Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series VII: Political PatronageRichard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series VII: Political Patronage

Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series VII: Political Patronage

Descriptive Summary

Title: Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series VII: Political Patronage
Creator: Russell, Richard B., (Richard Brevard), 1897-1971
Dates: 1932-1971
Extent: 34.0 boxes (16.75 linear feet)
Collection Number: RBRL/001/RBR
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: The Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection Subgroup C, Series VII: Political Patronage documents the many individuals from Georgia and elsewhere who sought Senator Russell's assistance in winning federal appointments or jobs, and materials here reflect his role in the process. Requests are for presidential appointments, federal judgeships, federal attorneys and assistant attorneys, federal marshals and deputy marshals, federal jobs, Georgia-based postmasters, and out-of-state judgeships. Any additional non-textual materials originally filed with papers were removed for preservation purposes and improved access. These materials include photographs, audiovisual items, scrapbooks, vertical files, memorabilia, and books.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Richard Brevard Russell, Jr. held public office for fifty years as a state legislator, governor, and U.S. senator. The highlights of his legislative career included support of non-interventionist foreign policy, passage of the National School Lunch Program, securing funding for military installations and research facilities—including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—and his opposition to equal rights for African Americans, most evident in the filibuster of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Russell was born in Winder, GA on November 2, 1897, to Judge Richard B. Russell, Sr. and Ina Dillard Russell, a teacher. He was the fourth of thirteen children and the first son. He earned a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Georgia in 1918. After a brief period practicing law, Russell ran for and won a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives in 1920. In 1927, he was elected Speaker of the House, a position he held until 1931. In 1930, Russell ran for governor against a crowded field of seasoned candidates, but he was victorious thanks to a grassroots campaign and his skill in door-to-door canvassing. He took the oath of office in June 1931 but only spent eighteen months as governor before the death of Senator William J. Harris presented him with the opportunity to run for the United States Senate.

Russell entered the U.S. Senate in 1933 and served until his death in 1971. He became one of the Senate's most influential members. During his tenure, he served sixteen years as chair of the Armed Services Committee and held a seat on the Appropriation Committee that spanned his tenure in the Senate. Additionally, Russell held positions on the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, the Committee on Immigration, the Aeronautical and Space Sciences Committee, and the Democratic Policy and Democratic Steering Committees.

Although he wielded considerable power through these committee appointments, Russell did not seek a position in the Senate leadership. Instead, he supported the ambitions of his protégé, Senator Lyndon Johnson from Texas for majority whip and later for majority leader. Russell ended his career as president pro tempore of the Senate—a post reserved for the member with the longest tenure in the Senate—making him third in the line of presidential succession.

Russell was known for his support of national defense, non-interventionist foreign policy, and his advocacy for agricultural interests (particularly those in Georgia). Russell opposed the United States entangling itself in international conflicts, especially in Vietnam and the Congo. In agricultural policy, the creation of the National School Lunch Program in 1946 was his most significant achievement for the nation's farmers. The program had the double effect of providing nutritious meals for schoolchildren while avoiding an economic crash by giving farmers a way to sell their surplus produce.

Russell's opposition to civil rights legislation overshadowed his many legislative achievements. He began contesting civil rights legislation as early as 1935 when he joined the other 17 senators in the Southern Bloc in voting against the Costigan-Wagner anti-lynching bill. Over three decades, Russell developed a reputation as a defender of “white traditions” and white supremacy.

During the Senate’s debate of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Russell led the Southern Bloc in a sixty-day filibuster in an attempt to prevent the bill’s passage, vowing to “resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races.” The filibuster came to an end only after a partnership of moderate Republicans and northern Democrats introduced a compromise bill that garnered the sixty-seven votes needed to invoke cloture and end the filibuster. The substitute civil rights bill passed on June 19 by a margin of 73-27.

Though Russell advised against attempts to resist the Civil Rights Act at the state level, he remained unapologetic in his criticism of it. In a speech given in the Senate on June 18, 1964, Russell sought to encourage the other members of the Southern Bloc, saying “…there will never come a time when it will be necessary for any one of us to apologize for his conduct or his courage.”

Russell left behind a list of political and legislative achievements and a reputation for mastery of legislative strategy. Despite his other distinctions, racial animus and obstructionism would become the most remembered aspects of his legacy. As biographer Gilbert Fite noted, Russell might well have achieved more, were it not for his racial views.

Scope and Content

The Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection Subgroup C, Series VII: Political Patronage documents the many individuals from Georgia and elsewhere who sought Senator Russell's assistance in winning federal appointments or jobs, and materials here reflect his role in the process. Requests are for presidential appointments, federal judgeships, federal attorneys and assistant attorneys, federal marshals and deputy marshals, federal jobs, Georgia-based postmasters, and out-of-state judgeships.

