The James P. S. Devereux collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, professional material, printed material, photographs, personal memorabilia, and other items.
Correspondence in the collection covers several subjects. These include World War II (1943-1946), with several personal letters from men who served with Devereux; fan mail (1942-1946); commendations, re-enlistment papers, travel orders, and promotions (1945-1946); speeches and dinner engagements (1945-1958); Devereux’s tenure as a Republican Congressional Representative from Maryland (1943-1958); U.S. Post Office appointments (1951-1958); Devereux’s book on Wake Island (1955-1960); Devereux’s unsuccesful campaign for the Governorship of Maryland (1956-1960); and other subjects. Numerous personal letters are also present in the collection. Notable correspondents include Spiro Agnew, George H. W. Bush, Francois Duvalier, Dwight D. Eisenhower, James Forrestal, Barry Goldwater, Frank Knox, Henry Cabot Lodge, Richard M. Nixon, and Cardinal Francis Spellman. Also notable is a letter from Nizuma Kinsaburo, the Japanese Army Captain who headed Devereux’s prisoner of war camp (1945).
Manuscripts in the collection pertaining to Wake Island include a draft of Devereux’s own account, The Story of Wake Island (J. B. Lippincott, 1947), as well as a first preliminary draft and final version of The Defense of Wake, prepared by Lt. Col. R. D. Heinl, Jr. for the U.S. Marine Corps Historical Section, Division of Public Information (June 1947). Also present is the transcript of a lengthy interview with Devereux, conducted by the Marine Corps Oral History Program; and a tribute to Devereux originally presented on Kay Kyser’s radio program, broadcast in 1942. Other manuscripts in the collection pertain to Devereux’s political career and primarily consist of speeches on various topics, including Indo-China, morality in public life, immigration, civil rights, national defense, and other subjects (1950-1959). The manuscripts for the speeches also include research material gathered as background material for the texts.
Professional material in the collection pertains to Devereux’s military and political careers. Military material include various official documents, orders, certification of Devereux’s course completions from the U.S. Marine Corps Institute (1924), his commission as Major of the U.S. Marine Corps (1940), and his certification of completion of the senior course of the Amphibious Warfare School in Quantico, Virginia (1947). Material regarding Devereux’s political career is extensive, including numerous campaign items, legislative records and files, press releases, memos, souvenirs, printed material, voting analysis, and other items, including material regarding Devereux’s duties as a Presidential Elector from Maryland (1972) and items regarding the Republican National Convention in Detroit (1980). Other professional items pertain to various industries which Devereux had invested in, including General Textile Mills, Inc. (later renamed Gentex) and Bio-Ramo, Inc., as well as farming, horse breeding, and horse racing.
Printed material in the collection primarily consists of magazines, newsletters and other periodicals pertaining to Wake Island or military affairs in general. Titles include The Leatherneck, Saga, Fightin’ Marines, Prisoners of War Bulletin (1943), Fortitudine, VFW, and Wake Island Wig-Wag . The latter is present in a near-complete run from 1974 to 2002. Also included is A Magnificent Fight: Marines in the Battle for Wake Island, a “pamphlet history” prepared by the U.S. Marine Corps in 1992. Several general-subject magazines and newspapers are also present, as well as numerous other booklets, pamphlets, posters, clippings, maps and miscellaneous items. Several items pertain to horse racing; various maps of Wake Island are also included in the collection.
Photographs in the collection include several images of Devereux alone and with various friends, politicians, and diplomats, primarily from the 1950s. Also included are pictures of Wake Island, various soldiers, and a group of men at the Hakodate prisoner of war camp in 1945 with their names included. Other photos include Devereux shaking hands with Richard M. Nixon, and two mounted film stills, probably from the film Wake Island. Almost all photographs are black and white prints of various sizes.
Personal memorabilia in the collection includes various awards presented to Devereux, as well as official appointments and certifications. Also present are two leather-bound guest books; pocket diaries dating from 1959 to 1975; a notebook; a dummy layout for a Gubernatorial campaign poster; and other miscellaneous items.
Other material in the collection includes a video cassette titled Return to Wake Island ; an audio cassettes labeled “Wake Island Battle”; subject files regarding various topics; and several financial and legal items.