Papers (1905-1942) of Allen Jay Maxwell, N.C. Commissioner of Revenue (1929-1942), including a biographical sketch, newspaper clippings, photographs, and speeches relating to state tax issues, his campaigns for N.C. governor, dissatisfaction with public school history textbooks and other aspects of his life.
Allen Jay Maxwell was born January 24, 1873 in Duplin County, N.C., the fourth son of Hugh Gillespie Maxwell and Nancy Maready Maxwell. A career in journalism began with a position on the Goldsboro Argus and Maxwell later became editor of the Columbus County News in Whiteville and of the Anglo Saxon in Rockingham. Maxwell was appointed to a clerkship in the Corporation Commission in 1910. From then until his death, Maxwell was a full time public servant concerned mainly with the economic welfare of North Carolina. His most important post was commissioner of revenue, 1929-1942, but he also held positions as chairman of the State Tax Commission 1927-1932, member of the Local Government Commission 1931-1942, member of the Constitutional Commission 1931-1932, president of the National Tax Association, 1940-1941, and director of the North Carolina Department of Research, 1942-1946, among others. He actively campaigned for governor in 1932 and 1940. Maxwell died December 9, 1946. For more biographical information, see Life and Works of Allen Jay Maxwell by Raymond C. Maxwell in this collection.
The overwhelming bulk of material consists of an extensive clipping file reflecting all facets of state government activities with which Mr. Maxwell was concerned. State problems constitute a major topic of interest throughout the collection.
The following concentrations of specific tax controversies are of particular note: chain store tax (1938-1939), railroad tax (1934-1936), sales tax (1937-1939), inheritance tax (1932-1936) and the intangible tax (1937-1939). Another predominant topic is highway administration with particular concentration on such subjects as highway safety (1935-1940), automobile registration and tags (1936-1940),highway maintenance and improvements (1929-1931, 1938-1940), highway patrol (1935-1937) and licensing of drivers (1934-1935). Other revenue concerns include prohibition (1932-1941), school administration (1931-1933), old age pensions for state employees (1938-1940), incidents of embezzling (1931-1932, 1940-1942), and reorganization of the Department of Revenue (1934, 1941-1942). There are also articles dealing with the workings of the N.C. General Assembly, especially concerning the passage of revenue bills.
Other clippings in the collection concern Maxwell's two campaigns for governor (1931-1932, 1938-1940), although clippings for September 1 - 28, 1931; April, 1932, March, May 7-30, June, July, and August 1-26, 1940 are missing. Also included are clippings concerning Maxwell's desire for N.C. history to be properly taught in the public schools. His dissatisfaction with the textbooks and a disagreement with the textbooks' authors and publisher on what should be included in the fifth grade history course are shown.
Those clippings before 1929 deal with Maxwell's position as editor and business manager of the Anglo Saxon in Rockingham, his election to the N.C. Corporation Commission as chief clerk, and his failure to be appointed to the Interstate Commerce Commission. Those after 1942 include obituaries and the announcement of the presentation of a portrait of Maxwell to the state.
The correspondence in the collection includes a letter from Maxwell to his wife on his reelection to the post of clerk of the Senate (January 5, 1909), an undated letter to his sister, and a letter to his mother (May 10, 1892).
Miscellaneous items include a biographical sketch of A. J. Maxwell; photographs; invitations; a program and a copy of Ex-Governor Hoey's speech at the Maxwell portrait presentation ceremony; a brief diary of a western trip made by Maxwell and his wife; a program of the presentation of a portrait of Governor Thomas W. Bickett, November 11, 1944; and copies of speeches by Maxwell on Bickett and Zebulon Baird Vance.
Gift of Mrs. A. J. Maxwell, Jr.
Gift of Mrs. E. D. Cranford
Processed by L. Sterlock, November 1969
Encoded by Apex Data Services
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.