Organization and Arrangement

Subgroup C, Series VII: Political Patronage is organized into nine subseries: A. Early Appointments; B. Presidential; C. Northern District; D. Middle District; E. Southern District; F. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; G. Job Patronage; H. Postmasters; and I. Out-of-state Judgeships.


Administrative Information and Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Files are restricted throughout the collection, as noted in the container listing.

Preferred Citation

Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia.

Processing Notes

Clippings have been copied onto bond paper for protection of content. Artifacts, photographs, books, and audiovisual materials have been separated for preservation purposes and inventoried.

User Restrictions

Library acts as "fair use" reproduction agent.

Copyright Information

Before material from collections at the Richard B. Russell Library may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permissions. Persons wishing to quote from materials in the Russell Library collection should consult the Director. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared by Russell staff, 2008.


Related Materials

Access Points

Judges--Georgia.
Judges--Selection and appointment--United States.
Legislators--Georgia.
Legislators--United States.
Patronage, Political--United States.
Presidential candidates--United States.
Russell, Richard B., (Richard Brevard), 1897-1971
United States. Congress. Senate.
United States. Post Office Dept.

Related Collections in this Repository

Richard B. Russell, Sr. Papers

Russell Family Collection

Patience Elizabeth Russell Peterson Papers

Hugh Peterson, Sr. Papers

Herman E. Talmadge Collection

Lamartine G. Hardman Collection

Related Collections in Other Repositories

John C. Stennis Papers, Mitchell Memorial Library, Mississippi State University

Lyndon B. Johnson Papers, Lyndon B. Johnson Library

Richard B. Russell, Jr. Gubernatorial Papers, Georgia Department of Archives and History

U.S. Senate. Committee on Appropriations, Center for Legislative Archives, NARA

U.S. Senate. Committee on Armed Services, Center for Legislative Archives, NARA


Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

 

Subgroup C. United States Senatorial Papers

Scope and Content: This subgroup of papers comprehensively reveals Richard Russell's activities as a United States senator representing the state of Georgia. The papers are divided into twenty series, two of which are closed; some files are restricted. Closed or restricted files are governed by donor agreement, Executive Orders, or privacy considerations. Not many files survived from Russell's first eleven years in office; the main series for this time period are Early Office, Political, Political Patronage, Personal, and a few files in General. In 1943 and 1944, Russell's staff members reorganized the office filing system, and from that point on, the files are very complete.



