RG 005:027, Raymond E. Baldwin, 1939-1941

RG 005:027, Office of the Governor: Raymond E. Baldwin (1939-1941) Inventory of Records


Overview of the Collection

Biographical Note

Scope and Content



Index Terms

Related Material

Container List

Series 1. Correspondence

Series 2. Subject Files

RG 005:027, Office of the Governor: Raymond E. Baldwin (1939-1941)

Inventory of Records

Finding aid prepared by Connecticut State Library staff.

Copyright 2007 by the Connecticut State Library

Overview of the Collection

Repository: Connecticut State Library
Creator: Connecticut. Governor (1939-1941 : Baldwin)
Title: Raymond E. Baldwin records
Dates: 1939-1941
Quantity: 19.25 cubic feet
Abstract: Gov. Raymond E. Baldwin's correspondence and subject files from his first administration.
Identification: RG005_027
Accession: Multiple
Language: The records are in English.

Biographical Note

Born: August 31, 1893, Rye, New York.
College: Wesleyan University, 1916; Yale Law School, 1921.
Political Party: Republican.
Offices: Stratford Town Court, Prosecutor, 1927-1930,
Stratford Town Court, Judge, 1931-1933,
Connecticut General Assembly, House, 1930-1935,
Governor of Connecticut, 1939-1941, 1943-1946,
US Senate, 1946-1949,
Associate Justice, Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors, 1949-1959,
Chief Justice, Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors, 1959-1963.
Died: October 4, 1986, Fairfield, Connecticut.

It had been more than 70 years since a Connecticut governor who was voted out of office successfully won it back at a later election. Beginning in 1938, Raymond Baldwin ran for the office in four consecutive elections and won three of them.

Although his ancestors had lived in Connecticut for many years, Baldwin was born just across the border in Rye, New York, the son of Lucian Earl and Sarah Emily (Tyler) Baldwin. The family moved to Middletown, Connecticut in 1901, where he attended Central Grammar School, graduated from Middletown High School in 1912, and graduated from Wesleyan University in 1916. He served in the US Navy during World War I, enlisting as a seaman. He was assigned to officer training school and in February 1918 was commissioned as an ensign at Annapolis. His war service was on a destroyer. Following the war, he received a law degree from Yale in 1921. Baldwin practiced law in New Haven and Bridgeport. On June 29, 1922 he married Edith Lindholm of Middletown, daughter of Andrew and Louisa Lindholm, a graduate of Connecticut College at New London and a teacher at Middletown High School. They had three children. Edith died in 1970.

In 1922, Baldwin was interviewed by Republican Party chairman, J. Henry Roraback, who designated him to be Governor Templeton's personal secretary. However, Baldwin angered the party boss by refusing to do so. He served as prosecutor of the Stratford Town Court from 1927-1930 and judge of the Stratford Town Court from 1931-1933. In 1930 he was elected to the General Assembly; in 1933 he became House Majority Leader and chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

When Roraback committed suicide in 1937, the Republican Party had no one who was able to replace him as the party's boss. Baldwin collaborated with others in the party who called themselves "New Republicans" and was nominated to run for governor as a reform candidate. His campaign was aided by the strong vote gained that year by the Socialist candidate, Jasper McLevy. Baldwin was also helped by the Union Party, a small third party that made him its candidate for governor. This party's 3,046 votes actually gave him the margin of victory he needed to defeat the popular four-term governor, Wilbur Cross. Baldwin won by 2,688 votes out of some 458,000 cast. He served one term and then lost his reelection bid to Robert Hurley during the nation-wide Democratic sweep of 1940. However, two years later he challenged Hurley and was once more elected governor. He was reelected in 1944.

As governor, Baldwin established compulsory annual audits of state and town books and was able to balance the state budget without seeking new taxes. He tended to support the needs of Connecticut businesses and did not like the increased role of the Federal government under the New Deal. However, he provided a more moderate approach to government than had the Republican administrations of the 1920's.

Baldwin's accomplishments as governor were prodigious. He supported more progressive labor legislation, including an anti-injunction bill, the redefinition of conspiracy laws, greater workers' compensation benefits, and the first comprehensive pension system for state employees. He supported efforts to employ more workers in Connecticut and established a job-training program to prepare workers for defense industry jobs. This program became a model for similar programs throughout the country. In 1943 he established the Inter-Racial Commission so that grievances of the state's African-American population might be heard. This commission is believed to be the first civil rights unit of its kind in the country. He also reformed the minor court system.

Two and a half years before the US entered World War II, Baldwin reorganized the state's Military Department. He also established the State Development Commission and the Aeronautical Development Commission, two agencies that helped convert Connecticut industry from peacetime output to defense and war production. During the war, the State Defense Council was recognized as one of the foremost in the country.

In 1944 Baldwin was elected to a third term. In 1945, there was a 150-day labor strike in Connecticut. Believing it threatened national security, he used troops to stop it. During this term a state labor relations act was passed, a Connecticut Veterans Advisory and Reemployment Commission established, and a program to help equalize educational opportunities was launched.

