M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives


Finding Aid for the
PAPERS, 1941-1973


For reference queries contact M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives Reference staff

Finding Aid Compiled by
Rosann Santos
November, 2001

M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York 
1400 Washington Avenue / Albany, New York 12222 / (518) 437-3935

VOLUME: 1 cubic foot

ACQUISITION: All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by William Kennedy in 1985.

ACCESS: Access to this record group is unrestricted.

COPYRIGHT: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.


Administrative History

Scope and content note

Box and folder list

Thomas E. Mulligan Papers
Administrative History

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Thomas "Ed" Mulligan, Jr. (1818-1985) was an Albany Republican who made two unsuccessful attempts to become elected to political office. He hoped to eventually overthrow the reigning O'Connell/Corning Democratic Political Machine. In his first race, in 1953, he ran for Mayor of Albany against the long-standing Democratic favorite Erastus Corning and surprised the city with a powerful campaign that drew more votes than any previous Republican candidate running for that position against Corning.

Born on March 6, 1918, in Albany, New York, Mulligan attended St. Theresa's Parochial School, Christian Brothers Academy and Siena College where he received the Sigma Omega Achievement Award and was elected night college President as well as night editor of the Siena News. Prior to entering the United States Air Force in 1940, Mulligan worked for radio stations WOKO and WABY and as a staff reporter for the Knickerbocker News. During World War II, he served as a B-17 bomber pilot until he was shot down and taken prisoner by the Germans in 1943. In 1951, Mulligan served as Chairman of the Publicity Committee for the Salvation Army Drive. In 1952, he founded the Albany County Eisenhower Committee and was appointed to the New York State Merit Award Board and the New York State Personnel Relations Board by Gov. Thomas E. Dewey. When nominated by the Republican Party to run for Mayor in 1953, Mulligan was employed as a publicity agent for the New York Department of State. He resigned from this position in order to campaign on July 30, 1953, the day his nomination was announced. The 1953 campaign was filled with accusations of corruption against the Democratic city government in areas such as fire safety in the public schools, traffic and highway department neglect, and understaffing of the city police and fire departments.

He lost the race to Mayor Corning by over thirty-four thousand votes. Mulligan returned to his state publicity job until he was fired by Edward S. Conway, the Republican GOP Chairman, in 1964, at the start of his second political campaign after challenging Conway's leadership of the party. Mulligan lost the 1965 election for assemblyman to Edward Rook, although this campaign was, as was his first, a heated struggle.

Upon his death, on April 22, 1985, the ownership of Thomas Mulligan's personal papers transferred to author William Kennedy pursuant to provisions in Mulligan's will. Mr. Kennedy then donated the collection to the University Libraries, State University of New York at Albany.

Thomas E. Mulligan Papers
Scope & Content Note

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Included in the collection are: direct correspondence, between Mr. Mulligan and others and also third-party correspondence, between other persons about Mulligan, dated between 1946 and 1971; campaign promotion materials, including scripts of radio programs, political advertisements, leaflets, buttons and photos, which represent a large portion of the papers but are undated; newspaper clippings about Mulligan dating from 1952 to 1967; various subject files composed mainly of investigations conducted by Mulligan into city corruption; and some personal memorabilia. There are also some black and white photos included in the collection.

Series one is made up of correspondence dating from 1946-1971. The series is divided into direct correspondence (November 1946 to May 1973) and third-party correspondence (August 1953 to June 1971). Some of the correspondence is undated. Series two includes campaign materials (undated). The file contains promotional materials about Mulligan and TV and radio address made by Mulligan in 1953. Series three is a collection of newspaper clippings spanning from 1952-1967. Series four is made up of subject files (1941-1973). The folders contain personal memorabilia, candidate lists, Albany Public School Citizens Committee information, Salvation Army promotional materials, information on the Republican Committee, grievances against city agencies, Pine Bush Land Grab Story, sales tax delinquency, snow removal contract deals, Albany Housing Authority, and Andrew M. Pickney Resignation, 1972-1973. Some of these files also contain black and white photographs.

Thomas E. Mulligan Papers
Box and Folder List

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Series 1: Correspondence, 1946-1971

1. Direct Correspondence, November 1946 to September 1953
2. Direct Correspondence, October 1953 to May 1973 and undated
3. Third-party Correspondence, August 1953 to June 1971 and undated

Series 2: Campaign Materials, 1953 and undated

1. Drafts of Television Addresses, 1953
2. Final Scripts of Television addresses, 1953
3. Handwritten Notes and Telephone Messages
4. Promotional Materials About Mulligan
5. Promotional Materials About the Republican Party
6. Proposed Advertising Schedules, Price Lists and Bills, 1953

Series 3: Newspaper Clippings, 1952-1967

1. June 1952 to December 1953
2. January 1954 to November 1967

Series 4: Subject Files, 1941-1973

1. Albany Housing Authority, 1970
2. Albany Public School Citizens, Committee, 1949-1954
3. Complaints Against City Agencies, 1953
4. Lists of Candidates, Labor Committee, Members and Albany County Canvass of Voters, 1946-1953
5. Personal Memorabilia, 1941-1956
6. Pickney, Andrew M. Resignation, 1972-1973
7. Pine Bush Land Grab Story, 1955-1971
8. Republican Committee Materials, 1952-1967
9. Salvation Army Promotion Materials, 1951-1952
10. Sales Tax Delinquency, 1960-1972
11. Snow Removal Contract Deals, 1969-1970

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Last updated March 4, 2003