Papers of Paul and Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush

Information from Online Catalog


Raushenbush, Elizabeth Brandeis.


Paul A. Raushenbush and Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush papers, 1918-1980.


9.6 c.f. (24 archives boxes),1 tape recording, and photographs.


Papers of a husband and wife team of economists who were important in the drafting and enactment of the Wisconsin Unemployment Compensation law. In addition, Paul Raushenbush (1898-1980) was head of the Wisconsin Unemployment Division from 1934 to 1967 and Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush (1896-1984) was a professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin and a leader in the Wisconsin League of Women Voters.
Her papers document teaching at the University of Wisconsin, activities in the League of Women Voters (especially its Wisconsin Tax Study Committee) and the American Federation of Teachers Local 223, extensive public speaking and writing on labor-related topics, and service on various state and federal study committees. Included are Paul's general correspondence, speeches and writings (including an edited oral history published as "Our U.C. Story"), and unemployment compensation materials (1932-1934) not related to administration of the Wisconsin Unemployment Division.
Prominent correspondents include Grace Abbott, Arthur Altmeyer, John B. Andrews, Fr. Joseph Becker, Clara M. Beyer, Andrew J. Biemiller, John R. Commons, Morris L. Ernst, Lincoln Filene, Felix Frankfurter, Josephine Goldmark, Harold Groves, Roger Sherman Hoar, David E. Lilienthal, Harold W. Story, Mary E. Switzer, Edwin E. Witte, members of the Raushenbush family, and Louis B. Brandeis.

Finding aid:


Associated Materials:

Files of Paul Raushenbush as head of the Wisconsin Unemployment Division are in the Wisconsin State Archives as Series 2145.


Abbott, Grace, 1878-1939.
Altmeyer, Arthur Joseph, 1891- .
Andrews, John B. (John Bertram), 1880-1943.
Becker, Joseph M.
Beyer, Clara Mortenson, 1892- .
Biemiller, Andrew J. (Andrew John), 1906-1982.
Brandeis, Louis Dembitz, 1856-1941.
Commons, John Rogers, 1862-1945.
Ernst, Morris Leopold, 1888- .
Filene, A. Lincoln, 1865- .
Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965.
Goldmark, Josephine Clara, 1877-1950.
Groves, Harold M. (Harold Martin), 1897-1969.
Hoar, Roger Sherman.
Lilienthal, David Eli, 1899-1981.
Story, Harold Willis, 1890- .
Switzer, Mary Elizabeth, 1900- .
Witte, Edwin Emil, 1887-1960.
American Federation of Teachers. Local 223 (University of Wisconsin)
League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.
University of Wisconsin--Faculty.
College teachers' unions--Wisconsin.
Insurance, Unemployment--Wisconsin.
Labor economics.


Manuscript collection.
Sound recordings.

Additional Authors/Creators:

Raushenbush, Paul A. (Paul Arthur), b. 1898

RLIN Number:



Archives Main Stacks

Call Number:

Mss 803

Shelf Location:

Box 1-24 MAD 3 / 4/C5-6, D5-6


Archives Main Stacks

Call Number:

Lot 3652

Shelf Location:

Photographs MAD Icon/Lot 3652


Archives Sound Holdings

Call Number:

Tape 1250A

Shelf Location:

1 tape recording MAD Sound/Tape 1250A
Background Information

Register of the

RAUSHENBUSH, PAUL A. (1898-1980) and ELIZABETH BRANDEIS (1896-1984). PAPERS, 1918-1980. 9.6 c.f. (24 archives bows), 1 tape recording, and photographs.

Papers of a husband and wife team of economists who were important in the drafting and enactment of the Wisconsin Unemployment Compensation law. In addition, Paul Raushenbush was head of Wisconsin Unemployment Division from 1934 to 1967 (these records are catalogued as Public Records Series 2145), and Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush was a professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin and a leader in the League of Women Voters.

