Yager, Arthur (1858-1941) Papers, 1913-1921

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator: Yager, Arthur, 1858-1941

Title: Papers, 1913-1921

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Special Collections.

Size of Collection: 1.75 cubic feet

Locator Number: Mss. A Y13

Scope and Content Note

Collection includes the accumulated correspondence, speeches, reports, clippings and other materials of Arthur Yager during his service as Governor of Puerto Rico (1913-1921). Previously the president of Georgetown College in Georgetown Ky., Yager was appointed to the governorship of Puerto Rico by Woodrow Wilson in 1913. Yager and Wilson attended John Hopkins University together and maintained a relationship throughout both of their careers.

The collection contains correspondence dealing with Yager’s activities as governor, specifically his appointments, proposed legislation, and handling of labor and economic issues on the island. Correspondence discusses in detail Yager’s efforts in formulating and passing the Jones Act of 1917, which replaced the Foraker Act of 1900 and granted U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans and reorganized Puerto Rico’s government and relationship to the United States.

Other topics of interest include: labor strikes, economic conditions, the coffee and sugar industries, prohibition, the 1918 earthquake, Puerto Rican elections and political parties, the court system, disease, tourism, race relations, World War I, administration of the draft, migrant labor, foreign relations, education, general social conditions of the island, and Kentucky politics.

Correspondents of note include: Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Warren G. Harding, and Herbert Hoover; Secretary of War Newton Baker; Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels; Resident Commissioners of P.R. Felix Cordova-Davila and Luis Munoz-Rivera; Samuel Gompers and Puerto Rican labor leader Santiago Iglesias; Senators William A. Jones, John F. Shafroth, Ollie M. James, and John W. Weeks; Secretary of Puerto Rico Martin Travieso, Jr.; and Frank McIntyre, Chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs.

Biographical Note

Arthur Yager was born on October 29, 1858 in Henry County, Kentucky to Franklin Jackson and Diana (Smith) Yager. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky. After receiving a doctorate from Johns Hopkins University, Yager returned to Georgetown College where he was a professor, then President from 1908-1913.

Yager married Estell Lewis, with whom he had four children. In 1913, Arthur Yager was appointed as Governor of Puerto Rico by President Woodrow Wilson, his former classmate at John Hopkins. Governor for eight years, Yager worked diligently to develop the island’s infrastructure, particularly in the areas of transportation and roadways, public health, and literacy. Yager was instrumental in the adoption of the Jones-Shafroth Act in 1917. With the passage of this act, Puerto Ricans officially became U.S. citizens for the first time, and they gained the right to freely elect members of the island’s legislative branches. When Wilson’s presidency expired, Yager was succeeded by Emmet Montgomery Reily, an appointee of President Warren G. Harding.

Yager returned to Louisville, Kentucky where he was a visiting lecturer on many topics. In 1928, he ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Congress in Kentucky’s fifth district. He died in Pewee Valley, Kentucky in 1941.

Folder List

Folder 1: “A” Correspondence, 28 April 1920 – 5 March 1921, Annual Reports 1920-1921

Folder 2: Agriculture, Secretary of. (D.F. Houston). Correspondence, 24 March 1915 – 14 April 1915

Folder 3: Attorney General of Puerto Rico. Correspondence, 9 June 1914 – 5 March 1919

Folder 4: Attorney General of the United States. Correspondence, 20 January 1915 – 13 February 1915

Folder 5: Auditor of Puerto Rico. Correspondence, 21 September 1916 – 12 May 1921

Folder 6: “B” Correspondence, 12 March 1914 – 17 December 1918

Folder 7: “B” Correspondence, 11 January 1919 – 29 April 1921

Folder 8: Baker, Newton (Sec. of War). Correspondence, 8 July 1918 – 3 March 1921

Folder 9: Boys Charity School. Correspondence, 13 January 1915 – 29 January 1915

Folder 10: Bureau of Labor. Correspondence, 2 February 1914 – 28 March 1916

Folder 11: “C” Correspondence, 11 May 1912 – 17 January 1917

Folder 12: “C” Correspondence, 9 March 1917 – 6 May 1921

Folder 13: Candidates for the Attorney Generalship. Correspondence, 23 November 1913 – 17 November 1914

