University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Paul Stewart Henshaw Papers 1945-1949

© 2006 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Henshaw, Paul Stewart. Papers




1.5 linear ft. (3 boxes)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


Paul S. Henshaw, biophysicist, atomic energy activist. The Paul S. Henshaw Papers consist of correspondence, press releases, bulletins, and pamphlet material dating from the end of the Second World War, nearly all of which is concerned with educating the public about atomic energy and the Bomb.

Information on Use


No Restrictions.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Henshaw, Paul Stewart. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Paul Stewart Henshaw was born August 23, 1902, in Salt Fork, Oklahoma. He took his A.B. at Southwestern College, Winfield, Kansas; his M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in 1927 and 1930, respectively. Following this he became a research biologist at the Memorial Hospital for the Treatment of Cancer and Allied Diseases in New York City. In 1938 Henshaw became a Research Fellow at the National Cancer Institute, and advanced to the post of Senior Radiobiologist in 1940. He was a research biologist at the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago for the Manhattan Project in 1944, and after one year moved to the Clinton Laboratory of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as a research biologist. He was co-leader of the Atomic Energy Commission in Japan from 1946 to 1947, at which time he also terminated his association with the Manhattan Project. From 1947 to 1949 Henshaw served as chief of the fundamental research branch of the Supreme Command of the Allied Powers in Toyko for the rehabilitation of Japanese science. Until 1952 he was assistant chief of the Division of International Health, a branch of the U.S. Health Service. In the years 1952-54 he was Director of Research for the Planned Parenthood Federation, Inc., and then became Executive Director of the National Committee on Maternal Health in New York, a position which he held until 1955. From 1956 to 1963 Henshaw served as biophysicist for the Atomic Energy Commission.

Scope Note

The Paul S. Henshaw Papers consist of correspondence, press releases, bulletins, and pamphlet material dating from the end of the Second World War, nearly all of which is concerned with educating the public about atomic energy and the Bomb. Henshaw was prominent in the Association of Oak Ridge Engineers and Scientists, which was formed largely to permit the scientists to voice their thoughts and opinions about atomic energy more effectively. As a result, the collection contains some material on the founding, growth, and development of AORES, as well as information on the other scientist groups with which the AORES cooperated. Another part of the collection includes correspondence which was generated by the scientists' interest in the legislation on atomic energy. This material concerns both the May-Johnson Bill and the McMahon Bill. The papers also include a group of letters between Edward Tompkins and a number of scientists concerning a motion picture about the bombing of Hiroshima, which was being produced in 1946 by M.G.M. The scientists sent Tompkins as their representative and as a technical advisor to the M.G.M. studios, where he soon became unpopular for opposing the artistic license of the film company. The scientists had hoped the film might provide an effective device for influencing public opinion about what they saw as the problems of atomic energy; however, the scientists were disappointed by public response.

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Subject Headings


Box 1   Folder 1

Miscellaneous material concerning the role and fate of the Clinton Laboratories and scientists; statement by Henshaw of the nature and content of the Henshaw collection.

Box 1   Folder 2

Personal letters and notes written by and to Henshaw, as well as others in early 1946. Two letters giving detailed reports of the illness and eventual death of Louis A. Slotin, who received a lethal dose of radiation in an accident.

Box 1   Folder 3

Letters of invitation, arrangement for and confirmation of speaking engagements by Henshaw and others. January 11, 1946-March 16, 1946.

Box 1   Folder 4

Speaking engagements March 18, 1946-May 30, 1946.

Box 1   Folder 5

Speaking engagements May 30, 1946-February 25, 1947; also some press releases about the talks given.

Box 1   Folder 6

Correspondence and other material concerning the M.G.M. film. January 7, 1946-February 26, 1946.

Box 1   Folder 7

Continuation of Folder 6. February 27, 1946-March 29, 1946.

Box 1   Folder 8

Letters of invitation, arrangement, and confirmation for speaking engagements with religious groups, especially with conferences of priests and ministers. February 2, 1946-June 15, 1946.

Box 1   Folder 9

Invitations, June 15, 1946-June 22, 1946.

Box 1   Folder 10

Invitations, June 22, 1946-June 28, 1946.

Box 1   Folder 11

Invitations, June 28, 1946-July 5, 1946.

Box 1   Folder 12

Invitations, July 5, 1946-July 27, 1946.