Included are his general correspondence, speeches and writings (including an edited oral history published as Our U.C. Story) and unemployment compensation materials (1932-1934) not related to administration of the Wisconsin Unemployment Division. Her papers document teaching at the University of Wisconsin, activities in the League of Women Voters (especially its Wisconsin Tax Study Committee) and the American Federation of Teachers Local 223, extensive public speaking and writing on labor-related topics, and service on various state and federal study committees.

Prominent correspondents include Grace Abbott, Arthur Altmeyer, John B. Andrews, Fr. Joseph Becker, Clare M. Beyer, Andrew J. Biemiller, John R. Commons, Morris L. Ernst, Lincoln Filene, Felix Frankfurter, Josephine Goldmark, Harold Groves, Roger Sherman Hoar, David E. Lilienthal, Harold W. Story, Mary E. Switzer, Edwin E. Witte, and members of the Raushenbush family such as Carl Raushenbush and Elizabeth Mahr Raushenbush. There are also some letters from Justice Louis D. Brandeis.

Presented by Elizabeth, Paul, and Walter B. Raushenbush, Madison, Wisconsin, 1972-1984, and by Eugene Sasman, 1984. M72-189, M73-464, M76-627, M80-598, M83-359, M84-025, M84-411.

Processed by Phyllis Holman Weisbard (1991 Intern)-1992
Location 3/4/(5-6 and D5-6

Biographical Background
Paul A. and Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush were a husband and wife team of economists whose individual and joint careers exemplified the Wisconsin Idea. They are best known for their work with Harold Groves, 1930-1932, in developing and securing the passage of Wisconsin's unemployment compensation legislation, the first such legislation in the nation. During this period the couple was also involved with similar legislation in Massachusetts and in crafting the unemployment sections of the 1935 Social Security Act. In 1934 Paul Raushenbush became head of the Wisconsin Unemployment Compensation Division, serving in that capacity until his retirement in January 1967. As administrator, Raushenbush's work was characterized by his ongoing efforts to prevent the federalization of the unemployment compensation field.

Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush (often referred to as E.B.) had an important career as an economist in her own right, teaching at the University of Wisconsin for over forty years and carrying out research on many labor and social issues. She was also a prolific writer and public speaker, and she carried her ideas into the public arena through many years of leadership in the Wisconsin League of Women Voters.

After their retirements Paul and Elizabeth completed a lengthy oral history interview for Columbia University. In 1978 they published an expanded version of this interview entitled Our U.C. Story (1930-1967).

Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush
1896 Born in Boston, Massachusetts, the second daughter of Louis D. Brandeis and Alice Goldmark Brandeis
1918 B.A., Radcliffe College
1919-1923 Assistant secretary and secretary, D.C. Minimum Wage Board
1923-1928 Graduate student in Economics Department, University of Wisconsin
1924 Faculty member, Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers
1924 Began 42-year career teaching part-time in the University of Wisconsin Economics Department
1925 Married Paul A. Raushenbush
1928 Completed Ph.D.
1928 Son Walter born
1945 Served as president of AFT Local 223
1966 Retired from University
1984 Died in Madison, April 30

Paul Raushenbush
1898 Born in Rochester, N.Y., the son of prominent Baptist minister Walter Rauschenbusch
1915 Graduated from East Rochester High School
1920 Graduated from Amherst College, Phi Beta Kappa
1922 Graduate student and teaching assistant in economics, University of Wisconsin
1927-1932 Assistant professor of economics and Experimental College
1931-1932 Assisted in drafting and passage of Wisconsin unemployment compensation law while on leave from UW
1932 Consultant to AFL and Massachusetts Industrial Commission
1932-1934 Consultant to Wisconsin Industrial Commission
1932-1942 Council member, American Association for Labor Legislation
1934 Appointed director of Unemployment Compensation Department
1935 Consultant to Social Security Board, drafted model state U.C. laws
1942-1943 President of Interstate Conference of Employment Security Agencies, also held various other offices and helped with establishment of ICESA
1963 Elected life member of Interstate Conference of Employment Security Agencies
1967 Retired from state service
1980 Died in Madison January 17

The papers are arranged in two series: ELIZABETH BRANDEIS RAUSHENBUSH and PAUL A. RAUSHENBUSH.

