Seymour H. Person Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Person, Seymour Howe, 1879-1957
Seymour H. Person papers
Date [inclusive]
0.33 Cubic feet
General Physical Description note
0.33 cu. ft.

Preferred Citation note

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing,Michigan".

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Scope and Contents note

In 1930 Seymour H. Person was elected to the House of Representatives as a delegate from the Sixth District of Michigan. This collection consists of personal letters and correspondence of S.H. Person while serving his term in Washington, D.C. for the particular period 1931-1933.

A "wet" Republican, S.H. Person was chosen over Grant M. Hudson, a "dry" Democrat. Prohibition at that time was protected by the 18th Amendment which Person fought to repeal. There is a great amount of material on the prohibition issue giving various points of views. One article, December 17, 1932, gave reasons why prohibition should be supported and enforced by American industry. This article reasoned that prohibition safeguarded the demand on industrial goods, and without prohibition money normally spent on industrial goods, would be used for legalized alcoholic purposes. Another article, The Need for a New Source of Government Revenue, 1931, states that without prohibition government would have a new source to tax. A third article,  Prohibition by Taxation, 1931, argued that high taxation would cause people to only minimize their spending on alcohol. Included in the collection is the Beck Linthincum Bill, an amendment to the 18th Amendment. There are other various bills and articles relating to and about prohibition and the depression. One interesting telegram dated May 16, 1932, warned Person of the conditions of the copper mines in Michigan, giving a hint of labor-management trouble.

The bulk of the collection centers around Person's correspondence with his two close friends and advisors, Frank Young and Colonel Alger. The content entailed plans for the coming election in which Person lost. After having been defeated by Grant Hudson in the election year 1932, Person had the intention to organize and conduct a new law firm with hopes of settling down for the rest of his life as a lawyer.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections April 1965

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Revision Description

  December 2000

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University Property Rights: Michigan State University

Conditions Governing Use note

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Custodial History

Gift of Mrs. Seymour H. Person, transferred by the MSU Museum.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • United States. Congress. House.

Personal Name(s)

  • Alger, Frederick Moulton, Col., 1876-1933
  • Hudson, Grant Martin, 1868-1955
  • Young, Frank L.


  • Bills, Legislative
  • Constitutional law
  • Liquor laws
  • Prohibition -- United States

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Collection Inventory



Box Folder


1 1

 January 1-January 16, 1931 

1 2

 January 18-April 21, 1931 

1 3

 April 24-August 27, 1931 

1 4

 September 4-December 30, 1931 

1 5

 January-February 13, 1932 

1 6

 February 14-March 1932 

1 7

 April 2-April 30, 1932 

1 8

 May 2-May 10, 1932 

1 9

 May 11-May 31, 1932 

1 10

 June 1-July 30, 1932 

1 11

 August 1-December 17, 1932 

1 12

 December 20, 1932-February 27, 1933 

1 13


1 14
Box Folder

Prohibition Material 1931-1932, n.d. 

1 15