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James Prioleau Richards Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SCU-SCPC-051
The collection, 10 linear feet of material, relates to Richards’ Middle East mission as well as significant records of his Congressional career. The collection ably documents Richards’ interest and expertise in foreign policy. The collection also includes information on Richards’ membership on the Joint Committee on Foreign Economic Cooperation Administration. The ECA was charged with the administration of the Foreign Economic Assistance Act, funding the European Recovery Program.

The collection has been arranged into five main series: Correspondence, 1932 to 1933, 1941 to 1974; Topical Files, c. 1933 to 1958; Photographs; Newspaper Clippings; and House of Representatives Journals.

Correspondence includes letters of congratulation upon Richards’ election to the House, 1932 to 1933, and offers of support, c. 1951 to 1952, should Richards decide to run for Governor in 1953.

Topical files include reference material on Middle Eastern countries; files on bills, resolutions, and concerns before the House, such as the Bretton Woods Agreement, 1944 to 1945; Foreign Policy, including a file, 1945 to 1955, regarding relations with China; the Neutrality Act, 1941; the Mutual Security Act, 1951; UNESCO, 1946; and the UNICEF Children’s Emergency Fund, c. 1950 to 1953. Countries represented by individual reference files include China, Formosa (Taiwan), Israel, Lebanon, and the Soviet Union.

Photographs and newspaper clippings date chiefly from Richards’ mission to the Middle East. Included are numerous clippings from foreign newspapers commenting on the mission. Rounding out the collection is a biographical file and a small number of speeches and press releases.

The Journals of the House of Representatives cover the proceedings of the Committee on Foreign Affairs from the 77th to the 83rd congresses.

Dates

  • 1932 - 1974

Creator

Access

Library Use Only

Extent

10 Linear Feet

Abstract

James Prioleau "Dick" Richards represented South Carolina's 5th District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1933 until his retirement following the 1956 session. He served on the Foreign Affairs committee throughout his Congressional career and became expert in the subject. Richards served as Special Assistant to President Eisenhower for the Middle East from January 1957 to January 1958. In this capacity he visited Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Tripoli and Turkey, among other countries. He also traveled to Formosa (Taiwan) and Malaya. At each stop he met with the nations' leaders and attempted to convince them to strengthen their ties to the United States.

Biographical Note

James Prioleau “Dick” Richards (1894-1979) represented South Carolina’s Fifth District in the United States House of Representatives from 1933 until his retirement following the 1956 session. Richards was born in Liberty Hill. He attended Clemson College and the University of South Carolina before enlisting in the United States Army in April 1917. Richards fought in France and Belgium and advanced through the ranks. At the time of his discharge in 1919 he had attained the rank of Reserve Second Lieutenant. He returned to the University of South Carolina and received his law degree in 1921.

The following year, Richards was elected Probate Judge of Lancaster County. He served in that capacity until his election to Congress on the Democratic ticket. In Congress, Richards received an appointment to the Foreign Affairs Committee. He served on that committee throughout his Congressional career and became expert in Foreign Affairs. He chaired the committee from 1951 to 1953, when the election of Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican, required Richards’ replacement as chair.

Following his retirement, Richards accepted a mission for the Eisenhower administration. He served as Special Assistant to President Eisenhower for the Middle East from January 1957 until January of 1958. With the object of advancing the Eisenhower Doctrine, Richards undertook a mission to the Middle East in which he visited Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Tripoli and Turkey, among other countries. He also visited Formosa [Taiwan] and Malaya. At each stop he met with the nations’ leaders and attempted to convince them to strengthen their ties to the United States.

Provenance

Donated by Richard E. Richards

Copyright

Copyright of the James Prioleau Richards Papers has been transferred to the University of South Carolina

Processing Information

Processed by Herbert J. Hartsook; additions by Stephanie Stewart, 2004.

Repository Details

Part of the South Carolina Political Collections Repository

Contact:
Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library
1322 Greene St.
University of South Carolina
Columbia SC 29208 USA
803-777-0577