Scope and Content
The researcher using the Raushenbush Papers may be aided by understanding some of the history of the collection. The papers were donated to the historical Society by the Raushenbush family in many accessions over a course of several years. During his retirement Paul attempted to organize the material, which consisted of his personal files as well as some records of the Unemployment Compensation Division, but at the time of their receipt at the Society the arrangement was inconsistent and the original order indiscernible. In the meantime Elizabeth Raushenbush had donated a small collection of her papers to the Schlesinger Library.

In 1985 SHSW catalogued all of Paul Raushenbush's papers as Public Records Series 2145 and removed Elizabeth Raushenbush's papers which were regarded as a manuscript collection. In 1991 Mrs. Raushenbush's papers were reviewed and, based on the close professional involvement of the couple, the couple's papers were redefined based on their original legal status as archival material: records relating to the administration of the Unemployment Compensation Division during Paul Raushenbush's tenure as director, 1934-1967, remained part of Series 2145, while all EB's papers, PAR's papers outside the chronological scope of Series, 2145 and his personal correspondence and writings were catalogued as a manuscript collection.

The manuscript collection is divided into two series: one series comprised of his papers and a second series of her papers, but given the interrelatedness of their careers and interests that distinction is not precise. Documentation on the 1930's is very rich, covering well the important position of the Raushenbushes in the social insurance legislation of that decade, both. nationally and in Wisconsin. In general, personal and family correspondence addressed to both of them and their joint autobiographical writings may be found in the PAUL A. RAUSHENBUSH section of the collection. The small quantity of photographs received with the papers are also listed under his section.

The ELIZABETH BRANDEIS RAUSHENBUSH papers, which form the larger section of the manuscript collection, are organized into six categories: University of Wisconsin career; speeches and writings; League of Women Voters, governmental committees memberships, correspondence and notes, and miscellany.

E.B. began teaching as a graduate student and progressed through the instructor and professorial ranks in the Economics Department, ending as a full professor. Her teaching was entirely part-time, generally alternating between American Economic History and Labor Legislation, although she also taught in some interdisciplinary courses. In addition, she served on various faculty committees and was an active member of AFT Local 223, serving as president in 1945. All of these endeavors are represented in this section, but especially notable are notes on course development; lecture notes for her courses; and correspondence, memoranda and statistical information gathered as part of her union activities. Correspondence with former students and others relating to her teaching is interfiled with the CORRESPONDENCE AND NOTES. Researchers on this area of E.B.'s career may also wish to consult a 1974 oral history interview held by the University of Wisconsin Archives.

Her speeches and writings are extensively documented. During her career E.B. spoke both live and over the radio on topics ranging from her support of Progressive political candidates to her interest in labor. Many of these speeches and notes contain interesting reminiscences of people she knew such as her father, John R. Commons, Clara Beyer, Selig Perlman, Pauline Goldmark, and Harold Groves. The speeches are largely arranged by date, although some material is arranged, as she did herself, by subject. In some cases both notes and final copy are included. Several additional speeches presented to LWV audiences may be found filed in that section of the collection.

The writings are arranged chronologically by date. Several files include drafts and related correspondence. Of special note is the manuscript (filed as circa 1953) on Florence Kelley begun by Josephine Goldmark which E.B. completed after her aunt's death. League of Women Voters material primarily relates to E.B.'s work with the Wisconsin League, although there is some documentation on both the national and Madison groups. Her collection augments the LWV records held by the Historical Society primarily in its documentation of the League's interest during the 1950's in the important taxation issue. Her League subject files also have parallel files in the State League records, with E.B.'s files containing useful supplementary material and notes. Some of the documentation on the Equal Rights Amendment, of which E.B. was an opponent, is from the National Committee to Defeat the Unequal Equal Rights Amendment.

Small files document Mrs. Raushenbush's membership on various government committees and commissions, especially various industry committees of the U.S. Department of Labor during the later 1930's and 1940's.

