Skip to main content

Edward D. Clarkson Collection

Identifier: MS-0088

Scope and Contents

The Edward D. Clarkson Collection, in the form of an autograph collection, contains various correspondence, photographs, miscellaneous works, and ephemera of Clarkson’s. The correspondence discusses a diverse array of contemporary issues, including U.S. relations with Cuba and race relations between whites and African Americans in the United States. In a recruitment type fashion, Clarkson attempts to enlist a variety of individuals in many causes.  These individuals include both the political and artistic sphere of American life. Clarkson spent the majority of his efforts lobbying for peace with foreign nations, mainly Cuba, in the decades of the 1950’s and 60’s. His main efforts were directed towards United States Senators and Congressmen. However, Clarkson did attempt to influence a number of United States Presidents, both retired and active. Among the Presidents were, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon. Included in Clarkson’s political endeavors are a number of other prominent figures in American society. Among them are letters to Hubert Humphrey pertaining to peace efforts, yet directed toward the disarmament of the Soviet Union. Clarkson inquired of Eleanor Roosevelt on the possibility of creating separate societies for blacks and whites, not excluding the possibilities of migrating the African American to Africa. Clarkson also corresponded with many well-known American social figures like Georgia O’Keefe, Robert Oppenheimer, Gregory Peck, and Upton Sinclair.


  • Creation: 1916-1969
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1959-1962


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in some or all of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of archival collections is such that multiple creators are often applicable and copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. In any case, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, obtaining publication rights and copyright infringement. When requesting images from Special Collections & University Archives for publication, we require a signed agreement waiving San Diego State University of any liability in the event of a copyright violation.

Biographical Note

Born on November 22, 1890, Edward D. Clarkson spent many years actively campaigning for social progress towards his view of what United States government policies should be both at home and abroad. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1916 and served in both World War I and World War II. Later in life, Clarkson took up residency in Cuba, where he spent approximately ten years in a diplomatic fashion. Clarkson retired from the army in 1944 and earned a master’s degree in history from San Diego State College in 1958.

Clarkson spent the remainder of his life in La Jolla, California. As a resident for more than 30 years, he was highly active not only as a correspondent but also through participation in organizations such as the American Legion, the Scottish Rite Masons, Phi Alpha Theta and even the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. Edward D. Clarkson died in October of 1969.


0.83 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

I. Correspondence to and from Edward D. Clarkson (In alphabetical order)

II. Miscellaneous

III. Clarkson Family correspondence

Source of Acquisition

Edward D. Clarkson

Accruals and Additions


Edward D. Clarkson Collection
Kevin M. King
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US