An inventory of
his papers at Syracuse University
||Eldon Pletcher Papers
18.6 linear ft.
||Over 1,500 pieces of original artwork for editorial cartoons drawn for the
Sioux City Journal, proofs, correspondence and clippings and reprints. Includes one magazine article
||Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
Eldon Pletcher (1922- ) is an American cartoonist best known for his editorial
Eldon Pletcher was born in Goshen, Indiana on September 10, 1922 and while in high
school, submitted his cartoons to contests. Pletcher studied at the Chicago Academy
of Fine Arts for a year under cartoonist Vaughn Shoemaker before serving in World
War II with the Combat Engineers Battalion. While in the military, Pletcher drew gag
cartoons that he submitted to
Yank. He also studied at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and the John Herron Art
School in Indianapolis. After getting married, Pletcher moved to Kansas City, Missouri
where he worked construction jobs and at an automobile manufacturing plant.
In 1949, Pletcher became the editorial cartoonist for the
Sioux City Journal, replacing Roy Justus. Pletcher left Sioux City in 1966 and in December of that year,
began drawing cartoons for the New Orleans
Times Picayune following Keith Temple's retirement. During the 1970s, Pletcher created
First the Good News, a panel cartoon distributed by Rothco Cartoons.
Pletcher was a member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. The Freedoms
Foundation honored Pletcher with over a dozen awards, and in 1955, Pletcher won the
Christopher Award. Pletcher’s cartoons have appeared in the Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year series and magazines including Time. His work is in the permanent collections of the Harry Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson
Pletcher retired from the
Times Picayune in August 1984.
Return to top
The Eldon Pletcher Papers are divided into four series.
Cartoons (1956-1966) contains approximately 1,590 pieces of original artwork for editorial
cartoons published in the
Sioux City Journal.
There are 1,080 dated cartoons that are arranged chronologically as well as 510 undated
cartoons that are arranged alphabetically by caption. Topics of interest are the Cold
War and the spread of communism to the western hemisphere, efforts by John F. Kennedy
and Dwight Eisenhower to curb economic recessions, the United States’ relationship
with Nikita Khrushchev (including his visit to the United States which included a
trip to Iowa), the 1960 presidential election, the U-2 incident and pushes for civil
rights legislation as far back as 1960. Within Pletcher’s depiction of the 1960 election
is the issue of farming, likely reflecting Pletcher’s Midwestern readers. Many cartoons
deal with Berlin and the division of East and West Germany.Later cartoons address
the United States' increasing involvement in the Vietnam War.
Only a handful of cartoons are Iowa specific. Those that are typically depict the
Iowa Legislature and occasionally the Sioux City government.
Original artwork was produced with pen, brush, ink and crayon on paper of varying
weights and textures. Traces of blue pencil are visible. This collection reflects
changes in Pletcher's style. Early cartoons feature high contrast crayon shading,
while cartoons from approximately 1963 onward have zipatone dot screening in addition
to shading. Captions appear at the top in ink. Publication dates appear in ink as
days of the week and specific dates are also stamped on the front. Artwork measures
approximately 15"x 20".
Correspondence (1951-1966) contains primarily incoming correspondence sent to Pletcher or forwarded
on to Pletcher by the
Sioux City Journal. There is a handful of copies of outgoing carbon responses from Pletcher or at times
Frequently Pletcher’s name is mistaken for Fletcher on the correspondence.
Letters include: those written by political figures including Richard Nixon, Barry
Goldwater, Hubert Humphrey and Harry Truman (as well as the director of Truman's presidental
library); a thank you note from Jimmy Hoffa; inquiries from magazine and book publishers
about reprinting Pletcher’s work and letters from readers including an 83 year old
Omaha woman who writes Pletcher several times in the early 1950s. Subjects include
opinions on Pletcher’s work, requests for original cartoon artwork and notifications
from organizations and awards committees, particularly the Freedoms Foundation.
