Guide to the Marion A. Zioncheck Papers

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Zioncheck, Marion A. (Marion Anthony), 1901-1936
Title: Marion A. Zioncheck papers
Quantity: 1.91 cubic feet (5 boxes and 1 vertical file)
Location of Collection: Materials are located in Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries. For more information about this collection, please connect to the finding aid on the University of Washington website.
Collection Number: 1308, 3169
Summary: Papers of a Democratic representative to the United States Congress from Seattle, Washington.
Repository: University of Washington Librarires, Special Collections.
Contact Information: Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Languages: Collection materials are in English.  
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical Note

Marion Anthony Zioncheck (1901-1936) was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Democrat from Washington State in 1932, the year of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt landslide. Zioncheck served in the 73th and 74th Congresses from March 4, 1933, until his death on August 7, 1936. He represented the First Congressional District, which encompassed Seattle and Kitsap County and he served on the Naval Affairs Committee.

A Progressive Democrat and a supporter of the Roosevelt New Deal, Zioncheck was an avowed defender of the "forgotten man." He stated during his campaign that he would not represent the interests of banks, power companies, and chambers of commerce when they conflicted with the interests of the working man, the farmer, or the small businessman. His papers provide evidence that he attempted to fulfill his promise. He supported the Wagner-Connery Labor Bill and the Federal Communications Act, took an active interest in veterans' and farm legislation, and worked for the passage of the Widows and Orphans Bill, HR 9936.

Zioncheck committed suicide on August 7, 1936, by jumping from a window of his campaign office in Seattle. Prior to his death, Zioncheck underwent treatment for mental illness. He had also been the subject of public censure and extensive publicity for his conduct in the House of Representatives and his personal conduct outside of Congress. Reportedly, Zioncheck felt himself a personal failure in his frustrated attempts at political reform.

Content Description

These papers document the political activities of Marion A. Zioncheck, Democratic representative to the United States Congress for the First Congressional District of Washington State, 1933-1936. The materials offer insight into several of the controversies that marked Zioncheck's political career, including his denunciation of J. Edgar Hoover in a speech given on the House floor in 1936, and factional disputes within the Washington State Democratic Party in the 1930s. The materials also describe Zioncheck's accomplishments in the House as a freshman Congressman.

The bulk of the collection consists of political and legislative correspondence from 1932 to 1936. Also included are campaign literature, speech drafts and related data, legislation, clippings, newsletters, reports, and other ephemera.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

The papers are open to all users.

Restrictions on Use :  

The creator's literary rights have not been transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Preferred Citation :  

[Title of item], [date of item if known], [box/folder number], Marion Zioncheck Papers, [Accession No.], University of Washington Libraries.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Arranged into 3 accessions:

  • Accession 1308-001, Marion A. Zioncheck correspondence and clippings, 1936
  • Accession 3169-001, Marion A. Zioncheck papers, 1932-1936
  • Accession 3169-002, Marion A. Zioncheck papers, 1926-1936

Additional Reference Guides :  

This finding aid can also be viewed on the University of Washington website.

Detailed Description of the Collection

1308-001:  Marion Zioncheck correspondence and clippings, 1936
.02 cubic feet  ( 7 items)

This accession contains clippings, negative photostats of the clippings, and one item of correspondence, 1936.


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3169-001:  Marion Zioncheck papers, 1932-1936
1.68 cubic feet  ( 4 boxes)
Arranged in 5 series:
  • Biographical information, 1936
  • General correspondence, 1932-1936
  • Campaign ephemera, 1932-1936
  • Subject file on the American Liberty League, 1936
  • Speeches and background data, 1933-1935

The bulk of this accession is correspondence documenting Zioncheck's political activities in United States Congress and in the Washington State Democratic Party. Some highlights of this correspondence include letters Zioncheck received in response to his denunciation of J. Edgar Hoover in 1936, as well as letters documenting internal disputes within the Democratic organization in King and Kitsap counties between 1933 and 1936. In Kitsap County Zioncheck was drawn into a battle, ostensibly over postmaster appointments, between two factions of the party. He was denounced in a February 18, 1936, resolution of the Kitsap County Democratic Executive Committee for misconduct and for breaking faith with the committee.

