Claude Weaver Collection

1861-1953 (bulk: 1885-1937)

5 cubic feet

portrait of Claude Weaver

Biographical Sketch of the Creator of the Collection

Claude Weaver was born in 1867 in Gainesville, Texas. His father, lawyer W.T.G. Weaver, authored the judiciary code of the Texas constitution. Although the younger Weaver considered pursuing a newspaper career, he decided to follow in his father's footsteps. He attended law school at the University of Texas at Austin, then returned to Gainesville where he practiced law. He moved to Oklahoma City in 1902.

In 1912 Weaver was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as one of three Oklahoma congressmen-at-large. He was on the House Banking and Currency Committee when the Federal Reserve Act was written and signed into law. Losing his bid for reelection in 1914, he returned to Oklahoma. In 1915, he was appointed as the postmaster of Oklahoma City by President Woodrow Wilson. He served in that position until 1923, with interruptions for participation in the Liberty Loan drives of World War I and unsuccessful attempts to recover his congressional seat. After his tenure as postmaster, Weaver returned to his law practice.

When William H. "Alfalfa Bill" Murray became governor of Oklahoma in 1930, Weaver was selected as his personal secretary and legal advisor. In 1934 Murray appointed Weaver to a vacancy in the thirteenth Oklahoma judicial district, a position that he held only until 1936 when he failed to win reelection. He once again returned to his law career, retiring in 1947. Weaver died in 1954.

Scope and Content of the Collection

Consisting of 5 cubic feet of material, the Weaver Collection is divided into 7 series: general, legal career, personal and family, political, speeches, scrapbooks, and oversized. Within each series the arrangement is chronological. Only one folder of material deals exclusively with his years in Washington. This material covers the Federal Reserve Act, Panama Canal legislation, and roll call votes. There are, however, several political files relating to elections and the National Democratic Party as well as correspondence from such well known politicians as Thomas P. Gore, Sam Rayburn, and Elmer Thomas. There is also a substantial amount of material on William H. Murray.

The bulk of the Weaver Collection consists of documents pertaining to his legal career, skills as an orator, and his family. Court documents and speeches, by him and others, abound. There are copies of his speeches from nearly every chapter in his life. For example, there is the valedictory speech he made at his high school graduation as well as the speech he delivered at his sixtieth college reunion. Topics of speeches cover myriad social and political issues, including materialism, representative government, banking reform, agriculture, foreign policy, religious liberty, and Oklahoma history. Also included in the collection is a small number of photographs.

The collection also contains biographical sketches of family members, as well as collections of poetry that his father and other relatives wrote. Other personal information includes anecdotal essays that Weaver wrote about his days as a young lawyer in Texas, many of which are dedicated to his grandchildren, and personal correspondence with old friends, including Temple Houston.

 

A folder-level inventory exists for the collection. For more information on the archival holdings, please contact the Carl Albert Center.

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