There are also pieces of correspondence from other cartoonists: Dan Dowling, D.R.
Fitzpatrick, Scott Long, Jack Bender, Bill Boynansky and Newton Pratt.
Proofs (1958-1966) contains engraver’s proofs of Pletcher's editorial cartoons printed
in black and white on glossy paper. Dates are stamped on the top next to captions
written in ballpoint pen.
Clippings and Reprints contains several miscellaneous items (some of which are undated), namely clippings
of Pletcher's cartoons as they a appeared in magazines such as
Time. There is also a magazine article in French with cartoons about international politics,
promotional material from the National Newspaper Syndicate and a newspaper clipping
about a Freedoms Foundation award and a photograph of an award.
Return to top
Original artwork is arranged chronologically where dates appear and alphabetically
by caption where undated. Correspondence and proofs are arranged chronologically.
Return to top
The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require
advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance
concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.
Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and
all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from
materials in this collection.
Return to top
Albert T. Reid Cartoon Collection: a description and listing of contents has been removed from the collection and sent to Rare Books.
See also the
Roy Justus Papers for additional editorial cartoons from the
Sioux City Journal.
Special Collections Research Center has collections of over one hundred cartoonists.
Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index
for a complete listing.
Return to top
Castro, Fidel, 1926- -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Gaulle, Charles de, 1890-1970 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Goldwater, Barry M. (Barry Morris), 1909-1998 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Hoffa, James R. (James Riddle), 1913- -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Pletcher, Eldon -- Archives.
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Democratic Party (U.S.) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
United Nations -- Caricatures and cartoons.
United States. Congress -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Sioux City Journal.
Agriculture -- Caricatures and cartoons.
American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Arms race -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- Iowa -- Sioux City.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Civil rights movements -- United States -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Cold War -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Communism -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Editorial cartoons -- Iowa -- Sioux City.
Editorial cartoons -- United States.
Elections -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Industrial relations -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
World politics -- 1945-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Berlin (Germany) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1945-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Genres and Forms
Clippings (information artifacts)
Cartoons (humorous images)
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Eldon Pletcher Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
Eldon Pletcher, 1964-1966.
Finding Aid Information
Created by: [Summit record]
Revision history: 12 Mar 2007 - converted to EAD (MRC);
23 Apr 2010 - added bio, scope and inventory (SK)
Return to top
here for a detailed inventory.
1960 Dec-1961 Jun
1965 Sep-1966 Mar
||A-C circa 1957-1960
||D-G circa 1956-1960
||H-L circa 1958-1960
||M-P circa 1956-1960
||R-Thi circa 1956-1960
||Thr-W circa 1957-1960
||Clippings and Reprints
||Freedoms Foundation article and photograph of award 1956, undated
||French magazine article with cartoons by various cartoonists undated
||National Newspaper Syndicate promotional material undated
||Reprints in news magazines 1958, 1960, 1963
Return to top
The following is a list of predominant people, places and subjects appearing in the
editorial cartoons in this collection. The list is not exhaustive. Some subjects
may require you to browse with alternative terms.
B= Box, For example: B1= Box 1.
