The Pumpkin documents consist of sixty-five pages the retyped an enig State room documents, four pages in Hiss"s very own handwriting of copied State room cables, and also five rolfes of developed and undeveloped 35 mm film. The film contained fifty-eight frames, largely photos that State and Navy department documents. The State Department records dealt with a wide variety of subjects, including U. S. Intentions through respect come the Soviet Union, the Spanish polite War, and also Germany"s take on of Austria. Various other frames dealt with subjects the hardly it seems to be ~ the stuff of spy novels, such together diagrams the fire extinguishers and life rafts. All of the papers that bore days came from the duration from January 5 v April 1, 1938.Four images of Pumpkin documents are consisted of below. To check out a larger image, click on the thumbnail photo.


Why the surname "Pumpkin Papers"?

More accurately, the Pumpkin papers would be dubbed the "Dumbwaiter Papers." The sixty-five typed pages and also four handwritten pages all came from an envelope gotten rid of from a dumbwaiter obelisk in the Baltimore home of Whittaker Chambers"s nephew"s mother, where they apparently had actually been kept for ten years. (The typed papers and also notes space sometimes called "the Baltimore papers.") The name "Pumpkin Papers" comes from the fact that the rolfes of 35 mm film were discovered wrapped in waxed record inside a hollowed-out pumpkin top top Whittaker Chambers"s Maryland farm. In solution to a HUAC subpoena, Chambers top top the night of December 2, 1948 considerably led two HUAC investigators come the patch, where the film had been put by Chambers only the previous day.

The hollowed-out pumpkin at Chambers"s farm yard that included two rolls of undeveloped film.Chambers led HUAC investigators come the pumpkin ~ above December 2, 1948.

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Who typed the papers?

The identification of the typist of the sixty-five State Department records was a significant point of contention. The federal government argued, and also successfully persuaded the 2nd Hiss jury, the the papers were typed on woodstock typewriter, number N230099, own by the Hiss"s in at an early stage 1938. The 1938 papers, follow to professionals who did comparisons, were typed top top the same an equipment as produced other Hiss keying from the earlier 1930s. The federal government maintained that Hiss"s wife, Priscilla, typed the papers (Alger to be a hunt-and-peck typist) since he might not risk keeping the originals much more than overnight, and also that Chambers gathered material for the Soviets only every seven to ten days. Simply put, the federal government asked jurors in the Hiss attempt who--other 보다 Alger or Priscilla Hiss--had access both to the State department documents and the wooden storm typewriter, and therefore could be a feasible source the the Pumpkin Papers? Hiss said at trial that neither he nor his wife can have typed the documents due to the fact that the wood storm typewriter identified as having actually been provided to kind the files was given away by lock in 1937. The defense made lot of the reality that no documents known to have come from Hiss"s woodstock typewriter (originally to buy by Priscilla Hiss"s dad in 1927) might be found bearing a date of later on than may 1937. Hiss testified that he offered the typewriter in 1937 to Mike Catlett, a male who walk odd jobs about the Hiss household. Catlett evidenced that he received the woodstock typewriter from Hiss, yet could no remember the day he took possession that the machine. Mike"s son, play Catlett, on the other hand, called defense lawyers the the family members received the typewriter in the spring of 1938, a date much more helpful to the prosecution 보다 the defense.

Woodstock N230099

When was the film found in the pumpkin manufactured?

HUAC sent the film to Eastman Kodak to recognize the date of manufacture. Initial test results shown that the movie was produced in 1945. If these outcomes were accurate, Chambers lied and also Hiss was vindicated. Based on the early stage results, an outraged Richard Nixon even called Chambers and told him he to be a liar. Subsequently, however, Eastman Kodak reported the early report to be wrong, and also that the film to be made in 1938, continual with Chambers"s story.

Why go Whittaker Chambers reveal the existence of the documents when he did?

