Don Sundquist Papers
The Don Sundquist Papers are organized into four series.
Series I: Congressional Papers, 1983-1994 consists of five subseries covering the time Donald Sundquist was a member of the United States House of Representatives. Subseries A: Political, 1983-1993, contains research, reports, correspondence and other materials related to committee and task force work, district projects, legal cases and district casework. Also found in this subseries are records of gift purchases, lists of public officials and agencies, and publicity information. Subseries B: Legislative, 1983-1994, includes materials on bills Sundquist sponsored or cosponsored and his voting record. Subseries C: Administrative, 1983-1994, includes schedules, correspondence, notes, speeches and press releases. Subseries D: Campaign, 1983-1994, contains correspondence, financial records, research and other materials related to major Republican campaigns and Sundquist’s own congressional campaigns. Subseries E: Press Materials, 1983-1993 mainly contains clippings of news articles and press releases. Series II: Gubernatorial Papers, 1995-1999 consists of three subseries covering Sundquist’s term as Tennessee governor. Subseries A: Political, 1995-1998, is a small series with a sampling of material relevant to some aspects of governorship as well as the Republican National Convention. Subseries B: Press Materials, 1995-1998, contains press articles and news releases. Subseries C: Campaign/Inaugural, 1994-1999, is a large series with financial, press, administrative and contractual information related to Sundquist’s campaign for governor and inauguration events.
Series III: Young Republican National Federation, 1973-1981, contains correspondence, newsletters and other documents relating to this national youth organization. Sundquist was chairman of YRNF from 1971 to 1973.
Series IV: Photographs and Audiovisual Material series is still undergoing processing and may not be available to the public. Inquire with Special Collections about contents and access.
The material in this collection is in English.
General Physical Description note
Conditions Governing Access
The Modern Political Archives are housed at the Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy. Researchers interested in consulting the MPA collections are advised to contact the Modern Political Archives .
Conditions Governing Use
The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Modern Political Archives .
60 Linear Feet
Don Sundquist represented Tennessee’s seventh district in the United States House of Representatives for six terms (1982-1994) before serving as Governor of Tennessee from 1995 to 2003. As a congressman, Sundquist was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, the House Republican Task Force on Ethics Reform and served as chairman of the House Republican Task Force on Trade. The largest part of this collection focuses on Sundquist’s work in the U.S. Congress, covering political, legislative, administrative, campaign and press materials. The collection also includes materials (mostly press clippings, daily news summaries, campaign and inaugural materials) related to Sundquist’s role as governor, as well as his earlier leadership of the Young Republican National Federation (1973-1981).
Governor of Tennessee from 1995 to 2003, Donald Kenneth Sundquist was born March 15, 1936, in Moline, Illinois. He was the first member of his family to finish high school. He graduated from Augustana College and then served two years in the U.S. Navy. Sundquist worked for Josten’s and then started his own company, Graphic Sales of America, in Memphis. He was the chairman of the county Republican Party from 1976 to 1979 and managed Howard Baker Jr.'s presidential candidacy in 1979. He then served six consecutive terms representing Tennessee’s seventh district in the United States House of Representatives (1982-1994). A reliable conservative, Sundquist was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and House Republican Task Force on Ethics Reform and served as chairman of the House Republican Task Force on Trade. In 1994 Sundquist defeated Nashville mayor Phil Breseden to become governor of Tennessee. Sundquist campaigned on a platform of welfare reform, law enforcement, and increased governmental efficiency. He pushed for the elimination of the Public Service Commission, and his "Families First" welfare reform package received national attention for its attempt to save taxpayer money and to provide better care for needy and troubled children. He also pushed through the general assembly a twenty-bill law enforcement package that focused on tougher sentences, capital case reform, domestic violence, and victims' rights. In 2000, Sundquist surprised his own party and the rest of the Tennessee political establishment by proposing a state income tax among other new income sources for the state. Sundquist received heavy criticism for his proposals, although both parties admitted that the state would find it difficult to balance its annual budget without more secure, dependable sources of income than its present reliance on a state sales tax. In the 2001 legislative session, Sundquist again called for tax reform to provide Tennessee with the money it needed to compete with its southern neighbors in education, economic development, and improved infrastructure. After his two terms as governor (Tennessee governors may not serve more than two terms consecutively), Sundquist formed the Sundquist Group, a lobbying firm. Don married Martha Sundquist in 1959. They have three children: Tania (Mrs. David) Williamson; Andrea (Mrs. Art) Jeannet, and Donald Sundquist Jr. of Nashville.
(Biography adapted from Carroll Van West, "Don Sundquist," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, 2009.)
This collection comprises four series.
- Series I: Congressional Papers, 1983-1994
- Subseries A: Political, 1983-1993
- Subseries B: Legislative, 1983-1994
- Subseries C: Administrative, 1983-1994
- Subseries D: Campaign, 1983-1994
- Subseries E: Press Materials,1983-1993
- Series II: Gubernatorial Papers, 1995-1999
- Subseries A: Political, 1995-1998
- Subseries B: Press Materials, 1995-1998
- Subseries C: Campaign/Inaugural, 1994-1999
- Series III: Young Republican National Federation, 1973-1981
- Series IV: Photographs and Audiovisual Material
General Physical Description note