- Acheson, Dean : B15
- Adams, Sherman : B14; B16-B18
- Adenauer, Konrad : B7-B8
- AFL-CIO : B4; B18
- Africa : B2-B3; B9; B13
- Alabama : B3; B7-B8; B11
- Alaska : B9
- Algeria : B1-B3; B5
- Alliance for Progress : B6-B7
- aluminum industry : B12
- American Medical Association : B7; B10
- Americans for Democratic Action : B10
- anti-trust laws : B5
- Argentina : B5; B10
- Arkansas (Little Rock) : B14-B16; B18
- armed forces : B5; B10-B12; B18
- arts : B12
- Asia : B2; B7-B13; B17
- Austria : B2
- automation : B8; B10
- baker's union : B18
- Baker, Bobby : B8-B11
- Barnett, Ross : B6
- Beck, Dave : B14; B18
- Benson, Ezra Taft : B1; B3; B15-B16; B18
- Berlin Wall : B4-B8; B10-B11
- Berlin : B3-B8; B13-B18
- Bowles, Chester : B3; B7
- Brezhnev, Leonid Ilyich : B10-B12
- Britain : B3-B4; B7; B10; B12-B13; B15; B18
- Brown Sr., Edmund Gerald : B6; B13; B16
- Brown v. Board of Education : B4; B9
- budget : B1-B3; B5-B8; B12-B13; B15-B17
- Bulganin, Nikolai : B14
- Bulgaria : B5
- Burch, Dean : B10
- Burma : B3; B9
- business : B5-B6; B13; B16
- Butler, Paul : B14; B17
- Byrd, Harry : B5
- California : B4-B6; B14
- Cambodia : B5; B8-B9
- Canada : B7-B8; B10
- capitalism : B4; B6; B8; B15
- Castro, Fidel : B1-B9; B12; B14
- census : B1
- Central Intelligence Agency : B3
- charity : B6; B16
- Chile, Harold : B7
- Chile : B10
- China : SEE ALL BOXES
- Churchill, Winston : B7; B16; B18
- civil rights : B1-B5; B7-B11; B13; B15-B17
- coal industry : B7
- Cold War : SEE ALL BOXES
- colonialism : B4-B5; B9-B10; B12
- common market : B4-B8
- communications : B9
- communism : B1-B11; B13; B15-B18
- Congo : B2-B7
- Congress : SEE ALL BOXES
- conservatism : B5; B7; B10
- copper industry : B12
- corruption : B8; B13; B15-B16; B18
- cost of living : B13-B18
- crime : B5; B8; B10-B12
- Cuba : B1-B4; B6-B10; B12-B15; B18
- Cuba Missile Crisis : B6
- Cyprus : B9; B13
- Czechoslovakia : B5
- de Gaulle, Charles : B1; B3; B5-B13; B15; B18
- Democratic Party : SEE ALL BOXES
- demonstrations : B2; B8; B11-B12
- Diem, Ngo Dinh : B8
- Dirksen, Everett : B11-B12
- disarmament : B1-B4; B6-B7; B10-B11; B13-B15; B18
- Dominican Republic : B11
- drug use : B3
- drunk driving : B6
- Dulles, John Foster : B1; B13-B14; B18
- economy : B4-B7; B9; B13-B17
- education : B3-B4; B16; B18
- Egypt : B13
- Eisenhower, Dwight : B1-B3; B6; B8; B10; B12-B18
- elections : B1-B10; B12-B18
- En-lai, Chou : B1
- Erhard, Ludwig : B8; B12
- Estes, Billie Sol : B5
- ethics : B3
- Europe : B7; B10
- farming : B1-B3; B5; B7; B12; B14-B18
- Faubus, Orval : B13-B15; B17-B18
- Finland : B4
- Florida : B9
- Floyd River Valley : B1
- Ford, Gerald R. : B11
- foreign aid : B1; B3; B5; B7-B9; B11; B14-B17
- foreign policy : B1; B9-B10; B13; B15-B18
- Formosa : B13; B15-B16
- France : B7; B9-B13; B15; B18
- free press : B6
- Freeman, Orville : B3; B5; B7
