Skip to main content

Lt. General Claire Hutchin papers

Identifier: MS 2023


This collection contains the records of the Maryland Bicentennial Commission, as collected by Executive Director Lt. General Claire Hutchin.


  • 1947-1978
  • Majority of material found in 1973-1977


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical / Historical

Lt. General Claire E. Hutchin, Jr. was born in 1916 and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1938 and the Army War College in 1953. He married Katherine Porter Steel in 1938 and they had two daughters, Katherine and Marion, and two sons, Claire III and William. He served for 35 years in the U.S. Army, holding such posts as Chief of Staff to the Commander in the Chief Pacific, 1967-1969. Principal commands include V Corps in Germany, 1969-1971 and the First Army in the North East United States, headquartered at Fort Meade, Maryland, 1971-1973. He retired from the Army in 1973. Lt. General and Mrs. Hutchin were well known for their numerous volunteer activities. The Lt. General was active in organizations such as the Association of the U.S. Army, the Boy Scouts of America, the Maryland State Cancer Crusade, and the USO Council of Greater Baltimore. Lt. General Claire Hutchin died on June 22, 1980. For more information see Series I, Biographical Information.

From 1973–1977 Lt. General Hutchin served as Executive Director of the Maryland Bicentennial Commission and was responsible for Commission plans, programs, coordination and management of Bicentennial activities on behalf of the Commissioners; public speaking, collaboration and coordination with federal, state, county and civic groups.

The Maryland Bicentennial Commission for the Commemoration of the American Revolution was created by Chapter 458 of the Acts of the General Assembly of Maryland of 1968. Through Chapters 414 and 527 of the Acts of 1970 the Commission was given necessary powers and placed under the umbrella of the Department of Economic and Community Development. The Commission functions were to help develop and coordinate plans of public and private agencies for the commemoration of the American Revolutionary Era. In 1974, Senate Bill 216 authorized the expansion of the commission membership from fifteen people appointed by the governor to twenty-one. The Commission worked in conjunction with the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration, the Bicentennial Council of the Thirteen Original States, county, city and local committees, and numerous civic and educational institutions in Maryland. Hundreds of projects were focused on five areas: Heritage, Festivals, Horizons, Commemorative Items, and Communications. The Commission reduced its staff and level of activity at the end of FY 1977 although efforts were prolonged until 1984.


2.5 Linear Feet (5 boxes; 1 oversized folder)

Language of Materials



The Maryland Historical Society Library received the collection in good condition, but little recognizable order, and thus the archivist has arranged the files into series. Materials within files were left in their original order unless relationships between the items were apparently nonexistent and a better arrangement presented itself. This accounts for varied materials within and across files, and the researcher should broaden his/her search accordingly. As well, a large portion of the collection arrived in no order whatsoever, and was interfiled where appropriate, or used to create new folders. As several files were found with incorrect or unexplainable titles, they were relabeled, giving either greater scope or more detail.

Because the bulk of the collection has the short date range of 1973-1977, the files have been arranged alphabetically by folder title. The exception is the subseries of Annual Reports, which is arranged chronologically.

Series I: Lt. General Claire Hutchin; 1970-1977 (Box 1, 7 folders) This series includes biographical information on Lt. General Claire E. Hutchin, Jr.; those records in the collection not primarily focused on the Commission; and correspondence of Lt. General Hutchin. The bulk of the materials falls between the dates 1973-1977. Subseries 1: Biographical Information; 1970-1977 (Box 1, 5 Folders) This subseries includes short biographies and lists of membership for Lt. General Hutchin, materials relating to Mrs. Hutchin, an award of Lt. General Hutchin, his records of the Association of the US Army and four 8 x 10 photographs of Hutchin, including a portrait. Subseries 2: Correspondence; 1973-1977 (Box 1, 2 Folders) This subseries is divided into general correspondence of Lt. General Hutchin and his correspondence with Louis Goldstein, Comptroller of the Treasury. Of particular interest is a note from Madame Chiang Kai-shek. Some of the materials refer to the Commission.

Series II: Governance; 1968-1977 (Boxes 1-3, 33 Folders) This series focuses on the Maryland Bicentennial Commission and includes materials with an administrative function, reports, personnel materials, planning documents, minutes, and annual reports. The bulk of the material falls between 1971-1977.

Subseries 1: Bylaws; 1968-1977 (Box 1, 4 Folders) This subseries includes the bylaws of the Commission, the legislation of the Maryland General Assembly authorizing and directing the Commission, and other materials that give background information about the Commission, such as a profile of the Commission for the American Bicentennial Revolution Commission (ARBA) and a document titled "Concept, Objectives and Policies."

