From King Ferdinand to the Warren Commission, Eclectic Collection Arrives at Fordham Libraries

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Stanley Yavneh Klos, a collector of rare documents and manuscripts, has donated an eclectic collection to Fordham Libraries to honor his father, Louis Alexander Klos, Ph.D., GSE ’66.

The Louis Alexander Klos Papers hold a wide range of documents that will bolster several areas in the Archives and Special Collections, said Patrice Kane, head of the archives.

Aaron Burr’s likely signature on a legal document from 1784

“The gift reflects the diversity of our archives because we have everything from early papyrus up to contemporary books on the origins of hip hop, and this will add to our eclectic collection,”  said Kane. “Mr. Klos saw what we have and thought of things from his own collection that match, like a document likely signed by Aaron Burr that will fit in nicely with other material we have on the Founding Fathers.”

The senior Klos joined the Xaverian Brothers in 1933 and went on to become an expert in business education, founding the National Catholic Business Association in 1945. He taught at several New York City colleges before enrolling at Fordham to earn his doctorate in school administration. In 1952 he met Eileen Hundertmark. The two married and had eight children. After Eileen died in 1974, he married Elizabeth Rutowski, and the two had a child.

The collection includes Louis Klos’ own papers as well as content relating to Jesuits, Catholic businesses, the nation’s Founding Fathers, Freemasons, the meteorological musings of Ben Franklin, Hessian flies, and breeding mules—to name but a few.

Yo el Rey

Document signed by King Ferdinand VII of Spain in 1815 reads “Yo el Rey,” or “I The King.”

The collection’s diversity is additionally reflected through its assortment of autographs, which include the famous Father Flanagan of Boys Town, actress Helen Hayes, playwright Charles Gordon MacArthur, and explorer-adventurer Roy Chapman Andrews.

There is also a document signed by King Ferdinand VII of Spain, dated Nov. 9, 1815, in which Ferdinand permitted the Society of Jesus to reenter the country after 48 years of expulsion from the home of St. Ignatius. The document, which retains a steel engraving print of the royal crest, is signed “Yo el Rey,” or “I The King.”

A papal decree from Pope Innocent XI, dated March 2, 1769, condemns “some opinions of the Jesuits,” while a folio of magazines dating from 1830 through 1831 represent one of the first Catholic periodicals printed in the United States that defended Catholics from nativists.

There’s a “boldly signed” document by 19th-century New York Governor William Learned Marcy, and another signed by 20th-century New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller.

There’s also a document with a signature that Kane said is thought to be that of Aaron Burr, the former vice president of the United States and nemesis of Alexander Hamilton.

Another 20th-century document features the signature of famed coroner Cyril H. Wecht from his testimony before the Warren Commission, concerning the assassination of John F. Kennedy:

“Based upon the findings in this case, it is my opinion that no [single]bullet could have caused all these wounds . . . , or any fragment of any bullet that we know about in this case.”

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