- gambling : B4
- Germany : B1-B4; B8; B10; B13-B15; B18
- Glenn, John : B5; B9
- gold : B2-B3; B8
- Goldberg, Arthur : B6; B11
- Goldwater, Barry : B4-B12
- government spending : B2-B3; B5; B7-B10; B13-B18
- graduates : B6; B11
- Great Society : B10-B12
- Halleck, Charles : B11
- Hammarskjold, Dag : B2-B3
- Harlem : B10
- health care : B1; B5
- Herter, Christian : B1; B16-B17
- Ho Chi Minh : B12
- Hoffa, Jimmy : B1; B3; B9; B13; B15-B18
- holidays : B2-B4; B6; B8; B10-B14; B16
- Hoover Commission : B14
- housing : B9; B11
- Humphrey, Hubert : B1; B9-B16
- Hungary : B5; B13; B15-B17
- immigration : B11
- imperialism : B2; B5; B8; B11
- India : B1; B4; B6; B9; B12; B17-B18
- Indonesia : B8; B11
- industry (general) : B3; B6; B13
- inflation : B1; B3; B9; B12; B14-B18
- integration : B2-B4; B6-B7; B9; B13-B15; B17-B18
- Internal Revenue Service : B7
- Iowa Legislature : B3; B9; B13
- Iowa : B18
- Iran : B13
- Iraq : B17-B18
- Italy : B7
- Japan : B2
- Jim Crow : B9; B11
- jobs : B9
- Johnson, Lyndon Baines : B1; B3-B4; B8-B13; B15-B16; B18
- journalism : B7; B13; B18
- Kaganovich : B5
- Kai-shek, Chiang : B9
- Kefauver, Estes : B16
- Kennedy, Caroline : B6
- Kennedy, John F. : B1-B8; B10; B13; B15-B16
- Kennedy, Robert F. : B5-B6; B12
- Kennedy, Ted : B5-B6
- Khanh, Nguyen : B10
- Khrushchev, Nikita : B1-B10; B13-B18
- Korean War : B5; B12; B18
- Kosygin, Alexey : B11-B12
- Kozlov, Frol R. : B15
- Ku Klux Klan : B11
- labor : B1; B8; B10; B13-B18
- Laos : B3-B7; B9; B15; B17
- Latin America : B1; B3; B5; B7; B9; B12
- law and order : B11
- League of Nations : B4
- Lebanon : B13
- Lenin, Vladimir : B3; B7
- Lincoln, Abraham : B9; B11
- Lindsay, John : B12
- Liu, Shaoqi : B13
- Lodge Jr., Henry Cabot : B2; B8-B10
- Long, Russell : B9
- Louisiana : B2-B3
- MacArthur, Douglas : B18
- MacMillan, Harold : B7-B8; B10; B15; B17
- Malaya : B5
- Malaysia : B8-B9; B11
- Malenkov, Georgy : B5
- Malinovsky, Rodion : B2
- Martin, Joe : B15
- Marx, Karl : B2-B3
- McNamara, Robert : B7-B12
- Meany, George : B16; B18
- Medicare : B5; B7; B10-B11
- Meyner, Robert B. : B13; B15-B16
- Middle East : B2; B7; B13-B18
- Mikoyan, Anastas : B12; B17-B18
- minimum wage : B3; B12
- Mississippi : B6; B10
- Missouri River : B16
- Molotov, Vyacheslav : B4-B5
- Monroe Doctrine : B2-B3
- Morse, Wayne : B1; B16
- Morton, Thurston B. : B16
- Nasser, Gamal Abdel : B7; B16; B18
- national debt : B1; B5; B7-B8; B10; B13-B15; B17-B18
- nationalism : B13; B15; B18
- NATO : B1; B6-B12; B14; B18
- Nehru, Jawaharlal : B1; B4; B6; B16-B17
- neutrality : B6
- New Deal : B2
- New Frontier : B2-B3; B5-B8
- New York City : B15
- Nhu, Madame Ngo Dinh : B8
- Nixon, Richard M. : B1-B10; B12-B15; B17-B18
- North Korea : B1
- nuclear weapons : B1-B16; B18
- Organization of American States : B5
- organized crime : B2; B4; B8; B13; B15-B18
