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Richard E. Morgan papers

Identifier: M135

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Scope and Contents

The Richard E. Morgan Papers contain his inaugural lecture for his installation as William Nelson Cromwell professor of Constitutional Law in 1978, Toward a Theory of Procedural Due Process: Protecting the Private Sector; as well as the original manuscripts of The Politics of Religious Conflict, The Supreme Court and Religion; and galley proofs of Domestic Intelligence: Monitoring Dissent in America.


  • Creation: 1970-1978


Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions.

Biographical / Historical

Richard Ernest Morgan (Bowdoin 1859) was born on May 17, 1937, in Philipsburg, Penn., and was a graduate of Hempstead High School in New York. As a senior at Bowdoin, he received the Sewall Greek Prize and the Senior American History Prize, and he was presented with the Pershing-Presnell Sword as the cadet colonel and commander of the Bowdoin ROTC unit. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. He graduated cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 1959.

He held Woodrow Wilson and U.S. Steel Fellowships in American Government while earning his M.A. (1961) and Ph.D. (1967) in the Department of Public Law and Government at Columbia University. He was offered a Brookings Institution Research Fellowship in 1962, but he declined it to complete his military service; he served on active duty as a first lieutenant in the Army Reserve in 1963-64. He then returned to Columbia to complete a Ph.D. in 1967, followed by two years as fellow in law and government at Harvard Law School.

Morgan taught at Columbia as an instructor of government in 1962-63 and from 1965 to 1967 and as an assistant professor from 1968 to 1969. He joined the faculty at Bowdoin in 1969 as an associate professor of government, and he was named William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Constitutional Law in 1975, succeeding his mentor and friend Athern Daggett in that post. He served three terms as chair of the government department (1969-75, 1983-85, and 1992-94), and he was for a number of years secretary-treasurer of Bowdoin’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

A prolific writer of books, articles, and commentary, Morgan was the author of The Politics of Religious Conflict (1968), The Supreme Court and Religion (1972), Domestic Intelligence: Monitoring Dissent in America (1980), Disabling America: The “Rights Industry” in Our Time (1984), and The Law and Politics of Civil Rights and Liberties (1985). He co-authored two books with Chris Potholm and the late John Donovan: American Politics: Direction of Change, Dynamics of Choice in 1979 and People, Power and Politics in 1980. He and Chris also co-edited Focus on Police in 1976. Morgan wrote articles for The New Leader, The Political Science Quarterly, Commentary, and the Claremont Review of Books, and for many years he was a contributing editor to City Journal.

In 1985 he was appointed to a two-year term as chair of the Maine Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He was the research director of a study by the Twentieth Century Fund to examine spying by the CIA and FBI on American citizens from 1975-79.

Morgan was the husband of Jean Yarbrough, Bowdoin’s Gary M. Pendy Sr. Professor of Social Sciences, in the Department of Government and Legal Studies.

He passed away November 13, 2014. In addition to his wife, Jean, whom he married in 1996, he is survived by two stepsons, James Yarbrough Stern (Hilary) and John Francis Sutherlin Stern (Elisa); and by three grandchildren, Henry (7), William (5), and Alexandra (2 months). He is also survived by his first wife, Eva C. Morgan of Brunswick.


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Language of Materials



Inaugural lecture for Morgan's installation as Bowdoin College's William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Constitutional Law in 1978, and writings.

Guide to the Richard E. Morgan Papers
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011 Repository

3000 College Station
Brunswick Maine 04011 USA
(207) 725-3288