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Garver, Newton, 1928-2014


Biographical Note

Newton Garver was born April 24, 1928 in Buffalo, New York. He was associated with the University at Buffalo Philosophy department for almost forty years, first as a lecturer (1961-1966), and later as a faculty member (1966-1995). Prof. Garver earned his bachelor's in philosophy from Oxford University in 1954 and his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1965. He served as Faculty Senate Chair, and was the recipient of the SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Award.

He authored six books and more than one hundred articles on Ludwig Wittgenstein. Newton was a long-time leader in the Quaker community and peace activist in the Western New York region.

He is best known for his refusal in 1964 to sign the "Feinberg Oath," an anti-Communist loyalty oath, arguing the oath went against his Quaker beliefs. With other UB faculty members, Garver filed a suit against the Feinberg Law. In 1967, the case went before the US Supreme Court which found the law unconstitutional.

Newton Garver died on February 8, 2014 at age 85 in East Concord, New York.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Newton Garver papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 22-5F-190

Papers of Newton Garver, UB professor of philosophy. Collection includes Garver's participation in the Feinberg Loyalty Oath court case and his membership in the Society of Friends.

Dates: 1962-2003

Richard Lipsitz, Sr. papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0005

Working papers of Richard Lipsitz, Esq., attorney for plaintiffs in Keyishian et al. vs. Board of Regents et al., 1964, in which four faculty members and a librarian at the State University of New York at Buffalo challenged New York State's Feinberg Law on public employees and subversive activities. Includes correspondence, court documents, notes, press clippings, and background materials.

Dates: 1964-1967

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  • Subject: College teachers -- New York (State) -- Buffalo -- Political activity X
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Church meetings -- Records and correspondence 1
Correspondence 1
Judicial records 1
New York (State) -- Politics and government -- 1951- 1
Quakers -- New York (State) -- Buffalo 1