Biographical Note

Arrangement

Scope and Content

Restrictions on Access

Restrictions on Use

Acquisition Info

Inventory   [ + ]

Subject Terms


Guide to the Ted Astley Papers
1920-1994



Manuscript Collection No.: 5077
Accession No.: 5077-001
Creator: Astley, Ted, 1920-1994
Title: Ted Astley papers
Dates : 1920-1994
Quantity: 1.42 cubic feet, including 3 photographs (2 boxes)
Languages: Collection materials are in English.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.



Biographical Note

Theodore Raymond Astley was born in 1920 in Atlanta, Georgia, and spent most of his childhood years in Pontiac, Michigan. Upon obtaining a bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Michigan in 1943, Astley joined the U.S. Army as a classification specialist and personnel clerk. He advanced to the rank of technical sergeant. During World War II, he was initially stationed in Fort Richardson, Alaska. In 1945 he was sent to Seattle, Washington, to assist in administering an Army program that provided correspondence courses for overseas personnel. Two weeks after receiving his honorable discharge in 1946, Astley obtained a job at the University of Washington as a career counselor for veterans.

In June 1948 Astley was served a warrant to appear before the Washington Legislature’s Joint Fact Finding Committee on Un-American Activities, which was dubbed the "Canwell Committee" after its chairperson, Albert F. Canwell. Astley appeared before the Canwell Committee and refused to answer any of its questions regarding whether or not he was a communist or had communist affiliations. At one point in the hearings, his refusals to answer the committee's queries became so adamant that he was forcibly ejected for shouting on the stand. Some who were present characterized the reason for his dismissal as the fact that he was not answering the committee's questions but simply making speeches. He was not cited for contempt.

In August 1948 Astley, who had become a part-time employee at the university in order to pursue his graduate studies in psychology and economics, was fired from his counseling position. The cause of his dismissal is controversial. The university claimed that there was no correlation between his refusal to cooperate with the committee a month earlier and his dismissal from his job. Astley maintained that his Canwell Committee experience was a direct cause of his firing, along with the fact that he participated in student organizations that were critical of the committee. In addition to protesting the committee’s hearings, these organizations also criticized the University of Washington’s dismissal of Astley and three other professors who were also suspected of having communist affiliations.

In June 1954 Astley, who was now working as a sawmill "dogger," was called in front of another committee, the House Un-American Activities Committee. These hearings were held in Seattle and were called the Velde Hearings after committee chairperson Harold H. Velde. Once again, Astley refused to answer any queries regarding communist affiliations, but his behavior was more restrained. Instead of shouting at the committee, he simply cited the Fifth Amendment as the reason for his refusal to answer their questions.

In 1962 Astley was awarded a teaching certificate and became a teacher. He worked in education until his retirement, usually teaching social studies and English at the secondary level in the Seattle area. Having been a union member and supporter ever since he worked for General Motors in Pontiac, Astley was active in various education unions, such as the Washington Education Association and the Seattle Teachers' Association.

Ted Astley died in 1994.

Arrangement

Arranged into 2 series:

Personal papers, 1920-1994
Educational associations papers, 1967-1993

Scope and Content

Contains biographical files, correspondence, publications, writings, testimony and other court papers, news releases, petitions, personal documents, photographs, clippings, and ephemera, 1920-1994. Primarily relates to hearings by the Canwell Committee of the Washington State Legislature in 1948 and Astley's testimony before the Velde Committee (HUAC) in 1954. Also includes records regarding Astley's activities in several teachers' unions, circa 1960s to 1980s, his military service during World War II, and his student work.

Restrictions on Access

The papers are open to all users.

Restrictions on Use

The creator's literary rights have been transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info

The papers were received from Ted Astley's son, Guy Astley, on September 16, 1997.


