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Alexander P. Butterfield

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The Presidential historical materials of Alexander P. Butterfield are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration under the provisions of Title I of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Act of 1974 (44 U.S.C. 2111 note) and implementing regulations. In accordance with the act and regulations, archivists reviewed this file group to identify personal and private materials (including materials outside the date span covered by the act) as well as nonhistorical items. Such items have been returned to the individual who has primary proprietary or commemorative interest in them.

Materials covered by the act have been archivally processed and are described in this register. Items that are security classified or otherwise restricted under the act and regulations have been removed and placed in a closed file. A Document Withdrawal Record (NA Form 14021) marks the original position of the withdrawn items. Employees of the National Archives will review periodically the unclassified portions of closed materials for the purpose of opening those which no longer require restriction. Certain classified documents may be reviewed for declassification under authority of Executive Order 13526 in response to a Mandatory Review Request (NA Form 14020) submitted by the researcher.

  • Linear feet of materials:  1
  • Approximate number of pages:  2,000

Biographical Note

Alexander Porter Butterfield

April 6, 1926 Born, Pensacola, Florida

1949 Married, Charlotte Mary Maguire

1956 B.S., University of Maryland

1965-1966 Military Assistant to Special Assistant Secretary of Defense

1966 Colonel, United States Air Force

1967 M.S., George Washington University

1967-1969 Senior Military Representative of the United States; Representative for Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Forces, Australia

1969-1973 Deputy Assistant to the President

1973-1974 Federal Aviation Administrator

1982 Consultant, Chief Financial Officer, Global Networks, Inc., GMA Corporation, California

Scope and Content Note

The materials of Alexander P. Butterfield cover the years 1969-1973. During those years he served as H. R. Haldeman's deputy on the President's personal staff as Deputy Assistant to the President. Butterfield served as a chief administrative officer, having responsibility for final review of all memoranda, briefing papers, and correspondence going to the President as well as the conduct of the President's daily, non-public activities. After November 1969, the Nixon Administration had no formal Secretary to the Cabinet, and Butterfield assumed those duties informally as Cabinet coordinator. He supervised the operation of the Staff Secretary's Office, the Security Office, the Office of Presidential Papers and Archives, the Office of Special Files, and the work of Presidential Receptionists. He served as liaison for the First Lady's Staff, the White House Social Secretary, the Office of White House Visitors, and the Military Assistant to the President. He also had oversight of internal security, acting as liaison with the United States Secret Service's Presidential Protective Division, Technical Security Division, and the Executive Protection Service. In a 1988 interview published in The Journal of American History, Butterfield described himself as "... responsible for the smooth running of the president's official day, and for all White House administration."[1]

Most of the materials relating to internal security and protection of the President and his family are closed. Although Butterfield had oversight of the installation and operation of the White House tapes, he did not document these activities.

The files contain memoranda, letters, and reports received by Butterfield principally in connection with his responsibilities for planning events in cooperation with the First Lady's staff, as a contact for those seeking the attention of the President, and as liaison with the Secret Service dealing with personnel and document security. The files described here were retired to the White House Central Files unit as Confidential Files Oversize Attachment 693.

This note does not describe all of the materials of Alexander P. Butterfield. The White House Special Files unit maintained files considered sensitive for reasons of either political content or security classification. An additional 4.2 cubic feet (approximately 10,000 pages) of files created, received, and maintained by Butterfield are contained, under Butterfield's name, in the White House Special Files. Those materials are described separately.  [See Also:  Butterfield's White House Special Files]

[1] "Conversations between Alexander P. Butterfield and David Thelen about the discovery of the Watergate Tapes," Vol. 75, no. 4, (March 1989), p. 1248.

Series Description

Boxes:   1-3
Series:   Subject Files, 1969-1973 | Folder Title List
Description:   Materials consist of incoming correspondence, including memoranda from other White House staff members, letters from contacts and supporters of the administration outside government, and reports and routine administrative correspondence dealing with the President's schedule, security issues, social and ceremonial arrangements, and attempts to anticipate news coverage. Other subjects reflected in the files range from the use of celebrities in the 1972 campaign to the purchase of wines for the White House to construction plans for the White House grounds. No original overall arrangement scheme was discernable and none has been imposed. The original filing designations and arrangement have generally been maintained. Materials are filed by subject or by originating individual and in reverse chronological order thereunder.

Folder Title List

Available as a searchable Adobe Acrobat PDFpdf file.

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