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Jack H. Hexter Papers

Identifier: WUA-03-wua00100

The papers of Jack H. Hexter include biographical and autobiographical information, professional and personal correspondence, notes and clippings as a part of research for his publications and the “Troops to Teachers” plan, copies of speeches and publications, and three reel-to-reels.


  • Creation: 1974-1996


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


5.25 linear feet

6 boxes

Biographical Information

Jack H. Hexter (1910-1996) was born May 25, 1910 in Memphis, Tennessee.  He was a historian who specialized in Tudor and seventeenth century British history and was well known for his comments on historiography.  In his later years, Hexter also became involved in politics. Hexter married Ruth Mullin in 1942; they had four children.

In 1931, Hexter was awarded a BA by the University of Cincinnati.  He went on to teach at Queens College in New York from 1939 to 1957.  Hexter then taught at Washington University in St. Louis from 1957 until 1964, and Yale University from 1964 to 1978.  While at Yale University, Hexter was a Charles Stillé Professor and founded the Yale Center for Parliamentary History in 1966.  In 1978, he returned to Washington University, becoming the John M. Olin Professor Emeritus of the History of Freedom.  He retired in 1990.

In the 1990s, Hexter became involved in politics, developing “Troops to Teachers”, a plan in which retired military officers would become teachers in public schools.  This plan was approved by the United States Senate on September 10, 1993.  Hexter died on December 8, 1996 in St. Louis.

Hexter’s publications include The Reign of King Pym (1941), More's Utopia: The Biography of an Idea (1952), “The Historian and His Day” (1954), Doing History (1971), and Parliament and Liberty from the Reign of Elizabeth to the English Civil War (1992, editor). Hexter was also the founder editor of the Stanford University Making of Modern Freedom series.

(Adapted from Journal of the History of Ideas 58.2 (1997) 349-350, by Donald R. Kelley and Wikipedia entry Jack H. Hexter)


The collection is organized into seven series as detailed below:

Series 01: Autobiographical and Biographical Information. Provides biographical information on Jack H. Hexter and information about his work.

Series 02: Correspondence. Includes correspondence from and to Hexter.  The majority of the correspondence is professional, but there is some personal correspondence intermingled. It is divided into three groups: first, correspondence by recipient; second, correspondence by subject; third, general correspondence.  The first two divisions are arranged alphabetically. The third division is arranged first chronologically and then alphabetically. This material was kept in folders as Hexter had it divided.

Series 03: Research. Research by Hexter, including notes made by Hexter, newspaper clippings, and photocopies from other sources.

Series 04: Speeches. Includes drafts and final versions of speeches by Hexter, arranged alphabetically by title.

Series 05: Publications by Jack H. Hexter. Includes drafts and final versions of publications by Hexter, arranged alphabetically by title.

Series 06: Publications by Others. Includes drafts and final versions of publications by others, arranged alphabetically by author’s last name.

Series 07: Media material. Includes three reel-to-reels

Method of Acquisition

This material was donated to Archives by Jack Hexter and his son Chris Hexter at two separate times.

Accruals and Additions

The accruals are interfiled within the collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Jay Kempen and updated by Sonya McDonald and Sarah Pabarcus, July 2005.  Updated by Lesley Case, April 2011; updated by Ashley Eckhardt, August 2011.

Jack H. Hexter Papers
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 March 5: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the University Archives Collecting Area

Sonya Rooney
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495