Folder 14: Candidates for the Treasurership and Secretary to the Governor. Correspondence, 22 September 1915 – 25 April 1917

Folder 15: Cantrill, J.C. Correspondence, 16 September 1914 – 21 November 1916

Folder 16: Carrell, Drew M. Correspondence, 10 February 1914 – 18 July 1917

Folder 17: Commissioner of Education (P.R.) Correspondence, 10 September 1914 – 17 May 1921

Folder 18: Commissioner of Health (P.R.). Correspondence, 25 March 1921

Folder 19: Commissioner of the Interior (P.R.) Correspondence, 12 January 1914 – 10 February 1921

Folder 20: Coolidge, Calvin. Correspondence, 30 December 1919 (Photocopy)

Folder 21: Cordova-Davila, Felix (Commissioner to Puerto Rico). Correspondence, 16 April 1918 – 27 January 1921

Folder 22: “D” Correspondence, 10 June 1914 – 26 December 1917

Folder 23: “D” Correspondence, 31 January 1918 – 19 February 1921

Folder 24: De Diego, Jose (House of Delegates, P.R.) Correspondence, 9 January 1914 – 17 March 1916

Folder 25: Domenech, Manuel V. Correspondence, 18 November 1913 – 26 January 1917.

Folder 26: “E” Correspondence, 25 October 1913 – 12 May 1921

Folder 27: Executive Council. Correspondence, 3 March 1917

Folder 28: “F” Correspondence. 29 October 1914 – 8 April 1921

Folder 29: F.H. Goodridge. Correspondence, 9 May 1918 – 21 March 1921

Folder 30: Foraker Act (Amendment). Correspondence, 28 November 1913 – 9 March 1914

Folder 31: “G” Correspondence, 4 July 1914 – 25 April 1921

Folder 32: Greif, A.J. (Guanica Centrale Sugar Co.) Correspondence, 13 December 1913 – 20 June 1917

Folder 33: Guanica Centrale (Sugar Co. in Ensenada, P.R.) Correspondence, 3 October 1914 – 22 November 1917

Folder 34: “H-I” Correspondence, 20 February 1914 – 22 December 1916

Folder 35: “H-I” 30 March 1917 – 2 March 1921

Folder 36: Hathaway, E.S. (Post Office Inspector) Correspondence, 5 February 1914 – 28 March 1918

Folder 37: Hirsch, Leopold. Correspondence, 22 January 1921

Folder 38: “J” Correspondence, 25 March 1915 – 29 March 1921

Folder 39: James, Ollie M. (U.S. Senator from Ky.) Correspondence, 29 November 1913 -12 June 1918

Folder 40: Jones, W.A. (U.S. Rep. from Va.) Correspondence, 13 march 1914 – 17 May 1916

Folder 41: “K” Correspondence, 24 April 1914 – 17 March 1921

Folder 42: Kenyon, William S. (U.S. Senator from Iowa) Correspondence, 28 April 1919 – 15 April 1921

Folder 43: “L” Correspondence, 4 February 1914 – 21 March 1921

Folder 44: Labor. Correspondence, 14 November 1914 – 25 May 1918

Folder 45: Lake Mohonk Conference, 22 October 1915. Speech by Yager and Correspondence

Folder 46: “M” Correspondence, 29 February 1913 – 5 December 1916

Folder 47: “M” Correspondence, 20 January 1917 – 2 March 1921

Folder 48: Munoz-Rivera, Luis (Resident Commissioner of P.R.) Correspondence, 31 December 1913 – 3 May 1916

Folder 49: “O-P” Correspondence, 30 December 1913 – 21 March 1921

Folder 50: Police Department. Correspondence, 20 September 1914 – 20 September 1918

Folder 51: Postmaster General. Correspondence, 26 March 1914 – 5 June 1919

Folder 52: Presidents of the United States. Correspondence, 28 July 1913 – 9 April 1921

Folder 53: Provost Marshall General. Correspondence, 23 October 1917 – 8 March 1919