Her correspondence and notes are divided into two categories: a general chronological file covering the period 1935 to 1953 and an alphabetical subject file. However, because of the breath and complexity of her interests, the two files are not mutually exclusive. The correspondence, which includes both incoming and carbons of her outgoing letters, is largely concerned with professional interests, teaching, and publications, although, because she knew so well such individuals as Felix Frankfurter, Clara Morteason Beyer, and Mary Switzer, the distinction between personal and professional correspondence is not precise. In addition to letters this section contains handwritten notes, writings by E.B. and others, and legislative drafts.

The general section of E.B.'s correspondence contains scattered letters from Arthur Altmeyer, Grace Abbott, John B. Andrews, Andrew Biemiller, John R. Commons, Morris Ernst, Lincoln Filene, Harold Groves, David Lilienthal, William Gorham Rice, Harold W. Story, Mary E. Switzer, and Edwin E. Witte, as well as documenting her relationship with many governmental agencies and organizations such as the National Consumers League, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Social Security Board, and the National Child Labor Committee. There is also some correspondence here concerning Carl Raushenbush and the Raushenbush family and their respective interests in social issues during the 1930's. Correspondence with the Brandeis family includes letters to and from Josephine Goldmark and numerous items concerning management of property in Massachusetts of the Raushenbush and Brandeis families.

The subject portion of her correspondence contains files documenting topics in which she was interested, primarily minimum wage legislation, unemployment compensation, and protective labor laws for women and children. Also represented is additional correspondence with John B. Andrews, Clara Mortenson Beyer, and Josephine Goldmark. The folder containing correspondence with Louis Brandeis consists of xerox copies of letters from the chief justice, primarily on unemployment matters, as well as a few copies of letters from E.B. to her father. Unfortunately the xerox copies are difficult to read and the location of the originals is unknown. The miscellaneous material consists primarily of informational material and writings by others unaccompanied by correspondence.

The PAUL A. RAUSHENBUSH papers consist of biographical information, correspondence, speeches and writings, and unemployment compensation files.

His correspondence consists of a chronologically-arranged general section and two alphabetical subject files. The general category begins with a 1917 form letter from Robert M. La Follette, Sr. and material pertaining to Raushenbush's overseas travel after World War I. More significant correspondence from the 1930's contains numerous exchanges with Harold Groves and E.E. Witte, as well as less frequent letters from Louis B. Brandeis, Abraham Epstein of the American Association for Old Age Security, and Aubrey Williams of the Wisconsin Conference of. Social Work. Coverage of the late 1930's and 1940's is fragmentary and incomplete, while later years are more extensively covered. The majority of these later items consist of personal correspondence, especially incoming and outgoing letters from Carl Raushenbush and Winifred Raushenbush Rorty. Special files within the correspondence document Raushenbush's long professional relationship with Fr. Joseph Becker and his teaching experience at the University of Wisconsin Experimental College.

Speeches and writings include chapter drafts and notes for his uncompleted dissertation on labor relations in the Philadelphia transit industry and an edited version of the couple's Columbia University oral history interview which was eventually published as Our U.C. Story. Also present are drafts and final copies of speeches and writings and a recording of remarks concerning the role of Jacob F. Friedrick in the unemployment compensation effort in Wisconsin.

The unemployment compensation files in this collection cover only the period 1932-1934 when Raushenbush was working as a consultant to the Wisconsin Unemployment Compensation Advisory Committee. Included is correspondence with Arthur Altmeyer, B. J. Gehrmann, Roger Sherman Hoar, H. W. Story, and others concerning the preparation of the Wisconsin standard voluntary plan. Also related to the early days of unemployment compensation in Wisconsin is background information on the J.I. Case unemployment benefit plan, a draft U.C. handbook, and form letters to employers. Raushenbush's work as a consultant to Massachusetts is also represented here, and the correspondence with Felix Frankfurter is especially rich in that regard. Several folders relate to consultations with Tom Corcoran, Thomas H. Eliot, and other federal officials over the drafting of the Wagner-Lewis bill.
Container List
Mss 803



