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William A. Schaper Case papers

Identifier: 977

Scope and Content

The collection contains documents and papers regarding the dismissal of Dr. William A. Schaper in 1917 and his subsequent reinstatement in 1938.


  • 1919-1958


Language of Materials


Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Requests for permission to quote from the William A. Schaper Case papers should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives head.

Historical note regarding the William A. Schaper Case

In September 1917, Dr. William A. Schaper was dismissed from the University faculty for alleged disloyalty during the anti-German scare of World War I; he came out publicly against the United States involvement in the war. He had been a distinguished member of the faculty for 16 years and chairman of the Department of Political Science since 1915. In 1938, the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota rescinded the 1917 dismissal action, reinstated Dr. Schaper as Professor Emeritus, and paid the sum of $5,000 in lieu of salary for the academic year 1917-1918. Dr. Schaper and Mrs. Schaper died within a week of each other late in 1955. Their estate was left to the Universities of Oklahoma and Minnesota. The University of Minnesota received $10,000 to be used for scholarships in Political Science from the Schaper estate.

In 1955, Dr. William Anderson began to collect information on what has come to be called the “Schaper Case" for deposit in the University of Minnesota Archives. Dr. Anderson, a former student and colleague of Dr. Schaper and a distinguished member of the faculty for 41 years, recognized the importance of this case not only to the history of the University of Minnesota but also to the history of the development of academic freedom in the United States.


0.25 Linear Feet (½ box)


Collection contains documents and papers regarding the dismissal of Dr. William A. Schaper, chair of the political science department of the University of Minnesota, in 1917.

Source of acquisition

Dr. William Anderson deposited the collection in University Archives on November 3, 1958.

Related Materials in University Archives

William Watts Folwell papers

Guy Stanton Ford papers

Max Lowenthal papers

Fred Beal Snyder papers

University of Minnesota. Comptroller's papers

University of Minnesota. Dept. of Political Science papers

University of Minnesota. President's Office papers

Other Related Material

William A. Schaper papers, Minnesota Historical Society.

Index of Individuals

  1. In gathering this material, Dr. Anderson, in addition to his own recollections, interviewed or received statements from the following individuals:
  2. Burkhard, Oscar C.
  3. Burnquist, J. A. A.
  4. Conover, Milton
  5. Ford, Guy Stanton
  6. Hutto, Robert I.T.
  7. Lambert, Howard T.
  8. Lien, Arnold J.
  9. Lowenthal, Max
  10. Schaper, William August
  11. Sinclair, Gregg M.
  12. Sommers, Charles L.
  13. Swenson, Rinehart J.
  14. Zelle, Edgar F.
William A. Schaper Case papers, 1919-1958
Archives Staff; updated by Karen Spilman
January 2005
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area