A Finding Aid to the John Pye papers, circa 1911-1979, in the Anacostia Community Museum Archives
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
ACMA.06-024
Creators:
Pye, John
Dates:
1911-1979
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1.54 linear feet
3 boxes
Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
The John Pye papers, dating from 1911 to 1979 and measuring .73 linear feet, document the career of White House chauffeur and butler John Pye. The collection is composed of correspondence, clippings, invitations, photographs, and a book.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The John Pye papers, which date from 1911 to 1979, document the personal and professional life of John Pye. The collection contains material related to his employment at the Elks Club in Washington, D.C., as the chauffeur for the Secretary of the Navy, at the United States Post Office, and as a valet, messenger, chauffeur, and butler in the the White House from 1913-1952. Very notable are correspondence and event invitations from the Truman and Roosevelt administrations. The papers include letters, certificates, newspaper clippings, invitations, photographic prints, photographs, and a book on President Harry S. Truman by his daughter Margaret Truman.
The collection is organized into four series: Series 1: Biographical, Series 2: Correspondence, Series 3: Career, Series 4: Miscellaneous, and Series 5: Photographs.
Series 1: Biographical, 1925-1979, undated, consists of newspaper clippings and writings detailing the personal and professional life of John Pye.
Series 2: Correspondence, 1911-1966, undated, consists of letters of recommendation for Pye, invitations, and other correspondence from his employment at the White House.
Series 3: Career, 1944-1952, undated, consists of lists of White House Luncheon attendees, a certificate recognizing Pye's WWII civilian service, and a signed broadsheet commemorating his retirement from the White House.
Series 4: Miscellaneous, 1938-1947, consists of news transcripts and clippings. Some discuss the advancement of African Americans into formerly white-dominated professions.
Series 5: Photographs, circa 1920-circa 1965, undated, consists of photographs from John Pye's work and private life. Some photographs are inscribed portrait photos of Pye's employers, including Presidents Harding, Roosevelt, and Truman.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The John Pye papers are arranged by material type. Series 1 through 4 are housed in Box 1 and contain correspondence, clippings, and a book. Boxes 2 and 3 contain photographs. Box 2 contains loose photographs and Box 3 contains framed and oversized photographs.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
John Pye, 1888- , moved from Newburg, Maryland, to Washington, DC, in 1900. His first documented employment was with the Elks Club. In 1916 he became a chauffeur for Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, and in 1920, he worked for the Post Office. He occasionally acted as a chauffeur for Franklin D. Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy. In 1933, upon Roosevelt's ascent to the presidency, Pye was brought on as a White House employee. Pye worked as a valet, messenger, chauffeur, butler, and occasional cook in the White House from 1913 to 1952. After his retirement, he continued to supervise select events at the White House and other elite DC-area institutions.
Pye lived in Northeast DC during his career. In later life he moved to Gainesville, Virginia, with his wife Thelma.

Administration
Processing Information
The papers were processed by Sony Prosper in 2011. Additional processing and description were completed by Katie Seitz in March 2016.
Author
Sony Prosper, 2011. Revised by Katie Seitz, March 2016
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The John Pye papers were donated to the Anacostia Community Museum in 2003 by Ethel L. Pye.

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The John Pye papers are the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.
Conditions Governing Use
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Preferred Citation
John Pye papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Ethel L. Pye.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Correspondence Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographic prints Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Books Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Politicians -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American men Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African Americans -- Employment Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African Americans -- Washington (D.C.) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Invitations Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Harding, Warren G. (Warren Gamaliel), 1865-1923 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pye, John Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Truman, Bess Wallace Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wilbur, Curtis Dwight, 1867-1954 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
1901 Fort Place, SE
Washington, D.C. 20020
ACMArchives@si.edu
URL: