Elgin E. Groseclose (1899-1983) was a writer, professor, specialist in finance, and treasurer for a financial and investment consultant firm. He was also involved in other interest groups that appealed to his deeply religious beliefs. The collection includes correspondence, diaries, speeches, writings, financial material, valuations, organizations and photographs.
Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Elgin Earl Groseclose was born in Waukomis, Oklahoma on November 25, 1899 to M. Clarence and Delta (Wishard) Groseclose. The eldest of five children, Elgin had early ambitions to become a writer. He entered the University of Oklahoma in 1916 and graduated with an A.B. Degree in Sociology in 1920. Uncertain of his career, Groseclose chose to teach at a Presbyterian Mission School in Tabriz, Persia (Iran) from 1920 to 1923. He also spent some time in Armenia and the Soviet Union. While in the latter, Groseclose was arrested and imprisoned by the Soviet secret police (“cheka”). Eventually, he was exiled from the Soviet Union and returned to Washington D.C., where he took a job at the Commerce Department as a specialist in finance.
During his stay in Washington, Groseclose attended American University and received both a Master of Arts Degree (1924) and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree (1928). He also met Louise Williams, daughter of a prominent Washington attorney, and married her on June 25, 1927. After their marriage, the Grosecloses moved to New York City where Dr. Groseclose took on the positions of financial editor of Fortune magazine and lecturer in banking and finance at the City College of New York. By 1932, Dr. Groseclose had moved his family back to his home state of Oklahoma where he was a assistant professor in the College of Business at the University of Oklahoma. While at the University, Groseclose published his first book, Money: The Human Conflict, in 1934. By 1935, he had returned to Washington D.C., and assumed the position of financial economist for the Federal Communications Commission and, then, later as economist for the Internal Revenue Service.
Also at this time, Dr. Groseclose pursued his ambitions as a novelist. In 1937, his first novel, The Persian Journey of the Rev. Ashley Wishard and His Servant Fathi, was published. Ararat, a novel based on Groseclose’s experiences as a prisoner in the Soviet Union, appeared two years later. This latter endeavor earned him the American Booksellers Award (1939), the National Book Award (1939) and the Foundation for Literature Award (1940). Groseclose continued his success as a novelist as he published nine more novels between 1942 and 1980.
At the same time, Elgin Groseclose established himself as an authority in the fields of economics, finance, and monetary policy. In 1943, the Iranian Parliament appointed him a Treasurer General of Iran in an effort to control the runaway inflation that had befallen that country. He succeeded in lowering the rate of inflation in Iran by putting gold on sale to the public. Upon his return to Washington in 1944, Dr. Groseclose established the financial and investment consultant firm of Groseclose, Williams & Associates. The firm dealt mainly with economic questions in taxation, representing individuals as well as major corporations before the U.S. Tax Courts, U.S. Court of Claims, Federal Communications Commission, and U.S. District Courts. Groseclose himself appeared before many of the above, in addition to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee where he fought against the United States’ policies on aid to foreign countries. He also advocated the use of silver currency as a monetary base and made his proposals known by appearing before the House Mining and Minerals Committee and the House Banking and Currency Committees.
The activities of Elgin Groseclose were not limited to economics and writing. Although he did organize the Institute of Monetary Research in 1960, the other interest groups that Groseclose founded and/or supported appealed to his deeply religious beliefs. In 1956, he and his wife started the Welfare of the Blind, Inc., a Christian agency established to help the blind children in the Middle East and Africa. Closer to home, Groseclose served on the Board of directors for the International Council for Christian Leadership, and was Secretary for the Washington City Bible Society.
From 1935 until his death, Elgin Groseclose and his wife, Louise, lived in Washington, D.C. where they raised four daughters. On April 4, 1983 Groseclose succumbed to a stroke at the age of 83.
The Elgin E. Groseclose Papers consist of correspondence; diaries; material dealing with economic, monetary, and foreign aid policies; material related to the writing and publishing of his manuscripts from Groseclose, Williams, & Associates; and material from organizations in which Dr. Groseclose actively participated.
