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A Guide to the Albert Hazen Blanding Papers

Finding aid prepared by Morgan Caulfield

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
December 2009

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Blanding, Albert Hazen, 1876-1970
Title: Albert Hazen Blanding Papers
Dates: 1888-1961
Abstract: Albert Blanding's papers span much of his life in Florida, in both military service and in civilian life. Blanding was a General in the National Guard as well as a member of the Florida Board of Control and State Plant Board of Florida.
Extent: 2.25 Linear feet. 7 Boxes.
Identification: Ms 8
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Albert Hazen Blanding (1876-1970) was born in Lyons, Iowa, on November 9, 1876. His father, after retiring as a military surgeon, moved the family to Florida when Blanding was two years old. In 1895 Blanding graduated from the East Florida Seminary, the military academy that was a precursor to the University of Florida. The following year he joined the Gainesville Guards as a private. He served on the Mexican border during World War I, and was promoted to general on August 5, 1917 prior to his front line service in Europe. He left military service at the end of the war but returned to active duty later in life.

In his civilian life, Blanding took a seat upon the Florida Board of Control from 1922 to 1936, later known as the Board of University Regents. While on the Board of Control, Blanding was instrumental in the establishment of the state university system. While Blanding was on the board, he helped in the development and expansion of the campus and the colleges at the University of Florida. During this time he married Mildred Hall in June of 1900, and the couple had three children: two daughters, Elizabeth and Louise, and one son, William. His civilian life was short lived, however, when he was promoted to Major General and placed in charge of a division of guardsmen in 1924. Between approximately 1922 through 1936, Blanding also served on the State Plant Board of Florida. He was recalled again to military service for a final time in 1936, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him Chief of the National Guard Bureau, where he would serve until his retirement in 1940. Blanding died in 1970.

Sources Cited: Moore, Daniel. Men of the South: A Work for the Newspaper Reference Library. (New Orleans: Southern Biographical Association, 1922), 385.

Scope and Content

The collection covers Albert Hazen Blanding's career, both in military service and in civilian life. The majority of the collection is composed of general correspondence arranged chronologically and spanning the years 1888 to 1961. The collection also houses a small number of speeches, photographs, clippings, and personal objects.

Personal correspondence consists of letters to and from his wife and occasionally to his children. The military correspondence is routine, with much centering on the changes in his military career and with other military leaders in government positions. Most of the collection's value arises from the political correspondence kept while serving on the Board of Control and the State Plant Board of Florida. Correspondence from the State Plant Board of Florida deals primarily with attempts to solve the problems caused by the Mediterranean Fruit Fly, as well as the Pink Bollworm.

Of particular interest are the letters pertaining to the University of Florida, where Blanding served on the Board of Control. These include correspondence with University presidents Albert Murphree and John Tigert. Also of note is correspondence with P.K. Yonge, chairman of the Board of Control, regarding the expansion of the UF campus, construction of a football stadium, as well as the University's finances and publications.

The collection holds a number of scrapbooks and personal diaries; the latter cover his early years while attending the East Florida Seminary. Two of the scrapbooks are Books of Orders from the East Florida Seminary dated 1887-1890 and 1904-1905. Two other scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings documenting his military and civilian career. Blanding also kept a scrapbook of his final years serving in the National Guard. Also included in the collection is a ledger from 1900-1901, from the Dutton Phosphate and Mining Co., in Gainesville, Florida, where he worked while attending the East Florida Seminary.

Photographs show various locations during his military career and partially document his service on the Board of Control. Of particular interest are photographs in Blanding with University of Florida presidents. The collection also includes a variety of military uniform buttons and cords from Blanding's time in the East Florida Seminary and the National Guard.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Related or Separated Material

See also the papers of Abram Ormsbee Blanding, father of A.H. Blanding, located at the University of Florida. See also Blanding Family Papers at the University of Delaware Special Collections Library.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Albert Hazen Blanding Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Betty Blanding Hobart and Vernon F. Hobart.

Processing Notes

This collection originally was processed along with the Abram Ormsbee Blanding Papers and the two collections were housed in the same boxes. In 2009, the collections were separated during reprocessing.

Contents List

1 Correspondence. 1888, 1897-1898, 1905-1907
1 Correspondence. 1910, 1916-1918, 1924-1925
1 Correspondence. 1926-1929
1 Correspondence. 1930
1 Correspondence. 1931-1934
2 Correspondence. 1936-1943
2 Correspondence. 1945-1961
2 State Board of Control and Plant Board Correspondence. 1928-1933
2 State Board of Control and Plant Board Correspondence. 1933-1935
2 Speeches
2 Certificates and Awards
2 Clippings
3 East Florida Seminary. 1892-1896
3 Photos - Military Related
3 Photos - Military Troop Review
3 Photos - Orland Fl. 1905, Staff and Field Movements
3 Photos - 2nd Regiment Patrolling Mexican Boarder
3 Photos - Crew of Convicts at Prison
3 Photos - Blanding with Groups
3 Photos - Blanding with Group of Men (names on reverse)
3 Photos - East Florida Seminary Dedication Ceremony
3 Photos - General Van Fleet and J. Hillis Miller (UF President)
3 Photos - PK Yonge and J. Tigert
3 Photos - Portraits
3 Photos - Palmer Florida
3 Photos - Home at Bartow Florida
3 Photos - Unidentified Women
3 Testimonial Dinner and Silhouettes
3 Account Book. 1895
3 Diary. 1890
3 Battalion of Cadets at East Florida Seminary Diary. 1893-1894
3 Diary from East Florida Seminary. 1894-1895
4 Book of Orders. 1904-1905
4 Scrapbook - Military career
4 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings
5 East Florida Seminary General Orders Book. 1887-1890
5 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings
6 Military Buttons (jacket coat)
6 Uniform lapel pins, cufflinks, eagle insignia
6 Military Uniform cords
6 Shoulder and cap insignia
6 Amulet/cameo of Athena [?]
7 Ledger Dutton Phosphate Co. 1900-1901

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

East Florida Seminary (Gainesville, Fla.)
Florida. Board of Control.
Florida. National Guard.
Phosphate industry -- Florida.
State Plant Board of Florida.

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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