1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Inventory

5.   Subjects

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 Voters' League Records

 Citizen's group, with offices in Providence, R.I.

 Records, 1914-1920

 Size: 0.25 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 773

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, May 1997

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            The Voters' League was founded in 1914 as a bipartisan effort to help curtail government corruption. The League issued reports on state legislative activity, and recommended candidates of both parties to the public. It was financed by $5.00 annual membership fees, and also from the substantial contributions of industrialist Henry D. Sharpe. The League's recommendations were largely ignored for five years, and it was disbanded in 1919.


Krohn, Richard. "The Rhode Island Voters' League" (Unpublished typescript, 1972)

Various printed reports of the Voters' League.

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Scope and content:

            Only the League's treasurer records have been preserved at the R.I.H.S.L. These include dues lists, pay vouchers for supplies and staff, financial correspondence, and banking records. Although these records give some insight into the financing of the league, only two items give any direct insight into its operation. One is a photostat of a letter from League agent Elisha Mowry to Henry D. Sharpe dated November 15, 1916, in which Mowry agrees to divide with Sharpe the expenses of continuing the League. The second is a copy of the form letter sent out to members upon dissolution of the League in 1919.

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            According to a label found on the original box for the collection, it was a gift of Mrs. Henry D. Sharpe. The records only show her as donor of one manuscripts accession, of "miscellaneous papers" in 1955; this was described as a one-year loan in the accession book. It seems likely that the Voters' League records arrived as a loan in 1955 and were later made a gift.

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Folder 1.         General correspondence, 1916 and 1919

Folder 2.        Treasurer's correspondence (dues, bills), 1914-1918

Folder 3.        Cash book, 1914-1918

                         Dues book, 1914-1915

Folder 4.         Dues receipts, 1918-1919

Folder 5.         Bills and vouchers, 1914

Folder 6.         Bills and vouchers, 1915

Folder 7.         Bills and vouchers, 1916-1919

Folder 8.         Bank statements and canceled checks, 1918-1920

Folder 9.         Bank books, 1914-1919 (5 vol.)

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Political corruption - Rhode Island

Sharpe, Henry D. (1872-1954)

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