Biographical Note

Scope and Content

Terms of Access

Acquisition Info

Processing Info

Inventory   [ + ]

Subject Terms

Guide to the Frederick G. Hamley Papers

Accession No.: 0405-001
Creator: Hamley, Frederick G. (Frederick George), 1903-1975 , creator
Title: Frederick G. Hamley Papers
Date Span: 1933-1963
Bulk: 1933-1956
Quantity: 6.83 cubic ft.
Languages: Collection materials are in English.
New Order of Cincinnatus endorsement for Frederick G. Hamley and Arthur B. Langlie for Seattle City Council, 1935. Special Collections, UW Libraries, UW22336z

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

Biographical Note

Lawyer, public official, judge. Born in Seattle in 1903, Frederick G. Hamley graduated from the University of Washington Law School in 1932. While in private practice in Seattle, he became active in city politics as a member of the municipal good-government organization, the New Order of Cincinnatus. With support from the Cincinnatus movement he was elected to the Seattle City Council. He served from 1935 to 1938 along with his close friend, Arthur B. Langlie. In June, 1938, he went from the city council to an administrative post, superintendent of the Seattle Water Department and chairman of the Board of Public Works. He held these positions for only a couple of months.

Hamley functioned as a political adviser to Langlie, mayor of Seattle, 1938-1941, and governor of Washington State, 1941-44, 1949-1957. From August, 1938, through 1940 Hamley worked as an attorney for the Bureau of Reclamation in Grand Coulee, Washington. In 1941 he joined newly elected Governor Langlie in Olympia as his personal legal adviser, then served in various administrative positions, but mainly as director of the Washington Department of Public Service (later known as the State Department of Public Utilities).

In 1943 he moved to Washington, D.C. to become assistant general solicitor of the National Association of Railroad and Utilities Commissioners, and from 1944 to 1949 he served as general solicitor. Hamley returned to Olympia, Washington, in September, 1949, when Governor Langlie appointed him to the Washington State Supreme Court. He served on the court from then until 1956; in 1955 and 1956 he was chief justice.

In 1954, while living in Washington State, Hamley held civic leadership positions. Governor Langlie invited him to serve on his statewide committee on educational television; the committee elected Hamley its chair. Later that year, after a wage dispute led to a long strike in the timber industry, Governor Langlie, with concurrence of Oregon Governor Paul Patterson, appointed Hamley to chair the Governors' Lumber Fact Finding Board.

In 1956 Hamley was appointed by President Eisenhower to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and served actively until 1971, when he went on senior status. He died in San Francisco in 1975.

Scope and Content

The papers consist of correspondence; political and legal writings, including diaries and legal opinions; reports; and other papers, primarily from Hamley's career in Seattle and Olympia, 1933-1956.

Included in his personal papers is a 700-page typed diary covering Hamley's 1935-36 years on the Seattle City Council and his work on Langlie's 1938 campaign for mayor. The Langlie subgroup contains political correspondence with Langlie when Hamley was in Grand Coulee as well as Langlie speeches, some of which were drafted by Hamley. The New Order of Cincinnatus subgroup contains earlier material such as minutes and publications from the organization's campaigns for municipal reform in Seattle, 1933-1938.

Hamley's personal papers include a subject series, 'Unitarian file.' Although much of the content, 1951-55, consists of mimeographed writings from the Unitarian national office, it also reflects Hamley's search for a Unitarian group with whom he could worship in the Olympia area and the establishment of such a group there. Also documented are arrangements for a 1955 visit by a British Unitarian clergyman with a strong interest in criminal justice.

The subgroup Washington Educational Television Committee shows the work of this statewide group in early planning efforts for a non-commercial educational television system. As chair, Hamley received much commentary on draft recommendations and accumulated considerable material, especially from national regional bodies, on the topic. No minutes of meetings are included. The committee completed its report in 1954.

The subgroup Washington Governor's Lumber Fact Finding Panel includes Hamley's correspondence as chair of this seven-member board in 1954 as well as documents and transcripts from the formal hearings. The panel completed its work in late December, recommending a wage increase but a smaller one than requested by the CIO woodworkers union.

The subgroup National Association of Railroad and Utilities Commissioners dates from Hamley's earlier career as attorney for this body in Washington, D.C. The bulk of this subgroup was created during the latter part of Hamley's service, 1947-1949, during which he was general solicitor. Much content is mimeographed bulletins to state commissions, together with Hamley's or the assistant solicitor's testimony to Congressional committees on proposed legislation affecting transportation. An earlier portion consists of pleadings by Hamley on cases about freight rates before the Interstate Commerce Commission. One large pamphlet-bound folder of correspondence and invitations in the NARUC subgroup was created after Hamley returned to the state of Washington. Much correspondence in it, however, is between Hamley and his former deputy and other professional colleagues.

The Washington Supreme Court subgroup contains opinions, apparently drafted by Hamley before the justices discussed the cases. Of particular significance are notes Hamley kept on cases heard by the court, 1949-1956. On printed forms he briefly noted the positions of his fellow judges and himself on each case. Also included are typed drafts and handwritten notes on some cases.

The subgroup New Order of Cincinnatus documents that municipal reform group's activities, 1934-1938, and Hamley's role in this non-partisan movement. He was active in it when he ran for city council; thus it includes his campaign speeches as well as those he wrote for Arthur Langlie. Also included is a small bit of ephemera from the more militant opposing organization, the Washington Commonwealth Federation. An open reel tape contained an interview by then graduate student George Scott with Hamley in 1963, but a note on the tape box states that the tape is largely blank. Scrapbooks at the end of the papers also document the New Order of Cincinnatus.