VII. Political Patronage, 1932-1971

Extent: 34.0 boxes
Extent: (16.75 linear feet)
Scope and Contents note: Many individuals from Georgia and elsewhere sought Senator Russell's assistance in winning federal appointments or jobs, and materials here reflect his role in the process. Requests are for presidential appointments, federal judgeships, federal attorneys and assistant attorneys, federal marshals and deputy marshals, federal jobs, Georgia-based postmasters, and out-of-state judgeships. The files are divided by Early Appointments; Presidential; Districts-Northern, Middle, and Southern; Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; Job Patronage; Postmasters; and Out-of-State Judgeships. Arrangement varies with subseries.
Nominations were a standard part of the senator's job, as documented in these files. Of particular interest is Senator Russell's 1968 nomination of Alexander A. Lawrence of Savannah for a federal judgeship in the Southern District of Georgia. Russell expected prompt action on the appointment from President Lyndon Johnson; however, opposition to Lawrence developed among civil rights groups in Georgia. This prompted Ramsey Clark, United States Attorney General, to oppose the nomination. While President Johnson eventually named Lawrence as judge, Russell was extremely upset with the delay and took personal offense, which caused a rift in the personal friendship of the senator and the president.
A. Early Appointments, 1932-1933
BoxFolder
11A (Folder 1 of 2)
12A (Folder 2 of 2)
13B (Folder 1 of 3)
14B (Folder 2 of 3)
15B (Folder 3 of 3)
16C (Folder 1 of 2)
17C (Folder 2 of 2)
18D
19Dunlap (Folder 1 of 2)
110Dunlap (Folder 2 of 2)
BoxFolder
21E
22G
23H (Folder 1 of 2)
24H (Folder 2 of 2)
25I
26J
27K
28L
29Mc
210M (Folder 1 of 2)
211M (Folder 2 of 2)
BoxFolder
31N
32O
33P (Folder 1 of 2)
34P (Folder 2 of 2)
35R
36S
37T
38W
39U.S. District Attorney (Folder 1 of 2)
310U.S. District Attorney (Folder 2 of 2)
311Collector of Internal Revenue
B. Presidential, 1952-1970
1. Appointments
BoxFolder
41Material
42Miller, E. B.
431970 July-December
441970 January-June
451969 August-December
461969 April-July
BoxFolder
511969 March
521969 February
531969 January 21-31
541969 January 16-17
551969 January 2-15
561968 July-December
571968 January-April
BoxFolder
611967 May-December
621967 January-April
631966
641965 September-December
651965 January-August
661964
671962-1963
BoxFolder
711961 May-November
721961 March-April
731961 February
741961 January 16-31
751961 January 1-14
761960 December
771960 January-November
781959 June-September
791959 January-May
BoxFolder
811958
821957
831956
841955 March-December
851955 January-February
861954 June-December
871954 January-May
881953 April-December
891952 November 6-1953 March 31
2. Joint Patronage (Russell and Talmadge)
BoxFolder
911964-1967
921962
931961 June-November
941961 April-May
951961 January-March
3. Patronage
BoxFolder
961966-1967
971965
981964
991963
9101961-1962
C. Northern District, 1940-1970
1. Judgeships
BoxFolder
1011970 July-October
1021970 March-June
1031969
1041967-1968
1051966
1061964-1965
1071961
1081948-1951
BoxFolder
1111950 July 14
1121950 July-November
1131950 January-June
1141949 December
1151949 August-November
1161949 March-July
1171949 January
1181948
BoxFolder
121Banke, Harold R.
122Covington, Dean
123Dalton Division Court, Creation of
124Foster, W. A
125Griffin Division Court, Establishment of
126Henderson, Albert
127Hooper, Frank
BoxFolder
131Maddox, James D.
132Pope, James T., Jr.
133Sloan, Boyd--Official Correspondence
134Sloan, Boyd
135Sloan, Boyd
136Smith, Sidney O.
137Stewart, Henry
2. U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Assistant Attorneys
BoxFolder
141U.S. Attorneys
142Assistant U.S. Attorneys, 1966-1968
143Assistant U.S. Attorney, 1963-1964
144Assistant U.S. Attorney, 1961-1962
3. U.S. Marshal and Deputy U.S. Marshal
BoxFolder
145U.S. Marshal, 1962-1968
146U.S. Marshal, 1960-1961
147Deputy U.S. Marshal, 1962-1968
148U.S. Deputy Marshal, 1961 March-December
149U.S. Deputy Marshal, 1961 January-February
1410U.S. Deputy Marshal, 1960
4. General
BoxFolder
151Commissioner
152Northern District Court
153Job—Miscellaneous—Bankruptcy Referee
154Jobs, 1958
155Jobs, 1954-1956
156Jobs (old), 1951-1953
157Jobs (old), 1950
158Jobs, 1948-1949
159Jobs, 1940-1947
D. Middle District, 1944-1970
1. Judgeship
BoxFolder
1510Judgeship, 1960-1970
1511Judgeship, 1953-1954
1512Judgeship, 1944-1949
2. U.S. Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys
BoxFolder
1513U.S. District Attorney
