John M. Hancock Papers, 1903-1956
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Brief Description:

The John M. Hancock Papers, 1932-1956, consist primarily of material related to Hancock’s service to the United States Federal Government. The majority of the materials in the collection were maintained in three-ring binders either by Hancock or his secretarial staff. Most of those binders have been reorganized into folders.

Box 9 was removed during this reorganization.

Much of the material is from the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission (UNAEC), which was formed in 1946 following the very first resolution of the United Nations. The UNAEC sought the peaceful use of atomic energy, along with the elimination of atomic weapons. Hancock served as the General Manager of the United States contingent, which was led by Bernard M. Baruch. Baruch proposed a plan by which the United States would destroy its stockpile of atomic bombs, in exchange for an UN imposed prohibition on the future development of atomic weapons. The “Baruch Plan” passed the commission, but was vetoed by the Soviet Union in the Security Council.

UNAEC materials include correspondence and memoranda, meeting minutes, subcommittee materials, press releases, governmental reports, and various subject files. An entire binder is related to the criticisms of the Baruch Plan held by then Secretary of Commerce Henry A. Wallace. Four scrapbooks are included as well.

In 1942, Hancock participated in a special survey of the rubber industry in light of national defense priorities. Material from this survey includes correspondence and memorandum, subject files, governmental reports, and transcripts of meetings. A total of six binders are found in Boxes 2 and 3, each of which has an index at the beginning of the binder.

Hancock was also a member of the Office of War Mobilization, which was formed in 1943. He served in the Office of Contract Settlement, which was charged with the responsibility of settling terminated war contracts.

Hancock was also a member of the War Resources Board, which was the first federal agency to analyze mobilization options in light of possible entry into a war in Europe.

Materials in the collection also reflect Hancock’s career in investment banking and securities. This material deals with securities legislation, and include correspondence, governmental reports, and legislative text. Hancock’s service on a subcommittee of the Securities and Exchange Commission is documented, while four scrapbooks contain newspaper and magazine clippings regarding profit and inflation (1947-1954).

Hancock also chaired a special committee on behalf of the American Chemical Society, which sought to determine members’ opinions of the Society. Material regarding his relationship with the University of North Dakota is found in Box 10, along with texts of some of his speeches. Box 11 also includes an undated history of U.S. Navy’s purchase division in World War I, written by Hancock.

Five photographs were separated and placed in the Photograph File Cabinets, while nineteen scrapbooks were placed on the shelves adjacent to the collection.

Held at:
Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections
Chester Fritz Library
3051 University Ave Stop 9000
Grand Forks, ND 58202 9000
Phone: 701-777-4625
Fax: 701-777-3319
Email: und.archives [at]
Record Series Number: OGLMC/0055
Created by: Hancock, John M. (1883-1956)
Volume: 27.5 Linear Feet
Acquired: Additional material was donated by Dan Rylance, Department Head, Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, in August 1989 (89-1675); by Bob and Frances Buckingham, Pharr, Texas, on July 1, 2002 (2003-2605); and by Don Hunger, Bellingham, Washington, in March 2018 (2018-3379).
Access Restrictions: Open for inspection under the rules and regulations of the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections.
Subject Index
Business and Industry
Cold War
Great Depression
Military History - World War II (WW2)
University of North Dakota - Alumni
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Acquisition Notes:   Donation; the original acquisition records are unavailable.
PreferredCitation: (Description of Item). John M. Hancock Papers. OGLMC 55, Box #, Folder #. Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.
Finding Aid Revisions: Finding aid added to Archon in September 2014.