Inventory

  
Box/FolderDate
Personal papers1920-1994
1/1Biographical information1920-1988
1/2Incoming letters1920-1987
1/3Outgoing letters1933, 1976-1985
1/4General correspondence1974
Subject files on the Canwell investigation
Incoming letters
1/5American Veterans Committee, Seattle Chapter #21948
1/5 The Colby Echo 1949
1/5Civil Rights Congress1949
1/5Gundlach, Jean1994
1/5Hartwich, Ethelyn1948
1/5Lupher, Tom1949
1/5Rutman, Tom1949
1/5United Office and Professional Workers of America, Local 351949
1/5Washington Committee for Academic Freedom1948
1/6Unidentified
1/7Outgoing letters1947-1949
1/8General correspondence1948-1949
1/9Subpoena1948
1/10Reports1947
Writings
1/11Journal1994
Scope and Content: Contains four entries, one regarding the Canwell hearings.
1/12Drafts1947-1949
1/13Writings of others regarding Fifth Amendment1954
1/14Transcripts of Joseph Harrison at an ASUW (Associated Students of the University of Washington) assembly regarding tenure cases1949
News releases
1/15Ted Astley (et al.)1948
1/15Communist Party1948
1/16Others1948-1949
Petitions
1/17Notes1948
1/18Miscellaneous1948-1949
1/19University of Washington Student Organization for Academic Rights meetings1949
1/20Pamphlets1948
1/21Court papers - University of the State of New York v. Francis Thompson1947
Historical Note : This case was a possible precedent for the Canwell hearings.
1/22Programs and announcementsundated
1/23Miscellany1949
1/24Ephemera1948
Clippings
1/25Concerning Ted Astley1948
1/26 The Daily 1949
1/27-29 The New World 1948
1/30 Seattle Post-Intelligencer 1948-1949
1/31-36Concerning hearings in general1948-1980
1/37Subject file on Florence B. James1988
1/38Subject file on the Extended Services Program, an educational reading program1970-1974
1/39Subject file on the 1948 elections1948
Subject files on peace
1/40General correspondence1951-1954
1/41Outgoing lettersundated
1/42Resolutions to end the Korean War1951
1/43Petitions1951
1/44Programs and announcements1951
1/45Newsletters1951
1/46News releases1951
1/47Ephemera1951
1/48Clippings1950-1951
Subject files on politics
1/49Incoming letters1947-1988
1/50Outgoing letters1978-1984
1/51Writings of Ted Astley1979-1990
1/52Script for canvassing 1984
1/53Certificates of election to precinct committee1976-1988
1/54Newsletters1946
1/55Ephemera1945-1973
Clippings
1/56Concerning Ted Astley1947
1/57Miscellaneous1946
Subject files on the Velde hearing
1/58Incoming telegram - Velde, Harold H.1954
1/59Summons1954
1/60Testimony of Ted Astley 1954
1/61Legal opinions about the Fifth Amendment1954
1/62Notes1954
1/63News releases1954
1/64Ephemera1954
2/20Scrapbook1954
Clippings
1/65Regarding Ted Astley1954
1/66Hearing (general)1954
1/67Speeches and writings1970-1976
1/68-71Military service records1943-1946
1/72-77Student papers1946-1970
1/78Personal documents - birth certificates1920
1/79Notes on readingsundated
1/80Payroll records1940-1982
1/81Programs and announcements1953-1969
1/82Passports1966-1984
1/83Photographs of Alaska during World War IIundated
1/84Certificates1940-1982
1/85Drawingsundated
2/1Pamphlets1947-1972
2/2Newsletters1969-1973
2/3-5Publications1944-1958
2/6Ephemeraundated
2/7Miscellany1944-1985
Clippings
2/8Ted Astley1938-1973
2/9Miscellaneous1941-1984

  
Box/FolderDate
Educational associations papers1967-1993
2/10Seattle Education Association1986-1987
Seattle Teachers' Association
2/11Organizational information1967-1979
2/12Minutes1968-1969
2/13General correspondence1967-1986
2/14Clippings1973-1981
Washington Education Association
2/15Organizational information1973-1992
2/16Minutes1969-1974
2/17General correspondence1968-1973
2/18Pamphletsundated
2/19Clippings1972-1993

Subject Terms

Personal Names:
Astley, Ted, 1920-1994--Archives.
Organizations:
Seattle Teachers' Association (Seattle, Wash.)
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities.
United States. Constitution. 5th Amendment.
Washington (State). Legislature. Joint Legislative Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities.
Washington Education Association.
Geographic Names:
Seattle (Wash.)--Politics and government--20th century.
Washington (State)--Politics and government--20th century.
Subjects:
Anti-communist movements--Washington (State)--History --20th century.
College students--Political activity.
College students--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives.
Communism--Washington (State)--Seattle.
Sawmill workers--Washington (State)--Archives.
Teachers' unions--Washington (State)
Teachers' unions--Washington (State)--Seattle.
Teachers--Political activity.
Teachers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives.
Universities and colleges--Washington (State)--Seattle--Employees--Archives.
Universities and colleges--Washington (State)--Seattle--Societies, etc.
Genre Headings:
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
Court records.
Newsletters.
Pamphlets.
Petitions.
Photographs.
Press releases.
Scrapbooks.
correspondence.
ephemera.
hearings (meetings, events)
military records.
subpoenas.
testimonies.
writings.
Last modified: February 16, 2013
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