3. U.S. Marshal and Deputy U.S. Marshal
BoxFolder
1514U.S. Marshal
1515U.S. Deputy Marshal
4. General
BoxFolder
1516Court
1517Jobs
E. Southern District, 1937-1970
1. Judgeship
BoxFolder
1611969-1970
1621968
1631967
1641961-1965
1651945-1946
1661941 June-September
1671941 May
BoxFolder
171Barnes, J. Mack
172Curry, W. Inman
173Fraser, Donald H.
174Lawrence, Alexander A. (Folder 1 of 5), 1968 July-1969 August
175Lawrence, Alexander A. (Folder 2 of 5), 1968 June
BoxFolder
181Lawrence, Alexander A. (Folder 3 of 5), 1968 May
182Lawrence, Alexander A. (Folder 4 of 5), 1968 April
183Lawrence, Alexander A. (Folder 1 of 5), 1962, 1967 May-1968 March
184Lovett, Archibald Battle (Folder 1 of 2), undated
185Lovett, Archibald Battle (Folder 2 of 2)
186Norman, Robert
187Scarlett, Frank M., 1966-1970
188Scarlett, Frank M., 1941-1961
2. U.S. Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys
BoxFolder
191U.S. Attorneys, 1961-1969
192U.S. Attorneys, 1960
193Assistant U.S. Attorneys, 1960-1966
194U.S. Attorney and Assistant Attorney, 1946-1953
3. U.S. Marshal and Deputy U.S. Marshal
BoxFolder
195U.S. Marshal, 1960-1969
196U.S. Deputy Marshal, 1961-1968
4. General
BoxFolder
197Court, 1957
198Court, 1947-1949
199Court, 1937-1941
1910Job, 1946-1960
F. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1949-1970
BoxFolder
201General, 1966-1970
202Bell, Griffin
203Ethridge, W.N.
204Ford, Aaron L.
205Foster, Leo L.
206Gewin, Walter P.
207Hall, Ellsworth
208Harris, John B.
209Hollowell, Donald (In support of)
2010Hollowell, Donald (Special—Only for letters in opposition—Those who will testify)
2011Nadler, Charles E.
2012Norman, Robert C.
2013Russell, Robert L.
2014Skelton, Byron
2015Tuttle, Elbert Parr
G. Job Patronage, 1954-1971
1. General
BoxFolder
211Forms, Lists, Applications
2121971
2131970 July-December
2141970 January-June
2151969 November-December
2161969 June-October
2171969 April-May
2181969 January-March
BoxFolder
2211968 August-December
2221968 July
2231968 May-June
2241968 January-April
BoxFolder
2311967 October-December
2321967 August-September
2331967 May-July
2341967 March-April
2351967 January-February
BoxFolder
2411966 September-December
2421966 June-August
2431966 March-May
2441966 January-February
2451965 September-December
2461965 August
BoxFolder
2511965 May-July
2521965 January-April
2531964 July-December
2541964 January-June
2551963
2561962
BoxFolder
2611960-1961
2621954-1959
2. Page
BoxFolder
2631968-1969
2641966-1967
2651964-1965
2661961-1963
2671958-1960
H. Postmaster, 1945-1969
1. Nominations
BoxFolder
271Nominations
2. County
BoxFolder
272Appling
273Atkinson
274Bacon
275Baker
276Baldwin
277Banks
278Barrow
279Bartow
2710Ben Hill
2711Berrien
2712Bibb
2713Bleckley
2714Brantley
2715Brooks
2716Bryan
2717Bulloch
2718Burke
2719Butts
2720Calhoun
2721Camden
2722Candler
2723Carroll
2724Catoosa
2725Charlton
BoxFolder
281Chatham
282Chattahoochee
283Chattooga
284Cherokee
285Clarke
286Clay
287Clayton
288Clinch
289Cobb
2810Coffee
2811Colquitt
2812Columbia
2813Cook
2814Coweta
2815Crawford
2816Crisp
2817Dade
2818Dawson
2819Decatur
2820DeKalb
2821Dodge
2822Dooly
2823Dougherty
2824Douglas
BoxFolder
291Early
292Echols
293Effingham
294Elbert
295Emanuel
296Evans
297Fannin
298Fayette
299Floyd
2910Forsyth
2911Franklin
2912Fulton
2913Gilmer
2914Glascock
2915Glynn
2916Gordon
2917Grady
2918Greene
2919Gwinnett
2920Habersham
2921Hall
2922Hancock
2923Haralson
2924Harris
2925Hart
2926Heard
2927Henry
2928Houston
BoxFolder
301Irwin
302Jackson
303Jasper
304Jeff Davis
305Jefferson
306Jenkins
307Johnson
308Jones
309Lamar
3010Lanier
3011Laurens
3012Lee
3013Liberty
3014Lincoln
3015Long
3016Lowndes
3017Lumpkin
3018McDuffie
3019McIntosh
3020Macon
3021Madison
3022Marion
3023Meriwether
3024Miller
3025Mitchell
3026Monroe
3027Montgomery
3028Morgan
3029Murray
BoxFolder
311Muscogee
312Muscogee—Dan Graves
313Newton
314Oconee
315Oglethorpe
316Paulding
317Peach
318Pickens
319Pierce
3110Pike
3111Polk
3112Pulaski
3113Putnam
3114Quitman
3115Rabun
3116Randolph
3117Richmond
3118Rockdale
3119Schley
3120Screven
3121Seminole
3122Spalding
3123Stephens
3124Stewart
3125Sumter
BoxFolder
321Talbot
322Taliaferro
323Tattnall
324Taylor
325Telfair
326Terrell
327Thomas
328Tift
329Toombs
3210Towns
3211Treutlen
3212Troup
3213Turner
3214Twiggs
3215Union
3216Upson
3217Walker
3218Walton
3219Ware
3220Warren
3221Washington
3222Wayne
3223Webster
3224Wheeler
3225White
3226Whitfield
3227Wilcox
3228Wilkes
3229Wilkinson
3230Worth
3. Out of State
BoxFolder
3231Out of State
I. Judgeship, Out of State, 1947-1957, 1961-1966
BoxFolder
3311966
3321961-1965
3331947-1957