The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
Historical Manuscripts Home
Alphabetical List of All Collections | Collections Listed By Subject

Collection Title: Talmadge (Eugene) Pamphlets

Collection Number: M180

Dates: September 1942

Volume: 7 Items

Provenance: Purchased, July 1971

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

Eugene Talmadge was born on September 23, 1884, in Forsyth, Georgia. Educated in Forsyth public schools and at the University of Georgia, Talmadge began practicing law in Atlanta after graduation. He later moved to Montgomery County and then to Telfair County, where he farmed and continued his law practice. He served as Telfair County attorney from 1920-1923 and as Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture from 1927-1933.

Talmadge was elected to a two-year term as governor of Georgia in 1932, taking office in 1933; he was reelected in 1934, in 1940, and in 1946, but died on December 21, 1946, before taking office. He had also been an unsuccessful candidate for a U. S. Senate seat in 1936 and 1938.

Talmadge was married to Mattie Thurmond Peterson and they were the parents of three children: Vera, Margaret, and Herman, who later held the office of governor of Georgia. In politics, Eugene Talmadge was racially and fiscally conservative and was known for his populist rhetoric.

Scope and Content:

This collection contains five campaign pamphlets, a fragmented political handbill (with pencil notes on the back by an unknown author) and a photograph of white and negro members of the Union of Georgia, an organization which promoted racial equality in the South.

The campaign pamphlets are for Eugene Talmadge in his 1942 race for re-election as governor of Georgia. In "Non-Partisan Picture of Race Mixing in South," Talmadge berates Ellis Arnall, his opponent, for insisting that race should not be an issue in the campaign. An ardent white supremacist, Talmadge insists that there are many real instances of racial violence, not of his doing, and that the race issue is relevant in the campaign.

In the second pamphlet, Talmadge charges Governor Rivers (1938-1940) of leaving a huge debt which he, Talmadge, paid off in his term as governor, 1940-1942. (Ellis Arnall was attorney general at this time.) He also accuses Clark Howell, editor of The Atlanta Constitution, of hurting Georgia's public image just "to get at him.

Talmadge's third pamphlet contains a list of charges against Arnall's behavior as attorney general and states that Arnall was ex-governor Edward River's protege. The last two pamphlets are attacks on Walter D. Cocking, Dean of the Department of Education at the University of Georgia. Cocking was in favor of integration while Talmadge was an ardent segregationist. One pamphlet contains excerpts from a Cocking speech with the relevant parts italicized. The other pamphlet is entitled "Facts in the Cocking Case."

Also contained in the collection is a photograph labeled members of "the Union of Georgia, an organization of negroes and whites teaching racial equality in the South." Dean Cocking was its leader. Bryant Lumpkin (newspaper editor), Dan McGill (associated with the Athens paper), Dr. Shimm (acting Dean of Law, University of Georgia), Mr. Hodson (Hodson Oil Company), and Bob McWhorter (mayor of Athens) are identified as present and pictured (but individual positive identification is not made) at this dinner of negroes and white.

Also included is a fragment of a handbill titled "To the People of Georgia." It relates to the Georgia governors' race between Dupont Guerry and a Mr. Terrell (possibly Joseph M. Terrell), circa. 1906. On the back of the handbill is a portion (page 5) of a handwritten story which includes a dialog between two men and mentions whiskey. The relation of this story to Talmadge is not known.

Prepared and maintained by
The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries Special Collections
118 College Drive #5148   Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5148