of James Robert Coe by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC); to the career of Coe's first wife, Fleta Campbell Springer Coe, a writer; and to the personal affairs of Coe and his second wife, Doris Tighe Coe. The collection consists of one series, a Subject File, arranged alphabetically by record type.

On June 12, 1950, Oak Ridge National Laboratory submitted a request for a high-level national security clearance for James Robert Coe as part of his application for a position in the Radioactivity Division. The AEC completed an in-depth investigation into Coe's life and identified a number of organizations and individuals he had interacted with that had been tied to Communist activities. Concern over these possible Communist ties brought Coe's eligibility for a security clearance into question and led Coe to request a public hearing to argue against the allegations.

A hearing with the Personnel Security Board was held beginning August 8, 1951, the result of which was a denial of security clearance. The Personnel Security Board was reconvened for a second hearing on August 11, 1952. After completion of the 1952-53 hearing a recommendation was submitted to grant the requested security clearance.

The hearing transcript and background records include Coe's notes on the hearings as well as the official record of the proceedings.

The affidavits and statements were provided by colleagues and friends in support of James Robert Coe during the AEC investigation. They provide details on Coe's relationships and opinions as to his loyalty to the United States.

The Privacy Act and FOIA requests, submitted by Doris Coe, contain the results of her inquiries related to the AEC investigation of James Robert Coe. Included with this material are copies of questionnaires, statements, correspondence, and findings utilized throughout the AEC hearings. Duplicate copies of the 1951 and 1952 hearing transcripts were also provided to Mrs. Coe in response to her requests. These copies are not included in the collection.

A portion of the correspondence includes discussions of the progress of the AEC hearings, but the majority of the correspondence is comprised of personal communications received by James Robert Coe from family, friends, and colleagues.

The printed materials include articles and clippings relating to the Independent Citizen's Committee for the Arts, Sciences, and Professions (ICCASP), Dylan Thomas, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Edward U. Condon; copies of Federal Registers; and scientific publications of James Robert Coe.

Other loyalty and security investigations of individuals during the Truman administration are documented in the Papers of Bernard Bernstein; Sally Cahalan; John Paton Davies, Jr.; Gordon Gray; Philleo Nash; and John Stewart Service and Charles E. Rhetts.

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos.Series
1-5 SUBJECT FILE, 1912-1990
Affidavits and statements, biographical information, correspondence, financial records, hearing transcripts and background records, a medal, a photograph, printed materials, and Privacy Act and FOIA requests. Arranged alphabetically by record type.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1
  • "According to the Flesh" by Fleta Campbell Springer
  • Affidavits and Statements
  • Biographical Information
  • Correspondence, Undated
  • Correspondence, 1912
  • Correspondence, 1915
  • Correspondence, 1916
  • Correspondence, 1917
  • Correspondence, 1918
  • Correspondence, 1920
  • Correspondence, 1921
  • Correspondence, 1922
  • Correspondence, 1923
  • Correspondence, 1924
  • Correspondence, 1925
  • Correspondence, 1927
  • Correspondence, 1928
  • Correspondence, 1929
  • Correspondence, 1930
  • Correspondence, 1931
  • Correspondence, 1932
  • Correspondence, 1933
  • Correspondence, 1935
  • Correspondence, 1936
  • Correspondence, 1937
  • Correspondence, 1938
  • Correspondence, 1939
  • Correspondence, 1940
  • Correspondence, 1941
  • Correspondence, 1942
  • Correspondence, 1943
  • Correspondence, 1944
  • Correspondence, 1945
  • Correspondence, 1946
  • Correspondence, 1947
  • Correspondence, 1948
Box 2
  • Correspondence, 1949
  • Correspondence, 1950
  • Correspondence, 1951
  • Correspondence, 1952
  • Correspondence, 1953
  • Correspondence, 1954
  • Correspondence, 1955
Box 3
  • Correspondence, 1956
  • Correspondence, 1957
  • Correspondence, 1958
  • Correspondence, 1959
  • Correspondence, 1960
  • Correspondence, 1961
  • Correspondence, 1962
  • Financial Records
  • Hearing Background Records
  • Hearing Transcripts, 1951
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
Box 4
  • Hearing Transcripts, 1952
      [1 of 4]
      [2 of 4]
      [3 of 4]
Box 5
      [4 of 4]
  • Medal
  • Photograph
  • Printed Materials
  • Privacy Act and FOIA Requests

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]