Hugh B. Hester Papers, 1945-1977

Manuscript Collection #222

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Hugh B. Hester Papers
Creator: Hester, Hugh B. (Hugh Bryan), 1895-1983
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1945-1977) consisting of correspondence, letters, clippings, newsletters, issues of U.S. Farm news and miscellaneous.
Extent: 0.87 Cubic feet, 1015 items , consisting of correspondence, letters to editors, articles, reprints, clippings, newsletters, issues of U. S. Farm News, and miscellaneous.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

February 19, 1973, 7 items; Reprints of articles concerning Vietnam War and miscellaneous

April 3, 1973, 32 items; Copies of letters, antiwar articles, clippings and issues of U.S. Farm News

May 31, 1973, 50 items; Newspaper clippings

October 17, 1974, 108 items; Papers (1965-1974), consisting of correspondence and clippings

November 15, 1974, 15 items; Letters, articles, and reprints written by General Hester

November 20, 1974, 4 items; Reprints of articles by Promoting Enduring Peace, Inc.

December 4, 1974, 49 items; Correspondence (1962-1971), articles and reprints

June 13, 1977, 750 items; Papers (1971-1977), consisting of correspondence, clippings, and miscellaneous material. Gift of Brig. General Hugh B. Hester, Asheville, N.C.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

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

Preferred Citation

Hugh B. Hester Papers (#222), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Brig. General Hugh B. Hester

Processing Information

  • Processed by M. Boccaccio, December 1990

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services

Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Hugh Bryan Hester (1895-1983) was born in Hester, N.C., and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated in 1916. Although an opponent of World War I, Hester enlisted in the Army, attended officer training camp, and became a 2nd lieutenant in the artillery. For his war service, he received the Silver Star, the Croix de Guerre, and the French Legion of Honor. He remained in the Army as a career officer and during World War II served in the Pacific Theater in Supply and Procurement under General Douglas MacArthur (1942-1945). From 1945 to 1947, he was director of the U.S. Food and Agriculture Program in Germany and then became military attache to Australia (1947-1948). Hester served as commanding general of the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot until his retirement as a brigadier general in 1951. After retirement, he studied law and international relations at UNC-Chapel Hill, the University of Pennsylvania, and George Washington University. Hester became an outspoken opponent of U.S. foreign policy and devoted the remainder of his life to writing and lecturing against U.S. defense postures. From the mid 1960s through 1983, he was a special correspondent for The Nation, The Churchman, and U.S. Farm News, as well as a speaker on the lecture circuit.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

One of the major topics of the collection concerns the Vietnam War. Hester's stance was that it was an illegal action which began during the Eisenhower administration. He saw it as a violation of the U.N. Charter, an act of aggression against the people of Vietnam, and an effort towards world domination. Specific points discussed include peace movements and demonstrations (1967), the Gulf of Tonkin resolution (1967-1968), Selective Service (1968, 1973), the abolition of ROTC (1969), and a volunteer Army (1974). I. F. Stone comments on amnesty for war resisters (undated), while Paul McCloskey discusses the Lon Nol regime and the Khmer Rouge (1975). Adlai Stevenson wrote concerning the military budget, the Vietnamese, and the Cambodians (1975). The 1972 presidential election with the hope for de-escalation of the conflict is the background to much of the early correspondence.

Watergate is an associated topic in terms of seconding a call for responsible government (1973-1974). Barbara Tuchman responds to this point directly as a member of the National Committee for Effective Congress. Sam Ervin, Jr., makes note of the ramifications of the scandal, the Cox dismissal, the tapes, the coming investigation, and the possibility of impeachment (1973-1974). George McGovern discusses Watergate in terms of political corruption, the potential for impeachment, and the Ford nomination and confirmation (1973-1974). Howard Baker (undated) mentions the presidential pardon of Nixon while Robert Drinan, Roy Taylor, Thomas Eagleton, Charles Percy, Alan Cranston, and publishers Barry Bingham and Don Shoemaker note the nomination of Nelson Rockefeller for vice president (1974).

An underlying topic throughout the collection is the development of United States foreign policy since World War I. International relations between the world powers; the United Nations and its lack of effectiveness; the position of NATO in supporting West German rearmament after World War II; and the activities of John Foster Dulles, Konrad Adenauer, and others during the development of the Cold War are noted in editorial correspondence as well as in clippings and publications.

For related material see O.H. 44. The U.S. Farm News issues have been transferred to the Hoover Collection.

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Card Catalog Entries Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Reading Room's card catalog. This system is no longer maintained, but it is left in place to help on-site researchers locate particular topics in the collection.

Autograph Entries :

  • Abzug, Bella S[avitzky] 1974
  • Alexander, Clifford L. 1977
  • Baker, Howard H. [1974?]
  • Beall, J[ohn] Glenn, Jr. 1973
  • Bingham, Barry, Sr. (2) 1974
  • Brown, George S. 1977
  • Callaway, Howard H. 1974
  • Church, Frank [Forrester] 1977
  • Clark, Dick 1974
  • Cousins, Norman (2) 1966, 1974
  • Cranston, Alan 1974
  • Drinan, Robert F[rederick] (13) 1973-1977
  • Eagleton, Tom [Thomas F.] (2) 1973-1974
  • Ervin, Sam[uel] J[ames], Jr. (8) 1973-1975
  • Ford, Gerald R[udolph], Jr. 1974
  • Gurney, Edward J[ohn] 1974
  • Hatfield, Mark O. (2) 1974
  • Knight, John S. (3) 1969, 1974
  • Mahon, George 1974
  • Mathias, Charles McC., Jr. (2) 1974, 1977
  • Matsunaga, Spark M. 1973
  • McCloskey, Paul N., Jr. 1975
  • McGovern, George [Stanley] (13) 1973-1977
  • Mondale, Walter [Frederick] 1977
  • Packwood, Bob [Robert W.] 1974
  • Percy, Charles H. 1974
  • Shoemaker, Don 1974
  • Stevenson, Adlai E[wing III] (2) 1974-1975
  • Stone, I[sidor] F. undated
  • Sulzberger, C[yrus] L[eo] 1974
  • Taylor, Roy A[rthur] (7) 1973-1974
  • Tuchman, Barbara W[ertheim] (2) 1974
  • Winter, William (2) 1973

Subject Entries :

  • CAMBODIA— General Description and History
  • ELECTIONS— U.S. Presidents— 1972
  • U.S.— CONGRESS— Scandals
  • U.S.— MILITARY— North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • U.S.— MILITARY— Reserves
  • U.S.— PRESIDENT— Ford, Gerald Rudolph
  • U.S.— PRESIDENT— Nixon, Richard Milhous
  • VIETNAM— General Description and History
  • WAR— VIETNAM— Homefront
  • WAR— VIETNAM— Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

Date Entries :

  • 1960-1969
  • 1970-1977

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Box 1#0222.1
Correspondence, 1945-1976

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Department, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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