Baldwin had planned to retire from politics when his term ended in January of 1947, but in 1946 he was convinced by his party to run for the US Senate. In order to gain seniority over other freshman senators, Baldwin resigned as governor on December 27, 1946 and went to Washington to fill the remaining term of Senator Francis T. Maloney, who had died in early January 1945. The seat had been temporarily held by Admiral Thomas C. Hart, of Sharon, Connecticut. Baldwin's resignation allowed the Democratic lieutenant governor, Wilbert Snow, to serve 13 days as governor.

Raymond Baldwin had a presence on the national Republican stage. In 1940 he was a potential running mate for Wendell Wilkie but failed to gain the nomination. In 1944 he was spoken of as potential presidential candidate. He was the Connecticut "favorite son" presidential candidate at the 1948 Republican National Convention.

In 1949, Baldwin resigned from the Senate to accept appointment by Democratic Governor Chester Bowles to the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors. He became its Chief Justice in 1959, thereby becoming only the second Connecticut person to have served as the state's governor, US Senator, and Chief Justice (the first was Jonathan Trumbull). As Chief Justice he oversaw a major reorganization of the state's court system. After he retired from the court in 1963, Baldwin continued to work in the justice system as a referee.

He was the chairman of Connecticut's Constitutional Convention of 1965, which rewrote the state's Constitution to conform to the US Supreme Court's one-man, one-vote ruling. Baldwin was a member of the Connecticut State Library Committee and its successor, the State Library Board, from 1957-1982 and served as its chair for many years. In tribute to his service, the board renamed the State Library's museum the Raymond E. Baldwin Museum of Connecticut History in 1983. The Baldwin Bridge that carries the Connecticut Turnpike (Rt. 95) from Old Lyme to Old Saybrook is also named for him. Baldwin was the first governor to use the Governor's Mansion located on Prospect Avenue in Hartford. Two homes he once owned, one in Stratford and one in Middletown, are in private hands.


Baldwin, Raymond E. Let's Go Into Politics. New York: Macmillan, 1952 [CSL call number JF 2051 .B24].

Boston Sunday Globe, October 5, 1986, p. 55.

Hartford Courant, October 5, 1986, p. 1.

Johnson, Curtiss S. Raymond E. Baldwin: Connecticut Statesman. Chester, Conn.: Pequot Press, 1972 [CSL call number F 100 .B3 J6].

New York Times, October 5, 1986, p. 44.

Sobel, Robert and John Raimo. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978. Westport, Conn.: Meckler Books, 1978 [CSL call number GIS Ref E 176 .B573].

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Scope and Content

Gov. Raymond E. Baldwin's records are correspondence and subject files related to state agencies, commissions, legislative bills, and appointments among other topics.

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Series 1. Correspondence.

Series 2. Subject Files.

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Restrictions on Access

These records are stored at an off-site facility and therefore may not be available on a same-day basis.

See the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections policy.

Restrictions on Use

See the Reproduction and Publications of State Library Collections policy.

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Related Material

RG 005:29, Records of the Governor, Gov. Raymond E. Baldwin, 1943-1946.

RG 006:38, Records of the Secretary of the State: Constitutional Convention of 1965.

RG 012, Records of the Connecticut State Library.

RG 040, Records of the Post-War Planning Board, 1943-1945.

RG 049, Records of the Veterans Advisory Commission, 1943-1949.

RG 050, Records of the State War Council, 1940-1945.

RG 069:10, Papers of Raymond E. Baldwin, 1938-1977. Includes records and manuscripts from his gubernatorial term up through his term as Supreme Court Justice and scrapbooks covering his entire career. Hundreds of photographs from the Baldwin family are housed with the Pictorial Archives.

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Index Terms


Baldwin, Raymond E. (Raymond Earl), 1893-1986


Baldwin, Raymond E. (Raymond Earl), 1893-1986 -- Archives
Connecticut -- History -- Sources
Connecticut -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950 -- Sources
Connecticut. Office of the Governor -- Archives
Governors -- Connecticut -- Archives

Document Types:


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Container List

Series 1. Correspondence, Accession: T001239
A-Com 416
Con-Q 417
R-U 418
W-Z 419
Series 2. Subject Files
Accession: T001239
Accountancy, State Board of 420
Adjutant General
Aeronautical Development Commission
Aeronautics, Department of
Agricultural Experiment Station
Agriculture, Department of
American Legion
American Prison Association Conference
American Red Cross
American School for the Deaf
Architects, Board of Examiners of
Athletic Commission
Attorney General
Attorney General - Opinions
Auditor - State
Automobile Study
Bank Commission
Barbers’ Commission
Billboard Control 421
Budget, Additions to
Budget Division
Budget Message, Comments on
Building Fund, State
Building Program, Additions to
Building Program - Proposed
Cedarcrest Sanitarium
Chamber of Commerce, Bridgeport
Chamber of Commerce, Connecticut
Chamber of Commerce, Hartford
Chamber of Commerce, Manchester
Chamber of Commerce, Meriden
Chamber of Commerce, New York State
Chamber of Commerce, United States
Chemist, State
Cheshire Academy
Chiropody, Board of Examiners in
Chiropractic - Board of Examiners
Civil Engineers, Connecticut, Board of
Civil Service
Compensation Commissioners
Compulsory Auto Insurance
Conference on Social and Labor Legislation
Conference on State Defense
Congratulations 422
Conn. Council for National Defense
Conn. Development Commission
Conn. Humane Society
Conn. Industrial Open House Weekend
Conn. League of Municipalities
Conn. Marketing Authority
Conn. Medical Society
Conn. Prison Association
Conn. Reformatory
Conn. School for Boys
Conn. Society of Civil Engineers
Conn. Society of Professional Engineers
Conn. State Apprenticeship Council
Conn. State Farm for Women
Conn. State Hospital
Conn. State Prison
Contingent [contingency] Fund
Council of State Governments
County Commissioners
Court System
Daily Cash Balances [empty] 423
Dairy and Food Commission
Danbury Penal Institute (Proposed)
Dental Commission
Domestic Animals Commission
Dual - Job Holding
Eastern States Exposition
Education - (Committee on Education Program)
Education of the Blind, Dept. of
Election Law Committee
Embalmers, Board of Examiners of
Employment Problems of Negro, Commission to Study
Employment Service
Engineers and Land Surveyors, State Board of Registration for Professional
Fairfield State Hospital
Farm Activities, Coordination of, at State Institutions
Finance and Control, Board of
Fish and Game Commission 424
Flood Control
Fund Operations, Monthly Reports of
General Assembly - Messages to
Geological & Natural History Survey Commission
Groton - New London Bridge Commission
Hairdressers & Cosmeticians Commission
Hartford Bridge Commission
Hartford County Jail
Healing Arts, Board of
Health, State Depart[ment] of
Highway Department-1939
Highway Department - 1940 425
Highway Safety Commission - 1939
Highway Safety Commission - 1940
Highway Safety Dinners
Homeopathic Examining Board
Hospital Districts, State Board on
Hospital Service Plan
Inaugural Address
Inaugural Ball - 1939
Insurance Commissioner
Intergovernmental Cooperation, Governor's Committee on 426
International Affairs
Job Training
Joint Executive Defense Committee
Judicial Council
Juvenile Court
Labor Board
Labor Department
Laurel Heights
Leesville Dam
Legislative Commission on Jails
Legislative Council 427
Library, State
Liquor Control Commission
Long Lane Farm
Man - Marketing Clinic
Mansfield State Training School
Mediation and Arbitration, Board of
Medical Examining Board
Mental Defectives, Commission to Build New School for
Merritt Parkway
Milk Administration
Minor Courts
Mosquito Control
Motor Vehicle Inspection
Motor Vehicles 428
Mystic Oral School for the Deaf
National Defense
National Guard
National Resources Committee
Naturopathic Examiners
New England Council
New England Railway Commission
New Haven County Jail
New Haven Harbor
New Haven Water Company
Newington Home
Norwich Investigation
Norwich State Hospital
Notary Public 429
Nurses - Board of Examination and Registration
Optometry, State Board of Examiners in
Osteopathy, Registration and Examination Board of
Pardons, Board of
Park and Forest Commission
Personnel Advisory Committee
Police, State
Proposed Legislation 430
Protests on Senate Bill 201
Public Administration Service
Public Buildings Administration (Federal - Post Offices)
Public Utilities Commission
Public Welfare Council
Public Works Department
Publicity Department 431
Purchases, Supervisor of
Reemployment, Advisory Council on
Regional Market
Retirement Plan, State Employees’
Rivers, Harbors, and Bridges Commission
Sculpture, Commission of
Secretary of State
Selective Service Boards
Shell Fish Commission
Social Security Board
Southbury Training School - Report
Standardization Committee
State Bonds
State Defense (Offer of Services)
State Hospitals
State Income Tax
State Rehabilitation Committee
State’s Attorneys
Statute Revision Commissioner
Steamship Terminals, Commission on
Suggestions - Signing of Bills
Tax Department
Tax Receipts 432
Teachers’ Colleges
Toll - Bridges and Highways
Trade Schools
Traffic Commission (State)
Treatment and Care of People Afflicted with Physical or Mental Disabilities, Commission on
Tree Protection Examining Board
Tuberculosis Commission
Uncas – on - Thames
Undercliff Sanatorium
Unemployment Compensation Advisory Council
Unemployment Compensation Com.
Unemployment Compensation Commissioners
Unemployment Compensation Law
University of Connecticut
V – Inclusive Miscellaneous 433
Veterans Home Commission
Veterans Hospital Newington
Veterinary Examining Board
Veto Suggestions
War Department
Water Commission
Welfare Department - 1939
Welfare Department - 1940
Western Trip
World’s Poultry Congress
Yale University 434
Youth, Connecticut Conference of
Accession: 2003-012
Booklet related to the printing industry. 1