Box 1   Folder 13

Invitations, August 6, 1946-August 30, 1946; also some undated material and a reprint of a speech by K.Z. Morgan, "The Responsibility of the Church in the Atomic Age."

Box 1   Folder 14

Correspondence by and to the law firm of Farmer, Denney & Leftwich, most of which concerns the legislation for atomic energy.

Box 1   Folder 15

Correspondence concerning the May-Johnson Bill and the McMahon Bill, letters and circulars to and from the Senators involved, as well as other interested parties, October 15, 1945-October 27, 1945; contains a copy of the McMahon Bill (S.1717).

Box 1   Folder 16

Continued, February 1, 1946-March 26, 1946.

Box 1   Folder 17

Continued, June 5, 1946-February 17, 1947; also copies of testimony given to the Senate by the scientists.

Box 1   Folder 18

Correspondence between and about the scientist groups on matters of mutual concern; August 6, 1945-November 8, 1945.

Box 1   Folder 19

Correspondence Continued, November 13, 1945-February 15, 1946.

Box 1   Folder 20

Correspondence Continued, February 17, 1946-March 28, 1946.

Box 1   Folder 21

Correspondence Continued, March 29, 1946-April 10, 1946.

Box 1   Folder 22

Correspondence Continued, April 10, 1946-May 29, 1946.

Box 1   Folder 23

Correspondence Continued, June 4, 1946-June 21, 1946

Box 1   Folder 24

Correspondence Continued, June 25, 1946-July 8, 1946.

Box 1   Folder 25

Correspondence Continued, July 17, 1946-May, 1949.

Box 1   Folder 26

Correspondence Continued, undated correspondence and other materials.

Box 1   Folder 27

Correspondence, press releases, statements, speeches, and articles concerned with education of the public to the scientists' thoughts and opinions about atomic energy. August 25, 1945-September 26, 1945.

Box 1   Folder 28

Correspondence Continued, October 9, 1945-December 18, 1945.

Box 1   Folder 29

Correspondence Continued, January 14, 1946-March 5, 1946.

Box 1   Folder 30

Correspondence Continued, March 6, 1946-April 7, 1946.

Box 2   Folder 1

Correspondence Continued, April 8, 1946-May 6, 1946.

Box 2   Folder 2

Correspondence Continued, May 27, 1946-June 24, 1946.

Box 2   Folder 3

Correspondence Continued, June 24, 1946-December 17, 1946, and some undated material.

Box 2   Folder 4

Correspondence Continued, undated material.

Box 2   Folder 5

Self-indexed papers by the scientists sent to Edward Tompkins by Henshaw as a guide-book in policy when dealing with M.G.M.

Box 2   Folder 6

Analysis of S.1463 (Proposed Atomic Energy Act of 1945) by Edward H. Levy.

Box 2   Folder 7

Speech or article titled "THe Control of the Atomic Bomb."

Box 2   Folder 8

Analysis of S.1717 (McMahon Bill).

Box 2   Folder 9

"The Present Crisis and a Suggested Solution," by F. Farmer.

Box 2   Folder 10

Eyewitness account of the bombing of Hiroshima by Rev. Siemes.

Box 2   Folder 11

Smyth Report (A General Account of the Development of Methods of Using Atomic Energy for Military Purposes under the Auspices of the United States Government 1940-1945).

Box 2   Folder 12

Pamphlet, "Problems of the Atomic Age:" autograph of Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., who piloted the plane which dropped the bomb on Hiroshima.

Box 2   Folder 13

Pamphlets on atomic bomb danger.

Box 2   Folder 14

Pamphlet, "Atomic Energy and Freedom," and "A Proposal for expanding the educational activities of the Federation of American Scientists."

Box 2   Folder 15

Pamphlet, "A Report on the International Control of Atomic Energy."

Box 2   Folder 16

Pamphlet," `The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.' What the people know and think about THE BOMB and atomic energy."

Box 2   Folder 17

"General Report, Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, January 1947."

Box 3    Folder 1

Miscellaneous pamphlets, reprints, speeches, and statements concerning the bombing of Hiroshima and the post-war uses of atomic energy.

Box 3    Folder 2

Scrapbook 1,Copies of newspapers and clippings mostly from the area around Oak Ridge, some clippings from national magazines. August 6, 1945-August 20, 1945.

Box 3    Folder 3

Scrapbook 2, August 16, 1945-September 29, 1945.

Box 3    Folder 4

Scrapbook 3, Continued, October 12, 1945-December 24, 1946.