Skip to main content

Thomas McBlain Steele papers

Identifier: SC-007

Scope and Contents

This collection contains primarily papers and speeches written by Thomas M. Steele and delivered at various meetings and events. There is also material written by others on topics similar/related to those covered by Thomas M. Steele. Also in this collection are newspaper clippings, pamphlets, journal articles, notes, handbooks, election statistics, and correspondence. The bulk of the material has to do with constitutional law, banking, the World Court, the League of Nations, the U.S. Constitution, and the U.S. Supreme Court.


  • 1919-1944


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical Note

Thomas McBlain Steele was born in Geneva, NY on December 4, 1878 to Charles A. and Gertrude E. Hawkes Steele. He was one of seven children. He graduated from Geneva High School and was a member of the Hobart College class of 1902. He left Hobart College during his junior year to attend Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Steele graduated from Trinity College in June, 1902 with an A.B. degree. He then entered Harvard Law School, graduating with his LL.B. in June 1905. In 1934 Hobart College awarded him an honorary LL.D. degree.

Following his graduation from Harvard Law School he practiced law in New York City. As a lawyer Steele gained nation-wide prominence in 1905 and 1906, when he was an assistant to Charles Evans Hughes in the famous insurance investigation of that period. He moved to New Haven, Connecticut, in 1906 to join the legal department of the New Haven railroad. Later, as a member of Watrous, Day, Hewitt, Steele and Sheldon, he left the railroad to become president of the First National Bank.

Mr. Steele was active in civic and community affairs, playing a vital role in fundraising and relief administration during World War I and World War II. During World War I he was chairman of the New Haven Committee on educational work for drafted men and a member of the Liberty Loan committee as well as the New Haven Advisory committee on war risk insurance. In World War II he served as Chairman of the war committee of the Connecticut Banker's Association, regional co-chairman of the Victory Fund Committee, and the First War Loan Drive, and a member of the finance committee of the New Haven war council.

Steele was a member of the executive council of the American Bankers Association and of its legislative committee. He represented the First Federal Reserve District of the Federal Advisory Council for nine years and was president of the Connecticut Bankers Association in 1940. He was a vestryman of Trinity Church, New Haven. He was also a member of the Rotary Club, the Quinnipiack Club, the New Haven Country Club, the Graduates Club, the Dissenters, and the Benders.

He married Miss Edla Stout of Interlaken, NY, on September 30, 1907. He died after a long illness on July 29, 1944, at the age of 66, at his home in New Haven, Connecticut. His remains were interred in Lakeview Cemetery, Interlaken, NY.


2.5 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection largely consists of papers and speeches written by Thomas McBlain Steele and others related to political issues prominent in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.


This collection is arranged in the following series:

  1. Papers and speeches by Thomas McBlain Steele
  2. Publications and writings by others
  3. Correspondence


Box 1-4: Archives Storage / Range 23A / Section 1;

Box 5-6: Archives Storage / Range 22B / Section 1


There is no information to indicate when this collection was donated to the Colleges or by whom.

Thomas McBlain Steele papers: A Finding Aid
Tricia McEldowney, Archivist
February 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Archives and Special Collections Repository

Warren Hunting Smith Library
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva New York 14456 U.S.A. US (United States)