- Pakistan : B12
- Panama : B9; B17
- Paraguay : B10
- Pasternak, Boris : B15
- payola : B1
- peace : B1-B5; B7-B8; B11-B12; B14-B17
- Pentagon : B5; B18
- Peron, Juan Domingo : B5; B10
- Poland : B5; B17
- politics : B4-B6; B8; B15
- pollution : B16
- Pope Paul VI : B12
- population : B9; B13
- Portugal : B4
- poverty : B9
- Profumo Affair : B7; B10
- propaganda : B1-B3; B5-B7; B13; B16-B17
- public works : B5; B16
- Quemoy (Kinmen) and Matsu : B2; B6; B16; B18
- quiz shows : B13; B15; B17
- racial violence : B3; B8-B11
- railroad industry : B8; B17
- Rayburn, Sam : B4; B18
- religion : B1-B3; B9
- Republican Party : B1-B3; B5-B18
- Reuther, Walter : B13; B18
- Rhodesia : B12
- right to work law : B12
- Rockefeller, Nelson : B1-B4; B6-B10; B13-B18
- Romania : B5
- Romney, George W. : B6-B9
- Roosevelt, Eleanor : B2
- Rusk, Dean : B3; B6; B9; B12
- Russia : B1-B4; B6; B10; B13-B14; B17-B18
- Salinger, Pierre : B6; B10
- schools : B3-B5; B8; B10; B15; B17-B18
- Scranton, William : B7-B10
- SEATO : B2
- Seaton, Frederick : B16
- segregation : B1; B6-B8; B14-B15; B17
- Shao-Chi, Liu : B13
- Shastri, Lal Bahadur : B11
- Sioux City, Iowa : B1-B2; B8; B16
- smoking : B9; B11
- social security : B11; B15
- socialism : B3
- South America : B1
- South Korea : B1
- Soviet Union : SEE ALL BOXES
- space exploration : B1-B5; B7; B10-B14; B16-B18
- sports : B2; B4; B8; B12
- Stalin, Joseph : B5; B8
- Stassen, Harold : B7; B9; B16; B18
- steel industry : B1; B5-B6; B12-B14; B16; B18
- Stevenson, Adlai E. : B1-B3; B6; B13; B15-B18
- stock market : B6
- strikes : B1; B3; B7-B8; B12-B13; B16-B18
- Suez Canal : B13
- Sukarno : B5; B8-B9; B11
- summer vacation : B2; B15
- Supreme Court : B9
- Symington, Stuart : B1; B13; B15-B16
- taxes : B1-B3; B5-B9; B11-B18
- Teamsters : B14-B18
- terrorism : B4; B9
- Thailand : B3; B5; B9
- Thant, U. : B11
- Tibet : B13; B15; B17
- Tito, Josip Broz : B7
- trade : B4-B5; B8; B14-B15
- traffic fatalities : B2-B4; B6-B9; B12; B15
- transportation : B3; B12; B15
- Truman, Harry S. : B2; B13-B18
- U-2 incident : B1-B2; B6
- U.S. Postal Service : B1; B5; B9; B14; B16
- Ulbricht, Walter : B8
- United Auto Workers : B16-B17
- United Nations : B1-B12; B15-B18
- University of Alabama : B7
- University of Mississippi : B6
- Vietnam : B3-B5; B18
- Vietnam War : B6-B12
- Virginia : B15; B17
- Voroshilov, Kliment : B5
- voting rights : B6; B9; B11
- voting : B1; B9-B11; B16; B18
- Wallace, George : B7-B9; B12
- Wallace, Lurleen : B12
- War on Poverty : B9-B11
- war : B12
- Warren Commission : B10
- Washington D.C. (home rule) : B12
- Washington, George : B5
- weather : B5; B7; B11-B12; B15-B16
- West New Guinea : B5
- Williams, G. Mennen : B3; B15
- Wilson, Charlie : B16
- Wilson, Harold : B12
- World War II : B1; B3; B11; B18
- Zedong, Mao : B1; B3; B7-B13; B17-B18
Return to top