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Richard Palmer Moe was born on November 27, 1936 in Duluth, Minnesota. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Williams College in 1959 and a law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1966. He began a career in politics as an administrative assistant to Minneapolis Mayor Arthur Naftalin (1961-1962) and then served as administrative assistant to Minnesota Lieutenant Governor A.M. Keith (1963-1967). In 1967, Moe became the finance director for the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party and, in 1969, became the second youngest chairman of the party, a post he held until 1972 when he joined the staff of Senator Walter F. Mondale as an administrative assistant. In 1977, Moe became the chief of staff for Vice President Mondale during the Carter administration. In 1981, Moe joined the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm, Davis Polk & Wardwell, where he became a partner in 1986. During his time at the law firm, he took time off to participate in Walter Mondale's run for president in 1984 as well as serving in advisory roles during the 1988 and 1992 presidential campaigns. In 1993, Moe became the seventh president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a position he held until 2010. Moe's first book, The Last Full Measure: the Life and Death of the Minnesota Volunteers, was published in 1993 as well. The Moe papers include documents related to Moe's political and legal career and consist primarily of correspondence, memos, campaign files, clippings, oral histories, and photographs.
Some files are restricted. Refer to individual folder headings for more information.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
27.75 Linear Feet
The Richard Moe papers consist of material documenting Moe's career in Minnesota and national politics as well as his tenure at the law firm, Davis Polk & Wardwell. Also included in this collection are items related to the publication of Moe's book, The Last Full Measure: the Life and Death of the Minnesota Volunteers. A small number of documents relate to Moe's appointment to the presidency of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The collection dates from 1861 to 2001, with the majority of material created between 1968 and 1992. It includes correspondence, memos, campaign files, oral histories, clippings, manuscript drafts, research materials, photographs, prints and drawings, awards and certificates, and memorabilia. Individuals highlighted in the papers include Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, and Jimmy Carter.
Richard Moe was born on November 27, 1936, in Duluth, Minnesota. He had a long career in Democratic politics serving as administrative assistant to Minneapolis Mayor Arthur Naftalin (1961-1962); administrative assistant to Minnesota Lieutenant Governor A.M. Keith (1963-1967); finance director of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party (1967-1969); chairman of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party (1969-1972); administrative assistant to Senator Walter Mondale (1972-1976) and chief of staff to Vice President Walter Mondale (1977-1981). From 1981 to 1993 he worked for the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell in Washington, D.C. In 1993, he became the seventh president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Richard Palmer Moe was born on November 27, 1936, in Duluth, Minnesota to Russell James, a physician, and Virginia Mary (née Palmer), a kindergarten teacher. After graduation from the Shattuck School in Faribault, Minnesota (1954), he then received a Bachelor of Arts from Williams College (1959) and a law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School (1966). At Williams College he first became interested in politics, and, in 1958, he volunteered on James MacGregor Burns' congressional campaign against Silvio Conte in the Western District of Massachusetts. In 1960, he joined the Minnesota Army National Guard's 151st Artillery Division and was honorably discharged in 1966. Richard Moe married Julia Neimeyer on December 26, 1964 and they had three children together.
During the 1960s, Moe worked in numerous positions in Minnesota politics including serving as an administrative assistant to Minneapolis Mayor Arthur Naftalin (1961-1962) and chief aide to Lieutenant Governor A. M. "Sandy" Keith (1963-1966). In 1967, Moe became finance director of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party. At 32 years of age, Moe, in 1969, Moe, became the second youngest chairman in the history of the Democratic Farmer Labor Party. He was instrumental in helping the party secure control of the state legislature for the first in Minnesota history in 1970 and again in 1972.
From 1972 to 1976, Moe served as administrative assistant to Senator Walter Mondale in Washington, D.C. After the Jimmy Carter/Walter Mondale ticket won the presidential election in 1976, Moe served as Mondale's chief of staff in the Carter administration. As chief of staff from 1977 to 1981, Moe was instrumental in helping Mondale expand the role of the Vice Presidency. After the defeat of the Carter/Mondale ticket in the 1980 presidential election, Richard Moe joined the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where he remained until 1993. Moe became a partner in the law firm in 1986; however, he remained active in national Democratic Party politics. Moe participated as a political advisor in the Mondale presidential campaign of 1984, Dick Gephardt's 1988 presidential bid, the Michael Dukakis presidential campaign in 1988, and the preparations for the 1992 Democratic Party presidential campaign.
During this time period, Moe rekindled his love of history and began to actively research Minnesota's Civil War past. He also became director of the Civil War Preservation Trust and, in 1993, published a history of the First Minnesota Infantry Regiment called The Last Full Measure: the Life and Death of the Minnesota Volunteers. The same year, he was named the seventh president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. During Richard Moe's tenure at the National Trust, the organization ended its dependence on federal funding and began to raise private capital, significantly increasing its annual budget and endowment. Richard Moe retired from the National Trust in 2010.
The collection has been divided into ten series:
Richard Moe donated his papers to the University of Maryland Libraries on November 23, 2004.
The arrangement of the Richard Moe papers follows the structure Moe imposed upon them to the extent possible. Materials were found loosely grouped in the identified series and are in the chronological order of Moe's career. The processing archivist assigned appropriate folder headings and arranged materials in chronological and/or alphabetical order as appropriate.
Photographs were removed from Series 1 through 6 and placed in Series 7. Oversize materials were housed in oversize boxes. Separation sheets record the original locations of oversize items and photographs. Newsprint clippings have been photocopied onto acid-free paper, and the original newsprint discarded. Plastic clips replaced rubber bands and metal fasteners that were removed and replaced with discarded.
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives