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Inventory of the Earl E. T. Smith Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Collection Summary

    Title: Earl E. T. Smith papers
    Dates: 1941-1991
    Collection Number: 2011C14
    Creator: Smith, Earl E. T.
    Collection Size: 5 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box (2.5 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: Collection contains materials relating to American relations with Cuba and to the Cuban revolution of 1959. Includes drafts of the memoir by Earl E. T. Smith, The Fourth Floor: An Account of the Castro Communist Revolution (New York, 1962).
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Languages: English

    Administrative Information


    Box 6 closed. Use copies available. The remainder of the collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Earl E. T. Smith papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2011.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog Socrates at http://library.stanford.edu/webcat . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in Socrates is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Earl Edward Tailer Smith was born in Newport, R.I., on July 8, 1903. He graduated from Yale in 1926, having won acclaim as a polo player and the champion boxer of his class.
    A member of the New York Stock Exchange for more than sixty years, Smith founded the brokerage firm Paige, Smith & Remick in 1929 and was senior partner until 1937. He later served as director of various corporations, including the New York Central Railroad, the New York Dock Corporation, Lionel Corporation, Sotheby's, and the United States Sugar Corporation.
    Active in state and national politics, he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention four times and a member of the Republican Platform Committee in 1960 and 1980. He served as finance chairman of the Republican State Committee in Florida and a member of the Republican National Finance Committee from 1954 to 1956.
    As the U.S. ambassador to Cuba from 1957 to 1959, Smith was an eyewitness to the collapse of the government of Cuban strongman Fulgencio Batista and the advent of communist leader Fidel Castro. Appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in June 1957, he arrived in Havana the following month. Shortly after his arrival, he found himself at the center of controversy. During a trip to the eastern city of Santiago, he witnessed the brutal dispersal of a group of antigovernment demonstrators by the police; when he remarked on the event during a subsequent press conference, he was sharply criticized by the Cuban government, who called for his immediate dismissal. He had, however, the unequivocal support of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and thus remained at his post until January 1959, when he submitted his letter of resignation following Castro's revolution. He subsequently lent his support to John F. Kennedy, a close friend, during the 1960 presidential campaign and sought to advise the newly elected president on options for overthrowing Castro. In the following years, Smith wrote and spoke often about Cuba, including in his memoir, The Fourth Floor: An Account of the Castro Communist Revolution (New York, 1962).
    A resident of Palm Beach, Florida, for more than fifty years, he was mayor of the city from 1971 to 1977. At the time of his death, he was board chairman of the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach and was honored in 1989 with the dedication of the Earl E. T. Smith Park. He died in 1991 at his home in Palm Beach.
    Source: "Earl Smith, 87, Ambassador to Cuba in the 1950's" by Marvine Howe, New York Times, February 17, 1991. Accessed May 25, 2011

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection relates to the life of Smith. The material particularly documents American relations with Cuba and the Cuban revolution of 1959.
    The collection includes a small amount of biographical information on Smith, an alphabetical correspondence file, speeches, congressional testimony on communism, drafts of Smith's memoir The Fourth Floor: An Account of the Castro Communist Revolution and other writings.
    The Cuba file contains a set of alphabetical files with collected material on Cuba and the Cuban revolution, including a variety of material such as correspondence, dispatches, memoranda, reports, and printed matter. In addition, the collection contains a few photographs, sound recordings, and memorabilia.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    United States--Foreign relations--Cuba.
    Cuba--Foreign relations--United States.
    Cuba--History--Revolution, 1959.
    Diplomats--United States.