The correspondence contained in this collection occupies approximately two linear feet and cover the years from 1921 to 1982, with the bulk of these letters falling between the years 1960 and 1962. These chronologically arranged letters deal mainly with a discussion of monetary policy between Groseclose and the gold and silver miners of the United States. Foreign policy and international business, particularly with the Middle East, is also mentioned.
Groseclose’s diaries, also arranged chronologically, start in 1912 when he was thirteen and continue on through his senior year in high school. They tell of his adventures, both in and out of school, and give an insight as to what Elgin wanted to do with his future. Although the diaries stop while he is in college, they start up again in 1920 when Groseclose was on his way to the Middle East as a missionary. The diaries stop again in 1923 only to be revived in 1943 when Groseclose returned to Iran as Treasurer General of that country.
Many of the speeches in the collection relate to economic issues such as monetary policy and foreign aid. Also included are some of Groseclose’s speeches dealing with his experiences and knowledge of the Middle East. All of the speeches have been arranged alphabetically by the title of the work.
Within the series of writings are articles, newsclippings, and letters to the editor, by Groseclose dealing with similar topics to those discussed in his speeches. The articles have been arranged alphabetically by title while the news clippings and “letters to the editor” have been arranged chronologically. The “Washington Letter,” written by Groseclose, contains articles on currency, gold and silver, and fiscal policy. These letters are dated from June 1960 through 1961 and are in chronological order. Also included in the series are Groseclose’s manuscripts and related material, such as publishing and reprint information, correspondence with publishers, and research material. All items are grouped together by manuscript title. The volume, The Kiowa, published by the David C. Cook Publishing Co., is also contained within the series.
The series of Financial Material contains articles and newsclippings about Groseclose and his economic policies as well as the booklet “The Silver Market” and publications from the Citizens Foreign Aid Committee and the American Institute for Economic Research. This material, along with the research and background material concerning the Monetary Control Act of 1980, has been arranged chronologically.
Groseclose, Williams, & Associates was a financial and investment consultant firm based in Washington, D.C. Many of their cases are contained in the series “Valuations” and have been arranged alphabetically according to the name of the individual or corporation represented. However, those corporations representing the meat packing or newspaper industries have been grouped under the heading “Meat Packing” or “Newspapers” and are arrange alphabetically. The materials contained within the “Valuation” series consist of correspondence, appraisals of the marker value for various companies, court briefs, annual statements, and background material for each of the companies in question. The largest case in this group is Universal Studios. In 1971, Groseclose represented Universal Studios in a case against Francis I. du Pont & Co. with regards to the prospects of the future earnings of Universal. Among the material present in this group are the case, including exhibits which Groseclose put together in order to represent Universal, correspondence between Groseclose and the lawyers representing Universal, and court memos and reports.
The Organization series consists of correspondence, histories, records, and publications relating to those groups that Groseclose belonged to outside of his professional and writing careers. This series has been arranged in three subseries: International Council for Christian Leadership, The Washington City Bible Society, and Welfare of the Blind, Inc.
Among the “Miscellaneous” materials are invitations and announcements of Groseclose’s awards and speeches; personal income tax returns from 1946; and “St. Alban’s Chronicle,” a bulletin from the parish of the Groseclose family.
Four photographs of the Groseclose family and four unidentified photographs have been removed to the photograph collection. Three cassette tapes, two from “The Voice of Gold” entitled, “Political Consequences of Inflation” (March and May 1978) and one from the 1975 International Monetary Symposium, featuring Dr. Norbert Einstein, have also been removed and rehoused with the photographs.
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Preferred Citation :
[Identification of item], Elgin Groseclose papers, Coll 102, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Or.
The collection is organized into the following series:
Acquisition Information :
Gift of Elgin E. Groseclose in 1962.
Processing Note :
Collection processed by Mary Beth Herkert. Photographs processed by Megan Dazey, Photograph Processors.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.