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James Lee Lawson Papers

Identifier: MSS -200-SC

Scope and Content

The collection is comprised of one folder consisting largely of correspondence and clippings pertaining to James Lee Lawson's political career, 1912-1928. Correspondence with A.H. Hudspeth and Authur Seligman concern his service on the Democratic State Central Committee. Other letters relating to various political matters include one from Woodrow Wilson concerning his loss of a nomination, and letters from New Mexico Governor A.T. Hannett and Governor Baca. The collection also includes a letter of membership to the American Judicial Society and an invitation of enrollment to the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Political memorablia includes a non partisan ticket as delegate to the New Mexico Constitutional Convention from Otero County, votes of election to the Constitutional Conventions, an election certificate, and an invitation to assist in a meeting between President Taft and President Diaz of Mexico.


  • 1909-1946


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biographical Information

James Lee Lawson was born Jan. 9, 1873, near Williamson, West Virginia. He attended the Male Academy, Wytheville, Va. and received an A.B. from Emory & Henry College, Emory, Va. 1894, an L.L.B. from the University of Virginia, 1896, and took post graduate law courses at Columbia University, New York City. Lawson came to New Mexico in 1900. In 1902 he located and practiced law in Alamogordo. He was one of the organizers of the Citizens National Bank in Alamogordo and a widely known attorney in Otero County, New Mexico.

His interest in politics led him to become the Democratic Chairman of Otero County, 1904-1906. He was elected to the Joint Statehood Convention, 1906, and was a member of the State Constitutional Convention, 1910. He played a large role in the drafting of the Constitution under which New Mexico was admitted to Statehood. In spite of a unanimous Democratic nomination for the first Attorney General of the State of New Mexico, Lawson refused the nomination. He continued his active role in politics, however, as a member of the Resolutions Committee, Democratic National Committee, 1920. He attended the Democratic National Convention in 1932, which first nominated Franklin D. Roosevelt for President. He also served as President of the New Mexico Bar Association, 1920, was a 32nd degree Mason, Knight Templar, Shriner, member of the American Academy of Political and Social Science as well as a member of the American Judicature Society. Lawson died in Alamogordo, N.M. in 1952.


1 Folder

Related Material

Andrew Hutchins Hudspeth Letters Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico Libraries
Finding Aid of the James Lee Lawson Papers, 1909-1946
Edited Full Draft
Processed by Illene Renfro
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 200 SC::James Lee Lawson Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss200sc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131