The last listed subgroup consists of only one folder from the period in 1938 when Hamley headed the Seattle Water Department. It consists mainly of his memos to Langlie about various municipal issues in Seattle, especially the street railway system.

Terms of Access

Access to archival recordings: Due to the fragility of archival tape recordings, potential users may be required to arrange for transfer to digital format before the material can be accessed. Please contact Special Collections for further information.

Acquisition Info

Accessions were acquired in 1963, 1970, and 1975 from Hamley and his wife.

Processing Info

The collection is a merger of Accession nos. 405-1, 1498, and 405-3.


Personal Papers
Incoming Letters
1/1Cramer, Justus F.1949-1953
1/2A-C, Miscellaneous1949-1954
1/3Hoover, J. Edgar1950-1951
1/4-5D-M, Miscellaneous1949-1954
1/6Roberts, Austin L., Jr.1952-1953
1/7Rosellini, Hugh J.1952, 1954
1/8-9N-V, Miscellaneous1949-1954
1/10White, E. Lawrence1951-1954
1/11Whitney, William F.1954
1/12W-Z, Miscellaneous1949-1954
1/13-18Outgoing Letters1949-1954
2/1General Correspondence: Concerning Appointment to Washington Supreme Court1949
2/2General Correspondence: Concerning Court Photograph1951
2/3-6Seattle City Council Diaries1935-1936
650 p.
2/7Diary of Langlie's Campaign1938
50 p.
3/2Writings of Othersn.d.
3/4Memorandum Concerning Court Cases of Others1950, 1952
3/5Copy of Stock Certificaten.d.
3/6Personal Data on Law Clerk Applicantsn.d.
Subject Series
3/10Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA)1949-1954
3/11Council for Old People1949
3/12-15Unitarian File1951-1955

Washington. Governor. Educational Television Committee.
3/16-17General Correspondence1954-1956
4/1-2Working Papers1954
5/1-3Writings of Others1952-1954
5/9News Releases1953-1954

Washington. Governor. Fact Finding Committee on the Pacific Northwest Lumber Strike
5/18General Correspondence1954
6/3-5Exhibits of Union1954
6/6-9Exhibits of Employers1954
7/1-2Rebuttal of Union1954
7/3Reply Brief of Employers1954
7/4Answers of Union1954
UnfolderedTranscripts of Committee HearingsOct.-Dec.,1954

National Association of Railroad and Utilities Commissioners
9/1-2General Correspondence1949-1950
Correspondence Regarding
9/4Nuremburg Film1949
9/5Speaking Engagements1949-1950
9/6Minutes of Executive Committee1954
10/1-4Statements Before Committees of Congress1947-1949
10/5 Pleadings1945-1947
11/1-3Oral Arguments1945-1957
11/4-7Unprinted Briefs1940-1948

Washington. Supreme Court
12/1-13Draft OpinionsSept., 1949-Sept., 1953
13/1-8Draft OpinionsJan., 1954-May, 1956
13/10-11Notes on CasesSept., 1949-Jan., 1950
14/1-6Notes on CasesJune, 1950-June, 1951
15/1-4Notes on CasesNov., 1951-Nov., 1952
16/1-8Notes on CasesMay, 1953-May, 1956

Langlie, Arthur B.
17/1-6General Correspondence1938-1949
240 items
17/7-8Speeches of Langlie1941-1952
80 items

New Order of Cincinnatus, Seattle
18/1Historical Datan.d.
18/3-5General Correspondence1934-1937
18/6-8General Meetings1934-1936
18/9-10Executive Board1934-1936
18/111934 Convention1934
18/12Financial Records1935
18/13-14Speeches and Writings1934-1936
18/15Recommendations to the City Council1935-1938
Newsletters and Bulletins
18/16-17 Cincinnatus Newsletter 1937-1938
18/18 Cincinnatus Bulletin 1935-1936
18/19 Cincinnatus Weekly 1936
18/20 Electric Fist 1933-1934
18/21 New Order of Cincinnatus 1935
18/22 Commonwealth Messenger 1936
18/23-28Campaign Literature1934-1938
2 volumes

Seattle Public Works Department
18/32General Correspondence1938

Subject Terms

Personal Names:
Hamley, Frederick G. (Frederick George), 1903-1975--Archives.
Langlie, Arthur B. (Arthur Bernard), 1900-1966.
International Woodworkers of America.
National Association of Railroad and Utilities Commissioners.
New Order of Cincinnatus.
Seattle (Wash.). City Council.
Washington (State). Governor's Lumber Fact Finding Panel.
Washington (State). Supreme Court.
Washington State Educational Television Commission.
Geographic Names:
Seattle (Wash.)--Politics and government.
Washington (State)--Politics and government.
Genre Headings:
City council members--Washington (State)--Archives
City councils--Washington (State)
Courts of last resort--Washington (State)
Courts--Washington (State)
Judges--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
Lawyers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
Municipal government--Washington (State)
Pacific Northwest Lumber Strike, 1954
Public service commissions--United States
Public utilities--United States
Strikes and lockouts--Lumber trade--Washington (State)
Television in education--Washington (State)
Personal Papers/Corporate Records
Politics and government
Last modified: February 26, 2009
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