Dewey F. Bartlett Collection

1919-1978 (bulk: 1963-1978)

68 cubic feet

portrait of Dewey Bartlett

Biographical Sketch of the Creator of the Collection

Dewey Follett Bartlett was born on March 28, 1919, in Marietta, Ohio. His father, David A. Bartlett, was a banker and investor who held oil properties in Oklahoma, including the Keener Oil and Gas Company. Dewey Bartlett attended the public grade schools of Marietta and graduated from Lawrenceville Preparatory School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He earned a bachelor of science degree in geological engineering from Princeton University in 1942 and received a commission as a Marine Corps pilot during World War II.

After the war, Bartlett joined his older brother David in Tulsa, where they managed Keener Oil. His political career began in 1962 with election to the Oklahoma state senate. In 1966, he defeated John N. Happy Camp in the primary to win the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and he bested Preston J. Moore in the general election to succeed Henry Bellmon as Oklahoma's second Republican governor.

The first state governor constitutionally eligible for a second consecutive term, Bartlett lost his reelection bid in one of the closest elections in state history to Democrat David Hall in 1970. Two years later, however, he benefitted from Richard Nixon's great popularity in Oklahoma to defeat Congressman Ed Edmondson in a race for a United States Senate seat. In Congress, he was one of the most conservative members on many issues. He also was a dependable champion of oil and gas interests during the energy-short 1970s.

After a year's treatment for lung cancer, Bartlett announced in January 1978 that he would not be a candidate for reelection. He died on March 1, 1979, and was buried in Tulsa's Calvary Cemetery.

Scope and Content of the Collection

The Dewey F. Bartlett Collection occupies 68 cubic feet of documents, and the overwhelming majority of these relate to Bartlett's successful 1972 bid to become a U.S. senator and his tenure in that office (1973-1978). The Legislative Files and Subject Files consist of a wealth of information of special interest to Senator Bartlett. A smaller number of documents exist from his years as Oklahoma state legislator and governor as well as from his earlier life. The collection is arranged into several series.

Legislative Files

Senator Bartlett's Legislative Files date from 1971-1978, occupy 15 cubic feet, and are divided into 4 subseries. General Legislative Files comprise 6.5 cubic feet of bills, reports, and other documents arranged by session of Congress and then by topic. Approximately 3 cubic feet exist of Background Information, which is largely reference material, floor statements, and various proposals sponsored or cosponsored by Bartlett. Legislative Correspondence occupies approximately 4.5 cubic feet and is arranged alphabetically by the correspondents' names. The remainder of the series is microfilm, which duplicates some of the documents in Legislative Correspondence. A box and folder inventory is available for this series.

Subject Files

The Subject Files date from 1946-1978 (bulk: 1971-1978), occupy 23.75 cubic feet, and are arranged alphabetically by subject. They contain correspondence and reference materials on matters of special interest to Senator Bartlett. Chief among these are abortion (1 cubic foot), the armed services (slightly more than 2 cubic feet), energy (more than 8 cubit feet), Indian affairs (approximately 8 cubic feet), and the Panama Canal Treaty (approximately 1.5 cubic feet). There are also approximately 1.5 cubic feet of files labeled "Colleagues and VIPS" which contain clippings about and political correspondence with nationally prominent figures. A box and folder inventory is available for this series.

Office Staff Files

Occupying approximately 2.25 cubic feet, this series dates from 1971-1978 and contains the files of staffers Don Cogman and Tony Garret and of the personal secretary. Included here are scheduling files, calendars, office guestbooks, and topical files. There is a box and folder inventory for this series.

Speeches and Press Releases

This series dates from 1970-1979 and contains 7.25 cubic feet. Speeches predominate and are arranged first by year and then by topic. These are primarily statements for insertion in the Congressional Record, and many deal with various aspects of U. S. and international energy policy. Press releases are arranged chronologically. A box and folder inventory exists for this series.

Campaign Files

These materials date from 1962-1972 (bulk: 1971-1972) and comprise 8.75 cubic feet. Although Campaign Files contain a small amount of material from Bartlett's state senate and gubernatorial races, the bulk relates to his successful 1972 campaign for the U. S. Senate. Of the last group, there are files arranged alphabetically by county and files of correspondence and reference material arranged alphabetically by topic. There is a box and folder inventory for this series.

Gubernatorial and Personal Files

Dating from 1919 and 1963-1979 and comprising approximately 1.75 cubic feet, this series contains a small number of files from Bartlett's term as governor as well as some of Bartlett's personal correspondence. There are additional files of his wife Ann. A box and folder inventory exists for this series.

Administrative Files

Dated 1970-1978 and comprising 2.25 cubic feet, these files contain additional office materials. Arranged alphabetically by topic, they include the "Dewey Daily," summaries of Bartlett's meeting schedules and activities on bills he sponsored; "Mail Memos," weekly summaries of issue mail received by the senator's office; travel files; and reference material. There is a box and folder inventory for this series.

District Office Files

These files contain correspondence and reference material from the senator's offices in Oklahoma. They date from 1950-1978 (bulk: 1973-1978), comprise 2.25 cubic feet, and are divided into Tulsa, Muskogee, and Enid Office Files. Within each group the folders are arranged alphabetically by topic and county. The Tulsa files contain materials on Army Corps of Engineers projects in Oklahoma and the state's Native Americans. There is a box and folder inventory for this series.


This series contains 1.75 cubic feet of newspaper clippings dated 1973-1978 and arranged alphabetically by topic. There is a box and folder inventory for this series.

The remainder of the collection contains books, Bartlett's personal diaries (1962-1963, 1970, 1973-1975, 1978), oversize materials, and "OKIE: A Tribute to Senator Dewey F. Bartlett, 1978." A box and folder inventory exists for these items.

Researchers will find illustrations of the senator's career in the Dewey F. Bartlett Photograph Collection. For more information on the archival holdings, please contact the Carl Albert Center.

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