Folder 54: “Q-R” Correspondence, 28 November 1913 – 18 January 1921

Folder 55: Remington, Mortimer (Commercial Agent of Puerto Rico). Correspondence, 30 December 1913 – 29 July 1914

Folder 56: Roberts, F.C. Correspondence, 10 August 1915, 1 May 1919

Folder 57: “S” Correspondence, 14 November 1913 – 27 December 1918

Folder 58: “S” Correspondence, 3 April 1919 – 26 April 1921

Folder 59: Secretary of the Interior (U.S.) (Franklin K. Lane). Correspondence, 23 December 1916 – 21 December 1919

Folder 60: Secretary of Labor (U.S.) (W.B. Wilson). Correspondence, 18 December 1916

Folder 61: Secretary of the Navy (Josephus Daniels). Correspondence, 5 October 1914 – 9 December 1920

Folder 62: Secretary of Puerto Rico (Martin Travieso, Jr.). Correspondence, 22 May 1913 – 3 March 1917

Folder 63: Secretary of State (U.S.). Correspondence, 20 June 1914 – 19 September 1914

Folder 64: Secretary of the Treasury (U.S.) (W.G. McAdoo). Correspondence, 14 April 1914 – 14 May 1921

Folder 65: Secretary of War. Correspondence, 6 July 1914 – 17 May 1921

Folder 66: Shafroth, John F. Correspondence, 11 March 1914 – 3 April 1918

Folder 67: Speaker of the House (P.R.). Correspondence, 18 March 1914 – 29 April 1921

Folder 68: “Strike.” Correspondence, 19 November 1914 – 29 March 1916

Folder 69: “T” Correspondence, 28 January 1914 – 3 February 1921

Folder 70: Treasurer of Puerto Rico. Correspondence, 26 August 1915 – 9 April 1917

Folder 71: “U” Correspondence, 15 January 1915 – 8 July 1919

Folder 72: U.S. District Court of P.R. Correspondence, 14 December 1914 – 27 June 1917

Folder 73: “V” Correspondence, 17 January 1914 – 15 May 1920

Folder 74: “W” Correspondence, 25 November 1913 – 18 March 1921

Folder 75: War Department. Correspondence, 10 December 1913 – 17 May 1921

Folder 76: Yager (Personal File). Correspondence, reports, articles. 1913 – 1919

Folder 77: Speeches, 20 November 1913 – 18 December 1918

Folder 78: Reports, messages, proclamations. 25 January 1916 – 19 May 1921

Folder 79: Clippings, miscellaneous, 1913-1921

Subject Headings

Canal Zone

Caribbean National Forest (P.R.)

Citizenship – Puerto Rico

Coffee industry – Puerto Rico

Disease – Puerto Rico

Dominican Republic – Description and travel

Dominican Republic – Politics and government – 1844-1930

Draft – Puerto Rico

Earthquakes – Puerto Rico

Education – Puerto Rico

Foraker act, 1900 (Puerto Rico)

Georgetown College (Georgetown, Ky.)

Governors – Puerto Rico

Kentucky – Politics and government – 1865-1950

Labor disputes – Puerto Rico

Lake Mohonk Conference

Literacy – Puerto Rico

Migrant labor – Puerto Rico

Mona Island (Puerto Rico)

Presidents – United States – Election – 1916

Presidents – United States – Election – 1920

Prohibition – Puerto Rico

Prudential Insurance Company of America – Insignia

Puerto Rico – Economic conditions – 20th century

Puerto Rico – Politics and government – 1898-1952

Puerto Rico – Relations – United States

Puerto Rico – Social conditions – 20th century

Puerto Rico. Governor (1913-1921: Yager)

Puerto Rico. Insular Police

Religion – Puerto Rico

Speeches, addresses, etc., Puerto Rican

Suffrage – Puerto Rico

Tourism – Puerto Rico

United States – Relations – Puerto Rico

United States. Bureau of Insular Affairs

United States. Jones Act of 1917

Virgin Islands of the United States – Description and travel

Virgin Islands of the United States – Politics and government – 20th century

Wages – Sugar workers – Puerto Rico

Watterson, Henry, 1840-1921 – Public opinion

World War, 1914-1918

Yager, Arthur, 1858-1941

Yellow fever – Puerto Rico

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