• IdentificationMSCBT0012
  • TitleChicago Board of Trade Records: Series III - John R. Mauff secretary correspondence MSCBT0012
  • PublisherSpecial Collections
  • LanguageEnglish
  • RepositorySpecial Collections
  • Physical Description58.5 Linear feet
  • Date1901-1925

Processed by Cory Davis, John Rosen, Lindsay Menard and Kit Fluker August-November 2010-2011. Finding aid by Kit Fluker. Edited and encoded by Jae Lurie April 2012.

[Collection Title], Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago

The records of the Chicago Board of Trade at the University of Illinois at Chicago are closed for 50 years from the date of record creation. Please contact Special Collections before visiting to ensure that the materials are available to the public.

The Chicago Board of Trade records were received by Special Collections and University Archives in numerous accessions between 1968 and 2000.

Materials from accessions 1968-113, 69-11, 72-44, 72-48, 74-16, 74-33, 75-68, 76-115, 77-53, 77-89, 78-91, 79-42, 81-21, 81-22, 81-23, 81-49, 81-110, 82-46, 83-50, 83-51, 84-28, 84-41, 84-42, 85-29, 86-3, 86-4, 86-5, 86-16, 86-17, 86-18, 91-11, 91-24, 92-11, 92-19, 93-1, 93-21, 93-30, 95-28, 97-2, 97-14, 97-32, 98-2, and 2000-37 were merged into one collection. Materials from each accession may be described in this finding aid.

Files are arranged alphabetically by year. File headings are mostly letter ranges (e.g., Da-De).

Federal agencies and departments are sometimes alphabetized under "United States" and sometimes under their specific name. For example, United States Food Administration and Federal Trade Commission both might be under US or F.

Boxes 532-549 and 642-667 are also listed in J.C.F. Merrill's and James J. Fones' secretarial correspondence, respectively.

The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was started in 1848 by a small group of Chicago businessmen. The exchange was formed to help structure the grain trade in the Midwest. Before the Chicago Board of Trade came into being, the market for grain was extremely volatile with prices high in the winter and low in the summer, resulting in poor economic conditions for farmers. The early Board of Trade helped to create stable economic conditions for regional farmers and also worked to create standards and grades for various grains along with inspection processes to help ensure buyers received the goods for which they had paid. In 1859 the Illinois legislature granted the Chicago Board of Trade a charter allowing self-regulation. By 1865 the CBOT had a permanent location in the Chicago Chamber of Commerce Building and about 150 members. The Chicago Board of Trade was governed by its members and an elected Board of Directors. Rules and Regulations regarding day-to-day activities of the exchange were amended frequently as the organization responded to the issues of the time. The established organization of the Board of Trade in its early years was mostly maintained over time with revisions to rules and additions and subtractions to the organization based upon the economic, political, and technological climate at the time.

This record group consists of John R. Mauff's files from 1917 to 1923, when he served as secretary of the Chicago Board of Trade. The material is mostly correspondence, but includes clippings, articles, reports, warehouse records, legal agreements, copies of House and Senate bills, and financial records. The record group contains a large amount of general correspondence, such as information requests from members and non-members about commodity prices and CBOT rules and practices. Correspondence with members also includes notices regarding membership dues, violations of CBOT rules, and decisions made by the Board of Directors. The files include some correspondence of CBOT presidents Joseph P. Griffin (1916-1917 and 1921) and Leslie F. Gates (1919-1920).

The record group contains correspondence with other commodity exchanges and local chambers of commerce, correspondence with legal counsel such as attorney Henry S. Robbins, and correspondence with federal departments and agencies such as the US Department of Agriculture, the Federal Trade Commission, and the United States Food Administration. There is a large amount of material related to the Capper-Tincher bill on future trading and its development into the Grain Futures Act of 1922. Also present is correspondence related to investigations of bucket shops, and material related to the failure of brokerage firm EW Wagner and Co.

Mauff's tenure as secretary began in December 1917, and files from that year include records of Mauff's predecessor J.C.F. Merrill. Files from 1923 include records of Mauff's successor, James L. Fones. Mauff's assistant secretary, Walter S. Blowney, was responsible for a large amount of general correspondence, and also performed the duties of financial secretary for the Board of Trade Mutual Benefit Association.

  • Names
    • Chicago Board of Trade.
    • Mauff, John R.
    • United States Food Administration.
    • United States. Capper-Tincher Act of 1922.
    • United States. Department of Agriculture.
    • United States. Federal Trade Commission.
  • Subject
    • Commodity exchanges--Law and legislation.
    • Commodity exchanges.
    • Commodity futures.
    • Futures.
    • Grain.
  • Geographic Coverage
    • Illinois--Chicago.
    • United States.