Whittaker Chambers made no point out during the HUAC hearings in august 1948 that the records he claimed were given to that by Hiss. He described later the he go not disclose the existence of the files in bespeak to defend Hiss, who he referred to as "a great friend," indigenous espionage charges. Points changed, however, once Hiss sued Chambers because that slander. If conducting a pretrial deposition that Chambers, Hiss"s attorney, wilhelm Marbury, asked Chambers to produce "any correspondence, one of two people typewritten or in handwriting, from any kind of member the the Hiss family." Hiss"s attorney never ever expected (nor would certainly he have actually asked for, had he known) the solution that that received: sixty-five typewritten pages and also four handwritten pages, all allegedly given to Chambers by Hiss in 1938. Chambers turned over the papers on November 17, 1948. Chambers made a statement in ~ the time: In response to her request to produce papers from Mr. Hiss, ns made a search, and I have certain papers in Mr. Hiss"s handwriting and specific other papers...I was particularly anxious, for factors of friendship, and also because Mr. Hiss is among the many brilliant young men in the country, no to do much more injury than necessary to Mr. Hiss. Therefore, ns have very closely avoided testifying to details activities the Mr. Hiss an any kind of place or any time heretofore... Chambers later told Nixon and HUAC staffers the he turned over the documents due to the fact that of Hiss"s attorney"s investigation into his alleged psychological instability and aggressive questioning that his wife. Chambers claimed that the concluded the "Hiss was determined to ruin me--and my wife, if possible." an additional factor can have been Chambers"s concern that if a jury discovered him guilty of slandering Hiss, Chambers in all likelihood would have confronted a Justice room prosecution himself.

Where were the papers in between 1938 and also 1948?

There is evidence suggesting that Chambers originally provided the records for safekeeping to a Communist friend named Ludwig Lore. After ~ a year or so, Chambers supposedly asked Lore to offer him back the documents. From roughly 1939 to their removal in November, 1948, the envelope comprise the documents and also film was stored in a dumbwaiter tower in a Baltimore house. The residence was formerly occupied by Nathan Levine, Whittaker Chambers"s nephew. At the time of the remove of the documents, the house belonged come Nathan Levine"s mother.

weathered envelope, discovered in a dumbwaiter shaft in Baltimore,in i m sorry the papers were found.

Why go Whittaker Chambers save the documents?

The papers day to the moment of Chambers"s decision to leave the Communist Party. At the time of his defection in 1938, Chambers feared because that his life. Chambers believed that hiding proof that could incriminate an additional important Soviet agent might be a measure of protection versus those that would great to carry out him harm.

What function did the Pumpkin papers play in the conviction of Alger Hiss?

The Pumpkin records played a decisive duty in the Hiss trials. The government produced witnesses who traced the materials of assorted of the documents to the office the Francis Sayre at the department of State--Hiss"s office in 1938. Another witness described the loved one secrecy that the retyped messages and how lock must have been based upon stolen documents. Still other experts established the typing as being done on Hiss"s Woodstock. The most an important testimony come from FBI laboratory expert Ramos Feehan who, by comparing characters (for instance individual "e"s and also "g"s) on "Hiss standards" (letters concededly typed by Hiss in the 1930s) and also the 65 typed files recovered in Baltimore, concluded that they were developed by the very same machine.Jurors in the deadlocked first Hiss psychological agreed the the Pumpkin files were the crucial evidence. Eight jurors welcomed the prosecution"s discussion that Priscilla Hiss typed the papers on your Woodstock typewriter. The four holdouts because that acquittal embraced that the papers were typed on the Woodstock formerly owned by the Hiss"s, yet thought that probably someone other than either Hiss created them. In the 2nd trial, prosecutor cutting board Murphy closeup of the door by informing the jurors, "Each of these documents, the typewritten documents, and the handwritten documents, each has actually the same message. And also what is that message?: "Alger Hiss, you to be the traitor. Alger Hiss, your feathers are however borrowed and you can"t adjust these documents." This time, every twelve jurors bought Murphy"s argument and also convicted Hiss of perjury.

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Did Alger Hiss ever before admit that the documents were genuine?

No. Alger Hiss continued to contend, also after his appeal to be rejected, that the sixty-five pages to be forged by Chambers--either using Hiss"s borrowed typewriter or forging castle "so as to make them show up to have actually been composed on the Hiss typewriter." that conceded, however, that the 4 notes were in his handwriting.