  University of Wisconsin career, 1924 1966
1 1 Thesis material, 1925-1966
  Course and lecture material
  2 Contemporary trends, 1942-1943
  3 Economic Institution, 1930-1932
  4 Economics of War, 1943
  5 Freshman Forum and Contemporary Trends, 1944-1954
  6 Labor Law, 1931-1932
  7 Labor Legislation and Social Security, 1963-1966
  8 Social Security seminar proposal, 1945
  9 American Institutions major, 1949-1951
  10 Integrated Introduction to Social Science, 1944-1945
  11 Unemployment compensation and public administration, training proposal, 1937-1938
  12 Wisconsin population, Science study by Agricultural Experiment Station, 1940-1942
 2 1-3 University Committee, 1951-1954
  4-6 American Federation of Teachers, Local 223, 1932-1953
  Speeches and writings
Speeches and radio talks
Dated file
  7 1933-1934
 3 1-7 1935-1973
  Subject file
  8 Government and labor relations, 1937
  9 Groves memorial, 1969
  10 Labor legislation, 1926
  11-12 Progressive campaign speeches, 1934, 1936
  13 Unemployment reserves, 1931
 4 1 Women's hours, 1931
  Articles and books
  2-8 1931-1935
5 1-15 1936-ca. 1953
6 1 ca. 1953, Continued
  2 Miscellaneous writings
  3 Book reviews, 1938-1944
  League of Women Voters
  4 National, 1950-1952
  5-9 General correspondence, 1948-1956
  10 Personal correspondence, 1952-1953
  11 Speeches and talks, 1948 1953
  Taxation Study Committee
  12-17 General, 1950-1961
  Issues and events
7 1 Chicago regional economic conference,1948
  2 Tax fight in Wisconsin Legislature, 1949
  3 Legislation supported, 1952
  4 Income tax secrecy, 1952-1953
  5 Tag kits and short memos, 1952 1953
  6 Tax questionnaires, 1952-1953
  7 Railroad taxation, 1952, n.d.
  8 25% tax ceiling amendment, 1953
  9 Tax yield work sheets, 1954
  Subject files
  10 Budget, 1952-1954
  11 Continuing responsibilities (CR's) of LWV, n.d.
  12-13 Education, State aid to, 1949-1950, 1956
  14-15 Equal Rights Amendment, 1931-1951
  16 Highway taxation, 1947-1949
  17 Indian rights, 1956
  18 Non-tag legislation, 1950 1953
8 1 Reapportionment, 1951-1953
  2 General, 1951-1955
  3-4 Tax Study Group meetings, 1947-1949
  Governmental committees and commission memberships
  5 Industry committees, U.S. Dept of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, 1939-1942
  6 Migratory Labor, Governor's Commission on, 1959 1970
  7 Wisconsin State Employment Service Advisory Council,1934-1938
  8-9 Young Workers Advisory Council, U.S. Bureau of Labor Standards, 1951-1958
  Correspondence and notes
General chronological file
  10-11 1935-1937
9   1938-1942
10   1943-1953
  Correspondence and notes, Continued
Alphabetical file
11 1-2 American Federation of Labor, 1925-1926, 1932
  3 Andrews, John B., 1935-1936
  4 Brandeis, Louis D., 1914-1941
  5-6 Child labor, 1933-1937
  7 Family planning, 1967-1969
  8-9 Health insurance, 1937 1938, 1971
  10 Hertz, Hermann, 1941-1942
  11 Human Rights, Governor's Commission on, 1966
12 1 Labor law administration, n.d.
  2 Migrant Farm Workers Amendment to Social Security,1967-1971
  Minimum wage
  3 Constitutionality, 1936
  4 Correspondence, 1933-1934
  5 EB drafts, 1967
  6 Other state legislation, 1932-1933
  7 Revisions, 1945 19046
  8-9 Wisconsin, 1933, 1939
  10 National Progressives of America, 1938
  11 National Recovery Administration, 1933-1935