Subseries 2: Minutes; 1974-1977 (Box 1, 2 Folders) This subseries includes a small collection of minutes and excerpts from minutes of Commission meetings. Most of the documents are from 1974. Subseries 3: Correspondence; 1976-1977 (Box 1, 1 Folder) This subseries contains one folder of correspondence of the Commission. Included in the file are various agenda and minutes found with the correspondence. Researchers are encouraged to also consult the folder titled C. E. Hutchin correspondence.

Subseries 4: Annual Reports; 1969-1976 (Boxes 1-2, 13 Folders) This subseries of Annual Reports is arranged chronologically and contains the reports generated after each fiscal year, as well as some retrospective reports spanning several years, and annual reports from other states. These reports are lengthy and include a great deal of information. Subseries 5: Reports; 1971-1977 (Box 2, 6 Folders) This subseries is arranged alphabetically and contains a report generated by ARBA on the state commissions, monthly and quarterly reports for 1974- 1977, and various reports on Commission programs. Of note is a folder labeled “notebook” that contains various records of the Commission, including apparent lists of who received (or paid for?) various commemorative items.

Subseries 6: Personnel; 1969-1977 (Box 3, 4 Folders) This subseries contains files relating to the staff of the Commission and to the Commissioners. Also included is a folder of the directories and contact lists used by the commission for mailings, etc. Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Subseries 7: Plans; 1974-1982 (Box 3, 4 Folders) This subseries contains plans generated to guide the Commission. Of note are the plans for the commission beyond 1976. Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Series III: Financial Records; 1970-1977 (Boxes 3-4, 19 folders) While this series spans 1970–1977, it is most comprehensive for the fiscal years 1973-1977, for which there are distinct files. Also included in the series are records of the grants that the Maryland Bicentennial Commission received from the American Bicentennial Revolution Commission (ARBA) and then disbursed, budgetary materials, Hutchin’s timesheets and expense account reports, as well as records relating to foundations set up to coordinate with the Commission. This series is arranged alphabetically.

Series IV: Bicentennial Programs and Committees; 1966-1977 (Boxes 4-5, 31 folders) This series is arranged alphabetically. The bulk of the material falls between the dates 1973-1977. While much of the records relate specifically to the programs the Commission sponsored and supported, some of the files contain materials that seem to have served as background information. Examples of some of the programs that the commission supported were the Bicentennial Ball, the Bicentennial Bookshelf, Historical Drama, Legislative Biographical Dictionary and the U.S. Frigate Constellation. Also included are the records, as collected by General Hutchin, of organizations that the Commission partnered with, such as the Boy Scouts, the Racial, Ethnic, Native American Advisory Committee and the Bicentennial Council of the 13 Original States, 1974-1976.

Series V: Printed Material; 1947-1977 (Box 5, 6 folders) This series of Printed Material consists of items collected by Lt. General Hutchin. The Press Clippings folder has the longest date range of 1947-1977, but the majority of the series falls between 1973-1976. The Maryland Continental, the newsletter of the Commission, along with the newsletter of the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, and assorted press releases, brochures and programs, are the mainstay of the series.

Series VI: Speeches; 1976 (Box 5, 1 folder) This series contains two speeches given by Lt. General Hutchin in his position as Executive Director of the Commission.

Series VII: Commemorative Items; 1973-1974 (Box 5, 2 folders) Series VII contains a January 1974 Commemorative Items Report of the Commission and materials relating to the Official Maryland Bicentennial Medal. The two folders are arranged alphabetically.

Series VIII: Ephemera; undated (Box 5, 2 folders) This series is comprised of two undated folders, arranged alphabetically. The first, containing recipes and the second, materials relating to the official symbol of the Maryland Bicentennial Commission.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Katherine Menhennet in 1980 and 1982.

Scope and Contents

The Lt. General Claire Hutchin Papers contain the records of the Maryland Bicentennial Commission as collected by Lt. General Claire E. Hutchin, Jr. It includes biographical information, correspondence of Hutchin, bylaws of the Commission, reports, plans, minutes, financial documents, printed materials, speeches, and materials related to the activities and partnerships that the Commission undertook. This collection spans the years of 1948-1978, with bulk dates of 1973-1977. Particularly useful, for the perspective they give of the Commission and its activities, are the annual reports and financial documents. A weakness of the collection is the capriciousness with which materials relating to the activities and partnerships of the Commission were collected and included, leaving many gaps in content and time span.

The bulk of the material is related to the Maryland Bicentennial Commission, and rests in the annual reports, financial documents and materials relating to the activities and partnerships of the Commission. Included in smaller quantity are materials apparently collected by Hutchin, but not related to the Commission, such as materials on the Association of the US Army, his wife Mrs. Kitts Hutchin, and various brochures.

Guide to the Lt. General Claire Hutchin papers
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Revision Statements

  • 2020-01-07: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Sandra Glascock.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States