Scope and Contents note
Access to Collection
Preferred Citation note
Title: Camille Chautemps papers
Identifier/Call Number: M1601
Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Language of Material:
27.0 Linear feet
Date (inclusive): 1885-2005
Chautemps was a French politician and radical socialist leader. He was premier in 1930 and in 1933-34. A member of the first
Popular Front cabinet of Socialists and Communists (1936-37) under Leon Blum, he headed the second, less radical, Popular
Front cabinet (1937-38). Vice premier of the Vichy government, Chautemps came to the United States in 1940 on a mission and
did not return to France. In 1947 he was tried and convicted in absentia for collaborating with the Vichy regime; in 1954
his sentence was voided by the statute of limitations.
Scope and Contents note
The Camille Chautemps papers are broken into eight different series consisting of correspondence, personal diaries, book typescripts,
speech transcripts, and collected clippings of Camille Chautemps (1885-1963), who served as President of the Council (Prime
Minister) of France three times between 1930 and 1938. The biographical resources of this collection include research materials
and preliminary drafts for an unpublished book by his daughter, Antoinette Chautemps Samuels (1940-present). This incomplete
work, along with much of Chautemps' own personal writing, attempts to unravel the political decisions leading up to France's
capitulation to Germany in 1940 and Chautemps' role in negotiating France's decision. Both father and daughter aim to shed
light on the political landscape and considerations that affected the actions of the French government at a critical juncture
in the course of World War II. This collection provides a unique perspective into the personal life of Camille Chautemps as
well--the correspondence tells of his experience in the war as the father of two sons fighting in the French army and the
brother of a victim of the Nazi concentration camps, along with the challenges of living in the US as a disgraced former politician
and French expatriate. Photographs and memorabilia of Camille Chautemps' family and the family of his daughter Antoinette
and her husband, businessman and politician Howard J. Samuels (1919-1984), are accessible through this collection as well.
Series 1: Personal and political correspondence (mainly between 1940-1960); his correspondence with prominent French and American
government officials, including Marechal Petain and Sumner Welles, may be of special interest to researchers.
Series 2: Diary of Chautemps: a record, in French, of his experiences from May 1940-41, leading up to and during the fall
Series 3: Chautemps' publications, manuscripts, and lectures. The typescripts form part of an unpublished book about the fall
of France; speeches and lectures are mostly written for US audiences from 1941 onwards and often address post-war Franco-American
Series 4: Biographical and Family History--brief biographies from secondary sources, personal memorabilia, FBI surveillance
files covering Chautemps' first decade in US. Official and personal defense documents pertaining to 1947 trial in which Chautemps
was tried in absentia by the French court for collaborating with the enemy; also, records of his eventual amnesty in 1954.
This series also contains notes and articles about the Chautemps' family and members' historical involvement in public service.
Clippings relating to Juliette Chautemps' career as a concert pianist and her subsequent work as a hat designer have been
preserved. The papers and personal memorabilia of Antoinette Chautemps can be found here as well, along with photographs of
the Chautemps and Samuels families. Howard Samuels' involvement in politics brought him in contact with three American presidents,
all of whom appear in photographs of this collection. Samuels' 1974 NY gubernatorial campaign is documented in this series
through a number of newspaper clippings. Antoinette Samuels' close relationship with Sen. Ted Kennedy is also captured in
the photographs, clippings, and correspondence of this series.
Series 5: Drafts of Antoinette C. Samuels' biography of her father. Told from Antoinette's perspective; a portrait of Camille
Chautemps drawn heavily from his daughter's personal memories of him. Research materials for the biography can be found here
as well; much of it was gathered in 1974 during Howard Samuels' campaign for governor of NY, when allegations of anti-semitism
were raised against Camille Chautemps. The documents collected by Antoinette in response to this include letters in defense
of Chautemps and lists of Jewish refugees whom Chautemps helped.
Series 6: Stavisky Affair. Alexandre Stavisky was a financier whose Ponzi-like embezzlement scheme implicated many high-ranking
government officials. His mysterious death, along with the unsolved murder/suicide of Judge Albert Prince the day before he
was to have testified in the case, compounded the problem of the prosecution. Close personal and political ties made this
the scandal that forced Chautemps' resignation as Prime Minister in 1934. The tendency of the public to associate Chautemps
with corruption (the Prosecutor General, Georges Pressard, was also Chautemps' brother-in-law) spurred his efforts to thoroughly
document his involvement: official reports, memoranda, and clippings about the case are available here.
Series 7: Relevant Political and Historical Documents. This series incorporates a wide range of materials relating to World
War II and the relationship of the Chautemps/Samuels' family to the White House. World War II materials include a copy of
Petain's mission to Chautemps in 1940 and copies of letters between Franklin D. Roosevelt and government officials. The Chautemps
and Samuels' family had close ties to a number of different administrations: Chautemps saved his invitation to Truman's inauguration,
for example, and Howard Samuels kept President Carter's inauguration guide and dinner programs from visits to the White House.
Series 8: Clippings. Chautemps collected many clippings throughout his lifetime, particularly news articles written about
or referencing him. He was also interested in clippings that examined or criticized the decisions of French politicians in
World War II and kept newspapers celebrating such events as Truman's inauguration.
Access to Collection
Open for research. Audio-visual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the
Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94304-6064. Consent
is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission
from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/pubserv/permissions.html.
Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research
and educational purposes.
Preferred Citation note
[identification of item], Camille Chautemps Papers. M1601. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford,
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Auriol, Vincent, 1884-1966
Blum, Léon, 1872-1950
Bonnet, Georges Étienne, 1889-
Bullitt, William C., 1891-1967
Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
Castagnez, Jean, 1902-
Chautemps, Camille, 1885-1963
Chevalier, Maurice, 1888-1972
Churchill, Winston, 1874-1965
Cox, E.E. (Edward Eugene), 1880-1952
Daladier, Édouard, 1884-1970
Darlan, Jean Louis Xavier François, 1881-1942
Doumergue , Gaston, 1863-1937
Gaulle, Charles de, 1890-1970
Guernut, Henri, 1876-1943
Hahn, Reynaldo, 1875-1947
Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963.
Lamoureux, Lucien, 1888-
Laval, Pierre, 1883-1945
Lemaigre Dubreuil, Jacques, 1894-1955
Maeterlinck, Maurice, 1862-1949
Michelson, Charles, 1869-1948
Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy, 1929-
Pétain, Philippe, 1856-1951
Pomaret, Charles Henri, 1897-
Prince, Albert, 1883-1934
Reynaud, Paul, 1878-1966
Romains, Jules, 1885-1972
Roosevelt, Franklin D., Mrs.
Rougier, Louis Auguste Paul, 1889-
Schuman, Robert, 1886-1963
Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Stavisky, Alexandre, 1886-1934
Thibaud, Jacques, 1880-1953
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972.
Welles, Sumner, 1892-
Weygand, Maxime, 1867-1965