Raymond John Jeffreys Papers

Manuscript Collection #149
Jeffreys, Raymond J. (Raymond John), b. 1896
Physical description
0.22 Cubic Feet, 1350 items , diaries, correspondence, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, photographs, pamphlets, periodicals, and books.
Preferred Citation
Raymond John Jeffreys Papers (#149), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1917-1969) including items., first World War diaries, correspondence, advertisements, pamphlets, periodicals, tax plan, magazines, books, etc.

Biographical/historical information

Raymond John Jeffreys (1896-1970), a native of Columbiana, Ohio, entered Mount Union College, Alliance, Ohio, in 1915. He withdrew from college in 1918 to enlist in the U.S. Army during World War I and was assigned to the Ninth Photo Section of the American Expeditionary Force. Jeffreys served behind the front lines during 1918 and entered Germany with the Army of Occupation.

After his discharge from military service, Jeffreys returned to Mount Union College and graduated in 1920 with a degree in journalism. He subsequently served as reporter, editor, and finally as owner of what was to become a chain of Ohio newspapers. In June, 1922, Jeffreys and his bride undertook a round-the-world automobile trip. This was the first trip of its kind ever attempted and it was never completed. Jeffreys then became involved in Lyceum and Chautauqua entertainment activities, which he continued through World War II. In the years 1934, 1936, 1938, and 1940 he ran for various Ohio elective posts including congressman-at-large, state senator and lieutenant governor. Jeffreys continued his lecture tours but also became involved in work with veterans groups (later serving as Department of North Carolina commander), as lobbyist in the Ohio legislature, shoe manufacturer, real estate developer, citrus fruit agent, temperance spokesman and author of numerous books and articles. In 1968 Jeffreys, who had moved to North Carolina, was named by Lieutenant Governor Robert W. Scott as Raleigh coordinator for North Carolina's retired citizens in Scott's successful election campaign for governor of North Carolina. He died in Raleigh, N.C., on September 1, 1970.

Scope and arrangement

For the World War I period the collection contains diaries, photographs, and photo albums of Jeffreys' activities while serving with the American Expeditionary Force inFrance and Germany, May 1918 to July 1919. The three diaries in the collection reflect Jeffreys' entire period of service, including basic training at Madison Barracks, N.Y., and photography training at Rochester, N.Y., preparatory to embarkation for Europe. Entries tell of training activities, lack of equipment, and poor sanitary facilities at Madison Barracks. Diary entries in France and Germany describe daily activities of an enlisted man, problems of ground and aerial photography, entertainment provided for the troops, and conditions in France and Germany. Photographs and photograph albums reflect war scenes in France and Germany and apparently include captured German photographs.

From the attempted but uncompleted world tour, there are four scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings, advertisement brochures, and letters of introduction (including ones from the Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes and the President of the Republic of Mexico Alvaro Oregón). Jeffreys also published his own travel periodical entitled The Yankee Globetrotter, copies of which are included.

Pertaining to the years in which Jeffreys operated a lecture service, there are six scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings, advertisements, and other miscellaneous material. The vast majority of the clippings are newspaper accounts of his numerous lectures. Also in these scrapbooks are miscellaneous materials from Jeffreys' unsuccessful bids for elected office, clippings concerning his work with veterans organizations, newspaper reviews and advertisements for his books, and materials from his various business interests.

Other material in the collection includes a pamphlet written by Jeffreys on a universal income tax plan, articles in various magazines concerning his activities, announcements of high school commencement exercises at which Jeffreys spoke, cartoons, photographs, newspaper clippings, and correspondence. Five of the books which Jeffreys authored, God is My Landlord, The Fabulous "Dutch" Zellers, The Forgotten Men, The Ghost of Prohibition Marches Again and Life Will Begin at One Hundred, are also included.

Administrative information
Custodial History

December 1, 1970, 323 items, 24 volumes; Correspondence, clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, pamphlets, periodicals, and books.

February 16, 1971, 3 items; Diary (1918-1919) and clippings.

July 30, 1971, (addition) ca. 1,000 items; Diaries (1918-1919) and photographs. Gift of Mrs. Jeffreys, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Jeffreys

Processing information

Processed by D. Lennon

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Jeffreys, Raymond J. (Raymond John), 1896-
Corporate Names
United States. Army--Military life
United States. Army. Air Corps
United States. Army. American Expeditionary Forces
American newspapers--Ohio
World War, 1914-1918--Aerial operations, American
World War, 1914-1918--France
World War, 1914-1918--Germany
World War, 1914-1918--Personal narratives, American
World War, 1914-1918--Photography
Ohio--Politics and government--20th century
Jeffreys, Raymond J. (Raymond John), 1896-. God is my landlord
Jeffreys, Raymond J. (Raymond John), 1896-. Life will begin at 100
Jeffreys, Raymond J. (Raymond John), 1896-. The fabulous "Dutch" Zellers
Jeffreys, Raymond J. (Raymond John), 1896-. The forgotten men
Jeffreys, Raymond J. (Raymond John), 1896-. The ghost of prohibition marches again

Container list
Box 1 Diaries and photo albums, 1918-1919
Box 3 Scrapbooks, 1922-1942
Box 4 Scrapbooks, 1942-1955
Box 5 Scrapbooks, 1949-1969
Box 7 Books, 1947-1967
Box 8 Scrapbook
Box 9 Scrapbook
Box 10 Scrapbook
Box 11 Scrapbook
Box 12 Photographs
Box 13 Photographs
Box 14 Photographs
Box 15 Photographs