The accession also includes files containing endorsements Zioncheck solicited from other members of Congress for campaign purposes, 1933-1934. These files contain numerous favorable recommendations of Zioncheck and descriptions of his achievements as a freshman congressman, including his service to the Consent Calendar and Private Calendar Committee. In this capacity he was required to read and report on every bill which appeared on the calendar. Several of his colleagues reported that he performed this duty with distinction.

In addition to these files, the accession contains ephemera, clippings, and drafts of speeches and writings, 1932-1936.

1/1 Biographical information 1936
General correspondence
1/2-4 Alaska Highway Bill (H.R. 6538) 1934-1936
1/5-7 Federal Communications Act (S.B. 3954) 1934-1936, undated
1/8-20 Wagner-Connery Labor Bill (S.B. 1958) 1933-1935, undated
1/21 A - Z 1934-1936
1/22 American Civil Liberties Union 1935-1936
2/1 Communism 1933-1936
2/2 G-Men 1936
2/3-6 New Deal endorsers 1934-1935
Case files
2/7 Chris Di Julio indictment 1935
2/8 United States War Department 1934
Political appointments
2/9-16 United States district and circuit court attorneys, federal marshal, and deputy marshals 1932-1934
2/17-18 Cabinet and assistants 1933-1934
2/19 Postmasters and postal carriers 1935, 1936
Democratic Party, King and Kitsap Counties 1933-1936
2/20-23 General correspondence 1933-1936
3/1 Resolutions 1933-1936
3/2 Petitions 1933-1936
3/3-4 Lists 1933-1936
3/5-6 Ephemera and clippings 1933-1936
3/7-8 Congressional elections
2 folders
3/9 Third political party 1935
3/10-14 Solicited endorsements from members of Congress 1934
3/15 Constituent letters of support 1933-1936
3/16 Questionnaires 1934
Personal 1932-1935
3/17-22 General correspondence 1932-1935
3/23 Trips 1932-1935
3/24 Ephemera 1932-1935
3/25, 4/1-7 Invitations 1934-1936
4/8 Campaign ephemera 1932-1936
4/9 Subject file - American Liberty League 1936
Speeches and background data
Speeches and writings
4/10 Drafts undated
4/11 Excerpts from solicited endorsements undated
4/12 Speeches of others 1933-1934
4/13 Legislation 1933-1934
4/14 Clippings 1933-1934
4/15-16 Ephemera 1933-1935

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3169-002:  Marion Zioncheck papers, 1926-1936,   (bulk 1933-1936)
.21 cubic feet  ( 1 box)
Arranged by type of document.

This accession contains correspondence regarding the proposed Alaska Highway, annual reports, newsletters and bulletins, ephemera, and other miscellany, 1926-1936.

1/1-2 General correspondence 1933-1936
1/3 Annual report 1934
1/4 Newsletters and bulletins 1934-1935
1/5 Ephemera 1926-1934
1/6 List 1933
1/7 Itinerary undated
1/8 Miscellaneous undated

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  • Personal Names :
  • Zioncheck, Marion A. (Marion Anthony), 1901-1936--Archives
  • Corporate Names :
  • Democratic Party (King County, Wash.)
  • Democratic Party (Kitsap County, Wash.)
  • Geographical Names :
  • King County (Wash.)--Politics and government--20th century
  • Kitsap County (Wash.)--Politics and government--20th century
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Politics and government--20th century
  • United States--Politics and government--20th century
  • Washington (State)--Politics and government--1889-1950
  • Subject Terms :
  • Legislation--United States
  • Legislators--United States--Archives
  • Political parties--Washington (State)
  • Politicians--Washington (State)--Archives
  • Suicide victims--Washington (State)--Archives
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Campaign literature
  • case files
  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • correspondence
  • ephemera
  • legislative records
  • Newsletters
  • reports
  • Speeches, addresses, etc.

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