  12-13 No-fault auto insurance, Saskatchewan, 1957, 1967-1971
  14 Progressive National Committee for FDR, 1936
  15 Progressive Party, 1940
  16 Refugee children bill, 1939
  17 Rice, Peter, Memorial fund, 1946-1947
13 1 Street traders bill, 1937
  Unemployment compensation
  2 General correspondence, 1932-1933
  3 Chicago, 1923, 1927
  4 Miscellaneous states, 1932
  5 Tennessee, 1942-1943
  6 Wagner-Lewis bill (and Massachusetts), 1934
  7 Morton critique of EB position, 1945
  8 Anniversary luncheon, 1967
  Women and children's wages and hours
14 1-2 1931
  3-4 1932 Waupun hearing
  5 1932-1935
  6 1966-1970
  7 Commons, "Preface," n.d.
  8 Employment agencies' court cases, 1931
  9 Farmer attitudes toward labor relations boards, (Student paper), 1939
  10 "Hogben" lecture notes, 1940
  11 Married women's names, 1974
  12 Negative income tax (Robert Lampman), 1965
  13 Personnel of Wisconsin Industrial Commission, n.d.
  14 Sex equality and protective laws (Richard Brockel), 1926
  15 Summer School for Workers, 1936-1939
  16 Unemployment Compensation merit rating (student paper ?), 1939
  17 Wage collection memos, n.d.
  18 Wisconsin governmental reorganization, 1967
15 1 Biographical miscellany and income tag forms, 1955-1960, n.d.
Workmen's compensation brief (Weiss, Harry), 1937
  2 Workmen's compensation opposition, a.d.
  Biographical miscellany
  4 Resumes and Rauschenbusch genealogical information
Photo Lot 3652 Photographs concerning general career activities
16   1918 1969
17 1-7 1970-1980, n.d.
  Becker, Father Joseph
  8 1948, 1952-1959
18 1-3 1960-1978
  4 Experimental College, 1977-1978
  Speeches and writings
  5-6 Dissertation drafts and notes
  7-8 Columbia oral history correspondence and insertions, 1966-1979
  Our U.C. Story-Edited oral history draft
  9 Chapters 1-6
19 1-3 Chapters 6-Appendices
  4 Correspondence
  5-10 General, 1930-1960's
Tape 1250A Recorded testimonial about Jacob F. Friedrick
August 28, 1974, by Paul A. Raushenbush, particularly concerning-Friedrick's early
advocacy for unemployment compensation legislation
  Unemployment compensation files
20 1-7 General correspondence, 1932 1934
  8 Altmeyer, Arthur, 1933
  9 American Federation of Labor, 1932
Andrews, John B.
  10 1931
21 1-3 1932-1934
  4 Bills and letters, 1932-1933
  5 Chronology of unemployment compensation pre 1931
  6-7 Case unemployment benefit plan, 1931-1933
  8 Eliot, Thomas, 1934
  9 Employees covered, 1932
  10 Employers with ten or more employees, 1932
  11 Epstein, Abraham, 1933
  12 Form letters, rules of Unemployment Compensation Dept.,1932-1934
  13 Guaranteed employment, 1933 1934
Handbook for U.C. Act, 1932
  14 Draft
22 1 Continued
  2 Analyses
  3-4 Hoar, Roger Sherman, 1932-1934
  5 Industrial relations counselors memoranda, 1932-1933
  6 Minnesota, 1932-1933
  7-12 Massachusetts, 1932-1934
23 1 Metropolitan Assurance, 1932-1933
  2 Miscellaneous articles and speeches, 1931-1933
  3 Miscellaneous material re U.C. Dept., 1932-1934
  4 Story, H.W., 1933
  5 Voluntary unemployment compensation plans (A.B.C. and other plans), 1932-1933
  6 Unemployment compensation bill, 1925
  7 Wisconsin Manufacturers Association meeting, 1933
  8 XYZ Voluntary unemployment reserve plan, 1933
24   Wagner-Lewis bill, Correspondence and drafts, 1934