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The Warren R. Austin Papers in Special Collections document the distinguished career of Vermont lawyer and statesman Warren Austin. They also provide insights into many of the important national and international events and issues of the mid-twentieth century.
After graduating from Bakersfield Academy and the University of Vermont (class of 1899), Austin read law and was admitted to the Vermont bar in 1902. Except for a four-year stint in China with American International Corporation in 1916-1917, Austin practiced law in Vermont until 1931. After the death of Senator Frank L. Greene, Austin was appointed to the U.S. Senate, where he served until 1946. In 1946, President Truman appointed Austin as the first U. S. representative to the United Nations, a post he held until 1953. Austin, a Republican, was staunchly conservative on domestic issues and opposed the New Deal. His time in China led him to support American involvement in international affairs rather than adopt the isolationist position of his Republican colleagues.
Austin’s papers came to UVM after his death in 1962. The boxes fill over 100 feet of shelf space, and include letters, memos of meetings and conversations, documents, speeches, manuscripts of writings, legislative bills and drafts, newspaper clippings, and photographs. The material covers some important work from his law career, such as the 1925-1927 settlement of the Vermont-New Hampshire Boundary. The papers are an especially rich resource for international issues that Austin worked on in the Senate and the UN, including the Bretton Woods proposals, the Dumbarton Oaks conference, the Committee of One Million, the United Nations, the Inter-American conference at Chapultepec, the Korean conflict, the Lend Lease bill, the Mackinac conference, NATO, Palestine, the Rio de Janeiro conference, and United World Federalists.
A collection inventory is available online. Some documents from the Austin Papers are included in the Congressional Papers and Letters Home from Congress collections in the Center for Digital Initiatives.