James Benjamin Aswell diary

Abstract

The James Benjamin Aswell diaries (dated 1918-1923; 0.01 cubic feet; 1 folder) are typed transcripts that chronicle two of his trips to Europe, one during World War I in 1918 and then again in 1923.

Descriptive Summary

Title
James Benjamin Aswell diary
Date
1918-1923 (inclusive)
Creator
Aswell, James Benjamin, 1869-1931
Extent
0.01 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Antisemitism -- Europe
World War, 1914-1918.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Trench warfare -- France.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged chronologically.
Finding Aid Author
Shelby Clark
Preferred Citation
65m189: [identification of item], James Benjamin Aswell diary, 1918-1923, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
James Benjamin Aswell (1869–1931) was born in rural northern Louisiana and earned a teaching certification from Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1892, a B.A. from the University of Nashville in 1893, followed by a master's degree in 1894 and a law degree in 1904 from the University of Arkansas. Aswell spent much of his career in education, serving as a state school administrator before becoming the president of Louisiana Tech University in 1900. In 1904 he was elected as Louisiana State Superintendent. From 1909 to 1911, Aswell served as president of Northwestern State University. Aswell married twice; the first marriage produced a daughter and the second produced a son.
In 1913, Aswell began his career as a Democratic Representative for Louisiana in the United States House of Representatives. Reelected nine times, Aswell served as the ranking minority member of the House Committee of Agriculture, where he worked to establish the Kisatchie National Forest. Aswell was known for his disapproval of President Hoover and opposition of desegregation in the South. Aswell died while in office and was buried in Washington, D.C.
Scope and Content
The James Benjamin Aswell diaries (dated 1918-1923; 0.01 cubic feet; 1 folder) are typed transcripts that chronicle two of his trips to Europe, one during World War I in 1918 and then again in 1923. A mix between an itinerary and a diary, these papers give insight into where Aswell went and his observations about the continent during war time and rebuilding following the aftermath of WWI.
The 1918 diary chronicles trips to England, Scotland, France, Italy, and Belgium where Aswell tours historical landmarks as well as important war production sites, soldier hospitals, prisoner of war camps, and the battle front, where he observes trenches and battle action. Aswell met with various ambassadors and government officials, where he observds how each country is handling the war. The second diary, from 1923, contains Aswell's thoughts on immigration policy and tax law, pertaining especially to Jews. Aswell talks of his journeys in France, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Italy, and Germany, remarking on the business industry and culture of these European countries. Aswell commented on the various conditions and government administrations of European countries after WWI. Aswell observed conflict and problems that he described as a precursor to WWII.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open to researchers by appointment
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

James Benjamin Aswell diary transcript of European tour during WWI, 1918

  • Box VF-45
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James Benjamin Aswell diary transcript of European tour, 1923

  • Box VF-45
To top

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UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is open Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm. Appointments are encouraged but not required. Schedule an appointment here.

Researchers must have an SCRC Researcher Account to request materials. View account set-up and use instructions here.

Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.

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You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.